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Archives for 07/01/2007 - 07/07/2007

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Oy Vey, Not the Latin Mass!

posted by on July 7 at 8:17 PM

Pope Benedict is bringing back the Latin Mass—because, you know, it’s traditional and mysterious and batshit crazy Catholics like Mel Gibson fucking love the Latin Mass. And not just for the poetry:

Jewish leaders and community groups criticised Pope Benedict XVI strongly yesterday after the head of the Roman Catholic Church formally removed restrictions on celebrating an old form of the Latin mass which includes prayers calling for the Jews to ‘be delivered from their darkness’ and converted to Catholicism.

The New York Times Calls for Immediate Withdrawal From Iraq

posted by on July 7 at 6:18 PM

This is quite a shift. Sit down, it’s a long editorial, and it begins with this:

It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.

Like many Americans, we have put off that conclusion, waiting for a sign that President Bush was seriously trying to dig the United States out of the disaster he created by invading Iraq without sufficient cause, in the face of global opposition, and without a plan to stabilize the country afterward.

At first, we believed that after destroying Iraq’s government, army, police and economic structures, the United States was obliged to try to accomplish some of the goals Mr. Bush claimed to be pursuing, chiefly building a stable, unified Iraq. When it became clear that the president had neither the vision nor the means to do that, we argued against setting a withdrawal date while there was still some chance to mitigate the chaos that would most likely follow.

While Mr. Bush scorns deadlines, he kept promising breakthroughs — after elections, after a constitution, after sending in thousands more troops. But those milestones came and went without any progress toward a stable, democratic Iraq or a path for withdrawal. It is frighteningly clear that Mr. Bush’s plan is to stay the course as long as he is president and dump the mess on his successor. Whatever his cause was, it is lost.

The political leaders Washington has backed are incapable of putting national interests ahead of sectarian score settling. The security forces Washington has trained behave more like partisan militias. Additional military forces poured into the Baghdad region have failed to change anything.

Continuing to sacrifice the lives and limbs of American soldiers is wrong. The war is sapping the strength of the nation’s alliances and its military forces. It is a dangerous diversion from the life-and-death struggle against terrorists. It is an increasing burden on American taxpayers, and it is a betrayal of a world that needs the wise application of American power and principles.

A majority of Americans reached these conclusions months ago. Even in politically polarized Washington, positions on the war no longer divide entirely on party lines. When Congress returns this week, extricating American troops from the war should be at the top of its agenda.

That conversation must be candid and focused. Americans must be clear that Iraq, and the region around it, could be even bloodier and more chaotic after Americans leave. There could be reprisals against those who worked with American forces, further ethnic cleansing, even genocide. Potentially destabilizing refugee flows could hit Jordan and Syria. Iran and Turkey could be tempted to make power grabs. Perhaps most important, the invasion has created a new stronghold from which terrorist activity could proliferate.

The administration, the Democratic-controlled Congress, the United Nations and America’s allies must try to mitigate those outcomes — and they may fail. But Americans must be equally honest about the fact that keeping troops in Iraq will only make things worse. The nation needs a serious discussion, now, about how to accomplish a withdrawal and meet some of the big challenges that will arise…

It ends this way:

President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney have used demagoguery and fear to quell Americans’ demands for an end to this war. They say withdrawing will create bloodshed and chaos and encourage terrorists. Actually, all of that has already happened — the result of this unnecessary invasion and the incompetent management of this war.

This country faces a choice. We can go on allowing Mr. Bush to drag out this war without end or purpose. Or we can insist that American troops are withdrawn as quickly and safely as we can manage — with as much effort as possible to stop the chaos from spreading.

S Edmunds St & Rainier Ave S

posted by on July 7 at 3:41 PM

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Columbia City

The Columbia City Cinema—a decently sized, single screen, independently owned theater in southeast Seattle—has applied for a beer and wine license and will begin serving a variety of craft brews in the fall.

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Columbia City Cinema (CCC) will become the third Seattle theater—along with The Big Picture and Central Cinema—to serve booze, which still leaves us behind Portland, which has 7, I think.

CCC started selling beer earlier this year but due to a bizarre paperwork mix-up, patrons were allowed to drink in the lobby but couldn’t take drinks into the theater.

Full disclosure, CCC is owned by my great uncle, Paul Doyle . However, this post was prompted by Erica C. Barnett, who sent me an excited text message about CCC’s liquor application, earlier today.

Doyle, who operated the Grand Illusion before Wigglyworld bought it back in the 90’s, says CCC will be serving beer for late night movies and special events but it won’t be available when the theater is running family films. “We aren’t selling it during Ratatouille,” he said.

On the Radio at 7pm

posted by on July 7 at 3:29 PM

I’ll be on 710 KIRO tonight at 7pm for the weekly edition of the Stranger News Hour.

I’ll be talking about what’s in this week’s paper including: Dino Rossi’s shadow campaign committee, the Belltown shooting, and more on embattled SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske.

Keizer, Oregon Terrorized by Concrete Wangs

posted by on July 7 at 11:33 AM

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“Residents of Oregon town say shape of traffic posts is offensive,” reports KOMO.

(Thank you, Slog tipper David.)

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 7 at 11:22 AM

‘Shaft’

(BLAXPLOITATION NOIR) I love Central Cinema—home to beer, pizza, old-school previews, and DVD-projected flicks—so much I’d suggest going there to watch paint dry. So I doubly suggest going there to see Shaft, Gordon Parks’s 1971 blaxploitation classic featuring one smooth black detective, the Italian mob, and a classic Isaac Hayes soundtrack. (And don’t be scared to drink lots—at Central Cinema, there’s always a pee-friendly intermission.) (Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, 686-6684. 7 and 9:30 pm, $5, late show 21+.) DAVID SCHMADER


The Morning News

posted by on July 7 at 8:25 AM

by Rebecca Tapscott

Freedom of surveillance: Federal appeals court gives the okay to the government to wiretap the international communications of certain Americans.

Airline preview: Tomorrow (7/08/07), Boeing unveils the 787 Dreamliner. Although the date has symbolic meaning, analysts remain unconvinced that the plane will fly.

The joke’s on France: Everyone is making fun of Sarkozy for jogging.

Casualties of war: Suicide bombings are still taking their toll in Iraq.

Victory for Venus: Venus Williams wins her fourth Wimbledon title.

Eyman measure: I-960 is likely to make the ballot in November; opposition groups are already at work.

“Noticias Noroeste”: KOMO takes advantage of Seattle’s growing Hispanic population to launch a Spanish language news show and cash in on commercials.

WASL disasters: Sunday is the last day for high school students in the class of 2008 to sign up for WASL retakes.

Shush: McDermott will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on his disclosure of an illegally taped telephone conversation involving house Republicans nearly a decade ago.

Suit about suits: Renton based attorney, Lee Rousso, sues the state for the right to play internet poker, calling the ban a direct infringement of the commerce clause.


Friday, July 6, 2007

OPA Reports to the Mayor on Monday

posted by on July 6 at 7:32 PM

Kathryn Olson, the director of the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), will be releasing her review of OPA’s George Patterson investigation, conducted by former OPA director Captain Neil Low. Last month, Mayor Nickels asked Olson to look into allegations - made by the OPA Review Board - that Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske had interfered in the original investigation.

Either way, it’s going to get ugly. If Olson dismisses OPARB’s findings, then she gets called a stooge and a puppet and we’re back where we were after the initial investigation, with reporters and activist groups up in arms over the lack of police accountability in this town.

If Olson comes out and says that Kerlikowske(her boss) interfered in the investigation, Nickels is going to eat crow for coming out in support of the Chief. Then there are the legal ramifications of the Chief’s interference: what happens to the cops? What happens to Kerlikowske? The Seattle Police Guild says the investigation is closed and that the officers can’t be disciplined but if the investigation was tampered with, how can they not face any consequences?

My money’s on scenario number one, howbout you?

Any way you cut it, I don’t envy Kathryn Olson.

In/Visible with Cris Bruch

posted by on July 6 at 6:53 PM

Sorry about the delay, but it’s finally up. (Technological problems abounded; they did, they abounded.)

Meet the inimitable Mr. Bruch.

Best Desk Top

posted by on July 6 at 4:48 PM

I just wandered up to the third floor (to get an afternoon snack and talk to our design staff), and I saw Aaron Edge’s new screen saver. Edge is our Managing Art Director.

Well, leave it to a design guy to have the best desk top image in the universe.

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The Spin at SPD

posted by on July 6 at 4:21 PM

I just got a copy of the Seattle Police Guild’s (SPOG) monthly newsletter, The Guardian. It’s a doozy.

In a spectacular show of poor taste, a quarter page of this month’s Guardian is devoted to this:

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That’d be Officer Michael Tietjen, one of the two cops accused of beating and planting drugs on George Patterson during his arrest last January. Tietjen was exonerated and transfered to a sought after job at SPD’s harbor patrol.

Meanwhile, in an interminably long editorial (abridged here), SPOG president Sergeant Rich O’Neil blasts the media, OPARB and Nick Licata for daring to suggest that police accountability because, well, the Chief isn’t accountable to anyone.

Despite the fact that Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske faced a vote of no confidence from SPOG following the 2001 Mardi Gras riots, the union has - in the last few months - cozied up to Seattle’s top cop. SPOG is going to bat for the Chief when no one else will. Could it be because, according to a report released by the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), Kerlikowske has let a number of egregious cases of officer misconduct slide?

The past few weeks our local news media have continued their fanatical obsession with the unfounded allegations from an eight-time convicted, drug dealing felon.The OPA Civilian Review Board, chaired by Peter Holmes, continued to stoke the fire with their heavily slanted, agenda driven, review of the investigation. In their biased and leaked report, they slammed the Chief of Police for being too involved with the investigation.

Continue reading "The Spin at SPD" »

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on July 6 at 4:05 PM

It’s a slightly sluggish weekend at the movies, because the big’uns (the tolerable Transformers and the execrable License to Wed) opened early for the Fourth. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (I saw it yesterday, and it’s pretty bad, except for Imelda Staunton) opens next Tuesday.

Transformers

But that’s cool, because SIFF Cinema is launching this week with fourteen noirs of various shades and cross-genre pollinations. It should be awesome, and you should be there. Buy tickets at the SIFF website.

In On Screen this week: Transformers (“Transformers is loud, extravagant, and void of logic, but for the most part it lives up to what we expect from a Transformers movie—which is to say, it has giant robots crashing, puny humans scattering, and Optimus Prime preaching,” says Bradley Steinbacher), You Kill Me (Andrew Wright: “No matter how played out the introspective hit man concept feels by now, though, the film often still runs like a dream, courtesy of director John Dahl’s knack for finding room for such dependable heavies as Phillip Baker Hall, Bill Pullman, and (especially) Dennis Farina to shine.”), the Robin Williams-meets-The Office disaster License to Wed (“Sorry,” writes Lindy West, “but I don’t even understand what this movie is about.”), Fido (“worthwhile for the less demanding horror fan,” admits Andrew), and a quick preview of my picks for Noir City.

In Film Shorts this week, check out Zhang Yimou’s Raise the Red Lantern at Northwest Film Forum, where the local filmmaker Linas Phillips’s excellent doc Walking to Werner is also holding over for another week. There’s another batch of killer monster double features at Grand Illusion this week: Stop in Friday through Sunday for Troll and Troll 2 or Monday through Thursday for Swamp Thing with The Gate. Plus, Sigourney Weaver as an autistic lady in Snow Cake at the Varsity, and some hot summer Shaft at Central Cinema. Enjoy.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 6 at 4:00 PM

Les Claypool & Two Gallants: Live Photos.

Disco Swellings: TJ Gorton on the Idjut Boys’ Phantom Slasher.

Streaming Pile of Rock: Stream Against Me!’s New Wave.

Periscope Down: Black Daisy’s Voltage Periscope.

Touchscreen, I’m Sick: iPhone: The Musical

Make a Wish: David Schmader Stricken with a Fatal Case of Hulkamania!

Sweaty Pedal Battle, pt. 1: Jeff Kirby on Battles.

What is Wrong with the English: Frank Sinatra’s “My Way.”

Sweaty Pedal Battle, pt. 2: Christopher Hong on Battles.

Sweaty Pedal Battle, pt. 3: Eric Grandy on Battles.

Swoon: Megan Seling’s starry Eyed Crush on Siberian.

Schlock Rocker: Dan Paulus on Dave Navarro, Celine Dion, and Shakira.

Sweaty Pedal Battle, pt. 4: Donte Parks on Battles.

It’s Just a NOFX Song: Or is it the Best. Song. Ever. (This Week)?

M*therf*cking: Kelly O on the Black Lips.

The Flamboyant Symbol of Masculinity

posted by on July 6 at 3:56 PM

The first two paragraphs of a lovely review of AK47: the Story of the People’s Gun:

At the beginning of Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), in which Sylvester Stallone takes on the entire North Vietnamese army with an AK47, an American colleague regards the weapon with scepticism: “A beat-to-shit AK? Every 12-year-old in ‘Nam’s got one of those.” Rambo looks pleased, slowly nods his meaty head, and laboriously masticates his reply: “Exactly.”

Unlike practically everything else in the film, Rambo’s choice of gun is historically accurate. American soldiers in Vietnam were equipped with the M16 rifle, invented by Eugene Stoner, which tended to malfunction if it was even sneezed on. When they came across the Chinese AKs of the fallen Viet Cong, they discovered that they still worked, even if they had been lying in the rain for weeks, so at every opportunity they abandoned their modern capitalist gun for a 25-year-old socialist one.

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Power to the people! Our guns or our votes! When they knock down your front door, how are you going to come? With your hands on your head or the trigger of your gun?

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This Week on Drugs

posted by on July 6 at 3:49 PM

The Battle Begins: New Mexico’s medical marijuana law took effect Sunday—and it’s picking a fight. A key provision requires the state to implement a marijuana cultivation and distribution program to supply authorized patients, and officials at the department of health have already put the wheels in motion.

Enter the federal government. If they turn a blind eye, it will set de-facto precedent that states may grow and sell pot in clear defiance of federal law. The DEA won’t stand for that. A showdown will inevitably end up before the Supreme Court.

There are essentially two possible outcomes. While I hate to bet on the opposing team, my money is on a ruling terminating the pot program. That would send a sobering message to the public that federal drug laws trump local laws—even though, legally speaking, the laws for patients would be no worse than they are now (medical marijuana is legal in certain states as long as patients don’t grow so much pot they get prosecuted in federal court). But even if New Mexico loses, watching two government bodies publicly duking it out over how to distribute marijuana to the sick and dying will draw a lot of attention. In the other scenario, a ruling in New Mexico’s favor would have enormous implications. If they establish a model for authorized patients to legally obtain marijuana without risk of federal prosecution in that state—they create a pot distribution model for every state. In other words, the battle for medical marijuana would be won.

Sticky Slope: Study shows medical pot laws have no effect on pot usage rates.

Rocky High: Restrictions for Colorado pot growers briefly suspended.

Great Breaks: Wisconsin town decriminalizes pot possession.

Trojan Horse: Oregon “crime fighting” initiative would repeal medical marijuana law.

Shirk the Third: Little Gore out on bail.

Fortress America

posted by on July 6 at 3:42 PM

What more can I say?

WASHINGTON — Threatened abroad, U.S. diplomats have been hit with unprecedented security restrictions, confining many to fortress-like compounds and frustrating Bush administration efforts to get out and counter anti-U.S. sentiment.
It just keeps getting worse. Indeed, Bush has done more for the left than Nader and Clinton put together. A few more years of him and he might even do something for us dreamy Marxists.

We Told You Ron Paul Was Popular (and raising the money)

posted by on July 6 at 3:30 PM

Hey, all you left wing/right wingers: Ron Paul (who Eli wrote about in this week’s Stranger) reportedly has more money on hand than John McCain.

Now Open: Bars Galore

posted by on July 6 at 2:23 PM

So you’re weary of hearing about Capitol Hill’s fresh splendors in the realm of drinking/eating/having-of-fun—I would submit that you are one billion times better off at Smith, Cafe Presse, the new Cha Cha, or the old Cha Cha, a.k.a. Pony, than at downtown’s new Daily Grill (it’s now open!).

However, one billion new bars are now open in other neighborhoods as well for your fresh drinking/eating/having-of-fun pleasure, e.g.: The Local Vine, a new wine bar at Second and Vine brought to you by two women who attended Harvard Business School (oddly, much is being made of this fact, while it seems more salient that Jason Wilson of Crush created the menu); Saké Nomi, a premium sake bar in Pioneer Square (open for business, officially grand-opening in a few weeks—meanwhile, endearingly, they say: “we’ll greatly appreciate your patience…if it appears that we don’t know what we’re doing”); the new incarnation of the Lobo on Eastlake, called Victory Lounge (which looks, unfortunately, cleaned up—my primary memory of the Lobo involves a bartender wearing a frilly apron that lifted to reveal a large set of male genitalia crafted out of stuffed pantyhose); the behemoth Tap House Grill in downtown’s retail core (160 beers on tap, sibling of Bellevue’s behemoth Tap House Grill); and, in Wallingford, Babalu: The Mambo Room (in the former Wonder Bar space and, according to myspace, a single 26-year-old Leo female, occupation: bar).

Soon, also: Kurrent on Pine, grand-opening on July 21, bringing (at last) an ice bar to Seattle—formerly, one had to journey to the Eastside’s The Parlor for a frozen stripe of water upon which to rest one’s drink: no more.

Bar Exam will dutifully be covering all this hot bar action in the coming weeks, even though Bar Exam’s liver hurts just thinking about it.

And P.S.: In the chow category, note that Matt’s in the Market has at last now re-opened.

Hey, Staff, Can We Get Some More Funk-Beat in Next Week’s Paper?

posted by on July 6 at 1:59 PM

A reader named Justin just wrote in to say:

Dear Editor,
Why has the Stranger never covered an in-depth story of the 9/11 Truth movement? Reading the weeks paper, I found such irony in coverage of Wilderness Search n Rescue—wedged between full page ads for beer, furniture, and cell phones…

The story he’s talking about is Chris Weeg’s awesome piece about people who get lost in the mountains and, well, either die or don’t die before search and rescue teams find them. After the November storms, Western Washington’s trails are massively fucked, which means we’re probably going to see more deaths out there than usual this season.

But anyway, back to Jason’s letter. What “irony” is he talking about?

The irony being of the Stranger’s supposed representation of ‘alternative’ culture… What you’ve offered is generic news and advertisement! Mr. Savage, as Seattle’s skyline builds upwards, please find decency in keeping strong the disappearing guts of the city… Give us the funk-beat, we’ll give you the disco!!

9/11? Funk beats? At first I wasn’t sure, but this similarity is striking:

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McDermott Taking it to the Supremes

posted by on July 6 at 1:33 PM

Seattle Congressman Jim McDermott is taking his long-running legal battle, which I wrote about here, all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

From his office:

Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) announced today that he will petition the U.S. Supreme Court (called a petition for certiorari) to review his First Amendment case.

McDermott’s decision comes after a split decision recently by the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in Boehner v. McDermott. Hearing the case en banc, the nine judge court voted 5-4 in favor of First Amendment protections in one aspect of the case, but voted 5-4 against Rep. McDermott’s First Amendment protections.

“With all due respect to the Court of Appeals, the constitutional issues involved here are much too important to be confused by a split decision,” McDermott said. “The protections afforded all Americans by the First Amendment have been placed on a very slippery slope by this decision. By taking away my First Amendment protections, the decision endangers freedom of speech and the press across America,” McDermott added.

Google vs. Sicko

posted by on July 6 at 12:50 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

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Google account planner Lauren Turner wrote on the company’s health care advertising blog last week that Michael Moore’s expose of the health care industry was one-sided and failed to note that the industry has also contributed to philanthropy and raised awareness of patient care. Turner suggested that health care companies buy Google ads to counter the negative portrayal.

Later, she wrote another blog post explaining that her comments were her opinion—not Google’s. As a company, she explained, Google doesn’t have an opinion either way on healthcare in America. Google’s opinion, instead, is about marketing. The company believes that:

Advertising is an effective medium for handling challenges that a company or industry might have. You could even argue that it’s especially appropriate for a public policy issue like healthcare. Whether the healthcare industry wants to rebut charges in Mr. Moore’s movie, or whether Mr. Moore wants to challenge the healthcare industry, advertising is a very democratic and effective way to participate in a public dialogue.

Note, first, the irony: Michael Moore accuses the industry of throwing up a haze of marketing, P.R. and lobbying to hide its practices, and Google tells Healthcare to respond by buying up more ads. But the biggest problem is this idea of an ad-based “democratic” discussion. An ad-based policy discussion rewards folks with deep pockets, not those with better ideas. It’s like Turner’s taken democracy lessons from the Supreme Court; free speech is for folks who’ve got money to buy it.

Rainier Ave and 42nd Ave S

posted by on July 6 at 12:35 PM

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By Rebecca Tapscott

South Seattle

In national surveys, Seattle has consistently been ranked with the lowest rate of pedestrian-motorist collisions per capita among major metropolitan U.S. cities.

However, we’ve still got our share of reckless driving. Rainier Avenue—four to five lanes, 8-miles long, and a straight shot—saw 1,743 collisions between 2002 and 2004, and subsequently has been designated a “high collision street” by the City. The only other Seattle road that compares statistically for collisions, according to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) Spokesman, Gregg Hirakawa, is Aurora, a likely location for a future safety project.

SDOT has received a grant for $126,000, for a traffic safety campaign along Rainer Avenue.

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There are four different versions of this billboard, which will be placed at different intersections on Rainier for four weeks each. The project is currently on its third billboard, which is located at the intersection of Rainier Avenue and 42nd Avenue South. The billboards aim to keep the message simple, counseling drivers to “slow down” with an image of the universally understood car wreck.

Although speed has not been identified as the primary reason for crashes on Rainier Avenue, this scared straight tactic may remind drivers to be attentive.

Hirakawa also emphasized the role of driver and pedestrian alertness, saying, “[ SDOT does] not believe there is any such thing as an accident. Motorists involved in negligent or reckless behavior cause [collisions] to happen.” Negligence is constituted by behaviors ranging from conversations in the car or mechanical issues, to alcohol consumption or vehicular homicide. Although vehicular homicide sounds mysterious and thrilling, it describes any collision in which a pedestrian or passenger dies and the driver survives. In such a case, charges are often pressed and the driver can face time in prison, regardless of malicious intent. The three most common types of collisions on Rainier are rear-end, angle and sideswipe. Vehicular homicide is rare.

Prior to the billboard campaign the SDOT took other measures to increase safety, including increased signage, a red light camera on Orcas, pedestrian countdown symbols in five locations, including McClellan and Orcas, and 400 new and more easily legible regulatory signs. These measures are not a part of the current 126,000-dollar campaign.

Since the implementation of the safety measures, there are no new collision statistics for Rainier Avenue. Although this is the first time that Seattle has used billboards to increase road safety, the U.S. Department of Transportation cites similar programs around the country that have resulted in a 25 percent decrease in serious accidents.

Tomorrow, This Relentless Hot Dog Fan Suggests…

posted by on July 6 at 12:25 PM

On a slightly less gay tip, another compelling reason to get down to The Pioneer Square Fire Festival: HOT DOG EATING CONTEST. As of now, the field is wide open, so go here to register. I will be there to cheer on the binging and gluttony and investigate the sport of competitive eating, my new obsession.

Let’s crown our local Joey Chestnut!

Locusts!

posted by on July 6 at 12:15 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

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Desert Locust swarms from Ethiopia and northern Somalia are expected to cross the Indian Ocean and could reach India and Pakistan in the next days, says the UN. Two recent tropical cyclones have caused heavy rainfall in Pakistan and western India that will create unusually favorable breeding conditions for locust (yikes!). The governments in India and Pakistan have been warned and they are mobilizing field teams, equipment and resources (what can these teams do? what equipment?).

A Desert Locust adult consumes roughly its own weight in fresh food per day—about two grams. An average swarm eats as much food in one day as about 2,500 people. This is where most of our cotton comes from, people! Buy your American Apparel now!

Tomorrow, a Relentless Firefighter Fan Suggests…

posted by on July 6 at 11:48 AM

The Pioneer Square Fire Festival. This fan of the firefighters, who happens to have my email address, also takes this week’s Stranger Suggests to task for ignoring his beloved event:

No stranger recommendation for fire festival? In terms of hot guys, it’s better than gay pride.

The firefighter fan gripes, I Slog, you decide. Here’s his photographic evidence from last year’s festival:

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And here’s the description of what to expect this year:

The highlight of this year’s festival will be the Firefighter Combat Challenge. Often featured on ESPN, the Firefighter Combat Challenge pits over 70 teams of firefighters against one another in what is often billed as “the toughest 2 minutes in sports” … Competitors must climb a 5-story tower, hoist, chop, drag hoses and rescue a life-sized, 175 lb. “victim” as they race against themselves, their opponent and the clock.

Re: Early-Exit Cinema

posted by on July 6 at 11:39 AM

Schmader,

As you may know (cuz I’ve told you every personal story I have), my mom’s and my claim to fame is that we walked out of E.T.

In my precocious youth, I went in believing (thanks to the review I’d read in Time) that E.T. was going to be the 2001 of my generation.

About halfway thru the movie, I thought my mom was crying during one of the sad parts. I checked, and it turned out she was laughing. I nudged her and said: Let’s split. We did. Giggling as we hurried up the aisle.

The Chocolate Box

posted by on July 6 at 11:33 AM

Yes, it makes me a traitor to my sex or humanity as a whole or whatever, but chocolate is not my favorite thing. It’s good and all, but it’s way down on the list of what I want to put in my mouth. For those who are not criminally insane in this particular manner, voilà: The Chocolate Box, a whole store made of chocolate (not really, but that’d be neat, wouldn’t it?) near the Pike Place Market, replete with high-end, often locally made cocoa-based indulgences. Per the inevitable suggestive accompanying verbiage: “See the store that leaves you begging for more” and “get your fix” of “the decadence within”!

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 6 at 11:32 AM

‘Interactivity’ (ART) Interactivity isn’t just a temporary art show for McLeod Residence, it’s the young gallery-bar-hangout’s entire reason for being. Hell, some members get so interactive, they legally change their names—so the McLeods have extra reason to do this one right. With digital prints and “biomimetic butterflies” by the Barbarian Group, textiles that respond to touch by Maggie Orth, a laser installation by Joel S. Kollin, and mixed-media work by Felix Livni. (McLeod Residence, 2209 Second Ave, 441-3314. 6—9 pm, free, 21+.) JEN GRAVES
and…
KJ Sawka CD Release Party (MUSIC) The origins of KJ Sawka are unclear—it’s said that this human/drum hybrid was first encountered after a meteor collision in the Nevada desert. Now he calls Seattle home and makes music as inscrutable as it is unmistakable: liquid synth washes; dubby, reverbed samples; and shape-shifting beats perfect for jacking dance floors. Cyclonic Steel, Sawka’s second LP, came out last week, further documenting the development of this evolutionary anomaly. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 9 pm, $8, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Note to Connelly: Not All Cops are Bad Cops, Man.

posted by on July 6 at 10:52 AM

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In his column this morning, Joel Connelly flags a supposed contradiction in the Stranger’s coverage of the police accountability scandal. He writes:

The Stranger is denouncing Kerlikowske and “Gil’s boys” while, at the same time, latching onto a Seattle police report to exonerate a Belltown club outside which the latest street shooting took place.

Connelly is correct that we cited a glowing review of Tabella in a recent SPD report as evidence that Tabella doesn’t deserve the shit its getting in the press for being the cause of last week’s shooting. We also, btw, “latched onto” video evidence, which Connelly forgets to mention. In other words, the cops appear to be right about Tabella.

Connelly is also correct that we’ve reported on the series of Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB), and Court findings that have condemned officers. The courts, the OPA, and OPARB appear to be right given things like video evidence.

If our two doses of reporting are contradictory (I don’t think they are), Connelly has to either believe (A) The cops who filed the Belltown report are lying … or (B) the courts, the OPA, and OPARB are lying. Which is it Joel? Are you willing to say the police fabricated a report from Belltown? Or are you willing to say that judges in KC Court, Municipal Court, the OPA, and OPARB fabricated their work.

I’m not.

I believe there are good cops and there are bad cops. The evidence is strong that there have been gross cases of police misconduct, and I think something should be done about it. That doesn’t mean I think all cops are liars. Our paper has zoomed in on cases where the courts, the OPA, and the OPARB have singled out specific cops. And we’ve reported on those cops. I have no reason, however, to believe the beat cops lied about Tabella. Again, there are good cops. And there are bad cops.

Connelly, here’s a suggestion: rent Serpico.

Meanwhile, the point of Connelly’s column is that us “loudmouths” should settle down and let the Mayor’s investigation run its course. Spoken like a true journalist, Joel.

Does Connelly believe Nickels is actually in earnest about his review? Not only did Nickels undermine his own credibility by working behind the scenes to secure letters of support for the chief—even as Nickels called for a “review” (p.s. he got turned down)—but as Nickels office told me, the point of their “review” was to slap down the “axe to grind” OPARB and dispel the criticisms of Kerlikowske. Looks like Connelly is comfortable with his position as PR guy for Team Nickels.

Early-Exit Cinema

posted by on July 6 at 10:43 AM

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Yesterday the Chicago Tribune took on a topic near and dear to my heart: Movies that make you flee the cinema prematurely. The Trib’s reject roundup is curated by film critic Michael Phillips, who quickly earns my affection by admitting to fleeing one of the first films I ever fled: Billy Bob Thornton’s career-making Sling Blade. (Phillips admits to wandering out of Sling Blade “more or less subconsciously,” while my exit was purposeful and passionate. We only have so many years on this planet, and God can go fuck himself if he thinks I’m going to spend two hours of that time watching an uppity, artsy variation of an Adam Sandler-retard flick that you’re not even supposed to laugh at.)

The follow-up list of rejects supplied by fellow critics and readers is also interesting, name-checking two of my personal-favorite terrible films (Empire Records and Under the Cherry Moon) and introducing me to a lot of new horrors. (Who knew so many people went to see the Richard Gere/Winona Ryder death drama Autumn in New York, much less walked out of it?)

Enjoy. (And thank you, MetaFilter.)

Smoke Story

posted by on July 6 at 10:30 AM

Across the street from this wonderful Asian market in the Oak Tree Village…
oaktreemarketc980048634a4.jpg…is a small store that sells small things. I went into this store a few nights ago to buy a packet of cigarettes. My habit for some years now has been to smoke one cigarette before going to sleep.

On that particular night, however, I failed to find my cigarettes in my bag, and I was spending the night at my cousin’s house, and my cousin doesn’t smoke anymore. (The friendship with my cousin goes all the way back to my very first memory—me, age three, crossing with him, age five, and his brother, age ten, a train track in a township in Salisbury, Rhodesia: across the tracks is a shop that sells, among other things, candy.) Anyway, I left my cousin’s house, crossed Aurora, and entered the small store to buy a pack of cigarettes.

Inside, a Korean woman sat in a chair behind the counter. She was framed by a variety of cigerrette packs. She was somewhere in the middle of her forties. She was dressed to kill. Her heels were high, pants tight, shoulders exposed. I looked at her and then looked around her. I failed to locate my brand—Export A. But I did find the next best thing—Parliament. I asked for a pack. She looked at me oddly, and then looked oddly at the packs of Parliament: “You are the first black person who has ordered that kind of cigarette from me. Always, blacks order Kool Menthol.” She handed me the Parliament Lights, and I said something dumb, like: “Someone had to be the first.”

But for a quick moment I did feel like changing my order and buying a pack of Kool cigarettes, just so that the order of her universe was maintained and there wasn’t this annoying rupture, this break. I felt like saying: “What was I thinking? Thank you for bringing me back to my senses. It sometimes happens. You just forget who you are.”

Later, as I inhaled a Parliament on the door step of my cousin’s house, I had the feeling that I was smoking against the rules of my race. But a part of me pointed out that I was a black African and not a black American. But another part of me pointed out that, on the other hand, shouldn’t I adopt the habits of those I’m most like in appearance? I resolved nothing.

My sleep that night was not deep or heavy.

Vegas, Baby…And Oh Yeah, We’ve Got a Coach Now

posted by on July 6 at 10:14 AM

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Image from espn.com

NBA Summer League starts today, which is great news because I am growing a little weary of all this talk talk talk and missing actual ball action. Get excited: Today at 3 p.m. is your first chance to see Kevin Durant (and Jeff Green!) in action in a Sonics uniform and 7 p.m. will be the first opportunity to see Greg Oden in the red, white, and black. All games are available for viewing on nba.com’s live video webcast; full schedule here. My friend informs me that the games won’t air until 9 p.m. here on NBA tv, so I’m trying to find a place to watch. Sport at Fisher Pavilion, anyone?

In other related news, the Sonics officially hired P.J. Carlesimo as head coach. I have little to say about this and can’t pretend to have any real insights on what this means. I am also trying to remain hopeful. When I asked my friend Brian for thoughts, he mumbled something to the effect of “sucky.” Like most people, the only thing I really know about P.J. Carlesimo is that, when coaching Golden State, he was choked by an angry Latrell Sprewell (one of my favorite players from my all-time favorite NBA team, the 99 Knicks) in reaction to Carlesimo commanding him to “put a little mustard” on a pass. I also know Carlesimo has never won an NBA playoff series.

To me, the most disturbing aspect about hiring Carlesimo (who has spent the last five years as an assistant coach to Gregg Popovich) comes from the mouth of our GM Sam Presti:

“What we’re trying to do here is create a team in Seattle that will pull from some of the core values of San Antonio…”

Shudder.

iPhone: The Musical

posted by on July 6 at 9:52 AM

The drama continues

And: What happens when you key it, smush it, and drop it on concrete? PCWorld finds out.

The Morning News

posted by on July 6 at 6:57 AM

Penalties: In the U.S. corruption gets you a promotion. In China it gets you a death sentence.

Erosion: GOP lawmakers are starting to flee from Bush’s Iraq debacle.

Double Down: Three people wounded as nutjob walks into New York New York casino in Las Vegas and opens fire.

Speaking of Vegas: It reached 116 degrees there yesterday. But that was relatively cool compared to 125 degrees in Baker, California.

Red Ring of Death: Microsoft set to lose $1 billion repairing faulty Xbox 360s.

Weight-Loss Pill: Would you risk shitting your pants to drop a few pounds?

Meanwhile: Scientists suspect global warming may be to blame for scrawny grey whales.

Fair & Balanced: Rupert Murdoch has reportedly succeeded with his bid to purchase the Wall Street Journal.

Nightlife: After hearing complaints from angry Belltown residents, Councilmember Sally Clark submitted her committee’s proposed nightlife regulations. Though the votes aren’t yet there to pass it, the council wants “some regulation in place as soon as possible.”

Revelry: Fireworks, gunfire at a 4th of July celebration in Skyway.

Copping a Feel: Pat-downs will continue at Qwest Field before Seahawks games.

Godfather of Gore Fact of the Day: In 1965, Herschell Gordon Lewis released Monster a Go-Go. Here’s how he descibed the making of the film to John Waters in 1980:

HGL: A fellow I know had filmed something called Terror at Half Bay—he shot eighty thousand feet of film and had no picture. As often happens, he ran out of money. We shot some other footage and bought his uncut negative. Out of his eighty thousand feet, there was no action at all. He had hired the tallest man in the world, Henry Height, who just died last year. Henry was a real sweetheart. He was so big that his ankles cracked—he was simply too big for his ankles. Henry played an astronaut who went to outer space and came back doubled in size. They put some pizza or something on his face to give him a strange look. I shot a couple of thousand more feet of film—close-ups of hands holding telegrams, feet walking, anything to make it come out—there was no sense to it.

JW: Did it turn out to be a success?

HGL: Oh, yes. Mostly in the South.

Here is the original trailer of Monster a Go-Go.

Ft. Lewis’s Hometown Paper, The Olympian, Comes Out Against the “Ill-Conceived War” in Iraq

posted by on July 6 at 12:40 AM

In a July 4 editorial, The Olympian, the daily out of Olympia (the paper that serves the community around Ft. Lewis), officially came out against the war.

Publisher John Miller explained: “It is a particularly important and local issue for us because we are a military community with Ft. Lewis and McChord Air Force Base in our area. We seen too many of them killed, so many that Ft. Lewis considered stopping individual memorials. Our men and women have done their duty with honor. It is time to honor their sacrifices by ending this ill-conceived mission.”

And his paper (circulation 32,000) wrote:

On a day when Americans are supposed to celebrate the freedom and liberty won by the blood of our forefathers, most Americans instead find themselves disgusted with the trillion dollar war being waged in their name with their tax dollars.

On a day when Americans are supposed to wave the flag with honor and respect, many Americans are disheartened and embarrassed. They are fed up with an arrogant president and an ineffective Congress and their inability to extract this nation from the ill-conceived war that has alienated U.S. allies and unnecessarily sullied the reputation of this great nation.

This year, our day of national pride feels more like a day of national shame.


Thursday, July 5, 2007

Speaking of Pot Reports

posted by on July 5 at 3:43 PM

There’s a beautiful picture of a grow operation on the cover of today’s Seattle Times. And you gotta love the caption…

A bud bonanza in Seattle: More than 950 marijuana plants were found in this South Seattle home in October 2005. Grow lights were powered by pirated electricity tapped from an electrical mainline and fed through a power panel shown at right rear. The panel was specially created to bypass the home’s electrical meter. The home’s occupant was convicted in federal court for growing marijuana and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Apparently it’s big news that people are growing pot indoors around here—which people do because growing pot outdoors is a hell of a lot riskier—and the Seattle Times lets us know that B.C. Bud has “a new cousin”: King County Bud. And the Seattle Times wants us to rest assured, of course, that the feds are on the case…

Since 2005, federal and state agents have raided more than 100 large-scale grow houses in the Seattle area, yielding a bumper crop of more than 41,000 plants, according to the White House drug czar’s office. Police last month found the biggest yet, a 1,500-plant grow that consumed most of a 3,800-square-foot house.

The story in today’s Seattle Times details—no, it glorifies—the work being done to root out grow operations in our area. The busts, the people going to jail, what we’ve learned, how we can fight this scourge. The effort has, of course, eaten up massive amounts of local and federal law enforcement time, landed a bunch of poor motherfuckers in jail, and cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. And no where in the piece does the Seattle Times mention, oh, the sheer ridiculous futility of all of this.

Oooh! The police busted a 1,500-plant grow! And sent some poor bastard to jail for three years! Guess that means no one’s gonna be smoking any of that marijuana ‘round these parts for a long, long time, huh?

How many times can daily paper run the same fucking credulous piece of shit story about brave DEA agents busting pot grows? Hello, Seattle Times? Are you in the business of informing your readers or are you in the business of disseminating anti-pot propaganda for the White House Drug Policy Office? We’ve wasted decades and billions of dollars busting pot farmers, dealers, and users, and what do we have to show for it? Marijuana is the most widely available drug in the country. It’s fucking everywhere—and it’s cheap and it’s potent and we will never “successfully” eradicate it. Never.

Credit where credit is due, Seattle Times: You do mention, late in the piece, that pot is $1 billion per-year crop in Washington state, worth more annually “more than wheat and potatoes combined.” But you sandwich that happy fact between quotes from brave DEA agents, leaving it to the reader to infer that their efforts are a waste of time.

Where are the quotes from a pro-decriminalization organizations? Local pot smokers? The large and growing number of Americans who, despite decades of slanted and biased coverage like this, have concluded that the war on drugs is a waste of time, money, and lives? If I wanted to read White House Drug Policy Office press releases I could go to their fucking website. Do I really need to read them on yours?

Today in Line Out

posted by on July 5 at 3:30 PM

Block Party Band of the Day: Eric Grandy on the decade-old (!) Blood Brothers.

Just Give it One More Try: Donte Parks asks you to give Ma Fleur another shot.

The Most Important Question You Will Ever Be Asked: Vote in the Line Out poll.

Endfest Line-Up Announced: Pumpkins will rock the parking lot.

Burning Down the House: Def Leppard’s Joe Elliott is on fire.

Worst Song Ever: There’s too much focus on the positive, I say. What song do you hate?

Unbelievable!: Andrew Dice Clay? Really? I never knew…

I know this shit is so last week, but c’mon… kitties… cuddling… in a sink! (Thanks to Matt Hickey for the photo hook up.)

kittysex.jpg

South Seattle Blows Shit Up

posted by on July 5 at 3:19 PM

Holy crap. It was my first July 4 in the Rainier Valley, and DAMN do they shoot off a lot of illegal fireworks down there. Seriously—it sounded like Kosovo until at least 1 in the morning. Just walking around the neighborhood, we saw hundreds of awesome DIY fireworks displays—really professional-looking stuff, shot out of schoolyards and traffic circles and the middle of the street. It made me proud to be an American.

fireworks.jpg

Evergreen State, My Ass!

posted by on July 5 at 2:40 PM

A report released this week by the Center for Cognitive Liberty and Ethics ranks the severity of penalties for pot convictions in each of the 50 states and D.C. Is our Northwest pot-jungle in the bottom ten? Not quite. Washington is number 36. Oregon, which has decriminalized marijuana possession, is surprisingly at draconian position 15.

The ratings are based on both the sentences from judges and the subsequent penalties resulting from a conviction—including ineligibility for food stamps and student loans, voter disenfranchisement, employment discrimination, and barring adoption.

In most cases, a felony marijuana conviction (for example growing marijuana) triggers the same collateral sanctions as those triggered by a conviction for murder, rape, or kidnapping. In many cases, the collateral sanctions for a marijuana-related conviction actually exceed those for a violent crime.

A few states stand out:

Florida is the worst place to get nailed. In general, if you’re popped for pot anywhere in the South, you’re as fucked as you’d expect to be (and maybe more).

Massachusetts is also in the top tier, despite its pinko reputation and sweet dreams of neighboring Vermont’s munchie pushers.

New Mexico is the grooviest place for ex-pots. Washington D.C., New York, and Missouri are also among the kindest to the kind.

Washington State bustees may be prevented from adopting a child, cut off from federal student loans, barred from public housing, and denied cushy, do-nothing, smoke-pot-all-day jobs.

Tabella Witch-hunt

posted by on July 5 at 1:50 PM

As I Slogged earlier today in the news section round-up, we got ahold of security camera footage from inside Tabella (one club that’s being scapegoated for a shooting earlier this week) that shows the club isn’t at fault.

Well, Jonah just turned up more evidence to douse the witch-hunt: An SPD incident report from last week about a call to help Tabella. Tabella security asked the police to help them trespass a patron who had been told he was not welcome at the club two weeks earlier for flashing gang signs. The agitated, drunk, and threatening suspect was back, and at Tabella’s request, he was taken into custody.

The SPD report notes:

This nightclub does a very good job of patrolling the area just outside the club. They do their best to maintain order and have their customers disperse the area when the club closes.

When City Attorney Tom Carr and the City Council predictably go after Tabella to take away its liquor license, they probably won’t be citing this report from the city’s own police department.

Re: I am Not a Foodie, I am Not a Foodie, I am Not a Foodie…

posted by on July 5 at 1:25 PM

Thanks for all the input yesterday on finding the perfect vanilla bean.

Didn’t get to make the Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream, but there are now plans afoot to make a Thomas Jefferson Ice Cream Milk Shake. (This being based on my own secret milkshake recipe!)

Anyway, here’s what I ended up eating at a July 4 BBQ yesterday:

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I had nothing to do with making these super veggie kabobs. But I did take this picture of my foodie friend’s masterpiece.

Letters of the Day

posted by on July 5 at 1:21 PM

GOD

Editor: One day all of the denying you people are doing is going to hit you like a ton of bricks. Or maybe gnashing of teeth. That’s what happens to you when you deny GOD. You might think it is cute but He doesn’t. I pray He has mercy on us all.

Chris Maye

HOMELESS

Hello Seattle: Seattle needs to admit that it has a serious homeless problem. As a community we continually turn our eyes and cheeks to the human melodrama that is the homeless. We avert our eyes in public when we are being repeatedly begged for change or subject to harassing comments. Seattle-ites talk about compassionate and caring responses to homeless: more shelters, more beds, more food and on and on but is that really the best and kindest response?
I propose that the problem is not a lack of services but an overabundance of them. This city should consider tough love. Our acceptance, and support of the occupation of being homeless is hurting everybody by enabling a bad situation. I ask Seattle to look at the homeless issue and ask if it wants to be like the (SF) bay area and overrun with acceptance and homeless and crime or be a little more like New York and Chicago; harder yes but much more livable for the rest of us who want to live and pay our own way.

Aram

Pringles Select Szechuan Barbecue Rice Crisps!

posted by on July 5 at 12:43 PM

Pringles-Select-Szech.jpg

1. These actually exist. (Safeway on Roosevelt, for the foolhardy)
2. They come in a swank bag, rather than the usual low-rent Pringle can.
3. They really, honestly, taste exactly like Chinese Food.
4. Seriously. MSG and soy sauce and all.
5. No, I’m not high.

Doritos X-13D: Beef Tallow n’ Tartar Sauce Crunch

posted by on July 5 at 11:55 AM

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As my fellow convenience-store shoppers are undoubtedly aware, Doritos has launched a new chip with a new gimmick: the X-13D Flavor Experiment, in which consumers are invited to name the company’s new brand of flavored tortilla chips, with one lucky chip-namer awarded a year’s supply of Doritos.

I love taste tests, and like Doritos, and so I was happy to give the new chips a try. Among my group of taste-testers, the predominant identifiable flavor seemed to be tartar sauce, while a quick scan of Doritos-related message boards found others noting a distinct Whopper/ready-made-hamburger-with-all-the-fixins taste.

After eating a half-dozen of the chips, I scanned the list of ingredients, and was mildly icked-out to learn that Doritos X-13D contain both “natural beef flavors” and beef tallow. Thank you, Doritos, for raping my vegetarian face. (That’ll learn me to not read the ingredients list first.)

(If any Stranger officedwellers are interested in sampling Doritos Beef Tallow n’ Tartar Sauce Crunch, the remainder of the bag is on the corner of my desk….there aren’t many, but trust me, a little dab’ll do ya…)

The Problem With Bill

posted by on July 5 at 11:35 AM

Everyone in politics always talks reverentially about Bill Clinton’s Sister Souljah moment, so much so that “Sister Souljah” has become a political verb, meaning: To repudiate the actions of someone who people don’t expect you to repudiate. Now might be a good time for Hillary Clinton to Sister Souljah her husband.

WASHINGTON (AP) - The White House on Thursday made fun of former President Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, for criticizing President Bush’s decision to erase the prison sentence of former aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby.

“I don’t know what Arkansan is for chutzpah, but this is a gigantic case of it,” presidential spokesman Tony Snow said.

Rep. John Conyers ( D-Mich.) has scheduled hearings on Bush’s commutation of Libby’s 2 1/2-year sentence.

“Well, fine, knock himself out,” Snow said of Conyers. “I mean, perfectly happy. And while he’s at it, why doesn’t he look at January 20th, 2001?”

In the closing hours of his presidency, Clinton pardoned 140 people, including fugitive financier Marc Rich.

If Hillary came out strongly against Bush’s Scooter Libby pardon and her husband’s Marc Rich pardon she could look tough-on-crime and tough-on-Bill at the same time. Talk about crossover appeal.

Dancing to Hadid

posted by on July 5 at 11:30 AM

I really would like to believe that Hadid’s ballet, Metropolis II, is something wonderful
1metapolis.jpg But my instincts tell me it’s probably bad.

Set on a futuristic landscape drenched in shifting hues of radiant blue and green light, the high-energy work elegantly synthesizes video with the dancers’ moving bodies and Hadid’s interconnected silver sculptures.
What happened to Hadid? Where did she go wrong? Still, her Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati is one of the most important works of the present decade.


Important News

posted by on July 5 at 11:21 AM

A couple notes on this week’s news section (which will get its regular airing on 710 KIRO this Saturday at 7pm during the Stranger News Hour.).

Scoop:

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First off, Jonah uncovers yet another case where egregious conduct by SPD officers (indicated by a court decision and an internal investigation) results in vague consequences from SPD leadership. For example, the implicated cops are still working the same elite team beat. As we write in the caption to the unsettling photo of the SPD victim: “How many more are out there?”

Ron Paul:
Eli Sanders continues our 2008 coverage with a piece on Ron Paul’s popularity in Seattle. Eli’s story is already generating a big batch of letters that all seem to read like this one:

Thanks for covering Dr. Paul in your article titled The Iconoclast. Supporters, like myself, believe that his message of a limited Constitutional government deserves to be heard. He is the modern day Thomas Jefferson, and I am sure that the Founding Fathers would be proud of his noninterventionist message. He is a true statesman. Thanks again

…which underscores the point of the article: Paul’s got his local organization organized and active.

Reality Check:
Meanwhile, the news team got ahold of security video which indicates that Belltown club Tabella is being scapegoated for this week’s shooting.

Interestingly, City Council Member Sally Clark—who, our story notes, gave a thumbs up to Tabella security on a recent Seattle Channel feature—got on KUOW this morning and conveniently changed her tune about Tabella. Luckily, Erica C. Barnett (who wrote this week’s article) was also on KUOW this morning and set the record straight.

Ugghhhh. And Ugghhhhh:
In Michael Hood’s behind-the-scenes story from the right wing Minuteman meeting in Everett—we incorrectly identified Hood’s blog. The correct address is http://blatherwatch.blogs.com/.

Hood, of course, tracks talk radio at his great blog, again—here. I regret the dumb error. Still: Hood’s scary peek is worth reading.

Also in the section: Charles Mudede’s Police Beat column (scary teen ultra violence at Golden Gardens); my CounterIntel colum (on Dino Rossi); and Barnett offers another reality check—this one on Mayor Nickels’s environmental record.

Gayer…Gayer…GAYEST! Dave Abs Out, Man! Man-to-Man!

posted by on July 5 at 11:20 AM

Check it out, bra’!

Those memory-rich folks who even vaguely recall this, might not be so terribly surprised to see this

Frankly, I have no comment. Fags.

Embassy News

posted by on July 5 at 11:18 AM

The most expensive embassy in the world will be a piece of shit.

A toughly worded cable sent from the embassy to State Department headquarters on May 29 highlights a cascade of building and safety blunders in a new facility to house the security guards protecting the embassy.

The guards’ base, which remains unopened, is just a small part of a vast $592 million project to build the largest U.S. Embassy in the world, but some State Department officials in Washington and Baghdad worry that the problems exposed in the camp suggest trouble lurking ahead for the rest of the embassy complex, scheduled for completion in the fall.

The first signs of trouble, according to the cable, emerged when the kitchen staff tried to cook the inaugural meal in the new guard base on May 15. Some appliances did not work. Workers began to get electric shocks. Then the wiring began to melt.

The electrical meltdown was just the first problem in a series of construction mistakes that soon left the base uninhabitable, including wiring problems, fuel leaks and noxious fumes in the sleeping trailers.

“Poor quality construction … life safety issues … left [the embassy] with no recourse but to shut the camp down, in spite of the blistering heat in Baghdad,” the May 29 cable informed Washington.


As for the U.S embassy in Zimbabwe, a country that is a piece of shit.

A Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry official “gatecrashed the U.S. embassy’s July 4 celebrations Wednesday to criticize the outgoing ambassador. Samuel Mhango criticized Ambassador Christopher Dell for remarks he made Wednesday. Dell commented on the assault by police of opposition leaders in Harare in March, the country’s worsening economic crisis and what Dell called “the growing climate of desperation and oppression” in Zimbabwe.

“Diplomats are supposed to be bridge builders not bridge busters,” Mhango said. “We believe … that national day receptions such as this one are occasions for us to congratulate each other, to say positive things about each other. They are not occasions to attack or abuse each other.”

Christopher Dell’s next post will be Afghanistan—from one piece of shit, into another piece of shit.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 5 at 10:04 AM

BATTLES (ROCK FROM THE FUTURE) Battles’ four-man, digitally enhanced factory funk offers a hint (a very loud hint) of what rock ‘n’ roll will sound like in the 23rd century. Imagine the entrance music at a monster-truck rally starring Optimus Prime—massive drums, double-helixed guitars, otherworldly vocals, something so ridiculously different and brazenly brainy that it makes you laugh out loud. Battles are here and now, but you have to see them to believe it. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 9 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL

Look At Me, I’m Sandra Lee…

posted by on July 5 at 10:00 AM

It’s true that Rachel Ray is obnoxious and terrible, but there’s another Food Network “star” who’s even crazier, and she really doesn’t get enough credit for that… for being worse than Rachel Ray. Her name is Sandra Lee and she is a real-life Stepford wife.

sandra1.jpg

She’s the host of a show called Semi-Homemade, and her recipes, as the show’s title would suggest, consist of 70% premade ingredients and 30% fresh. Example: Angel Food Cake with Mixed Berries. Buy some berries, buy a premade angel food cake, and uh… that’s it. She calls it cooking.

Every show includes “cocktail hour” where she makes a mixed drink to go with the food she’s prepared, and she always has really involved “tablescapes” based on themes like “Happy Harley Day,” “Goodie Night,” and “Spring From the Garden.”

I’m not making this up.

Besides that, she’s always wearing tight, low-cut tops and giggling, which just convinces me that she wants to go mess around with the husbands in the backroom while their wives try to “cook” “PB&J Dino Bites” for the kids.

Rachel Ray is pretty bad, yes. But Sandra Lee is worse… And don’t even get me started on Bobby Flay.

Bill Gates Saves Gay Media

posted by on July 5 at 9:57 AM

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Remember those news reports about the dire financial troubles threatening to sink PlanetOut, the gay media company behind the lifestyle mags The Advocate and OUT, the skin mags Unzipped and Freshmen, and the website Gay.com?

Well, it looks like PlanetOut is safe for now, thanks in no small part to the world’s second richest man Bill Gates, whose Cascade Investment group is one of the “new and existing accredited and institutional investors” who supplied PlanetOut with the approximately $26.2 million it needed to keep going.

Thanks to Seattlest for bringing this story to the attention of Towleroad (where I read it this morning), and for creating that irresistible jpeg up there.

Full press release about the deal here.

Re: Enjoy Your Day Off?

posted by on July 5 at 9:49 AM

In response to my post below:

Eli,

If the fruits of technology were evenly distributed, and if Americans didn’t retain the hairshirt impulses of the Puritans, by now we’d all be taking half the year off while our robot servants performed all our chores.

The Universal Hick

posted by on July 5 at 9:25 AM

Where ever they are in the world, the condition that dominates the mind of rural folk is one of idiocy!

A sample from China:

BEIJING - Villagers in central China dug up a ton of dinosaur bones and boiled them in soup or ground them into powder for traditional medicine, believing they were from flying dragons and had healing powers.

Until last year, the fossils were being sold in Henan province as “dragon bones” at about 4 yuan (50 cents) per kilogram (2.2 pounds), scientist Dong Zhiming told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

“They had believed that the ‘dragon bones’ were from the dragons flying in the sky,” he said [Dong, a professor with the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.]

The calcium-rich bones were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children as a treatment for dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and made into a paste that was applied directly to fractures and other injuries, he said.

The practice had been going on for at least two decades, he said.

Such folks deserve nothing but our deepest contempt. Yes, look down on them in Zimbabwe, look down on them in America, look down on them in China.


A sample from Zimbabwe:

I [Rabbi Silberhaft of Johannesburg] have just returned from an extended visit to Zimbabwe where I visited Savyon Lodge in Bulawayo.

You may have read in the international press, extended power cuts, which can last up to 12 hours at a time, are becoming more frequent as things deteriorate rapidly in Zimbabwe.

Due to the lack of basic foods as well as the necessity to store kosher meat and chickens, Savyon Lodge has 12 freezers full with these supplies. Since these power cuts are increasing, perishable food is getting rotten and unsalvageable.

Therefore when the power “goes down”, it becomes necessary to prepare meals for the residents on outdoor wood & coal stoves.

The greatest fear naturally is that when the power is shut off the residents light candles in their rooms which become a serious fire hazard.

We would like to purchase and install a generator which can “kick in” when the power goes down.

The price of the generator is South African Rands (ZAR) 140 000.00 and the cabling ZAR 45 000.00.

Who kept Mugabe in power? Not the citizens of the major cities (Harare, Mutare, and Bulawayo), but the folks in the rural areas. Since 87, they supplied him all the votes he needed to run the country to death. And we in the city kept warning the folks, kept pleading that they see the larger world, the larger picture. But like baboons, all they did was scratch their fleas, sit under trees, and vote for Mugabe.


Enjoy Your Day Off?

posted by on July 5 at 9:20 AM

Tim Egan, former Seattle correspondent for The New York Times, and now a guest columnist of the paper’s Op-Ed page, compares American leisure with Italian leisure. (It’s behind the TimesSelect firewall so I’ll just give you the relevant portion.)

Americans spend nearly a third of their disposable income on good times, baby. But we can’t relax. Sorry — no time. Lunch averages 31 minutes. And the U.S. ranks dead last among 21 of the world’s richest countries when it comes to guaranteed days off, according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Most Americans don’t even use their allotted days of leisure. The Italians take 42 vacation days a year — No. 1 in the world. The average American takes 13.

A quarter of Americans receive no vacation at all. And it’s not like we don’t need it: one in three are chronically overworked. We even work 100 hours a year more than the Japanese.

President Bush has it figured out, with his month off at the ranch. But for a profile in clueless, Bush set the mark when he lauded as truly American some citizen who told him she had to work three jobs. Ain’t that something?

Street Fashion in Seattle

posted by on July 5 at 8:55 AM

Pikepine.com is watching.

The Morning News

posted by on July 5 at 7:11 AM

Q: Why Are There 100 Senators in the Senate?: With all this talk of immigration reform, applications for citizenship are up up up.

Forget Nation Building: We can’t even build a proper U.S. Embassy in Iraq.

When Tubes Attack: One person injured, at least 700 evacuated after a subway derailed in London this morning. The good news: It wasn’t terrorist-related.

Why They Fight: The Australian government admits that oil was a major reason for the country’s involvement in the Iraq War.

Endangered Endangered List: The Bush administration has added just 58 species to the endangered list (and 54 of them were only because of litigation). His father added 231—in a single term.

Misfortunate Son: Al Gore III out on bail, headed for treatment, facing drug charges.

Old Glory: Starting at the end of the year, only Stars and Stripes made in American can be put on display in Minnesota.

Bark and Bite: Yet another videotape filled with threats and nuttery has surfaced from Al-Qaida.

King County Bud: More than 100 large-scale grow houses have been discovered in the Seattle area since 2006.

Dry Season: Washington’s wildfire danger level is a month ahead of schedule.

Zoo in My Back Yard: Neighbors of the Woodland Park Zoo are officially appealing the approval of a new four-level garage.

Booming Economy: The number of mortgage fraud cases is skyrocketing. Unfortunately, the F.B.I. is too busy to keep up.

Godfather of Gore Fact of the Day: Once multiplexes and home video replaced the drive-in theater market, Herschell Gordon Lewis turned his attentions to direct marketing. He’s written over 20 books over the years, on subjects such as “Cybertalk That Sells” and “How to Handle Your Own Public Relations.”

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Benedictions

posted by on July 5 at 1:47 AM

God bless America.

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As for science, it is blessed by the Soviet Alexander Ivanovich Oparin.


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Re: Robots in Disguise

posted by on July 4 at 2:57 PM

As Sean just mentioned

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(Click the photo to make it bigger, link via digg.com.)

I was at the midnight screening too. I didn’t hate it nearly as much as Sean did, although I also don’t disagree with all of his points. I just like watching things explode. And I sorta wanna make out with that Shia dude.

Robots in Disguise

posted by on July 4 at 2:00 PM

I went back and forth about whether or not I should post this, but it has been haunting me (much as it haunted Megan Seling on Line Out) and so to Slog I go on Independence Day.

I went to see the Transformers movie at Cinerama on opening night. I was curious. I don’t know why, I just was. I never liked Transformers as a kid (even 9-year-olds can tell when they’re being cheated), and am not interested in cars or airplanes as an adult. I do like robots from outer space though, particularly when they’re trying to take over the urf. Anyway, I left after about an hour because if I want to see retarded Republican-scented fascism porn, I can just read the Drudge Report or whatever (the biggest cheer in the first hour was for the screen credit “in association with HASBRO”). Seriously, I have never seen such un-human corporate bullshit masquerading as entertainment. Even the magical outer space robot car fights are lame.

HOWEVER, it was what I saw before the film that sticks with me: In a packed house full of excited people playing (networked) video games and working on laptops and talking on cell phones while doing both of the above while waiting for the film to start, I was taken aback by the guy in front of me, an adult, who was carrying (along with a Transformers action figure), a legal document certifying that his middle name had been changed from “Michael” to “Megatron.” He showed it to his (attractive) date, other people from other aisles, and (inadvertently) me. He was obviously proud and it obviously meant a lot to him, or he wouldn’t have gone to all that bother. And, again obviously, what better time to flaunt such full-blooded identification with a toy and the decision it inspired? But, having never had any connection to these toys (and always having resented the way they stole quality cartoon time away from the stuff I did like) I found it sort of troubling, like those people who used to get bar code tattoos in the ’90s, only way more severe. Still, his body, his choice.

Then the movie came on and I just felt really bad for the guy. Dude, you changed your name for THIS?

New Column!

posted by on July 4 at 1:58 PM

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The new issue is online!

Keith Olbermann’s Latest Special Comment

posted by on July 4 at 12:32 PM

It’s worth your time…

Youthful Indiscretions

posted by on July 4 at 12:27 PM

Al Gore’s son—Al Gore III—was pulled over for speeding in California and… well, let’s just go to the report:

Al Gore’s son was pulled over for speeding on a California freeway early Wednesday and arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana and prescription drugs, authorities said.

Al Gore III, 24, was driving a blue Toyota Prius about 100 mph south on the San Diego Freeway when he was pulled over by sheriff’s deputies who said they smelled marijuana, said Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jim Amormino.

The deputies searched the car and found less than an ounce of marijuana along with Xanax, Valium, Vicodin and Adderall, which is used for attention deficit disorder, Amormino said. “He does not have a prescription for any of those drugs,” Amormino said.

But, hey, at least he was driving a Prius.

Kicker of the Day

posted by on July 4 at 11:23 AM

Officials in New York complain that New Jersey baymen are going across the state line to dig in New York’s bottom.

Tee hee!

From the New York Times.

A Hero is Born

posted by on July 4 at 10:53 AM

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23-year-old Joey Chestnut consumed 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes—a new world record—to defeat six-time Nathan’s Hot Dog Competition winner Takeru Kobayashi.

As one of the ESPN commentators put it: “Google search ‘American Idol’ tomorrow and you’ll see the names Abraham Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, Taylor Hicks…and Joey Chestnut.”

Brackathakadooooooom

posted by on July 4 at 10:44 AM

Sparkler. Bomb.

Obligatory Cautionary Note: Don’t try at home, you idiots.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 4 at 10:33 AM

Willie Nelson and Family

(PARTY PATRIOTISM) Willie Nelson and weed—their uplifting influence drifts across demographics, appealing equally to bikers, bankers, boomers, hipsters, and hippies. There’s no more appropriate day than America’s birthday (except maybe April 20) for Nelson to gather his bong-huffin’, beer-guzzlin’ flock at the Gorge and celebrate with the alt-country bands who worship him: Drive-By Truckers, Old 97’s, Son Volt, and Amos Lee. (The Gorge, 754 Silica Road NW, George, 628-0888. 4:30 pm, $35—$79, all ages.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL


Happy Fourth of July!

posted by on July 4 at 9:51 AM

If this flag made of frosted donuts and bars doesn’t swell your heart with patriotism…

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…surely this exploding-fireworks airport will:

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Donut flag found in the bakery of a grocery store in Birch Bay, Washington. Exploding fireworks airport found at a fireworks stand in Fife, Washington. All finding and photographing done by Jake.

(P.S. The exploding airport was totally amazing, causing a half-dozen adults to burst into spontaneous applause as it reached its flag-raising climax. Also, regarding the flag made of donuts: Isn’t turning a flag into food—and thus poop—worse than turning a flag into ashes? Whatever, enjoy your day off.)

I am not a Foodie, I am not a Foodie, I am not a Foodie…

posted by on July 4 at 8:08 AM

…but everyone I hang out with seems to be. And they’re affecting me.

On Sunday I was in the kitchen (unheard of) helping (unbelievable) make tamales from a friend’s secret recipe.

And early this morning, I was up reading food blogs.

I came across this July 4th recipe for Thomas Jefferson’s Ice Cream.

It calls for 1 vanilla bean. Yum. Although, where do you get a vanilla bean? (Told you I don’t know anything about food.) Do they sell individual vanilla beans? … At the QFC?

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The Morning News

posted by on July 4 at 8:03 AM

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Money: Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani are behind Democrats in fund-raising.

Freedom: After 114 days, BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been freed by his captors in Gaza.

Surrender: Over 700 followers of a radical mosque in Islamabad have given themselves up to the Pakistan military after a stand-off. Many more remain inside.

Profiles in Courage: The opening sentence says it all: “A Chinese man bit to death a fierce dog that was savaging his beloved puppy.”

America on a Corner: For five years, liberals and conservatives have squared off on an Everett street corner every Friday.

Booze Cruise: Police are on the lookout for drunken drivers and drunken boaters this 4th of July.

Godfather of Gore Fact of the Day: Herschell Gordon Lewis’s 1967 wife-swapping tale Suburban Roulette is in many ways his most accomplished film of the ’60s. The location for the shoot was near an airport, and with planes constantly roaring overhead Lewis was forced to abandon his style of interminably long, uninterrupted shots. The result can almost be called visually competent. Almost.

Slog Poll: Who Should Resign?

posted by on July 4 at 8:00 AM

We’ve been so busy taking the piss out of embattled Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske that we almost forgot about our own little controversy at The Stranger offices.

While groups like the NAACP and MEDC have called for the Chief’s resignation, a bunch of, um, cranky 14 year-olds want Grandy gone for, like, totally getting some all-ages club closed, killing puppies and masterminding 9/11.

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Fun fact: Atlas didn’t actually get fined, but how can you argue with a rhyme scheme like that?

So, dear readers, who should resign first?


Photo Via Flickr


Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I, Anonymous Hall of Fame

posted by on July 3 at 3:47 PM

I forgot to mention this at the time, but last week, one of my favorite I, Anonymouses of all time enjoyed a thrilling second life on Digg.com, where it racked up over 400 comments…Enjoy.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 3 at 3:46 PM

First Impressions of Transformers: Megan Seling is Still Haunted by the Strokes.

Our Ugly Kid Scene: The Adolescent Glory of Cap’n’Jazz.

Negativ(Mother)Land: Charles Mudede on Mary Anne Hobbes.

If You’re Bored Then…: Megan Seling on BOAT.

Southern Metal Gangster Video Gamer: Trent Moorman Reckons with Pantera.

Indie Americana is the New Alt Country: Jonathan Zwickel on Band of Horses.

Tuesday in the Park: Christopher Frizzelle’s 3rd of July.

There’s Something in the Deli Aisle: Miranda July Makes the Blow Cry.

Strikes Twice: The Believer’s Brilliant Lightning Bolt Cover.

Damn Teenagers!: They Stole the Misfits from Ari Spool.

Best Drum Circle Ever: Boredom’s 77BOADRUM.

“My Tastes Don’t Always Suck”: Megan Seling on the Whoremoans

Fairytale of Seattle: The Pogues are Coming to Seattle.

Obama Girl, Meet Hott4Hill

posted by on July 3 at 3:31 PM

The lesbionic answer to “I Got a Crush… On Obama”:

Big Fat Balls of Burning Gas

posted by on July 3 at 2:46 PM

Stars—they’re just like us!…if you mean psychotically defensive and unable to tell the truth.

Example #1: Isaiah Washington (or as I like to call him “Blamey Whinehouse”), who’s continuing his post-Grey’s Anatomy-firing rampage by now blaming his non-renewed contract on co-star Patrick Dempsey (whom Washington also blasts as a crappy actor) and some weird subterranean racism on the Grey’s set that made him feel like “an N-word.” (Nutbag? Nincompoop? Nobody? Jerk.)

Example #2: Paris Hilton, who kept a straight face while telling Larry King she’d never, ever done drugs. Last night, Access Hollywood ran a most entertaining mini-expose. Enjoy. (And thank you, Defamer.)

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 3 at 2:39 PM

The Thing from Another World and The Thing

(DOUBLE FEATURE) Compared to its gooey 1982 remake, 1951’s The Thing from Another World is a quaint relic. But even as the original, rumored to have been ghost-directed by the great Howard Hawks, has lost punch over the years, it remains required viewing for anyone interested in the sci-fi genre. As for John Carpenter’s remake of The Thing, I need only offer a single name: Kurt Russell. For a double feature, this one’s a no-brainer. (Grand Illusion, 1403 NE 50th St, 523-3935. See Movie Times, page 81, for show times.) BRADLEY STEINBACHER


For You, Feit

posted by on July 3 at 2:29 PM

Spencer Haywood as a Bullet.

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The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways

posted by on July 3 at 2:28 PM

It’s like déja vù all over again! The founding editor/publisher of another gay magazine that you never heard of—Young Gay America? anyone? anyone?—has found Jesus.

“Homosexuality came easy to me,” writes Michael Glatze on a fundy website, “because I was already weak.” Glatze’s dad died when he was 13, his mom died when he was 19, which somehow made him susceptible to homosexuality. (I have to discuss that with my parents when I see them next.) Glatze went on to found a magazine for gay youth—Young Gay America? anyone? anyone?—that brought Glatz, “awards, recognition, respectability and great honors.”

But like Venus Magazine and its ex-lesbian editor and publisher Charlene E. Cothran, most gay people were completely unaware of Glatze or his magazine until he found the Jesus and gave up the cock.

And you’ll never guess how Glatz found Jesus:

It took me almost 16 years to discover that homosexuality itself is not exactly “virtuous.” It was difficult for me to clarify my feelings on the issue, given that my life was so caught up in it. Homosexuality, delivered to young minds, is by its very nature pornographic. It destroys impressionable minds and confuses their developing sexuality; I did not realize this, however, until I was 30 years old….

Knowing no one who I could approach with my questions and my doubts, I turned to God; I’d developed a growing relationship with God, thanks to a debilitating bout with intestinal cramps caused by the upset stomach-inducing behaviors I’d been engaged in.

A dirty rim-job saved Glatze. God really is everywhere.

Via JoeMyGod.

“The Remnants of the Faces of Women”

posted by on July 3 at 12:58 PM

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Willem de Kooning, Police Gazette, 1955.

Questioned on her “attitude towards modern art,” Gertrude Stein once remarked, “I like to look at it. That is, I like to look at the picture part of it; the other parts interest me much less.” What I like to look at in De Kooning’s paintings is the yellow. I like to look at the yellow parts of even those paintings I don’t think much of. Next to the yellow, I like to look at the pink. Finally the grey. For me the name De Kooning means the chance to stare at these painted colors, not works of art or experiences of form, and certainly not the various figurative pretexts, although the remnants of the faces of women are certainly unavoidable.

That’s the first paragraph of the twelfth essay in Frederic Jameson’s new book, The Modernist Papers, and it’s cracking me up.

War Powers

posted by on July 3 at 12:49 PM

Britain’s new Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, made his first speech to the House of Commons today. Responding to the unpopularity of the war in Iraq, and ex-PM Tony Blair’s enthusiastic support for it, Brown promised the MPs that they, not the PM, will make future decisions about going to war:

Gordon Brown today vowed to give MPs the final word in declaring war as he unveiled a new “constitutional settlement” to ensure government was a “better servant of the people.” …. But, on the controversial issue of war, the new prime minister reiterated his promise to limit the powers of the executive, adding: “On the grave issue of peace and war it is ultimately this House of Commons that will make the decision.”

Under our system of government, of course, it’s the sex-advice columnists that make the decision.

Tattoo of the Year

posted by on July 3 at 12:20 PM

That skinhead dude in Utah with a swastika—amongst other things—tattooed on his forehead? Not impressed. Check out this dude getting his MOTHERFUCKING EYEBALLS TATTOOED. His eyeballs!

The Japanese Game Show to End All Game Shows?

posted by on July 3 at 12:01 PM

Why is America stuck with The Price is Right, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy!, when the Japanese get to have THIS?!

NSFW, and I apologize in advance.

Time to Uncrap Our Pants

posted by on July 3 at 11:21 AM

Remember that dude with the super-dooper deadly strain of TB? That lawyer from Atlanta who ignored doctors’ orders and flew all over the world, exposing flaws in our security system, spreading his super-dooper deadly germs, and prompting panicked headlines all over the world? Turns out he doesn’t have a super-dooper deadly strain of TB after all.

Rachael Ray, She Is the Devil

posted by on July 3 at 11:18 AM

The ultimate in diet food (because just saying the name makes you throw up in your mouth a little): Chicago hot dog salad, a heap of coleslaw topped with pickles and seared hot dogs. Imagine it in her chirpy voice, won’t you?: “I cut out the bun so I can have more dogs and veggies with less guilt!” Yum-o to you, Rachael Ray. Yum-o, indeed.

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I Love When There’s Basketball News…

posted by on July 3 at 11:12 AM

because it gives me the opportunity to post real basketball photos.

Check it, sisters.

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Poor Bill Gates

posted by on July 3 at 11:09 AM

Our boy Bill* is no longer the world’s richest man.

The Microsoft Corp. chairman and co-founder has been overtaken on the world’s richest list by Mexican telecommunications tycoon Carlos Slim, according to a Mexican financial news service quoted by Reuters.

A 27 percent surge in the stock price of Slim’s wireless company, American Movil, in the second quarter has put his worth at close to $67.8 billion, Reuters reported Tuesday.

Reuters quoted financial tracker Eduardo Garcia, from Sentido Comun, an online financial publication. Garcia estimated that Gates was worth $59.2 billion, Reuters reported.

* That’s a musical theater reference. Can anyone guess what show it’s from? One hint: The show makes the case for domestic violence and child abuse.

Emperic Brown vs Board of Education

posted by on July 3 at 11:08 AM

I:


The effect of this separation on their educational opportunities was well stated by a finding in the Kansas case by a court which nevertheless felt compelled to rule against the Negro plaintiffs: “Segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children. The impact is greater when it has the sanction of the law; for the policy of separating the races is usually interpreted as denoting the inferiority of the negro group. A sense of inferiority affects the motivation of a child to learn. Segregation with the sanction of law, therefore, has a tendency to retard the educational and mental development of negro children and to deprive them of some of the benefits they would receive in a [racially] integrated school system.” Whatever may have been the extent of psychological knowledge at the time of Plessy v. Ferguson, this finding is amply supported by modern authority. Any language in Plessy v. Ferguson contrary to this finding is rejected.

Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

II:

Without attempting in these cases to set forth all the interests a school district might assert, it suffices to note that our prior cases, in evaluating the use of racial classifications in the school context, have recognized two interests that qualify as compelling. The first is the compelling interest of remedying the effects of past intentional discrimination. See Freeman v. Pitts, 503 U. S. 467, 494 (1992). Yet the Seattle public schools have not shown that they were ever segregated by law, and were not subject to court-ordered desegregation decrees.
page 12
In briefing and argument before this Court, Seattle contends that its use of race helps to reduce racial concentration in schools and to ensure that racially concentrated housing patterns do not prevent nonwhite students from having access to the most desirable schools.
page 17
Accepting racial balancing as a compelling state interest would justify the imposition of racial proportionality throughout American society, contrary to our repeated recognition that “[a]t the heart of the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection lies the simple command that the Government must treat citizens as individuals, not as simply components of a racial, religious, sexual or national class.”… Allowing racial balancing as a compelling end in itself would “effectively assur[e] that race will always be relevant in American life, and that the ‘ultimate goal’ of ‘eliminating entirely from governmental decisionmaking such irrelevant factors as a human being’s race’ will never be achieved.” … An interest “linked to nothing other than proportional representation of various races … would support indefinite use of racial classifications, employed first to obtain the appropriate mixture of racial views and then to ensure that the [program] continues to reflect that mixture.” Metro Broadcasting, supra, at 614 (O’Connor, J., dissenting). The validity of our concern that racial balancing has “no logical stopping point,” … As the districts’ demographics shift, so too will their definition of racial diversity.
Page 22-23 All from PARENTS INVOLVED IN COMMUNITY SCHOOLS v. SEATTLE SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 1 ET AL [PDF]

III:

The complete documentary is called A Girl Like Me.

Tip of the hat to the greatest social science experiment of the 20th Century.

Stasi Smell Museum

posted by on July 3 at 11:04 AM

The inevitable conclusion of the totalitarian police state:

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, many astounding revelations came to light about the Stasi, the East German secret police. One of the more bizarre activities the Stasi was found to have engaged in was the collection of Geruchsproben — smell samples — for the benefit of the East German smell hounds. The odors, collected during interrogations using a perforated metal “smell sample chair” or by breaking into people’s homes and stealing their dirty underwear, were stored in small glass jars. Many of the remaining East German smell jars are on display at the Stasi Museum in Berlin. They are also described in Stasiland by Anna Funder.

Via BoingBoing.

The Beauty of the Negative Star

posted by on July 3 at 10:45 AM

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What is it that makes the incomplete Death Star more impressive than the complete one? Two things. One, the total Death Star tells us nothing except that it is a superweapon, that it has the power to destroy a living planet. But if we see an incomplete Death Star, we see not its function but its human essence. (In this post, “human” designates all thinking beings in the Star Wars galaxy.)

The Death Star is a product of human work, exertion, muscle. In it’s incompleteness we can see this: its laborers, their families, their lunch hours, bars, restaurants, theaters. We see a society of space humans. We see them waking up in the morning (two suns in the sky), showering (or getting sucked clean), and going to the construction site in the sky. We can see the laborers sweating as they carry heavy metal beams, and we are dazzled by the brilliant sparks from welding and cutting iron. Just look at their hard hats, their transportation of pre-cast concrete, and the human glory of coordinated labor!

That is the first thing we see and admire in the incomplete Death Star. The other thing, and one that stems from the first thing, is we also see that the truth of this superweapon is not death but life. This is what the complete Death Star obscures.

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It obscures the fact the it is the end result of living labor, of a transference of human energy into its beams, floors, walls, windows, concrete. And where is this energy coming from? Where do the humans get the energy to make the Death Star? From the light of life stars like the sun. Once the truth is revealed, then a Death Star that destroys other planets can be seen as inauthentic; it’s being something that in essence it is not.

Bye Bye Shard

posted by on July 3 at 10:44 AM

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Rashard Lewis is leaving the Sonics. Next week he’ll sign a contract with the Orlando Magic, most likely for $15 million a year for five years. You certainly can’t blame the guy, though for as good as Shard is, $15 mil seems insane even by NBA standards. So Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis, arguably our two best players, are gone. We’ve got two of the best rookies from the deepest draft in years. The Sonics we’ll be watching next season won’t look anything like the Sonics we saw last year. I’m looking forward to it. I just hope I get to watch more than one season of it.

Also, how did I not know about this Kevin Durant welcome rally that happened over the weekend? At Greenlake? I hear they were giving away free t-shirts. Anyone go? SeMe? Anyone got a t-shirt for me?

Letter of the Day

posted by on July 3 at 10:31 AM

I live at the 211 Pine apartments in downtown Seattle. I have lived here for 3 years. It amazes me how much this area has worsened in the past year.

In the past year alone I have called 911 four times to report suspicious activity in the parking lot behind my building. The parking lot is accessed from 2nd avenue and the alley between pike and pine. There was a deadly shooting on June 22nd right in front of my building. The day after the shooting, June 23rd, I witnessed a large gang fight in the parking lot behind the building. At 4am this morning, July 3rd, I was awoken to a man screaming, I looked out the window and witnessed a man beating another man with a large piece of wood. The man being attacked was screaming “police, police”. The man attacking the other took off in a vehicle parked in the lot before I had time to call the police. The gang activity on the corner of 3rd and pine has become so bad it is uncomfortable walking in and out of my building. At all hours of the day open drug deals are going on in front of my building, I see this when I leave for work at 6:45am and when I come home at 5:30pm.

The ‘Noc Noc’ night club, around the corner at 1516 2nd Ave, is open until 10am Friday and Saturday nights! Every Saturday and Sunday morning Noc Noc patrons loiter in the parking lot. I can count on being awakened by lots of noise in the parking lot between 5-7 am. A few weeks ago there were several people literally partying in the parking lot with loud car stereo blaring at 5am. I called the police but they never came. It terrifies me that these people are driving after partying at the Noc Noc all night as there is obviously a lot of drug activity going on.

The alley and parking lot behind my building seems to be a favorite for needle junkies and meth and crack addicts. I see them crouched down between cars using drugs at all hours of the day. What I never see around here are the police. This amazes me. I am moving out of this building at the end of this month and feel very sorry for the unsuspecting people paying millions for the luxury condos currently under construction across the street!

I hope the city can do something and I hope you can help.

Regards,

Anonymous

Seattle Times Seeks Weird Precedent With “Ought To” Politics

posted by on July 3 at 10:18 AM

Yesterday The Seattle Times bruised Dino Rossi with a lengthy editorial criticizing Rossi’s “nonprofit” —which appears to be more of a campaign organization that, thanks to its nonprofit status, can take in unlimited and undisclosed donations.

I lauded the editorial on Slog yesterday, but there is one important thing about the Times piece that bugs me.

They write:

Even if it is not technically required, Rossi ought to announce contributors and the amounts donated.

If he becomes a candidate, voters will like him better for running a campaign and pre-campaign above reproach. Now there’s an idea for the idea bank: Remember that in the ways of campaign disclosure, Washington thinks of itself as the Sunshine State.

(I called Forward Washington, Rossi’s “nonprofit,” yesterday and spokesperson Ted Dahlstrom said: ”We have not violated any rule. We have no plans to disclose our list.”)

Unless the Public Disclosure Commission says otherwise, Dahlstrom’s right. And the Seattle Times’s cloying plea, appealing to our supposed “Sunshine State” status in claiming that Rossi “ought to” diclose is moronic. Groups should not be pressured into disclosing because of a partisan attack from the Democrats and because of newspaper appeals to some sort of supposed higher local standard. Groups should follow the fucking law. The Seattle Times is trying to set a weird peer pressure precedent by scolding non-profits.

Either the Seattle Times should call for a change in the law (which does seem flimsy) or they should wait to see what the PDC finds.

Bush Not Ruling Out a Libby Pardon

posted by on July 3 at 9:47 AM

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday declined to rule out the possibility of an eventual pardon for former vice presidential aide I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby. But spokesman Tony Snow said, for now, President Bush is satisfied with his decision to commute Libby’s 2 1/2-year prison sentence.

July 2007 Meet July 2003

posted by on July 3 at 8:33 AM

On July 3, 2003 the big political story was that Vermont Governor Dr. Howard Dean had stunned his Democratic rivals in fund raising with the latest 2nd Quarter reports.

Dean raised $7.5 million from 59,000 contributors which brought his total dollars to $10 million. (He was still behind John Kerry and John Edwards in total dollars, but his $7.5 million topped Kerry’s $6m and Edwards’s $5m for the quarter—which was big and momentum inducing news.)

The stunning news this week: Obama won the second quarter fundraising race by pulling in $32.5 million from 150,000 contributors. His grand total is now $55.7 million from about 250,000 donors. (HRC, who raised about $27 million this quarter is at a grand total of about $53 million.)

My point in comparing Julys though, isn’t that Obama will turn out to be a flash in the pan like Dean. I don’t think he will. After all $32. 5 from 150,000 crushes Dean’s $7.5 from 59,000.

In fact, the differences between Dean and Obama are more notable to me than the July ‘03/July ‘07 first place similarity— and indicate that Obama’s fund raising isn’t a fluke.

The emphasis of the Dean story was how hip and different his campaign was. The money was coming in over the Internet! Dean was running as an outsider. This was an insurgency against the status quo. February ‘04: Splat.

But the story on Obama isn’t about Internet fundraising and his anti-establishment credo. (Obama seems pretty establishment.) There’s no big (red herring) Joe Trippi meta story about the campaign like there was with Dean. In this, Obama fans should take comfort. Obama doesn’t need a meta story. It may not be as sexy as Dean was, but in this case the numbers speak for themselves.

Mexican Misery

posted by on July 3 at 8:16 AM

IT WAS DAYBREAK — not quite 5:30 a.m. — and a sprawling apartment complex in Burien, popular among immigrants, was stirring to life.

From open doorways, men in work boots, some with caps pulled low on their heads, made their way to parked cars — a few glancing nervously at a small knot of immigration officers nearby.

At an hour when a few residents were leaving for work but most were still asleep, a team of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had come in search of a single target: a mother of four who, after violating a no-contact order nearly a decade ago, was ordered removed from the country.

There should be an absolute ban on this sort of thing within the limits of our county. It’s barbaric to arrest Mexican workers and disrupt their lives, their families, their homes. And how on earth could the Seattle Times publish this article without condemning in the strongest terms this team of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and the whole deportation system that does nothing but bring misery to the hardest working people in America? It is a fucking shame. Not within our cities should this be allowed. Let the rural idiots find their satisfaction in this kind of nonsense.

DWB

posted by on July 3 at 7:57 AM

I found this piece of humour on the comment section of Larry Mizell’s Myspace site.
1005122148_l.jpg For sure, Chief Kerlikowske: when it rains, it pours.

The Morning News

posted by on July 3 at 7:05 AM

Pardoning Commuting Libby: President Bush calls I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby’s sentence “excessive,” takes away jail time.

Rearranging Deck Chairs: John McCain’s presidential campaign is running out of money, staffers.

Fat Lady Sings: Opera diva Beverly Sills is dead at 78.

Be Very Afraid: Intelligence officials warn the U.S. could be hit with “unsophisticated, near-simultaneous attacks” by terrorists, similar to those attempted in London and Glasgow.

Keen Joe Lieberman Foreign Policy Insight of the Day: Let’s strike Iran while the strikin’ is good! Whooooo!

Ethnic Cleansing: Government-backed Janjaweed militiamen in Darfur are using rape as a weapon in their campaign.

iRollinginthedough: Apple’s iPhone costs the company just $220 to produce.

Calling All Cars: Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowskie is under attack on a number of fronts.

The Excitement of Urban Living: After Monday’s shooting outside a club, Belltown is starting to feel more like Beirut to some residents.

The White Zone is For Loading and Spot Checks Only: There will be random vehicle searches at Sea-Tac this weekend.

Godfather of Gore Fact of the Day: In 1970, Herschell Gordon Lewis released The Wizard of Gore,” a film he admits went “far beyond the bounds of good taste.” From an interview with writer Randy Palmer:

“After Blood Feast and Two Thousand Maniacs! were released, a sophistication/erosion process set in. Motion picture audiences were delightfully childlike in their early 1960s reactions to these films, especially compared to the brutally critical evaluation they make today. As producers, it’s our fault—if we can call it a fault—because we have generated this reaction ourselves. We recognized that, having seen a certain effect before, the theatergoer will demand a greater excess from us in order to get shocked again.”

Here is an original promo film for The Wizard of Gore. Warning: NSWF.

Bush: Uniter, not Divider, at long last.

posted by on July 3 at 7:02 AM

Somehow, W manages to go lower than even the lowest of expectations. While I was initially enraged at the news he’d commuted Scooter’s prison sentence, now I’m amused. The commutation pisses off liberals just as much as a pardon would have. But by not going all the way and pardoning Scooter, Bush pisses off his loony conservative base as well.

He’s finally lived up to his campaign promises of 2000, uniting all Americans in anger.


Monday, July 2, 2007

Dwight Pelz Keeps Getting Weirder

posted by on July 2 at 7:13 PM

Here’s the Washington State Democratic Chair’s official quote on the Libby pardon:

“Unlike Richard Nixon, George Bush is a crook. And when a pal commits a felony, Bush springs him from jail.”

Okay…for starters Richard Nixon was a crook. I never believed him.

We’re #15!

posted by on July 2 at 6:30 PM

In this list. Not sure about the whole “great social and corporate city with great planning and planning.”

“Planning and planning”? I’d venture that we don’t even deserve one “planning.”

Them pictures sure is purty, though.

But I’d suggest the view from the Alki Tavern (1321 Harbor Ave SW) as the best of our fair city’s skyline. Added incentive: beer.

RIP Edward Yang

posted by on July 2 at 4:09 PM

Taiwanese director Edward Yang passed away yesterday from colon cancer, leaving behind a handful of films ranging from the merely great (1991’s A Brighter Summer Day) to the oh-my-god-this-is-incredibly-awesome (2000’s Yi Yi). Greencine has more info (including details on his upcoming planned collaboration with Jackie Chan) and a steadily increasing number of tributes.

In an attempt to cheer myself up, here’s the trailer for (the extremely unYanglike) Hardcase and Fist. (NSFW)

Today in Line Out

posted by on July 2 at 3:58 PM

Atlas Responds: Without a lot of swearing, hating, and/or boycotting.

Local Metal Ruuuulez!: The Comet delivered a dose of goodness last night.

Name Rings True: The Divorce’s final show.

Block Party BOTD: Sunday Night Blackout sound like Maiden.

Sicko: First a band, then a movie.

Praise for Burial: Charles Mudede on the “most important mind in the making of music today.”

To Randy Jones, From Donte Parks: Did you ever know you were my hero?

The National at Neumo’s: Jonathan Zwickel on the show and the many forms of soul.

My Favorite Things: TJ Gorton loves his TangoTerje edits.

Weren’t around this weekend? Well here’s a sample of what you missed:

Nag, Nag, Nag: Eric Grandy really wants you to listen to Art Brut.

The Cure Are Coming to Seattle: Get the hairspray and eyeliner ready.

Three Inches of Blood/Akimbo at El Corazon: Jeff Kirby almost gets his ass kicked.

Tacoma’s All-Ages Scene: In a library, no less.

NOMO vs Albino!: Jonathan Zwickel’s afrobeatdown.

And uh, did you hear that thing about Atlas?

Now, let’s think happy thoughts:

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Justice: Now For Bush Supporters Only!

posted by on July 2 at 3:54 PM

Sure, Bush’s commutation of Libby’s sentence looks like a fuck-you to the American system of justice, but think about how many death-row sentences he commuted as governor of Tex…

Oh. Wait a minute. He only commuted one. (And not even this one.) Meanwhile, the president-to-be sent 152 people to the death chamber during his tenure, more than any Texas governor before or since. I guess laws are just for unimportant people.

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Apocalypse … Um, Now?

posted by on July 2 at 3:51 PM

Can someone smarter/more patient than me explain this site? (Note: this appears to be perfectly safe for work, but, then again, I only got as far as the second weird Hellraiser orb puzzle thingy.)

More Calls for Kerlikowske’s Resignation

posted by on July 2 at 3:37 PM

Calling for Kerlikowske’s head is not just for the NAACP anymore.

The Minority Executive Director’s Coalition (MEDC) held a press conference at City Hall today and called for SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske to resign.

This is a blow to Nickels who had been courting minority leaders behind the scenes to back his chief.

Roberto Maestas, Executive Director of El Centro de la Raza, a member organization of MEDC, made it plain, saying: “You know what chief, find another job.”

All the speakers, including NAACP head James Bible (who had already called for Kerlikowske to resign) emphasized that police accountability was an issue that affected all minority groups. Bible said: “This issue is not exclusively linked to African Americans. I am pleased that the MECD is calling for his resignation.”

Bonsoir, Hamas Mickey

posted by on July 2 at 3:14 PM

A Palestinian TV station has killed off a controversial Mickey Mouse lookalike that critics said was spreading anti-US and anti-Israeli messages to children.

The Hamas-affiliated al-Aqsa channel aired the last episode on Friday, showing the character, Farfur, being beaten to death by an “Israeli agent”.

(Via BBC.)

Farfur’s ostensible martyrdom (though his shrill voice might drive anyone into a homicidal rage) here:

Don’t Call It Circumcision

posted by on July 2 at 3:09 PM

Egypt just—finally—outlawed female genital mutilation (AKA “female circumcision”). The practice has been officially verboten since 1997. but a provision allowing operations in “exceptional cases” has made FGM nearly universal; according to a 2000 survey, 97 percent of Egyptian women had undergone the operation. The ban came just days after a 12-year-old girl died due to complications of a clitoridectomy.

Please, dear commenters, don’t tell me that “boys get circumcised too, and isn’t that exactly the same thing as female genital cutting?”

No, it isn’t.

Clitoridectomy, the least damaging form of female genital cutting, involves splitting and removing the clitoral hood and all or part of the clitoris. The result of this painful and irreversible operation is a total loss of sexual sensation—forever. That’s the whole point. And that’s just the “mild” form of female genital cutting; the other forms that are commonly practiced, excision and infibulation, go much further. In an excision operation, the clitoral hood, clitoris, and most of the inner labia are removed, and the labia are sewn shut. In infibulation, all of the external genitalia are cut off, including the clitoris, the inner labia, and the outer labia. The resulting raw, open wound is then held together using thorns or stitches and the girl’s legs are tied together for two to six weeks to allow the vulva to heal. Everything stays sewn up until the girl’s wedding night, when her husband rips it open, often with a knife. And you don’t even want to know how childbirth works.

Comparing that to male circumcision, in which the foreskin is removed, usually in infancy, is insulting and absurd. There are plenty of reasonable arguments to be made against male circumcision that don’t involve minimizing the incredible suffering this “cultural” practice has caused millions of girls and women around the world.

Planet of the…Spaniels?

posted by on July 2 at 3:07 PM

Talking dogs? Evolution in action? What the fuck ever. This simply CAN’T be leading us human-type things anywhere salubrious:

Beware! Those who refuse to learn the lessons of apocalyptic cinema are doomed to live them fo’ the realz. Or something.

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Seattle Steam Corporation

posted by on July 2 at 2:57 PM

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Like something out of Dickensian London, the Seattle Steam Corporation occupies this monolithic, 110-year-old hulk at Western Ave. and Union, near Pioneer Square. The smoke stack must be at least ten stories high. It’s massive. It’s scary. It’s wonderful.

Apparently the Steam Corp. still supplies many Seattle industries and restaurants with steam heat, including Swedish (for steam sterilization) and the Public Library (for heat). That vent in the street on Pike and Harvard, in front of the War Room, that leaks a continuous curtain of steam? Ventilation from the Steam Corporation, I’m told.

When I passed by on a beautiful, non-Dickensian Saturday afternoon, the building seemed completely abandoned. The windows were blacked out and the smoke stack was silent. Maybe they don’t pump out the steam in summer; maybe the operation has moved elsewhere.

If that’s the case, the building—as beautifully monstrous as it is—needs to be used for something. Illicit underage concerts, anyone?

Bush Commutes Libby’s Sentence

posted by on July 2 at 2:53 PM

Says the AP.

Listen, Crazy!

posted by on July 2 at 2:00 PM

And now, for your consideration, this probing question, allegedly overheard on NPR and apparently devised by “an unidentified crime writer who lives in the backwoods of Ontario”:

A woman goes to her mother’s funeral. She meets a stranger, and she falls instantly in love. Sadly, she fails to get the man’s phone number and goes home! (Godammit!) A few days later she murders her sister. Why?

Why? Why, indeed?

Well apparently, if you answered this question correctly, you’re a bona fide SOCIOPATH, and you need to be lobotomized and locked up, forthwith!

Anyone? Anyone?

The horrible answer, after the jump!

Continue reading "Listen, Crazy!" »

Police Chief Doesn’t Want to Explain Himself

posted by on July 2 at 1:44 PM

As Jonah notes below, the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board presented its report about Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske’s interventions into police misconduct cases this morning. The review board oversees the Office of Professional Accountability, which investigates misconduct allegations. The board found that Kerlikowske reversed nearly two dozen OPA decisions in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In not one case did he provide a reason for reversing OPA’s decision, despite a 1999 recommendation, adopted as policy by then-mayor Paul Schell and the City Council, that the police chief provide an explanation “in writing” for overturning OPA rulings. The review process, OPARB chair Peter Holmes told the council, is “completely undermined if you allow the chief to ignore the writing requirement. … If a decision can’t be defended in writing and eventually shown the light of day, I think we should be inherently suspicious.”

The cases described in the report range from run-of-the-mill to shocking. In one case, an officer “attempted to recover nude photos of his sister-in-law” by breaking into her house “to thwart an apparent extramarital affair.” Kerlikowske reduced the charges recommended by the OPA from Misuse of Authority and Violation of Rules/Regulations/Laws to Conduct Unbecoming an Officer. In another instance, an officer claimed that a hit-and-run driver had badly damaged his patrol car; although police staff unanimously concluded that he had lied about the damage, the chief overturned OPA’s ruling against the officer.

Cause of Death

posted by on July 2 at 1:43 PM

The six-year old elephant and resident of Woodland Park Zoo died from… herpes.

I’m not even sure how to react to this news.

The Hidden Bathtub

posted by on July 2 at 1:37 PM

This is my favorite bathtub in Portlandia:
3c9f10f5bda5-1.jpg It’s in the room in the northeast corner of the second floor of the new Ace Hotel. I conceived a slog post in that tub last week. That post had something to do with an old man eating lots of food.

Someone Needs a Hug

posted by on July 2 at 1:37 PM

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The man who was once the front-runner in the race for the Republican nomination is now struggling to remain in the top tier. John McCain, hobbled by his support for the immigration reform bill that died in the Senate last week, today reported fundraising numbers that will only fuel the perception that his campaign is sinking — $11.2 million raised in the past three months, only $2 million on hand, and salary cutbacks and layoffs throughout his organization….

Today’s news may result in him being seen as trailing not only Rudy Giuliani, but also Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson in the fight for the GOP nomination.

Another Country

posted by on July 2 at 1:32 PM

A civilized one:

The Rev. Brent Hawkes, who conducted a double wedding for two same-sex couples at his Metropolitan Community Church in 2001 and then went to court when Ontario refused to register the marriages in a case that resulted in marriage equality across Canada, has been named to the Order of Canada.

It is the highest civilian honor given in Canada and is awarded in the name of The Queen, by the Governor General, her representative in the country.

It could never happen here, of course. Canada quickly adopted and accepted same-sex marriage; even the accidental election of a right-wing, George-Bush wannabe couldn’t derail same-sex marriage. The first married same-sex couples in Canada are going to be attending their great-grandchidren’s weddings when we’re still arguing a about “activist judges” and “traditional values” down here in the states.

Depressed?

posted by on July 2 at 1:29 PM

Getting off your ass might help.

The Hidden Staircase

posted by on July 2 at 1:20 PM

This is my favorite place in Seattle right now. An awkward walk between neighborhoods that used to take me a half hour now takes me five minutes.

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Gabriel Rotello vs. Andrew Sullivan

posted by on July 2 at 1:15 PM

It began with Andrew Sullivan’s piece last month in The Stranger’s Queer Issue.

Ever since, Sullivan and gay writer Gabriel Rotello have been arguing in public over what the new HIV era that started in 1996 means, and how to talk about it in a way that best promotes gay health.

Rotello’s latest is harsh, long, and hosted over at HuffingtonPost.

Sullivan’s latest is on his blog.

Given that Rotello is now also taking on Michael Petrelis (another Queer Issue contributor), this clash of the gay health writers is almost sure to keep rolling.

And More Pressure Building on Nickels and Kerlikowske

posted by on July 2 at 12:23 PM

In the wake of the official release of the OPARB report—see Jonah’s post immediately below—the calls for police accountability (and Kerlikowske’s head?) are heating up. The Minority Executive Directors Coalition, an umbrella organization for minority non-profits, is holding a press conference in an hour. This is bad for Mayor Nickels who sought the MEDC’s support for his embattled chief.

In a column and follow-up Slog post last week about Mayor Nickels’s behind the scenes preemptive effort to head off criticism of SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske (a weird thing to do while the mayor is supposedly looking into accusations about the chief), I reported about the mayor’s failed attempt to get the minority community to play along.

From the CounterIntel column:

If Nickels is in earnest about reviewing the chief, why is his public-safety liaison asking groups—groups that rely on city funding, I should add, like the Seattle Neighborhood Group ($100,000 worth)—to write the council letters supporting the chief in advance of the review?

Other groups that depend on city grants, including affiliates of the Minority Executive Directors Coalition (MEDC), have also been asked to send in letters, according to one MEDC member, but are balking at the mayor’s heavy-handed strategy.

Balking, indeed. Today at 1:30, the MEDC is holding a press conference at City Hall to call for action. They just fired off this press release:

MINORITY EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS COALITION OF KING COUNTY (MEDC) CALLS FOR SYSTEMIC AND PERSONNEL CHANGES IN THE SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT

In an effort to protect the civil liberties and human rights interests of people of color and the poor in Martin Luther King Jr. County, the Minority Executive Directors Coalition of King County (MEDC) comprised of over 100 prominent community leaders of color, will be reaffirming their strong position on the need for greater police accountability; re-introducing their “9 Essential Components of Change for Greater Police Accountability” recommendations, first presented to the Mayor and to the City Council in 2003, and calling for Chief Gil Kerlikowske to be held accountability for his role and actions in cases of SPD police misconduct.

We’ll have a report on the press conference and the “9 Essential Components” and on specifics about the MEDC’s call for personnel changes in SPD later this afternoon.

OPARB Releases Final Report on Police Misconduct

posted by on July 2 at 12:22 PM

This morning, the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) presented the City Council with their final report on SPD Chief Kerlikowske’s role in an Office of Professional Accountability (OPA) investigation into allegations of officer misconduct during a downtown drug arrest last January. A draft of OPARB’s report leaked three weeks ago, leading the Seattle chapter of the NAACP to call for the Chief’s resignation.

OPARB’s “new” report makes a much stronger argument that the Chief is improperly altering the outcomes of OPA investigations, by running out the clock on the 180 time limit for disciplining officers named in OPA complaints or intervening to effect the outcome of an OPA investigation.

OPARB’s report referred to 7 other cases where Kerlikowske exonerated officers, despite the OPA’s recommendation for officer discipline. OPA investigates allegations of Police misconduct but final discipline decisions are made by the Chief.

Among the cases listed in OPARB’s report:

A female officer filed a sexual harassment complaint with OPA against a male officer, who “proceeded to request the [woman’s] personnel and training filed [and] published an article in the police union newspaper,” ridiculing her for filing her complaint. The Chief only sanctioned the man for requesting the woman’s personnel files.

A Field Training Officer, student officer in tow, punched and hit a suspect with his baton while he was handcuffed at Harborview hospital, waiting to be transported to King County jail. The incident was caught by a surveillance camera and witnessed by Harborview security and two other SPD officers. Again, the Chief ignored OPA’s recommendations.

An OPA complaint was filed after a suspect, who had fled from police, surrendered and lay on their stomach. An officer jumped on the complainant “with all his weight, popping the complainant’s lungs and breaking several ribs. Medical attention was not sought for the complainant.” The 180-day period for the Chief to impose discipline on the officer passed but again, but he refused to even acknowledge the officer acted improperly.

In all of these cases, as well as 4 others presented in OPARB’s report, the Chief did not provide any written explanation for his decision to overturn the OPA’s findings.

OPARB’s final report has provided even more evidence that the Chief is standing in the way of effective police oversight in Seattle and City Council finally seemed convinced by OPARB’s report. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens next but I’d bet things are about to get even uglier for Chief Kerlikowske.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on July 2 at 12:12 PM

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July 2, 2007

Dear Prayer Warrior,

Please pray as I have my blood tested again, that I may be healthy for the CALL!

Your Pastor,
Hutch

Yummy!

posted by on July 2 at 12:11 PM

Ross Anthony is my new favorite online film reviewer. Why, you may ask? Not because of his writing, that’s for sure. The first line of his Live Free or Die Hard review:

Pow, Bang, Crash — this action film delivers.

Zowie got edited out due to space constraints, I’m sure. I certainly don’t love him for his grade system, which is A = (smiley face), B = (ambivalent face) and C = (frowny face). And I would never see a movie based on his judgment. But I love Ross Anthony solely for the last line of his Ratatouille review:

Not quite the comedic animated masterpiece I’d expected, I, instead, found a cute quaint film that drags a bit at the end of the second act, but offers up an unexpectedly warm plate of climax in the wind up.

I love you, Ross Anthony. (I also love Clayton for the tip.)

Spectacular

posted by on July 2 at 11:45 AM

ABC says Al Qaeda may have scheduled a “spectacular” attack for this summer, although the department of homeland security says nothing’s “imminent.”

Petit Dejeuner

posted by on July 2 at 11:43 AM

Speaking of Cafe Presse—which I can’t stop doing, and I’m not sorry, because it is in fact the best place ever—there’s the little issue of breakfast. Two inexplicably early risers reported trying to go to Presse last week at the ungodly opening hour of 7 a.m. (one was waiting outside, reading a book, at 6:30 in the morning, to which I say, virtue is its own punishment) and being unable to obtain food.

The word from Jim Drohman at Presse: “Pastries are available at 7 a.m. The kitchen opens at 9 a.m. (hey, we need a little time to get our act together), but we do serve our ouefs plats-jambon-gruyere beginning at 7 a.m. for people who want food early.” The aforementioned ouefs plats is two eggs broiled with ham and gruyere, and it is worth getting out of bed for at whatever hour of the day.

A Pride Story

posted by on July 2 at 11:20 AM

I was gone last week, so I didn’t get a chance to Slog this pride story, which was sent to me by Pasquale Santos. Seems that this is the season for unhappy homo encounters on public buses.

I decided to take the bus downtown to see the parade. This transient guy got on in the free ride zone and when he found out the bus would have to take an alternative route because of the parade he went off on a homophobic tirade.

It went on for minutes and he was seated right behind the bus driver. The driver said nothing. I asked to get off the bus, but the driver said I had to wait for the next stop. I’m not a confrontational person but I confronted the homophobe. I did use strong language, but it was appropriate.

The bus driver sided with the transient telling me that he was entitled to his opinion. Maybe the most upsetting thing was that the driver was homophobic as well. We came to the stop, where I was met by group of protesters waving signs in my face saying that Jesus was coming back to make the “gays” pay. Not sure what it all means, but thanks for listening.

Better Recognize

posted by on July 2 at 11:05 AM

From the second paragraph of an article, “Siamese Cities: What Makes Seattle and Vancouver so Different,” in the current (summer) issue of Arcade, a local architectural journal:

…[W]ith Vancouver now extending all the way through South Surrey to the border, and with Seattle pushing up continuously through Everett, Mount Vernon, then over the hills to Bellingham and Blaine, another phrase is needed to evoke our now-fused urban realities. Take a look at a satellite photo of the Puget Sound to Howe Sound, and it is clear that there is now a border-straddling megalopolis from Lion’s Bay to Tacoma: seven million people in one city with the insufferable anomaly of an international border right down the middle. Two heads but one conjoined body, Vancouver and Seattle are Siamese twins. But we are fused at the back, forever looking in different directions.

From the bottom of the last paragraph of the article:


We have gazed away for too long: it’s high time the two heads of our Siamese cities had a long hard look at each other
Why does the author, Trevor Boddy, of this article want the two heads to have “a hard look at each other”? Because without this hard looking, this hard recognition of one of the other, there could be no self-consciousness. The reality (Tacoma to Lion’s Bay) is there but it doesn’t think. Be it on the ground and or on a map, the cognitive state of our emerging urban reality is one of unconsciousness, unawareness. It’s a (politically and culturally) dumb urban mass. What this means is we don’t live in the city we actually live in. The cognitive map in our heads is daily becoming outdated. It less and less corresponds with what’s actually happening. Our cognitive map is of a small city; what’s happening all around us is a much bigger city. But the mind of Seattle almost never thinks of thing else but Seattle; and Vancouver, Vancouver.


Walter Benjamin somewhere says that changes in base (the infrastructure, the modes of production and circulation) happen faster than changes in the superstructure (the mind, culture, institutions). Such is surely the case of the urban situation described by Trevor Boddy.

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Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 2 at 11:02 AM

Band of Horses

(MUSIC) For a brief moment, Band of Horses were a well-loved Seattle secret known as simply Horses. Now, the band is neither Seattle’s—they’ve relocated to singer Ben Bridwell’s native South Carolina—nor are they anybody’s secret: Tonight’s homecoming at the Showbox is sold out. For those with tickets, or willing to buy some from a scalper, this concert could be a rare preview of the band’s new album, which they’ve been in town mixing. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $15, 21+.) ERIC GRANDY


Required Political Reading

posted by on July 2 at 11:00 AM

If you haven’t yet read the Washington Post’s alarming four-part series on Cheney’s vice presidency, you really should. People have long speculated and inferred that Cheney is the shadow president, shaping what “the decider” decides. The Post offers solid documentation and reporting that wipes away the need for all that speculation and inference.

If you’d secretly hoped that Cheney wasn’t really doing what you’d thought (or heard) he was doing all these years, prepare to give up all hope.

Additional required political reading: Today the Post assesses Bush at the “nadir” of his presidency. The harsh money-quote:

No modern president has experienced such a sustained rejection by the American public.

The Clintons Descend on Iowa

posted by on July 2 at 10:35 AM

Fresh on the heels of Barack Obama’s record-breaking fund raising quarter, both Bill and Hillary Clinton are headed to Iowa, no-doubt hoping to elbow Obama’s big money news out of the limelight with scenes of the former first couple campaigning together, over three days, in the state that holds the nation’s first primary contest.

Adam Nagourney outlines the questions the political world will be asking:

How long will Mr. Clinton talk in introducing Mrs. Clinton? Will he outshine her, as happened at the funeral of Coretta Scott King? Will Mr. Clinton talk about President Bush, or the other Democratic presidential candidates, or stick to talking about his wife? And will the Clintons agree to an extended Mr.-and-Mrs. press conference? (That one is easy: Fat chance).

The bigger question, of course, is whether Clinton can win Iowa. John Edwards is putting all his chips on the state, hoping an early win there can propel him to further victories in the primaries, and he’s been polling ahead of both Clinton and Obama in Iowa as a result.

The Clinton campaign wants to change that. As Nagourney writes:

Within the Clinton campaign, the thinking is that a win there, followed by victories in two of the subsequent early states, New Hampshire and Florida, would make it very difficult for Mr. Obama or anyone else to stop her going into the national crush of primaries on Feb. 5.

Poutine on the Ritz

posted by on July 2 at 10:33 AM

So I was camping last week—did I miss anything?—and returned to Seattle just in time for some delightful Sunday afternoon bar-hopping. Firstly, I wholeheartedly second the lovely Ms. Clement’s adoration of Cafe Presse. Everyone should try the cheap wine and the frites, although the croque monsieur, basically a ham sandwich covered in gruyere and then baked, is what will inspire me to return again sometime this week. After Presse, we headed up to Smith.
Which is what I’m talking at you about.
A few months back, I wrote about the Steelhead Diner’s poutine. As there weren’t too many places in Seattle to get poutine—French fries covered with cheese curds and brown gravy, a French Canadian cheap-ass delicacy—I was particularly excited about the Steelhead’s poutine. Let me amend that earlier review: Smith’s poutine blows the Steelhead Diner’s poutine out of the water. The cheese curds are chewy and sour, the gravy isn’t superheavy, and the fries are great on their own. Don’t get me wrong: I don’t think that the Steelhead is serving bad poutine, but they are serving very diner poutine: the curds are watery and more cheesy than curd and the gravy is thick. It’s true to the idea of diner-fied poutine, and anyone who wants to get all gourmandier-than-thou about poutine is missing the point of French Canadian food entirely. But Smith makes the best plate of poutine in town: if you’re only ever going to eat one plate of cheese curds on fries with gravy, do it at Smith. Me, I’m glad there’s both.

Seattle Times Trashes Dino Rossi’s Shadow Campaign

posted by on July 2 at 10:03 AM

The lead editorial in this morning’s Seattle Times picks up on the complaint filed by the Democrats last week against Dino Rossi’s “non-profit” organization, Forward Washington. The Seattle Times says the group—which got non-profit status because it pledged not to engage in partisan political activity … like Rossi’s own pending run for governor…— “does not pass the smirk test.

Here’s a bit of the editorial:

Forward Washington calls itself “a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of issues affecting the future of Washington state, its citizens and its economy.”

Rossi is traveling the state, collecting thoughts for an idea bank with hopes of presenting them to the 2008 Legislature. The latter does not pass the smirk test because Democratic leaders in the House and Senate are unlikely to provide a political soapbox to present these ideas.

Rossi’s group could well be legal, but falls in a gray area. The group is keeping Rossi’s potential gubernatorial candidacy alive through speeches and travel.

Rossi’s fair defense is that he hasn’t decided he is running for governor in 2008. That is completely up to him — the when, the if.

But Forward Washington could become a precedent for future candidates and un-candidates. In the presidential campaign, Democrat John Edwards faces similar questions about anti-poverty groups promoting his campaign.

J’accord! I made the Rossi/Edwards comparison on Slog two weeks ago.

I’m glad to see the Seattle Times making a pronounced effort to hold Rossi accountable. It seemed to me the MSM gave him a free ride in 2004.

UPDATE The Seattle Times editorial demanded that Forward Washington release the names of its contributors (and the amounts contributed.) The Seattle Times reasons that Rossi’s group is hiding partisan donors behind the guise of running a non-partisan group. (Campaign groups have to reveal donors, non-profits do not.) The Seattle Times writes: “Rossi’s group…falls into a gray area…The group is keeping Rossi’s potential gubernatorial candidacy alive through speeches and travel…The Public Disclosure Commission…should decide whether such a group is legal…or if such activities violate the spirit of our laws, which is more likely.

I just talked to Ted Dahlstrom, the spokesperson for Forward Washington to ask if the group would reveal its donor list. Dahlstrom said: ” We have not violated any rule. We have no plans to disclose our list.”

Atlas Clothing & Music

posted by on July 2 at 9:47 AM

A letter from Atlas…

Dear Stranger readers,

As many of you have already heard, we at Atlas Clothing had a visit Friday night from the Seattle Fire Department who shut down the show after they decided the venue did not meet their safety standards. All of the members of the SFD inspecting Atlas were more than helpful and sympathetic to the space. Their main concern was the safety of show goers and in the event of an emergency, the SFD. All of us at Atlas support that decision.

Long before the inspection, we searched through the building to look out for possible hazards and did what we could to reduce the risk. The safety of our guests has always been of the utmost importance as we attempted to take these shows and the space down the path of legitimacy. The changes necessary along with other updates to the building have lead to the construction that started in the back area this Friday. Our mistake was that we didn’t wait for the completion of these updates once we knew what we needed to fix. We felt that in order to get the ball rolling we would host shows in the space to prove to the owner that there really is a need for the kind of venue we were all hoping to provide. We knew there was the risk of being shutdown but we were willing to take that risk if it meant becoming legitimate in the process.

All of us at Atlas are obviously upset about failing the inspection. It’s unfortunate that this happened right now and not in a few weeks when the construction will be finished and all of the appropriate paperwork has been filed.

We are all excited about the space and appreciate the support from the community over the last few months. We started this project at Atlas because we love doing shows. No matter what happens, we’ll all still be involved with music. We’re continuing down the path we started with Atlas—the permits are on their way, the construction is happening. We’re not ready to quit!

We’ll be posting information on our myspace page (http://www.myspace.com/atlasclothing) regarding venue changes for some of our upcoming shows as well as up to date info on the Atlas Clothing and Music and our reaction to recent events around the closing of the space.

Sincerely,

Atlas Clothing & Music
Matt Fuller, Alicia Blake, Nathan Ellis-Brown, Adam Grunke, Keenan Dowers, Aimee Butterworth, Kristen Kerr, Sarina Roscigno, Calla Hummel and Jamey Braden

I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary—The Morning After

posted by on July 2 at 9:45 AM

As regular Slog readers are aware, last Friday brought the I, Anonymous: It’s Elementary day-long bonanza, wherein a new I, Anonymous submission sent in by students at a local alternative elementary and middle school was revealed every hour on the hour.

One of my favorite submissions kicked off with “a shout-out to all of the idiots who hire other idiots to work for their trucking and bussing businesses,” followed by the anonymous writer’s account of a jerky Metro driver who refused to stop for an old lady who wanted on the bus.

Yesterday I found this reply in the post’s comments:

I am laughing my ass off! I am that Metro driver. Just goes to show you that a child is actually writing:

#1 I was ten minutes late. The old lady didn’t want that bus- she wanted A bus. However there were people whom had been in their bus zones on time waiting for THAT bus- they don’t want me to wait for her; I have an obligation to them.
#2 She didn’t just want on, she wanted me to lower the coach and put the ramp out. I had already pulled out into the second lane, her safety would be negotiated, regardless of the red light.
#3 WTF? Old people can’t read schedules? Or young people either? It’s not a taxi service. It’s PUBLIC transportation- You wait on the bus- the bus doesn’t wait on you- otherwise what good is a schedule? Remember that next time your bus is twenty minutes late in the cold and you KNOW that you will be late because of it. Oh wait you just get a tardy slip. It’s not like you get fired or anything.
#4 Oh yeah- was this the dumb shit that ran in front of my bus at a 90 degree angle in my blind spot? That’s right kiddies- it’s not that easy to stop 20 tons of weight; it’s called inertia. But since you have several years before taking physics in high school; you don’t understand this: BUT IT”S MY JOB AND SANITY ON THE LINE.

Sadly your mentality isn’t merely childish, but very common place. Try thinking that maybe you aren’t the only person on the planet- and neither is that little old lady.

Posted by Driving #18 | June 30, 2007 3:58 AM

Among other things, it’s interesting to note that professional bus drivers have compositional skills comparable to those of alternative middle-schoolers.

Libby Loses His Bid to Avoid Jail

posted by on July 2 at 9:30 AM

Says CNN.

The Morning News

posted by on July 2 at 6:17 AM

Car Bombs: Two more people have been arrested by British police, bringing the total number of suspects to seven.

Drums of War: The U.S. says Iran is linked to the January deaths of five U.S. soldiers in Karbala.

Casualties of War: Five U.S. soldiers were killed in Iraq yesterday, bringing the total to 3,580 since the war began.

Dangerous Nuts in a Boat: Presidents Bush, Putin met Sunday. They enjoyed lobster, then took a pleasant cruise around Kennebunkport.

Winning Ain’t Cheap: Barack Obama raised a record $32.5 million last quarter, Hillary Clinton $27 million.

iSuckers: Apple reportedly sold close to 525,000 iPhones last weekend.

Fags: Now officially banned in England.

Money Talks: Washington State ranks sixth in lobbyist spending.

The Man: Seattle police responded to reports of a shooting in Belltown last night, ran into a “hostile crowd.”

Taking His Ball and Going Home: Mariners manager Mike Hargrove resigned yesterday. Bench coach John McLaren takes over as of today.

Godfather of Gore Fact of the Day: Up until 1963, writer/director/editor/camerman Herschell Gordon Lewis specialized in cheap nudie flicks. Then, as he explained in a 1980 interview with director John Waters…

I had made a black and white picture called Living Venus and I had a terrible time getting a respectable type of stage blood. We went into a cosmetics lab in Florida (I still remember the name—Barfred Laboratories) to make some stage blood. We wound up with a gallon of the stuff and we only used two eyedroppers of it in the film we were shooting. And the conversation of what we were going to do with the stuff led to Blood Feast, which was the first great gore film. There were no films that had the monstrous effects Blood Feast had. It doesn’t sound like much of an achievement, but we were the first with that kind of nonsense.

Here’s the original trailer for Blood Feast. Warning: NSFW.


Sunday, July 1, 2007

Ethics Schmethics

posted by on July 1 at 8:15 PM

I wish there was a joke to make here that didn’t make me feel rotten to the core:

WILMINGTON, N.C. - A 40-year-old high school science teacher and cross country coach has resigned his position and married a 16-year-old student.

Brenton Wuchae coached Windy Hager at South Brunswick High School, where she recently completed her sophomore year as one of the school’s top runners. He also lives less than two miles away from the Hagers’ home on Oak Island.

Hager’s parents, Dennis and Betty Hager, said they did all they could to keep the couple apart after noticing a deeper-than-usual friendship forming between them. The parents said they tried to intervene by talking to the coach, going to school officials, pleading with police and sheriff’s office detectives, even other teachers and students at South Brunswick.

But the Hagers say they reluctantly signed a consent form allowing their daughter to marry her coach.

Brunswick County Schools Superintendent Katie McGee said both the school system and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office investigated Wuchae’s case but did not come up with enough evidence that would merit charging or even firing the coach.

Wuchae and his new bride were at home Tuesday, resting on his living room floor watching TV. He declined to comment.

Via AP

Adult Decision Time

posted by on July 1 at 5:13 PM

Common sense, a little historical perspective and the tiniest pinch of humility told us the second invasion of Iraq was going to be a horrific disaster. We were driven by ideology and wishful thinking rather than hard facts; we swallowed way too much boldly asserted bullshit. We gave into our shallowest xenophobia or shame of being called a coward. In short, we acted like children and received the only expected outcome.

Not all of us, of course. I marched with some of you on February 15th. I postered. On a panel discussion at the School of Medicine, as the only individual that was not present or past member of the military, I predicted most of the disastrous strategic consequences of this foolishness. I didn’t fear being called a coward, a lover of terrorists, or an un-American bastard. The decision—the horrifically stupid decision—was made, and there aren’t time machines.

So, why are we making the next critical decision—when and how to leave Iraq—in the same manner? Why aren’t we seriously discussing the most obvious consequences of our ghastly blunder? Why are we fighting these people? Does it have more to do with the West Bank or the gas rationing in Tehran? How will we help prevent Turkey from being dragged down? How can we stop Israel and Iran from a starting shooting atomic war? If the Middle East falls into complete conflagration, how will we fuel the global petro-economy? What are our ethical obligations to the honest Iraqis, the secular Iraqis the Iraqis who risked their lives for our mad plan? Why don’t we allow them to immigrate, and become Americans? Can we remain the guardians of the shot heard around the world—can we remain American—if we abandon our responsibilities? What should we be doing instead?

No. We aren’t even attempting to honestly answer these questions. Instead we’re obsessively re-hashing the idiotic positions of 2002 and 2003, name calling from ideologically—rather than factually—supported forts. Apologize! Don’t admit a mistake! You join the military, if you love the war so much! Who gives a shit? We have bigger problems right now than coal raking—than playing sophistry again. If we blindly decide like children again, I think we might deserve what the fates have in store for us.

Cardboard Tube Fighting League

posted by on July 1 at 2:30 PM

Untitled.jpg

Where have you been all my life?

Colour

posted by on July 1 at 1:24 PM

Yeah, it’s just a commercial for a television that I’ll never be able to afford, but it’s really cool!

Watch it.

Our latest TV ad - featuring massive paint explosions - took 10 days and 250 people to film. Huge quantities of paint were needed to accomplish this, which had to be delivered in 1 tonne trucks and mixed on-site by 20 people.

The effect was stunning, but afterwards a major clean-up operation was required to clear away all that paint!

The cleaning took 5 days and 60 people. Thankfully, the use of a special water-based paint made it easy to scrape-up once the water had evaporated.

Keeping everyone safe was also an important factor. A special kind of non-toxic paint was used that is safe enough to drink (it contains the same thickeners that are sometimes used in soups). It was also completely harmless to the skin.

(Thanks to Colin for the tip.)

Hargrove Out

posted by on July 1 at 12:07 PM

Mariners skipper Mike Hargrove has resigned:

“Over the past several weeks, I have come to the realization that to be fair to myself and the team, I can not continue to do this job if my passion has begun to fade,” Hargrove said, according to the release.

With the Mariners on a 7-game winning streak, and just four games behind the Angels, Hargrove’s departure is a shock. Bench coach John McLaren will take over.

Seth at Enjoy the Enjoyment is currently blogging the press conference.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 1 at 10:45 AM

Ratatouille

(ANIMATION) Ratatouille is the first great Hollywood film of the year, and may end up being the only great Hollywood film of the year. The premise: a Parisian rat that has a taste for fine foods, that worships a famous chef, that becomes a cook in that famous chef’s restaurant, and is so talented that he melts the iciest of food critics into a warm puddle. It’s just too much. You will be overwhelmed by a laughter as ridiculous as the movie’s premise. (See movie times.) CHARLES MUDEDE


The Morning News

posted by on July 1 at 10:27 AM

(actually by Rebecca Tapscott)

Terrorism: Britain was placed on highest level of alert after a terrorist attack yesterday at Glasgow Airport. Five suspects are being held.

Dependence day: Hong Kong celebrated a decade of Chinese rule yesterday; tens of thousands protest.

Internet taxes: Today, Washington joins 21 other states in instituting a uniform policy to tax online purchases.

Union power: Washington State workers receive salary increases up to 25 percent, a testament to a good economy and growing union power.

Losers: After losing the racial tiebreaker case, Seattle Schools face attorney attempts to recover one million dollars in legal costs.

Behind every great man: Elizabeth Edwards re-joins her husband’s campaign after her most recent cancer diagnosis, working as a sympathetic face and appeasing varying political factions.

Like husband like wife: The wife of Argentine’s president, Christina Ferdenández de Kirchner, will run to replace her husband in the October 28 election.

Aftermath: After Hurricane Katrina, international aide brings change to Honduras.

Little people convention: Seattle area hosts the Little People of America conference and the 2007 Dwarf Athletic Association of America’s National Games.

PARIS HILTON UPDATE: Media weighs their potential to profit from quality news versus sensational gossip. GET YOUR PARIS HILTON NEWS HERE!