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Archives for 08/05/2007 - 08/11/2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Diamonds in the Sky

posted by on August 11 at 10:24 PM

I’m watching the (pretty damned spectacular) fireworks emanating from the private party at Gasworks. Did anyone figure out who it was that got married in such a fantastic fashion tonight?

Building Biotech In Seattle

posted by on August 11 at 6:35 PM

Should Seattle be a center for biotech? “At South Lake Union, we are building a center of excellence in life sciences,” says the mayor. Vulcan has voraciously devoured tax and zoning breaks in the name of biotech in Seattle. Will it work?

Tremendous potential exists in Seattle. Last year the university pulled in over a billion dollars in highly competitive research grants—no minor feat in George W Bush’s America. Grants getting funded in a hyper-competitive environment, only the top 18% or so were funded last year, tells you Seattle is filled with talented and hard working scientists. No other public university does as well. Seattle is geographically isolated in just the right way—1700 miles from Minneapolis and 800 miles from San Francisco, but close enough to the other major hubs to get quick shipments in of reagents—to assure unusual ideas, novel ideas, and heretical ideas can take hold and provide protection against groupthink from the better integrated hubs of California or the East Coast.

Seattle’s real potential ace is the confluence of biotech and computer science talent—second only to the bay area. Thanks to new tools, biologists can generate huge volumes of data. Whoever better processes this mass of data, reaching petabytes nationwide, will lead the next era in biology. Call it systems biology, data mining, bio-informatics, whatever; any place doing it well will rule the field. Rightfully, Seattle should be leading this field. We probably won’t.

So, how are we messing it up?

Continue reading "Building Biotech In Seattle" »

Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on August 11 at 3:55 PM

Tune in at 7pm. This week, Dan Savage will be on.

Disagree with everything he says on Slog? Now’s your chance.

That’s 710 on the AM dial.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 11 at 11:00 AM

Patti Smith (LIVING LEGEND) In the pantheon of rock originals, Patti Smith is one of the original originals. Since exploding onto the scene with 1975’s breathtaking Horses, Smith’s spent the past three decades honing her visionary marriage of performance-art poetry and ass-kicking rock ‘n’ roll. Lunkhead lore posits the 21st-century Smith as an admirable shadow of her earlier self, but fuck that: She’s Patti Smith, and tonight, she’s at the Showbox. (Showbox, 1426 First Ave, 8 pm, $25, 21+.) DAVID SCHMADER
See what else is happening in Music on Saturday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Another Downtown Shooting

posted by on August 11 at 10:15 AM

Just after 11pm last night, two men were shot on the 1500 block of 1st avenue. One of the men was taken to Harborview with life-threatening injuries. The police have not released a motive for the shooting, but the good ol’ puritanical PI seems to have figured things out:

The shooting occurred about 11:30 p.m., and the two victims were reported to be wounded on the east sidewalk in the 1500 block of First Avenue, near Deja Vu Showgirls - a strip club across the street from the Pike Place Market. A block to the south, there was a scheduled concert at The Showbox featuring Devin the Dude, a Houston-based rapper.

It was unclear early Saturday what motivated the shooting, exactly where it took place or whether it involved any of those attending the concert at The Showbox.

Nice work, guys.


SPD Spokesman Jeff Kappel says there was “nothing to indicate [the shooting] was involved with the Showbox”

Friday, August 10, 2007

Remember Bush’s War Czar?

posted by on August 10 at 5:43 PM

He’s talking about bringing back the draft.

Space Shuttled “Gouged”

posted by on August 10 at 5:40 PM

A couple of decades after the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded—that was the shuttle with the school teacher on board—NASA finally managed to successfully get a school teacher into orbit yesterday. But will they be able to get her back down?

NASA discovered a worrisome gouge on Endeavour’s belly soon after the shuttle docked with the international space station Friday, possibly caused by ice that broke off the fuel tank a minute after liftoff.

The gouge - about 3 inches square - was spotted in zoom-in photography taken by the space station crew shortly before Endeavour delivered teacher-astronaut Barbara Morgan and her six crewmates to the orbiting outpost.

“What does this mean? I don’t know at this point,” said John Shannon, chairman of the mission management team.

City Attorney Declines to Prosecute in Sandidge Case

posted by on August 10 at 4:55 PM

City Attorney Tom Carr has rebuffed a request,
from the NAACP and attorney Chris Carney, to prosecute Seattle Police Officers Marcos Ortiz and David Blackmer for their involvement in Carl Sandidge’s Tasering and arrest in 2005.

Carr’s office believes the case wouldn’t be prosecutable because officers are entitled to use force.

After an investigation into Sandidge’s case, the Office of Professional Accountability recommended the officers receive “supervisory intervention” for their actions.

UPDATE: Sandidge’s attorney, Chris Carney says he’s “disappointed, but certainly not surprised, that the city attorney has declined to file charges in the matter. This illustrates oversight of the police by an agency that is to intertwined with the police is not effective. We’re going to file charges ourselves.”

Carney says he’ll file a complaint next week.

Getcher Goat!

posted by on August 10 at 4:54 PM

Somewhere far below, Dan mentioned something or other about some schmoe getting busted for porking a goat.

Lucky fucking goat.

Warning. Do not watch this.

Comments? Questions? Mitt Romney? Anyone?

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on August 10 at 4:46 PM

Documentaries are the stars this week—August is a dumping ground for mediocre big movies, so it’s a good time to experiment with cinemathèques and art houses.

In On Screen this week: the Iraq occupation doc No End in Sight (“From the initial invasion, to the months of looting, to the disastrous disbanding of the Iraqi military, de-Baathification, and the current[ly failing] troop surge, the film is a step-by-step guide to building an insurgency from the ground up,” says Lindy West)…


… the wacky but not quite fantacky Neil Gaiman adaptation Stardust (note to Stephen Holden: Gwyneth would have made an insipid star); another doc, Ghosts of Cité Soleil, about pro-Aristide gangsters in Haiti’s largest slum (“a flash of glamour too terrible and too politicized to burn very long,” I wrote); Daddy Day Camp (“Take your kids to see Ratatouille. Fuck, take ‘em to see Underdog! Just please, please, please do not take them to Daddy Day Camp,” begs Megan Seling); Live-In Maid (“an unusually sensitive and fascinating portrait of what money and work mean to women of a certain age,” says Jen Graves); Molière (“Because it’s a pure fantasy, the film offers the viewer no education; because it’s not a work of art, it offers the viewer’s soul no enrichment,” says Charles Mudede); Rocket Science (“The director of this wholly unoriginal indie flick, Jeffery Blitz, also made Spellbound,” Charles observes); and Rush Hour 3 (“lazy, lunky, and spectacularly stupid,” says Bradley Steinbacher).

For limited runs this week, which include the SIFF alums Bamako (a mild drama/heavy globalization thesis from the extremely interesting director Abderrahmane Sissako) and I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal (an interesting character, but the film doesn’t quite do him justice), Traffic (Jacques Tati’s penultimate film, and the last to be distributed theatrically), and Twisted Flicks: Cat-Women of the Moon (actually, I think I’d rather see this one with the original dialogue), see Get Out.

Seattle Gay Dads Meetup Group

posted by on August 10 at 4:42 PM

Gay dad?

A new Meetup Group—FeatherBoaFathers—is ready to meet all your gay dad Meetup needs. The group is for gay men with young children that want their kids to see other families that look like their own. It’s also for dads that want to “have fun while investing in their children”—and, no, I’m not sure what that means exactly. (Margaritas concealed in water bottles?) The group was founded a couple of weeks ago, and their events have been very well-attended. Their next Meetup is at 11 AM in Cal Anderson park on Capitol Hill, and 46 members are planning to go.

It’s time to get together!

We’ll meet up at the Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill near the playground. Blankets, chairs, brunchables to share will make this a wonderful way to meet each other.

Please share this information with other dads that you know whether single, coupled with a newborn or a toddler.

More info here.

“We Have Never had a Rock and Roll Riot in Seattle Before, and I Think it Would Really be Fun.”

posted by on August 10 at 4:07 PM

In the City Council’s internal newsletter, Legis-Letter, clerk staff archivist Julie Kerssen regularly writes a “Who Knew? Archives Find of the Month” column.

This month, in what seems like a dig at Mayor Nickels’s nightlife crackdown, Kerssen rerports on the pending Rock and Roll Riot.

Who Knew? Archives Find of the Month

Several Clerk Files from 1957 contain letters from teenagers (all girls) protesting the city’s refusal to allow Elvis Presley the use of the Civic Auditorium, apparently over concern about potential unruly behavior by youth attending the concert. The arguments took several tacks, with some following the fairness angle. One girl wrote, “What did we teen-agers ever do to deserve this? Nothing!…Why have we teenagers of Seattle been refused when teen-agers all over the U.S. have not?” Many contended that Seattle’s youth were being condemned based on what those in other cities had done. An Elvis Fan Club member asked, “Are we the kids in the other towns? No we are not…Then why are you afraid we’ll start something?” Another girl attempted to reassure the Council that “so many kids want a chance to see him, that they wouldn’t let a riot start.”

Others defended the music itself. A girl from Renton argued, “The reason some people don’t like him is usually because he has a different way of singing, and people don’t like anything that’s different.” A Seattle teen wrote, “Elvis has a good ‘beat’ to his music. It’s different. It isn’t this drawn out mushy slow music.” Another argued, “Think of when the Charleston was the craze and the teen-agers were crazy over Sinatra!”

However, one girl conveyed a different message than she intended when she wrote, “I want Elvis Presley to come to Seattle because we have never had a Rock and Roll riot in Seattle before, and I think it would really be fun.

Portland Hearts Skaters

posted by on August 10 at 3:54 PM

Last week, while Seattle skaters were fighting over Seattle Center’s scraps, Portland had a skateboard art show and half-pipe, set up in front of CITY FUCKING HALL!

Maybe if Seattle’s City Hall Park was turned into a skatepark, it’d take care of the crack problem.

Partisan Prankster Advises Republican Dan Satterberg

posted by on August 10 at 3:33 PM

The race to fill moderate Republican Norm Maleng’s spot as King County Prosecutor (Maleng died in May) is between two Democrats who are facing off in the primary, Keith Scully and Bill Sherman, and Maleng’s longtime chief of staff, Republican Dan Satterberg.

Trying to coast in as Maleng’s heir apparent, Satterberg is pitching himself as a mellow, moderate Republican.

That would ring much truer if Satterberg’s main consultant wasn’t Polis Political Services, headed up by Stan Shore.

Stan Shore is the infamous GOP consultant who landed in the NYT several years ago for cooking up a rotten Republican scheme.

Shore got caught organizing and paying for a Green Party nominating convention—and paying the filing fee for, and convincing, a young Green candidate to enter a hotly contested state legislative race to siphon votes from the Democrats.

Simultaneously, Shore’s wife was pushing a Green candidate in a King County Council race where one of Shore’s clients, Republican oddball Pam Roach, was running against Democrat Julia Patterson.

The PI reported at the time:

Han [18-year-old Green Party candidate Young Han] said Shore and Donovan contacted him after learning he had intended to run. They took him to lunch and urged him to run, and Shore gave him a $250 campaign contribution — all without revealing that Shore was a professional Republican political operative. Han now says he will give that money back.

The outraged editorials at Shore’s crass partisan trickery were forthcoming. And the Democrats called for an investigation.

So far, Satterberg has paid Shore’s Polis Political Services $2,000 for his consulting work.

Should we expect a Green to show up in the general?

Stay tuned for Satterberg’s comments on Shore.

Satterberg reports that he had to throw a campaign team together pretty fast in the wake of Maleng’s death, and having never run for office before, turned to Shore, who he’d met in 1996 when Shore worked on Maleng’s gubernatorial run. He says he likes Shore’s sense of humor, and he was not aware of the Green Party stunt from 2001. He says Shore is doing mailings, letters, and yard signs for him.

Gong’s Galaxy

posted by on August 10 at 3:30 PM

Gong Li voted China’s Most Beautiful Person!
xin_48050323091817906231.jpg If Li is the most beautiful person in China, this automatically means she is the most beautiful person in the known universe.

Zhang Ziyi was voted the fourth most beautiful person in the universe:

Li Yuchun got second:

This is Zhang Ziyi in the movie Banquet:

This is the heart and blood of Beijing:

I’ll Rochambeau You For It

posted by on August 10 at 3:28 PM

In this week’s Stranger, bright red fliers for this weekend’s Lake Fest were lovingly tucked between the pages of the Chow section.

I’ve had a copy of the ad staring me in the face but yesterday, I noticed a peculiar listing in the bottom right corner of the flier:

6-9pm Rochambeau Tournament

What, what, what???

As far as I knew, Rochambeau looked something like this:

Apparently not.

I called the Lake Fest people to see if they were going to have a real-live nut-kicking competition.

They aren’t.

Their version of Rochambeu looks like this:

Although they will be holding a game of kickball. Tee hee.

Am I the only one who didn’t know Rochambeau was just a silly name for rock, paper, scissors?

UPDATE: For more on the history of Rochambeau, go here.

How Was It? Testicle Festival!

posted by on August 10 at 2:51 PM

Ok. On Monday, y’all went crazy because I posted photos from The Montana Testicle Festival and I put little black bars over all the naughty bits.

And these are NSFW, I repeat NSFW.

Testy Part One

Testy Part Two*

*Cameo by Matt Powers at the end. For you, Mr. Poe.

Where the City Council Candidates Live; What Their Property is Worth; and What They Think About Affordable Housing

posted by on August 10 at 1:40 PM

by Rebecca Tapscott

Affordable housing is a major issue in Seattle right now. And the landscape is not good for middle-income, low-income—and by definition—young people.

The cost of a single-family Seattle home has risen nearly 100 percent in the past decade, pushing young would-be buyers to rentals outside of the city.

Additionally, increasing rents on King County apartments (up nine percent this year), magnify the trend.

On a related note, developers are reaping the financial rewards of converting low-priced rentals to condominiums that now sell for $250,000. The high returns have resulted in a 450% increase in conversion rates since 2004—and a potential loss of 3,900 low-cost rentals. (All the candidates told us they supported the condo conversion cap that Seattle unsuccessfully shopped in Olympia last year.)

We looked into public records to check out this year’s candidates’ housing status: Where they lived; the value of their house; or (horrors) were they a renter? One candidate has a home valued over $1 million (Bruce Herrell) and two were renters (Lauren Briel and Scott Feldman.)

We don’t want to persecute candidates for owning fancy houses in nice neighborhoods. But we are interested in how their living experience might influence what they think about housing issues. For example, for those candidates that live in single-family homes—are they willing to support legislation that will increase density at the cost of neighborhood comfort?

We also asked them to guess the average rent on a one-bedroom apartment in Seattle (correct answer: $1010.

*This slog includes only council members we could reach for comment.

Joe Szwaja

Status: Homeowner; Neighborhood: Ravenna
Total home value: $447,000
Rent guess: $800

“A lot of the programs we have now are good programs with good sounding titles—[but] they don’t really prioritize the money very well.” Szwaja discussed a multi-family tax break that provides subsides to developers to provide affordable housing in areas like South Lake Union and the University District, where he claims it already exists. “It gets a lot of wealthy developers money to use it in a way we don’t need to subsidize.” He suggests requiring developers to provide low-income housing to be eligible for subsidies.

Jean Godden
Status: Homeowner; Neighborhood: Viewridge
Total home value: Total: $756,000
Rent guess: $1000

Godden shut down Szwaja’s proposals, saying that when the Council tried to provide subsidies for low-income housing, developers wouldn’t take the bait. In response, the Council changed the requirements, trying to spur development, even if it produced slightly less affordable homes. “It was just a practical matter,” she says. “We are in a growth period—and it’s wonderful to have full employment, it’s wonderful to have a place where everyone wants to live, but it makes land more expensive.”

Lauren Briel
Status: Renter; Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Rent guess: $1200 to $1400.

Briel clearly explained that Seattle’s affordable housing problems are caused by a lack of incentive for builders to construct affordable apartments. Since building condos pays off, they buy condos instead. She says, “I haven’t talked to any builders, so I don’t know specifically what tools they need but [lack of incentives is] the issue we need to address.”

Robert Sondheim
Status: Homeowner; Neighborhood: Queen Anne
Total home value: $305,000
Rent guess: $850

Sondheim also advocates the “incentives for builders” route. He expressed concern that the middle class and arts community are suffering from this surge in housing prices, and says that on the City Council he would work to provide affordable housing in central neighborhoods, like Capital Hill.

In a follow up phone interview, he added an additional idea. “We can build affordable housing in the way of condos and apartments, but for people to find affordable housing they really have to leave the city. One possibility no one is really talking about is improving transportation so that people can find affordable housing outside the city and get back and forth efficiently, and that would be a solution as well.”

Continue reading "Where the City Council Candidates Live; What Their Property is Worth; and What They Think About Affordable Housing" »

This Week on Drugs

posted by on August 10 at 1:36 PM


The Eagle Soars and the Lion Sleeps: The war in Afghanistan produces record poppy crop.

Godspeed, Lion: United States to purchase $60 million weed-whacker. Catastrophic as coca eradication efforts in Colombia? Probably.

Same Shit, Different Price: As patents expire from the ’90s pharmaceutical boom, low-cost generic prescriptions to dominate the market, cutting into profits of poor multinational drug-pushing conglomerates.

Same Shit, Different Name: Indian court blocks attempt to patent slightly modified versions of standard drugs.

Take My Taxes, Please: California pot dealers offer Schwarzenegger $1 billion to bail out state from deficit.

They Need a Witness: Washington Dept. of Health announces hearings to set new medical marijuana guidelines.

Strange Love: Hustling Canadian pot activist adores angry American presidential candidate.

Who Would You Appoint? Vote ________ for shadow Drug Czar!

Don’t Lead Cartels Without It: American Express to pay $55 million for failing to prevent drug-money laundering.

What He Said: Counterpunch skewers drug law reform organizations for poor legislative strategy, rich fundraising tactics.

Stop Talking About the Party in Gasworks Park this Saturday!

posted by on August 10 at 1:15 PM

It’s supposed to be a surprise, people! So no more complaining about the fact that this private party—which currently occupies a significant chunk of the park—is also taking over the top Kite Hill because “the hubbub” is going to ruin everything!

Several large, white tents resembling the shells of the Sydney Opera House went up earlier this week, followed by lighting and sound equipment. Performers were to rehearse today and Saturday in preparation for the party Saturday night. And a large head sculpture will be placed today at the top of Kite Hill to create the look of temple ruins, according to Gary Tucker, a spokesman for The Workshop, a Seattle event company responsible for the private party.

Oh, and there’s going to be fireworks—which the whole city can enjoy.

This party’s culmination will be an eight-minute fireworks display at about 9:45 p.m., Tucker said. The display will include a blast from a propane cannon, which will shoot a ball of flame over the gas towers.

Slog tipper wussyboi sends a link to a YouTube video of a propane cannon from a recent Burning Man as an example of what we might be treated to this weekend…

Beautiful and so good for the environment!

Hey, I have no beef with this big, pricey private party in Gasworks Park—waiters and caterers and party planners gotta eat too—and we all get to enjoy the fireworks from the open-to-the-public areas of the park. Right? And some of us can enjoy ‘em from our boats, presumably, and our kayaks and canoes, which we can sail right up to the edge of Gasworks Park.

Hey, some of us might even be able to crash the party. Which would be cool—because it wouldn’t really be a big blowout party if some folks didn’t show up and try to crash it…

Parking Tickets and Crack Dealin’

posted by on August 10 at 12:30 PM

Stranger contributor Trent Moorman emails…

Here’s a video of a parking cop in the International District. He comes by every day at 5:55 and writes tickets. Even if you’re only 3 minutes late on the meter sticker, you’re getting ticket. Meanwhile, there’s a park across the street where crack dealers sell drugs, in plain view.

You get a ticket for being 3 minutes expired, while the crack dealer operates hassle-free.

I had my camera handy when he came by yesterday. While he was scrounging for his next car to ticket, I asked him why he doesn’t do anything about the crack dealer fifteen yards away. He told me he’s not allowed to do anything about the crack dealer. He said he’s not a sworn officer, and he doesn’t have a gun. He can only radio it in. But wouldn’t radio it in. He suggested that I call 911. I told him he was the one with “Seattle Police” on his shoulder patch, but he shrugged, rode off, and continued to write tickets. The crack dealer continued as well.

Rodney Tom Says He’s Not a FISA Dem

posted by on August 10 at 12:21 PM

The GOP is trying to stir up a bit of trouble in the already hot Democratic scrap between Darcy Burner and Rodney Tom—both vying to be the Democratic nominee from the 8th Congressional District.

Burner is the former Microsoft manager who lost in a close close race to incumbent GOP Rep. Dave Reichert on Seattle’s suburban Eastside in 2006. Tom is a former GOP state Rep who changed his status from R to D and took out GOP incumbent Luke Esser for a state Senate seat in 2006. Tom’s campaign is in its nascent stages. Burner, riding high of her strong showing in 2006, has nearly $200,000 on hand. Burner is running left. Tom is running centrist.

I’ve pasted the GOP press release below, but here’s the deal: Responding to Burner’s recent attack on the Democrats (she busted on her own party for voting with the GOP on last week’s surveillance bill)—the GOP trashes Burner as a Commie and then puts the spotlight on Tom. They want to see if he’s a Commie too. The controversial bill—the “Protect America Act”— gives the Bush administration the authority to circumvent FISA, the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, which traditionally mandated a warrant process to obtain wiretaps. No more.

It should be pointed out that Burner is not so out of sync as the GOP press release would have it. As I posted a few days ago, the entire Democratic Washington State delegation was against the surveillance bill.

So, where’s Tom?

I asked him this morning. He said he would have voted ‘No’ on the FISA bill. “As we fight the war on terrorism we cannot undermine the very freedoms we’re fighting for,” he said. “I have seen no proof that the existing warrant system that we used for years before 9/11 was hindering us.”

Tom says the FISA bill was too broad and pointed out that an amendment to explicitly connect surveillance targets to al Qaeda was cut from the bill.

Tom disparaged the vote for the bill as a “Pavlovian response” on the part of Congress to let Bush do whatever he wants to fight terrorism.

Continue reading "Rodney Tom Says He's Not a FISA Dem" »

New Dirt on New Life?

posted by on August 10 at 12:18 PM

Mike Jones is the male escort—former male escort—who outed Ted Haggard, shortly before the 2006 mid-term elections. A good friend of George W. Bush, Haggard was the founding pastor of New Life Church, a mega-church located in Colorado Springs, and the head of the American Association of Evangelicals.

After a long, drawn-out process (and a brief witch hunt), New Life Church announced the appointment of a new pastor on July 31. Brady Boyd, the associate pastor of some godforsaken mega-church in Texas somewhere, starts manning the pulpit at New Life Church at the end of the month. After the appointment was announced Jones wrote to Boyd and requested a meeting. He wanted to ask Boyd if New Life Church would continue to preach homophobia and engage in anti-gay political activities. After three emails, Jones finally got an answer from Boyd: “No I cannot meet with you please contact my attorney.”

Then a New Life attorney started calling Jones.

“He asked me why I would want to meet with his client,” says Jones. “I told him I would like to discuss some issues privately with the pastor. I told him they need to meet with me, that I wanted to discuss some issues regarding homosexuality and his new church.” No meeting was offered, but there were more follow-up calls from the attorneys. “Boyd can’t read between the lines,” says Jones, “but his attorneys can.”

And just what exactly is going on between the lines?

Jones visited New Life Church in January of 2007, a visit he wrote about in his book, I Had to Say Something. “I have never said this to the press or to anyone,” says Jones, “but I saw a lot more than gay art work in the church. I saw several familiar faces. If they have learned nothing from this last year and continue with the hate and damnation, then I guess I will have to write, I Had to Say Something, Again.”

New Life’s lawyer did offer to respond to questions that Jones submitted in writing. No dice, says Jones, who insists on a face-to-face meeting with New Life’s new pastor. “Who else is in a position to go down there and confront them?” asks Jones. “I am not afraid to do it.

“I do not want any more individuals or families to be ruined,” Jones adds, “but we must have honest discussions.”

Cape of Very Good Hope

posted by on August 10 at 11:54 AM

Last night in Cape Town:
cape_town_at_night.jpg A fashion show with some serious Cape Town honeys. Enjoy with the fresh sounds of Cape Town house.
45076037948_10.jpg What a bella belly.

45076036653_10.jpg The flower of her bad self.

45076034145_10.jpg African queen, now we are sharing the same dream.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

posted by on August 10 at 11:43 AM

Seattle’s numerous sidewalk-less neighborhoods could soon join the civilized world if Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development (DPD) get their way. DPD spokesman Alan Justad says the city wants to require developers to build sidewalks in front of new “urban villages,” a fancypants term used to describe condo and townhome developments.

Sidewalk construction was previously required for all large construction projects, but now developers may have to install them around smaller townhome developments too.

Even if DPD’s proposal goes through, neighborhoods still won’t get full-on block-long sidewalks. DPD is only requiring sidewalks to be built in front of new development, so sidewalks won’t be built in front of older properties. “There will be gaps in the sidewalks,” Justad says.

Violet Blue

posted by on August 10 at 11:30 AM

I get at least five questions a week about pegging—or straight woman fucking straight men in their straight butts with strap-ons. When I saw that SF-based sex blogger and author Violet Blue had a new book out on pegging—The Adventurous Couple’s Guide to Strap-On Sex—I invited Violet to jump in and play guest expert in this week’s column. Check it out here.

Violet is a columnist for the SF Chronicle—yes, Virginia, daily papers are different in Sodom by the Bay—and her latest column offers up a hilarious guide to conservative sexual fetishes. A sample…

Homosexuality: easily caught on a toilet seat. This is the world’s best excuse for dwelling on fags and bondage, and you’re carte blanche to talk to as many people about it as you want when you “warn” them with lurid details about the homosexual menace and sexual torture. Just the threat of getting some on you is exciting all on its own, but it’s even more titillating to imagine what these leather-clad people are doing with each other. Of course, what’s imagined is as far from reality as possible, but that’s the point: the homosexual scenario is where you explore your nastiest homoerotic fantasy (Fire hydrants! Great Danes! Ralph Lauren tablecloth weights!)

BDSM (or ess and emm) is for evildoers. The BDSM exchange is where you project your wildest edge-play ideas. (Serial killers, helpless victims, and pasty guys with mullets who give the name Mistress Bitchslap at Starbucks are all possible components in your fantasy scenarios.) Everyone at Fox News knows that BDSM where consenting adults get tied up and spanked for sex is one and the same with torture. (Like in Vietnam, NOT like Abu Ghraib because “we don’t torture.”) Except the outfits, that’s the only difference, though uniforms are always optional alternatives to 1980s studs and leather. You can easily convince your minions and followers that your enemy du jour is a homosexual pedophile by bringing in the whips and chains; only bad people “force” others to do things. Especially sexual things, which you should linger over for as long as possible. Everyone knows that normal people never, ever have any hint of power exchange in their sexual encounters.

The computer is an evil voodoo box of pornography. The Internet is like the real world, except MUCH scarier. This type of edge play is for conservatives who like to feel out of control, who maybe have to be the person in charge in their everyday lives but fantasize about helplessness and surrender. It’s also a fabulous punishment tool, as guilt can be a more powerful mistress than Naughty thoughts you have can be guiltlessly channeled into public humiliation of your enemies (those bad sex people that give you those weird feelings) in gay cure blogs, anti-porn websites, anti-sex email campaigns against cable advertisers, and the occasional reporting/expulsion of a member from a social networking site for not “thinking of the children.”

Read the rest by clicking here. Violet’s blog can be found here.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 10 at 11:00 AM

‘Solaris’ (FILM) Like our planet, the planet in Tarkovsky’s Solaris thinks. But its thoughts are produced by a sea that covers its surface, instead of primates with large brains. The sea’s thinking affects human thinking. It acts on the human brain in much the same way a hallucinogen acts on neural receptors. The astronauts begin seeing the dead, seeing women floating above their beds. Solaris is science fiction in the condition of music. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 6 and 9:15 pm, $5—$8.50.) CHARLES MUDEDE
See what else is happening in Film on Friday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Ain’t No Crater Low Enough

posted by on August 10 at 10:51 AM

So I’ve been watching a bunch of 80’s grossout T’n’A comedies lately, in preparation for next week’s commendably filthy Superbad. Occasional parachute pants overload aside, it’s been a surprisingly enjoyable experience, ranging from the pneumatic Shannon Tweed highs of Hot Dog: The Movie! to the bleak Bergman lows of The Last American Virgin. (That ending! In the car! With the rain! And the James Ingram! Jesus Christ!) After what I witnessed this morning, though, I think I’m done. This … thing just can’t be topped, or bottomed.

The movie in question? 1979’s King Frat, a Canadian Animal House ripoff about a farting contest where the participants run the risk of getting disqualified for (god forgive me) “drawing mud”. In anticipation of your question: Yes, the climactic bout is available on YouTube, and no, you really shouldn’t watch it, at work or otherwise.

So, anyway, my questions: Has anyone out there even heard of this thing? Any examples of particularly crass highlights from other movies in the genre? Will the theme song (“King Frat! King Fraaaat!”) ever leave my head? Am I going to hell? Will this be showing when I get there?

Nothing Surprises Me Anymore

posted by on August 10 at 10:48 AM

Not even this: Seminary To Offer Women A Degree in Homemaking.

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation’s largest Southern Baptist seminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles.

It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a concentration in homemaking. The program is open only to women.

The program will offer female seminary students classes in meal preparation, “textile design,” and “clothing construction” (seriously?). Its purpose, according to seminary director (and former head of the Southern Baptist Convention) Paige Patterson, is to reinforce the “Biblical” model for the family, in which the husband leads and the wife obeys. “We are moving against the tide in order to establish family and gender roles as described in God’s word for the home and the family,” Patterson told the Baptist Convention earlier this year. “If we do not do something to salvage the future of the home, both our denomination and our nation will be destroyed.”

Less radical Baptists than Patterson have expressed horror at the idea that female seminary students have no higher calling than serving as unpaid household domestics for their husbands. However, they shouldn’t be surprised: Patterson’s views on women have been remarkably consistent over the years. In 2004, when he took over the seminary, Patterson said explicitly that women would not be allowed to serve as pastors, because the Bible says women must follow, not lead:

“It means voluntarily to line up in the right order that God has given, and the husband is loving his wife sacrificially as much as Jesus Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it, so that all the husband can think of is, ‘Honey, what can I do for you? What can I do to serve you? How can I make your life better?’ And all the time she is submitting herself to her husband and saying, ‘You just lead and, honey, I’ll follow.’ Would you tell me how any kind of fight could develop in that situation? It will just be heaven on earth. That’s all. God knew it and He wants the church to be an example of it. That is the reason He said ‘no’ to a woman having a ruling or teaching position over a man.”

More recently, Patterson lamented that too many women are going to college, “threatening the family” by getting an education. Seen from that perspective, Patterson’s just doing his part to make sure Baptist women stay ignorant, knocked-up, and submissive.


posted by on August 10 at 10:42 AM

From Slog commentor MyDogBen:

I saw this tonight when I came home from QFC on 15th.

Just another day on 19th Ave E.


I’m guessing something to do with BlahBlahBlahBang (A Pistol Fit in One Act), WET’s takedown of Hedda Gabler, which will happen at On the Boards this December. (And if you haven’t checked out OtB’s new season, do. It looks hot.)



Re: GOP Returns GOP Money

posted by on August 10 at 10:35 AM

Kittitas GOP chairman Mathew Manweller, one of the members of Dino Rossi’s “nonpartisan” group Forward Washington, returned my call this morning.

I had called him yesterday asking why the GOP had returned a $700 donation to him immediately after the Democrats filed a complaint alleging that Forward Washington was a front for a GOP campaign outfit.

Alas, the cordial Manweller debunked my conspiracy theory this morning. He told me the money was returned because the GOP couldn’t make good on the $700 cruise that he and his wife had won at a GOP auction.

Man, can’t the GOP even get an auction right?

The Honey Doll

posted by on August 10 at 10:19 AM

Gizmodo brings us news of the latest breakthrough in sexbot technology—courtesy of the Japanese, of course. The Honey Doll isn’t just made of soft, squishy, flesh-like plastic, she talks! My goodness, she’s practically a real, live girl!

This almost-perfect, silicon-made Honey Doll is equipped with touch sensors. They will fire an internal MP3 player that will make the doll moan when you touch her in the right places. The best part: you can put whatever sound you want in it.

Here’s the photo Gizmodo posts of the Honey Doll prototype…


Gee. I’m thinking the first thing the doll should say when you touch her in the “right places” is “Get your hands off me, you asshole, I’m only 12 fucking years old!”

To see more pics of the Honey Doll and to listen to some of the things she actually does say, click here.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

posted by on August 10 at 10:08 AM

The federal government is paying $150K per year to keep two retired police detectives glued to sexually explicit websites—all day long, every day. Good lord, couldn’t they get volunteers?

Tom Rogers, a retired Indianapolis detective, toils away most days in his suburban home office reviewing sexual Web sites and other Internet traffic to see whether they qualify as obscene material whose purveyors should be prosecuted by the Justice Department.

It gets worse: the program is overseen by Morality in Media, a conservative religious organization founded in 1962 to “rid the world of pornography.” Considering Morality in Media’s track record—please note that MIM was founded before Deepthroat, before Debbie did Dallas, before Powertool, before the Jeff Stryker dildo, before phone sex, before the Internet, before webcams, before Pony took over the Cha Cha’s old space.—it shouldn’t come as a surprise that this program is an ineffectual joke and a waste of public money.

In the last few years, 67,000 citizens’ complaints have been deemed legitimate under the program and passed on to the Justice Department and federal prosecutors.

The number of prosecutions resulting from those referrals is zero.

So… 150K per year, tens of thousands of referrals and—thankfully—not one prosecution. The program was created by an earmark crammed into the federal budget by Rep. Frank R. Wolf, a Republican of Virginia. Considering the number of Republicans that have recently been spotted legislating against their own sexual interests (see Foley, Mark; Vitter, David; Allen, Bob), I’d say odds are good that Mr. Wolf devours internet porn in his spare time.

I Would Have an Easier Time Avoiding Feelings of Islamophobia…

posted by on August 10 at 9:41 AM

…if Islam didn’t give me so much to be phobic about.

Eighteen men have been remanded in prison following their arrest for alleged sodomy in northern Nigeria, the state-owned news agency, Nan, reports. The men were arrested in a hotel in north-eastern Bauchi State, which is governed by the Islamic Sharia law.

The Sharia punishment for sodomy is death by stoning.

The men, reportedly wearing women’s clothes, are said to have gone to Bauchi town from neighbouring states to celebrate a “gay wedding.”

I wonder what Sharia has to say about gay civil unions?

Touchy Touchy Record Industry

posted by on August 10 at 9:28 AM

A freedom loving mom is suing the $4.9 billion record industry giant, Universal Music Group, after they forced her to take down this 29-second video (her kids dancing to a Prince song) from YouTube last month.

p.s. Call CPS and all, but the record industry needs to get a grip.

MILFing the K-Fed: Terrible Happening the Fifth!

posted by on August 10 at 9:23 AM

Last night somebody reported here that something called a “Kevin Federline” has made a bold and terrifying litigious move to snatch Britney Spears’ children out of her ever-crazier and unfit grasp, on the basis that she’s a coot-flashing, chain-smoking whore who shall surely end up drowning them in the bath tub so’s they can all to go live happy in heaven with the Jesus Man.

But in a shattering newish development, an explosive and mundo pervy love triangle of Jerry Springer proportions seems to have developed between K-Fed, the Britster and the woman whose wretched womb is responsible for unleashing the horror that is Spear’s upon the universe: Britney’s very own mother (yes, and it seems she actually had one)…LYNN!

Sources that often totally make shit up confirm that Britney had a nuclear-style melt down at dear old muther, accusing her quite candidly of sampling her ex’s sausage! “You’re such a filthy backstabbing bitch, that you’re no doubt fucking my ex husband just to bug me!!!” or something is almost exactly like what Britney actually said to her poor mother about the situation. Exactly just how accurate these accusations are is a matter for the courts, Britney’s future team of psychiatrists, the CDC and TMZ to decide, but frankly it doesn’t look good, for there is already a hit song about the sick and alleged affair. Britney’s mother’s mouth is full of K-Fed’s rancid sperm just now, and she is unable to comment at this juncture. Updates after the swallow.


More Morning News

posted by on August 10 at 9:13 AM

A man accused of having sex with a goat has been charged with animal cruelty…. He’s the second person charged in the county since the Legislature made bestiality a crime in response to the fatal injury to a man having sex with a horse in Enumclaw.

A man accused of having sex with the family pit bull dog was acquitted in May.

So, Who Supports the Troops?

posted by on August 10 at 8:57 AM

GOP fights Democratic bill to restore school funding for returning veterans.

Courtesy of The Blotter.


posted by on August 10 at 8:00 AM

Joe My God liveblogged the forum last night, and it’s a great read. Here’s his conclusion…

Obama: OK, but not riveting.

Edwards: Slick, smarmy, insincere. Disappointing.

Kucinich: Amazing. Strong. Smart. Super-likeable.

Gravel: Wacky but loveable. Unelectable.

Richardson: Horrible. Soporific. Highly unlikeable.

Clinton: Same old, same old. Pre-programmed.

I give the win to Dennis Kucinich. Clinton and Obama tied for second.

Hard to Watch

posted by on August 10 at 7:40 AM

Here’s Richardson’s meltdown from last night’s HRC/LOGO candidates forum. Ouch.

The Morning News

posted by on August 10 at 7:39 AM

Plungers: US markets expected to plunge further after markets in Europe and Asia plunge overnight in reaction to the plunging US markets.

End the Fucking War: Ten soldiers from Fort Lewis died in the last week alone. The war was a lie, its continuation is a crime. We lost three years ago. End it.

He Suffered So: Rupert Murdoch tells the Washington Post that buying the Wall Street Journal was worth the “summer’s worth of hurt feelings” he had to endure.

The Dems Court the Gays: They like us, they really like us. But none of the Dem front-runners want us to get married, and Clinton still thinks DADT and DOMA were the right thing to do at the time. Edwards, as ever, is the worst on gay issue. But Richardson really screwed up, saying homosexuality is “a choice.”

Creative Destruction: Rome’s Cinecitta film studio is burning.

It’s Iowar: Republicans descend on Iowa for straw poll—if Romney doesn’t walk away with it he’s toast.

Winning Team Disbands: More trouble for the Tour de France.

Dogs Suck: The LA Times’ Joel Stein hates dogs, says so publicly. Execution imminent.

Class War: Port of Seattle to voted last night to bulldoze those 162 units of affordable housing.

Oh, the Humanity! I-5 shutdown starts tonight.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The Dems & The Gays

posted by on August 9 at 10:37 PM

Americablog has a great rundown on tonight’s HRC/LOGO Forum.

Crisis Averted

posted by on August 9 at 5:40 PM

I was disheartened earlier today to receive an announcement that the great little art space, McLeod Residence (I wrote about it here), sent to its members yesterday:

This is a difficult email to write, but we owe it to our members to be transparent about our situation. Simply put, McLeod Residence is in big trouble, as in financial trouble. The short story is, we’re running out of money. Our initial personal and angel investments are dwindling, and due to circumstances that have not allowed us to fully implement our business plan, our revenue hasn’t yet caught up to costs. McLeod Residence will have to close its doors unless we are able to raise a hefty amount of cash on the order of $40-$50,000 and quick.

The problem, according to the letter, has been the discovery that McLeod Residence needs to do serious work on its 100-year-old building in order to bring it up to code to get a liquor license—at which point, the sales of drinks are intended to support the art.

I called Lele and Buster McLeod immediately, and talked to Lele, who informed me that the notice was old news—and that everything was going to be fine with McLeod Residence.

“We have some very nice friends,” she said. “We raised the money, yes.”

The McLeods sent another notice to members this afternoon, updating them as well. It was a little less emphatic about having raised the money, but indicated that things were looking up.

Yesterday we sent an email to our members to alert them of a financial crisis caused by unforeseen (and therefore unbudgeted) building construction expenses. We wanted to search for investors from within our base before we widened the net. We received a tremendous response from our members and are currently in talks to secure new business partners. We are feeling very positive about the future of McLeod Residence and incredibly grateful to our generous members who answered our call. McLeod Residence is committed to its mission to be a home for art, technology and collaboration. We will follow up with everyone who responded with offers to help within the next couple days.

Godspeed, McLeod!

Slog Poll Results: Who You Want to Be the Democratic Nominee.

posted by on August 9 at 5:30 PM

Below are the results from our second poll of Slog readers on the race for the Democratic nomination. Our first poll, way back in January, produced a similar top-three when Al Gore was factored out. You guys like, in order of preference: Obama, Hillary, and then Edwards.

We’ll try doing these unscientific polls on a more regular schedule in the future (maybe monthly instead of every-eight-monthly) so that we can watch how your opinions change over time as the primaries draw nearer. Perhaps we’ll even draw some unscientific conclusions about your unscientific box clicking.

Seattle Tattoo Convention 2007

posted by on August 9 at 5:25 PM

Wish you had a tattoo? Want to see some cool body art? Check out the tattoo convention this weekend—there will be contests, shopping, raffles, tattoo artists from all over, and beer.


The Seattle Tattoo Convention is Friday-Sunday, August 10-12, at Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center. Noon-10:00 p.m., admission is $20 per day.

About Time

posted by on August 9 at 5:24 PM

Karaoke singer beaten on stage.

Light a Little Candle for Felicia Fellatio

posted by on August 9 at 5:07 PM

Trannyshack Seattle regular and former Seattle resident Felicia Fellatio—recently seen at Pony doing something shocking—is going in for testicular surgery. She’s not having them removed, just… adjusted. Or something. You can read all about it here. And here’s a NSFW photo of the sack that’s going under the knife but coming back hole. Or something.

Don’t Watch THAT! Watch THIS! It’s Adrian Ryan’s Occasional Celebrity Round Up!

posted by on August 9 at 4:55 PM

Tonight the ’08 presidential so-called “hopefuls” or whatever (who will all be shot dead in the upcoming Bush takeover, mark my words) will all gather like a flock of old hens to debate that most divisive of issues, The Gays. Gayness. Fudgepackery. Homosexing. Indeed.

It might seem a bit out of character for such a rouser of the rabble as I, but fuck you. I rather Zenly encourage all of you—gay, filthy breeder, two-spirit, whatever—- to ignore these alleged gay “debates” entirely. ENTIRELY! Go fly a kite, watch the sun set, bang your two-spirit’s manpussy. Get out there and enjoy some global warming. Me? I plan to do all four. Right after I write this. If you don’t fly kites or have easy access to two-spirit manpussy, you can read it instead. It’s win-win!

So then. I’m twisted and conflicted to report that dark and terrible things have been going down in the world of celebrite. Let’s touch upon a few. Don’t worry. I’m wearing gloves.

And so it begins.

Terrible Happening The First: Whitney Houston celebrated her 444th birthday early this week by aging hard and fast. In some unfathomable moment of weakness, complete insanity, and/or the bad crack, the ever-screeching freak also reconciled with she baby daddy and world famous paranoid schizophrenic, Bobby B., and they spent a magical evening ducking private eyes and federal agents looking to collect on trillions of dollars in back-due child support. Osama bin Laden is, understandably, furious.

Terrible Happening The Second: Something called a Spice Girl has secretly married her secret boyfriend in a secret wedding ceremony in Las Vegas, which is tacky, right after not secretly insisting to the universe that she Eddie Murphie baby mamma, and that he should give her tonney money. Apparently, she’s just a huge slut.

Terrible Happening The Third: Tori Spelling, whose poor face seems be slowly breaking into continents that are drifting apart (oh! And who’s allegedly just been ordained a minister of some sort! A MINISTER!) is pregnant for the second time, having just recently given birth to a horrifying monster called Cthulhu. And I know. I was fucking THERE, man.

Terrible Happening The Fourth: Some horrible thing called a K-Fed (I think it’s a sort of overnight shipping franchise) has finally had the good sense to file an official looking court order to take custody of Britney Spears’ apparently endangered chillens! “She chain smokes in front of them, tells them that cigarettes are “candy”, feeds them bags of sugar, tries to bribe her dentist to whiten their rotten teeth, drops them, and drives possibly drunk with them sitting unbuckled on her ever-widening lap. Also, she’s a snatch-flashing spermbag who trusts George Bush,” a source that can’t be trusted and which is totally me reports. Disturbing.

Well, that’s it kids. I hope it’s enough to hold you through the, ahem, “debates”. If not, I, acting as official Grand Wizard of the SKK (The Stranger Klux Klan), give you this hysterical and distracting little piece of advice, below. And yes, I’m a huge fucking racist. Embrace it. And hopefully next election everyone will have the good sense to lay off the fags and go after the fat chicks—-the true enemies of democracy. Enjoy.

The War on Pot: Mission Accomplished!

posted by on August 9 at 4:48 PM

Surely the latest big pot bust, dutifully reported by the drug war stenographers at the Seattle Times and Yakima Herald-Republic, will be the last. Without a doubt the brave men and women of the Washington State Patrol, with the assistance of helicopters provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Guard, have discovered and destroyed the very last marijuana grow op in the state and Washington can finally be declared marijuana free.

Golly, whatever will the stoners smoke at Hempfest?

Unicorn Crapping Rainbow Marshmallows

posted by on August 9 at 4:21 PM


Show your pride—buy the t-shirt.

UPDATE: This seems like a good time to pay another visit to Unicorn Planet

Back Away From the Microphone…

posted by on August 9 at 4:02 PM

Chris Leman is a longtime neighborhood and good-government activist who pushes relentlessly for more openness and transparency in government.

So you’d assume Leman would consider proposed legislation requiring folks who lobby the city to register as lobbyists a good thing, right?

Not so fast: Leman showed up to rail against the lobbying proposal at Tuesday’s public safety committee meeting, calling it a “surveillance” program that would allow the council to illegally track citizen efforts to communicate with government officials.

Well, not exactly. The legislation that put Leman into a paranoid freakout only applies to professional lobbyists and “grassroots lobby” groups (like the well-funded “grassroots” Monorail Recall campaign, which spent nearly $100,000 paying an out-of-town company to gather signatures) that spend more than $10,000 a year on their lobbying efforts. Somehow I don’t think it costs Chris Leman that much to ride the bus down to City Hall.

GOP Returns GOP Money

posted by on August 9 at 3:53 PM

I’ve been paying a lot of attention to Dino Rossi’s nonprofit group Forward Washington.

My spider senses are tingling because—as a complaint filed by the Washington State Democrats alleges—it seems pretty obvious that Rossi’s group is actually an illegal partisan campaign organization.

One batch of evidence includes all sorts of goodies about Forward Washington’s leadership: Members include an outspoken conservative; the chairman of a county GOP committee (as in Kittitas County); and a Discovery Institute board member—among other things.

So, here’s an interesting thing: Just four days after the Democrats filed their complaint with the Public Disclosure Commission alleging that Forward Washington was nothing more than a GOP committee organized to promote a Dino Rossi bid for governor, the Washington State Republican Party returned a $700 contribution from Mathew Manweller. Manweller is the aforementioned Chairman of the Kittitas County Republicans.

I have calls in to both Manweller and the Washington State GOP to find out why the $700 was returned. Could it be that the state Republicans where trying to downplay how actively and electorally partisan Forward Washington’s “nonpartisan” shop is?

New, New, New Nightlife License Proposed. Again.

posted by on August 9 at 3:45 PM

Yet another new proposal for a nightclub license is making the rounds at City Hall, this one supported by Jan Drago and David Della. The latest proposal, though substantially less restrictive than earlier ones, is still being opposed by club industry representatives, who say legislation passed last week by Sally Clark’s neighborhoods committee makes the license redundant and unnecessary.

Here’s the background: A week ago, Clark’s committee adopted a package of legislation (read all about it here) that regulates, but does not license, large bars and clubs. The package has four main elements: It amends city law to allow the city to “abate” clubs that allow overcrowding; requires all clubs to come up with a written security plan that spells out how the club will deal with violence and crowding issues; proposes a new nightlife enforcement team; and directs the mayor to propose additional regulations (which, by the way, is how we got into this nightlife morass in the first place).

The latest iteration of the nightlife license, which Clark’s committee will discuss at 6pm next Thursday (at High Point Community Center; meeting schedule and address here) would apply only to large (200-plus) establishments that serve booze after 10 pm, charge admission, and make most of their money from admission and booze. That rules out most bars, and limits the ordinance to the largest clubs. It also removes the unenforceable requirement that clubs monitor nearby sidewalks and parking lots for violence and litter; under the new ordinance, club owners would merely be required “to implement all reasonable measures to prevent violent criminal activity on the premises.” And it puts off until later a new noise ordinance, which is being drafted by council staffers now.

So why does the nightlife lobby hate it? According to Seattle Nightlife and Music Association lobbyist Tim Hatley, the legislation overlaps with provisions that have already been adopted, and gives the city a tool to put clubs out of business (by denying or revoking a license). “It’s still a license that can be yanked and a license that can be denied,” Hatley says.

The council plans to vote on the first four elements of the package in full council Monday. Says Hatley of the long-running drama: “They should just vote on the entire package and let us just get on with our lives.” Hear, hear.

City Hall Gets Involved In Gay Bashing Incident

posted by on August 9 at 3:41 PM

After City Council member Tom Rasmussen contacted SPD Chief Gil Kerlikowske about a possible gay-bashing incident in Belltown, which I wrote about yesterday, SPD is reviewing the case.

City Council Rasmussen’s office contacted the Chief and requested the department investigate whether the officer’s report, which does not list the incident as a possible hate crime, should to be amended.

The assault is now being investigated by SPD’s “bias crimes” unit

Obama Locks Up the Gay Vote

posted by on August 9 at 3:40 PM


He was first out of the gate with a rainbow logo, so I guess I’m obligated to vote for this guy. Must… obey… rainbow…

Words for Frizzelle, Nelson, Graves, Et Al

posted by on August 9 at 3:39 PM

Proust has this to say:

And when Bergotte’s opinion was thus contrary to mine, he in no way reduced me to silence, to the impossibility of framing any reply, as M. de Norpois would have done. This does not prove that Bergotte’s opinions were less valid than [M. de Norpois]’s; far from it. A powerful idea communicates some of its power to the man who contradicts it. Partaking of the universal community of minds, it infiltrates, grafts itself on to, the mind of him whom it refutes, among other contiguous ideas, with the aid of which, counter-attacking, he complements and corrects it; so that the final verdict is always to some extent the work of both parties to a discussion. It is to ideas which are not, strictly speaking, ideas at all, to ideas which, based on nothing, can find no foothold, no fraternal echo in the mind of the adversary, that the latter, grappling as it were with thin air, can find no word to say in answer. The arguments of M. de Norpois (in the matter of art) were unanswerable simply because they were devoid of reality.

Police Guild Goes After The Stranger and Our “Ilk.”

posted by on August 9 at 3:17 PM

In the August edition of The Guardian, the newsletter for the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (the SPD union), editor Ron Smith critiques my Counter•Intel column from July 12.

In that July 12 column, I had argued that the final Office of Professional Accountability report on the controversial George Patterson arrest was not the soft ball whitewash Mayor Nickels intended it to be. Nor, more importantly, was it the whitewash activists perceived it to be.

In fact, I maintained that OPA director Kathryn Olson’s report was damning, and that it added credibility to activist demands that the Mayor get tough on the Chief.

I wished police accountability activists had seized Olson’s report (she adamantly yanked the OPA’s previous finding that exonerated the officers against charges they lied) rather than pooh-poohing it. I thought activists could have used the report to make the case that when the OPA director scolds cops like that, the Mayor and the Chief need to take action against those cops.

In his column, Guardian editor Ron Smith describes police accountability activists as “Feit and his ilk” and calls my column “emotional knee jerking” and “fringe element” and suggests I’m preaching to the “sheeple” of Seattle. (The SPD sees critical community members as “sheeple?” WTF?)

For starters, Smith misses that fact that my interpretation was out of sync with the “sheeple.” Indeed, accountability activists maintained that Olson’s report was a white wash. I was arguing that Olson’s report was helpful.

And that’s really the part, I think, that gets Smith’s goat. He liked the report. I liked the report. He like’s it because he thinks it exonerates the SPD. I like it—read it—because it yanks an “exonerated” finding on the most serious charge (that the officers lied about the arrest … which seems to unravel everything about their credibility) and lowers the finding down to “not sustained.” “Not sustained” is the 4th worst finding an officer can get out of the 5 possible findings. “Exonerated” is the best finding. So, that’s like going from an A to a D.

Smith’s argument is that a “not sustained” finding isn’t worthy of serious punishment because “not sustained” means the citizen allegation wasn’t proved or disproved. That’s hardly a big deal, Smith argues, and suggests that if a charge against a citizen was neither proved nor disproved they shouldn’t be punished either.

I can’t get The Guardian online, so here’s a transcript from Smith’s “Editor’s Notes:

Josh Feit, columnist for The Stranger has decided that five of the possible findings in an OPA investigation; sustained, not sustained, exonerated, unfounded and supervisory intervention must be given a letter grade. In doing so, Feit has dubbed exonerated an A, not sustained a D and sustained an F (Counter Intel, The Stranger July 12, 2007). Feit thinks that anyone who gets a “D” from the OPA should get “serious discipline.” So keeping with the spirit of Feit’s reasoning, when the allegation of misconduct cannot be proved nor disproved by a preponderance of the evidence, he wants serious discipline leveled. Well how about this, whenever the cops cannot prove or disprove someone committed a civil infraction (same level of proof), we write a ticket anyway and impound their hybrid? Can you imagine the outcry from Feit and his ilk if a law enforcement officer pronounced a Seattleite guilty at the time of arrest, and called for their imprisonment? This logic furthers my view that the “sheeple” of Seattle live with their heads imbedded in some dark place, only to rely only emotional knee jerking to form critical opinions. Just passing on a little intel so that you are aware of how the fringe element wants to limit your due process rights!

Cute. And it certainly has me reconsidering the stridency of my position.

But I cannot shake the feeling that Smith is talking apples to oranges.

Citizens are innocent until proven guilty. However, it’s not the same for employees. If a barista cannot disprove allegations that they’re dipping into the till, it’s likely they’re gonna be in deep shit.

Likewise in my job: If I publish something as a statement of fact and someone challenges it and I can’t prove its veracity, I could get my ass sued (successfully) for libel.

And when the employee is a public servant—a public servant like a cop who has the delicate and serious job of carrying a gun and policing the public—the onus is on them to earn credibility. If an officer cannot disprove charges from a citizen that he or she was lying, there need to be repercussions to restore public trust.

I maintain that in the limited context of five potential findings, where “not sustained” is the second to worst possible finding, and where the OPA director lowers the original finding from the best possible finding for the officer (“exonerated”) to “at least,” in her words, the second worst possible finding (meaning at least a D if not an F) there should be consequences.

Again, Smith’s point is noteworthy and makes me pause. But given the context and politics here, I think Olson was sending a strong message by moving the finding downward from an A to at least a D.

Slog Poll: Who Do You Want to Be the Democratic Nominee?

posted by on August 9 at 3:00 PM

[Originally posted Wednesday afternoon.]

Ok, so now we know what this state’s Democratic party leaders think about who should be the Democratic presidential nominee. And we also know what Slog readers thought on this subject back in January.

But what do you think now?

Here are two polls, one with Gore included and one without. Vote in both, and tell us who you think should get the Democratic nomination. (Polls close at 5 p.m. today.)

The Best Candidate for Gay Rights?

posted by on August 9 at 2:50 PM


Posted by Sage Van Wing

While the Democratic candidates are trying to suck up to the gay ATM machine, is it possible that Rudy Giuliani has done more for gays than anyone else?

Victims and Heroes

posted by on August 9 at 2:49 PM

Was Matthew Shepherd the victim of a hate crime? Or the hero?

You probably think of him as a victim—so do I. What happened to Shepherd was truly awful, and the brutality of his murder shocked the world. Shepherd wasn’t the first person to die in an anti-gay hate crime, nor was he the last. There has been a string of gruesome hate crimes this year alone.

Now gay and lesbian activists are doing something to draw attention to this problem. Towleroad broke the news this afternoon

Scott Hall, longtime activist Frank Kameny, US. Representative Barney Frank and Amazing Race winner and activist Chip Arndt are spearheading the launch of Gay American Heroes, a national memorial to honor LGBT people murdered because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Supporting them are a large number of gay and straight public figures who have lent their names to the project.

The memorial’s goal is to honor and remember LGBT people who have been murdered in anti-gay hate crimes, engage and inform the public about LGBT hate crimes, and “inspire compassion and greater appreciation for, and acceptance of, diversity,” according to Arndt.

The memorial and exhibition, consisting of a 100-ft. long display made up of eight-ft. tall rainbow-colored multi-dimensional panels which bear the photographs, names, ages, and occupations of LGBT hate crime victims, will travel throughout the country to college campuses, LGBT events, and communities where anti-gay hate crimes have occurred.

Let me be clear: I am all for this project. I only wonder about its name. Gay American Heroes? When gay people look for heroes, do we look to men and women murdered by bigots? Do we believe that there is something heroic about being the victim of a hate crime? Victims of anti-gay hate crimes should be remembered and memorialized—and a project like this is particularly timely, as George W. Bush is preparing to veto the hate crimes bill. But heroes? Martyrs seems more apt.

One other thing…

We should absolutely create a memorial to victims of anti-gay hate crimes—and it should travel the country and raise awareness (first stop: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C.)—but a “rainbow-colored” memorial to the victims of anti-gay hate crimes? The rainbow thing is oppressive, childish, and thoroughly over used. Maybe rainbows work for a Pride Parade on a sunny day in June, but rainbows aren’t the first thing that pops into my mind when I think of Matthew Shepherd or Sean William Kennedy or Michael Sandy. If anything cries out for a more somber, mature, and reflective visual treatment, it’s this memorial.

Hey, Sally

posted by on August 9 at 2:43 PM

Maybe it’s the fact that she doesn’t update every day (so get on that, would you?) but sometimes I forget that council member Sally Clark has a blog. Fortunately, I ran into Council Member Clark at City Hall today. She cringed when she spotted me biking down Rainier from South Seattle the other day, she said, and she’d posted some suggestions for alternative routes.

So I checked it out, and here they are:

1. Up Columbian Way to Beacon Avenue South, turning on 12th Avenue South;

2. 31st Avenue South to Jackson, turning on 12th or 14th;

3. Lake Washington Boulevard, through Colman Park, through the I-90 bike tunnel, and on to Rainier.

Thanks, Sally! Now if only I had some good suggestions for how to avoid the hills on the way back…

Who You Gonna Believe?

posted by on August 9 at 1:54 PM

Last week a group of independent scientists writing in a peer-reviewed journal said that a chemical used in making plastic bottles—baby bottles, water bottles—poses a significant threat to human health. But yesterday a government-appointed panel says it ain’t so, and that the chemical—bisphenol A—is safe and there’s nothing to worry about. Drink up, kids!

That contrasts with the group of scientists, chosen for their expertise on bisphenol A, who last week concluded that a wide range of health problems caused by small doses of the chemical in lab animals “is a great cause for concern with regard to the potential for similar adverse effects in humans.”

In 95 percent of people tested, bisphenol A is detected at levels that could be harmful, the scientists said.

When experts disagree, it’s hard for people to know what to do.

Because, really, who you gonna believe? Independent scientists with some expertise writing for a peer-reviewed journal? Or scientists appointed by our government—you know, the same government that has been manipulating, burying, and fabricating evidence about global warming, air quality, sexual health, and on and on, for the last six years?

While We Were Discussing Pinched-Off Poops, Mechanical Gorillas, and Russian Sex Toys for Children…

posted by on August 9 at 1:31 PM

…the stock market took a tumble.

Stocks on Wall Street today suffered their biggest one-day decline since February after the turmoil in the home-loan market caused renewed concerns about tightening credit worldwide.

AT&T: It Doesn’t Ring True

posted by on August 9 at 1:23 PM

The heroes at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF is suing AT&T over the telecom giant’s participation in President Bush’s wiretapping program) has a smart post up about AT&T’s evolving position on surveillance.

“What’s the First Thing I Would Do if I Suddenly Found Myself with More Money Than I Know What to Do with?”

posted by on August 9 at 12:45 PM

For my friend Brian, this question was officially answered by this video of mechanical gorillas and bears performing the Bubba Sparxxx/Ying Yang Twins hit “Miss New Booty” in a pizza parlor:

Now if I suddenly found myself with cash in fuck you quantities, you can look for me to be rolling with Portland Trailblazer Darius Miles in a car identical to his, right down to the airbrushed Benjamins and scantily-clad girls on the hood.


Images courtesy NBA Noise. And thank you, Danny Wyatt.

Overheard At Lab

posted by on August 9 at 12:24 PM


No no, that was funny. That was valid humorous technique.


Well, I can always get plastic surgery. No pill or cut can make you smarter.

Not the First

posted by on August 9 at 12:14 PM

The gay debate tonight is not the first

The HRC-Logo press release, dutifully repeated sans scrutiny by dozens of blogs and gay, straight and even anti-gay media outlets, called the forum “historic.” How, exactly, do HRC and Logo claim it is “historic”?
This event … marks the first time in history the major presidential candidates will address a live GLBT television audience…

That statement is about as true as HRC’s claim to have 700,000 members. In fact, the very same organization (under different leadership) hosted a forum of Democratic presidential candidates on July 15, 2003.

The debate in 2003 was broadcast on CSPAN, which reaches more homes than LOGO.

Those Slippery Gay Issues

posted by on August 9 at 12:00 PM


Posted by Sage Van Wing

Tonight the Democratic presidential candidates will gather together to answer some hard hitting questions from Melissa Etheridge. What’s being called the “first ever gay debate” is being hosted in Los Angeles by the Human Rights Campaign and LOGO network. Apparently the Republicans were invited as well, but declined to attend. Dodd and Biden also bowed out, pleading scheduling conflicts.

Candidates will be posed questions about issues of importance to LGBT folk by a panel of “noted gay activists” (Melissa Etheridge, Joe Solmonese, and Jonathan Capehart). In questions posed to the candidates beforehand, only Kucinich and Gavel have said they support same-sex marriage. The event will be moderated by journalist Margaret Carlson (who, according to Wikipedia, was once rumored to be having an affair with likely-Republican-candidate Fred Thompson).

And might we spot some gay celebs in the audience tonight? It is LA, after all. Will the candidates be squirming in the spotlight of uncomfortable questions, or will they just try to say as little as possible and hope the religious right doesn’t pounce? Tune in tonight online at 6pm PST to find out.

Minimal Nation

posted by on August 9 at 11:55 AM

Jeff Mills above:
Robert Hood below.

From Mills we get Waveform Transmission - Volume 1 (1992). From Hood we get Minimal Nation (1994). What drew these black American artists to minimalism (or modernism) is it’s logic to break from narrative and to escape from culture—in sum to become inhuman. Why would black artists want to revolt against humanity, which is what techno music is (a techno rebellion), which is what its first song, “Clear” (1982), celebrates—the end (clearing) of humanity? Because the history of civilization has been the history of white supremacy. Narrative power has never been black power, and so resorting to modernism, is resorting to an art that tells no (or the least) stories. It is in the liberated area of the un-story black American techno begins and ends all at once. It’s not surprising that mainstream America absolutely rejected black American techno. Unlike rap or funk, techno rebels refused to play the game of storymaking. (Drexiya is of course the one exception, but the least compelling part about Drexiya is its science fiction story.) No counter narrative but no narrative at all. No narrative leaves us with just the present. In the present, everything is left to happen. Clear out the space. Modernism must fulfill its promise.





Laura Bush Is Writing a Children’s Book

posted by on August 9 at 11:55 AM

It’s about “a mischievous little boy who likes to do everything but read.”


South Carolina Moves Up Its Primary

posted by on August 9 at 11:46 AM

And Dan Balz of The Washington Post goes off:

South Carolina Republican chairman Katon Dawson won his moment in the political limelight today by shifting his state’s GOP primary to Jan. 19, 2008. But in doing so, he may have put the entire tradition of the presidential nominating system at risk.

South Carolina’s move is almost certain to trigger other changes in the calendar. The issue is how much the current system can be bent and stretched and warped before it finally breaks apart.

That is what elected officials and state party leaders in states like New Hampshire, Iowa, Michigan, Florida and South Carolina should be thinking about as they contemplate how to react to Dawson’s announcement today.

Tradition, self-interest and pure envy have shaped the 2008 calendar and they ultimately could be the system’s undoing. At some point there is likely to be rebellion against a process that forces voters to begin picking presidential nominees 10 months or more before the general election.

Can any state official truly justify asking voters to think seriously about presidential politics in the calendar year before the presidential election — and in the middle of the holiday season to boot? That now appears distinctly possible if New Hampshire feels crowded by South Carolina and moves to early January and Iowa feels crowded by New Hampshire and moves into December.

Dumping on Seattlest

posted by on August 9 at 11:16 AM

What on earth prompted Seattlest to share this?

On the way to the Seattlest meet up at Smith last night, one contributor stopped in to the Six Arms to grab a cheese burger, but he ate it too fast and had to go to their bathroom to take an emergency shit, which turned out to be one of those that breaks off halfway, thereby requiring about 45 minutes of ass wiping. To make matters worse, the face of the toilet paper dispenser kept falling off, so with one hand ripping out toilet paper and the other hand trying to keep the container in place, and at the same time trying not to let the pants fall to the nasty floor, we finally realized that that’s why they call it the Six Arms.

Seattlest goes into all that detail but doesn’t let us know whether or not he bothered to wash his hands. Here’s hoping.

Running on Angry

posted by on August 9 at 11:15 AM

I have a feature out in this week’s Stranger about the surprising popularity of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul.


Paul has a large and growing group of supporters here in Washington State, largely because of his antiwar stance. These supporters are trying to get him to come to Hempfest (Paul has been a critic of federal drug laws). They’re making calls to Iowa in an effort to boost Paul’s chances in this weekend’s Iowa Straw Poll (with Rudy Giuliani and John McCain not participating in the poll, some observers have predicted Paul will place second, behind only Mitt Romney). They’re signing on to his local Meetup groups in droves.

One of Paul’s local supporters, who’s featured in my story, is an employee at the Google office in Kirkland who, like me, flew down to the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, in early July so that he could see Paul’s Candidates@Google appearance. This local Paul supporter dropped $400 on plane fare, donated the maximum $2,300 to Paul while in California, and gushed on camera (gushing begins at around 42:00) about how excited Paul has made him about this presidential race.

For me, all of this support for Paul in liberal/libertarian Washington raises a question: Do Paul’s local followers really understand his political philosophy, beyond his unique (for a Republican) opposition to the Iraq war?

In my piece, I suggest that Paul’s views, and his political philosophy, really don’t mesh with those of a lot of his new followers—especially on issues like global warming (he doesn’t believe in it), abortion (not a fan), gun control (he thinks guns in the hands of airline passengers would have prevented 9/11), and how to catch Osama bin Laden (he wants to issue retro “letters of marque and reprisal”).

I happen to love Paul’s “letters of marque and reprisal” idea, just because it’s pure Paul and is so 1800s it makes me smile. But here’s something that really caused me to do a double-take: Paul’s stance on global warming. From my story:

Perhaps the best [example of] how radical Paul’s positions can be relative to the more mainstream people who are now starting to support him: Paul is still a global-warming skeptic, calling fears about the problem “overblown” at a time when even Bush has recognized the reality of climate change.

Paul’s solution to all environmental problems is essentially to do nothing and hope the market works everything out. Schrage, the Google executive, sounded skeptical of this approach and pointed out that market forces created the global-warming problem in the first place. “Climate change seems like something that wouldn’t, indeed hasn’t, been an issue that’s been well addressed by market forces today,” Schrage told Paul. “Seems like the perfect example of a market failure—that the external costs of pollution don’t get absorbed by companies—and thus a natural place where some sort of collective action, government intervention, might be appropriate.”

Paul disagreed, and suggested that a greater respect for private property in America, and a greater appreciation for how what one person does on his or her private property affects the environment on another person’s private property, could somehow reverse environmental problems. When Schrage pointed out the international nature of the climate-change problem—the fact that factories in America can ultimately affect the weather in India—Paul answered: “If there is manmade pollution…”

Which was one rather big if.

He continued: “If there is man-made pollution, it might be in China and I know I’m not willing to tax you or send troops over there to close down plants.”

To read the whole piece, click here.

The Passion of the Christ: LIVE!

posted by on August 9 at 11:02 AM

Jesus Christ is crucified six times a day at a theme park in Orlando, Florida.

Lisa Bell, 42, husband David Bell, 50, and their 2-year-old son came from Ripley, Tenn., after seeing Holy Land on Trinity. She said they didn’t consider attending the other parks.

“Oh no. Jesus was just holding him,” Lisa Bell said, nodding to her sunburned son. “He knows who Jesus is.”

And now he’s seen Jesus whipped, beaten, spat on and crucified. That kind of thing makes an impression on a child—and keeps pro-doms in business.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 9 at 11:00 AM

‘Playtime’ (FILM) Jacques Tati’s masterpiece Playtime finds his stock character, the forever-bemused Monsieur Hulot (who was beginning, in 1967, to lose even his creator’s affection) receding against a brilliant panorama of technology and tourism, pushy gadgets and antiseptic glass. There’s something new to look at in every corner of Tati’s elaborate frames, so even if you saw the superior 70 mm print at SIFF in 2004, it’s worth seeing it again on 35. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 7 and 9:30 pm, $5—$8.50.) ANNIE WAGNER
See what else is happening in Film on Thursday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Fear the Gay Chicken

posted by on August 9 at 10:03 AM

So, um… yeah.

Postcard from LA (Annotated Edition)

posted by on August 9 at 10:02 AM

For anyone who loves art, it has, in the past few years alone, become easy to love L.A. I happened to be down there last weekend, thinking about Andrea Zittel and the art of the West Coast, and I found plenty to consider.

L.A. owns sculpture. This was the entire point of the Thing show at the Hammer Museum at UCLA in 2005,

A Touching Moment (Tooting My Own Horn) (2005) by Nathan Mabry

but last weekend there were other sculptors lurking there, too. In Eden’s Edge, Gary Garrels’s show of 15 L.A. artists at the Hammer, I was stopped in my tracks by Anna Sew Hoy’s fired ceramic hives, draped in jewelry, feathers, and other detritus (“feathers are everywhere in L.A. lately,” noted fellow art writer Jori Finkel). They are baroque, sciencey, glam, funk: on fire. (More feathers: Elliott Hundley, Liz Craft.)

Dark Cloud Version II (2006) by Anna Sew Hoy

Black Noir (detail) by Anna Sew Hoy

Ballad of the Hippie (2003) by Liz Craft

The handful of Matthew Monahan’s sculptures and drawings at the Hammer mystified me, but over at LA MOCA, his solo show was like a West Coast, contemporary version of the new Greek and Roman galleries at the Metropolitan Museum in New York: works for the ages on war and mythical subjects, in a space aptly flooded with light. Monahan’s Janus-like figurative columns and his drawings of faces on paper, crumpled and mounted on pedestals made of Sheetrock (one owned by the kingly Michael Ovitz), are contemporary ruins and preemptively toppled monuments.



Making the rounds, I encountered much more than just sculpture worth recommending: video, photographs, and a text piece from artist-writer-activist Allan Sekula’s Shipwreck and Workers (a version of which is also at Documenta) at Christopher Grimes; Chen Xiaoyun’s arresting video Lash, in an impromptu back-room screening from Christian Haye, founder of MC Gallery and New York’s Project Gallery;


and, at Susanne Vielmetter, Allie Bogle’s roomful of movie snow that feels like cool gelatinous tapioca between the toes, and Timothy Tompkins’s still-life paintings of marked-down leftover items at department stores.

Target Still Life - Spring (after Chardin) (2004) by Timothy Tompkins

I missed Wack! Art and the Feminist Revolution (it closed July 16 and will be coming to the Vancouver Art Gallery in October 2008), but made Identity Theft: Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, Suzy Lake 1972—1978, curated by Finkel at Santa Monica Museum of Art. Antin, Lake, and Hershman, all influences on Cindy Sherman and working just before she began her film stills series, are, compared to Sherman, more haunting, funny, and powerfully weird. Not to mention overlooked.

Portrait of the King (1972) by Eleanor Antin

At the Dan Flavin retrospective (at Los Angeles County Museum of Art), I found myself totally reconsidering his reputation as a minimalist. I left reeling. What pathos. Two works stand out: the portrait-like 1962 icon V (Coran’s Broadway Flesh) and, in a dark, dead-end room, his blood-red 1966 monument 4 for those who have been killed in ambush (to P.K. who reminded me about death). I left that room to avoid breaking down in tears.

icon V (Coran’s Broadway Flesh)

If Today is Your 33rd Birthday, You’ve Got Serious Karma

posted by on August 9 at 9:59 AM


Playing With Fire

posted by on August 9 at 9:50 AM

As Seth over at Enjoy the Enjoyment points out, the Seattle Times’ Jerry Brewer is threatening the Mariners’ push towards the post-season. The title of his column today:

This M’s team is too good for a slide


Sexual Assault Investigation…

posted by on August 9 at 9:48 AM

…at the Playboy Mansion in LA. Hm. Maybe the Young Republicans were having a party?

Dept. of Cool Protest Signs

posted by on August 9 at 9:43 AM


Spotted at a recent protest against demolishing the 162 low-income apartments at Lora Lake in Burien.

Courtesy Tim Harris

Dept. of Completely Inappropriate Childrens Toys

posted by on August 9 at 9:12 AM

From an alert reader in Russia…


Observations, provenance, and photos of an adorable Russian girl playing with this thing can be found here.

Monkey Trouble

posted by on August 9 at 8:59 AM

I’m a sucker for stories about monkeys, diapers and beer gardens:

MADISON, Wisconsin - Wisconsin police have captured a diaper-wearing monkey who led them on a downtown chase after biting a woman.

The 20-year-old woman reported being bitten on the thumb as she tried to pet the animal.

The woman was walking by a popular Madison nightclub, where a man had the monkey on a leash inside its beer garden.

People walking by were petting the monkey, who was wearing a white diaper.

But the monkey bit the woman, who suffered four small punctures on her thumb.

The bite sent the woman to the hospital, where a physician said the monkey should be found so it could be quarantined to determine if it had a disease.

Police found the man and the monkey but the man lost control of the monkey before an animal control officer arrived and it escaped.

About seven hours later, the monkey was captured and taken into custody downtown to be quarantined for 10 days, police said.

Before this, I’d have thought the quickest way to domesticate a wild animal would be to take it to a beer garden and get it drunk. Now, I’m not so sure.


Via AP

Joel Connelly, Chicago Fan

posted by on August 9 at 8:59 AM

Joel Connelly’s column in the PI the other day sang the praises of the Savage hometown and its political ways. The Brother has often said to me that he’d gladly trade Chicago’s corruption—where at least things get done—for Seattle’s Deep Process paralysis, where anything worth doing gets talked to death and then not done anyway.

But the costs of corruption are real: high property taxes, a police force riddled with members who consider themselves above the law, and organized crime (just one example of the overlap of these things: a former Chicago Chief of Detectives is serving time in Federal prison for running an Outfit-connected jewelry theft ring.). Looking back fondly at the last voters’ revolt in Chicago—28 years ago!—Connelly fools himself into thinking that Chicagoans can be as tough on pols as our pols are on each other, or on contractors who probably paid them off for the city work in the first place.

Wrong. Mayor Richard M. Daley owns this town, and we have a different form of political paralysis, the grim reality that Daley has co-opted all rivals and will reign until he dies, retires, or is indicted by the feds. As federal prosecutors keep getting closer to Daley’s inner circle, my money is on the third option.

Finally, Joel, you really shouldn’t try passing off the work of a better writer, Finley Peter Dunne, as your own. When you write that “Chicago runs on the premise that politics ain’t bean bag,” you ought to credit Dunne’s Mr. Dooley, Irish immigrant barkeep-philosopher of Mayor Daley’s home ward, Bridgeport, who said “Politics ain’t beanbag: ‘tis a man’s game, and women, children ‘n’ pro-hy-bitionists had best stay out of it.”

Given the prohibitionists who run things in Seattle, though, maybe the whole quotation would have struck too deeply.

Hello Punishment Kitty

posted by on August 9 at 8:32 AM

Thai police officers caught for a range of minor misdemeanours will have to sport hot pink armbands of Hello Kitty, the Japanese icon of cuteness, as a form of punishment.

The striking armband features the Hello Kitty cat character invented by Japan’s Sanrio Co in 1974 sitting atop two hearts.


“Simple warning s no longer work,” [said Police Colonel Pongpat Chayaphan] “This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offence, no matter how minor.”

There’s a Ph.D. in gender studies, just waiting to be built on this story.

(Thanks, Erika!)

Porn Attack

posted by on August 9 at 8:30 AM

On the NYT’s Freakonomics blog yesterday, Steven Levitt posed the question: “If You Were a Terrorist, How Would You Attack?”

Levitt himself suggests an attack based on the 2002 D.C. sniper rampage:

The basic idea is to arm 20 terrorists with rifles and cars, and arrange to have them begin shooting randomly at pre-set times all across the country. Big cities, little cities, suburbs, etc. Have them move around a lot. No one will know when and where the next attack will be. The chaos would be unbelievable, especially considering how few resources it would require of the terrorists.

He ends the post, soliciting readers’ ideas:

I’m sure many readers have far better ideas. I would love to hear them. Consider that posting them could be a form of public service: I presume that a lot more folks who oppose and fight terror read this blog than actual terrorists. So by getting these ideas out in the open, it gives terror fighters a chance to consider and plan for these scenarios before they occur.

He got nearly 600 comments; all kinds of scenarios: subway attacks, stadium attacks, school attacks… and he elicited some satire:

Ooh, I have a great idea for terrorizing people. What if some group with lots of media ties created this color scale, where different colors mean different things, like “EXTREME THREAT.” Then any time you needed to terrorize people (like, if a war you started wasn’t going so well) you just told the press “We are in orangey-red EXTREME THREAT mode.”

Anyway, I’ve always had a great idea for al Qaeda. They should bomb Chatsworth and Van Nuys California, northern suburbs of LA in the San Fernando Valley—the epicenter of the U.S. porn industry. There are over 200 porn companies there employing about 6000 people. Or they could just bomb the annual AVN (Adult Video News) convention in Las Vegas.

What a weird conundrum it would put us in if al Qaeda attacked the Mecca of our decadence and murdered thousands of porn folks. Would we then righteously invade Pakistan, routing out al Qaeda to avenge Vivid Video? What kind of speech would Bush give to mourn the deaths of thousands of pornographers?

The Morning News

posted by on August 9 at 6:06 AM

Subtle Progress: Roadside bomb attacks on US forces reached all-time high last month.

Don’t Ask: Pentagon softening its position on the military’s expensive, ridiculous ban on gays and lesbians.

A Tree Falls in Brooklyn: Several dozen, actually, after a rare tornado touches down in New York City.

A Bridge Falls in Minnesota: Investigators see “potential flaw” in the design of that bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis. The bridge falling into the Mississippi River during rush hour killing a bunch people was the first clue…

Pat Buchanan Must be Shitting Himself: Non-whites the majority in a third of the most-populous counties in the US.

No, I Can’t Spare Some Change: Woman shoots panhandler in Cincinnati.

Surprise! The tents being set up in Gasworks park—pissing off the NIMBYs—are for a surprise party, an organizer tells the PI. Not even the guests know they’re invited.

Enumclaw Can’t Catch a Break: Profoundly ugly piece of public art—“Boys in the Band”—purchased on the cheap turns out to be a counterfeit. Enumclaw leaders say the piece—which as nothing to do with bitter, pre-Stonewall homos in New York City—accurately “represented arts in Enumclaw.” Check it out.

Required Viewing: The Daily Show on Bob “Suckin’ Off Scary Black Dudes” Allen:

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Another Young Republican Rapist

posted by on August 8 at 5:25 PM

It’s been a good week for the Young Republicans. First the newly elected head of the Young Republican National Federation resigned after allegations surfaced that he sexually assaulted another young Republican. And now the former head of the Michigan Federation of Young Republicans—a man that gave a speech at the Republican National Convention in 1992 and is still active in the organization—has pleaded guilty to rape. Oh, and was he gracious about it

Michael Flory, a 32-year-old attorney from Jackson, Mich., pleaded guilty to sexual battery on the day he was to stand trial for rape. The teary-eyed college student he overpowered in a downtown hotel room gasped and dabbed her eyes as Flory replied to Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Peter Corrigan’s question, “Are you indeed guilty?”

Sure—yeah,” Flory said.

Flory raped his victim during the the a Young Republicans convention last July in Ohio. And what did Flory and his Republican buddies do after his victim filed charges? They smeared her, of course.

[His victim] and some supporters lamented when the incident became public last winter that Flory and his followers within the Republican organization had been smearing her reputation in retaliation for accusing Flory of rape. [Assistant County Prosecutor Carol Skutnik] said she found that to be true.

“People were using every opportunity to try to trash her, on Web sites or whatever,” the prosecutor said. “He’s been running around telling everybody what a piece of trash she is, so she was very happy to see him plead guilty.”

Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, David Vitter, Bob Allen—this is the party that wants to micromanage your sex life. Christ almighty.

Good Advice for Beginning Wankers

posted by on August 8 at 5:14 PM

Where was this guy when I was 13?

Via BlogBlog.

Annie and Daniel and Sam, Sitting in a Tree

posted by on August 8 at 4:56 PM

Sometimes artists stick to one subject their entire lives. Other times, subjects seem to stick to artists.

Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo of Lead Pencil Studio were having a perfectly normal conversation with Philadelphia-based architect Peter Bohlin when he informed them that they were finalists for a project involving Sam Hill.

Yup, that Sam Hill—the eccentric early 20th-century roadbuilder who ended up, in spite of himself and with the help of the Queen Marie of Romania and a modern dancer named Loie Fuller, founding the Maryhill Museum in remotest Washington, near the border of Oregon.

This was the same Hill that the artists lived with for three years in the research, construction, and experience of their terrific outdoor installation that stood across the Columbia River from the museum last summer, Maryhill Double.

“What are the chances?” Han said when she explained the story on the phone just now.

Turns out that, in time for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the border-crossing between the U.S. and Canada at Blaine, Washington, needs to be seriously expanded. It will basically be torn out and replaced.

The GSA—which in this region is headed by an art-loving Bush appointee, a Republican art angel, really—will be overseeing the rebuilding, led by Bohlin’s architecture firm. The artist’s names had been thrown into a list of artists from the Washington State Arts Commission roster without their knowing.

And the monument that will remain untouched on the site?

Sam Hill’s 1921 Peace Arch, one of the several odd monuments he left strewn about. (Another is a World War I memorial that’s the first American copy of Stonehenge. It stands near Maryhill Museum.)

The artists, who operate under the name Lead Pencil Studio (and who won last year’s Stranger Genius Award), have been selected to make a piece for the reconstruction of the border-crossing, on property that butts right up against Hill’s Peace Arch. (No, they are not planning a double.)

“The coincidence is really something, I have to say,” Mihalyo said.

“We just started,” Han said. “We make a proposal on the 30th, three days before we leave for the Rome Prize.” (They’ll be at the American Academy in Rome for 11 months, but can travel back occasionally.)

The budget for the project is about $200,000, and the site was once a fishing ground where four Native American tribes overlapped. Trains roar through it. And it’s the only property in the U.S., Mihalyo said, that’s co-owned by two nations.

Maryhill Double was only up for three months. It’s remembered only in photographs, videos, memories, and writing. Now it gets another (unwitting) memorial. Sam Hill strikes back.

Maryhill Double - Sky Section, Lambda print, 2007

Dep’t of Not So Great Press Release Writing

posted by on August 8 at 4:35 PM

Sunday September 2: THE YELLOWJACKETS - actually one of the most creative regular groups in the “rhythm & jazz” genre.

Problem the first: Actually. Sounds like an apology.

Problem the second: Regular. What are they? The spokesband for Metamucil?

AT&T vs. Pearl Jam

posted by on August 8 at 4:24 PM

AT&T censored its webcast of Pearl Jam’s August 4 performance at Lollapalooza. The objectionable content? Pearl Jam reportedly sang some anti-Bush lyrics.

Over at Public Knowledge, blogger Art Brodsky cites AT&T’s move as Exhibit A in the case for passing the Net Neutrality bill.

Footnote: Pearl Jam isn’t the only local angle on this story. As I wrote last year, the biggest proponent and opponent of Net Neutrality, respectively— U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (pro) and AT&T’s high-paid consultant, Bob Gogerty—of Gogerty Stark (con), hail from right here.

Fact and Slushy Stuff in the Movies

posted by on August 8 at 4:12 PM

After reading some recent articles pertaining to movies I reviewed last week, I feel compelled—though no one has asked me—to defend a seeming contradiction.

Becoming Jane is full of bullshit. For instance, the lifelong spinster Jane Austen was probably quite ugly; at any right, she did not resemble Anne Hathaway.

Portrait of Jane Austen by her sister Cassandra

(Or, if you prefer, the more flattering but probably inauthentic squinty-eyed portrait I referenced in my review.)

And Ms. Hathaway:

Anne Hathaway

My review pointed this out, but really my beef was with the plot. I strongly dislike the Shakespeare in Love method in which a story conceived by an author is fancifully superimposed on a few facts from the author’s life, and this is a particularly egregious example—Austen tried to elope with a suitor and then wrote a novel in which someone who does the same thing is portrayed as a brainless little twit? I don’t think so. (For more about the fact and fiction in the movie, see Slate and the LA Times.) Still, Becoming Jane is supposed to be fiction.

Arctic Tale, on the other hand, looks like a documentary. (It’s being marketed as a “wildlife adventure,” but no one will notice that.) Here’s the Slate article that has everyone talking about the film’s sneaky agenda; my review is a few below Becoming Jane here. I don’t disagree with many of writer Daniel Engber’s contentions. Yes, the film is obviously a liberal response to March of the Penguins. It’s no mistake that the polar bear family is headed by a single mother, or that “storyteller” Queen Latifah calls the baby walrus’s second guardian an “auntie.” It’s an unashamed agitdoc about global warming, and I too took note of the epilogue in which a little kid tells his peers in the audience to nag their parents about buying a hybrid car. Ultimately, though, I don’t think it’s a problem that the animal characters are composites of many animals photographed in the field—I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to shoot a single polar bear family over the course of a year, much less amphibious walruses! In nonfiction nature writing, a typical anecdote drawn from several examples wouldn’t raise any hackles—why does it bother us in film? And Engber obviously doesn’t realize what liberties the first, French-language version of March of the Penguins took. That movie wasn’t a documentary at all—the animal characters had their own lines of dialogue. (You can read my review of that DVD here.) Anyway, Arctic Tale may not be entirely literal, but I recommend it.

And I still despise Becoming Jane: Unlike Arctic Tale, its ideas are pallid and ridiculous.

Moving Health Care Question from Dem Debate

posted by on August 8 at 3:58 PM

End To End Burners

posted by on August 8 at 3:56 PM

We just got a panicky press release from the city about an upcoming meeting on:


In partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Parks and Recreation and Loyal Heights Community Center are hosting a meeting to discuss graffiti prevention at 6 p.m. Tuesday, August 14 at the center, 2101 NW 77th St.

This meeting will undoubtedly provide tips on how crush the will of Seattle graf artists, and put an end to their rampant hooliganism.

A special no-prize to the individual that can do the biggest throw-up on the building while the meeting is in session.


Too Close For Comfort

posted by on August 8 at 3:51 PM

You may have heard about 99942 Apophis, the asteroid scheduled to pass by our little blue marble in 2029. When it does, there’s a chance that it could plow through something called a “gravitational keyhole,” which would set it on a course to smack into Earth on April 13, 2036.


The current estimate is a 1 in 45,000 chance that Apophis will collide with Earth—not the best of odds, really, when you consider the outcome could resemble something like this:


Thankfully, NASA is already working on a plan to divert Apophis if/when the asteroid decides to destroy all life on our planet. And that plan, according to this posting on Engadget, involves…

…six missile-like interceptor vehicles that would launch aboard an Ares V cargo launch vehicle, each carrying with them a 1.2-megaton B83 nuclear warhead.


And if all goes according to plan, then…

…the warheads apparently wouldn’t actually strike the asteroid directly, but instead detonate at a distance of one-third of its diameter, generating a force that would (theoretically) deflect the asteroid out of the Earth’s path.

Let’s hope it works. Even better: Let’s hope we never need to find out.

Today in Line Out

posted by on August 8 at 3:51 PM

For Hump Day: Ain’t nobody humpin’ around.

New Fall of Troy Video: You know, if you’re into that sorta thing

Lake Fest: Featuring a puppy parade and local bands like Root Beer Barrels, the Lights, Shake Some Action, and more!

“We On”: The single song that is every single thing that hiphop can be.

Blitzen Trapper: Signs to Sub Pop, plays Croc.

Hitler’s Music Collection: What did the Nazi king listen to?

Productive Zoning: The sound of Eric Grandy’s editing trance.


A Simple Solution

posted by on August 8 at 3:41 PM

Now if the six year-old had only been armed too—if he had a gun and a concealed weapon permit—then the six year-old could have shot the three year-old that had an illegal gun before the three year-old shot him. It’s really just that simple. Why do the damn liberals have to make it complicated with their gun control and their trigger locks and their safe-storage laws?

Via Americablog.

England to the rest of the literary world: “Nothing that exciting happening over here!”

posted by on August 8 at 3:39 PM


According to the Guardian:

Four first-time novelists and a near-total absence of literary stars combine to make this year’s Man Booker prize longlist announcement one of the most low-key in many years.

Here’s the longlist:

Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Self Help by Edward Docx
The Gift Of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
The Gathering by Anne Enright
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
The Welsh Girl by Peter Ho Davies
Mister Pip by Lloyd Jones
Gifted by Nikita Lalwani
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn
Consolation by Michael Redhill
Animal’s People by Indra Sinha
Winnie & Wolf by AN Wilson

Just asked man-about-the-office (and McEwan fan) Sean Nelson if McEwan deserves the Booker for On Chesil Beach. Quoth the Nelson: “No. Hells no. He already got one for a book that didn’t deserve it. He already got his honorary one.”

Leaked Straw Poll: Who The Liberal State Party Activists Like for President.

posted by on August 8 at 3:35 PM

I was just slipped the results of a straw poll conducted by the Washington State Democrats at the end of June. The poll asked “party leaders” — that is, activists very involved in Washington State Democratic politics — who they want to be the Democratic presidential nominee.

The results:


Michael King, a spokesman for the state Democratic party, confirmed the poll’s authenticity for me. “This was totally unscientific, more for fun than anything else,” he said. “I wouldn’t necessarily give a ton of credence to it, but it kind of tells us where everyone is at.”

As for why the poll seems to show fractions of people voting for certain candidates (95.83 for Edwards, 62.33 for Obama), well, like King said, the poll was very unscientific. Some people were allowed to vote for more than one candidate. They gave responses such as “everybody” or “anybody but Bush.”

Still, as an unscientific gauge of where state party leaders are, it’s interesting and shows that Washington Democrats, as usual, are thinking a lot differently than Democrats in the nation as a whole.

When you’re talking about declared candidates (which means leaving Gore out), Democrats here like, in order of preference: Edwards, Obama, and then Clinton.

Recent national polls have it exactly the opposite way. Democrats in the nation as a whole like, in order of preference: Clinton, Obama, and then Edwards.

Also worth noting: When you stop factoring out the undeclared candidates, Gore beats Clinton among activists here.

SPD Ignoring Gay Bashing in Belltown?

posted by on August 8 at 3:24 PM

Last Saturday night, a 47-year-old Seattle man and his 32-year-old friend were attacked by a group of young men in Belltown after, they say, one of the suspects asked if they were gay, and they’re concerned SPD isn’t investigating the case as a hate crime.

According to the police report, the two men were on the 2200 block of 1st avenue, just after 11:30PM, when they passed a group of young men, one of whom was urinating on the street.

According to the 32-year-old man, one of the urinating man’s friends asked the 47 year-old “if [we] were gay [and] started offering us money to say their friend had a little penis.”

When the 47-year-old man told the group of young men that he is gay, the man who had been urinating came over and punched him several times, leaving the 47-year-old with a black eye and bloodied nose, before fleeing the area.

The 32-year-old man called the police on his cell phone while he chased the suspect down the street, before losing him in a crowd.

When police arrived, the two men described the suspect and told the officer that they had been attacked after the man asked if they were gay. According to the 32-year-old man, the officer told them “that’s your deal.” The officer’s report does not indicate the assault is being pursued as a hate crime.

The other men in the group identified the suspect but, according to the police report, he
is still “at large.”

SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson says that assaults have to meet a specific criteria before they are pursued as a hate crime. He did not know whether this case was going to be investigated as anything more than an assault.


posted by on August 8 at 2:32 PM

The Oracle of Starbucks.


Your Drink: Tall Decaf Skim Latte

Your Personality type: Freak

No person of sound mind would go to an EXPENSIVE COFFEE SHOP to get a drink WITHOUT CAFFEINE. Your hobbies include going to ski resorts in the summer and flushing $5 bills down the toilet. You are a menace to society.

Also drinks: Non-alcoholic beer
Can also be found at: Pools with no water


posted by on August 8 at 1:54 PM

Last night’s record-breaking homerun—from the the right field stands.

Obama Backtracks on Attacking Pakistan

posted by on August 8 at 1:40 PM

In a Democratic debate last night, Chris Dodd (and Hillary Clinton) criticized Barack Obama’s recent statements about unilaterally launching attacks inside the mountainous tribal areas of Packistan in order to get at Al Qaeda targets.

Here’s what Obama said on Oct. 1 in a major policy address on terrorism:

I understand that President Musharraf has his own challenges. But let me make this clear. There are terrorists holed up in those mountains who murdered 3,000 Americans. They are plotting to strike again. It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an Al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will.

When Dodd and Clinton challenged Obama on this last night, Obama reminded the audience that he’d been right on “the biggest foreign policy disaster in our generation,” the Iraq war, and added:

I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally, what I said was that we have to work with Musharraf… Chris, respectfully, and you and I are close friends, but you obviously didn’t read my speech because what I said was that we had to refocus, get out of Iraq; make certain we are helping Pakistan deal with the problem of Al Qaeda in the hills between Afghanistan and Pakistan but Chris, if we have actionable intelligence on Al Qaeda operatives, including bin Laden and President Musharraf cannot act, then we should.

Today the Dodd campaign is claiming: “Senator Obama clearly buckled under the pressure last night while being challenged by much more experienced, seasoned candidates like Chris Dodd.”

It’s also circulating the text of an MSNBC post-debate clip that catches Obama walking back his previous statements:

As part of MSNBC’s post debate coverage, MSNBC reporter David Shuster agreed with Dodd, saying that Obama was misleading about his August 1st terrorism speech:

Obama (video of debate): “I did not say that we would immediately go in unilaterally, what I said was that we have to work with Musharraf”

Shuster: “Actually Obama is incorrect and Dodd is right on this one. Watch what Obama said in his speech just a few days ago.

Obama (video of terrorism speech, 8/1/07): “It was a terrible mistake to fail to act when we had a chance to take out an Al Qaeda leadership meeting in 2005. If we have actionable intelligence about high value terrorist targets and President Musharraf will not act, we will.”

Shuster: “Again, Barack Obama was misleading tonight about his own speech”


posted by on August 8 at 1:21 PM

Air Force charges rape victim in her own sexual assault: (Via)

[Cassandra Hernandez, a female Air Force airman in Texas] said she was attacked in another airman’s barracks room the night of May 12, 2006, and was partially clothed when she fled the room. She said she reported the incident and received a medical examination.

In her letter, she also said the three male airmen were charged with rape but the charges were dropped after she refused to testify. The woman said she was questioned by the men’s defense lawyer without her victim’s advocate present, which her lawyers said was a violation of military justice policy.

“The pressure of the judicial process was too much for me, and I felt like no one was looking out for my interests,” the woman wrote.

In other words, the woman was raped by three men. She reported the rape. Subsequently, without an attorney present, she was intimidated by superior officers into not testifying. As a result, she was court-martialed for committing “indecent acts” with the three men, with an additional punishment for underage drinking (which she acknowledges, but come on).

But don’t feel bad for her—after all, she was asking for it. In a subsequent statement to the victim’s attorneys, one of the three men said Hernandez had invited the attack because she wore “skin tight” clothes and danced in a “promiscuous way,” whatever that means.

If convicted, Hernandez could face up to a year in jail, reduction in rank, a pay cut, and a possible bad conduct discharge, and could be required to register as a sex offender. The men, meanwhile, have been granted immunity from all sexual assault charges in exchange for agreeing to testify against the woman.
In lieu of intervention by Hernandez’s representatives in Congress or Texas Gov. Rich Perry, her court-martial trial will begin September 24.

Super Geek

posted by on August 8 at 1:09 PM

We all watched Revenge of the Nerds, right? And we wanted those nerds to KICK SOME ASS! Nowadays, nerds prefer the term “geek.” And while geeks also tend to be socially awkward, we still want them to kick some ass designing our software and answering difficult questions—but stop talking after a few minutes. Well, Ignite Seattle is a bi-monthly event for geeks to stand before a few hundred of us regular folk, share their esoteric brilliance, and then shut the fuck up. Tonight features 16 mercifully brief lectures, including the future of nanotechnology in healthcare and iPhone mind control. I haven’t been to an Ignite Seattle yet, but it draws up to 400 people and the full bar makes it sound a fuckload better than reading Wired.

Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave,, talks begin at 8:30 p.m., free.

Weekly Staffer Leaves

posted by on August 8 at 12:31 PM

Seattle Weekly staff writer Huan Hsu (rhymes with “who?”) has left the paper after a brief 5-month stint.

The Kiss of Death?

posted by on August 8 at 11:40 AM

The king of the neocons, Bill Kristol, has decided that Hillary Clinton would make a good president:

Hillary Clinton is becoming the responsible Democrat who could become commander in chief in a post-9/11 world.

A sincere effort at flattery? A Machiavellian move to sink her campaign? Theories abound, and a good roundup of them can be found here.

She’s Back!

posted by on August 8 at 11:39 AM


The green fairy, absinthe, has arisen to legally kiss American lips for the first time in nearly a hundred years. No, not the crap called Absente. This is the real deal.

Absinthe begins as a neutral spirit in which green anise, Florence fennel, wormwood and other herbs are soaked. The resulting mixture is then redistilled. If the absinthe is clear — a blanche absinthe — it’s done. A green, or verte, absinthe goes through a coloring step, using petite absinthe, hyssop and melissa to impart the distinctive peridot tinge.

Notorious for driving drinkers to the funny farm – Van Gogh supposedly sliced off his ear while under her spell – the liquor’s status was changed in the U.S. to jibe with the E.U. The medicine-flavored drink’s feared chemical, theujue, from wormwood, is known to cause convulsions or death in large doses, but one glass of absinthe contains only as much of it as a turkey prepared with rosemary. They now admit.

Bottled under the name Lucid, the green gal hasn’t arrived on liquor-store shelves in Washington. You’ll have to contact retailers in the New York area. Special spoons for the no-longer-nefarious sugar-cube-melting ritual can be found here.

Gasworks Park

posted by on August 8 at 11:32 AM


Someone stole the park in the middle of the night. Or something. Anyway, some huge tents have been set up in Gasworks for what the city says is a private party—and there will be none of that dreadful rock and roll music. So nothing to worry about, Gasworks’ neighbors. Still, the usual suspects are sure to be pissed. And they can suck it, says Seattlest.

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 8 at 11:00 AM

Todd Snider (TROUBADOR AT THE ZOO) The venerable Robert Earl Keen headlines this installment of the zoo’s family-friendly, kid-packed, surreptitiously wine-soaked summer concerts, but “special guest” Todd Snider is why I’m excited about it. With his rich, lithe, deeply witty tales of day laborers, call girls, and dry-drunk presidents, Snider is as good a songwriter as anyone alive; in concert, he’s like the child Steve Earle and Bill Hicks would’ve produced, if either had a uterus. (Woodland Park Zoo, 601 N 59th St, find ticket locations at 6 pm, $17, all ages.) DAVID SCHMADER
See what else is happening in Music on Wednesday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Service to Country

posted by on August 8 at 10:08 AM


Despite his call for the nation to show a “surge of support” for U.S. forces in Iraq, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney on Wednesday defended his five sons’ decision not to enlist.

The former Massachusetts governor said his sons were showing their support for the country by “helping get me elected.”

OMG Look What Squirrels Can Do!

posted by on August 8 at 9:54 AM

With those kind of skills, we really all need to be getting our squirrel stockpiles together. It won’t be long until they’re in our HOMES, people!

Via my Dad.

Glad We Got That Cleared Up

posted by on August 8 at 9:48 AM

E. E. Cummings should be spelled with capitals but bell hooks should not.

From the University of Chicago Manual of Style, entry 8.6:

The names of certain writers occasionally appear without capitals—for example, bell hooks. If such unconventional spelling is the strong preference of the bearer of the name, it should be respected in appropriate contexts. E. E. Cummings can be capitalized, however, since one of his publishers, not he himself, lowercased his name. (Library catalogs usually capitalize all such names.) For obvious reasons, a lowercased name should begin a sentence.

(Also: We know how much Christopher looooves the library’s quick information line, but it must be said—when I called to ask this question, they cited Wikipedia as their authoritative source. They gave me the right answer—Cummings up, hooks down—but Wikipedia? Seriously?)

UPDATE: Correction! For obvious reasons, a lowercased name should not begin a sentence. Not.

Mad Scientists Turn Healthy Straight Males into Sex-Crazed Gay Child Rapists

posted by on August 8 at 9:14 AM

Straight male moths, that is.

Scientists are using a powder that spreads female pheromones—the smell of sexual attraction—and confuses the male moths, thus slowing the breeding. The powder is left near breeding grounds and, when larvae hatch, they are coated in it. Other male moths are then tempted naturally to make contact with them, believing them to be female. Moths have small brains and dreadful eyesight.

But, hey, those moths are totally qualified—and naturally tempted—to chair the Young Republican National Federation.

Via Towleroad.

Video Games are a Form of Expression Protected by the First Amendment

posted by on August 8 at 9:05 AM

So ruled the U.S. District Court in Northern California this week.

And the Technology Liberation Front wants the fascists to get the message.

Downloading is Saving the Planet

posted by on August 8 at 8:43 AM

CD sales have decreased 35 percent since 2000.

Not only is this an excellent sign of the revolution, it’s also good for the environment. This guy does the math to prove that downloading MP3s is saving the planet.

So briefly, if CD sales had remained perfectly steady since 2000, we would have seen 1,136,500,000 more CDs on the market. That is 39 million pounds of polycarbonate CDs saved and 150 million pounds of polystyrene jewel cases saved. That’s a vertical stack of CDs over 7,000 miles high and a horizontal row stretching from New York to Tokyo, with 300 miles to spare.

Taking the Bus. Still Annoying?

posted by on August 8 at 8:20 AM

I asked for it, but I’m not sure I got it.


Eric de Place is so psyched about it, however, that he posted about it at both grist and Sightline.

He writes:

Riding transit just got way, way, easier. A new website called SpotBus is wildly better than existing online trip planners. For one thing, you can enter destinations like a normal person — “Ballard,” or “Ikea,” or “ferry,” or whatever — not some arcane intersection. It’s so much faster and more intuitive that it feels like giving up your old gimcrack five-disc CD changer for an iPod.

I’m not so sure he’s right. Give it a try and see what you think yourself. But I followed his advice and entered some landmark destinations as a test (the Grand Illusion, Woodland Park Zoo, Pioneer Square) and there’s an annoying pop-up menu that comes up right away trying to predict what you’re going to write. This touchy pop-up offers you a bunch of places you don’t want (Grass Lawn Park?) or it doesn’t respond when you click on the predictive text.

Again, give it a try yourself, but I was doing battle with the finicky pop-up thingy. I kind of like the old Metro Trip Planner better.

Bonds is King

posted by on August 8 at 8:11 AM

As noted below, lots of moralizing blowhards will claim that Barry Bonds’ 756th home run is somehow illegitimate, since he’s alleged to have used steroids, human growth hormone, or other performance-enhancing drugs. Speaking for right-thinking baseball fans everywhere, I answer:

So fucking what?

As Chris DeLuca in the Chicago Sun-Times so ably argues, any attempt to put an asterisk next to Bonds’ record falls apart under the most cursory of scrutiny. Aaron hit his homers in an era when amphetemines were common as chewing gum in major league clubhouses—does this mean that his records, or the stolen base records of his era, are somehow tainted? What about the home runs hit by other alleged—or proven, as with Rafael Palmiero—steroids users? Do they get purged as well? And what about pitchers who use steroids: the kid who gave up Bonds’ 755th home run was actually suspended for steroids while a minor leaguer.

No. Whatever happens between the first pitch and the last out counts. Period. The record is now Bonds’, until someone else breaks it.

The Young Repredators

posted by on August 8 at 7:44 AM

Wonkette has some more details about Glenn Murphy, the newly-elected chair of the Young Republican National Federation who resigned yesterday after a police report detailing Murphy’s sexual assault of another Young Republican emerged. The Young Republicans have scrubbed Murphy from their website, but Google has preserved Murphy for posterity.

Murphy—who, as a political adviser, urged GOP candidates to attack gay marriage—claims that the blowjob he was caught giving the unconscious young man was completely consensual. So for those of you keeping score at home: anti-gay closet cases blowjobs to sleeping young men? Good sex. Out gay people getting married? Good wedge issue.

And there’s more…

Glenn was charged with Sexual Battery for doing this exact same thing in 1998 (this victim’s girlfriend was in the same room!). So he was, of course, the natural choice to head the Young Republicans.

And you gotta love the quote Murphy gave the Jeffersonville News and Tribune after his election last month: “I will essentially be the mouthpiece and effective leader for the tens of thousands of Young Republicans, 18 to 40, across the country.”

The Morning News

posted by on August 8 at 7:40 AM

They’re Having a Heat Wave: It’s pretty hot everywhere else in the US.

The British are Going! The British are Going! As Gordon Brown prepares to pull UK troops out of Iraq, Bushies express concern, let Brown know they would prefer Brits to stay in Iraq “another year or two.” Where’s your poodle when you need him?

Hillary and the Boys: Rivals lay into front-runner Clinton at latest Dem debate.

God’s Green Earth: Saving the homos didn’t work out, so bible humpers opt for saving the planet.

Modern Chemistry: Barry Bonds Breaks Aaron’s Home Run Record, hometown crowd cheers their “chemically-enhanced fraud,” says SF Chronicle.

Dead and Gone: The Yangtze river dolphin is declared extinct, “the first large animal to be wiped from the planet for 50 years, and only the fourth entire mammal family to disappear in 500 years.”

Stupid Baby: As noted yesterday, those awful Baby Einstein videos make babies dumb, not smart.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Grand Old Police Blotter

posted by on August 7 at 7:29 PM

Apologies to Atrios for swiping his header but it’s too perfect and I can’t help myself. Anyway, another day, another Republican sex scandal, this time coming out of Indiania. From the blog Advance Indiana

The newly-elected president of the Young Republican National Federation, Glenn Murphy, has stepped down as the group’s president less than a month after being elected to the post at the group’s convention in Florida last month….

Murphy, who also serves as chairman of the Clark Co. Republicans, has been viewed as a rising star in the Indiana and national GOP. His consulting firm has advised congressional candidates like that of former U.S. Rep. Mike Sodrel (R). He is fond of using divisive wedge issues, such as gay marriage, to promote his candidates.

Okay… let’s savor this for a moment. The newly elected head of the Young Republican National Federation. Chairman of a country Republican organization. A political consultant that has relied on divisive wedge issues like gay marriage to get his candidates elected. Well, guess what Murphy is alleged to have done?

In a shocking police report filed by the Clark Co. Sheriff’s office, Murphy is accused of sexually assaulting another man on July 29, 2007, while he lay sleeping in his bed. The alleged assault of the 22-year-old man took place in the Jeffersonville, Indiana home of his sister following a Young Republican party in which both Murphy and the 22-year-old man had been in attendance.

Here’s the police report. Basically the 22 year-old victim woke up to find Mr. Murphy in the process of giving him a blowjob—what is it with these homophobic Republicans? Ted Haggard, Bob Allen, Glenn Murphy—all law-breaking oral bottoms. Allegedly, allegedly.

Our sympathies are with the victim, of course.

Thanks to Gitai.

Greetings from North Carolina

posted by on August 7 at 7:26 PM

Where they like Bush.

They don’t like goddamned hippy liberal animal rights jerks (who does?).

And I have a feeling these rainbow flags don’t mean what they mean where we live.

Oh, and it’s fucking HOT. Sweet Jesus, it’s hot.

Westboro Baptist Church

posted by on August 7 at 5:58 PM

America’s craziest Jebus freaks—and that is saying something—are planning to picket the memorial services of the people that died in the Minneapolis bridge collapse. Because America tolerated gay people driving their Miata convertibles on that bridge. Or something.

Is this a surprise? Is anyone shocked? At this point shouldn’t we all just assume that the Westboro Batshits are going show up after a tragedy, any tragedy, and refuse to write about ‘em and refrain from linking to their idiotic website?

I suppose we should. But I haven’t completely lost my capacity to be shocked by the towering hatefulness of these bible-humping assholes. So here’s that that link again. And, hey, I’m sorry—maybe next time I’ll be strong enough to resist playing my small part in the Westboro Baptist Church’s never ending hate-a-thon.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on August 7 at 5:44 PM


Keep On Rollin’: Grand Funk Railroad Stops in Bremerton.

Sureshot: Adam Horovitz Makes Long Awaited Presidential Endorsement, Picks Hilary Clinton.

Alright, Still?: Lily Allen’s Work Visa Denied, Still Nowhere Near as Cool as M.I.A.

Illegal Leak of the Week: Sunset Rubdown’s Random Spirit Lover.

An Old Fart of Gold: Some Neil Young For a Gray Afternoon.

Ooh, Girl: Smack Talk, Typos, and Girl Talk.

…And an Old Fart of Sequins: What is This, the Fucking Grammies?

The Good Kind of Hippy: The Dead Kind!

It’s a Miracle: TJ Gorton on Arthur Russell.

Not Actually Pilots: Idiot Pilot’s New Songs.

Sweet: Nectar’s Re-Launch Blowout.

Quite a Quote

posted by on August 7 at 5:20 PM

The latest from Elizabeth Edwards. This time she’s talking about why John Edwards is turning to the internet to get his message out:

“In some ways, it’s the way we have to go,” Edwards says. “We can’t make John black, we can’t make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars. Now it’s nice to get on the news, but not the be all and end all.”

So is she saying that Barack Obama only gets press attention because he’s black? And Hillary Clinton only gets attention because she’s a woman?

Let the countdown to a retraction and/or clarification begin…

Another Report from the 1920s

posted by on August 7 at 4:25 PM

I’m still reading that book about the 1920s (written in 1931!)

By 1925, it seems, the revolutionary kids had lost their way, turning from substantive issues of economics and power to distracting, selfish debates about the culture wars.

The bright young college graduate who in 1915 would have risked disinheritance to march in a Socialist parade yawned at Socialism in 1925, called it old stuff, and cared not at all whether the employees of the Steel Corporation were underpaid or overpaid. Fashions had changed: now the young insurgent enraged his father by arguing against monogamy …

Phooey on 1925. We long for the authentic, good old days rebels of 1915!

In a Super Fucking Angry Lawsuit

posted by on August 7 at 4:06 PM

Citizens to Defend Affordable Housing has filed suit against against the City of Burien and the Port of Seattle, to prevent the controversial demolition of the Lora Lake Apartments, which has been causing all kinds of hubbub at the Port.

The suit won’t prevent the Port from demolishing Lora Lake —if they vote to do so on August 9th— but if the Port loses the suit, they’ll be responsible for replacing the 162-unit complex.

From My In-Box

posted by on August 7 at 3:15 PM


I enjoyed your article on Chris Crocker and would like to send him some Chanel lipsticks, nail polish, eyeliner, mascara etc etc etc.

Wrote to him about it and asked if I could send it to him through you, since he is leary about giving out his address to a complete stranger (can’t blame him at all!)

Please let me know.


San Francisco

I don’t know… Should I really get into the business of sending a stranger’s Chanel across state lines?

Genius? Says Who?: Regina Hacket Critiques the Genius Awards

posted by on August 7 at 2:39 PM

P-I art critic Regina Hackett has been writing about the Genius Awards for the last five years. But in all the writing she’s done, she’s never said what she really, really thinks about the awards. Does she think the awards have gone to the right people? For a critic, she’s been silent on this point.

Until now. She may not always say what she really thinks in the print edition of the P-I, but she says exactly what she thinks on her blog. (Have you noticed this?) In her latest entry, she critiques the roster of Genius Award recipients for the last five years. There are people who’ve won whom she says didn’t deserve it. And she names some people who haven’t won a Genius Award whom she thinks should. What she has to say is definitely surprising.

Meanwhile in a Sane Country

posted by on August 7 at 2:27 PM

While we dither and more women become infected with a virus that will one day kill them (Christine Gregoire? WTF?), British Columbia is moving on the HPV vaccine.

Girls in B.C. elementary schools could receive a controversial vaccine aimed at fighting human papilloma virus (HPV) as soon as the coming school year.

B.C. was not expected to start vaccinating children until 2008, but Health Minister George Abbott has told CBC News that could change when he receives final advice from provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall.

Expanding Bush’s Spying Powers? Not Washington State’s Democrats.

posted by on August 7 at 2:21 PM

FYI (hadn’t seen this round-up anywhere).

On the wiretapping bill:

Voting Nay: Cantwell, Inslee, McDermott, Baird, Smith, Dicks, Larsen; also: Clinton and Obama

Voting Yea: Reichert, McMorris-Rogers, Hastings

Not voting: Murray.

Murray’s office tells us she was in the state for a rare family occasion. They say she would have voted ‘Nay,’ and pointed out that the vote was so lopsided in favor (60-18) that her absence wasn’t significant.

Required Reading: Hitchens on Your Black Muslim Bakery

posted by on August 7 at 1:52 PM

Christopher Hitchens—remember how much you loved him for speaking ill of the recently-deceased Jerry Falwell?—writes today at Slate about the shooting of a newspaper editor in Oakland, California.

Chauncey Bailey’s newspaper, the Oakland Post, had been writing about a neighborhood business called Your Black Muslim Bakery. A long string of crimes had been tied to the bakery over the years—including the harassment of reporters with the temerity to write about the place—but the police didn’t do anything until Bailey was gunned down on his way to work. Says Hitchens

Now, again, I am just asking, but what if this racket had been named the White Christian or Aryan Nations Cookie Parlor? (Motto and mission statement: “Don’t F*** With Us.”) I think that Oakland’s mayor, Ron Dellums—who I was startled to find was still alive—would have joined a picket line around the store (as would I). The same would doubtless have been true of Rep. Barbara Lee, in whose district the YBMB was situated. But instead, in its role as a “community business,” the YBMB enjoyed warm support and endorsement from both the mayor and the congresswoman. And the guns for past and future slayings were inside the store….

Residents have been complaining for a long time about the atmosphere of hatred and violence—and about what some have called the YBMB’s attempt to “cleanse” the neighborhood, either of godless liquor stores on the model of jihadism or simply of business rivals and journalistic critics. What were the police doing all this time, and why did Chauncey Bailey have to be murdered before they could be moved to act? Perhaps they were doing what they do best: confiscating marijuana and rousting whores so as to painlessly improve the crime statistics. I called Bob Valladon, the extremely rude and graceless head of the Oakland police union, but I didn’t even get to put my question before receiving a large flea in my ear. Other California law-enforcement officials were adamant in refusing to be quoted in any way. I can’t say I blame them: Thousands of their voters and citizens are living in Third World conditions of fear, with a “no-snitch” policy openly enforced at gunpoint, and they cannot be troubled to do anything about it.

This official apathy—amounting to collusion—is undergirded by a culture that cringingly insists on “respect” for any organization, however depraved, that can masquerade as “faith-based.” If I had stood outside that hideous bakery with a sign saying “Black Muslims Are Racists and Fanatics,” I think the cops would have turned up in a flat second and taken me into custody. I might well have been charged with a hate crime. As I have written before and am sure I will write again: This has to stop, and it has to stop right now, before sharia baking comes to a place near you.

Burn On Me

posted by on August 7 at 1:49 PM

According to this “Pick a Candidate” tool, the presidential candidates with whom I most agree are, in order:

Kucinich (we disagree about No Child Left Behind)

Clinton (we disagree about a ton of things, including the death penalty and same-sex marriage, but the relative importance of various issues bumped her into second place)

Gravel (we disagree, disturbingly, about nothing)

Dodd (again, lots and lots of disagreements, including the proposed fence along the Mexican border)

Edwards (we disagree about the death penalty, No Child Left Behind, the PATRIOT Act, and same-sex marriage)

Richardson (he opposes the assault weapons ban, among other things)

and, finally, Obama (we disagree about same-sex marriage, the border fence, and the PATRIOT Act).

Leaving aside the questionable value of a ranking system that excludes viability as a factor (if I wanted to throw my vote away, I’d vote for FDR), this rating system has some obvious shortcomings. Each issue you’re concerned about gets one of three “weights”—“key,” “important,” or “meh.” (You can also say an issue is not a factor or that you’re unsure where you stand.) “Meh” gets one point, “important” gets two points, and “key” gets five. So issues that are “key”—in my case, abortion rights, ANWR drilling, Kyoto, torture, universal health care, and the minimum wage—are given a weight far out of proportion to those I consider merely “important”—No Child Left Behind, Guantanamo, various Iraq-war-related issues, and a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. And others I ranked as “meh”—meaning that I have an opinion about them but they aren’t really a big factor in my decision—still count for or against the candidates. Thus it’s probable that the ranking system will give too much weight to some issues and too little to others. Looking at the issues matrix on 2Decide, for example, it’s pretty clear Kucinich came out ahead because he opposes the death penalty, the border fence, and the PATRIOT Act, and supports same-sex marriage. (Those issues also helped bump Gravel up.) However, as a pragmatic Democrat (i.e., a Democrat who wants the Democrats to win), I can see room for compromise on at least two of those issues, and maybe all of them. Among the three frontrunners, the candidate I most agree with on the issues that I consider important is actually Obama—the lowest-ranking candidate on my list. Edwards, whom I’m leaning toward at the moment, comes in second, but only by virtue of having more nuanced positions than Clinton on a couple of issues, and by being a stronger advocate for impoverished Americans and universal health care, something a matrix like this one can’t pick up on.

Is Coke Zero True?

posted by on August 7 at 1:47 PM

We don’t have any Coke Zero in the vending machine here at Stranger HQ. If you want Coke Zero, you have to walk to the Shell station (although their idea of refrigeration is European, to say the least, and they’re often out of stock) or one block farther to QFC.

Just now I made the trek. Not far from QFC, a guy saw the Coke Zero sticking out of my backpack and approached me.

He seemed hesitant, sorry to bug me. But he just had to ask. “Does that really taste better than Diet Coke?” he said.

“Well, it tastes like Coke,” I said. “Except, no calories.”


“That’s the idea.”

“Is it true?” he said.

“Pretty much.”

“That’s what I heard.” He smiled. He seemed resolved to try it. “I just didn’t know if it was true.”

In related news: Don’t try it, guy! Don’t start! I can feel the brain tumor growing within my skull as I type. Maybe I’ll ask Science about this.

Necessary Profanity

posted by on August 7 at 1:30 PM

Newscat, a blogger out of Washington, D.C., noticed that Slate has begun bleeping out swearwords on its podcasts.

But who is listening to a Slate podcast who is going to be outraged by the occasional swear word? If you are choosing to download a podcast that presumes a level of technical sophistication. It’s not a lot of technical sophistication, but listening to podcasts aren’t quite the same as turning on a radio. You might still be 10 years old but is the swear word really going to be the worst thing you download? (And do 10 year olds download Slate podcasts?) But even for adults there is a degree of thought and choice when one downloads something and then decides to listen to it. You are kind of signing up for what you are about to listen to.

The reason I bring up the 10-year-old example is because I’m trying to decipher who Slate is *not* swearing for? Are they not swearing for the children? Or are they not swearing for the adults? I’m almost more offended by their not swearing than I would be by the occasional “fuck” or “shit” that is let fly. The bleeping of a podcast tends to call attention to itself. It’s marks itself as a deliberate choice of censorship, YOU ARE NOT TO HEAR THIS.

Exactly. As a reader and an adult—and, admittedly, an habitual over-user of profanity—it annoys the fucking shit out of me when newspaper editors and writers step in to protect my delicate sensibility with patronizing phrases like, “the president used a barnyard epithet,” instead of, “the president called the reporter an asshole,” or worse yet, things like “f***,” and, “s***.” Back to Newscat…

There is certainly no reason to gratuitously swear on a podcast just like I could make a blog post that is nothing but swear words. But that wouldn’t exactly make my point or my words all that much better to read. But there’s something priggish about Slate’s editorial decision to pretend its actually going to adhere to the standards of radio. Why? This feels like a decision that was made using old-media as the model and not thinking about the options of choice and selection and audience. I don’t think there’s a phrase that is more patronizing than “family friendly media outlet.” After all, it’s not as if Slate enforces a “no swearing in print” rule either.

If I were setting Slate’s editorial policy on swearing during podcasts, I would use this rule. “Swearing is generally discouraged, but if you use the occasional expletive, please use it sparingly.”

In other words, get to the fucking point without swearing if you can.

Right fucking on.


posted by on August 7 at 12:51 PM

I couldn’t help but notice that Dear Science this week takes on the topic of fluorescent lights and whether they “fucking suck.” (Postman would disapprove.)

In Los Angeles this weekend, I made it to see the Dan Flavin retrospective that’s been traveling around the country, and I was floored.

It’s one thing to see Flavins one by one (there’s a corner piece up at SAM now), and even the whole gallery of Flavins at Dia:Beacon didn’t tip me off to Flavin’s insane range as an artist using formal, architectural, sensual, psychological, and romantic-emotional means. Wow.

Here’s a piece that knocked me over.

monument 4 for those who have been killed in ambush (to P.K. who reminded me about death), 1966

Colonial Mentality

posted by on August 7 at 12:44 PM

Where we, colonial subjects, learned about sex? The Emmanuelle series:

From Carry On Emmanuelle:

Says Kenneth, “Why me? You can have any Tom, Dick or Harry!”
Says Emmanuelle, “But I don’t want Tom or Harry!”
Say the boys in Rainbow Cinema in downtown Harare in 1984: “Hah, this woman means business.”

The most popular Emmanuelle with African colonial subjects? The rip-off Black Emmanuelle!

Better Late Than Never

posted by on August 7 at 12:35 PM

The Henry Art Gallery permanent collection is going online, thanks to a $148,916 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. That means a database with images of and information about 23,154 works of art, like these (currently up in the exhibition Viewfinder):

3.3.98, 6:30 PM. (1998) by Richard Misrach

Landstrasse (Country Road) (2002) by Oliver Boberg

Untitled (Winter Pool 32) (2004) by Amir Zaki

Baby Dumbfuck

posted by on August 7 at 12:32 PM

That’s unfair, I guess. It’s dumbfuck parents that are to blame. New research shows that plopping your very young children in front of a television—even if you’re showing “educational” or “developmental” videos—makes your kid dumber, not smarter.

Parents hoping to raise baby Einsteins by using infant educational videos are actually creating baby Homer Simpsons, according to a new study released today.

For every hour a day that babies 8 to 16 months old were shown such popular series as “Brainy Baby” or “Baby Einstein,” they knew six to eight fewer words than other children, the study found. Parents aiming to put their babies on the fast track, even if they are still working on walking, each year buy hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of the videos.

Unfortunately it’s all money down the tubes, according to Dr. Dimitri Christakis, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle.

The company maintains that the videos are so educational, so long as parents watch ‘em with their kids. Which parents don’t do, of course, because the videos are crushingly dull. Says Dr. Christakis…

“I would rather babies watch ‘American Idol’ than these videos,” Christakis said, explaining that there is at least a chance their parents would watch with them — which does have developmental benefits.

Foolproof: Dead and Gone

posted by on August 7 at 12:12 PM

Foolproof, the decade-old nonprofit that presented speakers and comedians (including Bill Clinton and Sarah Vowell) and sponsored forums at Town Hall, has folded.

Board president Sheryl Harmon said financial problems stemmed from overreaching in programming (bringing high-priced speakers like Garrison Keillor to high-priced venues like Benaroya Hall and the Paramount), a long-term $300,000 deficit, and trouble with the IRS.

Of the first, Harmon said: “There were errors—when you’re throwing that kind of money into speaker fees and programming costs, there’s nothing left over for marketing or anything.” The result was expensive, under-attended evenings.

Of the second and third, Harmon said there had been financial trouble for years and the IRS finally put a lien on the organization for failing to pay payroll taxes in 2005 while continuing to pay executive director Marilyn Raichle.

Harmon (no relation to Town Hall director Wier Harman) wasn’t on the board in 2005 and said she can’t explain what was going on then. Foolproof, Harman said, had a lot of board turnover and not much institutional memory—Harman became a season ticket-holder three years ago and, by last July, was board president. “But,” Harmon said, “I don’t think the organization has been in the black for at least three years.”

Foolproof paid down all but $2,000 of the lien, which, coupled with the long-term deficit, cut the legs out from under the organization. The board quietly began the process of legal dissolution back in February.

“We’ve kept it quiet,” said Harmon, who works for Windermere, helping with downtown real estate developments. “We believed in the mission of Foolproof, of the importance of articulating progressive ideas and presenting political comedy, and we still do. We tried to bring Foolproof, with dignity, to an end.”

Harmon said the IRS investigation of Foolproof is complete. She does not know if there are continuing investigations.

“My heartache is that I wanted to deliver a different message,” she said. “I wanted to make it work.”

Bar Mitzvah Boy Paper

posted by on August 7 at 12:03 PM

I like to refer to the Seattle Times as a bar mitzvah boy paper.

With their pseudo highbrow language, attempts at writing stuffy editorials, and their self righteous “objectivity,” they think they’re coming on like adults.

Really, it’s a clumsy misread of adulthood. Unwittingly, they come across like 13-year-old boys in bar mitzvah suits; the fancy clothes actually highlight that they’re not really grown up. It’s cute.

It’s also annoying.

Take this thing with David Postman. The Seattle Times “Chief Political Reporter” scolded me yesterday for going with “In a Super Fucking Angry Email…” as a headline for a slog post.

(I had gotten my hands on a super fucking angry email from Port Commission Chair John Creighton.)

“Please excuse the (totally unnecessarily) profane headline on this Slog post,” Postman writes in his link to the post.

Postman’s so hung up on being stuffy about the whole thing (Dan whacks him for it better than I) that he unwittingly highlights some hilarious ironies that come in his attempt to lecture us on being a proper paper.

1.) Postman was forced to link our foul-mouthed newspaper because, like a newspaper’s supposed to, we actually had some news about the inner life of the port.

2.) The Seattle Times didn’t have the news, but judging from Postman’s post, it’s what they ended up reporting on anyway.

3.) The Creighton email was riddled with curse words, which A) is probably why the Seattle Times shied away from the news in print and B) which is why I used the headline I used.

No Sex, Thanks—I’m still Paying the Emergency-Room Bills from the Last Time

posted by on August 7 at 11:37 AM

For the crazy and/or lazy: Summer sex positions from Cosmopolitan Magazine, most of which are only somewhat likely to put you in the hospital! In lieu of clever commentary, I’ll just post a few images of these highly improbable positions here, and direct you to The Bachelor Guy, who says: “Some of these would challenge the acrobats of Cirque Du Soleil, let alone a 30-something couch-jockey with a bum knee.”

They include:

• The Stairway to Heaven

• Ladder Lovin’

And for those looking for lower-impact erotic fun:

• The Randy Raft!

Says the Bachelor: “There might even be room on the raft for your beer.”

Postcard from Thorp

posted by on August 7 at 11:29 AM

The town of Thorp, Washington, doesn’t have a bookstore; it doesn’t have any stores at all. There was a store not far from the fire station, but it burned down in February in a chimney fire. The lady who ran the store used to stoke the fire real good before she left for the night so that the place wouldn’t be freezing come morning. Apparently she stoked it a little too good.


That house to the left is connected to a building with a sign out front that says F. C. Porter. Hanging from the rafters inside is a sign indicating that F. C. Porter sold tools, furnishings, novelties, and shoes, but now F. C. Porter is storage and studio space for artist Justin Beckman (who took the above photo).

As for the fire station, Howard and Lorri Barlow, both artists, bought it a couple years ago and turned it into a home. One downstairs room is full of Howard’s sculptures of babies covered in brightly colored foam earplugs; in the next room is a depiction of the family dog, made by Lorri, out of the dog’s own hair.

In addition to there being no stores, there are no bars in Thorp, and no hotels, and not many people. (The population in 2000, according to the census, was 273.) As of last weekend, however, Thorp has something a lot of towns don’t: a summer festival, consisting this year of about 40 people and intended to be annual. According to the schedule, it’s a festival of “art, beer, food, music, and friends.” It’s put on by the artists who run Pioneer Square’s Punch Gallery, most of whom live in Thorp and commute to Seattle—about an hour-and-a-half drive—every First Thursday. The festival is called Punch Summerfest, although there are those in the Punch crew who wanted it to be called Über Neat Summerfest, and a contingent of three (me and two ladies) insisted on calling it Thorpfest. The three of us set up tents and camped on the lawn outside Justin Gibbens and Renee Adams’s house, which houses Punch’s “satellite gallery.”

We went for the art, the beer, the food, the music, and the friends, but really we were there for the Yakima River. The heart of Punch Summerfest/Über Neat Summerfest/Thorpfest was a five-and-a-half hour raft ride. We lucked into a raft with Barlow (“Captain Howard” written in crayon and stuck into the front of his cap); a sculptor from Tacoma; and someone’s mom. Some of us dove in. No one died.

Afterward, there were studio visits, followed by a dance party at F. C. Porter. Here is a picture of Captain Howard with a Miller High Life taped to his hand.


Most people, however, were drinking SangioPepsi. Two years ago, a nearby winery ran out of storage barrels, bought a bunch of used ones from PepsiCo, and cleaned them out. But they came to learn that the taint of Pepsi is forever. There isn’t a market for wine that tastes faintly of Pepsi, so the whole batch had to be trashed. The Punch guys found out and relieved the winery of 500 cases of the stuff for the cost of the bottles and the corks, about 30 cents a pop. The people of Thorp have been drinking SangioPepsi for two years now.

Re: I Admit It…

posted by on August 7 at 11:28 AM

I know it’s quite possible that I’m the only person in the world who’s going to enjoy this, but that’s not enough to keep me from posting it anyway.




Simpsonize Yourself!

posted by on August 7 at 11:21 AM



Above: Me, Simpsonized

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 7 at 11:00 AM

Union Square Grill’s Progressive Happy Hour (CHEAP EATS) You might expect a progressive happy hour to attract progressive people, but so far only businessmen seem to be taking advantage: Food and drink start cheap at 3:00 p.m. and climb a dollar each hour until the deal’s over at 6:00 p.m. Beer and wine start at $2. Select cocktails (e.g., a cosmo with Finlandia vodka) and ample plates (e.g., beef sliders with caramelized onions and Gruyère) start at $3. If you can’t make the afternoon, another happy hour starts at 9:00 p.m. (Union Square Grill, 621 Union St, 224-4321. 3—6 pm, 21+.) AMY KATE HORN
Check out some reader reviews of Union Square Grill or write your own. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

Already Fall

posted by on August 7 at 10:37 AM


Leaves on the trees outside my office window… are turning yellow, with distinct hints of red. Is it fucking fall already?

The photo above is a dramatization, not an actual picture of the leaves on the trees outside my office window.

Suckers They Be Saying They Can Take Out Adam Horovitz

posted by on August 7 at 10:25 AM

As true as ever. But what does Adam Horovitz say about the presidential election?


In case you were wondering, Gothamist has the Beastie Boy’s views on Rudy Giuliani and the price of Horovitz’s Hillary Clinton endorsement:

Okay, last question. With John McCain’s campaign faltering many see Rudy Giuliani as the man to beat in 2008. What do you think about President Giuliani? What do I think about President Giuliani?

Yeah, how would you feel about that? How do I think about him in relationship to McCain?

No, just how do you feel about him as President? I got to say Giuliani… I don’t like Giuliani but something happened to him right toward the end. I remember hearing that toward the end when he was going through his separation and he was crashing on a friend’s couch with two guys, a gay couple, and he went through some transformation. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about Giuliani as president. I know I hated his guts for a long time.

Okay, so you’re holding out on the endorsement. I am not giving Giuliani my endorsement. I’m down with Hillary.

Really? That’s right. You heard it here.

Okay. I’m sure my endorsement’s going to be the best thing for the campaign.

Yeah, I’m sure you’ll be contacted by them tomorrow. [Laughs] I just want Knicks tickets.

You have a problem getting Knicks tickets? You know what I mean: I just want ‘em.

Take Two: Genius Cakes

posted by on August 7 at 10:24 AM

This was originally posted yesterday, but there were some problems with the embedded video. The problems have been fixed.

The Seattle P-I broke the news of who’s getting 2007 Stranger Genius Awards last week.

This year’s winners are filmmaker Linas Phillips, visual artist Alex Schweder, poet Heather McHugh, actor Amy Thone, and the Strawberry Theatre Workshop.

Every year, winners are notified with QFC cakes, although the way the cakes are delivered is always slightly different.

This year, the fifth for the Genius Awards, the cake hand-offs happened within a two-block area on Capitol Hill, as the winners were asked to lunch by Stranger writers.

Only McHugh, on vacation in Victoria, B.C., failed to get her cake in person. Dodge mailed it to her, much to the consternation of the post office clerk who told the unconcerned Dodge that the cake didn’t have a prayer of arriving intact.

How did the winners respond when they got their cakes? This year we captured their responses on video:

Oh, this just in: In case you don’t read Line Out, the lineup for the September 14 Genius Awards party at the Central Library is as follows: DJ Broken Soul/Broken Disco DJs, The Blow (!) and Velella Velella (!!).

Times Select Deleted

posted by on August 7 at 10:17 AM

This is good news for readers of the NYT.

The New York Times is poised to stop charging readers for online access to its Op-Ed columnists and other content, The Post has learned. After much internal debate, Times executives—including publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr.—made the decision to end the subscription-only TimesSelect service but have yet to make an official announcement.


posted by on August 7 at 10:14 AM

Who’s writing the headlines over at the PI? Eminent victorians?

Super Stars

posted by on August 7 at 9:59 AM

Galactic dialectics:

Four gigantic galaxies have been seen crashing into one another in one of the biggest cosmic collisions ever seen.

The clashing galaxies are expected to eventually merge into a single, behemoth galaxy up to 10 times as massive as our own Milky Way.

I Admit It…

posted by on August 7 at 9:30 AM

I’m a total chubby chaser, at least when it comes to cats.


I don’t care that his heart is about to explode. In this instant, that cat is ridiculously adorable.

Originating story here.

Ghost Whisperer? WTF?!?

posted by on August 7 at 9:18 AM

Umm…Dear Science? Can you hear me? Hello? Well. I’m begging, you. Please (PLEASE!) explain to me in a rational and relatively coherent manner (that involves as little math as possible) exactly HOW THIS SCARY THING WORKS?

Really? HOW?

Honestly, Science. I need you. I don’t get it, and I’m getting a little freaked out over here.


Bong Hits 4 Jesus Ruling Already Used as Precedent to Shut Down Free Speech

posted by on August 7 at 9:01 AM

A 9th grader in Georgia was suspended in 2003 for writing the following short story in her private notebook.

Last week, citing the the recent “Bong Hits 4 Jesus” ruling against free speech, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension.


As I walk to school from my sisters [sic] car my stomach ties itself in nots. [sic] I have nervousness tingling [sic] up and down my spine and my heart races. No one knows what is going to happen. I have the gun hidden in my pocket. I cross the lawn and hed [sic] to my locker on A hall. Smiling sweetly to my friends hoping they don’t notice the cold sweat that has developed on my forehead [sic]. I’m walking up to the front office when the bell rings for class to start. So afraid that I think I might pass out. I ask if my mother dropped off a book I need. No. My first to [sic] classes pass by my heart thumping so hard I’m afraid every one can hear it. Constantly I can feel the gun in my pocket. 3rd period, 4th, 5th then 6th period [sic] my time is coming. I enter the class room my face pale. My stomach has tied itself in ___ knots ___ be able to untie them. Then he starts taking role. Yes, my math teacher. I lothe [sic] him with every bone in my body. Why? I don’t know. This is it. I stand up and pull the gun from my pocket. BANG the force blows him back and every one in the class sit [sic] there in shock. BANG he falls to the floor and some one lets out an ear piercing scream. Shaking I put the gun in my pocket and run from the room. By now the school police officer is running after me. Easy I can out run him. Out the doors, almost to the car. I can get away. BANG this time a shot was fired at me. I turn just in time to see the bullet running at me. Almost like its [sic] in slow motion. Then, the bell rings, I pick my head off my desk, shake my head and gather up my books off to my next class.

Bitch Slapped?

posted by on August 7 at 8:13 AM

This legislation is so ’90s … and sooooo stupid.

Three Contrarian Ideas About Global Warming

posted by on August 7 at 8:00 AM

Here are three contrarian takes on global warming and the environment; one dumb and two worth remembering.

1. This one, from the UK Times Online, seems moronic. The idea is this: Driving to the store is better for the environment than walking to the store because the amount of food needed to sustain your walk puts out more carbon than a car ride.

The Times writes:

Food production is now so energy-intensive that more carbon is emitted providing a person with enough calories to walk to the shops than a car would emit over the same distance.

Pretty cute analysis, and maybe Jonathan Golob (the Stranger’s new science guy can weigh in), but if you read the article, the only diet the story mentions is a beef and dairy diet. Yes, cattle farming is notoriously noxious. But what about a two-minute walk (past all jammed up cars in traffic) to the QFC for grape fruits, frozen peas, hippie cereal, local bakery bread, apple butter, and oat milk?

2. This post from Grist has it that buying locally produced food isn’t always better for the environment—explaining, for example, that it’s better to get your grains from the midwest than from dry California. (It can also destroy the economies of developing countries to banish their imports—which, ultimately, has damning effects on the global system too.)

3. This post (also from Grist) calls bullshit on both Republicans and Democrats for using “energy independence” as their one-stop cop out answer when asked about reducing emissions. Grist guy David Roberts writes, for example:

It’s possible to tackle energy independence — or at least look like you’re tackling it — without doing a thing for global warming. (See: liquid coal, ethanol, “price gouging” legislation, etc.)

The Morning News

posted by on August 7 at 6:24 AM

Over There: The Brits stand down in Basra and Basra falls apart. Four US soldiers and 45 Iraqis die in ongoing violence.

Rogue State: Russia dropped a bomb on Georgia, says Georgia. Did not, says Russia.

The War on Fat: Obesity increases risks for certain birth defects, says new study. But fat makes us, or made us, smart, says NYT.

Miners Trapped: Attempts to rescue six Utah miners trapped underground not going well.

Meanwhile in Minneapolis: Divers find seven more vehicles in bridge collapse wreckage, but still no bodies of missing.

Our Bubble: Housing prices falling all over the US—but not in Seattle, despite increasing supply.

Hot Air, Big Air: As Jonah briefly posted yesterday, the Seattle city council has approved a site for a skatepark at Seattle Center. In other skateboarding news…

Monday, August 6, 2007

Don’t Be Such a Fucking Pansy, David

posted by on August 6 at 7:00 PM

David Postman—who Slog likes, Slog loves, Slog would so totally have his babies—linked to a Slog post late this afternoon. And for that we thank him. But before he links David gathers up his skirts and fusses about dirty, dirty words…

Bob Young has a good story in today’s paper about Seattle Port Commissioner Bob Edwards’ re-election campaign…. Edwards is also opposed by Port Commission Chairman John Creighton. Creighton recently wrote Edwards a pretty nasty e-mail. Please excuse the (totally unnecessarily) profane headline on this Slog post. The e-mail, though, gives a good sense of the state of the commission.

Oh, David. Newspapers are for adults. Blogs are for adults. And adults use words like “fuck” all the time. Certainly newspaper writers and editors do—at weeklies and dailies. Even the President and Vice President use profanity, as the Second Circuit Court of Appeals recently noted. So why are daily newspapers written and edited as if their readers are a bunch of prissy ol’ clenchbutts?

“Please excuse the (totally unnecessary) profane headline”? What the fuck is with that? You should be writing headlines like that, my fine fucking friend.

The Montana Testicle Festival

posted by on August 6 at 6:06 PM


Or as some people were calling it, “The Bresticle Festival”. The 25th Anniversary. I don’t even know where to begin. I really thought, in all my years of chasing-crazy for Drunk of the Week, that I’d almost seen it all. Nope. A new bar has been set. I really couldn’t believe my own eyes most the time, so I videotaped it (that’s coming soon). For now, check out some of my pictures…

The Eating Contest! These are deep-fried bull testicles…


I chickened out and never tried one (even though they allegedly ‘taste like chicken.’ But, uh, ‘with veins’).


This guy, Matt Powers, won the contest by eating 4 1/2 trays of said Rocky Mountain oysters in 4 minutes (approximately 10 ball slices of per plate). There was also an oil wrestling competition, a wet-tee, bullsh*t bingo (involving a giant bingo card and a bull, well, it’s just like it sounds), a pig wrestling contest, a raffle for a 1980 truck, and a night called ‘No Panty Wednesday’ where you could trade your underwear for a free drink.

There were bikers, cowboys, gawkers, a big budget television film crew from Australia, and more public nudity (men AND women) than I’ve ever seen anywhere. Oh yeah, and FIRE. None of the locals even blinked an eye as a huge renegade wildfire kept shooting swirling mini-fire balls and swirling smoke bombs down the side of the mountain - in plain view of the festival and surrounding campgrounds. I think a little danger just adds to the excitement. At least that’s what I tried to tell myself when I woke up in my sleeping bag on an abandoned pool table in the middle of a grassy field, instead of in my tent. But that’s another story…

MORE PHOTOS AFTER THE JUMP. NSFW - though I did add a bunch of little black bars for your convenience.

Continue reading "The Montana Testicle Festival" »

It’s Just Like, It’s Just Like, A Mini-Mall

posted by on August 6 at 5:58 PM

You Think The Minnesota Bridge Was Bad?

posted by on August 6 at 4:27 PM

So you know how all those news stories about the Minneapolis bridge collapse have highlighted the fact that the bridge received a ranking of just 50 percent on a federal scale of 1 to 100, making it “structurally deficient”?


The central portion of the Alaskan Way Viaduct was ranked on the same scale. Its score: Nine percent. And if that doesn’t make you want to stay away from the viaduct until they tear the damn thing down, perhaps knowing that the National Bridge Inventory (which provided the Minnesota number) considers it “basically intolerable requiring high priority of corrective action,” will. (Fun bonus fact: The 520 bridge across Lake Washington received a rating of 44.8 percent, just meeting the “minimum tolerable limit to be left in place as is.”)

Westneat Goes Clubbing

posted by on August 6 at 4:04 PM

Seattle Times’ columnist Danny Westneat hit the clubs this weekend. He wanted to see for himself just how bad things are in, as he puts it, “Seattle’s Bermuda Triangle of nightlife.” And for most of the evening things were calm. But at 1:37 in the morning…

…all hell breaks loose.

In Belltown Billiards, about 100 people are dancing and downing last-call shots when bright lights come on and the “push out” begins. That’s when every bar closes and empties onto the street to make the state-ordered 2 a.m. closing.

A fight erupts in a dark parking lot at Western and Blanchard. A man throws a beer bottle at another man, who rushes him.

Up the street it’s worse. A mini-rumble starts in the push out from the most jammed club, the See Sound Lounge. A man is body-slammed into a 10-foot window fronting a haute cuisine restaurant, Mistral. A waterfall of glass showers down on the wrestling men, the sidewalk, the street.

The men bolt. The crowd gets volatile, taunting and shoving. A bouncer tells me later that someone pulled a gun.

Westneat wonders whether later closings times—or staggered closing times, or no closing times at all—might help alleviate the problem. Most Seattle clubbers don’t start heading until after 11:30 these days. That leaves at best two hours for drinking, dancing, and hooking up. When last call rolls around people start “drinking against the clock,” pounding one or two more back before the lights come up and security starts shoving everyone out on to the streets at the exact same time. Most clubbers are drunk and few are sorted and ready to head home.

Westneat points to London as a positive example of later closing times. After being forced to close at 11 P.M. for decades all the pubs in the UK can now legally serve drinks 24 hours a day. Alcohol-related assaults down by 15 percent, Westneat writes.

But most of the news coming out of the UK makes the new 24-hour drinking rules look like a disaster. It pains me to link to these stories because I would like to see later or staggered closing times myself. But the conservative London Timesreports…

Ministers hoped that staggered opening hours and later closing times introduced by the 2003 Licensing Act would limit offences committed by the drunken crowds that surged onto the streets at the traditional 11pm closing time. But a report published by the Home Office last week shows that many of the troubles have merely been postponed.

Crime is certainly down at the old closing time. In the year after November 2005, when the changes were introduced, there were 3,523 fewer offences of violence, disorder or criminal damage between 9pm and midnight. But in the hours between midnight and 6am the number of offences rose by 13,852. The bright spot, according to the Home Office, is a 5% drop in serious violent crime during the night.

Says the panicky Telegraph

Gordon Brown has ordered a review of 24-hour drinking laws following concern that it is leading to binge drinking and more alcohol-related violence….

A Home Office report last week disclosed that offences of assault, criminal damage and harassment between 3am and 6am rose sharply in the 12 months following the reforms.

Ministers had argued that staggered and later closing times would reduce crime by avoiding the traditional 11pm rush on to the streets, which often led to violence.

Researchers at London’s St Thomas’ Hospital found that the number of alcohol related visits to the accident and emergency department trebled after 24-hour drinking laws were introduced in the capital.

The Guardian finds a little good news…

Statistics published last week showed a small increase in violent disorder, criminal damage and harassment committed between 6pm and 6am. A study at St Thomas’ hospital in London also recorded an increase in violent crime linked to the relaxed licensing laws.

It has also been argued that 24-hour drinking makes it easier for the police to handle drink-related violence as it is no longer concentrated all at one time as drinkers leave pubs.

But we don’t have to go with either 2 A.M. closing times or 24-hour drinking. Staggered closing times might be a better idea—a mix of 2 A.M. and 4 A.M. bars—or allowing clubs to stay open after they stop serving alcohol, so clubbers can stay and dance it off, hang out, and leave when they’re ready and, perhaps, a bit soberer.

But if you want to argue for later closing times, or no closing times, it might be best to look for examples other than the UK.

Crowdsourcing My Fact-Checking

posted by on August 6 at 3:40 PM

I’m busy on deadline and need a little help. Make fun of my ignorance if you must, but can someone out there ID the image behind this speaker’s platform for me? The Constitutional Convention of 1787? (Bonus points if you can guess the politician who was recently using this backdrop.)


They Really Regret It

posted by on August 6 at 3:39 PM

From today’s NYT “Corrections: For the Record”

An article in some copies on Wednesday about Congressional efforts to pass legislation to expand the government’s electronic wiretapping powers misspelled — yet again — the surname of the attorney general of the United States, in three of four references. He is Alberto R. Gonzales, not Gonzalez. (The Times has misspelled Mr. Gonzales’s name in at least 14 articles dating to 2001 when he became White House counsel. This year alone Mr. Gonzales’s name has been misspelled in February and March, and in two articles in April.)

New SeaSk8 Site Approved by Council

posted by on August 6 at 3:36 PM

City Council unanimously approved plans for a new skatepark at 2nd & Thomas. The plan calls for the demolition of the Seattle Center Pavilion. Construction should start 2008, unless too many people raise a stink or the Seattle Center decides it needs the space for its redesign.

More on this soon.

Today in Line Out

posted by on August 6 at 3:32 PM

RIP, Lee Hazlewood: The country singer and pop producer is dead at 78.

Sights from Seafair: Patient Patient talk mullets and Marines.

On Tour: The Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem are coming to Seattle.

The Lonely H: From The Stranger’s Band of the Week to’s Band of the Day.

Pure Genius: The Blow, Velella Velella to perform at the Genius Awards in September.

Murder City Reunion #2: They’re baaAAAAaack.

That’s Hot

posted by on August 6 at 3:16 PM

Homophobic hackers force gay website to go down for several hours, says Towleroad.

Actionable Intelligence

posted by on August 6 at 3:06 PM

Yesterday Mitt Romney attacked Barack Obama for saying that he would attack al-Qaida in Pakistan with or without Pakistan’s permission.

“If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won’t act, we will,” Obama said.

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who is one of the Republican front-runners, said U.S. troops “shouldn’t be sent all over the world.” He called Obama’s comments “ill-timed” and “ill-considered.”

Today George W. Bush said

President George Bush insisted today the US would take out Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders believed to be hiding in Pakistan if he had “actionable intelligence.” He refused to say whether he would seek permission first from Pakistan’s president, Pervez Musharraf.

I don’t know who comes off looking the worst here—Obama, Romney, or Bush.

Big Trouble

posted by on August 6 at 3:05 PM

Does this line by Daniel Gross, from a story posted today on Slate, make him look fat phobic?

The chances of being stuck in a middle seat, sandwiched between frequent visitors to the Golden Corral all-you-can-eat buffet, in a row opposite the bathroom, have vastly increased. (In my case, they seem to be about 84 percent.)

The Latest Tool of The Man

posted by on August 6 at 2:59 PM


A flashlight that makes you blow chunks.

Yankee My Wanky! Beckham Lurks in Locker Rooms!

posted by on August 6 at 2:51 PM

Not that I follow the footballs (perish the notion—PERISH IT!), but do you remember that one big jerk, Alex Rodriguez or whatever? The shortstop who-looks-more-like-a-catcher (that’s just a sad grasp at a very lame gay inside joke—please ignore it) about whom it is said—by those who actually give two shits about such things, of course—that he abandoned our Mariners or whatever here in Seattle, and that Seattle, bitch that she is, will never, ever forgive his hot Dominican ass for it? Remember? REMEMBER?

Neither. DO. I.

But check out A-Rod’s hot new girlfriend anyhow…


Aww! Aren’t they adorable? Could this be the beginning of “Day-Rod”? “Gayvid-Rodham”? “Gay-Wad”?

Oh, God. I’d give anything. Anything.


Welcome to the Third World

posted by on August 6 at 2:45 PM

When the bridge collapsed in Minneapolis last week I thought, “Man, we’re a couple of bus plunges away from officially being a third world country.” Most of the other indicators are already in place: We’re ruled by the imbecilic son of our former ruler; our rich are obscenely wealthy and our poor are obscenely poor; giant corporations abuse consumers with absolute impunity; the Democrats refuse to do anything about predatory lending or payday loans or credit card companies…

Well, other parts of the world—the first world, of which we used to be a member—are starting to notice just how fucked up our country is. From the UK’s Independent

You don’t have to visit this country for long to see how its transport infrastructure has deteriorated since the interstate system was built by Eisenhower in the Fifties. Never taken that pot-holed ride from JFK to Manhattan? Fasten your seatbelts for more turbulence. Or covered your ears in the screeching tunnels of the city’s antiquated subways? As for a cross-country ride on Amtrak, good luck.

Money here tends to flow towards items that make the pulse race. That would be elections, wars and that other national passion, sports. If there was a World Cup for baseball—rather than the so-called World Series in October which involves only the US and Canada - then finding decent venues would barely be a problem. Name a big city that doesn’t have a brand new, state of the art stadium it wants to show off.

Actually, that would be New York. But that is about to change. Its two major baseball teams, the Yankees and the Mets, are in deadly competition right now and not just to land places in the World Series play-off games this autumn. It’s about which of them can get their spanking new stadium finished first.

That’s right, while the Brooklyn Bridge gathers rust (yes, it is on the critical care list), somehow this city is building not one but two baseball stadiums barely six miles from each other.

Seafair 2007

posted by on August 6 at 2:36 PM

Missed Seafair? Have some video. Looks like it was more than just hydros, Blue Angels, and artery clogging food… it was also Mudhoney, Ronald McDonald on a segway, and one very caucasian-looking Sammamish Indian. And, really, where DO all the fish go?

Trent Moorman films.

A Day at the Races

posted by on August 6 at 2:19 PM

I just got back (this morning, 2 am) from a week in Albany, New York, which is a beautiful, crumbling town. It’s not a big place, but it has a kind of density and substance that I never feel in the West.

Here is a picture of old Albany:


Here is a picture of new Albany:


The weekend’s highlights included a wake, a funeral, and an awkward conversation with a priest who wanted to know why I was on crutches. (“Well, you see Father, a couple months ago, I jumped out of a window onto the roof of a school bus. No, no, it was parked—I’m not crazy.”)

The day after the funeral (for the family matriarch—she was buried on her and my dead granddad’s wedding anniversary, which has a nice symmetry), us aunts and uncles and cousins were in confusing cloud of mourning and recklessness and celebration. So what’d we do? We went gambling, playing the ponies up at Saratoga Springs, the country’s oldest sporting venue, and the place where Matt Graves, a sportswriter for the Albany Times-Union and father to one Jen Graves, works as a handicapper.

The track was a mix of elegance and effluvia—women with white dresses and elaborate violet hats elbow-to-elbow with drunk, desperate-looking men with bad dandruff. There was a surprising number of children and a surprisingly big bazaar devoted to crappy horse-racing art.

How many paintings does the world need that look like this?


Apparently a whole fuck of a lot.

(And is it possible that the proliferation of bad horse art influenced the career of one Jen Graves? That, at an early age, she saw the gap between the beauty of a horse and the ugliness of an unskilled rendering of a horse? That her child mind decided to explore that gap, turn spelunker, and become an art critic?)

Anyway, I loved it. Gambling is beautiful—a little bit math, a little bit magic. I spent the afternoon sitting with my uncles, learning all the different ways to bet:

• Bet on the horses: Get a racing sheet, see which horses have been winning, bet on them. (Didn’t work.)

Bet with the crowd: Watch the big reader board on the field, showing the odds and how much people are betting on each horse to win, place, or show. Bet accordingly. (Worked sometimes.)

Bet with the experts: Tear the racing page out of the Albany Times-Union and pick the ponies Matt Graves likes. (Worked sometimes.)

Bet your whims: Do you like Truman Capote? Do you like Southern writers? Bet on the horse who parents were “Capote” and “Southern Letters.” (Didn’t work.)

Bet your gut: Visit the paddock. Find a horse or jockey you like the looks of. Bet accordingly. (It worked!)

Bet over your head: Walk up to the bet-window and repeat one of the exotic betting systems you’ve read about in the racing form: “Gimmie a four-dollar exacta box on two and eight in the fifth.” After the race, show your ticket to an uncle and ask if you’ve won. (He will laugh.)

Court bad luck: My younger brother kept saying he should stay away from us, insisting he was a “cooler.” It was true, we kept losing when he was around. Then I asked him to pick a horse. It won. My aunt asked him to blow on her ticket. She won. Then my mom asked him to blow on her ticket. And she won.

And then the day was over. We went to an Italian restaurant, talked about death and health care and estates and wills. The next morning, we scattered back across the country, back to our homes—some to Rhode Island, some to Vermont, some to Seattle.

So. Which way to Emerald Downs?

That Silence

posted by on August 6 at 2:10 PM

It is nearly impossible to surpass the cinematic splendor of the first 15 minutes of Der Himmel über Berlin:
54angels_wings1-1.jpg Wender’s angels fly over Berlin, glide through apartment buildings, enter jet planes approaching Berlin, exit cars rushing in and around the city streets. And when an angel nears a person, we hear their thoughts: This person is thinking about his father, that person is thinking about his girl; this one about tomorrow, the other one about yesterday.

The movie dies when the angels stop flying and gliding. The death of the film is caused by the start of the narrative—the story about how one angel wants to become a human. The rest of the movie is useless. But there is one major problem in the magical opening: When an angel comes close to a car driven by an Arab woman, he does not hear her thoughts. The Arab has an empty head. She thinks of nothing. Even Peter Falk (Columbo) has thoughts. We hear him thinking (mumbling thoughts) in a plane that’s flying into Berlin. The American is self-conscious, not the Arab.

The silence of the Arab spoils everything. It’s a silence that is not unrelated to Heidegger’s notorious post-World War II silence. What must be remembered at all times is that Islam is the second largest religion in Europe. The fact that the angel doesn’t have ears for the voices of a such a large community (ummah) within Europe, within Berlin, is a fact that can’t be forgiven.

This is Ironic

posted by on August 6 at 2:00 PM

In 1998, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) filed a lawsuit against Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Seattle) for leaking a recording of a cell phone call. In that recording, which came into McDermott’s hands through a rather bizarre series of events, Boehner could be heard talking with other Republicans about how to subvert House ethics rules.

(My story on that whole scandal, and the ensuing lawsuit, which has now been appealed by McDermott to the U.S. Supreme Court, can be found here.)

Today, Boehner was accused of doing some leaking himself — leaking classified national security information that could put the lives of U.S. troops at at risk.

From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which filed the complaint against Boehner:

Boehner has previously expressed strong concerns over illegal leaks for political gain. In discussing a long-running court case regarding an illegally intercepted phone call that Rep. Jim McDermott (D-WA) released to the media, Rep. Boehner stated:
When you break the law in pursuit of a political opponent, you’ve gone too far. Members of Congress have a responsibility not only to obey the laws of the country and the rules of our institution, but also to defend the integrity of those laws and rules when they are violated.

When CREW filed the complaint, Melanie Sloan made this statement:

By revealing classified information, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives appears to have compromised national security for partisan political gain. We urge the Justice Department to immediately commence an investigation.


posted by on August 6 at 1:07 PM

The daughter of Republican hopeful Rudy Giuliani has signaled she’s backing Democrat Barack Obama for president.

According to her Facebook profile, Giuliani’s 17-year-old daughter, Caroline, belonged to Democrat Barack Obama’s Facebook group “Barack Obama (One Million Strong for Barack).” She left the group Monday morning after the online magazine Slate sent an inquiry.

Slate posted a screen shot of her profile, which uses a slightly different last name. She lists herself as having liberal political views. Giuliani, campaigning in Iowa, declined to comment on his daughter’s political preference.

Hellbitch Snatches the Only Man I’ll Ever Love; Then Cheats Like a Filthy Whore!

posted by on August 6 at 1:01 PM

Last week somebody reported the horrible, horrible news that Reese Witherspoon had, through diabolical means no doubt, somehow enslaved the mind of Jake Gyllenhaal, and now he thinks he’s dating her. And me? I was pretty darn pissed. Sure and youbetcha.


Now it is reported that the evil two-timing bag of sperm has been seen lunching and eating and having lunch and generally getting along really too, too well with her bitter, bitter ex, the equally gay and scrumptious Ryan Phillipe! (The father of her children! The WHORE!) An evil source reports:

“Reese and Ryan are trying to work it out. They are still close.”

But…but….butt….what about poor darling Jake? There’s been nary a word from his camp, as he’s been sucking my dick and finds it particularly difficult to comment on the situaion just now. Ahem.

Miss Witherspoon, you have incurred my terrible wrath. Despair!


At the Intersection of Love and Basketball

posted by on August 6 at 12:57 PM

Making the rounds on the web today is a great video of our own Kevin Durant (resplendent in Sonics gold and green) getting a DJ-ing lesson at the 2007 NBA rookie photoshoot. However, I prefer watching this video of rookies Julian Wright, Al Horford, and Glen “Big Baby” Davis DJ it up in their brand new uniforms:

Horford’s hesitation is adorable and I love the joy, abandon, and skill with which Big Baby hits the decks. And I love Big Baby because this is the man who, after his team LSU advanced to the 2006 NCAA Final Four proclaimed, “We’ve still got tapeworms in our bellies. We’re still hungry.” I hope Big Baby blossoms under the tutelage of Boston’s newly-formed power trio of Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce.

For fans who actually make it to the end of this video, please note our other ace rookie, Jeff Green, getting down in the background.

Let’s See Action

posted by on August 6 at 12:55 PM

I was excited about the group that Mike McGinn started up earlier this year.

McGinn’s group—Seattle Great City Initiative—was out to reclaim Seattle’s neighborhood movement for those of us who live in Seattle’s neighborhoods and support density, and transit alternatives, and lifting unnecessary mandates like parking requirements on developers.

I was also excited that McGinn, a charismatic go-getter, wasn’t running for office, but instead was trying to organize at the grassroots level to create public demand for green urban planning so that office holders wouldn’t feel shy about voting for change.

When his group had its official kickoff in May (they’d actually already been in action for several months), McGinn hyped the city’s “Complete Streets” initiative as one of the group’s accomplishments. The “Complete Streets” initiative dictates that any new roads fixes in the city must be designed with pedestrians and bicyclists as part of the equation.

Well, I’m a little disappointed in McGinn right now. As ECB has been reporting, the redesign on Stone way KO’d a planned bike lane.

This is a perfect opportunity for McGinn to make good on his mission to tap Seattle’s progressive neighborhood base and put his idea of demand-side politics in play. It’s also a great political opportunity to make his (I thought promising) group relevant.

I’m sure McGinn will have some hot quotes regarding Nickels’s amnesia when it comes to the Bike Master Plan, but hot quotes aren’t enough.

The Far East

posted by on August 6 at 12:07 PM

posted by Jeff Kirby

Courtesy of my weekend trip to Colfax, Washington, here is a page from Thursday’s Whitman County Gazette:


Parent Evil

posted by on August 6 at 11:23 AM

After Pfc. Jesse Spielman was convicted for the “March 12, 2006, rape and slaying of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, 14, and the killings of her parents and sister” (Spielman did not actually rape or kill any of the victims but knowingly served as a lookout for the nightmare), his sister, Paige Gerlach, screamed:

“I hate the government. You people put him (in Iraq) and now, this happened.”

This declaration must not be rejected or understood as purely emotional. There is an amount of reason in her cry. The problem to begin with is the war itself. The war is evil in itself. And because evil is never isolated, never acts alone, or wants to act alone, but, like misery, needs company, needs to multiply, we have to see Spielman’s evil in the context of the wider evil, the whole war, the causes of the war, and those who made it possible on grounds that were not in themselves good. Bad begets bad. The road to this particular hell was paved with bad intentions. The rape and murder of the 14-year-old girl is not an orphan; it has a parent, a point of origin, a source (“you people”) that made it possible.

Youth Pastor Watch

posted by on August 6 at 11:21 AM

A former youth pastor is charged with taking indecent liberties with a minor. Jason Gillespie, 26, taught and coached soccer at Southview Christian School in Iredell County. Detectives say he had an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old girl last school year.

Eyewitness News tried to speak with Gillespie on Friday. He wouldn’t answer the door, but he could be seen moving his belongings out of his home near the church and school. Pastor Walter Wagner of Southview Baptist Church said he contacted authorities as soon as he heard about the allegations of misconduct. He said it came as a total shock to the staff and students at the school.

The Voting Lifestyle

posted by on August 6 at 11:17 AM

In a case that dates back to the 2000 election, the 9th Circuit ruled today that vote swapping is legal—meaning Nader voters in unsafe states (states where Gore was on shaky ground) who hooked up Gore voters in safe states (states where Gore was a sure bet) had a constitutional right to trade votes.

The 2007 Genius Award Winners Take Their Cakes

posted by on August 6 at 11:08 AM

The Seattle P-I broke the news of who’s getting 2007 Stranger Genius Awards last week.

This year’s winners are filmmaker Linas Phillips, visual artist Alex Schweder, poet Heather McHugh, actor Amy Thone, and the Strawberry Theatre Workshop.

Every year, winners are notified with QFC cakes, although the way the cakes are delivered is always slightly different.

This year, the fifth for the Genius Awards, the cake hand-offs happened within a two-block area on Capitol Hill, as the winners were asked to lunch by Stranger writers.

Only McHugh, on vacation in Victoria, B.C., failed to get her cake in person. Dodge mailed it to her, much to the consternation of the post office clerk who told the unconcerned Dodge that the cake didn’t have a prayer of arriving intact.

How did the winners respond when they got their cakes? This year, for the first time, we captured their responses on video:

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 6 at 11:00 AM

The Helio Sequence, Lifesavas, Truckasaurus (WELCOME BACK PARTY) Introducing Nectar 2.0, now with a boosted sound system, a covered patio, a third bar, and new ace-booker Colin Johnson. But it’s what’s on stage that’ll send the flocks to Fremont: from Portland, new jack hiphop swingers Lifesavas and electropop wizards the Helio Sequence, and our very own eight-bit overlords Truckasaurus, who combine the Commodore 64, the American flag, and professional wrestling into a glorious mess. (Nectar, 412 N 36th St, 632-2020. 7 pm, free, 21+.) JONATHAN ZWICKEL
See what else is happening in Music on Monday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!


posted by on August 6 at 10:46 AM

This calendar…


…is no longer available because this video is unsafe for work. And file this under “famous last words”: “You better get my face on this.” In retrospect, perhaps better not to.

Letter of the Day

posted by on August 6 at 10:36 AM


EDITOR: One of the monorail trains broke down this afternoon [Saturday, August 4] at about 1:30 pm. My wife, brother-in-law, I, and our 3-year-old and 3-month-old took a trip from Seattle Center to Westlake Center, after having put off a monorail ride that my 3-year-old had been asking for for at least a year. We thought, okay, it seems to be working okay, let’s risk it.

Of course, there’s nobody in charge of the monorail, in the sense that no one had Westlake Center made an announcement, offered help for alternative transportation, etc. My wife asked the ticket attendant who was a non-native English speaker, and who was somewhat freaked out. She made an inaudible, barely understandable announcement that no one near us could make out at my wife’s suggestion (the announcement, not the comprehensibility).

The one train had broken (the red train, I think), and we had already waited 30 minutes when this became clear. The other train arrived at the station, dropped off passengers, and left. The attendant said it would be another 30 minutes before the other train returned. About 200 people were waiting by that point, and the attendant was still selling tickets.

There was obviously no plan on how to proceed.

I have an iPhone (I’m a tech writer for The Seattle Times and other publications, so it’s a tool of the trade). I used Metro Transit’s awesome Trip Planner to figure out the nearest and next bus that would take us back to Seattle Center. The irritating part is that the trip planner suggested we take… the monorail!

Instead, we and a bunch of Southern tourists walked to Virginia and Third, paid $1.25 each on exit, and got in our car. It was an adventure, and our toddler was overjoyed to ride a monorail AND a bus, and the baby stayed happy.


There’s just no lights on in the monorail organization. It was as if they didn’t think this could happen.

Glenn Fleishman

Flyover Country

posted by on August 6 at 10:14 AM

A couple of Thursdays ago I took the redeye from Seattle-to-Boston on Alaska Air. All three of us—my six foot tall boyfriend, my four-foot tall son, and six-foot-one me—were jammed into the very last row. Our seats didn’t recline but the seats in front of us sure did. Shortly after take-off we had three snoring passengers in our laps. After two sleepless hours in the middle-seat, I got up and went to the bathroom. When I got out my boyfriend and son had spread out—and both were fast asleep. DJ was laying across all three seats, his head in Terry’s lap. Terry’s legs were taking up all our floor space. I didn’t have the heart to wake them.

So I went back to the bathroom.

Everyone else on the flight appeared to be fast asleep and there were three toilets at the back of the plane. So I didn’t think anyone would mind or even notice if I… occupied one. For three hours.

I hate flying—hate, hate, hate—and airplane toilets are one the #2 reason. (#1? Airplane crashes.) You just know airplane toilets are beyond filthy. They don’t have time to clean ‘em, not with the way they rush people on and off airplanes. And most of the people that use ‘em can barely fit into them, let alone aim a stream of urine properly. And who can wash their hands in that tiny sink? And that bottle of soap sitting next to the sink always looks like the filthiest damn thing on the whole damn airplane anyway. So you know that a thick veneer of feces covers every surface—the hard, plastic edges around the tissue and towel dispensers, the door handle, the seat itself. Eesh.

And then there are those… chemicals. That blue stuff in the toilets? I don’t know what it is… but whatever it is… it’s so powerful that no matter what went down in that toilet before you got in there… all you can smell is the blue stuff. It certainly can’t be good for you to inhale all those fumes.

So airplane toilets give me ebola cooties and I try like hell to avoid spending any time in them. But my act of love and sacrifice required me to spend nearly three hours in one, staring at the inside of the door.


I don’t know how long I was sitting there, trying not to touch anything, staring at the inside of the door before I noticed the ashtray in the middle of it—conveniently located mid-door, so that you could sit and shit and piss and smoke…


How long has smoking been banned in airplane toilets? A decade or two now, right? So sitting there in the can, nearly delirious and high on the fumes, I started to panic. I mean, a plane had to be old—really, really old—to have fucking ashtrays in the fucking toilets, right? My sleeplessness, delirium, and the fumes, my fear of airplane toilets and fear of crashing made for a very, very long night in the can. When we finally landed in Boston I went straight to a bathroom—a relatively clean one—where I washed my hands, arms, and face, changed my clothes, and threw out the copy of the New Yorker I’d been reading in the airplane toilet.

Romney Angry About Mormon Questions

posted by on August 6 at 9:40 AM

A slightly long but very interesting exchange, between Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and a conservative talk-radio host in Iowa who suggested that Romney’s actions are not in line with his Mormon faith.

The New New York Times

posted by on August 6 at 9:34 AM

I see a lot of blue bags on lawns and porches on my way to work every morning, so lots of people in Seattle no doubt have opinions about today’s New York Times. With this morning’s issue our only national newspaper—well, now that Weekly World News has ceased publication—got significantly narrower. From the front page…

Starting today, The Times is reducing the width of its pages by an inch and half, to the national newspaper 12-inch standard…. Slight modifications in design preserve the look and texture of The Times, with all existing features and sections and somewhat fewer words per page.

The designers at the New York Times did a great job—I hardly noticed the difference when I read through the A section at Victrola this morning. Until I got to the op-ed pages. The loss of a full column of letters is a pretty glaring alteration, and makes the Times’ editorial column seem louder, more dominant somehow. And the opinion page opposite the editorials and letters seems… oh, I dunno… less like a destination. But the overall impact of the change is much less distracting than I feared it would be. Hell, yesterday I thought I might dislike the change so much I would drop my subscription to the print edition and just read the New York Times online, like everybody else. But now I think I’ll keep those blue bags coming.

Oh, and speaking of redesigns… The Stranger is being redesigned right freaking now. We’ll have all the same content and columns that you’ve come to love and/or hate over the years, but in a new and much more confusing configuration.

Drunk (Fourth in a Series)

posted by on August 6 at 9:15 AM


The water fountain outside the gym at Bellevue Community College.

Temperature: Room temperature. Score: 3

Stream: High. Strong. Full. Fat. Real arc. Too bad the stream wasn’t anywhere near cold. Score: 8

Taste: Slightly tinny. Score: 4

Hum: I liked the strong white noise whoosh, but it seemed thin without the electric buzz underneath it that I want from an indoor fountain. Score: 5

Style: It’s a small-to-medium silver sink jutting out of the wall. There’s a square high silver back. The tall, spoon-shaped spout was a distinctive touch. And there’s a good-looking, wide lever on the right side of the sink. It didn’t offer much resistance, though. Score: 7

Make: Haws

Comments: Good-looking fountain with a high, fat stream. I wish the stream had been cold.

Final Score: 5.4 out of possible 10.


Previously in Drunk: The water fountain at the Stranger; the outdoor water fountain by the tennis courts at Volunteer Park; and the water fountain outside the gym at Seattle Centeral Community College.

In a Super Fucking Angry Email …

posted by on August 6 at 9:10 AM

Originally posted on Saturday morning, August 4, but it belongs in the Monday news mix.

Port Commissioner John Creighton (who is Commission Chair) tells Port Commissioner Bob Edwards (who’s up for re-election in Position 2) that he’s not going to “tolerate any bullshit” from Edwards; calls Edwards “selfish” and “disrespectful;” accuses him of “blatant political grandstanding;” promises to “gavel him down” at the next meeting; and tells him he hopes he loses his upcoming re-election bid.

If you haven’t been following the drama at the Port, here’s the deal: The Port was set to demolish 162 low-income housing units near the airport at the Lora Lake apts. in Burien. But when Lora Lake became an election issue, Edwards—suspiciously late in the process— announced he was going to make a motion at the next meeting (August 9) to prevent it.

Edwards move seemed to fool some people—including the PI—but Creighton (accurately, I believe) thinks Edwards is an opportunist poseur.

Here’s the hot hot email (I added the bolds):

From: “Creighton, John”
To: “Edwards, Bob”
Sent: 7/27/2007 5:13pm
Subject: Lora Lake motion


I want to touch base on our next meeting. I agree with Lloyd that your actions in bringing up the Lora Lake matter without notifying your colleagues (even Alec who supports your position) were disrespectful and contrary to any sense of collegiality or building trust with your fellow commissioners.

In the last two years, you have at different points criticized each one of your fellow commissioners for allegedly keeping information from you or blindsiding you. In my opinion, your actions are of an exponential magnitude worse than anything any other commissioner has done to blindside the commission in the last two years. Unlike other instances, your actions were blatantly premeditated to embarrass the Port and to embarrass your colleagues, all for selfish personal gain at our expense. If you truly had cared about building a coalition to save the Lora Lake apartments, you would have gone about it in a much different way.

Lloyd is a very patient, forgiving and tolerant soul, much more than I am. I want to assure you that I will be back in town on 8/9 and very much in full control of commission meetings. I am the chair of the commission, and will remain chair until replaced by a majority vote of my colleagues. Until that time, I am in charge of the meetings and will not tolerate any bullshit, neither from you or any other commissioner.

It will be my perogative as chair (1) whether we hear any sort of motion on Lora Lake, (2) in what form and language any such motion will take, and (3) whether or not we have any public testimony. If you object to any of that, you are free to form a coalition with 2 of your fellow commissioners to replace me as chair. If you are disruptive in the meeting, I will not be afraid to either gavel you down or take other action.

I hope that I am making myself crystal clear, but if not, I am happy to follow up with you in person.

I believe that your blatant political grandstanding has done a huge amount of damage to the Port at a time when we were moving beyond all the bullshit and scandal of the last half year. I am looking forward to January, when I hope that we will have a new commissioner in position 2 who has the maturity and the integrity to help move the port forward on the important issues of competitiveness that we really need to be focusing on. But, alas, that is the subject for a separate email.

Sincerely, John

p.s. I think Creighton misspelled “prerogative.”
p.p.s. Creighton has endorsed Edwards’s two main challengers— Gael Tarleton and Jack Block, Jr.

The Pentagon Fires Two Gay People Every Day

posted by on August 6 at 8:54 AM

The bill in Congress to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy picked up five new sponsors today—including Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), the highest-ranking veteran in Congress, having served 31 years in the United States Navy and retiring as a 3-star Admiral.

Also becoming a co-sponsor today—Washington’s Rep. Brian Baird, bringing the total number of sponsors to 131.

Washington Reps. Jay Inslee, Jim McDermott, and Adam Smith are already co-sponsors.

Mr. National Security, Rep. Dave Reichert, isn’t on the list.

I wonder if his religious beliefs are preventing him from supporting a stronger military.

The Morning News

posted by on August 6 at 8:33 AM

Nader ‘08: Bush signs new law broadening his already broad powers to spy on Americans—with the help of those still- and ever-fearful Dems.

Progress in Iraq: It’s “subtle,” says General Petraeus. Which may be why we’re detecting so little of it.

Missing in Action: The Pentagon has “lost track of” almost 200,000 weapons—AK 47s, pistols—that it provided to Iraqi security services in 2004 and 2005.

Uncle Walt: Disneyland created thousands of low-paying jobs in Anaheim, California. Now Disney is fighting a plan that would create affordable housing near Disneyland—you know, places where its workers could actually afford to live.

Black and Dicker: What’s the best way to placate a big and scary black dude in a public toilet? Offer him a blowjob and twenty bucks, says disgraced Florida State Rep. Bob Allen.

China Syndrome: Does fucking everything imported from China have lead in it?

Gay Civil Partnerships in Britain: It’s not exactly marriage, per se, but if you enter into one while you’re married to an opposite-sex partner that’s totally bigamy.

The Gathering Storm: Apparently something really, really awful is about to happen to I-5. The Seattle Times is out today with a guide to “surviving the I-5 mess.”

Murderous Men: A man murders his ex-wife—it happens so frequently it’s hardly considered news. But this man attacked his ex-wife in front of a man with a handgun and a concealed weapons permit. The bystander pulled his gun and shot the murderous ex-husband to death. That’s news. Rinthya Brooks, the deceased woman, has four young children.

The Latest on Theresa Duncan

posted by on August 6 at 8:14 AM

From the LA Weekly, an eerie portrait (and, seemingly, the most complete and accurate one out there).

Mas Libertad

posted by on August 6 at 1:22 AM


Six and a half hours later, I’m still at Liberty. I’ve got Jason Finn sitting here drinking beers with me (after a few Macallans, neat) as Andrew the bar owner makes the rounds with the rest of the customers. I have to say—the sushi here is better than you’d expect from a white guy rolling rolls.

Sitting here this long, I’ve engaged in several conversations with random people and met a few interesting folks. I discussed linguistics with a UW doctorate candidate who was drinking Manhattans with his girlfriend; of course I brought up Golob’s recent Slog post about science and the English language. Shortly thereafter, Golob himself showed up for some one-on-one convo about his general exam and a huge breakthrough he’s made with, um, whattaya call ‘em? Ah yeah, stem cells. Here’s a guy who can go in-depth on some pretty technical subjects and still be reasonably understood. If you see him out at Liberty, buy the guy a drink. I guarantee good conversation.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Big Fucking Hands in the House

posted by on August 5 at 7:58 PM


I’m currently Slogging at Liberty on 15th Ave in Cap Hill. A woman is walking around the bar with a dish rag, examining closely the paintings—graphic, black, white and red images of hands—hanging on the walls. She reaches out and touches up a painting here, a painting there. She comes over to the painting beside the tall table where I sit. She dabs it with her rag. “Look at this—five, six, seven…” she says.

This is, it turns out, painter/illustrator/cartoonist/Stranger cover artist Ellen Forney, here at Liberty wiping the fruit flies off her paintings and drinking beer. The friut flies seem to be attracted to the vivid whites that glow from her paintings.

My theory: Insects see in the ultraviolet spectrum. The whites are an irresistable landing strip, while the rest of the bar, dim in the early evening, is invisible.

Del Campo Peak: Sublime

posted by on August 5 at 5:58 PM


On Saturday, my friend Ben and I drove an hour and a half into the Snoqualmie-Mt. Baker National Forest to make the 12-mile round trip hike to Del Campo Peak. It was a cool and overcast day, seemingly usual for summer Saturdays in Seattle. Isn’t it August already?

The trail began flat and wide, an old logging road that, maybe a quarter mile from the trailhead, was completely washed out. A vehicular bridge we were meant to take had been utterly wrecked by winter storms, so the trail diverted up and around it. We strolled past early season thimbleberries and munched on any ripe ones we found, which were few but delicious.

After a half mile or so, the trail narrowed from logging road to footpath and turned up into the forest. The fecund floor was dotted with fungus galore, from robust, apple-like mushrooms to a weird, jelly-like, pus-colored goo spackled along dead tree stumps. Tiny symphonies of birdsong lilted down from the trees; the sun occasionally broke through the canopy above and fell onto the trail.

The trail steeped suddenly and significantly—100-some years ago, this area was heavily used and abused by miners who, employing mules to carry their heavy loads, had little use for switchbacks. We’re talking staircase-steep, which demanded strenuous effort but was effectively an expressway to the higher elevations we were after.

Eventually we made it to a low-elevation viewpoint, which was nice but not spectacular.


Right beyond this view the trail rounded a bend and veered into a cataract coming down from the peaks high above. I totally forgot to take a picture, which was dumb, because the spot was beautiful. Beyond that we walked past another two smaller falls—not so much dramatic deluges as steeply dropping granite crevices shiny silver with running water.

After another mile or so, the trail climbing steadily but not drastically, I passed an old man sitting on a rock taking pictures. “Nice view, eh?” I said.

“Is hard for me. I 74 years old,” was his thickly-accented response. Maintaining my quick pace, I hustled past. I almost instantly regretted not speaking more with the guy.

Eventually the trail crested, and I was greeted by a blast of air colder than the warm breeze below. At roughly 5,300 feet, I had reached Gothic Basin.

In the epic poem “Mont Blanc,” Percy Bysshe Shelley writes of the sublimity—that is, the fearsome grandeur—of the famed French peak. In florid poetic verse, Shelley claims the mountain, its highest heights obscured by clouds, is most imposing because its full form cannot be fathomed. It’s too big; the clouds hide its definite shape. Perhaps the mountain rises to all the way to heaven.


Continue reading "Del Campo Peak: Sublime" »

Mariners vs. Red Sox

posted by on August 5 at 5:13 PM

The Boston Red Sox beat the Mariners today—and I’m not at all happy about coming home from my vacation a day early to watch the Red Sox slaughter the Ms. But, hey, we tied ‘em yesterday. At least that’s what the A.P. says. Here’s the headline…

Red Sox 4, Mariners 4

Today The Stranger Suggests…

posted by on August 5 at 11:00 AM

‘Towncraft’ (DOCUMENTARY) In 1986, a handful of kids in Little Rock, Arkansas (population 180,000), discovered punk rock. Ten years later, having ass else to do in their tiny hamlet, they’d built one of the biggest DIY scenes in the country. Towncraft, produced on a microbudget, chronicles the rise of the Little Rock scene, and features music from the likes of Red Brigade, Smoke Up Johnny, and Econochrist. Fittingly, the doc lacks proper distribution, so tonight is your one chance to see it with an audience. (Capitol Hill Arts Center Lower Level, 1621 12th Ave, 8 pm, $4, movie all ages, music show 21+.) BRADLEY STEINBACHER
See what else is happening in Film on Sunday. Go!

More Stranger Suggests for this week. Go!

The Morning News

posted by on August 5 at 8:55 AM

Posted by Rebecca Tapscott

Back to the big stick: After Bush’s policy of eye-connections and trust failed to motivate change, the U.S. takes a tougher stance on terrorism policies in Pakistan.

Some secrets revealed: The International Tracing Service opens the nearly 10 million documents of its Holocaust archive to academic researchers—they have been open to Holocaust survivors for years. On August 20, the tracing service will transfer digital copies to the Holocaust Museums in Washington, D.C. and Jerusalem.

Conspiracy theories: Five Cubans, convicted of conspiracy to commit crimes against the U.S. will have a hearing to appeal for insufficient evidence. For nine years of imprisonment in the U.S., they have provided a communist propaganda tool for Cuba.

A man who likes his eggs unfertilized : Dr. Hwang Woo Suk, a Korean scientist, previously discredited for having fabricated stem-cell research, was perhaps the first to successfully derived stem-cells from an unfertilized egg. Since these cells could never develop into a child, they are may be free from ethical objections.

Water world: Annual seasonal monsoons in South Asia cause flooding. The waters have already caused as many as 1000 deaths and a record number of displacements and injuries for the decade.

GOP fails to enthuse: According to polls, Iowa’s voters are unenthusiastic about the Republican presidential hopefuls. The Washington Post looks at candidates and their respective chances.

One terrorist down: In a military operation, U.S. troops killed the al-Qaeda leader responsible for the bombing of Iraq’s Golden Dome shrine.

Corruption in Alaska: The FBI raids the home of Senator Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska, trying to confirm suspicions that a campaign contributor financed private renovations of Stevens’ home.

Neck in neck: The Stranger isn’t the only entity weighing the pros and cons between Dems Keith Scully and Bill Sherman for Prosecuting Attorney. Although there seems to be little public interest, the race may be close.

Seafair’s Angels: Opinions on the Blue Angels and hydroplane racing continue to differ—pros and cons aside, it appears observers like to drink. Over 130 people were cited for alcohol offenses at Seafair.