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Archives for 07/08/2007 - 07/14/2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

From the Department of Misplaced Criticisms

posted by on July 14 at 3:32 PM

In the comments of “This Week on Drugs,” unPC posted this sic-packed question:

Instead of posting humorous blogs, why doesn’t the STRANGER DO SOMETHING about the phony war against drugs and require all candidates to disclosre all epxeriences iwth drugs?

Rather than responding to unPC with something sarcastic - as a long-time drug policy reform advocate, I obviously agree with his sentiment - I’ll start by providing an excerpt from a 2003 article that shows the Stranger essentially does what unPC suggests—take a candidate to task for their hypocritical position on drug policy. It is the best thing written about Initiative 75 by Dan Savage and the worst thing ever written about Kollin Min. Enjoy.

I got the impression that night that Min might be a weasel. Then Min came in for an endorsement interview and my first impressions were vindicated: Min was definitely a weasel.

Asked if he was going to vote for I-75, an initiative that would make marijuana possession the Seattle Police Department’s “lowest law-enforcement priority,” Min said he would vote against it. Min had just made a lovely little speech about the plight of racial minorities in Seattle. When we pointed out that racial minorities get busted for pot possession at disproportionate rates, Min shrugged it off. Asked if he supported marijuana decriminalization, he said no, marijuana should remain illegal. Asked if he had ever smoked pot, Min paused. Yes, he said, he had smoked pot.

You can read the entire weasel-labeling article here.

So there you go, unPC. And while that’s great stuff (and here’s even more great stuff), bitch-slapping hypocritical candidates is just one piece of the puzzle. Before politicians can get elected on platforms to change drug policy, the public has to want them to change it. Right now, for instance, only around 50 percent of Washington voters support legalizing marijuana. So the real work is showing those voters that the drug war has been an ineffective, racist boondoggle—and there are more effective and humane alternatives. That’s a job for the press. However, mainstream news outlets make nary a peep that this seven-decade lock-up-all-the-drug-users-but-barely-fund-treatment campaign has been an unmitigated disaster. Not the Stranger. The article above by Dan is one of countless examples of the Stranger calling out bullshit and supporting better laws.

And by the way, the person who posted that “humorous blog” rather than being willing to “do something” was me—the leader of the I-75 campaign. Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, I’m just sayin’…

Club Crackdown

posted by on July 14 at 1:24 PM

As predicted, the city is going after Tabella’s liquor license.

Nickels’s reactionary fit comes despite the evidence we’ve reported that the club is not to blame.

If this city wants to stop violence at clubs, especially hip hop clubs, they should help foster a nightlife climate in Seattle where more hip hop clubs feel okay opening.

The big crowds are pouring into Tabella because there are hardly any other clubs like it in town. Give the people what they want.

Heya, Everybody Else! Go Fuck-a Yo’ Mamma!

posted by on July 14 at 12:54 PM


Methodist? Buddhist? Jew? Anabaptist? Wiccan-Neopagan-Universalist-Dingbat? Whatever? Sorry, suckers! The Pope says you’re all full of shit! The One True Poop, straight from the horse’s ass…

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy - Pope Benedict XVI has reasserted the universal primacy of the Roman Catholic Church, approving a document released Tuesday that says Orthodox churches were defective and that other Christian denominations were not true churches.

Well, at least that clears that up.

On KIRO Radio: The Stranger News Hour

posted by on July 14 at 11:45 AM

On this week’s installment of 710 KIRO’s Stranger News Hour, I’ll be talking about this revealing video footage I got my hands on and also—still more (to our host David Goldstein’s chagrin) on police accountability.

Erica C. Barnett will also be there to set everybody straight (including Goldy’s team of bloggers) about the mayor’s environmental record.

That’s 7pm this evening on 710 KIRO.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 14 at 11:00 AM

Orkestar Zirkonium (BALKAN BRASS BAND) By now, you should have heard of Orkestar Zirkonium, the 14-member brass band with Central European style, known for musical sneak attacks on bars, grocery stores, and galleries, goosing innocent bystanders with their happy honking. Theirs is the sound of dizzy joy. Today, they play in Cal Anderson Park with jazz composer Paul Rucker, improviser Gust Burns, and noise-jazz band Non Grata. (Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Ave, 3:30 pm, free.) BRENDAN KILEY
See what else is happening in Music on Saturday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

The Morning News

posted by on July 14 at 8:30 AM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

Serial Killer?: Tacoma police think their suspect in the death of Zinna Linnik may be connected to other murders.

Sparks Fly: Firefighters in Eastern Washington are kept busy by yesterday’s lightning storm.

Miserable Teens: Two teens charged in Long Island school bomb plot.

They’re Not the Only Ones: US meat found contaminated in China.

Just Fine Thank You: Al-Maliki says Iraq would do fine if US troops pulled out.

Spice Storm: Victoria Beckham takes on Los Angeles too.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Not Fit to Print?

posted by on July 13 at 5:27 PM

Jon Fine, who writes a media column and media blog for BusinessWeek, posed this question on his blog yesterday: “Newspaper Triage: Which American Paper Will Be The First To Kill Its Print Edition?”

Fine goes with the S.F. Chronicle, but lays out a few other scenarios for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and Raleigh’s News & Observer.

He also calls for readers’ predictions.

A few pick the PI.

Seattle P-I will be the first to ditch the dead-tree edition.

Posted by: Tony at July 13, 2007 11:43 AM


Seattle Post-Intelligencer. This one spans both Camp 2 and Camp 3. Major market (or so we tell ourselves), tech-savvy, strong online presence with the site, notably an emphasis on blogs both by reporters and readers.

But here’s the kicker: Seattle is still a newspaper town, thanks to a joint-opearting agreement between the Seattle PI and the Seattle Times. Each paper has its own editorial department, but they share marketing, circulation and advertising—all of which is provided by the Times. The Times’ owner has been looking for a way out for years.

There’s continued speculation that the PI might be able to float as a web-only—and the local environment is right for it to happen. The deciding point is likely when Hearst (PI’s owner) thinks it can float the online advertising revenues to support the experiment. I’ll give it 2 years or less, too.

Posted by: Nick at July 13, 2007 03:24 PM

Rainier Ave S & S Fisher Place

posted by on July 13 at 5:22 PM


Rainier Beach

The Rainier Beach Public Library (RBPL), normally troubled by overdue books and flagrant violations of the Dewey decimal system, has something new to panic about: gangs.

One librarian I spoke with yesterday, who asked not to be named, said large groups of youth between 11 and 21 years old were coming into the library after school hours, disturbing other library patrons and threatening any librarians who tried to intervene. “They’re coming here to get on their Myspace accounts, to watch rappers and their web pages and oftentimes to play games,” the librarian told me. “It makes it very difficult when the library is very crowded with young people who are… going up and down the aisles yelling and cursing. The community is avoiding going to the library when the kids are there.”

Things got so bad that a security guard was assigned to RPBL after, the librarian says, “gang members [started] flashing their gang signs and intimidating other kids. One young person with a history all the way back to 2005 finally had to be arrested.”

Things seem to have cooled off for the summer, but the security guard is only assigned to RBPL until July 17.

Asked whether or not she thinks things have gotten better, the librarian cautiously told me “you don’t want to jinx it. Security is a deterrent. If they see the security guard, they don’t come in.”

After the 17th, the librarian says she’s not sure what will happen. “We’re waiting for downtown to make whatever decisions they’re going to make. [When we have a security guard] we can do our jobs. We can be librarians and not authoritarians.”

An SPD officer I spoke with today dismissed the librarian’s concerns about gang activity in the stacks. I was told that the problems probably stem from “kids being kids.”

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on July 13 at 4:14 PM

Stranger freelancer Michael Atkinson has a new blog, and it, like he, is awesome. True to the boys’ school rebellion referenced in the title, it’s very rabble-rousey. Come for the erudite film talk, stay for the “imperative beheading of Dick Cheney”:

And in an extra-long On Screen this week: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (hurried and sweaty, but almost saved by the fluffy pink genius of Imelda Staunton—if you haven’t seen Vera Drake yet, swing by the video store on your way to the theater)…


…. plus Rescue Dawn (actually, this time, skip the theater altogether—go directly to Scarecrow and pick up Little Dieter Needs to Fly), Joshua (a creepy kid movie done right; for the original, see The Bad Seed), Introducing the Dwights (Brenda Blethyn may not be quite the equal of Imelda Staunton, but she comes damn close; Secrets and Lies is your homework assignment), The Long Goodbye (awesome, naturally; insert your favorite Altman here), Broken English (skip it; for a more interesting take on painful privilege, see Sofia Coppola, or re-live the Parker Posey glory days (I know, I know) with Party Girl), Brooklyn Rules (fuhgeddaboudit; proceed directly to The Sopranos), and Manufactured Landscapes (it’s awesome, go! and watch Our Daily Bread, Let It Come Down, and The True Meaning of Pictures).


And in web-only content this week: An interview with the erudite Jennifer Baichwal, director of Manufactured Landscapes; and another with a documentarian-turned-narrative filmmaker, George Ratliff of Joshua.

And finally, Film Shorts claims such delights as L’Iceberg, Black Cat, White Cat, Infra-Man, Walking to Werner, and the retrospective The Films of Barbara Ireland. Find all your movie times needs at Get Out.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on July 13 at 4:04 PM

Santa Barbara, Baby: The City of Santa Barbara personally sued the woman behind a ballot measure to deprioritize marijuana enforcement, modeled after Seattle’s Initiative 75. Bu-ut…

Superior Court Judge Thomas Anderle dismissed a lawsuit the city filed against Heather Poet, who sponsored the initiative passed last November.

“Police officers can still arrest those who violate drug possession laws in their presence. The voters have simply instructed them that they have higher priority work to do,” the judge wrote.

The court also struck down the city’s lawsuit on grounds that Poet was being sued for exercising her constitutionally protected right of free speech as an initiative sponsor.

So, like, right on. Maybe Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr, who could have sued me after voters passed I-75, is really cool and chose not to, or he is just smart and knew the case would lose. Either way, thanks, Tom. Meanwhile in California, the Die Bold machines used to count Berkeley’s pot-friendly Measure R have been ruled faulty, so the court may put the measure back on the ballot.

Rehab: Amy Winehouse has catapulted to fame faster than Fifty Cent tethered to a rocket, but bookies are betting she’s gonna crash.

Did the Next President Snort Coke, Smoke Pot, or Take LSD Jello Shots Off the Navels of Underage Callboys? Record your questions before July 22nd.

Giuliani to Cancer Patients: Fuck ‘em if they take a toke.

No Blues for the Traveler: John Popper’s Ritzville pot case dismissed.

From the Department of No Shit: Government finds pot bustees “coerced” into treatment by courts didn’t really need to be there in the first place.

Terrorism Sells: But would people buy this crap if you paid them?

John P. Walters, President Bush’s drug czar, said the people who plant and tend the [marijuana] gardens are terrorists who wouldn’t hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties. Walters made the comments at a Thursday press conference that provided an update on the “Operation Alesia” marijuana-eradication effort.

Don’t buy drugs. They fund violence and terror,” he said.

After touring gardens raided this week in Shasta County, Walters said the officers who are destroying the gardens are performing hard, dangerous work in rough terrain. He said growers have been known to have weapons, including assault rifles.

These people are armed; they’re dangerous,” he said. He called them “violent criminal terrorists.”

Has he seen the pot growers of Shasta County? They’re armed with grocery bags and dangerous to ice cream trucks.

The NAACP Held a GOP Presidential Candidate Forum

posted by on July 13 at 3:35 PM


That’s Tom Tancredo in the sea of flags and podiums — the only GOP candidate to show up.

(Via Crooks & Liars.)

Update to You Want Art?

posted by on July 13 at 3:34 PM

From Eric F, the ID of the Kringen:

hannon Kringen is the Goddess Kring, a public access channel feature of the 90s (and maybe still today?)

She’s an insane somewhat zaftig hippie who talked about herself while staring into the camera, then took off her clothes and danced. She signed up for every open slot on the channel’s schedule, so she was on all the time.

And from Spencer Moody, a detail from the painting of said Goddess:


Bad News

posted by on July 13 at 3:31 PM

Another political sex scandal: a politician in Indiana was found in a seedy motel room with a 15 year-old boy and drugs. Unfortunately he’s a Democrat.

The Stranger and Crystal Meth

posted by on July 13 at 3:28 PM

I’m on vacation, and I don’t wanna get sucked into the Slog vortex… but I had to say something when a frequent—and frequently off-his-meds—commenter accused this here paper of promoting crystal meth. A few links:

This David Schmader piece is headlined “Abstain from Crystal Meth.” That seems pretty clear, huh?

Eli Sanders interviews Peter Staley, AIDS activist and recovered meth addict/anti-meth crusader.

In a “Last Days” column David Schmader says “no one should use crystal meth.”

I praise the organizers of International Mister Leather for pledging to call the cops on meth dealers in “Savage Love.”

Eli Sanders on a new strain of drug-resistant HIV in Seattle and the meth users that incubated it.

A Slog post I wrote advising gay men that they could lower their odds of contracting HIV by not sleeping with meth users.

Nate Lippens on crystal meth: “Not to throw out the kind of bullshit scare tactic that anti-drug campaigns traffic in, but here it goes anyway: Two of the people I know who used meth ended up homeless and one is now 25 and HIV-positive.”

Brad Steinbacher on crystal meth: “Do not do these drugs. Seriously. Crystal is addictive and it makes you insane.”

Blah blah blah. I could go on and on. Those were just the links I found quickly. The Stranger is a lot of things—some good, some bad. We most certainly are not, however, pro-meth. Far from it.

Okay, I’m heading back to my margarita.

Inappropriate Comment of the Day

posted by on July 13 at 2:42 PM

From the comments in this magically metastasizing thread:

Fighting online is like racing in the special olympics; even if you win, you’re still retarded!

Carollani, ladies and gentlemen.

The SPD Saga Gets Twistier

posted by on July 13 at 2:38 PM

As KING 5 reports, Seattle activist Anwar Peace has been arrested and is being held on $150,000 bail for allegedly leaving numerous threatening messages on the voice mail of embattled Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske.

More to come, I’m sure…

Deface Your Favorite Videos!

posted by on July 13 at 2:33 PM

Holy holy crap. There’s a brand new website where you can copy and paste any YouTube link into a player, and scribble captions, quotes and/or graffiti all over the video. Any video! It’s kinda cornball fingerpaint style, but once you finish, you can submit it, and a new URL is available to embed on your own blog, or email to your pals.

It’s called RAKUGAKI. If the site first appears in Japanese, you can click it over to English in the upper left.

- Some tips for better “scribbles” include hitting pause before you start drawing, and taking multiple passes on a clip. Each drawing will fade after a few seconds of video, and you can adjust the color, size and transparency of the brush to potentially achieve some cool effects.

I smell a SLOG contest. Maybe people want to add some comments to Walk it Out


Or tell us why the Dramatic Chipmunk is so damn surprised? Or maybe Ecce Homo wants to add some commentary to Gays on Crystal

Viva la YouTube Revolution!

The Week in Geek

posted by on July 13 at 2:19 PM

The Week in Geek - Now iPhone free! (though partially written and researched on an iPhone)


Nabaztag/tag is the most cumbersomely-named robotic internet rabbit to ever sport an internal microphone and RFID reader. It’s freaking me out, and yet I can’t look away. “Hey! Someone has told me that that they are thinking of YOU!” Maybe that someone would like to buy me a $189 freakout rabbit? $189?!?

“Mileage Runners” game the system to score tons of frequent flier miles - “Mileage Running isn’t good for the planet.” That’s true. But neither is not mileage running, so you’re pretty much fine/screwed either way. I say go for it.

Pocket Rocket!

Pocket Rocket!

Pocket Rocket!

Socket Pocket!

I can see my mortality from here! - Man flies 193 miles in his lawn chair in Oregon, because he always wanted to jump on clouds.

CakeCubeBox360PS2 - Sorry, video game nerds, but this woman is now married. You missed your shot.

Happy Birthday, Computer Virus - It’s been 25 years since 9th grader Richard Skrenta wrote the first computer virus for his Apple II. Yay.

I know I said no iPhone, but fuck it. iPhone haters will love this anyway.

And finally, some perspective. You probably know that matter is mostly made up of empty space. The distance between your average atom’s nucleus and the cloud of electrons whizzing around it is vast, vast, vast relative to the size of its components. Vast. Some guy with a website was having trouble picturing this fact, so he made a web page to illustrate it. The page depicts a single hydrogen atom, with its single electron represented by a single pixel. The nucleus (a single proton) is 1000 pixels in diameter. The distance between them? 50,000,000 pixels. At the standards 72 pixels per inch, that’s 11 miles. Wow.

As the saying goes, “You ain’t shit.”

Five More Years

posted by on July 13 at 1:55 PM


It’s official.

‘Damn, That’s Really Good Wine’

posted by on July 13 at 1:06 PM

A cut-n-pastiche from the Guardian and the Seattle Times:

The last guests at the barbecue in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood of Washington were savouring the remains of a very fine bottle of Chateau Malescot St Exupery when a robber appeared in their midst, and held a gun to the head of a teenage girl.

“He said: ‘Everyone give me your money or I am going to start shooting. I am very serious about this’,” Michael Rabdau, the girl’s father, told the Guardian.
After what seemed an eternity, another guest offered the robber a sip of the bordeaux they were drinking. “He tasted the wine, and said: ‘Damn, that’s really good wine.’ And it really was,” Mr Rabdau said. The guests offered him a glass, and then the entire bottle. The would-be robber helped then himself to a piece of camembert.
“I think I may have come to the wrong house,” he said, looking around the patio.

“I’m sorry,” he told the group. “That’s really good wine,” the man said, taking another sip. “Can we have a group hug?” The five adults surrounded him, arms out.

With that, the man walked out with a crystal wine glass in hand, filled with Château Malescot.

In the alley behind the home, investigators found the intruder’s empty glass on the ground, unbroken.

“When asked what wines he liked to drink he replied, ‘That which belongs to another.’” — Diogenes Laertius writing about Diogenes the Cynic, the first philosophical clown.

The Cynic was also a forger and a thief and, obviously, the D.C. wine-robber’s hero.

Another story Diogenes L wrote about Diogenes C:

Plato defined man thus: “Man is a two-footed, featherless animal;” and was much praised for the definition; so Diogenes plucked a cock and brought it into his school, and said, “This is Plato’s man.” On which account this addition was made to the definition, “With broad flat nails.”

Plato hated clowns.

On This Day in 1960

posted by on July 13 at 12:47 PM

From Wired: The Etch-A-Sketch went on sale.

No Relief in “Action Plan” for Rainier

posted by on July 13 at 12:24 PM

I just returned to work today from a weeklong vacation, a good deal of which was spent biking up and down Rainier. (Lake Washington Blvd. is nice, but it’s a goddamn slog to get to Columbia City up the hill.) Anyway, riding along Rainier a couple of times a day, I had ample opportunity to appreciate firsthand the “challenges” addressed in the city’s Rainier Action Plan, which Stranger news intern Rebecca Tapscott wrote about here.

Not surprisingly, the action plan reveals that failing to yield to pedestrians and cyclists occurs three times more frequently on Rainier than on equivalent arterials in Seattle. Also not surprisingly, the “action plan” is mostly talk: It focuses almost exclusively on efforts to convince drivers to drive more safely, instead of making systemic changes that would force them to do so.

For example, under the Rainier plan, the city will:

• Install one speed radar to track north-moving traffic on the south end of Rainier.

• Track DUI arrests with the state liquor board and target problem bars. (Mini-marts, probably a bigger issue, go unmentioned.)

• “Conduct red light running emphasis patrols,” whatever that means.

• Examine pavement markings.

Install a camera at one red light along the corridor.

• Install one “your speed is” sign in each direction.

• Put up billboards and “develop education and awareness materials” to hand out to South Seattle residents.

The problem with almost all of these solutions, and others in the plan, is that they rely exclusively on voluntary compliance instead of measures that would force people to change their behavior. Changes that could actually make a difference, like adding bike lanes (a proposal that is “deferred to [the city’s] Bike Master Plan,” which in turn puts Rainier improvements off indefinitely, a fact the city’s transportation department could not have been unaware of), slowing traffic by adding or de-sychronizing signals, and changing land-use patterns to eliminate large car-oriented uses (like street-facing parking and multiple gas stations) on Rainier go unexplored.

Crystal-Freaking, Bug-Chasing, Black Irish….WHAT? A Study in True “Self Hatred”

posted by on July 13 at 11:45 AM

The very best policy? Never feed the trolls. I know. I invented it. But forgive me, if you please, just this once…I have an itch to scratch.

Below you will find choice commentary gleaned from the comments thread following my earlier racist, racist post entitled Alabama Go Bragh! Frankly, I think pieces of the thread bare repeating, for many reasons, typos and all. Not that I’m one to talk about typos, of course. (Shut up.) We begin with comment #12, which goes a little something like this…

This is definately (sic) one of the most racist posts to ever blemish the pages of SLOG. You guys really are fucking bigots. Posted by ecce homo | July 12, 2007 10:45 AM

Indeed. I couldn’t agree more. However, we here racists over at The Stranger (of which I personally officiate as Grand Wizard) found a defender in “Matt”, who came to our rescue in comment #14

@12 Give it up asshole. Are you jealous that you don’t work for the stranger? Don’t you have other blogs to troll, or is the wait at the drive through you work at too long to navigate away from this page? Posted by matt | July 12, 2007 11:44 AM

My hero! (Now why didn’t I think to say something like that? )

Now, one might imagine that with that, that would be that. But one would be oh-so tragically wrong. (That, that.) “ecce homo” was just warming up, and soon rebutted thusly

Matt: Racism isn’t funny, pointing at black people and laughing at their expense is racist and fucked up. Get a clue. Posted by ecce homo | July 12, 2007 12:25 PM

Of course he’s completely right. I couldn’t agree more. (“I jus’ wanna know where da’ gold!” BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Coloreds! They so silly! Point, point, point!) This post was immediately followed by the following wise, wise comment by wise “Original Andrew”, who wisely commented thusly

ecce homo @ 16, Isn’t the real problem that you’re a racist? Posted by Original Andrew | July 12, 2007 1:40 PM

Now, at this point it’s clear that all of the above commenting was just the prelude…the buildup. The real fireworks went off when often-commenter and valliant Adrian-defender “Mr. Poe” chimed in…

Ecce is a self-hating fag with absolutely no sense of humor or intelligence to process that this post isn’t racist. He has successfully developed a nasty purple yeast infection in his vagina that is his face. He is a victim. Ignore him… Posted by Mr. Poe | July 12, 2007 2:01 PM

Well, that did it. And now we are forced to meet the meat of the matter, and our friend “ecce” protests, perhaps a bit too much (thanks for hanging in there)…

Mr. Poe, If your definition of self-hating is that I don’t subject myself to truly self hating (sic) “Seattle Homo Culture” then count me in. I live a normal life and queers like you give us all a reputation that a majority of us have to CONSTANTLY deal with. Believe it or not, but a majority of gay men don’t walk around sloberring (sic) over there own genitals, playing grab ass anytime they can, hating “straight society” because they wont embrace a deviant and promiscuous (sic) life (not being gay, but rather the disgusting life that some of the Seattle gay community - and the stranger - embraces) and snorting pounds of crystal meth. Yes then I am self hating because I am in a loving and commited relatioship (sic, sic) with my partner of 16 years, the proud parent of 2 children, work a full time job, and aspire to be what many on SLOG and in the Seattle gay community will never be - an upstanding member of society. I hear that you got a ticket for lude (sic) conduct up at volunteer park. (sic) Had your court date yet, Bug Chaser (sic, sic, SICK!)? Posted by ecce homo | July 12, 2007 2:16 PM

A “normal life”? Slobbering all over our own genitals? Snorting pounds of meth?

Well. Here’s what I wanna know: Does Seattle’s self-hating-bug-chasing-crystal-freaking “homo culture” have anything to say about that? Hmm?

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 13 at 11:00 AM

Broken Disco (MUSIC) The fourth installment of this utopian club night features Swedish producer the Field, who composes gorgeous, transcendent music that justifies his grandiose album title From Here We Go Sublime. It’s pristine, orbital techno full of soft synths and airy vocal samples. Quietly energetic beats skate over flat, icy surfaces while murky sounds swirl underneath. Also tonight: a PDX showcase featuring the refined minimalism of Let’s Go Outside and the 8-bit maximalism of Copy. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm, $12 adv, 18+.) ERIC GRANDY
See what else is happening in Music on Friday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Holy Crap!

posted by on July 13 at 10:56 AM


As ABC News reports, “Trader Joe’s ‘Two Buck Chuck’ Named Best Chardonnay at Prestigious State Fair.”

Dino Rossi’s Chief of “Non-Partisan” Staff

posted by on July 13 at 10:30 AM

To shush the critics of his non-profit group, Forward Washington, Dino Rossi likes to name check Lou Guzzo.

The criticism is that Rossi’s organization is actually a partisan campaign group. Guzzo is on Forward Washington’s “Idea Bank” committee—a committee Rossi has tasked with presenting FW’s ideas to the legislature. And Rossi thinks name checking Guzzo will quiet the critics because Guzzo once worked for Democratic Governor Dixy Lee Ray.

Sorry, Dino. That’s not too convincing. Dixy Lee Ray was a conservative Democrat and well… welcome to the world of Lou Guzzo. You will not believe the stuff this guy says. Courtesy of an e-mail I got this morning:

Guzzo (trashed here by Goldy) is not the only hotly conservative member of Rossi’s “non-partisan Idea Bank committee (trashed here by Postman.)

Yesterday, for example, I reported that committee member Matthew Manweller is also the Chairman of the Kittitas County Republican Party. I also reported that another member of the FW Idea Bank committee, Susan Hutchison, is a regular GOP contributor, including donating $500 to hard partisan Stephen Johnson, the former state Republican Senator who ran a BIAW-backed campaign for state Supreme Court. Olson also considered running against Mike McGavick in the GOP primary last year—she thought McGavick was too liberal— and, I just found out, she’s on the board of the Discovery institute.

The Spirit of Capitalism

posted by on July 13 at 10:17 AM

In the present and most advanced stage of capitalism, corporations not only layoff workers but also customers:

The WSJ confirms earlier reports that Sprint Nextel is terminating the contracts of subscribers who call customer service too much (registration required). The 1,000 or so terminated subscribers called an average of 25 times a month — 40x times higher than average — according to a company spokeswoman, who also noted that a large number of calls from these customers were related to billing issues.
This must be the ultimate power for capitalism. How can it go beyond this point, this seemingly impossible achievement?

In the previous stage (the postindustrial stage), capital detached itself from labor, dissolved the gold standard, and magically transformed paper money into an ether of electronic information. The project for the present capitalist is to terminate its last real obstacle: the customer. No labor, no customers, no money exchanges, no problem—profits continue to grow. This is the system’s spiritual stage. Capitalism without customers is like Jesus turning water into wine.

You Want Art?

posted by on July 13 at 9:50 AM

Yesterday I spent running from one gallery to another, finding.

12:30 pm.

Francine Seders Gallery: Print Invitational

Group show, 11 artists, prints everywhere.
Surprise find: Anna McKee, an eloquent urban romantic in the tradition of pictorialist photography. Listen to McKee, Bonnie Lebesch, and Emily Gherard talk at the gallery Tuesday night (the 17th) from 6-8 pm.

These are by McKee (I love the filmic nostalgia of the top half of the second one):



And this, by Emily Gherard, is like a goth representation of Lead Pencil Studio’s Maryhill Double.


1:30 pm.

OKOK Gallery: Installation underway on Gregory Euclide’s I Have Been Remembering: Half Lives & Half Truths

At one point yesterday, there was a full vodka bottle and a hypodermic needle in the gallery’s front window. All for art, man. Euclide used the vodka bottle to collect water at Puget Sound, and he was using the needle to inject single bubble-wrap bubbles with that water—and with tap water and puddle water. The bubbles are mounted on the window first in rows, then injected from the top.

OKOK has a great space—about 1,800 square feet—and because of it and thanks to the imagination of its owners, Charlie and Amanda Kitchings, this is the first time that Euclide, a Minneapolis artist, has taken over an entire gallery to make an installation. For it, the painter cut out tiny, one-inch-diameter circles of paper, painted tiny imaginary landscapes on them, and then adhered a bubble-wrap bubble to each one, so they’re seen through the bubble. Seven hundred of those tiny paintings are lined up in parallel rows on the walls that run in rivulets onto the floor. So at the opening Saturday night from 6-10 pm, you’ll have to watch where you step.

In addition to those, Euclide made an installation that’s basically a storm of paper. On one long sheet, he made a painting of a 360-degree view from the gallery’s door (sent to him in photographs). As he often does, he washed the painting with water after painting it, so it’s mostly an aftereffect of itself. The paper is cut into squares; a pile of them on the floor are backed with stamp adhesive. The artist wants people to take them and attach them all over the city.

Since the show doesn’t open until Saturday, there aren’t images of it yet, but I’m going to attach the invite image so you get a sense of what the tiny bubble paintings are like. They’re for sale individually, and every time one is sold, a marker with the date will go up in its place, so the unspecific little landscapes will be replaced by the chronological facts of their disappearance, changing the installation with time.


Euclide’s traditional larger paintings are up, too. Here’s a sense of his painting sensibility from an earlier installation:


A detail from that:


The opening Saturday will include a sound component by Son of Rose. And in the future, OKOK is doing some cool stuff, including chefs working with artists on pre-opening night meals. Stay tuned to this gallery (showing five contemporary artists on portraiture in August).

3 pm.

Crawl Space Gallery: Diana Falchuk: Sweet Remains

Diana Falchuck (she of the I Love the USPS mailboxes project) works with what she calls “dead food.”

She goes to the grocery store, buys food, and lives with it for months, drying it and experimenting with it to create sculptures that have something in common both with Justin Gibbens’s adorable-scientific drawings of affable mutants and Jim Rittimann’s gory-gorgeous reanimated insects. (She also makes imaginative drawings that bring to mind Susan Robb, but they’re on mylar and hard to reproduce.)

Falchuk is better known for her work postering utility poles and affectionately washing mailboxes, but she has been semi-secretly working with “dead food” for years in her apartment. It’s no wonder the sculptures feel so intimate, even loved.

This weekend is your last chance to see the show; it’s open noon to 5 Saturday and Sunday.

(lemon, moss, and pink bumps from the bottoms of slippers)

(carrot and pins)

(sewn plum, salt)

4:20 pm.

The Anne Bonny (named after the lady pirate): The Theme is No Theme

Spencer Moody’s new store for art, home accoutrements, and dead people’s furniture is terrific. (Please don’t buy the golden chair before this weekend so I can still pick it up.) Upstairs is the gallery.

The standout in the current group show is a giant pink painting. Before I look at it, I’m drawn to the handwritten note on the pink table on the floor. It says:

Spencer, Here is a paintio painting of Shannon Kringen. It is called “A Skinny Shannon Kringen with an Ice Cream Cone.” I can’t imagine that anyone will buy it, really I jo just hope she sees it. Price it however you want, if you do sell it, send me enough money for a pizza. Oh, here are some books as well. I made them today, I have terrible allergies & a head cold. Take care, Derek Erdman.

Aww, he just wants her to see it. How sweet and romantic, like when Eddie Argos says he wants a bus full of schoolchildren to sing to Emily Kane—wait, this woman is hideous, all hairy and pig-faced and slack-jawed, wielding a vanilla waffle cone like a club.

Sadly, there’s no image available of her. (I took a phone picture of her, but I’m just lame enough that I don’t know how to transfer.) You’ll just have to go and see her yourself; you really should.

Kringen, what’d you do to this guy?

6 pm.

Quick stop at Platform Gallery, Ross Sawyers

Sawyers makes large-scale photographs of architectural models he builds. (It’s a not-uncommon conceit mastered by James Casabere.) Sawyers is fresh out of grad school and still figuring things out, including how to mount his work (this dry board-mounted tactic seems to flatten them). I was drawn to this diptych:


Coming up at Platform: Scott Fife with all new work in September; in October, A Spectral Glimpse, a group show with Platform’s first guest curator, the extraordinarily capable Jim O’Donnell.

6:15 pm.

James Harris Gallery: Rashid Johnson: Dark Matters

I’m writing about this one for next week, so I’ll be quiet here and just give you this link and this image.


“I Never Thought My Toilet Could Be an Oasis of Comfort and Happiness!”

posted by on July 13 at 9:39 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, the Washlet.

(Mildly and temporarily NSFW, thanks to a row of behinds with smiley faces on them displayed during the intro. And thank you, Slog tipper Keith.)

“Where Funny Goes to Die”

posted by on July 13 at 9:21 AM


The venerable Radar on “the long, sad decline of Robin Williams.” Sing it, sister.

Morning News

posted by on July 13 at 8:25 AM

No War?: Bush scoffs as House votes to bring troops home.

Less Sex: Teenagers report less sex, more condoms, less pregnancies, and more graduating.

More Sales: New FDA rules boost business for emergency contraception.

Less Smoking: More and more states enact outdoor smoking bans.

More Pay?: Congress targets sexist SC ruling on unequal pay.

No X-Mas Trees or Menorahs: Committee recommends Port should not display religious symbols.

Lower Ranking: U.S. News and World Report takes UW Medical Center out of top 10.

And of course, more poetry. The winner of the Washington Poet Association’s 2007 Poetry contest is:

Going up

by Ann Gerike

In my childhood, elevators lumbered.
A uniformed attendant perched
on a fold-down seat inside - a girl, my mother said,
because all the brave boys were off at war.

Continue reading "Morning News" »

That Pampered Politician

posted by on July 13 at 8:02 AM

Remember when conservatives insisted we just had to impeach Bill Clinton because, amongst other things, he took calls from politicians and world leaders while getting blowjobs? He defiled the White House, demeaned his office, and somehow violated all those innocent politicians and world leaders?

Well, well, well: Sen. David Vitter (R-Depends) took calls from the DC Madam in the Capitol Building when he was still a Congressman—and at least two of the calls came as he was casting votes. So he’s pretty much got to resign, right?

Of course not!

Sen. Jim DeMint, a Republican from South Carolina, doesn’t think we should be too hard on poor Mr. Vitter. Because when it comes to Republican sex scandals that “judge not lest ye be judged” crap in the bible apparently kicks in.

“We all think that we’re not vulnerable to something like that happening,” DeMint said, “but the fact is this can be a very lonely and isolating place to be away from your family. So I’m certainly not going to judge him because I don’t want that kind of pressure on me.”

Sen. DeMint voted to impeach Bill Clinton.

Let Us Now Praise Seattle Public Library

posted by on July 13 at 8:00 AM

When in the course of human evenings it becomes necessary to find the answers to the questions in the Ketel One ad on the back of the current New Yorker, and it’s after midnight, it is something to know that Seattle Public Library is there for you. In a shifting, stricken, electronically connecting world, is at the ready. It’s true that long before midnight the librarians manning the quick information line (whom I love) have gone home, but the library has connections. It knows some people. It’s not a problem.

Before we go any further, here is the back of the current New Yorker (at least it’s dated this Monday—there’s probably an even newer one downstairs in the mail box):


In case you can’t see the image, it’s an all-white page with text on it. At the top it says “Dear Ketel One Drinker” and continues “Here are the answers to 10 commonly asked questions.”

The answers to the 10 commonly asked questions are:

George Washington
Depends on who you ask
Down the hall, second door on your left
District of Columbia
86 Cents
The Nile (if you include the Blue & White)
114 Years, 211 days
93.2 million miles

OK, so I didn’t need an answer from Seattle Public Library. I needed a question. I needed the question that “114 Years, 211 days” was the answer to. Because I knew all the other questions.

The first answer, “Yes,” is clearly the answer to the question “Do you find Christopher Frizzelle unbelievably attractive?” “George Washington” is “Who was the first president of the United States?” “Briefs,” “Depends on who you ask,” and “Down the hall, second door on your left” are advertising writers having fun around a conference room table. “District of Columbia” is the answer to “What does the abbreviation in Washington, DC stand for?” “86 cents” is hard, but, with Google’s help, I’m guessing it’s either “Roughly how much do women make for every dollar a man earns?” (from one website: “Women make 86 cents for every dollar men earn in the District of Columbia”; from another: “Female managers in the communications industry made 86 cents for every dollar”; from another: “Asian Pacific American women earn 86 cents for every dollar”) or “How much is an Aussie worth next to a U.S. dollar right now?” The answer “The Nile (if you include the Blue & White)” is clearly the answer to “What’s the longest river in the world?” And “93.2 million miles” is “How far is the sun from Earth?”

But this “114 Years, 211 days”—this one isn’t easy. When I Googled “114 Years, 211 days” I got tables of numbers, pages of equations, databases full of dates. When I put “114 Years, 211 days” in quotes and Googled that, I got only one page: Some guys on a Google Groups thread talking about the “booze ad on the back of The New Yorker.” (I feel so much less alone!)

People weighed in to that Google Group with answers. But the only answer anyone posted—er, question—for “112 Years, 211 days” was: “How long was the 100 Years’ War? (Well, actually, someone else did pose another question that “112 Years, 211 days” could answer: “When will the Celtics hang up another championship banner?”) But Wikipedia says the 100 Years’ War was 116 years. Huh.

I went to the library to see if someone there could help. I went to and clicked on Contact the Library. Then I clicked on Live chat (24/7). Then I typed in my name, my email address, my question, and hit Chat.

Here is what I typed in:

OK. This is a little weird. “114 years, 211 days” is the answer to a question. I need to figure out what the question is. There’s an ad on the back of The New Yorker for Ketel One, and they have a list of “the answers to 10 commonly asked questions,” and “114 years, 211 days” is the only one I can’t figure out the answer to. The question isn’t “How long was the Hundred Years’ War?” because, according to Wikipedia, the Hundred Years’ War lasted 116 years. Is Wikipedia wrong? Or can you think of another question “114 years, 211” days is the answer to? Help me out! thanks, christopher

I hit the button, that went off into space, and a new window opened with instructions to the left and, to the far right, in a vertical column:

Hello, christopher frizzelle
Thank you for your question. There may be a brief delay while we connect you to a librarian. While you wait, can you provide any more information about your question…

Two minutes later, the following text appeared below that:

Jasmine (24/7 Librarian): Librarian ‘Jasmine (24/7 Librarian)’ has joined the session.


christopher frizzelle: Hey Jasmine.
Jasmine (24/7 Librarian): Hi Christopher

It was 12:12 AM, and I had this new friend, Jasmine.

Jasmine (24/7 Librarian): My name is Jasmine, and I’m a reference librarian with the QuestionPoint chat service. Your librarians have asked our librarians to staff this 24-hour service when they are unavailable. I’m reading your question right now to see how I can help you…

Two minutes passed, and she said:

Jasmine (24/7 Librarian): If there are slight delays, it’s because I’m assisting other patrons along with you, but I’m right here with you also.

Isn’t that sweet?

Another four minutes passed.

Jasmine (24/7 Librarian): Still searching, Wikipedia is not always accurate.

Look at Jasmine and I, in this together. She’s so right, Wikipedia isn’t always accurate.

christopher frizzelle: great, thanks.
christopher frizzelle: great, thanks.

[I accidentally hit the button twice. Slight delay on the site.]

Rather abruptly, Jasmine dumps me without so much as a personal goodbye. All I get is a message that says:

Librarian: Please wait a moment while I transfer you to another librarian

Jasmine, we coulda had something! We coulda been some people! You and me, baby. Why’d you have to go chang—

Two minutes later:

Raul (24/7 Librarian): Hi

Hey, Raul!

christopher frizzelle: Hey, Raul.
Raul (24/7 Librarian): I’m reading your question.
Raul (24/7 Librarian): I’m now searching.

And then, in a miraculous two minutes flat:

Raul (24/7 Librarian): On March 29, the Guinness Book of World Records certified her as the oldest living woman at 114 years and 211 days
Raul (24/7 Librarian): /msg01378.html

As this link appeared in the far right column, a web page—that very page he’s just given me the URL for—opened up automatically in the larger left frame.

christopher frizzelle: oh, awesome.
christopher frizzelle: did you just find that through google?
Raul (24/7 Librarian): Puerto Rican Ramona Iglesias-Jordan died on March 29 aged 114 years and 211 days.
Raul (24/7 Librarian): yes

A minute went by.

Raul (24/7 Librarian): Can I help you with anything else

I kind of wanted to keep talking.

christopher frizzelle: somehow google couldn’t find that for me. well, thanks. hey, just curious, where in the world are you? I’ve never used this service before.

But Raul was all business. A minute went by, and then:

Raul (24/7 Librarian): This service is monitored by librarians across the United States when your local library is not open.

So, like, everyone can see us, Raul, is that what you’re saying? They can see what we’re saying to one another? Before I could reply—

Raul (24/7 Librarian): Thank you for using our service. Please, contact us again if you need further assistance. Goodbye.

The whole thing took 16 minutes.

Then there was a pop-up survey about my experience. Under “The ease of using this online reference is?” I clicked “Very Easy.” Under “Will you use this service again?” I clicked “Very Likely.”

But in the “Additional Comments” field, I was honest about my feelings:

This service is excellent.

One thing: I wish I knew where my librarian was. Just for the sake of, I dunno, true global connectivity. It’s 12:29 AM in Seattle — dead of night — but it is, for example, 9:29 AM in Madrid. I picture the guy who just helped me sitting at a desk and eating a muffin, his blinds open onto a view of Madrid in the morning sun.

He’s a librarian, but he’s also human, right?

thanks again (whoever’s getting this, wherever you are),

It’s only now—now that I’m retyping all this for you—that I see that Raul told me the thing is “monitored by librarians across the United States.” So much for Madrid. Or the morning sun. Maybe he was eating a muffin.

Anyway: Raul, ladies and gentlemen.

Ch Ch Ch Ah Ah Ah

posted by on July 13 at 6:00 AM

The interweb has given us many things over the years, including leetspeak, embedded MIDI files of the theme from Small Wonder, and pictures of rabbits stacking things on their head. But now, I think, the zenith of radness has been reached. It’s over. It’s done. Behold: Every single money shot from the Friday the 13th series, in chronological order.

(Personally, I’m partial to #37. Yeeouch.)

NSFW, natch.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

You Know Your City Council Candidates Aren’t Too Impressive When…

posted by on July 12 at 9:11 PM

your college intern (she’s been handed the thankless, enslaved task of coordinating our ed board interviews) sends you a housekeeping e-mail that includes this sentence:

Hope you enjoyed the interview today— I thought it ran smoothly, but was much less impressed by the candidates than by those for the Port.. oh well.

There you have it City Council hopefuls: The intern thought the Port candidates put on a better show.

Indeed, we had a Port race in yesterday and one of the City Council races in today. Don’t want to say too much before our primary endorsement issue comes out in about 4 weeks (to synch up with when you receive your ballots in the mail), but so far, one candidate tried to bribe us with waffle cookies and carrot cake and another told us about Freud and tunnels and wombs.

Totally true.

“Hey, Buddy.”

posted by on July 12 at 7:59 PM

Talking Points Memo has the police report that details Florida state Rep. Bob Allen’s bathroom cruising technique, quotes his pick-up lines, and puts to rest any questions about who was supposed to blow who for that $20.

Florida State Rep. Bob Allen—conservative Republican, married man, father of one, and campaigner against public lewdness and sexual predators—is an oral bottom who lewdly preys on police officers in public restrooms.

For those of you keeping score at home, that makes Allen a cocksucking hypocrite—not to be confused with U.S. Senator David Vitter, the diaper-wearing hypocrite from Louisiana.

Oh, and check this out—it’s a collection of David Vitter’s campaign ads from 2004, dug up for our enjoyment by those indispensable muckrakers at TPM. The first one is priceless.

Things tend to come in threes… so gee, I wonder who’s next?

Clay St. & Denny Way

posted by on July 12 at 6:00 PM



As you probably know by now, eleven US 7-11 stores have been temporarily transformed into Kwik-E-Mart’s to cash in on the upcoming Simpsons movie.

I’m a huge Simpsons fan, so I couldn’t help but get a little giddy when I heard the 7-11 on Denny —at the south end of Seattle Center— was one of the few stores getting made over.


Last Saturday, I drove down to the Kwik-E-Mart to check things out. As I pulled up, a swarm of mid-20’s frat-types —decked out in cowboy hats and flip flops— huddled in the middle of the parking lot snapping pictures of each other. It was waaaay busier than I expected at 1AM.


Inside, I quickly discovered my journey to dork mecca had been a complete waste of time. They were out of everything. No Buzz Cola, no Krusty-O’s, no donuts. It felt like a cop out to get a “Squishee” and I wasn’t about to pay $15 for the lonely Homer Simpson bobblehead on the front counter but I felt like I had to walk out with something memorialize my pilgrimage. I grabbed 22 of Becks and a packet of Skittles. Mmm…Skittlebrau.

I got home, tore open the package of Skittles (original flavor, or whatever) and popped the top off of the beer.

Everything went into a pint glass, which promptly erupted all over my kitchen counter.


If you’ve ever wondered what gritty, bitter medicine tastes like, well, it tastes like Skittlebrau.

While my first trip to the Kwik-E-Mart was pretty fruitless, I’ll be back to get my hands on some Buzz Cola or Krusty-O’s and I’ll report back later this week.

Bush Makes Children Cry

posted by on July 12 at 5:58 PM

The Asshole-In-Chief decided to make fun of a 13-year-old girl who asked him a question about immigration, prompting the girl, who described herself later as “very shy,” to burst into tears.

He tried to make up for the faux pas by telling the girl her question was “very good” and bringing her backstage after the event. Yeah, like that’s going to put her right at ease. Via Pam.

Huh Bao?

posted by on July 12 at 5:50 PM

I’ve always wondered what made Hum Bao so terribly delicious. Now I know.

BEIJING — Chopped cardboard, softened with an industrial chemical and made tasty with pork flavoring, is a main ingredient in batches of steamed buns sold in one Beijing neighborhood, state television said.

Countless small, often illegally run operations exist across China and make money cutting corners by using inexpensive ingredients or unsavory substitutes. They are almost impossible to regulate.

Squares of cardboard…are first soaked to a pulp in a plastic basin of caustic soda — a chemical base commonly used in manufacturing paper and soap — then chopped into tiny morsels with a cleaver. Fatty pork and powdered seasoning are stirred in.

Mmm…fatty pork and cardboard.

Do you think I can get a dozen shipped here?

Via AP

Moral Masochism

posted by on July 12 at 5:02 PM

The other day, a friend gave me a copy of The Journalist and the Murderer by Janet Malcom which, I’m ashamed to admit, I hadn’t read before. “Read the first sentence,” he said, “and tell me you don’t want to keep reading.”

The first sentence goes like this:

Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.

It gave me a warm, wistful feeling, the exact same feeling I got this first time I read this passage in Didion’s introduction to Slouching Towards Bethlehem:

My only advantage as a reporter is that I am so physically small, so temperamentally unobtrusive, and so neurotically inarticulate that people tend to forget that my presence runs counter to their best interests. And it always does. That is one last thing to remember: writers are always selling somebody out.

I don’t know why, but those sad condemnations give me pleasure, scratch some deep itch—the kind of itch masochists must feel when they think about corporal punishment.

Money in History Part One

posted by on July 12 at 4:24 PM

The people of Yap Island once made money from stone.
The coins in the picture are called Rai and were carried by two strong men.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 12 at 3:39 PM

The Snare: A Stolen Looper.

KUBE’s Crack Rock: “Party Like a Rockstar” Within Five Minutes? Yes!

Keytarded: Pleasurecraft on the Pleasures of the Keytar and Les Rhythmes Digitales.

Cradle Your Head: Get Down, Go to the Opera.

Vice Squad: Jonathan Zwickel Visits the Year 2080.

It Takes Two: The Saturday Knights and Girl Talk.

How Many Did You Take? Do You Need To Throw Up?: Jerry Abstract’s “Max Volume_Yellow.”

How Was Its of the Near Past: Remembering the Klaxons.

COME ON!: Feel It Already!

The Bear Speaks

posted by on July 12 at 2:59 PM


As part of their coverage of the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love, the San Francisco Chronicle’s Joel Selvin tracked down Owsley “Bear” Stanley during a recent visit to the Bay Area. Stanley is the first person to mass produce LSD in the mid-’60s—an estimated 1.25 million hits. He’s notoriously private, Selvin writes, rarely allowing his photo to be taken and spending the last couple decades living in isolation on the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia, waiting out the ecological disaster he believes is impending.

Owsley has subsisted on a meat-only diet for the past 40 years or so, even when things got really bad during a recent bout with throat cancer. Writes Selvin, “At one point, he was reduced to injecting his puree of steak and espresso directly into his stomach.”

Some of Stanley’s words to take to heart: “What I did was a community service, the way I look at it. I was punished for political reasons. Absolutely meaningless. Was I a criminal? No. I was a good member of society. Only my society and the one making the laws are different.”


“Any time the music on the radio starts to sound like rubbish, it’s time to take some LSD.”

Read the whole story here.

“There’s No Situation So Tragic the Police Can’t Make It Worse”

posted by on July 12 at 2:54 PM

Yesterday, Washington State Patrol troopers found 8-year-old Chandler Osman in the cab of a truck that had just crushed her grandfather to death underneath it. Larry Maurer, 63, was trying to repair the vehicle after it broke down by the side of the highway. How did the troopers console the little girl? By interrogating her, raiding her home, and arresting her parents.

You see, Chandler reportedly admitted that her parents, Bruce and Rainee Osman, grew marijuana – as medicine – in their Kent home. How did the pot topic come up? A routine online search under the parents’ names would have revealed the couple was busted for medical pot in 2005, but no criminal charges were filed because they were authorized by their doctor to cultivate marijuana under Washington’s Medical Use of Marijuana Act. Rather than trust records that the parents were abiding by the law, rather than investigate the case later to make sure the pot paperwork checked out, rather than get a warrant to search the home, and rather than take any humane step for the grieving family, WSP troopers apparently got the terrified girl to incriminate her parents and then they headed directly to the family’s home.

“The officer pushed the door open and he cuffed [my wife]. Then I slowly walked up and put my hands up,” said Bruce Osman. “They handcuffed us and brought us out into the sun.” The couple, who suffers from Hepatitis C and other ailments, was not allowed to re-enter for four hours while officers ransacked their apartment, removed the plants, and seized $2000. Video of the upturned house from KING TV here. And lest we forget, this all happened less than a week after the Seattle Times ran a front-page story glorifying efforts to bust pot growers in King County.

“The killer here is that the officers had to know it was medical marijuana. They knew it was medical the whole time,” said the couple’s defense attorney Douglas Hiatt, working with veteran drug defense attorney Jeff Steinborn, whose comment on the case is the headline of this post. Authorization forms signed by doctors were posted in the marijuana garden. Hiatt contends it was illegal to search the house without a warrant and to seize the plants, and he believes police may have crossed the line by interrogating the girl without notifying her guardians.

So why would Washington State Patrol officers pursue a moderate drug bust that won’t stand up in court, and worsen the grief of an eight-year-old girl and her parents?

Hiatt thinks they did it simply because they could. “The medical marijuana law has no arrest protection and only an affirmative defense,” he says. An affirmative defense only provides relief from prosecution once a defendant goes before a judge, so the WSP officers apparently just wanted to harass the grief-stricken family on a technicality.

The WSP is also notoriously budthirsty. The agency receives a massive annual grant from the DEA to reward informants who turn in marijuana growers. When I called WSP’s marijuana hotline last year, the nice hotline lady told me tippers are motivated by a “revenge factor,” as most of the snitches are ex-girlfriends and ex-wives. The agency offers up to $5000 to each informant.

Continue reading "“There’s No Situation So Tragic the Police Can’t Make It Worse”" »

Walk It Out, Fosse

posted by on July 12 at 2:52 PM

While we’re walking it out&hellip

I hope I’m not the only person who notices that these ladies seem to include a proto-Humpty Dance. I say that because whenever that song comes on in some public space, I’m the only person who even knows how to do it. At any rate, I have recently been practicing these Fosse moves at home, so please beware when/if you are at tha club. I may gallop across your toes or nod “Yes” furiously. Or wear pouffe sleeves, at that time.

For any of y’all who don’t know what “walking it out” means, please take my advice and skip the original UNK video (it doesn’t show enough of the actual dance). Instead, see this walk it out contest, in which dancers of varying skill and style—uh—dance, variously.

Letter of the Day

posted by on July 12 at 2:31 PM

roundabout.jpgAt Summit and Olive St a white circle showed up around June 22. I assumed the city had painted it in preparation for a roundabout but didn’t bother looking into it. Last night, someone decided to change it into a peace sign: peaceabout.jpg

I love this city : )


Crunk Juice, Walk It Out

posted by on July 12 at 2:27 PM


posted by on July 12 at 2:00 PM

In Counter•Intel this week, I argue that despite his intentions, Mayor Nickels’s review of the OPA’s work on the controversial George Patterson arrest—released on Monday— is not the soft ball whitewash that Nickels intended it to be. Nor is it the whitewash activists perceive it to be.

In fact, I argue that OPA director Kathryn Olson’s report is damning and adds indisputable credibility to activist demands that the Mayor get tough on the Chief.

I wish police accountability activists would seize Olson’s report—she adamantly yanks the OPA’s previous finding that exonerated the officers against charges they lied—rather than pooh-poohing it, and make the case that when the OPA director scolds cops like that, the Mayor and the Chief need to take action against those cops.

Swimming With Bowlegged Women

posted by on July 12 at 1:54 PM

Earlier in the week, I loudly trumpeted the singular glory of Shark Attack 3: Megalodon.

It’s taken some time to post a follow-up; partly because I’m lazy and shiftless, but mostly because I was too honestly flabbergasted by a certain part to proceed. You see, there’s this one line of ultra-smoove romantic dialog that, um, comes out of nowhere.

Warning: NSFW

Top that, Mr. Spielberg.

Swift-Boating Giuliani

posted by on July 12 at 1:45 PM

Some New York firefighters don’t think he’s the hero of 9-11, and they’re letting the world know…

(via Sullivan)

MY God is the ONLY God

posted by on July 12 at 1:35 PM

The Senate dared to open with a Hindu prayer today, and some looney fundies decided they needed to disrupt it—because, you know, their God is the only true God.

CNN has the video.

Germans Selling Alcohol in Powder Form

posted by on July 12 at 1:05 PM


From Germany’s Deutsche Welle:

They look harmless enough, the inconspicuous packets often next to the cashier at gas stations, convenience stores, beverage stores and bars. But according to consumer protection officials, that’s what makes them all the more dangerous, since the powder inside contains alcohol, and a lot of it—about 4.8 percent by volume. That is the equivalent of one to one-and-a-half glasses of liquor.

Apparently the kids are buying it and… uh, you know, getting drunk.

Now please enjoy an orchestral version of the German national anthem.

(Thanks for the tip, Durr.)

Hard GOP Partisans Power Rossi’s “Non-Partisan” Non-Profit

posted by on July 12 at 12:12 PM

Seattle Times reporter Ralph Thomas follows up the brouhaha about Dino Rossi’s non-profit, Forward Washington (the State Democrats filed a complaint with the state alleging FW is really a Rossi for Governor campaign outfit) with an article this morning about FW’s activities.

Under the headline “Rossi group replaying themes of 2004 race” Thomas’s reporting makes it clear that FW is nothing more than a soap box for Rossi’s GOP agenda.

Thomas writes:

For the past month, Rossi has been touring the state promoting the foundation’s “Washington Idea Bank.” The plan, he says, is to solicit suggestions from regular citizens, then offer the best ones to the Legislature and governor.

Democrats have been sending a staff member armed with a video camera to nearly every Forward Washington event, just as they did at Rossi’s 2004 campaign appearances.

Their footage shows that Rossi hasn’t altered his message much — covering many of the same issues, even including some of the same anecdotes and turns of phrase.

Rossi also has been using many of the talking points that Republican leaders in the Legislature came up with earlier this year to criticize the budget increases Gregoire and the Democrats approved.

But I think Thomas misses a few important tidbits.

He doesn’t report that Matthew Manweller, the Chairman of the Kittitas County Republican Party, is on the FW committee in charge of winnowing down citizen ideas to present to the legislature. He also doesn’t report that another member of the committee, Susan Hutchison, is a regular GOP contributor, including donating $500 to hard partisan Stephen Johnson, the former state Republican Senator who ran a BIAW-backed campaign for state Supreme Court. She also considered running against Mike McGavick in the GOP primary last year. The only “balance” is committee member Lou Guzzo, who used to work for former conservative Dem Governor Dixie Lee Ray.

One FW board member (former GOP state Sen. Dan McDonald) is quoted in Thomas’ story defending FW. Thomas writes:

“[McDonald] is convinced Rossi would have launched the nonprofit regardless of whether he had any desire to run again. He chastised the Democrats for their sad and cynical view of the world.’ ‘I’m glad that he has chosen to not sideline himself,’ McDonald said.

This limp defense is worth unpackaging. First, McDonald frames his response as if Rossi is running for Governor. “Regardless of whether he had any desire to run” he’d be doing this? That is to say, even if he wasn’t running for Governor, he’d be doing this.

Second, non-profits are not allowed to engage in partisan activity. End of story. Whether Rossi is running for governor or not, he’s not allowed, as the head of a 501 (c) 4, to go around the state stumping on GOP issues. In other words, McDonald doesn’t even address the central accusation here—that FW is partisan. That’s called a non-denial denial, no?

Finally, McDonald unwittingly reveals—with a one-liner that sounds like it came straight from the Washington State Democrats talking points—the whole point of FW: “I’m glad he’s chosen not to sideline himself.” Exactly. FW was created to keep Rossi (and his ideas for state government) off the sidelines and in the headlines.

p.s. I can’t resist this one. When the NYT did a very similar article about John Edwards “non-profit” a few weeks back, I said here on Slog that Rossi seemed to be up the same sort of thing. Knee jerk partisan Democrats attacked me in the comments thread—ignoring my point about Rossi—and bashing me as an Edwards hater. I responded by asking if you’d have the same complaints about an article taking Rossi to task for his “non-profit.” Do you?

Komedy + Chop Suey = Red, Red Love

posted by on July 12 at 11:42 AM

First of all: You know who hated air conditioning? William Faulkner, who said that people who used it “were trying to get rid of the weather” and forbade it from his Mississippi home. You know who hated William Faulkner? His wife, who, the day after his funeral, got her revenge and bought a window unit.

More about Faulkner, his wife, and climate control at Maud Newton.


Second of all: Last night was the big debut for People’s Republic of Komedy at Chop Suey and the air conditioning worked fine.

In fact, it felt like a debutante ball, with the PROK guys all nervous and twitchy and the crowd all loud and drunky. (In a friendly way.) Some notes:

• The crowd was sizable for a debut night of standup comedy. The door guy said there were around 120 people there, which would have maxed out PROK’s old home at CHAC.

• Chop Suey’s interior design allows the audience to be more vicious. At CHAC, there was a wall between the stage and the bar, so the bored and the chatty could leave bad comics to torture their audiences undisturbed. In Chop Suey’s one big room, when the comic starts bombing, the decibel level shoots up, the comic crashes, and the satisfying smell of schadenfreude fills the air.

• There was a drink holder made of black wire on the mic stand, which, sadly, went unused.

• The lurid red light of Chop Suey gave Emmett Montgomery’s clown monologue (that starts with “listen Timmy, I know you’re a good kid because I’ve been living under your bed for five years and can hear your dreams” and ends with “there are two kinds of clowns in the world—the ones who put on makeup to look like clowns so they can go to the birthday parties and the clowns who put on makeup to look like people so they can go to the liquor store”) a whole new glaze of creepy.

• There were, as there must be, some bombers. The guy on tour from Nashville was wretched. It’s always gratifying to watch the macho, old-style comedians begin to sweat when they realize their dick jokes and chick jokes and “what’s up with Quizno’s?” routines aren’t going anywhere with the Laff Hole crowd. Again: schadenfreude!

• Happily, Nashville guy was the lone stinker. Andy Peters was one of my favorites with his raving, sad weirdness, ending every joke with “fuck you dad” and a sip of beer. Delivery is everything so it’s no use transcribing jokes, but his commercials for gas (“it makes your car go, so fuck you) were fantastic.

• As the last comics walked on stage, Emmett stood in the back, checked his watch, and gasped a little. “It’s after midnight,” he marveled. “It not my fault these bitches don’t know when to leave.” But us bitches weren’t going anywhere. We stayed for the last joke and clapped big.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 12 at 11:00 AM

‘Introducing the Dwights’ (MOVIE) There is only one reason to recommend the Aussie flick Introducing the Dwights: British actress Brenda Blethyn. Her interpretation of a working-class mother is powerful. By night, her character is an old-school entertainer; by day, she works in a cafeteria. There is nothing unusual about the character’s flaws (she smothers her sons), hopes (to be famous), and habits (heavy drinking). But there is something unusual about the way Blethyn brings this simple character to life. (See Movie Times for more info.) CHARLES MUDEDE
See what else is happening in Film on Thursday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Empathy Belly

posted by on July 12 at 10:27 AM

Let’s go back to the middle of the 19th century. In 1853, Queen Victoria made history by using chloroform during the birth of her 7th baby. However, several church leaders of the time were not at all pleased with her experiment. They believed that a pregnancy must be experienced in the way that God intended it to be experienced: with lots of pain. To reduce labor pains was to challenge one of God’s curses on mankind. Queen Victoria rejected this position, and the remaining two babies of her marriage were delivered in a happy haze.

I bring this piece of history up because of Jen Graves’ current feature “Getting Patrick Pregnant.” As a work of writing it’s electric—no issues there. My only problem with the story is fundamentally this: Why on earth would a man want to have a baby?

As the churchmen of Queen Victoria’s time knew, pregnancy is not a pleasant experience. It hurts the body. This is the main reason why the men and women of our urban/scientific age desire a permanent split between pregnancy and the body. We want sex to make a clean break with reproduction. On one side, reproduction should be entirely a matter of test tubes, artificial fluids, and incubators; on the other, sex should be nothing but a matter of pleasure.

Ultimately pregnancy is something we must liberate women from, not only because it harms the body but also because it harms the mind with its bad form of power—a power that is limited to the body and rooted in pity. (A great example of this type of pity is the Empathy Belly.) To liberate women from pregnancy is to liberate them from its bad power.

If Patrick were to become pregnant, this bad power would certainly affect his mind. We would soon see him walking around the streets of Seattle with that irrational air of pride. A pride that always says to all one thing: “Look at me! Look at me! Look at my big and ready belly.”

Progress in Iraq?

posted by on July 12 at 10:20 AM

Eight months ago, according to the Washington Post, CIA director Michael Hayden said this to the Iraq Study Group:

“The government is unable to govern,” Hayden concluded. “We have spent a lot of energy and treasure creating a government that is balanced, and it cannot function.”

And this:

“The levers of power are not connected to anything,” he said, adding: “We have placed all of our energies in creating the center, and the center cannot accomplish anything.”

Which is a big part of why the the Iraq Study Group declared the situation in Iraq to be “grave and deteriorating,” a conclusion that Bush largely ignored as he prepared his “surge” strategy, which, we find out today, has produced decidedly mixed results.

Unintentionally Filthy Comics

posted by on July 12 at 9:55 AM


God bless MetaFilter for directing me to this wondrous Comics Journal thread, featuring more unintentionally filthy comic panels than you can shoot coffee out your nose at.

Added bonus: My childhood fave Archie is represented by not one but two knockouts.

Re: Your Morning Dose of Anonymous

posted by on July 12 at 9:28 AM

I hate pitbulls. Yes, labs bite more people than bitpulls, as someone pointed out in the comments thread, but labs don’t kill and pitbulls do. I went looking for stories about pitbulls mauling kids to death and found this…

Pitbull Sodomizes Toddler A two-year-old pitbull, who showed no previous signs of aggression, sexually assaulted a toddler on Sunday. “A little boy was home with his family, and the family pit bull actually sodomized the boy,” said a police detective.

The 2-year-old boy suffered serious injuries and needed surgery. The family members and some neighbor’s had to resort to beating the dog to stop its sexual attack on the boy.

More on this horrible story here. Some other pit bull stories: pit bulls maul woman to death; pit bulls maul two children nearly to death; pit bulls tear a man’s hand off; one woman dead, another injured, in pit bull attack in Chicago; woman suffers “injuries on 90% of her body” after pit bulls attack in parking lot.

Nice dogs.

Your Morning Dose of Anonymous

posted by on July 12 at 9:09 AM

This morning brought the following I, Anonymous submission to my inbox. The writer draws a direct comparison between not liking pit bulls and racism. You learn something new every day.

For fuck’s sake! I have been searching, non-stop, for 2 weeks for an apartment for me and my sweet, well-trained pit bull mix. I’m even willing to pay your fucking ridiculous pet deposits and rent surcharges. I feel very sorry for you and your narrow mind. You are probably the type that operates on propaganda and stereotypes exclusively, aren’t you? No doubt your the one who crosses the street when you see me and my dog walking, not knowing my precious pup poses less of a threat to you than your own fucking ignorance. In case you didn’t realize, this is one of the most dog-friendly cities in this country and believe it or not, a select few of us are just insane enough to love these breeds and help fight the prejudices that surround them. Open your fucking mind you piece of dog shit! You don’t even realize the scale of the problem that you are contributing, I’m sure! Here’s an idea, why don’t you watch the news, figure out which racial groups are highlighted as especially dangerous and ban them from your fuckin’? shithole! Better yet, why don’t you fuck your grandmother? Or just have the decency to give a fuck and think before you act. Fuck off racist asshole!

Alabama Go Bragh!

posted by on July 12 at 8:33 AM

Black Irish” is a term that refers to persons of Irish descent that possess dark brown or black hair, as opposed to the traditional blondish or red hair typical of we Irish folk. Please note that this post has absolutely, positively nothing to do with this information in any way whatsoever.

But sure and you betcha, me boy-o’! ‘Tis even better below, the tall tale is—- told in (ahem) traditional Celtic verse!

Fabulous! So proud to be Irish, I am! And say what you will about the news in Alabama, experts agree that the above report is at least 75% more credible than anything FOX News has EVER done. Word.

Cloth or Disposable, Senator?

posted by on July 12 at 8:17 AM

Rumor has it that the DC Madam/Sen. Vitter scandal has, um, a NASA-esque angle. It’s truly Christmas in July.

Morning News

posted by on July 12 at 7:46 AM

Over There: White House claims some success in Iraq.

Over Here: Poised to get dirty bomb materials, undercover agents make mockery of anti-terrorism protections.

In Heaven: Former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, 94, ascends.

On the Pakistani/Afghani border: Regrouped and operational, Al-Qaeda is back.

“In His Gut”: Homeland Security Director Michael Chertoff believes a likelihood of terrorist threat is spiking.

Northern Lebanon: Lebanese army resumes bombing militant Palestinian camps.

On Death Row: For the first time in 60 years, South Dakota executes prisoner.

On Her List: After nailing Vitter, Larry Flynt is investigating 20 more leads in the “D.C. Madam” sex scandal.

At Home: Backlash? Full-Time work for moms not as popular as it was ten years ago.

In Heat: Seattle scorched with record 98 degree heat.

In Heat 2: Beckham and Posh pose for racy W spread.

On Video: Firefighters Union rolls out “Swiftboat” campaign against Giuliani.

The Washington Poets Association site seems to be down (?) So, here’s a link to the web site of the person that might become Washington State’s first Poet Laureate. (The legislature created the position earlier this year.)

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

posted by on July 12 at 5:05 AM

Man, the summer just keeps getting better.

Bob Allen, a Republican state rep in Florida and the co-chair of John “I Can Hate The Gays Too!” McCain’s Florida campaign, was arrested last night after allegedly offering an undercover cop $20 to let Allen suck him off.

Allen is married man, has a kid.

And guess what? Man, you’re never going to believe this! You better sit down! The allegedly cock-hungry Bob Allen has a strongly anti-gay voting record, a voting record that earned him a “worst of the worst” rating from a gay political group in Florida! It’s true!

For those of you keeping score at home: We’ve had two GOP hypocrites exposed in a single week! It’s like… Christmas came early and it’s my birthday too!

Oh, and there’s an amusing debate going on over at Talking Points Memo about whether Allen was offering to pay the cop—allegedly, allegedly—to perform oral sex Allen, or if we was offering to pay the cop to allow Allen perform upon him. Josh Marshall, like a lot of straight men, can’t seem to wrap his head around the fact that many gay men actually enjoy giving head—that’s what a lifetime of getting blowjobs from women can do to a guy, I guess. Hell, some gay men are exclusive oral bottoms, that is, always givers of head, never getters.

And in most cases where a male prostitute is engaged for oral sex, it is the prostitute that is “serviced,” not the client. Please make a note of it, Mr. Marshall.

UPDATE: More on Allen, via JoeMyGod: Allen authored Florida House Bill #1475, the “Lewd and Lecivious Behavior Act,” which would have made public masturbation in the presence of another adult illegal, whether the other adult consented or not. Now we know why oral sex wasn’t covered in Allen’s bill. Allen also lists “water sports” as a hobby on his website. Says JoeMyGod: “Hmm, he doesn’t look like he skis.”


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Iraq Is a “Mixed Bag”

posted by on July 11 at 11:36 PM

So the White House is about to issue a report that says that Iraq situation isn’t so bad.

The Bush administration will assert in the next few days that progress in carrying out the new American strategy in Iraq has been satisfactory on nearly half of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress, according to several administration officials.

Is that a joke? (Nearly half! Nice work guys! Nearly half! That’s like, well, that’s an F, but don’t think of it that way! Go team!) Of course, it’s not a joke, hilariously.

Morning Radio

posted by on July 11 at 6:11 PM

Jen Graves will be on KUOW at 9 am, talking about politics and art.

(But whatever. Call in and ask about men being pregnant.)

Clinton’s Money Problem in Washington

posted by on July 11 at 5:23 PM

If anyone out there was actually waiting with bated breath to see how I resolved my “Hillary” vs. “Sen. Clinton” vs. “Hillary Clinton” problem from yesterday, the answer is here, in my presidential election column for this week’s Stranger.

More interesting than the solution to yesterday’s problem, however, is something else that’s in the column, something I discovered about the fundraiser that Bill Clinton headlined for his wife in Seattle last month: The fundraiser failed to meet its target in a big way, yet another sign of Hillary Clinton’s trouble raising money in this state.

The Seattle fundraiser with Bill Clinton, held at the downtown Westin Hotel, was initially supposed to be a $500-a-plate affair. According to Susan Sheary, who chairs the King County Democrats and volunteered at the event, the price was subsequently dropped to $250 a plate—an indication that even the former president, who won this state by wide margins in both of his campaigns, was having a hard time drawing the desired crowd for Hillary Clinton.

Colby Underwood, the hotshot local Democratic fundraiser who was tapped by the Clinton campaign to pull off the event, said he could not comment on how much was raised. But Blake Zeff, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, told me via e-mail that Bill Clinton’s appearance at the Westin raised $100,000—only half of what organizers hoped.

In Washington, it’s John Edwards and Barack Obama who are leading in the money contest:

The most recent figure available for Clinton’s total fundraising in Washington came at the end of the first fundraising quarter. She had only $89,000, compared to Obama’s $211,000 and Edwards’s $245,000, according to

What’s going on? Some theories, from Congressman Jay Inslee (who has endorsed Clinton) and King County Democrats Chair Susan Sheary (who hasn’t endorsed anyone yet) can be found in my column.

Laff Hole Debuts at Chop Suey Tonight

posted by on July 11 at 5:06 PM


Tonight, People’s Republic of Komedy’s Laff Hole makes its Chop Suey debut. Brendan Kiley wrote about PROK’s split with former home CHAC here. It should be noted that Chop Suey has air conditioning.

We Want YOU, Kathy Halbreich

posted by on July 11 at 4:41 PM


It’s by popular vote, lady.

Toob Love

posted by on July 11 at 4:31 PM

This video is all that remains of an enormous impromptu art installation that appeared for four hours last Thursday afternoon in Volunteer Park, then disappeared.

The artist was Susan Robb, and the installation was called Warmth, Giant Black Toobs no. 3 I wrote about it in a column that just came out today.

Last Thursday was quintessential July. I wouldn’t have pegged Susan Robb for July, maybe October or April, something slyer, but last Thursday, she made a piece of quintessentially July art. It was hot and light and playful and right out on the lawn near the conservatory at Volunteer Park.

Robb has made her Toobs three times now. The first time was in Tieton, where the garbage-bag material they’re made of got shredded in the wild grass. The second time, she took photographs, and sent them out in an email announcing that they’d be going up last week.

In [the photograph], seven big stalks (toobs) like black baseball bats towered over the trees and over the white-dome top of the conservatory. They looked like they were taking themselves unfortunately seriously. Photographs are such liars. The real toobs—a nice gender-crossing word—weren’t serious at all. Staked to the ground at one end, they were flopping around in the wind like very conflicted, overly long phalluses. They were topped by knots that made their faces, when they came swinging in your direction, look like the butts of sausages.

Because of the difference between the toobs in photo and the toobs in person, I didn’t want to post anything about the toobs on Slog until video was available—which just happened today (perfect timing).

And now that I see the video, I’m struck that the video toobs seem neither like the still photograph of toobs no. 2 from before:


nor like the way they were in person out there on the lawn (light, hot, playful).

In the video, they’re much more mysterious, even a little foreboding, and very independent of the artist (which came across almost as strongly in person).

Robb’s sense of humor is still there—see the final seconds, when you’re stared down by the cyclops of a mischievous toob that breaks away from the bunch—but the lo-fi technology of Youtube and the sound she’s added prevent this from being a document.

It’s a new work.

RIP Lady Bird

posted by on July 11 at 4:04 PM

Lady Bird Johnson dies.

To quote my great friend Lee: “The worst thing about our parents and the coolest thing about our parents is that the First Lady was named Lady Bird and it didn’t faze them.”

How Was It? Beerzilla and Pioneer Square

posted by on July 11 at 3:59 PM

Hmm. This episode of How Was It?, filmed at The Seattle International Beerfest and the 2007 Pioneer Square Hot Dog Eating Competition, seems to raise 3 important questions:
1. How much do you pay for The Stranger when you buy it?
2. Which Stranger writer writes the most hearfelt poems?
3. Is there such thing as a fish hot dog?

Special thanks to Slogger Carollani, Keith Bacon, The Ivars Clam, and Angela Garbes.

Colbert Universe: A Mild Rebuttal

posted by on July 11 at 3:20 PM

I was sorry to read Jeff’s earlier savaging of the Tek Jansen comic. Having just read it myself, I wish I could argue, but, well, he sort of nailed it. Allow me to give props, however, to the book’s decidedly more good secondary tale Horn Like Me! A Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen Case File written by Seattle’s own Jim Massey. Massey, whose Oni series Maintenance just got optioned to Hollywood, is a very, very, very funny man, and I’m not just saying this because he once graciously contributed a cartoon to my review of 300. Ok, maybe it played a part, but his comic book is still awesome.

Awkwardness: Now With More Feelings!

posted by on July 11 at 2:55 PM

The title of this post does not accurately convey my thoughts on Alopecia (which are, obviously, thoughts of deepest sympathy).

But it does convey my thoughts on the following video. “I am a painter and I paint abstract landscapes. From feelings.”

And now, Bald Lady Paints With Head. Please enjoy.

(Thanks, Leah!)

Then It Hit Me

posted by on July 11 at 2:45 PM

Fuck—it is hot on the East Coast. But I just got back, and now this. Fuck.

Anyway, while I was there I saw these awesome pieces of graphic activism. Senators and fat cats whisked around Washington, D.C. have to travel in cars donned with these…


What license plate slogan would be most appropriate for politically correct and divided Washington State? Maybe “This space intentionally left blank”?

And next, from the Big Apple – which, when it bakes, smells nothing like apple pie – an agitprop wheat pasting. It’s a little Adbustersy, which can be insufferably pious, but this is a cheeky goad at New York’s starfuckers. (The “T” is missing from the beginning and the “e” is missing from the end. And, yes, the photo sucks.)


Requiem for a Block

posted by on July 11 at 2:14 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing

An online memorial to the soon-to-be-changing 500 block of East Pine Street.


Colbert Universe

posted by on July 11 at 1:59 PM

posted by Jeff Kirby


I was very excited to find in today’s mail that Oni Press had sent us the first issue of Stephen Colbert’s Tek Jansen comic book. Jansen is a character that Colbert has been talking about on his show for years, the space-hero protagonist of his fake sci-fi book. Now he’s actually put the character in a comic, “the stunning continuation of Stephen Colbert’s critically acclaimed, yet unpublished novel,” which seemed like it could be really funny. Unfortunately, it’s not. Colbert doesn’t write the comic himself, they’re written by John Layman and Tom Peyer (who wrote for the miserably unfunny Simpsons comics). The jokes come off as somebody trying to do an impression of Colbert, but doing it poorly. The character is basically just Zap Brannagan from Futurama with Colbert’s face, treading already thin “purposely-bad-to-be funny” space fantasy plotlines. Just like the Simpsons comics, the jokes don’t survive the jump to a new medium, even though these jokes were just humorous asides to begin with. Which is a bummer, I was hoping it would be hilarious.

Burner vs. Tom

posted by on July 11 at 1:49 PM

Looks, via Postman, as if state representative Christopher Hurst (D-Enumclaw) is bowing out of the Democratic primary in the race for the 8th District’s Congressional seat.

That leaves just two Democratic contenders, state senator Rodney Tom (D-Medina) and former 8th District Congressional candidate Darcy Burner, vying for the chance to take on Republican Dave Reichert next fall.

How the Daily Grill Grills Their Servers

posted by on July 11 at 1:45 PM

First thing: If you didn’t read last week’s Bar Exam about Daily Grill, do so now. (First paragraph: “Despite a half-dozen signs posted outside heralding its presence, downtown’s new Daily Grill is easy to miss. The exterior of the building, kitty-corner from the Cheesecake Factory at Seventh Avenue and Pike Street, is nondescript in the extreme, and the sheer profusion of “NOW OPEN” signs has the effect of negating them altogether. The name Daily Grill also has a way of sliding out of the mind—Current Restaurant? Everyday Eatery? Quotidian Brazier?…” All hail the Clement!)

Now: Someone has just emailed to me a leaked document. The leaker (in reference to this Slog post) writes:

Recently I found a quiz from that place. See the attached image. I doubt I could ever grasp enough server knowledge to work there.

The whole thing (several pages, one big image) is here. Here’s just the first page:


Thanks, gluechunk.


posted by on July 11 at 1:27 PM

Posted by Sage Van Wing


King County has opened up “cooling centers” for people to cope with the heat wave today. They also recommend you hang out in the library to cool off. I’m sure the librarians love that.

I recommend you eat a popsicle. I myself have fallen in love with them all over again.

(Picture via Sabores Senuales)

Too Hot to Sleep

posted by on July 11 at 1:25 PM

Don’t get me wrong. I love this heat. During the day.

But at night I can’t sleep. It’s too damn hot in my place. Kelly O tells me there’s some magical thing called a swamp cooler…


…and that I can make a low-budget one at home using a big block of grocery store ice and a fan.

Maybe I’ll try that tonight.

The List

posted by on July 11 at 1:11 PM


Contemplating a career in politics? Worried about what scandals might surface to derail you hopes and dreams?

Well, you better be sure to spend some time with a searchable database of phone numbers on Deborah Jeane Palfrey’s infamous list.

Mine’s not on there.

Away from Slog

posted by on July 11 at 12:54 PM

With the exception of my morning news freak out and the burn on the Rossi from Forbes magazine, I’m not going to be posting much today. (Hold your applause.)

It’s editorial board candidate interview season this month, and I’m busy with that all day today and tomorrow.

Examining Breasts at Safeway

posted by on July 11 at 12:52 PM

Yesterday I Slogged about the woman in a bikini I saw shopping at the Safeway at Madison and 23rd.

Today my inbox was brightened by a press release about “Safeway’s new, state-of-the-art digital mammography van”:

Safeway has partnered with the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA) to bring modern digital mammography to women in convenient locations. Places like Safeway grocery stores and office locations across Western Washington. They are accomplishing this through the creation of a mobile mammography van that will drive from location to location. In other words, if women won’t come to mammography, mammography will come to them. The mobile mammography unit will be loaded with next generation diagnostic equipment created by GE. This equipment moves mammography from an archaic past to streamlined and efficient future. Less invasive, faster, better diagnostic images and more comfortable than old mammography technology, the mobile mammography unit will be able to screen as many as 30 women a day.

Please join us for this special occasion.

Date and Location:
University District Safeway
3020 Northeast 45th Street
Seattle, WA
Monday, July 16, 10:00 a.m.

According to the press release, one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, so ladies, get them breasts checked. (And if you want to do some shopping in a bikini while you’re at it, go nuts.)

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 11 at 11:31 AM


(GASTROPOD) Did I say gastropod? (That’s because I love animals that poop on their heads.) I guess I meant gastropub, which is a word I can’t bear. Other stupidities you may encounter at Linda Derschang’s new establishment: hipsters, yuppies, crowds. One motherfucking amazing word that will lay you out flat: poutine. Smith’s poutine—fries, salty gravy, cheese curds just kissed by the frying pan—may or may not be authentic, but I’m getting faint just wanting it. (Smith, 332 15th Ave E, 709-1900. Poutine until 11 pm, 21+.) ANNIE WAGNER

Crumbling in Theory

posted by on July 11 at 11:16 AM

From a letter Goethe wrote to Lavater:

Like a big city, our moral and political world is undermined with subterranean roads, cellars, and sewers, about whose connection and dwelling conditions nobody seems to reflect or think; but those who know something of this will find it much more understandable if here or there, now or then, the earth crumbles away, smoke rises out of a crack, and strange voices are heard.

In this passage we see the seed of what the 20th century will recognize as Walter Benjamin’s way of thinking and style of writing. This is it completely.

The last paragraph of Oparin’s Origin of Life:

What we do not know today we shall know tomorrow. A whole army of biologists is studying the structure and organization of living matter, while a no less number of physicists and chemists are daily reveling to us new properties of dead things. Like two parties of workers boring from the opposite ends of a tunnel, they are working towards the same goal. The work has already gone a long way and very, very soon the last barriers between the living and the dead will crumble under the attack of patient work and powerful scientific thought.

When discussing the best literature produced in Russia’s Silver Age (from Leonid Andreyev’s peak to Isaac Babel’s disappearance), we must not exclude Oparin’s short scientific study of the possible origin of life. It’s impossible to separate the spirit and beauty of this text from, say, Bely’s Kotik Letaev .

From Lectures on the History of Philosophy:

Spirit often seems to have forgotten and lost itself, but inwardly opposed to itself, it is inwardly working ever forward (as when Hamlet says of the ghost of his father, “Well said, old mole! canst work i’ the ground so fast?”) until grown strong in itself it bursts asunder the crust of earth which divided it from the sun, its Notion, so that the earth crumbles away. At such a time, when the encircling crust, like a soulless decaying tenement, crumbles away, and spirit displays itself arrayed in new youth, the seven league boots are at length adopted. This work of the spirit to know itself, this activity to find itself, is the life of the spirit and the spirit itself.

Hegel’s “Final Result” is something that must be read at least once week. Writing rarely gets better (or muscular) than the conclusion to his lecture on the history of philosophy. It reads like an owl flying above the massive sprawl of a civilization in its magic hour, the hour of dusk.

Does This Happen To You?

posted by on July 11 at 11:05 AM


If so, you should enroll in this class at Seattle Central Community College:

STAYING FIT WHILE YOU SIT • $10 1 session, starts Oct 24(6583). Participants will learn how serious injury can occur while sitting. Exercises that can help cure or prevent various health problems will be demonstrated along with the dos and don’ts of injury prevention. Item: 6583 BE 1108 W 6:45P-8P Paxson/Tuttle

Knocked Out by Knocked Up

posted by on July 11 at 11:03 AM


I know I’m arriving late to this party, but last night I finally saw Knocked Up and loveloveloved it. I’m tempted to say I went into it as a Judd Apatow fan, except that my love for his work is primarily restricted to the sublime Freaks & Geeks. I don’t care much for what I’ve seen of Undeclared, and I actively resented The 40-Year-Old Virgin, which was so loose and light and gassy it hardly made a dent on my consciousness.

But from the very beginning—with ODB warbling, “I like it raw!” over the credits and the guys’ pothead Olympics—Knocked Up was a total delight. The lady who played Katharine Heigl’s sister? Amazing. The lady who played the E! executive? Ditto. The whole thing was packed with more messy and hilarious life than any comedy I’ve seen in years, and if you haven’t seen it yet, go go go.

Added heatwave bonus: Tonight Knocked Up continues its run at the Big Picture, home to booze, air-conditioning, and a movie that will warm your heart with F-words.

Inside the McCain Meltdown

posted by on July 11 at 9:59 AM

Politico didn’t get the gay sweaters bit, but it has an interesting look at the infighting and backstabbing that’s left McCain on the path to “driving the Straight Talk Express by himself.”

The ominous shakeup in the McCain campaign, Politico writes…

…Reflects one campaign dynamic that has not changed: the candidate.

“Straight Talk Express” Vs. “Gay Sweaters”

posted by on July 11 at 9:47 AM

The car wreck that is John McCain’s presidential campaign is taking a turn from pathetic to ridiculous. From Radar on-line:

In the final days of his imploding candidacy, John McCain has taken a page out of Richard Nixon’s play book, finding increasingly bizarre explanations for his political failures. Strangest of all: He reportedly feels his handlers forced him to wear “gay sweaters.”

According to one insider, the knit-picking was the crescendo of a tirade by the Arizona senator, in which he blistered aides about the minutiae of the campaign. While many septuagenarians live in a perpetual state of sweater weather, McCain reportedly declared his frustration with being told to don the perceived homosexual outerwear in order to look younger and more approachable.

Forbes to Dino Rossi: Really Sorry, Dude.

posted by on July 11 at 9:30 AM

Forbes magazine is handing Gov. Christine Gregoire a campaign gift.

You’ll remember that Republican Dino Rossi campaigned in 2004 on improving Washington state’s business climate. He said it was his number one priority.

Well guess what? Forbes is coming out with its rankings of the 50 states by business climate and Washington State is the feature story.

Why? Because it made the biggest leap over the last year from 12th Best State to do Busines to 5th Best State to do Business.

From the lead paragraph of the Forbes round-up:

In’s second annual Top States for Business, Virginia may be the top-ranked state for the second straight year, but Washington is the big story. The biggest mover (tied with Tennessee), rising from 12th to fifth place, Washington is also the only state to finish in the top five in three main categories (labor, regulatory environment and growth). And Washington’s numbers are up across the board when you look both backward and at projections into the future.

One of Washington’s big strengths is reduced red tape. The Office of Regulatory Assistance helps individuals and businesses sort through the many layers of government regulation all in one place. If a number of state agencies need to be contacted for a new business to obtain permits, it can be handled from one source.

That’s part of why Washington has had more businesses open per capita the past three years than any other state in the U.S. Another reason: A culture of innovation. “Innovation is the common thread throughout every industry in Washington,” says Juli Wilkerson, who heads up Washington’s economic development office. Venture capital spending in the state is the fifth-highest in the country, totaling $2.6 billion the past three years.

Man, Rossi and the Republicans just got seriously tasered. Their whole thing is supposed to be that Gregoire is expanding government at the expense of the marketplace. Actually her budget is just keeping up with the economy. And apparently, she’s doing a damn good job with the marketplace.

The Forbes article ends with this bullet to Rossi’s head:

With a highly educated work force and a pro-business regulatory environment, Washington is poised to remain one of the best states to do business in—and to climb even higher on next year’s list.

From the Cosmos to the Galaxy

posted by on July 11 at 9:08 AM

Reporters are well aware of the fact that Bekham today is in the same situation that Pelé was in three decades ago when he joined the New York Cosmos.


The question that has yet to be answered is whether Beckham’s presence will have a shooting star’s bright but quickly fading arc, as Pele’s did in the 1970s in the ultimately bankrupt North American Soccer League. Or will Beckham’s charisma provide sustaining momentum until the next soccer superstar arrives, the way Magic Johnson and Larry Bird reinvigorated the NBA in the 1980s and prepared the way for Michael Jordan’s ascendancy?

But America does not need soccer; what it needs is a better form of baseball (cricket) and a better form of football (rugby). In other words, it needs a sport for real gentlemen and a sport for real men.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

posted by on July 11 at 7:57 AM

“I’m a conservative who opposes radically redefining marriage, the most important social institution in human history,” Mr. Vitter, a 46-year-old Republican, wrote in a letter last year to The Times-Picayune, the New Orleans daily.

That self-created image, a political winner here since 1991, when Mr. Vitter joined the Louisiana House, took a tumble Monday with the disclosure that his phone number was among those on a list of client numbers kept by Deborah Jeane Palfrey, the so-called D.C. Madam, who is accused of running a prostitution ring in Washington.

Mr. Vitter admitted Monday night to a “very serious sin in my past,” and talk radio and coffee shops here buzzed all day Tuesday with the front-page news, even as the senator remained out of sight. But the fallout was far bigger than local: his admission is also a blow to the presidential campaign of Rudolph W. Giuliani, for whom he is Southern campaign chairman.

Mr. Vitter, an uncompromising foe of abortion, same-sex marriage and the immigration compromise that died in the Senate in June, was supposed to be Mr. Giuliani’s ambassador to a region with large numbers of social conservatives suspicious of the candidate’s moderate views. His viability in that role is now in doubt with his acknowledgment that his number was already in the phone records of Pamela Martin & Associates before he ran for the Senate in 2004….

Mr. Giuliani said Tuesday after a town-hall-style meeting in Concord, N.H., that he had not spoken to Mr. Vitter and that there had been no decision about whether the senator would remain in the campaign…. But Mr. Vitter’s position in the campaign could now be all the more tenuous given the questions surrounding some of Mr. Giuliani’s other choices, including that of Thomas Ravenel, who stepped down as South Carolina campaign chairman last month after being charged with distribution of cocaine.

Morning News (Freak Out)

posted by on July 11 at 7:51 AM

What was that, President Bush? Why are we in Iraq? Because this is a war against the same people who attacked us on 9/11, you say … again? The same people who attacked us on 9/11?? The same people who attacked us on 9/11? You know what President Bush? You have the highest disapproval rating since Richard Nixon. You have the highest disapproval rating since Richard Nixon. You have highest disapproval rating since Richard Nixon. I guess that’s what happens to U.S. Presidents who’s legacy is a bundle of lies. Bite me, President 66% Disapproval Rating. Here’s Bush’s speech on Iraq and here’s an article in the liberal NYT about it, you frat boy schmegege.

And if the war in Iraq against al Qaeda is going so well, why does the White House now think an al Qaeda cell has gotten into the U.S.? They’re holding a special meeting at the White House on Thursday about the pending al Qaeda attack. Or are they just holding the meeting because they need to scare us out of that disapproval rating?

Meanwhile, it’s hard to believe, but this is the most damning thing I’ve read yet about the Bush Administration. It’s not as if we didn’t know all this stuff already—that Bush lets politics rather than science dictate policy on stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, global health, and second-hand smoke—but damn, read this article. It’s the epitaph on the Bush era. Bush’s surgeon general between 2002 and 2006 says Bush’s politics trumped health care findings. Hey President Brain Power, 66% means two thirds. Two thirds of Americans disapprove of you and your politics.

And I knew this about the Bush administration already too, but the AP confirmed it by getting a leaked copy of an FBI report to Congress that details how the Bureau uses data mining techniques to spy on us. Again, I feel like I already knew this. But now, I’m sort of freaking out about it.

And in international news, I imgaine it’s all Israel’s fault or perhaps it’s a reaction to bullish Western Values (that we’re too culturally insensitive to understand), but I don’t know, call me high: Iran seems laughably, pathetically, totally creepy in its own right. An Iranian man is stoned to death for adultery.

I trashed Gregoire and the Democrats for not stepping up and passing a cap and trade bill to limit CO2 earlier this year. Instead, our bold governor called for a task panel force study blue ribbon. So, even though this new bill in the U.S. Senate has been watered down, I gotta say, I can’t believe Sen. Arlen Specter is more liberal than Gov. Gregoire. U.S. Senate to take up promising, compromise cap & trade bill.

I liked baseball … for a half-a-second…when I was. 8! God, who gives a damn about baseball anymore. Apparently, Seattle’s own Ichiro did really great at the Mid-Summer Classic.

97 degrees? Heatwave in Seattle. It’s hot in my apartment.

To quote Allen Ginsburg: “The reading seems to be going reasonably well. Shall we have some more poetry now?” Today’s installment from the Washington Poet’s Association:

What is Poetry?

by Ed Stover

First, I asked the wind,
but the wind merely danced and ran away.

So I went to the river clear and cold.
It only chuckled and raced on to the sea.

I asked the orchards and fields white with frost,
but they were asleep, dreaming of spring.

Continue reading "Morning News (Freak Out)" »

Is There Anything the Bush Administration Hasn’t Completely Politicized?

posted by on July 11 at 7:33 AM

Today’s New York Times has a story about some delightful new congressional testimony. Former Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona—the nation’s top public health official—walked a congressional panel through the things the Bush administration refused to let him discuss in public.

The administration, Dr. Carmona said, would not allow him to speak or issue reports about stem cells, emergency contraception, sex education, or prison, mental and global health issues.

So for four years the Surgeon General of the United States—the “nation’s doctor”—was allowed to discuss, basically, the public health threat posed by lawn darts. But only if remembered to heap praise on Dear Leader during those anti-lawn dart speeches, of course. Back to the NYT:

Dr. Carmona said he was ordered to mention President Bush three times on every page of his speeches. He also said he was asked to make speeches to support Republican political candidates and to attend political briefings.

The administration even politicized the Special Fucking Olympics.

…administration officials even discouraged [Carmona] from attending the Special Olympics because, he said, of that charitable organization’s longtime ties to a “prominent family” that he refused to name. “I was specifically told by a senior person, ‘Why would you want to help those people?’ ” Dr. Carmona said.

The Special Olympics is one of the nation’s premier charitable organizations to benefit disabled people, and the Kennedys have long been deeply involved in it. When asked after the hearing if that “prominent family” was the Kennedys, Dr. Carmona responded, “You said it. I didn’t.”

We have 18 more months of this to get through—and God only knows how long it’s going to take to repair the damage done to our democracy by George W. Bush.


posted by on July 11 at 1:07 AM

Am I the only one haunted by this association?

Shia LaBoeuf:

Sleepy LaBeef:

The Best Website in the History of the World?

posted by on July 11 at 1:01 AM

Sorry if this is old news, but the site for Miranda July’s most excellent book of most excellent short stories is, perhaps unsurprisingly, most excellent.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


posted by on July 10 at 9:08 PM

On the day word comes out of his re-signing with the Mariners, Ichiro went 3-3 and hit the first inside the park homerun in All-Star Game history. Oh, and he was named MVP of the game too.

Enjoy that 2008 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid, Ichiro. Way to put on a show.

The Motel Life

posted by on July 10 at 5:00 PM


Willy Vlautin is the lead singer of Portland alt-country faves Richmond Fontaine. I’ve long been told that I’d like the band but I’ve never checked them out. Now that I’ve read his first novel, The Motel Life, I certainly will.

The story is set during a fridgid winter in Reno, Nevada, sometime around now, though there’s a sense that the wayward, rootless characters in The Motel Life could come from any place, any time. The story follows Frank Flannigan and his depressed brother Jerry Lee as they figure out what to do with their already crumbling lives after Jerry Lee’s involved in a fatal hit and run.

Anybody who’s ever done a lot of hard-core traveling—I’m talking hitch-hiking and Greyhound, not airlines or cruise ships—knows of the other side of the American dream. The freeway drifters, the rest stop campers, folks on the run from something or to somewhere—the kinds of people you see and make up stories about because you have to place them somehow, make them less ghostly, more real—these are the people that inhabit this book. Vlautin grew up in Reno and spent plenty of time on the road with his band. He’s got the right background, the right experience to understand both the setting and the motivation for these characters.

Read the rest of the review over on Line Out. And go see Vlautin read from The Motel Life at 7 pm tomorrow, July 11 at the University Bookstore, 4326 University Way NE.

Cutest. Graffiti. Ever.

posted by on July 10 at 4:53 PM

Spotted on a building near Queen Anne and Mercer.


Blackbirds Walking in the Dead of Sun

posted by on July 10 at 4:29 PM


Look at these employees of the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute, crossing the street just now in all black. Since the Gary Manuel Aveda Institute is in the building more or less behind The Stranger’s offices, we see these beauticians-to-be on their smoke breaks all the time. Lots of them smoke. Although none of them were smoking when I saw them today, probably because of the likelihood that they would instantly burst into flames.

How is it beautiful or civilized or even fashionable to wear all black on a day like today? When we’re in the middle of a heat wave, as the cover of the P-I is screaming?

Today on Line Out.

posted by on July 10 at 3:45 PM

Against Her?: Megan Seling Fights for Against Me!’s New Wave

Fucking Who?: Sweet, Sweet Detournement.

Smash Your Head: Block Party Bands of the Day: Girl Talk vs. the Trucks.

Floored: Jonathan Zwickel on Willy Vlautin’s The Motel Life.

98 Degrees: Ari Spool on Notorious BIG.

The Mystics: The Flaming Lips are Coming to Seattle.

With The Herd: Trent Moorman on the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Girlfriend: Avril Lavigne vs. Peaches.

Baby Talk: Megan Seling on Spoon’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga.

Fart-tastic: Setlist: You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry, You’ll Win Free Tickets to Capitol Hill Block Party.

My Hillary Headache

posted by on July 10 at 3:20 PM

I’m finishing up a column for this week’s Stranger about how Hillary Clinton is doing in Washington State. In the piece, no surprise, I mention Bill Clinton.

So now I have two Clintons that I’m working with, which means I have to differentiate them as I’m writing, all within the confines of a short piece that can’t get too wordy. I could use the construction that her campaign seems to like and just call her “Hillary.” But there’s a sense here that this sounds demeaning, even if “Hillary” likes to be called “Hillary.”

Another option: “Sen. Clinton,” clearly distinct from “former president Clinton.” But, as you may have noticed, The Stranger is more chatty than that. We tend to drop the honorifics and just call the presidential candidates by their names, assuming everyone knows who they are and what they do. On first reference, we call former Senator John Edwards simply “John Edwards,” and after that we just use “Edwards.” Similarly, “Barack Obama” becomes “Obama” after first reference. But following this rule, “Hillary Clinton” becomes “Clinton,” which is identical to what “Bill Clinton” becomes—also just “Clinton.” Which can sometimes be confusing.

Still another option: Every time I write their names, call him “Bill Clinton” and call her “Hillary Clinton.” This sounds like an easy solution, but it looks weird in practice. I’m writing her name a lot more than I’m writing his, so the repetition of “Hillary Clinton” uses up words and starts to make the reader feel like I think he or she is stupid and wouldn’t get from the context that “Clinton” means “Hillary” when it does (which is most of the time), and doesn’t when it doesn’t.

Apparently, I’m not alone in angsting about all of this.

I’ll leave you in suspense about what I’ve decided, in consultation with the copy editors. Look for the story tomorrow—although, far more interesting than my “Hillary” vs. “Sen. Clinton” vs. “Hillary Clinton” conundrum will be a certain tidbit I’ve uncovered about her campaign in Washington State.

This is a Post About Hand Soap

posted by on July 10 at 2:55 PM


More and more frequently, I’ve been discovering local business that have chosen to replace their liquid hand soap dispensers with those new “foaming” ones, where the soap is spit out as little clouds of already foamed hand cleanser.

WTF?! Who invented this shit?

I want to be the one to make it foam. When soap is already foamy, what’s the point? How do I know I’ve worked it into enough of a lather to get my hands clean? How do I know it’s working if it’s already foaming? Not only do I have to use more of it, but even when I use a lot, I still don’t feel like it was enough! There’s nothing satisfying about it. There’s nothing clean about it. It’s stupid and I hate it. And I’m begging all business in the city with public restrooms to switch back to the liquid stuff. Please please please. Please?

Our Long City-Wide Nightmare May Be Over

posted by on July 10 at 2:44 PM

The Seattle Times is reporting that the Mariners are close to re-signing Ichiro for another five years. The deal is rumored to be worth close to $100 million, and is expected to be officially announced on Friday.


The Root of the Machine

posted by on July 10 at 2:27 PM

transformers-devastator_c.jpgI could always connect Godzilla to the atomic bombings of two major Japanese cities. But what is at the bottom of The Transformers? What social event, catastrophe can we name as the source of The Transformers? Machines that transform into other machines? What does this speak to? I have not watched the new movie, but I did know about the toys back in the day. And even then, I could not connect this type of transformation to anything but a human love of machine power. Is it possible the transformers are the terminal point of reification? They not only make themselves, they transform themselves?

Is ESPN Running Out of Sports?

posted by on July 10 at 2:16 PM

This past Saturday someone really won $50,000 in Las Vegas for this. My brain hurts when the announcer says, “This is what these athletes have been training for!”

The 2006 Championships were televised on the A&E Network. This year it was televised by ESPN2, “The Worldwide Leader in Sports”.


posted by on July 10 at 2:15 PM

Bloomberg reports today (thanks for the tip, Eric F) that Ralph Appelbaum Associations, the self-proclaimed “largest interpretive museum design firm in the world” will be adding a major building to Seattle, right across from EMP and the Space Needle. It will be 15,000 square feet and is scheduled to open in 2010.

All right! (I recently took my first tour of the Microsoft campus and was heartbroken that all that money and space resulted in zero architecture.)

But what is being interpreted in this new building, exactly? Appelbaum is best known for his Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., where visitors receive tags when they enter, either with the name of a survivor or of a victim.

At the Gates Foundation:

Appelbaum: The first stop will give people a way to open their eyes to the world. That starts with a lot of stories: film and multimedia. It’s the emotional part. After that, the plan is to present a series of analytical layers. There’s interactive information: maps, resource databases. From that intellectual zone, you go in-depth into case studies, problem-solving activities. You get an understanding of the foundation’s methodology.

Hmm. Methodology.

Appelbaum: The way to get people emotionally engaged in information is to build a series of encounters that give them the tools to go to the next level — very much like the Holocaust Museum. When visitors go through the Holocaust Museum, it’s told as a general orientation of how people get “de-citizenized,” then how they were murdered through a compressed-timed process. Much of the experience is making the case for action. [Laurence] Arnold [of Bloomberg]: Bill Gates has said his galvanizing moment was when he read about diseases eliminated in the U.S. that still kill millions of children in poor countries. Appelbaum: They (Bill and Melinda Gates) describe it as literally opening their eyes to the world. Because they were making journeys to people in the field, they realized there are solutions. Arnold: Most visitor centers are auxiliaries to an historic building or attraction. With Gates, the center is the attraction. Appelbaum: What people will encounter is how an American family really became engaged with complex and serious issues and found their own way to contribute. Arnold: Do you see this becoming a popular attraction in Seattle Appelbaum: We’re in the heart of the city, across from the Space Needle and the EMP (Experience Music Project). What we offer people is a promise to awaken them to a new knowledge base. People are fascinated by what the foundation is and how it reflects the interests of this extraordinarily generous family. Arnold: How will you make sure that visitors leave feeling inspired, but not coerced, to be more charitable? Appelbaum: There’s a natural philanthropy in American society. We admire it. We respect those who do it. But often we don’t think we have a role in it. We think the most we can do is to respond immediately through some charitable act. But in fact, there are lessons to be learned about developing a much more strategic, familial type of philanthropy, no matter what your economic group is.

A building as a rhetorical device encouraging me to start giving help and money to people who need it? I’m sort of fascinated.

But will it be architecture?

Internet Radio

posted by on July 10 at 1:57 PM

Rep. Jay Inslee will be speaking on the House floor tonight to protect small Internet radio broadcasters.

Hearing was cancelled tonight due to inclement weather. Rescheduled for Thursday evening. At that time, Rep. Inslee will school Dave Meinert.

Hearing is back on. Listen for Inslee, right about now. 6pm.

“Your tree is dead, and if it’s not chopped down it will continue to harm and disturb the living.”

posted by on July 10 at 1:45 PM

That is only of course the best line in the Charles Mudede/Robinson Devor movie Police Beat, by which I mean the Mudedest line.

Have you not heard it spoken? Have you not seen Police Beat?

I ran into this syndrome a few months ago, when a friend I recommended it to couldn’t find it at the video store.

Now, just this week, it’s out on DVD, in all its strange and beautiful glory.

(In honor of the release, the LA Times saluted it on Sunday as one of the “least likely and most original American independent films of the last few years.”)

You can finally get your hands on it.


Summertime, and the Living’s Skeezy

posted by on July 10 at 1:40 PM

Remember yesterday? The day that offered but a taste of the heat that’s steaming up today? Well, yesterday after work, I stopped by the Safeway at 23rd and Madison and saw a twenty-something woman doing her grocery shopping in a bikini.

It was truly a sight, even to homosexual me, and I really really really wanted to get a photo of her with my phone, but I didn’t want to be the creepy guy surreptitiously photographing the lady shopping in a bikini, so I gave up.

As if to confirm the rightness of my decision, this morning brought this Hot Tip to my inbox:

I was at the QFC on the north side of Broadway yesterday around 7 pm doing some shopping with my girlfriend, when I noticed this voyeur-asshole (about 6ft, African-American, w/ 3-4-inch mini-dreads) awkwardly position himself behind my gal, holding what appeared to be an I-Phone down near his waist pointed at her ass. My intuition told me exactly what he was doing (i.e. snapping a surreptitious pic of her ass in tight summer pants), but it wasn’t until I noticed him walk over to the very next aisle and repeat the same act on another unsuspecting, attractive female with a nice behind, that I deliberated what next to do. After a few minutes I explained the situation to my lady, and told her to wait a few minutes for me while I investigated. Sure enough creep-dude was now at the check-out stand behind another hottie in tight pants. I promptly informed the nearest manager and clandestinely pointed out the pervert to him-then walked out, creeped out for the summer. Side note: I understand that this isn’t an illegal thing to do in WA. In your opinion, should I have done anything else—or confronted the asshole? I really feel irresolute about the whole thing.

What think ye, Slog readers?


posted by on July 10 at 1:36 PM

Sound Politics is pointing its readers to a list ranking U.S. Senators on 12 votes dealing with earmark reforms—that is: Votes to curtail “Pork” spending.

Cantwell falls in the great middle of the list, voting for reform about 25% of the time. Murray towards the bottom, voting for reform about 16.7% of the time.

Sac of Rooms Headed to SFMoMA

posted by on July 10 at 1:14 PM


Regina Hackett breaks the news that the installation Alex Schweder made for Suyama Space this winter is becoming a part of the permanent collection at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. (Henry Urbach, a veteran supporter of Schweder’s work, recently went to work at SFMoMA.)

Want to hear Schweder talk about his own work?

Listen to this podcast.

Today In Silence

posted by on July 10 at 12:17 PM


423 years ago: A cap was popped in the ass of William the Silent, who became the first politician assassinated via handgun.

82 years ago: Meher Baba, an Indian guru of Persian descent, starting not saying anything. He continued to not say anything—not even a curse after his car accidents outside Prague, Oklahoma and Satara, India—until January 31, 1969, when he died.

25 years ago: The story broke that the Queen of England held off a bedroom intruder, who quietly crept past alarms, guards, and security dogs to steal a half a bottle of wine and chat with the Queen, who “was only able to raise the alarm when he asked for a cigarette. She calmly called for a footman who held the intruder until police arrived.”

A few hours ago: In Pakistan, “Operation Silence” kills over 50 followers of a pro-Taliban cleric in a 15-hour gun battle.

The Ballard Bridge and Bikers

posted by on July 10 at 11:35 AM

No one is satisfied with the bike paths over the Ballard Bridge. I wrote about the problem back in 2005:

The Ballard Bridge is a special kind of nightmare.

At the southwest corner of the bridge, where Hiller and I are straddling our bikes, waiting for the car to pass, there is a small cut in the low curb that separates the bridge’s bike path from car traffic. “Bike path” is a bit of a misnomer on the Ballard Bridge. The path is so narrow and so close to the rushing traffic that if feels more like a gangplank. On one side is speeding traffic, on the other side a long drop into the ship canal. Two bikers, headed toward each other along this path, wouldn’t have room to pass without colliding, with one likely ending up in traffic, the other perhaps in the water.

Last week, when the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported that a man was in critical condition after falling into oncoming traffic on the Ballard Bridge, it used the accident as an occasion to remind readers that the city’s Bicycle Master Plan calls for serious bike improvements to the structure.

It’s unclear when those improvements will come. It’s also unclear whether the man’s fall last week was actually due to the design of the bridge’s bike lanes. The man is 60 years old. And the P-I noted that before his accident, there had been no car-biker accidents on the Ballard Bridge since 2004—which is actually a pretty good record for a bridge with universally-derided bike lanes.

But if it turns out that the man’s accident was due to bad bike paths (and not biker error or some other factor), look for him to become the new poster child for efforts to make the city feel a greater sense of urgency about improving the Ballard Bridge bike lanes.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 10 at 11:28 AM

Uncle Vanya

(THEATER) The Bush years are coming to a close, Congress is no longer giving him a blank check, and the war is deeply unpopular. We have been under a cloud for most of this decade. As we begin to enjoy the light of the returning sun, we need to fill our lungs with the lightness and laughter of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, a comedy about a bitter, ineffectual man and his botched attempt to commit murder. (Intiman Theatre, 201 Mercer St, 269-1900. 7:30 pm, $44.) CHARLES MUDEDE

Bill O’Reilly’s Lesbian Fantasies

posted by on July 10 at 10:57 AM

This amazingly idiotic and inflammatory segment recently ran on The O’Reilly Factor, and is so fucking stupid it will make your face hurt. Seattle jounalist David Neiwert has a thorough debunking of the bullshit on his blog. Still, intelligent debunkings and awestruck gawking hardly seem a sufficient response to a piece that could feasibly up violence against gays exponentially. (“If you see a group of gay people, it’s a gang that wants to rape you at gunpoint!” seems to be the unspoken message.) Sigh.

On Forgiveness

posted by on July 10 at 10:32 AM

Hannah Arendt once wrote:

“The great boldness and unique pride of the concept of forgiveness as a basic relationship between humans does not lie in the seeming reversal of the calamity of guilt and error into the possible virtues of magnanimity or solidarity. It is rather that forgiving attempts to do the impossible, to undo what has been done, and it succeeds in making a new beginning where beginnings seemed to have become no longer possible… The only political expression of forgiveness found [in our times] is the purely negative right to pardon….”
Libby is of course an example of negative forgiveness, but there is also something negative about the form of forgiveness that David Vitter received from his wife and God.

“Several years ago, I asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife in confession and marriage counselling”
This forgiveness is as empty as Libby’s pardon. It’s empty (negative) because it only goes one way—always to him; never from him, always to those close to the president, never to those who are not close to the president.

Preview of Ads to Come

posted by on July 10 at 10:26 AM

Check out the ad that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is preparing to run against four Republicans Senators who are facing re-election next fall. And as you’re watching, try substituting “Senator Mitch McConnell” for “Congressman Dave Reichert.”

I have no doubt that Democrats will get around to running ads just like this targeting Washington’s eastside Republican Congressman, who’s up for reelection next fall and is once again in the sights of national Democrats.

“Straight Talk Express” Runs Into a Ditch

posted by on July 10 at 9:59 AM


John McCain’s presidential bid is nearly toast:

John McCain’s campaign manager and chief strategist are gone from their leadership roles, a major staff shake-up for the struggling Republican presidential candidate who is all but broke and trails in opinion polls.

In statements, Terry Nelson, a veteran of President Bush’s successful 2004 re-election effort, said he resigned as campaign manager effective immediately and John Weaver said he stepped down from his post of chief strategist on Tuesday. But other officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid discussing private conversations, said Nelson was fired.

Two officials said Rick Davis, a longtime aide to McCain, will take over the campaign.

Dirdy, Dirdy Birdy: A Study in Avian Self-Love!

posted by on July 10 at 9:55 AM

Below you will meet my niece’s pet lovebird, Kiwi. Kiwi is a very lonely lovebird indeed (don’t lovebirds mandatorily come in sets of two?), but Kiwi is also remarkably resourceful. Behold


And yes, that’s a toy plastic ball the poor horny little thing is jigging her dirty little birdy parts all over, but who are we to cast stones ? We don’t live all alone in an aquarium. I beg you not to judge her too harshly. Besides, bird masturbation I can handle—-it’s that wretched country music I take issue with. Who’s with me?

(Thanks to intrepid Matty for the video!)

“Free the iPhone!”

posted by on July 10 at 9:38 AM

Welcome to the iPhone hearings, opening today in Congress. Via OpenLeft, a video that explains the hearings and casts the iPhone’s arrangement with AT&T as bad for consumers and bad for the future of telecommunications.

The Nixon High

posted by on July 10 at 9:06 AM

Bush’s disapproval rating hits historic milestone: He matches the disapproval rating hit by Nixon, 66% disapproval, right before Nixon resigned.

Bush’s lowest approval rating, 29% approval, hasn’t quite hit the all-time Presidential low hit by Harry Truman (who knew?)—22%.

From Open Left.

Practice Makes Perfect

posted by on July 10 at 9:00 AM

The New York Times comes out strongly against Dr. James Holsinger, George W. Bush’s nominee to be the next surgeon general. While noting that Holsinger holds some positions that could be regarded as progressive—not anti-cloning in all instances, supports higher cigarette taxes—the NYT slams the fundy doctor for a controversial paper he wrote about the gays back in 1991. Written for a church publication, not a scientific publication, Holsinger’s paper—“Pathophysiology of Male Homosexuality”—argued that gay sex is abnormal and unhealthy, and “that anal sex can lead to rectal injuries and sexually transmitted diseases,” in the words of the NYT.

Of course gay anal sex can lead to rectal injuries and spread sexually transmitted disease—but so can straight anal sex, which is increasingly popular:

Every couple of years, another once-scandalous sex taboo starts making its way toward the commonplace. A decade ago, blow jobs were what people whispered about; then three-ways became the naughty bedroom act. Now, it’s anal sex—but according to the Centers for Disease Control’s National Survey of Family Growth, it’s rapidly becoming a regular feature of hetero couples’ horizontal activities.

The survey, released last year, showed that 38.2 percent of men between 20 and 39 and 32.6 percent of women ages 18 to 44 engage in heterosexual anal sex. Compare that with the CDC’s 1992 National Health and Social Life survey, which found that only 25.6 percent of men 18 to 59 and 20.4 percent of women 18 to 59 indulged in it.

Naturally, Holsinger is a proponent of abstinence education (like a certain hooker-banging GOP senator that I would mention by name if God hadn’t already forgiven him), or sex-ed that seeks to prevent sexual activity by keeping people ignorant about sex and terrifying them with horror stories about STDs and injuries that could be prevented with good technique and proper lubrication.

Amazingly… the NYT, uh, goes there. They call Holsinger out not only on his gay bashing but on… well, let’s just go to the editorial:

Dr. Holsinger did not brand the large number of heterosexual women who engage in anal sex as abnormal, failed to acknowledge the huge burden of disease spread heterosexually and implied that women are more likely than men to avoid injuries with generous lubrication.

Whoa… generous lubrication. I’m sure Americans enjoyed reading that over breakfast.

Unfortunately this otherwise stellar editorial is marred by the use of the term “homosexual” to describe the gays—which some people have a problem with—and the archaic phrase “practicing homosexual” to describe, um, all those gay buttfuckers out there using generous amounts of lube to avoid injuring all those fucked gay butts. Says Michelangelo Signorile

Let’s all write the Times and let them know that we are not a coven of witches “practicing” our craft. Nor are we a group of kids “practicing” our playing of musical instruments, or “practicing” gymnastics or “practicing” French! And we are not lawyers, doctors or accountants, who decide to hang out a shingle when we want to “practice.” All of these are religious beliefs, learned activities, and business professions. The implication is: “Homosexuals” are “practicing” their cultish, acquired, and/or often for-sale (those gay hustlers!) sexual “practices” while heterosexuals, of course, are doing something much more, well, natural and about love or whatever.

Just by using that term, the editorial undermines the very point it is trying to make. Holsinger has been attacked for supporting a church that reportedly believes in “ex-gay” therapies and he clearly believes that people can be “indoctrinated” into homosexuality. Describing homosexuality as something you can “practice” it until you get it right sure goes a long way toward helping Holsinger’s cause.

UPDATE: Uh, gee. I’m on vacation, and perhaps I shouldn’t be posting at all. My kid was tugging at my arm and trying to shut my laptop when I was writing this, and I wasn’t finished, and I didn’t mean to post it until after I got back from lunch. But I saved it as a scheduled post and not a draft and it posted itself while I was at lunch. Whoops.

Anyway, I meant to include my own thoughts after the item from Signorile’s blog, and what I wanted to add was this…

The NYT editorial was the lead freakin’ editorial, and it was righteous and pro-homo, practicing and otherwise, and perhaps we shouldn’t jump down the throats of our allies—and the editorial column at the NYT is certainly a friend of the ‘mos—too aggressively because, hey, their generously lubricated hearts are in the right places.

But I think Signorile has a point: it is jarring to see “practicing homosexual” in an otherwise supportive editorial from the always-suportive NYT. The term is kinda stoopid for the reasons Signorile ticks off, and someone should nudge the editors at the NYT about it. I can’t imagine it was intentional or mean-spirited. But I don’t think we need to flood their offices with outraged letters. I mean, it’s hard to imagine the NYT writing an editorial like that—coming to the defense of the ‘mos, copping to hetero anal sex, endorsing generous lubrication—ten years ago. It was breathtaking and progressive and right fucking on.

One other quibble: “Dr. Holsinger did not brand the large number of heterosexual women who engage in anal sex…” Unless all those heterosexual women are engaging in anal sex with, er, other heterosexual women, there are large numbers of heterosexual men out there engaging in anal sex too—as active and passive partners. So today it’s “generous lubrication” in a NYT editorial. I can’t imagine we’ll have to wait much longer before they NYT editorial page gets pegged.

Morning News

posted by on July 10 at 8:00 AM

Talks Fail: At least 40 dead after Pakistan army storms Islamabad mosque held by militants.

AG Lies: In testimony before Congress, Gonzales pretended he didn’t know about Patriot Act civil liberties violations.

Hypocrisy Reigns: U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-LA), a moral values Southern Republican of course, on the DC Madam’s phone list, of course.

White House Freaks: Bush aides scramble to cope with mounting GOP opposition to War.

Ambassador Frets: U.S. Ambassador to Iraq warns against withdrawal.

Israel Flirts: Olmert seeks direct peace talks with Syria.

Gaza Suffers: Sanctions against Hamas cripple Gazans.

Kerlikowske Skates: Report says Chief didn’t inappropriately interfere with investigation.

Government Dictates: King County Board of Health looks to ban trans-fats.

There’s something called the Washington Poets Association, and they post a different poem by a local poet every day.


Michael Schein

You wanted a skylight over the bed.
I, raised behind black-out curtains, said
“what about the sun?” Unlike the serpent,
you hissed, we have eyelids.

Continue reading "Morning News" »

Monday, July 9, 2007

Defender of Marriage

posted by on July 9 at 8:43 PM

The phone number of a Republican senator from Louisiana has turned up on the client list of the so-called “DC Madam.” Sen. David Vitter has basically admitted to banging hookers by apologizing for “a very serious sin in my past,” and he’s “asked for and received forgiveness from God and my wife,” and refuses to discuss the matter any further.

Of course the hooker-banging senator is an anti-gay marriage asswipe—of course, of course, of course—as well as a big promoter of abstinence education. Same-sex marriage? That’s a threat to his marriage—hell, the hooker-banging senator from Louisiana compared gay marriage to Hurricane Katrina. But adultery? Oh, that’s a pardonable offense, hardly worth pestering the senator with questions about—particularly seeing as how God and the wife (in that order) have already forgiven his lying, cheating, hypocritical ass.

Here’s hoping that Vitter didn’t knock that hooker up—because he’s opposed to abortion too.

Fucking hypocrite…

A Green Dream

posted by on July 9 at 5:15 PM

Will this

ever equal the impact of this

It has become part of the accepted wisdom to say that the twentieth century was the century of physics and the twenty-first century will be the century of biology. Two facts about the coming century are agreed on by almost everyone. Biology is now bigger than physics, as measured by the size of budgets, by the size of the workforce, or by the output of major discoveries; and biology is likely to remain the biggest part of science through the twenty-first century. Biology is also more important than physics, as measured by its economic consequences, by its ethical implications, or by its effects on human welfare. …. The domestication of biotechnology in everyday life may also be helpful in solving practical economic and environmental problems. Once a new generation of children has grown up, as familiar with biotech games as our grandchildren are now with computer games, biotechnology will no longer seem weird and alien. In the era of Open Source biology, the magic of genes will be available to anyone with the skill and imagination to use it. The way will be open for biotechnology to move into the mainstream of economic development, to help us solve some of our urgent social problems and ameliorate the human condition all over the earth.

I wish I could share Freeman Dyson’s optimism.

The Pioneer Square Firefighter Festival

posted by on July 9 at 4:16 PM

Okay, I didn’t get a photo quite THIS good, but I’m telling you, there were some red hot hotties in Pioneer Square for the Firefighter Fest.


This festival is so underrated. Between the breakdancing furries terrorizing the girls sunbathing in beer garden, the hot dog eating contest (where a guy from a local homeless shelter pounded 16 dogs, with buns, in 12 minutes), to the actual firefighter competitions where impossibly tough men and women were climbing towers and dragging around 175 lb. “victims” in the blazing sun… it was crazy fun. And it was free.

More photos after the jump, and video of both the Mascot Challenge and Hot Dog Eating Contest in the next HOW WAS IT? video….

Continue reading "The Pioneer Square Firefighter Festival" »

Today in Line Out

posted by on July 9 at 3:25 PM

Bass Clarinet Concert: Arrington de Dionyso plays the Comet tonight.

Terrorist? Or Moody Frontman?: James Hetfield’s beards tips off UK security.

Crosseyed & Painless: Talking Heads make Anthony Hecht want to build a time machine.

Speaking of Talking Heads…: Jonathan Zwickel weighs in on his favorite Heads track.

Date with the Deftones: Jeff Kirby reviews last night’s show.

Rags to Riches: Eric Grandy parties on both sides of the tracks.

Block Party BOTD: Mirah vs. the Pharmacy.

Patton Oswalt Fans Take Note: Werewolves & Lollipops screens tonight at Chop Suey for free.

Good-Natured, Courteous, and Totally Stoned: An interview with the Deftones’ Abe Cunningham.

Dino Rossi. A Follow-Up Report

posted by on July 9 at 3:13 PM

In Counter•Intel last week, I caught Dino Rossi trying to play fast and loose with AP reporter Dave Ammons.

Here’s the deal, the Democrats had filed a complaint against Rossi’s non-profit, Forward Washington, alleging that it was a shadow campaign organization. Non-profits cannot do partisan campaign work—although, they can receive unlimited and undisclosed donations (making it great for raising campaign cash if you can get away with it.)

Anyway, when AP reporter Dave Ammons interviewed Rossi about this controversy—the Seattle Times had even editorialized that Rossi’s “non-partisan” group didn’t pass the “smirk test”—Ammons astutely asked Rossi what he was up to that day. Turns out Rossi was heading to Yakima to speak at a GOP fundraiser for state Republican Senator Jim Clements. Acknowledging as much wouldn’t have looked so good in a story where questions were being raised about Rossi’s partisan activities, however. So, Rossi told Ammons he was on his way to a to an “Idea Bank” —one of Forward Washington’s “non-partisan” events. Rossi hit Pullman, the day after the Yakima fundraiser, for his “Idea Bank.”

I called Forward Washington to ask about the discrepancy and, as I reported in my column, they told me Ammons misquoted them. Ammons got it mixed up.

I couldn’t reach Ammons last week to get his side of the story because he was on vacation. However, I reached him today. I didn’t think a longtime AP reporter would want to duke it out with Rossi, but I’ll be damned: Ammons wasn’t about to let Rossi rope-a-dope him.

Ammons told me: “He said he was on his way to an idea bank. He was on his way to Yakima. Then he went on about what a non-partisan thing this was with Lou Guzzo [former D Governor Dixy Lee Ray staffer] on the board. He never mentioned going to a campaign event. If he did not set foot in Yakima for that reason, he never clarified. The most I will concede is he might have been less than clear.”

Ammons went further, seconding a point I had made in the column. “He’s salaried, $75,000, by Forward Washington. His time is compensated. Was the whole trip East [including the campaigning in Yakima] charged back to Forward Washington?”

Gil’s Boys. A Follow-Up Report

posted by on July 9 at 3:05 PM

In last week’s Stranger, Jonah reported on on a complaint against SPD officers who had forcefully arrested (and tasered) two black men for suspicion of being in a gang and for resisting arrest.

When one of the suspect’s cases went to court—the one accused of resisting arrest and obstruction—the charges were dismissed, one with prejudice. Meanwhile, the man suspected of being in a gang—he had a “gang” bandanna in his back pocket—was never charged.

A follow-up investigation by the Office of Professional Accountability (the OPA, which investigates citizen complaints of misconduct) determined that the officers had used “unnecessary force.” The limp punishment, however, was “supervisory intervention.”

Jonah asked OPA director Kathryn Olson what “supervisory intervention” meant and she explained that “Supervisory Intervention” means “underlying misconduct occurred, but training is more appropriate than discipline.”

That’s insteresting. Listen to how Olson defines “Supervisory Intervention” in her big report to Mayor Nickels today: “There may have been a violation of policy, but it was not a willful violation, and/or the violation did not amount to misconduct.

Did not amount to misconduct?

I’m glad we cut Olson’s vague/weird/misleading (lying?) quote from our story last week and just went with this:

Although Sandidge never filed a complaint with the city, a young woman who witnessed the arrest did. OPA found that officers had used unnecessary force in the arrest. The fall out? “Supervisory intervention.” The Stranger could not confirm the specifics of the intervention, but we did confirm that all three officers are still assigned to the West Precinct. Blackmer and Harris continue to work on the elite Anti-Crime Team that made the initial arrest, and Ortiz works in narcotics. SPD would not comment on the case or why the officers remain on the Anti-Crime Team.

Anyway, Olson’s revised definition, as she explained it to the mayor rather than to a reporter, makes Jonah’s story even more damning. Indeed, re-read Jonah’s story and you tell me if the officers’ actions did not amount to misconduct.

What is going on around here?

Hamas To Do List: One, Take Over Gaza Strip. Two, Rescue Kidnapped Lion.

posted by on July 9 at 2:53 PM

A lioness has been reunited with her brother in the Gaza Zoo after being released by Hamas from a clan who had abducted her nearly two years ago.

Sabrina was kidnapped aged just three months, shortly after being brought to the Gaza Strip from Egypt.

Hamas militiamen say they freed her after a shootout with the clan members.

Hamas: Best pet detectives EVER!®

Mysterious Inflatable Red Spools

posted by on July 9 at 2:44 PM

A week or so ago, I noticed a giant inflatable spool-type-thing atop B&O Espresso and wondered what the hell it meant. I’m not the only one, apparently, as I just received this email from my friend Claire who is, clearly, a genius:

I have a mission for you. What the hell is up with these inflatable red spools that are showing up on top of certain businesses around town???? I first noticed one on top of the B&O, then on that weird coffee shop/post office in Ballard, and now there’s one on top of 22 Doors. I don’t know what they are, other than indicators of mediocre restaurants that somehow manage to get a free pass to stay in business

Anyone know?

Rainbows and Balloons

posted by on July 9 at 2:20 PM

An anonymous Slog tipper has uncovered this piece of information:

The old Rainbow Grocery is going to be a Red Balloon Company. It says so on a sign on their window.

Notes From The Prayer Warrior

posted by on July 9 at 1:36 PM


Dear Prayer Warriors,

Thank you for all your faithful prayers on my behalf, for the church and for my family. It came to my attention this morning by one of my neighbors, that someone has been taking our mail from our home mailbox and destroying it and then discarding it up the road by this neighbors’ home. He found it yesterday in his ditch. Please pray for me now as I must call the Police (King County) and the United States Postal Service to make them aware of this. Pray that I will represent Christ to those I speak with. Also pray for the Lord’s protection for my family and that whoever is doing this will be caught.

I also got some good news from BET (Black Entertainment Television). The interview I did back in April 07 will be aired this Wednesday, July 11th at 9 PM on the “MY TWO CENTS” show on the BETJ Comcast Channel, number 481. Please pray that the Lord will be honored with this program and pray that any editing will not have compromised the content of the interview. Thanks again for all your prayer support!

Your Pastor,

Them Money Lizards

posted by on July 9 at 1:32 PM

One more from Zimbabwe. Enjoy!

By Staff Reporter

A HARARE woman kept two lizards in her handbag thinking they would bring her financial bliss.

The unidentified woman from Harare’s Kambuzuma suburb told friends her husband sent the lizards from South Africa “to spin money” in Zimbabwe, the official Herald newspaper reported.

The woman’s lizards are said to have drawn a large crowd at the Kambuzuma 5 Shopping Centre, before a self-styled prophet from the eastern border town of Mutare sprinkled the lizards with a concoction following which they died.

The prophet, according to the paper, accosted the woman and insisted that she open her bag. After much resistance, the tearful woman finally obliged as the crowd swelled.

“The prophet said the creatures in the woman’s bag could cause an accident if she travelled with them on the bus,” the paper said.

“A crowd then gathered thinking the two were involved in a domestic dispute. But on discovering what the two were arguing about, they pressed the woman to open the bag.

She took out a smaller bag, which was inside her handbag, and — to the utter shock and amazement of the gathering — two monitor lizards crawled out.

“We were shocked, to say the least,” said a Mrs Yeshiva, who was at a nearby market said.

A local businessman then bought four litres of paraffin and diesel with which he attempted to burn the creatures, but they crawled out of the fire — to the further disbelief of the crowd.

About 30 minutes later, the prophet, who comes from Mutare but was visiting his brother, asked for some water and salt and began praying.

He later sprinkled the water onto the lizards following which they died.

The woman, who was visibly shaken by the event, said the lizards were young and small when they were brought from South Africa.

“My husband said we would be rich if we kept feeding them with mealie-meal,” she said.

But the lizards, she said, were becoming a nuisance as they grew bigger.

“I could not leave them alone at home because they would always try to crawl out of the house. So I carry them around in my bag,” she said.

The woman said they lived a relatively good life with the money sent to her from South Africa by her husband, but said she personally did not believe the lizards were bringing in any riches.”

The Office of Professional Accountability Exonerates Itself

posted by on July 9 at 12:59 PM

This morning, the Office of Professional Accountability’s (OPA) new director, Kathryn Olson, presented a report clearing Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske of any inappropriate meddling in an internal investigation of two officers accused of misconduct during George Patterson’s arrest last January. In her report —requested by Mayor Greg Nickels in June— Olson called the original OPA investigation “fair, thorough and expeditious.” This conflicts with a report by the Office of Professional Accountability Review Board (OPARB) which flagged the Chief’s role in the investigation as inappropriate.

Olson looked at OPA’s original report, a draft version of OPARB’s report, a videotape of the arrest and testimony by an expert video analyst in her investigation. “There was nothing unusual or extraordinary” about the Chief’s involvement in the Patterson case, Olson said. “His input is appropriate in that he is the final arbiter on discipline. By and large, I disagree with [OPARB’s] report.”

After Olson finished presenting her report, OPARB member Sheley Secrest was in attendance to provide a response. “We’re not surprised” she said, “the board stands by all its criticisms of the process.”

Olson’s report shouldn’t come as a surprise. While she said she “felt no pressure” from the Mayor’s office, Nickels clearly had an outcome in mind. In fact, last Saturday, Nickels and Kerlikowske went on a walk through Pioneer Square just as bars were letting out, to get a first hand look at Seattle’s nightlife. I wonder if they held hands?

I Just got off the phone with NAACP President James Bible, who’s in Detroit for a national conference. Bible was also unimpressed by Olson’s report: “We’re not surprised that an employee would exonerate her employer. She knows who hired her. A month later, after so much has come out, the Chief has decided he wants a do over and the mayor is complicit in that. “

Bible says he would like to see a blue ribbon panel (I’m betting Licata’s rather than Nickels’) examine the original OPA investigation. “Anything less than that is sham,” he said.

Eyman in Court This Friday

posted by on July 9 at 12:38 PM

Progressive local attorney Knoll Lowney will argue in KC Superior Court this Friday that Tim Eyman’s latest initiative, I-960, goes beyond the scope of the initiative process on two counts.

I-960 would require a super majority vote of the legislature to pass tax increases. And it would require those tax increases to go before a vote of the people. Eyman turned in his signatures last week and got some rare good press after a run of recent embarrassments (not enough signatures, weird costumes, initiatives getting tossed.) The article did not mention Lowney’s challenge.

Lowney will start by arguing that I-960’s requirement for a legislative super majority to pass any tax increase is a de facto amendment to the state Constitution. “Editing the Constitution by initiative is beyond the scope of the initiative process,” Lowney says. Indeed, you cannot amend the Constitution by the initiative process.

Unfortunately for Eyman, the Constitution already specifies when legislative action requires more than a simple majority. Most tax increases are not on that list.

Second, Lowney will argue that I-960’s requirement that all tax increases passed by the legislature must automatically go to a vote of the people also takes the red pen to the state Constitution. Requiring a vote of the people, circumvents the referendum process as spelled out in the state Constitution. You cannot file a referendum without first collecting signatures. To change that guideline, you’d have to change the Constitution—which, again, you cannot do by initiative.

Lowney has beaten Eyman in KC Superior Court before. Lowney successfully argued to have I-747 (a property tax cap) put on hold. I-747 is currently before the Supreme Court. Lowney also spent years with his group, Permanently Offended (a spoof on Eyman’s Permanent Offense), harassing Eyman with ballot title challenges.

Where the Senator Eats

posted by on July 9 at 11:44 AM

I took myself out to dinner at Tavolata last night. I had the (gigantic) serving of garden greens and the agnolotti with brown butter and sage; it was all very salty. I was disappointed, though this might largely be due to the fact that I went specifically craving the agnolotti filled with veal brains, but it was not on the menu. Sigh. (Why can’t the veal brains be on the menu all the time?) I had to try and find satisfaction with a ricotta and leek filling. I was doomed from the beginning.

More exciting, I spotted Senator Maria Cantwell there dining with friends. She’s a babe.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 9 at 11:22 AM


(ZOMBIE COMEDY) Fido, about domesticated flesh-eaters who act as milkmen, mail carriers, and best friends to lonely little boys in an otherwise prosaic town, is deliciously ridiculous and totally entertaining. The cast, especially Carrie-Ann Moss, injects just enough coy subtlety to balance the rampant camp. (See Movie Times.) AMY KATE HORN

Nigger Funeral

posted by on July 9 at 11:19 AM

The NAACP buries the “n-word”:

DETROIT (AP) - The NAACP hopes it has put to rest the use of a long-standing racial slur.

The group is holding a symbolic funeral for the “n-word” in a ceremony at its annual convention in Detroit. Delegates from across the country gathered for a march and rally this morning, which featured a pine box adorned with a bouquet of fake black roses.

Text Message from City Hall

posted by on July 9 at 11:15 AM

This just in from Jonah:

Surprise! It looks like Olson cleared the chief

Jonah will file a longer post shortly, but his prediction about Nickels’s “review” of the OPARB report seems to have come true.

Boy Wonder

posted by on July 9 at 11:12 AM

There’s a bit of a buzz about former Stranger political writer Sandeep Kaushik.

Although, Kaushik was hired away from us in summer 2005 to revitalize County Executive Ron Sims’s office (which he seems to have done…have you noticed how bad ass Sims has been in the last year), Kaushik seems to be successfully transitioning into an up and coming political consultant.

After trouncing the Seattle Times-backed estate tax repeal as the spokesperson for the anti-920 campaign in 2006 and then knocking down the viaduct rebuild as part of the No and Hell No effort earlier this year, Kaushik may land a gig consulting in one of the top-10 U.S. Congressional races for campaign 2008.

Kaushik showed up as spokesperson for Darcy Burner over on Postman’s blog this morning, and Kaushik tells me while he hasn’t formally singed on with the Democratic hopeful in her do over to beat Republican Dave Reichert, he is in discussions with Burner.

I’m a Rodney Tom fan myself (and wasn’t so impressed with Burner last time out), but with Kaushik, Reichert’s gonna need more than his great hair cut to pull this one out.

Says Kaushik: “Darcy’s gone from zero to 60 in the blink of an eye. With $200K raised and $185K in the bank, she’s already 9 months ahead of where she was last time. She came achingly close to beating Reichert last time and this time she’s going to finish the job.”

She lost by 7,500 votes out of more than 250,000 cast. With 2008 being a presidential year and one where the Dems are psyched to boot, Reichert, who voted for the surge, does face a stiff challenge.

The End of the Flat Blogosphere?

posted by on July 9 at 11:06 AM

Over at the newly-launched OpenLeft, there’s an interesting piece by Chris Bowers about the transformation of the liberal blogosphere over the last few years.

It’s dry, policy-paper-style analysis, but if you’re a bloggy type it’s worth a read because it explores all the hot blog topics of the moment—financial sustainability, blog hierarchy, the decline of the single-blogger model, the 24/7 imperative, and the increasing barriers to “top tier” entry.

If you can’t follow this excerpt, don’t worry. Unless you run a liberal blog. In that case, maybe you should worry.

…By late 2005, the end result of this transformation was a collection of four or five dozen well-established national websites that no new progressive blog following the old, independent, single content producer could ever hope to either equal or surpass. In fact, as of July 6, 2007, of the 50 progressive, political blogs with the most traffic, every single one of them was founded before November 2005, and over 90% were founded in 2004 or earlier (see note two at the end of this piece for more on this). It has been over one and a half years since a new blog has broken into the “short head” of the national progressive blogosphere, whereas not long ago new members of the “short head” used to be fairly common… A caste system is solidifying and a new establishment is crystallizing.

Easy Now, Fuzzy Little Man Peach

posted by on July 9 at 10:12 AM

Have you heard of The Mighty Boosh? I hadn’t.

New Blog on the Liberal Block

posted by on July 9 at 9:51 AM

Over at The Nation, Ari Melber introduces OpenLeft, the new project of the guys from MyDD:

Two giants of the liberal blogosphere joined forces today with a longtime Washington consultant to launch a new website, OpenLeft, designed as a hub for dialogue between progressive outsiders and Washington insiders.

Former Clinton White House official Mike Lux is leading the effort with Matt Stoller and Chris Bowers of MyDD, the influential blog that forced tight-fisted Democrats to donate more than $2 million to candidates last year, helped stymie Fox’s Democratic presidential debate, and launched one of the first “grassroots polls” in the history of American politics.

“OpenLeft is not just about tools and tactics. We have a different set of ideas about how our culture and country should work,” says Stoller, a 29-year-old Harvard graduate who has repeatedly rocked the Democratic establishment with searing blog attacks and aggressive grassroots campaigns. “We believe that power and wealth should be distributed more equally than they are now,” he explains. So the site aims to empower netroots activists, challenge and criticize institutional players—and somehow build progressive coalitions along the way.

Who Will Win Iowa?

posted by on July 9 at 9:47 AM

On the Republican side, a Mitt Romney win in the hugely important Iowa caucuses is starting to seem inevitable.

12th AVE!

posted by on July 9 at 9:37 AM

12th Ave. between Pine and, I don’t know, Columbia, just keeps getting more and more exciting.

I went to brand new Cafe Presse last night (which Bethany Jean Clement loves here.)

I had a peppery, salty, yummy bowl of tomato soup; wet, cheesy omelet, and a moist chocolate chip pudding bread chocolate chip pudding thing.

The service was great, the prices a-okay, and we sat in the crowded, boisterous back room gabbing for as long as we wanted.

Bumbershoot 2007: Full Lineup Announced

posted by on July 9 at 9:31 AM


And from music to comedy to lit offerings, it looks amazing. Among the many many many delights: Art Brut! Gogol Bordello! The Salon of Shame! The Moth storytelling with Kimya Dawson and Dan Savage! FOUND Magazine extravaganza! Miranda July! Stella! The Estate of Nick Drake! (?!) Cyclecide Bike Rodeo! Portable Confessional Units! And of course the previously hyped Shins, Wu-Tang Clan, etc etc etc. Full lineup here.

A Lunch Worse than Hitler!

posted by on July 9 at 9:05 AM

A highly organized, long-standing and popular hate movement against the Jewish people has been uncovered in rural Montana.

According to sources shadowy and unnamable, this hateful anti-Jewish conspiracy began circa 1929 in a rough and crazy town called “Butte”, and if the line at the drive-thru is any indication, it shows absolutely no sign of abating. Ladies and gentlemench, I give you, “Pork Chop John’s Original Pork Chop Sandwich“…


These artery-murdering-and-Hebrew-hating lunch options are a recipe right out of the Himmler family cookbook—-composed of a thick slab of breaded and deep-fried white-meat pork —-and they are served daily (by the thousands sometimes!) at two convenient locations where no Jew has ever chewed.

As everyone knows, kasrut (or “kosher”) law absolutely, totally, completely forbids the eating of pork in any and all of it’s delicious, bacony forms. Obviously, the greater and lesser anti-Semitic implications of a breaded, deep-fried pork sandwich cannot be overstated or denied.

But it is surely the crack-like addictive quality of these diabolical little burgers that sets them apart—-and should have the various Jewish groups that concern themselves with such nonsense most alarmed. According to an official statement from Pork Chop John himself, “People claim to have “withdrawal symptoms” when they go too long without a pork chop sandwich, and our Butte restaurants are often one of the first stops for folks visiting after a long absence.” Indeed.


Oy vey! This scrumptious pork sandwich is obviously blatant anti-Semitism, and a terrorist-style attack on the Jewish people and way of life in general, and the Nation of Israel specifically. It shall be appropriately met with the full force of the Israeli Army,” the Israeli Prime Minister will say probably, just as soon as he or she reads the detailed email I sent him or her all about it. So, WATCH YER ASS, “Butte”!


Breaded deep-fried pork chop sandwiches are best enjoyed with a thin slice of equally un-Kosher cheese and schmear of spicy mustard. Shalom!

Morning News

posted by on July 9 at 8:15 AM

The White House on Iraq: Whoops. Sorry about all that? White House begins weighing Iraq Pullout.

Republicans on Iraq: Support for President is deteriorating among GOP.

Democrats on Iraq Sen. Reid to seize military spending bill in latest challenge to the war.

Americans on Iraq: Disapprove of the way Bush is handling the war? 70%

Iraq on Iraq: Massive Sunni truck bomb kills 155 north of Baghdad.

Burning: Wildfires ablaze in Western U.S.

Slashing: Sony cuts prices on Playstation 3 by $100.

Investigating: House Judiciary Committee to probe Libby commutation.

Impeding Bush says House and Senate Judiciary Committees cannot get testimony from key aides in AG firing scandal.

Torturing: Fatah members bring stories of Hamas brutality to human rights groups.

Unveiling: Boeing rolls out 787 Dreamliner.

There is something called the Washington Poets Association. And they post a “Random Poem of the Day” by a local poet. Dig:

impeach yourself!

by Stephen Roxborough

one day we will wake up!
one day we will wake up!
one day we will wake up!

blare america!

Continue reading "Morning News" »

This Was No Boating Accident

posted by on July 9 at 7:57 AM

Welcome to the first installment in a week-long series exploring why Shark Attack 3: Megalodon is one of the finest direct-to-video films of all time.

Exhibit A: A keen sense of irony, coupled with groundbreaking effects.

I don’t know about you, but the way that that one woman says, “what?” just kills me.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

News From Zimbabwe

posted by on July 8 at 12:23 PM

Story one:

FAILING to buy your pals a beer can kill

A Zimbabwean man from the small town of Chinhoyi tragically learnt of this rather late as his two friends hacked him to death because he had allegedly failed to buy a round of beer.

Mashonaland West police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Paul Nyathi told the privately owned Daily Mirror newspaper that Tendai Dzarira, 20, was assaulted with logs on the head and all over the body until he fell into a coma.

“The victim was seriously assaulted and he fell unconscious before he was ferried to Chinhoyi General Hospital where upon arrival was transferred to Harare Hospital. Unfortunately, the victim died on the way to Harare,” Nyathi said.

Story two:

Man dies at beer drinking contest

WHAT started off as a normal weekend outing for four Nyamapanda beer guzzlers ended in tragedy when one of them collapsed and died after imbibing undiluted, a 750ml bottle of Chateau brandy during a drinking competition.

Last Saturday, the drinking ‘competition’, for which - a $50 000 winner-take-it-all - was at stake, went horribly wrong for Edward Kapondoro (28) who died after excessive intake of alcohol.

Eyewitnesses said Kapondoro had spent the previous night drinking with friends.

On the fateful day, Kapondoro teamed up with his drinking mates at a local bar. When they had taken one too many, Kapondoro was challenged if he could drink a bottleful of undiluted Chateau-non-stop and win a $50 000 reward.

Assistant Inspector Vice Chigovanyika of Nyamapanda Police Station, confirmed the incident.

Story Three:

Witchcraft blamed as man grows genital organ on face

IN a bizarre incident, a Bulawayo man allegedly developed a female genital organ on the right side of his face stretching up to the chest in what is suspected to be a case of witchcraft.

The man was the talk of the Egodini commuter omnibus terminus in the city on Monday where many people who spotted him as he was boarding a omnibus to Magwegwe West suburb on Sunday could not believe what they had seen.

The hospital superintendent, Dr Lindiwe Mlilo confirmed that they had admitted a man with an abnormal growth but could not be drawn to say exactly what it was. She asked this reporter to put his questions on the matter in writing.

Reporters from the Chronicle newspaper say they visited the man at the hospital, and found him having covered the alleged female organ with a towel.

Washington: A State Full of Sinners

posted by on July 8 at 12:00 PM

Bloody heathens:

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Sunday liquor sales will get a boost when 29 more stores open their doors on Sundays starting July 15.

Lawmakers this year approved the increase in stores after an initial expansion proved to be popular.

Two years ago, the state approved a pilot project to allow 20 state-run stores plus contract stores run by private vendors to open between noon and 5 p.m. on Sundays. The pilot program returned $7.5 million in revenue for state and local programs.

The total number of state stores open on Sunday will now be 49.

The state has 161 state-run stores and 158 contract stores run by the private sector, typically in rural areas.

Seattle will have THREE liquor stores open from 12-5 on Sundays, located at 515 1st Ave. N., 1605 12th Ave and 2746 NE 45th.

If God had intended for us to make Margaritas on Sundays, it would say so in the Bible.

I’m moving to Utah.

Via AP

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on July 8 at 11:18 AM

Desert Fury and Leave Her to Heaven

(FILM) A pair of seriously perverse “Technicolor noirs” from the 1940s, Desert Fury and Leave Her to Heaven are two of the wackiest finds at the Noir City series—a week’s worth of $10 double features launching the new year-round SIFF Cinema. Oedipal passions! Gay gangsters! Obsessive love! Dreamboat Burt Lancaster and then icy-hot Gene Tierney! These are not archetypal noirs, but they’re dark as night. (SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St, Desert Fury at 1, 5:05, and 9:10 pm, Leave Her to Heaven at 3 and 7 pm, $10 for two consecutive shows.) ANNIE WAGNER

The Asphalt Jungle

posted by on July 8 at 9:16 AM

Real pulp fiction in the New York Times:

A Brooklyn man was killed in a drawn-out gunfight with the police yesterday after squeezing a lifetime of mayhem into less than 20 minutes, carjacking and crashing two cars, firing at an apartment door and a carful of strangers, and then finally at officers who closed in after he squirmed out of a passenger’s side window, the police said.

After the police shot him on a busy Crown Heights street, the man, Victor Gordon, 23, got up and resumed shooting before officers fired a final barrage. He was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital, the police said, and as night fell, they counted at least 122 shell casings strewn along Park Place near Albany Avenue, where the shootout took place.


The Morning News

posted by on July 8 at 8:29 AM

by Rebecca Tapscott

Iraq fails to meet benchmarks: It appears Iraq will fall (extremely) short of security and policy goals created in January with Bush’s troop increase.

Scandal in the government: Top members of the Bush administration aborted a planned raid on Al Qaeda leaders in 2005, fearing it might jeopardize relations with Pakistan.

“Ours”: Russian youth group, called Nashi, is organized and energetic to support Putin’s campaign for political control before upcoming elections.

Erosion threatens Nantucket beaches: Rich people invest in a $25 million program to move sand to offset beach erosion.

Israel releases prisoners: Israel’s cabinet agreed to release 250 Palestinian prisoners, hoping to strengthen the Fatah movement against Hamas.

Tacoma robber goes international: Bank robber and former U.S. Army Ranger, Luke Sommer, turns to online stock scams while under house arrest.

Lost and found: Missing MA hiker walks out on her own.

New tactic: Immigrants, including Iraqi refugees, file suit over citizenship delays caused by additional background checks.

The buzz on bees: Discussion on human influences on the environment, and its toll on wildlife.

Old Wives Tales: Georgian reporter for the PI deconstructs stereotypes of Americans.