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Archives for 08/26/2007 - 09/01/2007

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dear Science: Lightning Round!

posted by on September 1 at 3:14 PM

Vegetarians: outsource your meat eating. Venus fly traps can go vegan, if with a shortened and miserable life.

Hybrid drivers: stop duping yourselves and others. Hybrids are no more environmentally friendly than a small regular car, and maybe even a bit worse. Want to be sanctimonious? Ride a bike.

Bus riders: time does slow down when you’re on the bus — provided you’re traveling above about a tenth of the speed of light. Thanks Hendrik!


Pot smokers: yes, you might have “psychotic symptoms”, like hallucination, disorganized thoughts, agitation, or aggression. Pot might make you crazy, or you might just be high. Science isn’t overly concerned.

Have a question on stem cells, epigenetics, transplant biology or gene therapy? Put it in the comments and I’ll answer it within a day, or your money back. Or send your questions to

The Downfall

posted by on September 1 at 2:06 PM

Maria, it’s not that the player who defeated you, the reigning champ of the United States Open, is 28 positions below you:
Maria_Sharapova.jpg That is not what is wrong. What is wrong is that she has less than 28 percent of your beauty.

radwanska12.jpg Maria, your loss to this person of so-so looks shamed your imperial beauty.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 1 at 11:00 AM

Arts Blowout

Bumbershoot at Seattle Center

As the pullout in the center of this paper will tell you in a thousand different ways, this weekend brings Bumbershoot, the Northwest’s preeminent arts and culture festival, and day one is packed with delights. Among today’s top draws: the Shins, Common Market, Gogol Bordello, the Avett Brothers, the Salon of Shame, and the Moth storytelling tour (featuring Jonathan Ames, Dan Savage, and the amazing Kimya Dawson). (Seattle Center, all effing day, $35 at the gate or For complete information, including a customizable, printable schedule and reviews of everything, see



‘Back of the Line’ at Platform Gallery

William Powhida and his alter ego, also known as William Powhida, are artists and professional shit-talkers who make drawings of drawings and lists of enemies. In June, they declared war on Miranda July in the pages of The Stranger (“she must be stopped or she will kill me with her feelings”), and now they’re coming from Brooklyn to perform parts of a book about a character named James J. Wreck. (Platform Gallery, 114 Third Ave S, 323-2808. 3 pm, free.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Parvaz & Sorbo: They’re in Saturday’s PI

    posted by on September 1 at 10:35 AM

    But why? D. Parvaz and Cathy Sorbo are the best op-ed columnists the PI’s got. Here’s Parvaz on Sen. Larry Craig…

    Craig maintains that the guilty plea was a “mistake.” He was under pressure. He was being “hounded” by the press. You know how it is.

    Okay, you might not, but there’s a bunch of Republicans who do. Forget about all the other scandals—Scooter Libby’s indictment, or the coke-dealing Thomas Ravenel, the South Carolina chairman for Rudy Giuliani’s presidential campaign. Focusing on the sex scandals alone offers plenty of fodder. Let’s see…

    In July, Florida State Rep. Bob Allen was busted propositioning an undercover male cop in a park bathroom. He offered the officer $20 for oral sex.

    But Allen also says he’s not guilty and that that he’s not gay. No, he’s not denying that he propositioned the cop, and he’s not saying that he was misunderstood when he made the offer. He says he did it because he was afraid the black cop would hurt him.

    “This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park,” Allen said, in describing the officer who approached him. Allen, who was also the co-chairman of Sen. John McCain’s campaign, said that he went along with it because he feared that if he didn’t offer to perform oral sex on the stranger, he “was about to be a statistic.”

    Well, that’s the normal response any of us would have when we find ourselves (irrationally) intimidated by a stranger, right?

    Good stuff—so why does the PI hide Parvaz to the little-read Saturday paper? Because she’s under 60? Because she can be outraged and funny at the same time? Why are full-of-shit, full-of-themselves gasbags like Robert Jameison and Joel Connelly given so much prime real estate while Parvaz and Sorbo—who has really grown as a columnist—are buried in Saturday’s paper, in an op-ed section patronizingly dubbed “Saturday Spin”? Because they’re ladies?

    Connelly is a grouchy has-been, PI, and Jamieson is an affected dope. Parvaz is star—and the PI should start treating her like one.

    Assignment: Returning Phone Books to Dex

    posted by on September 1 at 10:27 AM

    Today, Slog readers asked me to collect unwanted phone books and return them to Qwest Dex headquarters.

    As Dan noted in his review of Dex for The Stranger’s Summer Reading Guide, phone books have become obsolete to the average computer-owning citizen and they are a huge waste of paper. Instead of recycling them individually, readers figured, it might make a bolder statement if they were delivered to Dex Headquarters, along with a “thanks, but no thanks” card.

    I tried to think of a central location where we could gather all those books. I went to the Value Village store on Capitol Hill (1525 11th Ave) and asked manager Mark Adams if we could corner off an area of the store where people could drop off their unwanted phonebooks. He told me “no” but offered a place outside the store (where, I later learned, homeless people often sleep). Naive to the politics of homeless sleeping areas, I accepted Adams’ offer and he led me downstairs to Value Village’s receiving area and we snatched up an enormous cardboard box.

    A nice man hoisted the box above his head and we walked up the alley to 11th together. As we walked, pedestrias had to duck so that the cardboard wouldn’t hit them in the face. After enduring numerous interruptions by homeless people (one of whom insisted on doing an impression of Bill Cosby with a box of Jello), I was finally able to set up the box.


    The box is now waiting for your phonebooks. Drop them off and I will drive them to Qwest and drop them off on their doorstep.

    Oh and stop by Value Village while you’re in the area…they’re having a huge labor day sale.

    Steven Blum
    Public Intern

    Craig’s Out

    posted by on September 1 at 10:04 AM

    Craig is leaving the Senate at the end of the month.

    With his wife at his side and [Idaho governor] Otter standing behind him, Craig said, “It is with sadness and deep regret that I announce it is my intention to resign from the Senate effective Sept. 30.”

    Craig said pursing his legal options while serving as a senator would distract from the business of Idaho.

    “What is best of Idaho has always been the focus of my efforts,” he said.

    Responding to reports of the last week, he said only: “I have no control over what people choose to believe.”

    Friday, August 31, 2007

    Open Letter to the People with the Megaphone and Orange Bandanas and the “Stop the War Now, Impeach Bush for War Crimes” Poster Out on Broadway Right Now

    posted by on August 31 at 7:39 PM

    All I wanted was to come home from work and take off my shoes and relax for a second. It’s stopped raining. It’s kinda nice out. It’s a busy corner, yeah, but the noises are kind of nice once you get used to them, all squeaks and hisses. But here you are again, you goddamn people.

    There will be no relaxing this evening because you have decided that the people on Broadway are, I dunno, Bush supporters or something. All those Bush supporters skulking around Broadway on a Friday night after work. You two holding up that handpainted sign? With that explosion (or is that a clump of French fries?) there in the middle? Good work guys. And you with the megaphone? Who just said, “The world awaits, the future beckons, wear orange, drive out the Bush regime!”

    Come again? Orange? Wow. Orange. That’s your solution. We should all wear orange. Good thinking! Because everyone looks good in orange? Or because that will somehow help with impeachment proceedings? Because, I dunno, peaches are orange? You other three without a sign or a megaphone to hold, with orange bandanas across your foreheads? Oooh, don’t impeach me! And you fourth and last guy wearing your bandana around your neck? Rebel!

    I tried to think of the most relaxing music I could think of, and naturally Belle & Sebastian came to me, and in these circumstances one would have to start with “Get Me Away from Here I’m Dying,” which I currently have on full blast, and I’m sitting two feet from the speakers, because—well, let’s see, if I turn off the music for a second—

    If only 2% of people who wanted him impeached would wear orange, that would literally represent millions and millions of people!

    Did you really just say that? Uh, that wouldn’t literally represent millions of people, it would literally be millions of people, given the U.S. population. But anyway I still don’t understand how orange is going to—

    Wear orange today if you think that torture is wrong. If you think it’s wrong to have simulated drownings and to hook up batteries to genitals. If you think it’s wrong to be killing civilians in Iraq you should stand up and wear orange with us.

    Why do we have to stand up? Can’t we just take a nap? As for this orange obsession, don’t get me wrong, I love orange juice. I love oranges. I love the color orange. It was my class color in high school. We used to invade assemblies with orange traffic cones, orange basketballs, orange-painted hair. I mean, I didn’t, the cool kids did, I had no friends, if I’d worn orange I would have been kicked to death. But I wanted to be friends with the people wearing orange. I like orange a lot. I love pumpkins—

    I’m wearing orange today because I don’t want this future! I want a different future! Not the one that Bush is putting into place today! I’m wearing orange today because…

    Is this actually happening? Is she—it’s a girl now on the megaphone—is she actually giving a speech the rhetorical structure of which is the refrain “I’m wearing orange today because…”? She is. She fucking is. “I’m wearing orange today because… I’m wearing orange today because…” Incredible. Do tell us, why are you wearing orange today?

    Futher inspection of the sign—music’s back on—leads me to this realization: it is not an explosion or a bag of French fries depicted there in the center, it is the earth with a giant happy burst of orange coming off the side. Sort of like the biggest pot of gold ever. It is radiating from the earth. It must be all those people wearing orange you’re talking about! Like all six of you! Banded together there! In the half dark! With the loudest, most unpeaceful amplification instrument you could find! Really rattling the rest of us out of our deep complacency, our adiding love for Bush, really turning minds upside down out here in this well-known Republican enclave, the corner of Broadway and John. You were here last Friday too. Are you and your orange flyers going to be here every Friday for the rest of time?

    Let’s turn off the music just once more and see—

    C’mon, get some orange, donate money…

    Oh my fucking god I hate you people. You’re never going to shut up, are you? Can any friends of mine who have BB guns come over right now? Or maybe really loud speakers that we could hook up to my laptop? Or fireworks and some kind of aiming device?

    We’re not going to take this and we’re going to stop it right now!


    The Price of Progress

    posted by on August 31 at 4:56 PM

    This sign:


    …is no longer there. Most of the building had come down when I walked past Seventh and Madison this afternoon.

    Coming soon: another office tower. The ghost signs of Seattle are fewer and fewer.

    Photo via Creative Commons.

    Update: Seattle 2007

    posted by on August 31 at 4:53 PM

    I’m not gonna move up my whole “Seattle 2007: Condos. Panhandling. Shit.” post.

    Here at Slog, we’ve learned to sigh about the fact that—as Mudede puts it, “Writing on Slog is like writing on running water.”

    But there is an update. I heard back from Tim Harris & there’s a rambunctious thread going on for a Friday.

    Happy Labor Day Weekend.

    Sierra Club Victory Still A Long Shot

    posted by on August 31 at 4:42 PM

    That’s what I think, anyway.

    As Josh notes below, I didn’t cover the hearing on the Sierra Club’s court challenge against the makeup of the anti-roads and transit committee, which will write the “con” statement for this November’s voting guide.

    While I didn’t go to the hearing, I did talk with Sierra Club political director Mike O’Brien immediately after the ruling. He told me that although “we lost our motion” asserting that Sound Transit didn’t have the authority to choose the entire con committee this morning, there’s still a chance the judge could rule that anti-roads views should be incorporated into the “no” voters’ guide statement. (Currently, the entire Sound Transit-chosen committee consists of anti-transit activists whose message will go over poorly and may even help the measure in pro-transit King County.) “The problem with the hearing today is that Sound Transit still gets to pick the opposition,” O’Brien said. As for getting an anti-roads message into a “con” statement written by an anti-transit-dominated committee, O’Brien said, “I’m not optimistic.” Neither am I, but I hope, in the interest of fairly representing all points of view opposed to the measure, that they do.

    Meanwhile, on another front, two challenges to the ballot title are moving forward—one in King County Municipal Court, and one in front of the state Supreme Court. The challenges allege that the ballot title violates the single-subject rule at the county and state level, respectively. However, at this late date (the ballot and voters guide go the printer on September 17) it seems unlikely that the judges will choose to derail the entire proposal.

    Dept. of Unwantedness

    posted by on August 31 at 4:22 PM


    To all the commenters on yesterday’s post about not wanting phone books and getting them anyway: you’re so right. It’s bullshit. The terrorists—the Yellow Pages people—are winning. Look at this monument to the old way of doing things in the lobby of my apartment building, as of a couple hours ago. Someone should case these things in adobe and make houses out of them for all the homeless left in a lurch in this summer rain. Homeless people, of course, don’t have the internet.

    The first commenter on that crazy post yesterday starring the phone book executive said: “My main complaint with the drop off of the phone books…why don’t they ask if I actually WANT one?… They’d save a lot of money (not to mention the environmental impact) if they would ask if you wanted the damn things first.”

    The 26th commenter said: “Get the public intern on this! There’s probably two dozen phone books in my apartment lobby that have been sitting there for 3+ weeks. Can he dump them at the Verizon/Dex/MaBell door for me?

    The 29th commenter said: “Can we all just deliver our extra phone books to the Stranger offices and then the Public Intern can deliver them all together to the Qwest building next to Pacific Place on Pine? I belive Dex is on the 16th floor.”

    By the 49th commenter it was practically a protest chant: “Public! Intern! Public! Intern!”

    I am happy to report that our public intern has taken up the call and will soon be reporting here on Slog the procedure for dropping off your phone books so he can deliver them back to the doorsteps of the phone companies. Praise Jesus!

    Graffiti of the Week

    posted by on August 31 at 4:20 PM


    Almost forgetting for the moment all thoughts of Moby Dick, we now gazed at the most wondrous phenomenon which the secret seas have hitherto revealed to mankind. A vast pulpy mass, furlongs in length and breadth, of a glancing cream-colour, lay floating on the water, innumerable long arms radiating from its centre, and curling and twisting like a nest of anacondas, as if blindly to clutch at any hapless object within reach. No perceptible face or front did it have; no conceivable token of either sensation or instinct; but undulated there on the billows, an unearthly, formless, chance-like apparition of life.

    As with a low sucking sound it slowly disappeared again, Starbuck still gazing at the agitated waters where it had sunk, with a wild voice exclaimed—“Almost rather had I seen Moby Dick and fought him, than to have seen thee, thou white ghost!”

    “What was it, Sir?” said Flask.

    “The great live squid, which, they say, few whale-ships ever beheld, and returned to their ports to tell of it.”

    Sen. Craig Will Resign Tomorrow

    posted by on August 31 at 4:12 PM

    Says MSNBC.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on August 31 at 3:30 PM

    Bumbershoot!: Fergie pees. As if you didn’t already know.

    Not Bumbershoot.: Best Song Ever (This Week) is “Big River.”

    Bumbershoot!: Listen to our official Bumbershoot podcast.

    Not Bumbershoot.: “Jan Pehechaan Ho” never gets old.

    Bumbershoot!: Zwickel loves the Avetts.

    Not Bumbershoot.: Mudede revisits to Dubtech.

    bumbercover.jpg (Click to visit our Bumbershoot page where we’ve got features, write-ups on every single fucking thing at the festival, and a personalized schedule maker! Fancy!)

    Sierra Club Case Against Roads/Transit Package Moves Forward

    posted by on August 31 at 3:26 PM

    Environmentalists who oppose this November’s $17.5 billion roads and transit package (they think the roads portion cancels out the benefits of the transit portion), took Sound Transit to court this morning arguing that Sound Transit (cleverly) picked a cuckoo road warrior, Kemper Freeman, to write the Nay statement in the voters’ pamphlet. They believe that his message—strictly anti-transit—will turn off liberal King County voters.

    Meanwhile, (environmentalists worry) liberal voters won’t hear the complaints from the left about the $6.9 billion roads portion of the package—and how it would impact the environment.

    Erica covered this in a recent column, writing:

    The Sierra Club is opposing the joint roads/transit measure on the ballot in November. (The Sierra Club supports Sound Transit, but says its environmental benefits are canceled out by the $6.9 billion roads package to which it is linked.) Last week, the Club sought—unsuccessfully—to get its anti-roads argument included in King County’s voter guide. Sound Transit handpicked the committee that will write the opposition statement; predictably, it includes only light-rail opponents whose message (unlike the Sierra Club’s anti-roads rap) will be poorly received in pro-transit King County.

    Erica didn’t cover the hearing this morning, sighing: “They’re going to lose.”

    But, they did not! At least not yet. The KC Superior Court judge saw the logic of the Sierra Club’s arguments this morning and has asked for a further hearing.

    Says the Sierra Club’s Mike O’Brien:

    “We are pleased that the judge is prepared to address our primary concern: the “no” committee only represents an anti-transit viewpoint, with no mention of the opposition to the highway portion of the bill,” said Mike O’Brien, Chair of the Sierra Club’s Cascade Chapter. “We believe the voters that are being asked to pass the largest tax increase in history should know that they will be funding projects that can make global warming worse, not better.

    I’ve linked the Citizens Against RTID press release below

    Continue reading "Sierra Club Case Against Roads/Transit Package Moves Forward" »

    Letter of the Day

    posted by on August 31 at 3:17 PM

    In response to Charles Mudede’s recent article on Stanley Kubrick:

    MUDEDE: How dare you—you sad, pathetic excuse for a human being. Not only was your recent article on Kubrick a slap in the face of cinema—it was a cruel and spiteful insult to the surviving family of Stanley Kubrick. Worse still is that your understanding of Kubrick is more a reflection of yourself than his work. You think Kubrick hated people? No, he understood them. There is a difference. How sad for you to have missed it.

    Roger Avary

    Wheelchair Hound

    posted by on August 31 at 3:01 PM

    My new favorite word is “vexatious,” which I learned reading about a 9th Circuit ruling today. The Court nailed an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) activist for his “vexatious” lawsuits.

    Vexatious means annoying (or intending to annoy)—and the plaintiff was a serial litigant who filed pre-fab lawsuits against restaurants and other public facilities that failed to accommodate him. (He uses a wheelchair.)

    Decision of the Day writes:

    The Ninth Circuit has upheld a district court order declaring a crusader for disabled access to be a vexatious litigation … The defendants in this case - the Mandarin Touch Restaurant in Solvang - didn’t want to wait around for a jury to rule on Molski’s claims. Instead, it fought back by asking the district court to sanction Molski and his law firm as vexatious litigants. After surveying Molksi’s history of lawsuits, the district court obliged. Among other things, the district court found that Molski files identical complaints, all the way down to the typos, each alleging that he hurt his arm while trying to exit a too-narrow bathroom. Moreover, Molski hurts his arm this way several times a day, as thirteen of his complaints span the same five-day period. Molski also waits for a year before filing his complaints, so that his claimed damages of $4000 a day have already multiplied to over a million dollars before the case begins.

    No Way

    posted by on August 31 at 2:43 PM

    Idaho’s other senator is named Mike Crapo? How do you get elected with a name like Crapo?

    Craig Announcement Coming Tomorrow

    posted by on August 31 at 2:40 PM

    I wonder what it might be

    Sen. Larry Craig plans to make an announcement Saturday about his future.

    “We haven’t quite scheduled anything, but we’re looking at doing something tomorrow,” said Craig’s spokesman Sid Smith. “We haven’t set a time or place yet.”

    This Week on Drugs

    posted by on August 31 at 2:37 PM

    The Final Days of Summer: Gentle breezes, warm nights, and the roar of helicopters over quiet mountain communities in Eastern Washington. It’s harvest time. Local police departments team up with the DEA and National Guard in the sky to identify marijuana by its telltale hue, yielding tens of thousands of pot plants and hundreds of arrests. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel, really—pot is Washington’s second-largest cash crop, after apples.


    Despite seemingly enormous returns, the helicopter strafes are mostly an air show. Nary a dent is made in the pot market, as Dan points out. Pot is still readily available; it’s still the same price; and it still hands hefty fourth-quarter profits to the Zip-Loc Corporation.

    A report earlier this year estimated Washington annually produces about $1 billion worth of marijuana (it’s the nation’s top cash crop at just over $35 billion). A huge bust outside Yakima yesterday yielded 6,500 marijuana plants, worth a purported $9,750,000—even if each plant fetched an unrealistic $1,500, the impressive haul represents less than one percent of Washington’s untaxed pot crop.


    The Drug Czar contends the work is an essential component of national security. Late last month he marched reporters through the woods of Northern California, attempting to reverse the nation’s blasé “reefer blindness.” Marijuana growers are “violent criminal terrorists” who wouldn’t hesitate to help other terrorists get into the country with the aim of causing mass casualties, he told them.

    Although mainstream media outlets are staffed with critical thinkers on virtually every other issue, most reporters can’t resist the fervor when it comes to these heroic eradication efforts. Drug busts are part of the crime beat, see, and these here pot growers are criminals, see. That’s the story. No mention is made of the cost of conducting the busts or the collateral expenses, such as rescuing a bunch of officers trapped in the Columbia River Gorge earlier this month. No mention of the poor saps who get sent up the river. So, without a peep about the busts’ futility, another annual cycle of articles crop up here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here. What tools.

    Denver’s Mayor and Four Councilmembers Inhaled: But what about Greg Nickels? Jan Drago and Jean Godden…?

    Jail Bird Seed: Japanese authorities struggle to eradicate pot plants from penitentiary grounds.

    Bees That Has Honey in Their Mooths Has Stings in Their Tails: All-time high for Scotland drug overdose deaths.

    White Lightning Is No Longer the Biggest Thrill of All: They got a meth lab in Muskogee.

    Powder Reversal: Cocaine out of vogue for educated; uneducated are now the blowhards.

    In Pakaderm Junkie News: Heroin-addicted elephant released to jungle.

    Let Pictures Do the Talking: UK to issue graphic cigarette warning labels.

    Seattle 2007: Condos. Panhandling. Shit.

    posted by on August 31 at 2:07 PM

    Tim Harris, the executive director of Real Change, has a post on his personal blog that does a great job of capturing the zeitgeist in Seattle right now.

    He’s got a summary of all the glitzy condo development that’s going on downtown—The Escala, the Cristalla, the Four Seasons, 1521 Second Ave.—quipping, “It’ll be sort of like New York. But without the diversity or the people.” Then he talks about that in the context of (as he posits) a coming war on poor people.

    Harris writes:

    Some things we know. The DSA will drive toward the criminalization of panhandling, the elimination of outdoor feeding, and the removal of public toilets. While the political will for such steps does not yet exist, they’re working on it.

    I’ve got a call into Harris to see if he’s got a beat on any legislation that the DSA (Downtown Seattle Association) is pushing at City Hall. However, I talked to the DSA’s council lobbyist, Ryan Bayne, and he says he’s not working on panhandling or outdoor feeding issues.

    As for outdoor toilets, Bayne says the DSA has always been against the public toilets. “We were against them when they went in. I don’t think anybody would argue that those have been a success.”

    DSA stats compiled by their downtown patrol—they clean up shit from the street, among other downtown ambassador duties—has actually found that human waste collection on the streets has gone up since the toilets went in. “Now, obviously I’m not saying the toilets have increased waste on the streets, but they’re obviously not being used for their intended purpose,” Bayne says. “They’re a haven to shoot up. A great place to shoot up.”

    Bayne thinks maybe Harris is talking about DSA’s “Have a Heart/Give Smart” campaign, which encourages downtown employees and tourists to donate to homeless service organizations rather than give money directly to panhandlers.

    “Sounds a lot like Real Change,” Bayne himself quips. Here’s a PI article on the program, including a quote from Harris, characterizing the program as a “war on the poor.”

    According to the Puget Sound Business Journal, City Attorney Tom Carr is thinking about regulating panhandling. I can’t seem to link to the PSBJ article, but Harris quotes from it in another recent post from his blog:

    Other cities have taken more extreme measures. This year Tacoma made it a misdemeanor to panhandle in certain places—near ATMs, bus stops, building entrances, and other public areas. The city also outlaws panhandling before sunrise and after sunset.

    Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr said people have a constitutional right to beg on city streets. But [Carr also said] establishing time, place, and manner restrictions—as Tacoma did—is a way to protect free speech while combating undesirable behaviors.”

    I respect Harris and Real Change. I don’t know Harris well, but I’ve read his editorials and followed his activism over the years. He is neither dogmatic nor orthodox. He’s loaded with common sense, nuanced analysis, and endless dedication. I also like the DSA a bit more than I used to—mainly because I thought their Director, Kate Joncas, provided a smart challenge to Mayor Nickels’s nightlife clampdown. (Although, I think their anti-union rap regarding downtown hotels is off base.)

    This is all to say, as 2007 has blossomed into the year that Seattle is actually and finally wrestling with the issues that have been germinating for much of the decade—our transition into a bigger city—I think the scrap between Harris and DSA is one to watch.

    Harris got in touch to let me know he’s at home sick, but also to tell me that he’s not aware of any specific legislation that’s pending. However, he recognizes a pattern. He says DSA first announces its “Have a Heart—Give Smart” campaign—a good faith effort to deal with panhandling—bet then a few months later DSA comes out to say panhandling is increasing dramatically, 38%. Harris, it seems, is implying that the DSA is cynically setting the stage to play hard ball after first making a show of trying to deal more humanely with the problem.

    He could be onto something. Although, Harris himself was part of the original show. He was quoted in the original DSA press release about the “Give Smart” campaign.

    From the January ‘07 DSA press release:

    The brochure also suggests alternatives to giving to panhandlers such as purchasing a Real Change newspaper or donating to charitable organizations. “Giving to panhandlers is like scratching an itch that always comes back,” says Real Change Director Tim Harris. “It feels good, but it doesn’t really change much. We should all feel called to do more.”

    Seattle Times: Resign, Sen. Craig

    posted by on August 31 at 1:48 PM

    In an editorial today, the Seattle Times urged Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig (R-Idablow) to resign. The Seattle Times has a pretty sterling reputation when it comes to gay issues—rabidly and reliably pro-gay marriage, for starters—and the paper goes out of its way to let readers know that their call for Craig’s resignation has nothing to do with the senator’s gayness or not-gayness.

    Craig is not guilty of being gay. Or of being deceitful or in denial about his sexuality. The senator had a choice, and decided to put the dignity and privilege of his high office at risk in the pursuit of sex in a very public setting.

    The official charge is misdemeanor disorderly conduct, but he is truly guilty of felonious stupidity and arrogance….

    Human frailties are magnified in the harsh light of a life served in front of and on behalf of the public. Second chances are extended, but there are limits. The surreal notion of a U.S. senator trolling for sexual gratification in an airport restroom crosses that boundary.

    So for the Seattle Times the issue seems to be location, location, location. If Sen. Craig—a “family values” crusader, a foe of same-sex marriage, a supporter of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”—was caught having gay sex in a hotel room… then it would’ve been alright, despite the hypocrisy? It wasn’t the sex, but where he was trolling for sex?

    And what of Louisiana’s David Vitter? Or “Vitter the Shitter,” as this tarnished “family values” crusader is known among professional sex workers in New Orleans. Vitter admitted to sexual “sin,” or hiring hookers, and claims that his wife and God have forgiven him. And so have his colleagues in the GOP—the same folks that are demanding Craig step down gave Vitter a pass. Craig’s conduct is “unforgivable,” says Sen. Mitch McConnell. The Seattle Times would seem to agree to with McConnell—and unless there’s an editorial coming soon calling for Vitter to resign, then the Seattle Times call for Craig’s resignation would seem to have everything to do with his gayness.

    Unless the Seattle Times thinks that paying a hooker to put you in diapers is somehow more dignified than trolling for sex in an airport toilet.

    Hipster Olympics

    posted by on August 31 at 1:33 PM

    Have you seen this one yet?! Hoo wee - it’s a little long, but oh so good. Capitol Hillbillies take note…

    Tight Republicans

    posted by on August 31 at 1:28 PM

    Lawd have mercy:

    If Senator Larry E. Craig yields to calls for his resignation amid allegations that he solicited sex in an airport bathroom, his successor would be chosen by a fellow Republican who once entered a tight-jeans contest — and won.

    Gov. C. L. Otter, known as Butch, was lieutenant governor when he won the “Mr. Tight Jeans” contest at the Rockin’ Rodeo bar here in the state capital in July 1992. A few days later he was arrested, and eventually convicted, for driving under the influence of alcohol.

    What the hell is going on down there? Idaho, what is this “Mr. Tight Jeans” all about? Don’t any of you think it’s kind of…funny? Come on now, you know what I’m saying.

    The Google Phone

    posted by on August 31 at 1:27 PM

    Launching next week?

    The Core of Darkness

    posted by on August 31 at 12:15 PM

    When will Conrad’s echo (curse) end?

    Mystery DR Congo fever kills 60

    More than 60 people have died because of a fever epidemic in the centre of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, health officials say.

    Many of the victims are people who have been in contact with the deceased, including medical staff, and who lack equipment to deal with the illness.

    The latest victim was a nurse at a local hospital. She died on Thursday after taking care of infected patients.

    The bird flu happens everyday in Africa.

    Heimlich Maneuver time for the M’s

    posted by on August 31 at 11:57 AM

    OK, normally I do not believe in jinxes. I think superstitions are bad luck.

    But the Mariners’ current losing streak, taking them out of first in the Wild Card and backing them away from the Angels in the West, has precisely coincided with my visit to Seattle. And I’m leaving town tomorrow, so expect the Mariners to start winning.

    And the post-season is still a distinct possibility. There’s the series against the Yankees next week, which will be key—but also remember that the Yankees don’t want the Wild Card: they want the East, and if Boston folds, they would almost have to fall past the M’s to let the Yankees get what they consider their due.

    Continue reading "Heimlich Maneuver time for the M's" »

    Daly’s Drive-In Disappearing?

    posted by on August 31 at 11:53 AM

    Daly’s Drive-In—which has the best view of any burger joint in town—may be closing. According to a Daly’s staff member, the lot which Daly’s has occupied since 1962 was recently purchased by a developer, who plans to turn the property into an office building.

    Daly’s lease is up in January and the owners haven’t decided whether they’ll relocate.

    Unfortunately, their location is part of the charm, as they’re right on Eastlake and it more or less overlooks the water. At least I think it does. I haven’t been there in awhile.

    Years ago, I got dragged to Daly’s (which isn’t actually a drive-in) by a friend who swore up and down that they had the best fish and chips in Seattle. They don’t, but they’re still pretty good and I’ve gone back a few times since. I’m a big fan of the Daly Double. It’s delicious, but my heart hurts a little bit just from thinking about it.


    Photo via Robotic Gourmand

    It’s a “Savage Love” Emergency!

    posted by on August 31 at 11:51 AM

    A “Savage Love” reader somewhere in the Pacific Northwest sent me this question….

    Concerning MFF threesomes: How many straight women regret them? How many straight women had an excellent time? We read a lot about straight men and their desire to have MFF threesomes, and often about the details of setting one up, but what about the fallout? The aftermath?

    I ask because I have been casually dating/fucking an acquaintance for the past few weeks, and I just found out his ex-girlfriend is going to be visiting from New Zealand for a little while. He suggested (of course) that we all get to know each other a little better. I will admit that it is intriguing. I’ve always wanted to fool around with another woman, but I’m incredibly threatened by the whole idea of sharing, especially since I have never done anything like this before. Also, although things have stayed relatively casual, I am worried that jealousy is going to be a problem.

    Can you ask your straight female readers that have done MFF threesomes to let me know how they went? And what some appropriate ground rules are? Is there a way to fulfill this fantasy for him while protecting my feelings (and those of his ex-girlfriend)? Does it still count as a threesome if I have fun with her while he watches?

    Sign me,

    Tentatively Reflecting On Intriguing Session

    Normally I would toss this letter in the column. But there’s not enough time to get the feedback TROIS needs before the ex-girlfriend arrives in town—the ex-girlfriend arrives in a few days—so I’m tossing TROIS’ letter up on Slog.

    Any feedback for her, ladies? Anything TROIS should know before she consents to this MFF threesome? Anything you wish you had known before you did?

    The Stranger News Hour is Back!

    posted by on August 31 at 11:47 AM

    For the last two weeks, the Seahawks pre-season games pre-empted KIRO’s Stranger News Hour on “The David Goldstein Show.”

    But we’re back this Saturday evening at our regular time: 7pm on 710 KIRO AM.

    It’s been a news-heavy couple of weeks for us: ECB’s reporting on city council candidate Tim Burgess’s connection to the right wing freaks at Concerned Women for America, local attorney David Coffman’s sleuthing on Ted Haggard, and my stories on KUOW and Rep. Brian Baird.

    And I imagine David Goldstein—our amiable host—will want to talk about his blog rival Stefan Sharkansky.

    O They Will Know We Are Christians By…

    posted by on August 31 at 11:28 AM

    …the novel ways we educate our daughters about scripture.

    Pastor had sex with daughters

    A fundamentalist church pastor had sex with two of his teenage daughters to educate them on how to be good wives, a South Australian court has heard.

    The 54-year-old man, who cannot be named, was today sentenced in the SA District Court to eight and a half years jail after pleading guilty to seven counts each of incest and unlawful sexual intercourse.

    The court heard that the man had sex with his daughters for nearly a decade from 1991 when they were aged 13 and 15 at the family property….

    The man told the court the sex was not about fulfilling his desires but about teaching his daughters how to behave for their husbands when they eventually married, as dictated in scripture.

    Craig Press Conference + Avenue Q =

    posted by on August 31 at 11:25 AM

    The Mind of the Public

    posted by on August 31 at 11:25 AM

    The Bare Facts Of The Crime
    A woman marries a man. Five days later, the woman is murdered and her new husband is the only suspect. The cops, however, don’t have enough evidence to throw him behind bars. He is released. A few days ago, the man turns up dead in a basement. Suicide is the suspected cause of his death. The case is now almost closed.

    The Details
    The murdered woman and the man who was her husband for the first five days of July are Canadian East Asians. The woman was 40; her man was 34. The woman was a popular principal at a Surrey school; the man was something of a drifter, a good-for-nothing with a violent past. The principal knew about his past.

    The Public
    Of course the public blames the woman. She committed the original crime: the double transgression her class (professional) and her age group (40 to 50). If she had married a man who was older than her (preferably widowed with kids), and of the same social standing has as her, she would not have exposed her delicate body to the deadly heat and beast of a much younger man. We know the mind of the public; we know what it’s saying at this very moment: Not him in the basement, but her in the grave. She should have known better.

    The public feels safer when it can blame the victim for something that in truth was entirely out of his/her control.

    Legal Loophole

    posted by on August 31 at 11:06 AM

    Some people find certain spaces inexplicably arousing. I used to have a predictable—and wholly unwelcome—response whenever I rode in the back of one of those big, ol’ Yellow Cabs. (There was something about the wide, flat leather seats, I guess.) Some people are turned by elevators, some are turned on by examination rooms, some are turned on by airplane cabins—and some are turned on in public bathrooms. Now I don’t get that—I can’t think of anything less arousing than the fwap and splash of other men taking dumps. But, hey, to each his own.

    As we’ve seen with the Larry Craig scandal, however, a public restroom isn’t the safest space to rub one out—unless you’re in Idaho, Craig’s home state, and you’re rubbing one out solo.

    In 1990, the Idaho Court of Appeals, in State v. Limberhand, ruled that (solo) masturbation within an enclosed restroom stall was constitutionally protected behavior as the individual within the stall had a reasonable expectation of privacy within the stall.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on August 31 at 11:00 AM

    Beats by the Pound

    Big Tune at War Room

    Big Tune, a beat competition that started two years ago at the War Room, returns home after touring a galaxy of cities. Emerging producers present their beats to the people, the old-school way, and the people judge the boom and the bap. The beat that rocks the crowd the most is the beat that wins. As Jonathan Moore says, “The speakers don’t lie.” (The War Room, 722 E Pike St, 328-7666. 9 pm, free, 21+.)


    More Craig Resignation Talk

    posted by on August 31 at 10:55 AM

    Could be just a matter of time

    The Republican National Committee took the unusual step Thursday of drafting statements calling on Craig to resign, GOP aides said, a rare move to force the third-term senator out. But the committee never released its statement to allow Craig more time to announce his own departure.

    Alert Tim Burgess: Sacredness of Marriage Under Assault in Iowa

    posted by on August 31 at 10:26 AM

    Yesterday an unelected judge in Iowa—unelected, just like the judges that decided Loving v. Virginia and Brown v. Board of Education—ruled that denying marriage to same-sex couples violated the state of Iowa’s constitution. Today a same-sex couple got a marriage license in Des Moines, a waiver from a sympathetic judge, and then the men married before the decision legalizing same-sex marriage could be stayed by another judge.

    Earlier today, two male college students were married in the front yard of a Des Moines residence this morning.

    The couple — Tim McQuillan and Sean Fritz, both Iowa State University students — obtained a marriage license at the Polk County recorder’s office and got a judge to sign a waiver allowing them to marry today rather than wait three days, as is required by law.

    They were married by the Rev. Mark Stringer of First Unitarian Church in Des Moines at 10:32 a.m. Before the ceremony, Stringer said, ” Awesome. It’s a long time coming.”

    Mmm… long time coming…

    And what do Tim Burgess’ buddies at the Concerned Women for America have to say about the Iowa decision? Well, they put up this graphic…


    Get it? IowGaY? Hee haw. And what do the Concerned Women have to say? Well, their Policy Director—concerned “woman” Matt Barber—seems to think that the sacredness of marriage is at risk.

    “It’s preposterous to think that the framers of the Iowa constitution could have even imagined that the document they were drafting would someday be distorted in such a way as to force ‘gay’ marriage’ upon Iowa.”

    It is—just as the slave-owning framers of the U.S. constitution could never have imagined that the document they were drawing up would someday be used to “force” inter-racial marriage upon the U.S. That’s the funny thing about constitutions—they’re open to interpretation, and that’s what our judges—elected and un-elected—are there for in part, to interpret the constitution.

    Pee Like a Man, Dammit!

    posted by on August 31 at 10:10 AM

    Are you one of those pesky females? Did God leave you empty handed in the penis department? Do you long for a handy hose, instead of that unruly hole? Do you wish you could cruise a urinal as effortlessly as a Republican Senator? Are you tired of sitting down in general?

    Well, ma’am, today is your lucky, lucky day!

    Ladies, women and other girly-type things, I give you…THE MAGIC CONE.


    Please to be enjoying a full demonstration of the Magic Cone, here!

    Snow Falls

    posted by on August 31 at 9:39 AM

    Tony Snow has resigned his position as White House Press Monkey. Super fox Dana Perino is taking his place.


    On the Road

    posted by on August 31 at 9:30 AM

    This morning I’m on my way to check out the Muenster Sculpture Project, the Venice Biennale, and Documenta 12. I’ll be back with stories and images to share after Sept. 13.

    But first, I want to put in a plug for a particularly good First Thursday that I’ll be sorry to miss next week.

    Here’s a teaser of one show: Scott Fife at Platform Gallery. Here’s Fife’s Quicktime video of “making Lionel Hampton.” The video, in strange not-slow motion, documents the creation of a recent sculpture of the legendary jazzman in cardboard, glue, and screws, with the artist eerily erased.


    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father: DUI Edition

    posted by on August 31 at 7:30 AM

    A father who was too drunk to drive had his 11-year-old son get behind the wheel of his pickup and drive them home, authorities said. Police stopped the boy late Tuesday after he was seen driving the 1992 Chevy truck the wrong way on a one-way street.

    The boy’s father, Frank Neff, 35, of Fairbanks, was too drunk to drive and had told the child to drive them home, police said.

    Men! No woman would allow her child—oh, wait…

    A woman is in jail for allegedly allowing her five-year-old child to drive a car…. “I saw a toddler at the wheel and another toddler on the console. I said, ‘Ma’am, are you letting your toddler drive?’ She said, ‘Yes. He’s a good driver,’” said Barrett.

    According to a police report, the woman’s speech was slurred and she failed all field sobriety tests. She also allegedly told deputies that she’d taken Percocet, a prescription painkiller for “when the kids are acting wild.”

    The Morning News

    posted by on August 31 at 7:00 AM

    Gay Marriage Okayed: In Iowa!

    Subprime Solution: Bush proposing mortgage reform.

    Blind Leading the Blind: General Petraeus says the surge is working.

    Now They Tell Me: Senate says your boss can’t RFID tag you.

    Black Ops: FBI spied on Coretta Scott King

    404 Not Found: Nobody wants to finance municipal WiFi.

    Steamed Crap, Virgin Chicken: What you won’t be eating at the Beijing Olympics.

    Now, with very little fanfare, it’s another recipe from Mettja C. Roate’s The New Hotdog Cookbook!

    Jellied Hot Dog Loaf

    12 hot dogs
    1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin
    1/4 cup cold water
    1 cup boiling water
    1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup sweet and sour pickles, very finely sliced
    1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives, very finely sliced
    1 tablespoon onion, finely grated
    1 teaspoon prepared Dusseldorf-style mustard
    1/2 cup mayonnaise
    1 barf bag

    Chop six of the hot dogs until they are the consistency of coarse corn meal. Set aside.

    Soften the gelatin in the cold water for 5 minutes. Add the hot water and stir until all of the gelatin is completely dissolved. Add the lemon juice. Place in the coldest part of the refrigerator for 1 hour or until thickened.

    Beat the gelatin with an electric or rotary beater until it is light and fluffy. Fold in the chopped hot dogs, pickles, olives, grated onion, mustard and mayonnaise. Place three of the whole hot dogs in the bottom of a loaf pan which has been rinsed in ice cold water. Pour one half of the gelatin mixture over them. Place the remaining three hot dogs over the gelatin. Pour the remainder of the gelatin mixture over them. Place in the coldest part of the refrigeratior for at least 4 hours.

    Unmold on a thick bed of shredded lettuce. Slice in generous sliced and serve with additional mayonnaise which has been slightly flavored with horseradish.

    Now, here’s some more hot doggery. You deserve it.

    Thursday, August 30, 2007

    Weekday—Again? WTF?

    posted by on August 30 at 9:08 PM

    KUOW’s morning show is on twice a day now. Or Weekday is being rehashed on something called “KUOW Presents.” Uh… whatever, KUOW. Isn’t one dose of Weekday per day punishment enough?

    Thank goodness I’m listening on iTunes, so I can switch to WBEZ in Chicago or WNYC in New York or KQED in SF, and catch up on the programming the geniuses running KUOW figure I don’t wanna hear anymore.

    The BBC World Service is on now at KQED in SF right now. It’s not on in Seattle until 1 AM. Thank God for iTunes.

    Miss South Carolina Isn’t The Only One Who’s Dumb

    posted by on August 30 at 5:38 PM

    God help us.

    Activist Mark Dice recently spent some time at San Diego State University trying to find one student—just one! who could name the year the 9/11 attacks happened.

    Not only did the vast majority not know (“I don’t remember,” one says, laughing) they, like, totally didn’t care. (“It doesn’t really concern me.”) Awesome!

    Damien Hirst’s $100M Skull

    posted by on August 30 at 3:46 PM

    And there it goes, strictly as an investment.

    Weekend At Burnie’s

    posted by on August 30 at 3:43 PM

    As if the fact that they pay $250 to sweat in the desert and shit in a bucket for a week wasn’t proof enough that Burning Man devotees tend to be perhaps not the sharpest tools in the shed… Well, now there’s this:

    “A Burning Man participant was found dead this morning, hanging from the inside of a two-story high tent, according to Mark Pirtle, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Land Managment…. Pirtle said the man was hanging for two hours before anyone in the large tent thought to bring him down. ‘His friends thought he was doing an art piece,’ Pirtle said.”

    Enter Fred Thompson

    posted by on August 30 at 3:34 PM

    The Republican will (finally) make the official announcement that he’s running for president. When exactly? Sept. 6.

    “Hot Tip, If You Want It”

    posted by on August 30 at 3:26 PM

    This just in to Last Days, from Hot Tipper Annie:

    Hi. I’ve just moved back to town after a few years away. Last night on a 316 bus, I saw a woman usurp an occupied seat by saying, “Excuse me, would you mind if I sat down? I’m trying to conceive.”

    Is it more hilarious that she actually said this, or that it worked?

    I assume Annie means the ruse worked in earning the woman a bus seat, not securing her conception. Either way, to answer Annie’s question, the woman’s statement and her bus mate’s response are equally hilarious.

    Double Wide, Baby

    posted by on August 30 at 3:16 PM

    Declarative Statement: The 1993 film Cliffhanger boasts the greatest trailer in the history of motion pictures.

    Prove or disprove? (Feel free to show your work.)

    Addendum #1: Can any classical music fans out there tell me the names of the songs used? I remember reading that they pieced together at least three.

    Addendum #2: Why in the hell did they cut that ridiculously awesome final jump from the movie? Why?

    Burgess Update

    posted by on August 30 at 3:12 PM

    As I reported earlier, David Della opponent Tim Burgess’s consulting firm produced media materials and wrote copy, among other services, for Concerned Women for America, a far-right fundamentalist group founded by Beverly LaHaye, the wife of apocalyptic novel author Tim LaHaye.

    As I mentioned in my earlier post, Concerned Women for America (a misnomer, as many of its members and spokespeople are actually men) has advocated against making emergency contraception available over the counter on the grounds that EC encourages promiscuity; has said gay marriage will destroy civil society; calls the Equal Rights Amendment an attack on traditional families; opposes abortion rights, stem-cell research, and comprehensive sex education; and believes birth control is a form of abortion.

    Burgess told me the firm he founded, now called Merkle/Domain (Burgess sold it in 2005) represented CWFA for eight or nine years. Crucially, those years included 2003-2004—the year Bush won reelection. Burgess says that he does not agree with CWFA’s political views, but adds that he was fully aware of those views when he took them on as a client. “We were in the business of helping nonprofit organizations with their marketing,” Burgess says. “We generally did not have an ideological screen on clients. We’ve served all kinds of groups, [including] some others that I don’t always agree with.”

    Some in the comments thread on my previous post have said that Burgess “had every right” to take on Concerned Women as a client, and have suggested that not taking them on (and taking their money) would amount to “censorship.” Oh, please. Of course he had the right to take their money (although not taking on a client, in a free market, hardly amounts to “censoring” them). But by allowing his firm to help them produce media and ad campaigns in the critical year of 2004, Burgess profited from the promotion of a radical right-wing agenda that, if implemented, would cause immediate and profound harm to gays, lesbians, young people, and women—even if he did, as he told me, eventually recuse himself from working for them personally. In 2003, according to its 990 form with the IRS, Concerned Women spent nearly $8 million on outreach efforts, including $328,479 to Burgess’s Domain Group. The money, according to the IRS form, paid for direct mail to Concerned Women’s constituents.

    Burgess’s client list when he owned the Domain Group included numerous other faith-based organizations. Among them: The Christian Management Association, which aims to “validate and advocate the legitimacy of a Christian worldview in management practices within our culture”; Food for the Hungry, Inc., which got money from the Bush Administration to promote its “life-saving message of abstinence” in Africa, where AIDS has decimated the population; the Bible League, which distributes Bibles and seeks to convert people to Christianity in places like China, Africa, and the Middle East.

    There’s also the op-ed Burgess wrote for the Times in 2005, which Dan linked to earlier; in it, Burgess said that people of faith, like him, “don’t like abortion” and “value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and a man.” Well, frankly, I don’t like abortion either—who does? I just want to have the right to have one, a choice Burgess says he supports. But I do stumble a bit at “sacredness of marriage between a woman and a man.” That’s pretty standard code for opposition to gay marriage. Maybe the choice of words was unfortunate, but maybe not, and that’s where I start to get nervous.

    On the other hand: Burgess (who, for the record, has repeatedly said he supports marriage equality and abortion rights) says he’s been up-front about his work for CWFA in endorsement meetings. And he has received endorsements from many progressive groups and individuals, including the 34th and 46th District Democrats, gay former City Council member Tina Podlodowski and gay state Rep. Joe McDermott. (Podlodowski has said she was aware that Tim had represented CWFA when she endorsed him). And the gay and lesbian candidate ratings group SEAMEC gave him a rating of 3—”meets expectations”—noting in the minutes of the interview that “prominent leaders in the LGBT community are supporting Mr. Burgess’s candidacy, which suggests his support for marriage equality and LGBT rights is genuine.”

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on August 30 at 3:08 PM

    Mic the Drums, Goddammit!: Trent Moorman says so and Greg from Electrokitty will help you.

    New Weekly Series: Terry Miller compares and contrasts modern pop and classical music starting with Wu Tang and and Bach.

    Respect the Boss: A nation gets stoked for Springsteen.

    Huge Jumping Sets: What you missed last night.

    Circus @ Pony: What you shouldn’t miss tonight.

    Stereo Total, Whitney Houston, & Serge Gainsbourg: Oh my!

    Too Good to Be True: Spacer Woman from Mars.

    Oscillate’s Evolution: Greg Skidmore and Scott James’s last Oscillate at the Baltic Room.

    Should You Need More Convincing: TJ Gorton gives you one more reason to be at Circus tonight.

    Respect the Boss - The How Was It Video

    posted by on August 30 at 3:01 PM

    Local theater-makers Implied Violence had a big ole fundraiser party last Saturday. I’m still confused as to what was going on. There was some really great music, R. Kelly on the TVs, piñata-bashing, and booze. There definitely WASN’T any sex in the elevators.

    Cameos by T.v. Coahran, Holly Chernobyl, Power of Coming Age, one of my forever heroes Sara Rudinoff, and Implied Violence’s Mandie O’Conell. Fun was had by all, if I still don’t understand What It Was…

    Bronze Dud

    posted by on August 30 at 2:49 PM

    As for the new statue of Nelson Mandela in Parliament Square, London?
    mandela460.jpg To be honest, it’s not all that. More love should have gone into this work. As is, it looks rather uninspired, empty, passionless, as dry a carrot. And what the hell are his bronze hands doing? Are they sizing up the stuff of Samora Machel’s widow?

    Quick! Get Tim Burgess to Iowa!

    posted by on August 30 at 2:44 PM

    A court in Des Moines has ruled that gays and lesbians must be allowed to marry—clearly Iowa needs some of Tim’s brand of “moral persuasion”!

    The Craig Interrogation Tape

    posted by on August 30 at 2:40 PM

    Officer: Well, you’re not being truthful with me. You’re not being truthful with me, Senator. I’m real disappointed in you right now… .

    Tim Burgess: Bible- Believing “Values” Voter

    posted by on August 30 at 2:28 PM

    Tim Burgess wrote this op-ed for the Seattle Times after George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term—a term Bush won thanks to “values voters,” a group Burgess identifies himself with.

    Commentators have been debating what the Democrats should do to reach people like me: Use more faith language, screen candidates for acceptability to red-state voters.

    Nonsense. The wisest course for Democrat—and Republicans, too, for that matter—is to get to know and understand people who are driven in life by their faith beliefs. People who believe that truth can be discerned, that some things transcend this physical realm we touch and see every day.

    Unfortunately, the likes of Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson have helped create an image of Christians as narrow-minded, exclusionary, hate-filled loonies who don’t understand the nuance and realities of life.

    Uh, Tim? Your clients at Concerned Women for America have done just as much as Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson to make Christians look like narrow-minded, exclusionary, and hate-filled loonies—heck, you were helping to write their copy and buy their ads, which means you played a role in making Christians look like narrow-minded, exclusionary, hate-filled loonies.

    We place significant value on personal responsibility and contributions to the community.

    We try to teach our kids these things.

    We worry about the vulgarity and coarseness of our culture and the “values” preached to our children day after day on television, in movies and magazines, and through music lyrics. We despair at the level of coarseness in our political discourse, too.

    Uh-huh. How about bearing false witness? Does that coarsen our political discourse, Tim? Because the CWfA is notorious for pumping out sensationalistic lies about gays and lesbians—and there you were, for almost a decade, cashing their checks, pimping for the CWfA. And Seattle’s gay and lesbian voters aren’t supposed to be concerned about that?

    Admittedly, we struggle with a lot of pressing issues. We don’t like abortion. We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and man. We recognize that not everyone agrees with us and we know the law isn’t a good mechanism to resolve these issues, but moral persuasion is.

    You struggle with gay marriage, Tim? Boo-fucking-hoo, Burgess. I struggle with second-class citizenship. You know what I’m struggling with? I’m struggling with how to respond to some asshole that believes I should be a second-class citizen, and that my child’s life should be made more insecure, and yet seems to think he can ask for my vote without first issuing an apology and a retraction.

    And hey, Tina Podlodowki? You’re supporting Tim—you’ve endorsed him, you’re slapping me around in the comments for expressing concern about Tim’s long financial and professional relationship with the fundamentalist Christian bigots CWfA—a relationship that makes a whole hell of a lot more sense now after reading Tim’s 2005 op-ed.

    So tell me, Tina: Has Tim managed to talk you out of supporting same-sex marriage with a little of that “moral persuasion” magic he was advocating in the Seattle Times a couple of years ago? Has he changed his position on same-sex marriage? Or have you?

    Don’t be alarmed, but there are faith-driven values voters living right here in this politically blue city. We don’t have an eye in the middle of our foreheads; we’re not foaming at the mouth. We vote Democrat and Republican. We love our city. We’re your neighbors and co-workers.

    We just want to make sure our gay neighbors can’t get married—in fact, we think the very idea of same-sex marriage is immoral, hence the need for “moral persuasion” to put a stop to it.

    I don’t know about you, Tina, but I find that kind of alarming.

    Ending Poverty

    posted by on August 30 at 2:21 PM

    The solution for poverty? Bloomberg believes it might be paying the poor to do what’s good for them:

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has an unconventional program for ending poverty: incentives.

    Bloomberg says that after years of fighting poverty, the government has little to show for its efforts. Now it’s time to try something new. Why not offer incentives to poor people to do things that can benefit them, such as attend school, get a library card or go to the doctor?

    One: For capital, the last solution will always be money. Why? Because capital invented the problem of money in the first place.

    Two: This “unconventional program” simply reinforces the ancient belief that being poor is morally bad. If you are poor, you do bad things because being poor is being in a situation that is altogether bad. Money is not the root of all evil; Money is the tree of all that begins and ends well.

    Stranger Q&A with Rep. Brian Baird

    posted by on August 30 at 1:59 PM

    US Rep. Brian Baird (D-3, Vancouver), the liberal congressman from the southwest corner of Washington State, was for years a leading opponent and critic of Bush’s “War on Terror”; he voted against invading Iraq, against reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act in 2005, didn’t support the surge, voted in July to pull troops, and voted against the recent surveillance extension bill. Last week, he broke ranks with the Democrats and shocked his constituents by saying it would be a mistake to withdraw from Iraq right now.

    He believes the surge is showing signs of success, and he thinks it should get another six months.

    He brought this unpopular message to a town hall meeting in Vancouver on Monday night, where he got trashed by the angry crowd, which included people such as Iraq War vet turned high-profile anti-war activist Jon Soltz). is now targeting Baird with a $20,000 TV ad buy.

    I interviewed Rep. Baird about all of this yesterday. Baird was even-keeled during the interview— but man, he got notably irritated (pissed off, actually) when I asked him about Soltz.

    The Stranger: What did you take away from that heated meeting at Fort Vancouver High School?

    Continue reading "Stranger Q&A with Rep. Brian Baird" »

    28th Ave NW & 60th Street

    posted by on August 30 at 1:50 PM



    On August 13th, Ballard Community Center (BCC) was inundated with MS-13 tags, an abbreviation of Mara Salvatrucha, an LA based gang responsible for two Ballard shootings in 2002.

    Overnight, someone spraypainted two city-owned vans, two privately-owned vehicles and the south wall, sidewalk and stairs of the community center.

    The vans were supposed to be used for a daycamp field trip the next day, but the center acquired additional vans for the outing. However, a group of seniors were forced to use the tagged vans to attend a picnic.

    The incident was reported to the Seattle Police Department but BCC staff say they aren’t aware of any gang activity in the area.

    Who’s Really More Viable?

    posted by on August 30 at 1:40 PM

    I hear a lot from Democrats about how Hillary Clinton is the most viable general election candidate—the one who can actually beat Romney, Giuliani, or Thompson.

    Perhaps. But earlier this week, a local Edwards fan sent me this recent Rasmussen poll, which showed Edwards beating the leading Republicans by a larger margin than any other Democrat. However:

    While he generally outperforms other Democrats in general election match-ups against Republicans, Edwards remains mired in third place in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

    Craig Backed by… Barney Frank?

    posted by on August 30 at 1:25 PM

    I’m not sure if this helps the Senator from Idaho hang onto his job, but Barney Frank is behind him — and tossing out great quotes as usual…

    WASHINGTON - Rep. Barney Frank says embattled Idaho Sen. Larry Craig is a hypocrite on gay rights issues, but he doesn’t think the Republican senator should resign.

    Frank’s comments, made in a telephone interview Wednesday with The Associated Press, came as some Republican lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, called on Craig to step down after being caught in a men’s room undercover police operation.

    But Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress and a prominent voice on gay rights, said Craig should serve out the remainder of his term. The third-term senator is up for re-election next year.

    “What he did, it’s hypocritical, but it’s not an abuse of his office in the sense that he was taking money for corrupt votes,” said Frank, D-Mass. “I think people should resign when they have clearly done the job in a way that is dishonest.”

    Added Frank: “It’s one thing to say that someone can’t be trusted to vote without being corrupt, it’s another to say that he can’t be trusted to go to the bathroom by himself.

    Dan Savage’s Review of the Phone Book Inspires Angry Letter from Phone Book Publisher

    posted by on August 30 at 12:55 PM


    In honor of the fine weather we’re having, this week’s book section is full of recommendations from Stranger staffers of great beach reads. But we can’t do something like that with a straight face, can’t participate in the cliche that a “beach read” has to be a grocery-store thriller—because it doesn’t!—so we’ve recommended a bunch of very heavy books: Proust, Hegel, de Tocqueville, Balzac, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and the phone book. The reviewer of the phone book? Dan Savage. The reaction from phone book publisher Ken Clark? Anger, righteousness, disbelief.

    Ken Clarks letter to the editor:

    I wanted to congratulate Mr. Savage on a truly remarkable review of the new Dex phone books which were just delivered to his doorstep.

    In his sparkling commentary he managed to offend only a half a dozen different groups and show his true grasp of the English language by eloquently mixing in several obscenities to his tirade. I just hope his parents haven’t spent a significant portion of their life savings to invest in putting him through college so he could have a degree in journalism as a background to such a fine discourse.

    But most importantly is that he ignored some very key facts, or did he just not bother to find out?

    • Those books that he is so annoyed about where referenced over 15 billion times last year by US adults (maybe that’s the issue—referenced by adults). And that’s just the print versions. 90% of all adults reference them at least once a year, 75% in a typical month, and 50+% on average month. How about on average 1.4X each week?

    • The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the broadband market is about tapped out. There will always be a good percentage of the population that will never have access to the industry’s Internet products. Barely more than 50% of households in the U.S. (about 56 million homes), currently subscribe to a high-speed Internet service. An additional 21 million households still use dial-up connections (yes, you read that right—dial-up connections).

    • But his most egregious oversight was in considering who is going to get all that neat stuff that is in those print books on to the Net so his .28 second search of Google will actually yield the results he expects??? With 40% of small businesses still without websites, it’s going be that same Yellow Pages sales rep who can provide a complete portfolio of local search and Internet based products to help that small businesses get on the Net.

    But I am assuming that neither you or Mr. Savage want to hear any of that, do you??

    “Every once in a while you’ll stumble upon a forum or an online community that is so specific, so insane, so completely ridiculous that you are forced to conclude that you have reached the end of the Internet.”

    posted by on August 30 at 12:55 PM

    The eight weirdest communities on the Internet. (Via Chaos Theory.)

    No. 2: Slash Fan Fiction

    What it is
    When you’re watching your favorite TV show, do you often find yourself wishing that the plot would be completely derailed by hardcore pornography? If the answer is yes (which you know it is), then the Slash Fan Fiction community might be just the place for you.

    Excerpt that Sums Up the Community In A Nutshell

    Spock was pleased that he was able to give his Jim so much pleasure. He knew it was an activity outside of the Vulcan culture, but inside their cabin they were safe—and conjugal privacy was held in high regard by his people.

    Why It Makes Us Uncomfortable
    You know what’s weirder than really wanting to see the stars of your favorite TV shows banging? Sitting down at your computer and describing it in 8,000 words.

    (And sorry, Dan: Boytaurs made the top slot on the list.)

    Rex on Larry

    posted by on August 30 at 12:41 PM

    Gay journalist, occasional Stranger contributer, and self-confessed toilet cruiser Rex Wockner has a great post up on his blog about Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig.

    When I was a college student in Champaign-Urbana—perhaps when you were still in diapers—there weren’t too many places to meet other gay people.

    There was one gay cha-cha palace full of cologne queens and drag queens.

    There were four or five adult bookstores around town with glory holes drilled between the video booths.

    There was the sauna at the University of Illinois Intramural-Physical Education Building.

    There was the campus gay group, where none of the guys was attractive to me.

    And then there were the 15 or so campus “tearooms” (or, if we follow Associated Press Stylebook hints, then “T-rooms”)—men’s rooms where people like U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (according to a police report) meet for sex.

    Or, sometimes, simply just meet.

    I met my boyfriend of those years in the T-room in the southeast corner of the basement of the student union. We actually never had sex there; it’s just where we met, given the limited options for meeting other gay guys that existed in 1985 in Champaign-Urbana.

    But it took me a while to meet Rick—a year or so during which I spent enough time in University of Illinois T-rooms to learn precisely how T-rooms work….

    Now, to U.S. Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho…

    The police report says Larry Craig peered through the crack (the one that allows the bathroom-stall door to swing) into the undercover police officer’s stall for two minutes. This is what cruisers do in T-rooms. They look through cracks.

    Larry Craig sat down on a toilet and subtly tapped his foot several times and waited to see if the guy on the other side of the partition subtly tapped his foot in return. This is precisely how T-room cruisers communicate to each other that they’re there to hook up rather than to take a dump.

    Larry Craig then took his hand, palm upward, and ran it along the bottom of the stall divider so that the individual on the other side of the partition could see Larry’s fingers making an inviting “come hither” gesture.

    This gesture has a precise meaning and is universally understood in the men’s-room cruising scene. It translates, “Get down on your knees and place your penis underneath the partition so I can touch or fellate it.”

    Larry Craig has said he’s not gay. Perhaps he’s not. Maybe he’s bisexual. Or maybe he’s a straight guy who has sex with other men. It happens.

    Larry Craig has said he didn’t do anything inappropriate in the Minneapolis airport bathroom in which he was arrested.

    From this we have no choice but to conclude that Larry Craig doesn’t think T-room cruising is inappropriate.

    Because cruising the T-room is exactly what he was doing, unless the police officer made up all those very precise, on-the-mark details.

    There are about 10 million other gay guys in America who, like me, are perfectly fluent in the language that Larry Craig was speaking in that Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport men’s room—and millions more around the globe, because it’s truly an international language.

    I couldn’t care less if Larry Craig comes out of the closet.

    But I will not let him tell me he wasn’t cruising. He could teach a Cruising 101 course. Unless, of course, the officer made it all up.

    The Good of Flip-flopping

    posted by on August 30 at 12:23 PM

    To describe the current political climate, a writer (whose name has slipped from my memory) referenced this famous line in a famous poem by a famous poet:

    The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.

    The order of American politics: The ones who lack conviction are the Democrats; the ones who have too much of it are the Republicans. Over and over, we hear this story: The Democrats are all talk; they never live up to their word; they give in to pressure too easily. The Republicans, on the other hand, have conviction; it’s the party that sticks action to its words. If a Republican wants to cut taxes, he/she means it; if a Republican wants to go to war, he/she means it. Democrats are nothing but “flip-floppers.”

    But in all this talk about conviction, we never question the actual value of a conviction in and of itself. The general understanding is that it’s good to have one, no matter what. But what if convictions are inherently bad? That a conviction is not simply a form or medium for a desired result—one that you may agree with (going to war); or one you may not agree with (universal health care)—but a way of blocking any real politics? Upon closer examination, we begin to see that the actual function of a conviction is to bring a political process to an end. Meaning, it’s destructive rather than creative, regressive rather than progressive. Flip-flopping turns out to be actually better than having a conviction: one opens; the other closes.

    Another point: The fact that the conviction to go to war is easier to maintain than the conviction to extend maternity leave says something about the character of a conviction, and why the party that has the most of it is the Republican Party.

    Brian Baird Loses a Constituent

    posted by on August 30 at 11:06 AM

    From the PI:

    The Department of Defense reports the deaths of three Fort Lewis soldiers in Afghanistan. One of the soldiers was from Vancouver, Washington.

    The trio died on Tuesday in Jafi, Afghanistan, from wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device.

    They were identified as 43-year-old Sergeant 1st Class Rocky H. Herrera, of Salt Lake City; 25-year-old Sergeant Cory L. Clark, of Plant City, Florida, and 24-year-old Bryce D. Howard, of Vancouver.

    Howard was a technical engineer who entered the military on June 16, 2002. He reported to Fort Lewis on August 19, 2003.

    “If we withdraw now,” says Baird, “I am confident it will be catastrophic.”

    It’s already catastrophic, Brian. George W. Bush lost this war years ago. End it.

    Della Opponent Represented Religious-Right Group

    posted by on August 30 at 11:05 AM

    Tim Burgess, who’s challenging City Council incumbent David Della, once provided media planning, copy-writing, media buying, and other consulting services to Concerned Women for America, a fundamentalist Christian group that’s best known for fighting against equal rights for gays and lesbians.

    Among other things, the group:

    Advocated against over-the-counter emergency contraception, arguing that access to EC “encouraged women and girls to begin having sex”;

    • Has said that gay marriage is “capable of destroying those things that are the foundation of strong communities and nations”;

    • Expressed disgust that VP Dick Cheney’s lesbian daughter, Mary Cheney, was pregnant;

    • Still actively opposes the Equal Rights Amendment, which they believe would result in “the elimination of our God-given roles as men and women, resulting in the redefinition — and eventual destruction — of family.”

    • Has publicly expressed the view that “Christian values should dominate our government. The test of those values is the Bible. Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office.”

    They also oppose abortion rights, support a ban on embryonic stem-cell research, oppose comprehensive sex education, and believe birth control is a form of abortion.

    The firm Burgess founded, now called Merkle/Domain, is “a full-service direct response agency that exclusively serves nonprofit organizations in North America and Europe by helping them raise more money,” according to the company’s web site. They represented CWFA for eight or nine years, according to Burgess. He says that he does not agree with CWFA’s political views, but adds that he was fully aware of those views when he took them on as a client. “We were in the business of helping nonprofit organizations with their marketing,” Burgess says. “We generally did not have an ideological screen on clients. We’ve served all kinds of groups, [including] some others that I don’t always agree with.” At some point, Burgess says, “we allowed our employees to opt out of working on their projects, which I personally took advantage of. I stopped working on their projects.” Merkle/Domain told Concerned Women it was dropping them as a client in 2003 and stopped serving them in 2004. “I can’t change history,” Burgess says. “

    Burgess says he’s been up-front about his work for CWFA in endorsement meetings. And he has received endorsements from many progressive groups and individuals, including the 34th and 46th District Democrats. Former City Council member Tina Podlodowski and state Rep. Joe McDermott, both gay, have endorsed him. And the gay and lesbian candidate ratings group SEAMEC gave him a rating of 3—”meets expectations”—noting in the minutes of the discussion that “prominent leaders in the LGBT community are supporting Mr. Burgess’s candidacy, which suggests his support for marriage equality and LGBT rights is genuine.”

    More about CWFA here; read their web site here.

    Arthur Miller’s Secret Son

    posted by on August 30 at 11:04 AM

    I’m a little late to the party on this, from Vanity Fair:

    For all the public drama of Arthur Miller’s career—his celebrated plays (including Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), his marriage to Marilyn Monroe, his social activism—one character was absent: the Down-syndrome child he deleted from his life.

    The revelation has inspired some hand-wringing among people of a certain age who are shocked that Arthur Miller, Our American Conscience™, could have packed his son off to an institution and, according to the article, “never publicly acknowledged the existence of Daniel” and “apparently never visited him.”

    It’s a pathetic story—

    Many of the children wore diapers, because there weren’t enough employees to toilet-train them. During the day, they sat in front of blaring TVs tuned to whatever show the staff wanted to watch. The most disabled children were left lying on mats on the floor, sometimes covered with nothing but a sheet.

    —but the fretting about Miller’s place in the canon is out of proportion. Does the saga of Daniel Miller matter to the playwright’s friends and family and to Daniel Miller? Of course. Does it matter to the boomers who canonized St. Miller the Moral? Apparently. (But celebrity canonizations are always a bad idea.)

    Will it matter to the young’uns who will know Miller by his plays and not his celebrity, who don’t know or care whether After the Fall was about Marilyn Monroe or even that Miller defied the House on Un-American Activities Committee?

    No. Not at all.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on August 30 at 11:00 AM

    New Dub

    Library Science at Rendezvous

    Library Science is a great name—like dub itself, it sounds soulful and geeky at the same time. This Seattle trio plays a poppier, more electronic version of that slow, low Jamaican music. Occasional vocals ground the songs and luscious reverb bounces them back into dark, gaping chasms. Sometimes they sound like orchestral pop, with regal horn lines flapping like standards as a guitar rocks and a shuffling breakbeat rolls. (Rendezvous, 2322 Second Ave, 441-5823. 10:30 pm, $5, 21+.)


    Craig’s Legal Options

    posted by on August 30 at 10:35 AM

    I was asking a lawyer friend about this the other night: Can Idaho Sen. Larry Craig actually take back his guilty plea in his restroom cruising case? If not, then why was Craig talking about having retained counsel to look into this? What’s to look into if he’s already pleaded guilty?

    The LA Times offers some answers, exploring Craig’s legal options in today’s paper. As TPM points out, none of those options are good.

    For starters: Under Minnesota law Craig could certainly try to take back his guilty plea, but it’s not certain a judge would allow it, and anyway the consequence of taking back the plea could very well be a public trial.

    Ellen Forney Splashes Around in the Mainstream

    posted by on August 30 at 10:14 AM


    Beloved local artist and Stranger contributor Ellen Forney is this month’s writer-in-residence for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and today’s P-I features an original Forney graphic essay. Congrats, Ellen!

    Downtown’s New Grocery Store

    posted by on August 30 at 10:09 AM

    Downtown Seattle is getting a “full-sized” grocery store. Will at Horsesass cheers.

    About time. About effin’ time. For downtown area residents, grocery choices are slim. There’s Whole Foods (too expensive), Pike Place Market (closes by 6pm every day), Dan’s Belltown Grocery (ok if you’re a AIS student, but I rarely shop there), Ralph’s (too fancy, expensive). A good grocery store can really tie a neighborhood together.

    But Horsesass doesn’t point out the most interesting detail:

    The store will have no parking facilities…. That means, “What you can carry is what you can purchase,” Myers said. To expand its service area, the IGA also will use small vehicles to make deliveries as far as the waterfront, Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square and the base of Queen Anne Hill.

    That’s great—now let’s start building apartments and condos without parking facilities. Eliminating parking requirements for new developments will bring down rents, make condos more affordable, and move people on to mass transit. People that still wanted parking could opt to pay higher rents and higher prices for condos, of course, but the city shouldn’t make those higher rents and condo prices mandatory.

    You Called It

    posted by on August 30 at 9:57 AM

    Yesterday, seeing this, a couple of Slog commenters accurately predicted this:

    “Owen Wilson Suicide Attempt: Suicide Reports Depressingly Accurate”

    posted by on August 30 at 9:56 AM


    There’s still been no official confirmation from the Wilson family that Owen Wilson tried to kill himself by taking an overdose of pills and slashing his wrist on Saturday, but the speculation is starting to look horribly accurate.

    The Artists Speak: No. 8 and No. 32

    posted by on August 30 at 9:30 AM

    The opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park was (and, one hopes, will continue to be) a great opportunity to talk about sculpture.

    For two weeks in a row, I got together with an awesome crew—the artists Tivon Rice, Susie Lee, and Mike Magrath, and the writer/curator Suzanne Beal—and we sat around a table, early in the morning, and figured some things out. For instance, we found ourselves arguing for the visible death of individual sculptures as a way of allowing them to fully live.

    The podcast of the second gathering (you can just click and listen) hits a climax when we start talking about Terri Schiavo’s shadow-life, Joseph Beuys’s dried bits of fat, and Mark Dion’s terrarium.

    Graves: The aura of the object, the smell of the fat—where is the smell of the fat in this piece (by Dion)? Magrath: It’s in the mist. It’s in the smell of the tree. It has to be the energy that is in the system. … Lee: When you talk about decaying materials, the aura is actually the viewer’s projection of the end—that’s the potent part. When you look at something that is living, you automatically have to assume and project the end. Beal: I agree with that completely, and I think it would be very interesting if we could just commit ourselves to saying, “This exists as it is right now with this process of decay—let it decay, let it become dust or nothingness within the box and let’s just live with the memory of what it was.”


    Now, just last night, Olga Koumoundouros’s A Roof Upended—a sculptural installation based on death, decay, sustenance, and ideas of progress—opened at Open Satellite.

    Making the installation involved raiding an abandoned and crumbling suburban shack just around the corner from the new high-rise residential tower that houses the gallery, as well as adapting the residential tower’s slogan, “Beyond Just Living,” into the jabbing phrase “Beyond Living Just.”

    In a conversation last week before the opening, Koumoundouros describes how her socially critical practice, based in the ever-problematic American dream, “breaks in” the Open Satellite program:

    Koumoundouros: I was raised by my grandparents who were Greek immigrants. My grandfather had a very successful (life) and definitely moved up in class, but also, on his death bed, wished he had never left, knew how much he gave up. So what do you do with that?


    Fuck the Mariners

    posted by on August 30 at 9:15 AM


    Root for Rafael.

    The Morning News

    posted by on August 30 at 7:00 AM

    Sand Trap: Iraq’s only met 3 of 18 political and security goals.

    Eating Their Own: GOP turns on Sen. Larry “Footsie” Craig.

    Silent Killer of the Day: Spinach.

    Place Your Bets: Which White House crony will become the next American Idol Attorney General?

    W.T.Oh No:
    U.S. at odds with everybody’s favorite riot magnet.

    The House Always Wins: Mayor Nickels’ son to plead guilty in casino scam.

    Cut Loose: Dems tell fundraiser Hsu to shoo.

    New York Times Exposes America’s Greatest Threat: Sagging pants.

    What Nerds Do In Their Spare Time: Cambridge mathematicians work out ratio for Jessica Alba’s strut.

    Never fear, Mettja C. Roate’s The New Hotdog Cookbook is here!

    Hot dogs in fruited brandy sauce

    1 10-ounce can condensed bullion
    1 9-ounce can crushed pineapple
    1/2 cup white raisins
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/4 cup water
    1/2 cup grape brandy
    12 hot dogs

    Place the bullion, crushed pineapple, juice and all, and white raisins in a saucepan over moderate heat. Mix the cornstarch with the water. When the bullion begins to bubble, add the cornstarch and cook until thickened and transparent, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the brandy.

    Place the hot dogs in a lightly buttered shallow baking dish. Pour the sauce over the hot dogs. Place in a 375 degree oven for 8 minutes or until heated through.

    What kind of asshole brings condiments and measuring tape to a bris?

    The Headline He Deserves

    posted by on August 30 at 7:00 AM

    Richard Jewell, 44, Hero of Atlanta Attack, Dies

    Homosexuality Doesn’t Lead to Polygamy After All.

    posted by on August 30 at 12:05 AM

    Fundies often argue that it’s a slippery slope from gay rights (marriage, adoption) to polygamy and bestiality.

    That doesn’t appear to be the case in the 10 Circuit Court of Appeals. Indeed, a few weeks ago I Slogged about a 10th Circuit decision that a-okayed the rights of gay parents who adopt.

    Well, that same 10th circuit ruled today that polygamy is not legitimate.

    Frankly, I’ve never understood the problem with legalizing polygamy. Especially for fundies.

    If they’re so hell bent on religious freedom and keeping the secular state from picking on religion, shouldn’t they support Mormon rights?

    As for us lefties: Don’t we think the 14th Amendment means any consenting adult should be able to marry any other consenting adult?

    Either way, those activist judges shut down the polygamists.

    Judge Rules that People Who Believe What they Read on the Internet are Stupid

    posted by on August 30 at 12:01 AM

    … especially if they read it on and believe her when she says she’s 18.

    Courtesy ars technica.

    Wednesday, August 29, 2007

    Overseers to Haggard: Get a Job!

    posted by on August 29 at 8:40 PM


    Ted Haggard’s overseers cracked the the motherfuckin’ whip yesterday—p*tsch! p*tsch!—and told the cocksucking, freeloading fundy to stop shaking down gullible Christians and find some honest work.

    Overseers tell Haggard: Stop asking for money and get a job

    Disgraced pastor Ted Haggard won’t be fundraising for a Monument nonprofit run by a sex offender, won’t be ministering to anyone and needs to get a job, his overseers said in a statement released this afternoon.

    “Mr. Haggard’s solicitation for personal support was inappropriate,” his church supervisors said in the statement.

    Take a bow, Dave Coffman. It was Coffman who discovered that Haggard had had directed his supporters to send him money via a convicted sex offender, and it was this revelation—which we broke here on Slog—that brought the wrath of Haggard’s overseers down on his head. Good work, Dave!

    Oh, man. What a great day. I fucking live for the day when every asshole out there bilking gullible Christians out of their hard-earned dough—from the Nazi pope on down—is told the same damn thing: Get a fucking job, you parasite.

    UPDATE: The spanking Haggard received from his overseers yesterday also makes the Washington Post—although the WaPo omits the sordid “registered sex offender” angle. Still, man, the Washington Post… sucks to be Ted, huh?

    This is Funny, too!

    posted by on August 29 at 5:15 PM

    Please enjoy this example of misused underlining. Possibly harder to find than misused quotation marks, but worth the effort.


    It’s like they knew that underlining can be used for emphasis, but then just kind of gave up there at the end.

    (This one from Washington, D.C., Winter 2003)

    This “Blog” is Quite “Funny”

    posted by on August 29 at 4:51 PM

    “Check” it “out.”

    Follow-Up to the Testicle Festival…

    posted by on August 29 at 4:34 PM

    The Penis Platter.

    Thanks tipper and former news intern, Kelsey Amble. (Hey, Kelsey!)

    Today on Line Out.

    posted by on August 29 at 4:28 PM

    Not Changing Rock Music Forever: Terry Miller on the Quiet Charms of Salako

    Tonight In Music: P.O.S., the Femurs.

    Cops vs Clowns: Trent Moorman vs Bumbershoot.

    Stoked!: Megan Seling on the New Jimmy Eat World MP3.

    Silent Pictures: Jeff Kirby on Punk Rock Photographer Pat Graham.

    Where’s the Boss: Bruce Springsteen’s Final Tour Skips Seattle.

    Score!: Jonathan Zwickel Strikes a Rich Vein of 1993.

    Nu Italo: Glass Candy & Chromatics Last Night at Pony.

    True Italo: TJ Gorton on Cerrone V.

    Your Humps: Terry Miller’s Humpday MP3s.

    A Q&A with the guy who’s out there painting the exterior of Annex Theatre’s new digs…

    posted by on August 29 at 4:15 PM

    …who, it turns out, happens to be Chris Comte, a frequent Slog commenter. We’d never met. He’s the facilities manager and communication coordinator for Annex.


    Annex was sort of homeless there for a while. How does it feel not to be homeless anymore?
    Well, we’ve been at CHAC for the last two years…

    Yeah, but as a theater company you’ve been sort of couch surfing. Is it nice to have a place all your own?
    It’s a bigger space and we’ll have more control over it. We can do more programming. Our schedule can be more flexible. The opportunity came up [after their CHAC lease expired] so we decided to see if we could come up with more money to take over this space and managed to do so. We’ll be doing Spin the Bottle [a late-night salon Annex has been doing for years] the first Friday of September, so that’ll be our first show in the space.

    Who painted that big logo?
    That was made by our graphic designer, Scott Robertson.

    Why so much black?
    Because it’s cheap and it’s easy, it’s easy to keep clean. Eventually we want to put up an actual marquee, but there are a lot of other things we want to do inside the space first. As facilities manager I wanted something that looked clean and unified.

    You think this new location—Pike and 11th—will be good for Annex?
    Oh I think it’s a great location. I mean, look at it. It’s one of the most active corners on Capitol Hill right now. There’s going to be a lot of people moving into the neighborhood in the next few years and they’re going to be looking for things to do.

    Are you wearing sunscreen?
    Nah, I never wear sunscreen. Well, maybe put a little on the tattoos. But that’s it.

    GOP to Craig: Resign, Bitch!

    posted by on August 29 at 4:13 PM

    You there—yeah you, the guy playing footsie with undercover cops in airport toilets. You’ve gotta go. But that married “family values” screamer that pays prostitutes to put him diapers? He can stay.

    Sex and City Images

    posted by on August 29 at 4:05 PM

    This is not a defense. It is a declaration of a debt. My debt to this book:
    a0088842_22342367.jpg Every answer for how and why I blog (sexy images, buildings, bursts of words) can be found in Rem Koolhaas’ massive S M L XL. (Bruce Mau is also a part of this book, but a very small part of it: I came to this conclusion—of his minor creative role—after seeing his dull exhibit Massive Change at Vancouver Art Museum two or so years ago.)

    S M L XL—which is packed with short essays, failed proposals, porn, buildings, images of emerging cities, a dictionary, fiction—was the most important and dazzling book of its decade, the 90s. But there was a problem: I could not locate it in a literary or philosophical tradition. The book was a lone, dancing star in a vacuum of night. There was nothing like it in the past. Even Benjamin’s Arcade Project, the closest work to it, was substantially different.

    Benjamin had a clear vision and direction. He was examining the 19th century with the aim of making his moment, his present, the 1930s, meaningful. How did his society become a mass society? What happened in the 19th century to make the 20th distinctly different from the modern period, which ran from the 16th century to the French revolution. Koolhaas, on the other hand, was not at all looking back at the past for answers. He was instead in a hyper present and inventing a new way of thinking and writing about that present. That way of thinking and writing we now recognize as blogging.

    Benjamin once described dadaism as an expression of cinema before it had arrived and became recognized as such. S M L XL is the first true expression for what is now recognized as blogging. Only with blogging did S M L XL finally make sense to me. The porn, the buildings, the words, the theories—all of it flowing from one page to the next. The space of a page as something that happens and then passes. Even the future eternity of blogging was mirrored by the enormous size of the book.

    I’m hiding nothing. Read S M L XL and my discharge of images and words (Sharapova, Gong Li, modernists illusions, cultural examinations) will make sense:
    CT_by_night1_1%281%29.jpg Cape Town at night: “How beautiful you are/Just like a movie star.”

    MARIA_02.jpg “You belong to the city.”

    helnwein_leda.jpg This is a Greek myth. Donald Duck as what he really wants to be: a God and a rapist.

    Gay Sex Scandal Rocks UK

    posted by on August 29 at 3:52 PM

    This guy’s press conference is a bit more credible than Larry Craig’s.

    Little Britain, via Towleroad.


    posted by on August 29 at 3:45 PM

    It strikes me as odd—really weird—that these guys…


    …haven’t come up for any discussion on Slog at all.

    Sprint Update: Sam to Recieve Rebate and Credit

    posted by on August 29 at 3:37 PM


    Last week I accepted an assignment from Sam Goldberg, a frustrated Sprint customer. Sprint owed Sam a $30 rebate, and it had not been forthcoming. At Sam’s request I brought him lunch and then picketed Sprint’s downtown store. Sprint got in touch with Sam through the Stranger after my report was published. Today Sam sent me this email:

    Intern Steven:

    I spoke with another Sprint/Nextel higher-up today for about 45 minutes. After a nice and long conversation with Stan Simmons-Seybert (of Sprint Executive Services, I think), Stan immediately refunded my account $30 and tacked on a $40 credit for good measure.

    He kindly (and undefensively) listened to me bring up the multiple failures in the Sprint customer service system, and agreed that this sort of thing shouldn’t have needed the extraordinary actions of a Public Intern to have been resolved.

    Stan guessed that the address to which Sprint sent the rebate check did not have an apartment number, which he believed to be the source of the problem. But he also admitted that any of the 10 or so people I spoke with on the phone, in the store, and via email should have been able to check on that and credit me the $30 at any time. So he’s going to look into it.

    Anyway, it was nice to hear someone apologize. You’ve earned your academic credit here.


    MoveOn Targets Brian Baird with Anti-War TV Ad

    posted by on August 29 at 3:26 PM

    MoveOn is doing a $20,000 ad buy in the Vancouver market asking voters to tell Rep. Brain Baird (D-3, Vancouver) to bring the troops home.

    Baird is already getting blasted for his recent “flip flop” on the war. Oddly, the ad doesn’t directly address Baird’s new position. (Baird wants to give the surge—which he voted against—another six months.)

    Courtesy of The Hill

    Mayor’s Son Pleads Guilty

    posted by on August 29 at 2:38 PM

    Mayor Greg Nickels’s son, Jacob Dylan Nickels, has admitted his involvement in a casino-cheating ring accused of bribing dealers in seven states and cheating casinos out of millions of dollars, the AP reports. He will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy and four counts of stealing funds from a Native-American gaming establishment.

    Amazon, Vulcan and… The Mariners

    posted by on August 29 at 2:20 PM

    There are apparently some fireworks going on in the negotiations between the mayor’s office and local developers such as Vulcan over the mayor’s plan to require rezones in urban centers like South Lake Union, Northgate, and the University District to come with strict guidelines about public benefits. That is: If a developer gets to build taller, the developer must provide public benefits like affordable housing.

    Inside sources tell me specifically that Vulcan, which is focused on rezoning the industrial/commercial zone between Denny and Lake Union, have said that if the rezone doesn’t pencil out for them, their potential tenant,, may look elsewhere for its pending big move.

    People are pretty mum about the negotiations—the city council is still out of the loop, and is waiting for the incentive zoning legislation to come down from the mayor in September—but I was able to talk to Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis today.

    (Footnote: Ceis sounded like he was at the Mariners game with the mayor in the background scolding him for taking press calls. “Hey, there’s a ball game going on!” Ceis wouldn’t confirm being at a Mariners game; he said they were at a “public facilities inspection.”)

    More important Ceis denied Vulcan was playing hardball. “No developer has played the tenant card,” he said. He also said that while the developers are making “the same old arguments” against public benefit incentives (“the deals won’t pencil out”), they don’t have much of a case given that the council passed a incentive zoning for downtown last year and “there’s no shortage of cranes there now. It worked,” Ceis said.

    Calls out to Vulcan and Amazon.

    Castro on the “Invincible” Dem Ticket

    posted by on August 29 at 2:10 PM

    The Cuban leader says it’s Clinton-Obama.

    Sierra Club Challenges Roads/Transit Ballot Title

    posted by on August 29 at 2:09 PM

    The local chapter of the Sierra Club has filed a challenge to the language describing the roads/transit measure on the ballot in November. Basically, the Sierra Club is saying the language that will go on the ballot itself and the explanatory statement that will be included in voters’ guides is written to unfairly prejudice voters in favor of the measure. Among other things, the club is alleging:

    • That the ballot language doesn’t accurately describe how the roads and transit improvements would be funded, and for how long the taxes that pay for the package would last.

    • That the ballot language implies that voting “no” on the package would stop light rail that’s already funded from moving forward. In fact, the package would fund 50 new miles of light rail.

    • That the language inaccurately describes the roads part of the package as “replacing vulnerable bridges, improving safety, and increasing capacity on state and local roads to link major education, employment, and retail centers.” The Sierra Club says this is false because the package fully replaces only one bridge (the South Park bridge over the Duwamish River), only addresses safety in the context of increasing road capacity, and doesn’t specifically link major centers.

    • That the explanatory statement does not explain what will be built, when it will be built, how much it will cost, and what taxes will pay for it. The Club wants the explanatory statement to include the total number of new road miles that would be built by the measure, and the total cost of the package, including operations and maintenance and inflation. Including everything the Sierra Club wants to include would increase the stated cost of the package from $17.8 billion to $47.7 billion.

    • That the entire ballot measure violates King County’s single-subject rule, which limits all ordinances to a single subject.

    The Sierra Club will also be back in court Friday on its earlier challenge to the makeup of the committee that will write the voters’ guide statement against the package, which is made up entirely of anti-transit stalwarts, including Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman, Jr.

    Here’s Your Double Standard

    posted by on August 29 at 2:03 PM

    A press release from the NGLTF:

    Senate Republican leaders are calling for an ethics investigation into the Minneapolis airport arrest of U.S. Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) in a “lewd conduct” incident in a men’s public restroom. No such call was sounded by Senate GOP leaders following the scandal involving Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), who last month admitted to “a very serious sin in my past” after his telephone number appeared among those associated with a female escort service operated by the so-called “D.C. Madam.” Vitter even reportedly received “thunderous applause” from Senate GOP colleagues during a policy lunch held a few days after his admission.

    Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, meanwhile, has filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee asking for an investigation into whether Craig violated the Senate rules of conduct. The group had filed a similar complaint in the Vitter case, but says the Ethics Committee did not respond to that request.

    Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force:

    “Let’s see—one Republican senator is involved in soliciting sex from a man and the Republican leadership calls for a Senate investigation and yanks the rug from underneath him. Another Republican senator admits to soliciting the services of a female prostitute and there’s not only no investigation but the senator is greeted with a standing ovation by his Republican peers. What explains the starkly different responses? I’d say rank and homophobic hypocrisy.”

    Craig and Entrapment

    posted by on August 29 at 1:44 PM

    In the comments thread attached to this post, some Slog readers are arguing that poor Larry Craig was the victim of police entrapment. He was arrested for “lewd conduct” and all he did was tap his little foot, peer through the crack in a stall door at undercover cop, rub his little foot against the undercover cop’s foot, and make hand signals—basically, Craig did everything short of waving his BVDs over his head to indicate his sexual interest in the officer. Since when is it illegal for one man to hit on another—and isn’t that, after all, what Craig is accused of doing? Do undercover officers in Minnesota police airport bars and arrest men that hit on women?

    Well, first off…

    Does anyone doubt that if a bill to decriminalize men hitting on other men in airport toilets—or anywhere else—had come up for a vote in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Larry “Wide Stance” Craig would have voted against it? So even if Craig is the victim of a homophobic double standard, as some are arguing, it’s hard to feel much sympathy for him knowing that he would have supported that double standard.

    As to the straight-men-in-bars comparison, people that flirt in bars don’t have sex in bars, as one commenter beat me to pointing out. They retire to a hotel rooms or, if they’re on the same flight, the privacy of an airplane toilet. I’m sure Sen. Craig would not have been arrested for sending a man a drink in a bar, or for hitting on a man in a bar. It was hitting on a man in a toilet—with the implicit understanding that the sex act, whatever it was, would go down, ahem, in that same toilet—that got him in trouble. A toilet is a public place, yo, and it’s illegal to have sex in public. And, sorry, crowding into a stall together does not make it a private place.

    Still, Craig could have gone to court and argued that, hey, I was hitting on the guy, for sure, but only because he returned my eye contact and seemed to welcome my advances—and if he had said yes I was going to propose that we get a room at a nearby hotel. But Craig didn’t argue that—to argue that he would have to admit that he was gay or bi, and that the only misunderstanding involved time and place, not intent or his stance. He didn’t. He pleaded guilty.

    And… finally… while I would be the first to argue that most men who get it on in bathrooms and other public sex environments are discreet and don’t bother anyone, some are not and some do. There were complaints about the men having sex in the bathrooms at the Minneapolis airport, and the police did what police are supposed to do when there are complaints—they responded. If straight people had been fucking in the bars at the airport—or the toilets—the police would have responded to those complaints too, no doubt. But straight people don’t, in general, because straight women won’t, in particular, and so the comparison really isn’t valid.

    Now there have been cases where the police have gone to cruisy areas—parks, rest stops—and arrested men for hitting on undercover officers even when they intended to go back to their apartments or RVs or doublewides to have sex. That’s a bullshit double standard. No straight person would be arrested for hitting on someone—unless, of course, the pass amounted to assault. You know—unwelcome touching, like playing footsie with the guy in the next stall.

    And, I’m sorry, but part of the thrill of illicit public sex—getting it on in bathrooms or parks with strangers—is the risk that you’ll get caught. So it’s hard to have much sympathy when someone who gets off on the risk of discovery is, you know, discovered. It wouldn’t be a career-destroying event for an out gay guy today—like, say, a George Michael (Pee Wee came too soon). It would, however, be a career-destroyer for a hypocritical, homophobic bigot like Larry Craig. And it serves him right.

    Respect the Boss: A Belated Report From Last Saturday Night

    posted by on August 29 at 1:35 PM

    People are drunk and nobody can decide who’s the boss. “Tony Danza?” asks somebody on the sidewalk in front of a three-story industrial building in Belltown. Inside, theater company Implied Violence is throwing a rock ‘n’ roll fundraiser called Respect the Boss. “No! Not Tony Danza,” the guy guarding the door shouts. “Angela and Samantha was the boss.”

    In a hallway on the second floor, two stations of televisions, with four screens each, play R. Kelly’s hiphopera Trapped In the Closet, including the new episodes.

    Past the televisions is a big, empty room with a bar, some bunk beds, and Jherek Bischoff (of the Dead Science) accompanying himself on guitar and drums with a looping machine.

    Homemade piñatas hang in a corner—one is a brown globe with a picture of R. Kelly, another is a pink globe with a knife sticking out, dribbles of red paint, and a sign: “Honeymoon.” Implied Violence member Mandie O’Connell says one of the piñatas contains a prescription for Plan B. When asked why the evening’s schedule has so many conflicting events—many bands, a piñata smashing, some performances—she answers: “Pick the boss; respect the boss.”

    Downstairs, on the first floor, is a room in which you could park several delivery trucks. The band TacocaT plays loud, happy songs about PMS and urinary tract infections while inebriates jostle and dance and an angry man in a button-up shirt keeps asking who set off the fire extinguisher on the third floor. People shrug. He, clearly, is not the boss.

    Implied Violence began in 2003 as some dancers, musicians, and theater students who hated all the theater they saw. The company has performed difficult plays (4:48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane, Die Wandlung by early German Expressionist Ernst Toller). They smash together newspaper stories, small talk, and advertising clichés with live music, repetitive gestures and language, butoh, boxing, vaudeville, hiphop, and, sometimes, feathers and goo. Implied Violence loves rigor and codes and seems to have infinite admiration for Gertrude Stein and the Wu-Tang Clan.


    The party gets chaotic—tomatoes and dahlias are thrown, people make out in dusty hallways, a pack of men and one woman shout out Wu-Tang lyrics. During the “avant comedy” set, two men read entries from the diary of a 13-year-old girl named Tiffany while two other men fight playfully in towards the back of the crowd. The pugilists are smiling but serious, smacking each other loudly. Are they performers? Just horsing around? Nobody can decide.

    (Stay tuned for Kelly O’s Respect the Boss edition of “How Was It?”, coming tomorrow.)

    You Know Things Aren’t Going Well for the GOP When…

    posted by on August 29 at 1:13 PM

    Democrats are crowing about the news out of Eastern Washington.

    Specifically, Democrats east of the Cascades are cheering over the GOP primary results in the 14th legislative district (parts of Yakima County).

    It’s not that the Democrats are fans of conservative Republican Curtis King, who beat longtime Republican Senator Jim Clements. It’s that Clements got a loud and early endorsement from supposed GOP superstar Dino Rossi. Rossi also appeared in Clements’s TV ads.

    As Yakima County’s D blog, The Other Side - Online asks: “Is Rossi losing his touch in Eastern Washington?”


    Check out Gov. Christine Gregoire’s July polling numbers in Eastern Washington and check out the bad press Dino Rossi is getting in Eastern Washington over his suspect non-profit.

    I hardly think Gregoire can count on piling up the endorsements and votes in Eastern Washington, but given her slim victory in 2004, peeling away support for her main rival can’t hurt.

    Memories of Ashe

    posted by on August 29 at 12:19 PM

    What did we hear when Sharapova spoke about her return to Arthur Ashe Stadium for the U.S. Open, the very court on which she decimated an Italian nobody:

    “There’s no way to get rid of the memories when I walk on the court and feel the vibe,” the second-seeded Russian said, 600 crystals on her red dress sparkling in the Arthur Ashe Stadium lights. “Every corner I turn here, I get goose bumps.”
    What we heard is Russian nostalgia. “There’s no way to get rid of the memories.” Moy dushka, my darling, this is the beauty of the Russian mind: its phantoms, its hauntedness, its goose bumps, its profound nostalgia.

    Normally I Don’t Go In for Bird-Corpse Photography

    posted by on August 29 at 12:00 PM

    But this specimen, found near Yesler and 32nd Ave S, was irresistible.


    So pretty are the decomposing wings of a bird.
    So nasty is the smell.

    MSNBC’s Tucker Carlson…

    posted by on August 29 at 11:54 AM

    …is a piece of shit.

    Comedy ensued on MSNBC last night when pundit Tucker Carlson happily admitted that when a guy hit on him in a men’s room in Georgetown, he went back with “someone I knew and grabbed him… and hit him against the stall with his head.” Then the cops came and arrested the gay dude. But not Tucker!

    The Essence of the Reanimated Donkey

    posted by on August 29 at 11:48 AM

    Republican Senator Larry Craig symbolizes the current condition of the Republican Party. His inability to deal with the facts, the reality of his situation (“I’m not a gay, and have never been”), corresponds with the party’s inability to deal with the facts of the war, the bad facts of Hurricane Katrina, the worsening facts of President Bush, and the looming facts of the environment and the economy. If Craig is the leading symbol of his party’s condition

    On Tuesday, Mr. Craig, 62, held a news conference to defend himself, calling the guilty plea “a mistake” and declaring, “I am not gay” — even as the Senate Republican leadership asked for an Ethics Committee review. It was a bizarre spectacle…

    …then South Dakota’s Democratic Senator, Tim Johnson, can be seen as the leading symbol of his party’s current condition. Johnson has returned from the dead. Eight months ago he suffered “a life-threatening brain hemorrhage”; this week, he made a heroic public appearance in a wheelchair:

    “Before I get too far along in my remarks,” he said. “It must already be clear to you that my speech is not 100 percent. My doctors tell me that it will get there.”

    Johnson thanked the people of South Dakota for their support and patience during his long recuperation. Sticking to a prepared speech, he said “I’m back” and vowed to return to the floor of the Senate this fall.

    “I promise you all that I will work harder than ever for you and for our state,” he added. “Not everyone gets a second chance at life. My commitment to you for my second chance at life is to a make you and all South Dakotans the beneficiary of that gift.”

    He is still far from compete health. More time must be covered before he can stand at a “100 percent.” But this sense of recuperation, of rejuvenation, reanimation, increasing power and being given a “second chance at life,” that is the mood of the Democratic party.

    Everybody Loves Balls!

    posted by on August 29 at 11:25 AM


    The estimable food website Serious Eats goes nuts for Angela Garbes’s recent adventures eating balls. Congrats, Angela!

    Speaking of food that tastes like balls, please enjoy this pained plaint from the Stranger Restaurant Guide’s Reader Reviews:

    As soon as I walked in, the waitress swiped a dirty rag over the surface and plunked a three-fourths full plastic glass of water in front of me, shoved a menu at me, and flipped open her little book. Bad sign. First, in a restaurant the size of a postcard, if the waitress can’t remember what one single guest ordered, I expect that the service will likely be terrible. I wasn’t disappointed. The coffee that tasted as if it had been brewed two weeks ago and left in the refrigerator, and a dose of corn syrup added to offset the horrendous aftertaste. The stringy, dry chicken, smothered in tasteless peanut sauce, covered wilted spinach drift over tacky, cold white rice. After the glare of agonizing exasperation I received upon asking for a clean glass, I nearly expected to be charged for the box.

    Read more Reader Reviews and write your own in the Stranger Restaurant Guide.

    Me on CNN Last Night

    posted by on August 29 at 11:18 AM

    Here’s the video—thanks to Jeff H and Kelly O.


    posted by on August 29 at 11:15 AM

    That’s how much Bush’s visit to Bellevue raised on Monday, according to Postman. Part of that money will go to the state Republican party, and part of it will go to the reelection campaign of eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert.

    On the Democratic side, Darcy Burner, who wants to challenge Reichert in the general election, raised more than $120,000 from an online counter-fundraiser that was tied to the Bush appearance.

    I write more about all of this in the issue of The Stranger that comes out later this afternoon.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on August 29 at 11:00 AM

    Green Gathering

    Bike-In at Cal Anderson Park

    Fight car culture while sitting on your ass in sprawling Cal Anderson Park. The second-annual Northwest Film Forum Bike-In will feature films (learn how to bike safely on city streets!), live music (including adorable local band Boat!), a potluck, bike-friendly businesses, bike art, bike valet parking, and more. (Cal Anderson Park, 1635 11th Avenue, 267-5380. 5 pm, $2 donation.)


    I’ve Got Your Mission Right Here

    posted by on August 29 at 9:43 AM

    The Mormon Church proves that there’s more than one way to market a batshitcrazy religion.

    Via Towleroad.

    Ron Paul Coming to Seattle

    posted by on August 29 at 9:34 AM

    Vijay Boyapati, the huge Ron Paul enthusiast from my recent feature on the Republican presidential candidate, tells me that Paul will be coming to Seattle soon.

    The date, he says, is September 14. Other details are still being worked out. Paul fans, mark your calendars.

    Welcome to the Gallery

    posted by on August 29 at 9:30 AM

    A few weeks ago, Abigail Guay gave a little criticism to the juried group show Up & Now at Photographic Center Northwest. (It closes tomorrow, Aug. 30).

    Guay was being generous. It’s a show of aggressive calculation. Almost every photograph seems to intend either to be elusive or revelatory, with largely flat or overstated results. Emptiness can be derived from too much effort as easily as from too little. In photography, it’s always a balance.

    The first images you encounter in the gallery are droll portents of the failure to connect. They’re three shots of Chelsea galleries from a series of 14 photographs by Andy Freeberg called Sentry: Gallery Desks in Chelsea.

    In each one, Freeberg entered a gallery and found an attendant sitting behind a high desk, almost entirely obscured. Given that you could probably get this shot in almost any gallery if you stand at the right distance from the desk, Freeberg’s series is not an entirely fair critique of gallery culture—but it makes its case persuasively, providing good ammo for anyone who’s ever felt excluded in a gallery (and who hasn’t?). The photographer seems to be standing outside the centers of art looking in, a place photography held for decades before it was accepted as a fine art form. (Digital prints are still frowned upon; something always is.)

    Here’s Pace Wildenstein:


    Here’s Metro Pictures:


    Here’s Cheim & Reid:


    And here’s my favorite portrait in the series, taken at Andrea Rosen (it just seems slightly more psychotic than the rest):


    Mojo Despising

    posted by on August 29 at 8:35 AM

    I should have Slogged this three days ago, when I first said it out loud to the boyfriend. But for what it’s worth now:

    All those “mojo rising” commercials on television, come ons about playoff tickets, mayoral declarations, this lola-blue-ooza garbage, and “fans” that haven’t been to an Ms game all year turning up at the stadium and buying tickets from scalpers—it’s bad fucking luck, people.

    The Morning News

    posted by on August 29 at 7:00 AM

    The $50,000,000,000 Question: Bush to ask for a lot more money for a lost cause.

    Study: Iraq withdrawal possible in 1 year.

    Open Government: State “Sunshine Committee” scrutinizing public records exemptions.

    The Winning Ticket: Castro says a Clinton/Obama team-up would be “unbeatable.”

    Black Cloud, Meet Silver Lining: Number of uninsured Americans goes up, but the poverty rate goes down.

    A Kernel of Truth: Biofuel will destroy us all.

    Space Case:
    Diaper-wearing astronaut to plead insanity.

    Exodus: Thousands flee Kerbala after gun battles kill 52.

    Off the Hook, Kinda:
    Abu Ghraib Colonel is acquitted on charges he failed to supervise soldiers, still facing 5 years for discussing the case.

    It’s time for another recipe from The New Hot Dog Cookbook by Mettja C. Roate!

    Hot Dog-Ghetti Dinner

    8 small onions, about 1 inch in diameter
    1 1/2 cups water
    1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
    1 # 303 can tomatoes (2 cups)
    1 cup spaghetti bends (small curved pieces of spaghetti)
    1 package garlic-flavored salad dressing mix
    1/2 cup sweet pickle relish, drained
    8 hot dogs, cut in thirds

    Peel the onions and place them in a saucepan with the water. Boil over moderate heat until the onions can be pierced with a fork. Drain, reserving the water in which they were boiled.

    Place the reerved onion water in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan along with the tomato sauce and tomatoes. Bring to a rolling boil, then add the spaghetti. Turn the heat back to simmer and cook for 25 minutes or until the spaghetti is tender, stirring occasionally.

    Add the salad dressing mix, the pickle relish, whole onions and the hot dog pieces. Contine to cook over low heat for 10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally.Serve piping hot!


    Shhhhhhh! He’s sleeping!

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    Email of the Day

    posted by on August 28 at 6:00 PM

    Well, this email made my day, at any rate…

    Dan—I just saw your appearance on CNN. Thank you, thank you, thank you for lending a voice of reason to this ridiculous debate about Larry Craig. It’s ridiculous because none of the media outlets have had a true gay point of view (i.e., someone who is out, open and proud). You articulated (very well, I might add)—despite the constant interruptions from the host—that this is not a “gay” issue because people who identify as gay live openly and honestly and (usually) are not looking for a quick hand job in the toilet. Rather, the issue with Senator Craig is a matter of hypocrisy pure and simple. I have been screaming this (and other expletives) at the TV since the story broke.

    BTW, I also loved the fact that you pointed out how CNN ran footage of children playing in a park for nothing other than the momentary, sensationalistic image that children everywhere are in peril because of the rampant homosexuality taking place in every public bathroom in America. What bullshit.

    Thanks and keep it up,

    Chris Privette

    Thanks for the nice note, Chris. When I was on CNN tonight I wanted to say for the record—ran out of time—that some openly gay men do frequent skeezy toilets looking for anonymous sex. (Hey there, George Michael.) Not because they have to, like a Larry Craig, but because they want to—for the sport of it, the risk, the thrills, the head. But these gay men are, by my scientifically sound estimation, a very small percentage of the men getting it on in toilets. The overwhelming majority of men cruising toilets—in the US, anyway (the UK is a different story)—are desperate, pathetic closet cases.

    There are out and proud gay men that idealize the kind of bathroom antics that Sen. Craig pleaded guilty to and is currently on probation for. Some gay men are nostalgic for the days when parks, toilets, and bathhouses were all we had.

    But it would seem that openly gay men who cruise public toilets are, well, better at it—or better at getting away with it. Because whenever you read about a bust at a public sex venue it’s only straight-identified closet cases that were rounded up, carted off, and ruined.

    UPDATE: I was, of course, invited on CNN to discuss this issue because I am the—that’s “the,” not “an”—official spokesperson for all gay and lesbian people everywhere. Who appointed me? Melissa Ethridge, Andrew Sullivan, and Rip Torn Charles Nelson Reilly.

    Voicemail of the Day

    posted by on August 28 at 4:20 PM

    Hey Eli, this is your favorite Republican protester, Russell Johnson


    You interviewed me for a story on your blog site yesterday at the protest, and I was calling you back to thank you for the story and for the kind pictures. I think it came out pretty well.

    But some of your readers who left comments on the blog seem to have an infatuation with anal rape. But other than that, the blog story came out pretty good.

    So we just want to thank you for that story, and if you ever want to interview a sensible Republican again, you can just give me a call, my number is 206-XXX-XXXX and anytime you want us to do a full page, or front page story, or anything like that, we can do that for you. So, yeah, just give me a call back sometime, and thanks again for the story on the blog. It was pretty tight. All right, talk to you later, bye.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on August 28 at 4:02 PM

    The Debate Rages On: Worst album cover outfit.

    New Springsteen: It’s better than the Eagles.

    Tour Diary: By PWRFL POWER!

    Golden Oldies: New tunes and old fogies on Setlist.

    Spin Loves Seattle: More local talent featured as Band of the Day.

    Illegal Leak of the Week: Beirut, The Flying Club Cup.

    Björk Remix: By old Sugarcube bandmate.

    Hot Licks vs. Tasty Sticks: Trent Moorman on Bumbershoot.

    Urban Art Expo?: In a parking lot outside an abandoned snowboard shop?

    Tonight: Glass Candy and the Chromatics at Pony.

    Not Tonight: Circus at Pony.

    Disco Trance & Cosmic Flavas: TJ Gorton on Salsoul Records’ classic.

    MySpace Has It: The New Band of Horses.


    Be Very Entertained

    posted by on August 28 at 3:03 PM

    If you are in the West, the fear you have of the bird flu is nothing more than a thrill, a form of entertainment, something to make your life exciting. If you are in the Rest, in the poor countries of Asia and Africa, your fear is real. It is you, and you alone, who will suffer and die in untold numbers when this sickness hits the air.

    Even if there is no human pandemic, bird flu threatens to have a devastating affect on the livelihoods of millions of people in Asia and Africa who depend heavily on poultry both for income and food.

    Deaths and mass culls have already badly hit rural communities in southeast Asia. In many countries the government says it cannot afford to fully compensate people for destroyed birds.

    Aid agencies say inadequate compensation will not only tip millions into extreme poverty but will help spread avian flu by discouraging people from reporting the disease.

    “People fear reporting sick birds because their flocks will be destroyed and they may not be compensated for their losses. So instead, they hide the sick birds or sell them and that, in turn, contributes to the transmission of avian flu to new areas.” said Sanjay Sinho, CARE International’s health programme director.

    The bird flu will not strike down any ole person, in any ole place but directly those who barely survive at the bottom of the global economy.

    “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”

    posted by on August 28 at 3:03 PM

    We Americans sure do love our guns:

    U.S. citizens own 270 million of the world’s 875 million known firearms, according to the Small Arms Survey 2007 by the Geneva-based Graduate Institute of International Studies.

    About 4.5 million of the 8 million new guns manufactured worldwide each year are purchased in the United States, it said.

    The study also notes that

    “There is roughly one firearm for every seven people worldwide. Without the United States, though, this drops to about one firearm per 10 people.”


    Larry Craig: Not Gay!

    posted by on August 28 at 1:51 PM


    Larry Craig is not now, and never has been, gay. So playing footsie with strange men in public restrooms is now considered straight. Or straight-identified.

    Please make a note of it.

    Be Afraid

    posted by on August 28 at 1:45 PM

    Scientists have confirmed that bird flu has finally mutated and can be transmitted from person to person.

    The confirmed transmission, which occurred in 2006, occurred in rural Indonesia within one family and did not spread. Still, I’m not telling you where my stockpile is.

    Footnote on Rep. Brian Baird in Vancouver

    posted by on August 28 at 1:40 PM

    I’ll have a full report about Rep. Brian Baird’s showdown with his constituents in Vancouver last night in tomorrow’s paper.

    There was one moment from last night, though, that I couldn’t fit into the story. Right after Baird gave his opening remarks, the “Impeach Bush” crowd hijacked the meeting for about 20 minutes. I’m being derisive because the impeachment discussion played out as a sanctimonious attack on Baird that had little to do with the legitimate discussion Baird had laid out about Iraq policy.

    (Regarding impeachment, Baird did say the votes weren’t there. And in a bit of a Catch-22, he ultimately dodged a shout from the audience asking if he would vote for impeachment by saying he couldn’t answer because there has been no impeachment trial yet.)

    As much as I thought the impeachment talk was boring chest-thumping, it did provide the best one-liner of the night. Frazzled as the audience continued to push him on impeachment, Baird asked one outspoken audience member, “And what would your grounds for impeachment be?”

    With perfect comic timing, the man paused, leaned into the mike, and said casually: “Um… lying?”

    That brought the house down.

    A Victory for the People of Communist-run West Bengal

    posted by on August 28 at 1:13 PM

    Round one:

    An Indian retailing firm operating Western-style supermarket stores has closed its stores in Communist-run West Bengal state after a spate of attacks.

    The enemy:

    “We want to protect our company’s properties and we have to ensure the safety of our employees. So we cannot open our stores at the moment,” said Raghu Pillai [of Reliance Retail.]

    The people:

    “This is a victory for the working class, the toiling peasants and the small traders involved with retail of agricultural products,” said [the leader of The Forward Bloc], Ashok Ghosh.

    The leader of the state’s main opposition Trinamul Congress party [,Mamata Banerjee,] has also opposed these stores.

    “More than 100,000 poor people in our state make a living from retail of agricultural products. We cannot take away their living by allowing big companies like Reliance to enter the sector,” Mamata Banerjee said.

    The next front:

    US supermarket giant Wal-Mart is to enter the Indian retail market after announcing a joint agreement with India’s Bharti Enterprises.

    The two companies said they had signed a deal to “jointly explore business opportunities” in India.

    Bharti chairman Sunil Mittal said the two companies intended to open “several hundred” stores across India under the Wal-Mart brand name.

    Larry Craig’s Press Conference

    posted by on August 28 at 12:58 PM

    Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idablow)—excuse me, disgraced Sen. Larry Craig—will be holding a press conference in two minutes. And the fundies Craig rode in on? They’re calling for his head…

    “If the accusations are true, then we think that he needs to resign,” Bryan Fischer, the executive director of the Idaho Values Alliance told “We believe that character is an important qualification for public service and we believe if these accounts are true, then the Senator conduct has fallen short of what we should expect from public officials.”

    David Heurtel Bows Out

    posted by on August 28 at 12:48 PM

    David Heurtel, deputy director of Seattle Center, is resigning. He intends to stay in the city but is not leaving for another job.

    “There wasn’t a watershed moment or some drama,” he said. “I’ve just been looking at where my life is going and where the Center is going and decided it’s time to turn the page and let somebody else take over.”

    Heurtel came to the Center three years ago from Montreal, where he had been working as an attorney in the entertainment industry. Since then, good stuff’s been happening at the Center—the Vera Project and SIFF Cinema moved in, the Century 21 Committee started talking about knocking down some of the ugliness (like Memorial Stadium) and building a more park-like Center. (I wrote about Heurtel, Century 21, and the future of the ugliness in this story.)

    “Vera, SIFF, the economic impact study—that’s just three examples of things I’m proud of that we all worked together for,” Heurtel said. “We’ve quintupled sponsorship revenue and we’ve turned around the way this town talks about the Center… there’s more optimism about the future.”

    Still, he’s going: “I’m not leaving because I have something lined up,” he said. “I’m leaving because it’s time for me to go.”

    Dave Meinert, a music community businessman and activist who got to know Heurtel while working on the Vera move, says his departure is a loss for the Center. “Heurtel is a visionary, entrepreneurial guy,” Meinert said. “He brought exciting changes to Seattle Center and there haven’t been exciting changes there for decades.”

    “But,” Meinert added, “sometimes entrepreneurial, visionary people have difficulty working in large bureaucracies.”

    Shark Attack: Update!

    posted by on August 28 at 12:35 PM

    Yesterday, I reported that right-wing blogger Stefan Sharkansky had erased all evidence of his blog post attacking waitress Steffany Bell from the Internet, including the Google cache of his web page. However, today the post has reappeared in the cache, and is available here. Bell’s original blog post, meanwhile, is available here. Here’s a representative sample of what she said on her friend’s (until last week, totally obscure) blog, “Meet the Stress,” followed by Sharkansky’s response on his own (extremely prominent) blog, Sound Politics. Judge for yourself whether Sharkansky’s response was an overreaction.

    Meet the Stress: Stephen Sharkansky. What does that name say to you?

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: Shitty tipper. Gives you googly eyes. Waited on him once and only once. I refuse to again. […]

    Meet the Stress: And on average, how much do you think his gratuity is?

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: 10%. “Mr 10%” we call him - which in 1984 was good.

    Meet the Stress: When we talked last, you described the [five-year-old] scion of these two as “a problem”. Why is that?

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: Quite simply, the kid is Damian from the Omen. Might as well be a monkey. The kid did everything except reach in his pants and throw feces on the wall. […]

    Meet the Stress: So did Sharkansky’s wife try to deal with his behavior?

    Blogger/NW Restaurateur: Barely. But when she did, the kid screamed “I don’t want anything!” and then balled-up hi fists in his mom’s face. I swear she just about got punched had she not backed-down.

    And here’s this prominent blogger’s response to one obscure blogger’s “interview” with his onetime waitress:

    Steffany Bell is a waitress (now also temping at Amazon) who recently gave a wildly imaginative and mostly false and defamatory story to an anonymous blogger about my family’s visits to her restaurant. She identified me by name and wrote some nasty and untrue things about our pre-school-aged son. She tried to do this anonymously, but I figured out who she was.

    […] [T]here’s really not much to say about a 37-year-old woman who would anonymously slander a pre-schooler. But in defense of my family and especially my son who can’t defend himself, I’ve decided to name Steffany Bell and post excerpts from her blog so anybody who reads her story about my son can read more about Steffany in her own words and make up their own minds about her character and credibility.

    Her MySpace page is here. Her twitter page is here and her personal blog is here. In case she deletes some of her relevant posts, I saved screen shots here: June, July, August.

    Steffany thought it was funny to make stuff up about my very young son, but here are her own words about her own son [June 29]

    AAAAAAHGH FUCK!!!!!!!!!!! Can I not catch a fucking break?!!! So I find out from my son’s teacher via email TODAY that LAST FRIDAY my son threatened to blow up the fucking school. What the FUCK? Now, O.K. I remember school. I remember wanting to blow the school up. But did I ever announce it to the entire class? NO. Oh my god. Now I’m the mother of the kid that threatened to blow up the school. I give up.

    Here’s what she wrote about the other customers that frequent her restaurant [June 21]:

    Perhaps it is because I work in one of the only “family-friendly” eateries in the neighborhood, but it seems there are a lot of kids living in XXX now. They come in, followed by their frazzled parents, and proceed to act like animals. The parents blissfully sip on house wine and leisurely pick at their food, while we (myself and my colleagues) have to wipe fingerprints and face prints off of windows, reset messed up tables, refill spilled salt and pepper shakers, and worst of all, unclog toilets. Parenting to these people is simply corralling their child when it seems that the restaurant staff is becoming irritated, and then allowing them (the child) to return to their destructive activities five minutes later. […]

    But this is how she describes her own personal life [June 18]:

    So a bit about me. I have been married to an emotionally abusive man for fifteen years. I have two kids and a beagle. I recently (last Thursday) served my husband with divorce papers and am currently residing in a hotel, thanks to my local domestic violence advocacy group. I am a waitress by trade, but a writer in my heart. […] Oh, and I have serious issues regarding: men, children, relationships, food, sex, politics, religion, and authority. So come with me, in the following weeks and months as I : get divorced, sell a house, find a place to live, find a job, navigate “single” life, potentially fall in and out of love, figure out my own finances, get depressed, drink to much, and oh, live my life as the world’s oldest twelve year old.

    So, that’s Steffany Bell who thought it was a hoot to make up stories about my son and post them anonymously.

    For context, here are the definitions of ““slander” and defamation.”

    Sen. Larry Craig’s Mugshot

    posted by on August 28 at 12:19 PM

    The Smoking Gun’s got it


    Burnt Man

    posted by on August 28 at 11:55 AM


    Burning Man got what it was asking for, four days early…

    One person is reportedly in custody following the early igniting of the Burning Man figure this morning at the annual arts festival in Black Rock City, Nevada.

    Black Rock City firefighters responded to calls from the event at 2:58 a.m. and took about 23 minutes to douse the blaze, according to the Reno Gazette-Journal. The fire damaged but did not destroy the figure, which is set to be burned on the last day of the festival, on Saturday, the newspaper’s Web site said.

    And this:

    Reports are coming in that the damages to the Burning Man sculpture are too extensive, therefore they are planning on building a new one within the next 72 hours which will be “officially” burned on Saturday.

    Burning the Man without permission: an insult to the artists who built the thing, or just an awesome prank?

    Thanks to tipper Urbanist.

    The Lunar Eclipse

    posted by on August 28 at 11:34 AM

    I tried. I went to bed, I set an alarm. I got up, took the tripod and the camera outside. I really wanted to take an honest, pretty picture of the eclipse. A moment with Nature. I set a nice long exposure on the camera…


    Um, WTF is that under the moon?

    Haggard Has “Overseers”

    posted by on August 28 at 11:24 AM


    Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m officially obsessed—obsessed all over again—with Ted Haggard. Like everyone else, I thought I’d overcome my addiction to the toothy 100% heterosexual cocksucker after he slunk off to Phoenix with the missus. My gratitude to Mike Jones for exposing Haggard—it was absolutely the right thing to do (buy Jones’ book)—would be eternal but not, I assumed, my obsession with Rev. Ted. I had moved on. To Bob Allen, to David Vitter, to Glenn Murphy Jr., to Tommy Tester… and then Ted asks his supporters to put him through school—an online university—by sending checks to him via a registered sex offender… and my obsession comes roaring back.

    Anyway, here’s the latest Haggard-related news report to catch my eye. As we’ve mentioned a few dozen times on Slog already, Haggard’s spiritual advisors are on their way to Phoenix. They want to ask Ted a few questions about how exactly he hooked up with this Paul Huberty, the twice-convicted sex offender that’s now distancing himself from Haggard. KVOA reports

    Overseers Will Meet With Haggard

    Church officials supervising fallen evangelical leader Ted Haggard plan to meet with him today in Phoenix because of an e-mail he sent soliciting donations for himself. Haggard told people they could send money to him or through an organization called Families with a Mission. That group has now been linked to a registered sex offender in Hawaii named Paul Huberty….

    The spokesman for New Life Church’s board of overseers says they’ll meet with Haggard today in Phoenix to discuss the e-mail. The Reverend Michael Ware says he hadn’t heard of Huberty or the organization before.

    He says Haggard sent the e-mail before the board of overseers could discuss whether he could work in the halfway house.

    Excuse me, but… Haggard has overseers? Wasn’t the position of “overseer” eliminated at the end of the Civil War? Why is Haggard putting up with this “overseer” bullshit? They must have some sort of financial hold over Haggard, I guess, some severance check Haggard won’t ever see if he doesn’t keep his overseers happy—and they’re clearly not happy with ol’ Ted right now.

    Still, I wonder how long it’ll be before Haggard—or his wife—buckles under the strain of this—what? This indentured servitude? This spiritual slavery? How long can Haggard function in this slave-like state, having to clear everything with his “overseers” back in Colorado Springs—everything from where he lives to where he works to where he instructs his “supporters” to send checks—before he snaps? How long before Ted decides to flee this bizarre plantation/purgatory? How long before Ted is back on meth and man ass?

    The Consolation of Flapjacks

    posted by on August 28 at 10:55 AM


    As readers are aware, I love the arts, so the night before last, I rounded up some friends for some deep, art-enhancing breaths and we headed down to one of my favorite Seattle arts offerings: Laser Zeppelin, at the Pacific Science Center’s Laser Dome.

    As the name suggests, Laser Zeppelin features the music of the monolithically amazing Led Zeppelin (in this case, Houses of the Holy) set to an awesome laser show. As the name suggests, the Laser Dome is where such shows take place—or so you’d think. Upon our arrival at the Laser Dome, we were informed that, due to technical difficulties, there would be no Laser Zep or laser-anything-else that night.

    I voted for sitting in the car, cranking up some Zep, and pressing our palms into our eye sockets until we saw stars, but other people wanted food, and we settled on Queen Anne’s Mecca Cafe.

    It was the best decision four white people have ever made. The sturdy goodness of the Mecca’s round-the-clock breakfast items is well-known, but have you ever had their pancakes? I got a short stack, and it held two of the most perfectly delicious pancakes I’ve ever had the pleasure to stuff in my face. No fruit, no powdered sugar (sorry for the midleading photo), just exquisitely griddled yum.

    If The Stranger bestowed a Genius Award for pancakes, the Mecca would win.

    In related news: I’m happy to see that all of the Stranger Reader Reviews for the Mecca treat it with the respect it deserves. Read ‘em all and write your own here. (And stay away from the Laser Dome until Aug. 30, when the technical difficulties are scheduled to be conquered.)

    The War

    posted by on August 28 at 10:52 AM

    I didn’t mean to almost wade through all those aggravating comments in Jonah/Josh’s Baird post, but I almost did nonetheless. And I’m going to bust a gut if I don’t say this.

    We will not win this war.

    We will not lose this war.

    Period. We can’t win or lose because the “enemy” switched midway through from Saddam and the Ba’ath Party to an amorphous new set of bad guys, composed of at least two groups with mutually incompatible aims. This is not a zero sum game. The United States accomplished one objective—removing Saddam Hussein—but it failed to imagine another, arguably more important objective: filling the power vacuum and establishing a workable state. So shut up, everyone, with your stupid reductive notion of wars that countries win or lose. Bush seemed determined to end that era for good when he declared war on the extragovernmental tactic of terrorism.

    I have no idea whether Baird is sincere or not, but I was against the invasion and I still think immediate or premature withdrawal is the most idiotic idea on the table. I’m completely sincere, and I don’t have any conservative constituents to woo. So it’s possible.

    Burning Bush

    posted by on August 28 at 10:33 AM

    In an effort to make George W. Bush’s visit to Bellevue yesterday a costly one for Congressman Dave Reichert, the lefty netroots pledged to raise $100,000 for Darcy Burner by the end of the Bush’s fundraiser. They did better than that, pulling in $121,775 for Burner.

    Report from Vancouver, Washington: Rep. Baird Gets Blasted

    posted by on August 28 at 10:22 AM

    Originally posted yesterday at 10pm.

    This report is being filed by Josh, who’s down in Vancouver. He couldn’t find WiFi in the trendy Uptown Village neighborhood. The Starbucks on the corner of Main was closed and the password at the friendly Ice Cream Renaissance didn’t work, although they let Josh hang out well after closing. He’ll provide a longer report tomorrow, but he phoned this in.

    Congressman Brian Baird (D-3 Vancouver, Washington) hosted a town hall tonight at Fort Vancouver High School. It was Baird’s first appearance in front of his constituents since reversing his position on the war. Although Baird’s been an adamant critic of the war—he voted against the war and the surge—he announced last week that he thinks the surge is working and he wants to give it time.

    He spoke in a high school auditorium that was packed with at least 500 people who were overwhelmingly vocal in their opposition to Baird’s new stance. There were also protesters outside calling for Baird to resign.

    He was hammered by Jon Soltz, the young, good looking, charismatic chairman and co-founder of political action committee Soltz is also an Iraq war veteran, having served in 2003. Speaking calmly and to raucous applause, he said Baird (who recently returned from a visit to Iraq) was fooled “by a dog and pony show” and is unfortunately “providing cover for President Bush.”

    Soltz addresses Rep. Baird at Fort Vancouver High School

    Afterwards, Soltz told me that his goal is to bring Baird back into the Democratic fold.

    Another speaker who brought down the house was Zanne Joi, a Vancouver activist with Code Pink Women for Peace. Joi called Baird “arrogant” for trying to dictate how Iraqis should govern themselves and said the war was only about “American oil profit.”

    A third speaker, who also spoke to tremendous applause, was Jan Lustig from Vancouver, whose main complaint was that Baird wasn’t representing his constituents, who, judging from this crowd, were against the war.

    I also talked to several people as they left the auditorium and asked them if they found Baird—who was there to explain his new position—to be persuasive. To a person, everyone shook their head “no way,” including Doris Holmes, active member of the 18th district Democrats, who said, “He lied. He’s toeing the Bush party line. I can’t believe he’s a Democrat.”

    Haggard & Huberty: You Know Things Are Bad When…

    posted by on August 28 at 10:05 AM

    …you get kicked out of a halfway house before you move in and twice-convicted sex offenders are distancing themselves from you.

    The Rev Ted Haggard’s recent pleas for cash and his plan to return to ministry work were doused by a pastor Monday, who said the former New Life Church leader would not work in a Phoenix halfway house.

    Compounding the former pastor’s troubles, the organization Haggard chose to handle tax-deductible contributions for his family is led by a twice-convicted sex offender.

    That man, too, distanced himself from Haggard on Monday.

    Letter of the Day

    posted by on August 28 at 10:05 AM

    (Though It Arrived Yesterday)

    Leaving the Bellevue Library shortly after 5pm today NE 10th St was blocked off for the Presidents departing motorcade. As is likely in any busy downtown area there were a number of pedestrians lining up on both sides of 10th waiting to cross, which the police would not allow until after the motorcade had passed.

    I had no serious problem with this; I understand that certain procedures must be followed to ensure the safety of the President. What upset me was that the driver of the last van in the motorcade was flipping off those he passed.

    To be as accurate as possible, he was holding his left arm up in the driver’s side window and giving the “bird” to any and all gathered along the side of the road (the vehicle had a great deal of what I am assuming was communications equipment on top of it). These were not the protesters directly outside the event the president was here for, rather these were children and parents, an elderly woman with her son, and many others coming out of a public library being treated very poorly by the presidents staff. Even if there had been protesters yelling and jeering the President and his staff that type of display should not be tolerated from anyone on the Presidents staff.

    I’m not seeking an apology for me, but I do think that the residents of Washington deserve better from our elected president and his staff. Then again expecting much at all from this administration other than disappointment seems rather pointless.

    A concerned citizen

    A Part, Not Apart

    posted by on August 28 at 9:30 AM

    If I were to pick a city for a weekend trip this fall, it would be San Francisco, where SFMOMA has big doses of single artists planned. There’s the traveling Jeff Wall retrospective, which was worth the 20-dollar entry fee I paid earlier this year just to stand in front of and mentally riff off of this at MoMA in New York:

    Picture for Women, 1979

    There’s also Douglas Gordon’s Pretty much every film and video work from about 1992 until now. To be seen on monitors, some with headphones, others run silently and all simultaneously. (should be a show easy to take in in an afternoon, don’t you think?), and in the vaunted dead-artist spot comes the seminal Joseph Cornell retrospective, Navigating the Imagination, in its only West Coast stop.

    And then there’s the big, first-ever American Olafur Eliasson survey, called Take Your Time, with works dating back to 1993 and two new major pieces. One of those is a kaleidoscopic tunnel that will envelop the museum’s death-defying internal steel truss bridge, and the other is the transformation of a hydrogen-powered BMW race car. The car will be coated in steel mesh, stainless steel, and ice—and displayed in a room-sized freezer. (Transformed cars are a theme this fall—Liz Cohen’s working on finishing up the car in Bodywork.) has a description of the Süddeutsche Zeitung’s visit to Eliasson’s Berlin studio, which is busy with preparations for the show. In an interview, Eliasson laid out his utopian anti-utopian philosophy more clearly than I’ve heard him do before (even in that New Yorker piece last November).

    “My observation is that the artistic avant-garde, with its visions, excluded itself from society,” said the artist. In contrast to the “non-places” of modernist utopian visions, Eliasson’s studio—which employs thirty people, including twelve architects—is more realistic. “My laboratory is not a satellite of society. It’s feasible; there’s a real economy and material that you can put your hands on.”

    Since Eliasson wants art to have an integrated function in society, his studio shies away from commercial fetishism. “So that art finds its place in the world today,” says Eliasson, “it must leave ideas of exclusivity and egoism behind—it must be inclusive and recognize causalities. That sounds incredibly holistic, but it’s not meant like that. My last book was called Your Commitment Has Consequences. That’s the way I want to operate my studio. It’s a part of our time.”

    The Morning News

    posted by on August 28 at 7:16 AM

    Game On: Gonzales resigns, congressional investigation continues.

    Probing: Justice Department and Army investigating widespread contract fraud and missing weapons.

    Another One Bites the Dust: In case you missed it, Idaho Senator pleads guilty to lewd conduct. In an airport bathroom.

    War on Cronyism:
    Edwards wants law requiring federal agency heads to be qualified for their jobs.

    Silencing the Critics: Russian police and security officers held for murder of journalist.

    Time to Find a New Team: Hasselbeck and Strong make Bush an honorary Seahawk.

    Don’t fret. Your hot dog recipe of the day is right here:

    Hot Dog Surprise # 1

    6 hot dogs
    1 10-ounce can cream of celery soup
    1 8-ounce pacakge of cream cheese, at room temperature
    36 Melba toast rounds or cocktail rye slices

    CHop the hot dogs until they are the consistency of coarse corn meal. Add the hot dogs and softened cream cheese to the condensed celery soup; mix thourougly. Place in the refrigerator 1 hour to firm up. Spread the mixture on the Melba rounds; place on a cooky (sic) sheet. Broil 6 inches from the heat until a delicate golden brown.

    From The New Hotdog Cookbook by Metja C. Roate


    Monday, August 27, 2007

    “Vatican launches world’s first airline for Catholic pilgrims”

    posted by on August 27 at 11:00 PM

    Isn’t that a great headline? That’s one of the headlines on In the News, on the Yahoo main page, right now. Unfortunately, when you click on it, the Reuters story has a different headline, the lackluster: “Vatican airline takes to the skies.”

    Anyway, if you care.

    A Blood Red Moon

    posted by on August 27 at 9:23 PM

    If you’re up in the pre-dawn hours tomorrow morning, look for the lunar eclipse about 45 degrees above the southern horizon. The Earth’s shadow (“the umbra”) will begin creeping across our view of the moon at 1:51 am. Between 2:52 and 4:22, our moon will be totally in shadow and glowing dull orange to blood red (“the totality”), and then the shadow will slink off again right at sunrise.

    How to Enjoy a Pennant Race

    posted by on August 27 at 7:57 PM

    The key is to prolong your pain by looking ahead and examining every possible nuance of the situation. You cannot just take the casual band-wagon-jumping fan’s easy path, and think, “Hey, if we sweep these goddamn Angels, we’re in first place by a game!” No: you must remember that if you get swept, you’re five games out. That would suck. And winning one or two while losing two or one isn’t so hot either, though it’s better than being swept, although not as good as sweeping.

    Got that?

    After this series, the M’s could be one game up, one out, three out, or five out. Barring rainouts–-which I’m told are unlikely here, given the roof and all—they cannot end up tied or an even number of games up or out. But maybe there’ll be an earthquake. Lots of possibilities…

    And that’s just the beginning. Being in contention this late in the season is rare, and you owe it to yourself to suck the marrow out of this situation.

    But this isn’t sweet marrow: it’s bitter. Being a sports fan is really about pain–since only one team’s fans are ever happy at the end of the season. So, you have to expand the realm of worries: What opponents do you have coming up, also-rans or front-runners? What does the schedule of the team you are chasing look like? How many of their games are at home v. on the road? What are their home and away records? How good are the teams they are playing? Is another team sneaking up on you while you focus on the team you’re chasing?

    This extension of other things to worry about is like picking at a scab, or trying to scratch under a cast. You gotta do it, even though it just makes things worse…

    Answers to some of the above questions after the jump…

    Continue reading "How to Enjoy a Pennant Race" »

    The Bestest News

    posted by on August 27 at 6:22 PM

    This is the Nike dress that sexy Sharapova will wear during the evening matches of the 2007 U.S. Open:
    450Sharapova.JPG The empress and the empire.

    Bill Nye Booed

    posted by on August 27 at 5:41 PM

    Seattle’s own Science Guy was booed for contradicting the bible—in Waco, Texas.

    Bill Nye, the harmless children’s edu-tainer known as “The Science Guy,” managed to offend a select group of adults in Waco, Texas at a presentation, when he suggested that the moon does not emit light, but instead reflects the light of the sun.

    As even most elementary-school graduates know, the moon reflects the light of the sun but produces no light of its own. But don’t tell that to the good people of Waco, who were “visibly angered by what some perceived as irreverence,” according to the Waco Tribune.

    Nye was in town to participate in McLennan Community College’s Distinguished Lecture Series. He gave two lectures on such unfunny and adult topics as global warming, Mars exploration, and energy consumption.

    But nothing got people as riled as when he brought up Genesis 1:16, which reads: “God made two great lights — the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars.”

    The lesser light, he pointed out, is not a light at all, but only a reflector.

    At this point, several people in the audience stormed out in fury. One woman yelled “We believe in God!” and left with three children, thus ensuring that people across America would read about the incident and conclude that Waco is as nutty as they’d always suspected.

    Via Newspeakblog.

    Haggard & Huberty: The Latest

    posted by on August 27 at 5:25 PM

    The Ted Haggard/Paul Huberty scandal has now hit the Colorado Springs Gazette, the hometown newspaper of the Christian right and Haggard’s New Life Church. The Gazette walks its readers through the you-heard-it-hear-first Huberty angle—the well-to-do Haggard asks his “supporters” to send him money via a convicted sex offender—but the Gazette has some new info.

    First, the Gazette seems to be the first news operation that’s gotten some sort of response from Huberty.


    In his Monday e-mail, Huberty declined to talk about his criminal past. “My past record from years ago is documented and has nothing to do with Pastor Haggard or with this non-profit organization that seeks to help people in need,” he wrote.

    Years ago? Huberty was convicted in Hawaii—the conviction that landed him that state’s sex offenders registry—way, way back in 2004. So, you know, ancient history. Move along, folks, nothing to see here!

    The Gazette also breaks the news reports that the “faith-based halfway house” in Phoenix where Haggard said he would be living with his wife and two of his children while he and the wife went back to school—the Dream Center—never agreed to let Haggards move in. Back to the Gazette:

    In an e-mail sent to the media and supporters last week, Haggard said he planned to work for the Dream Center, a faith-based halfway house in Phoenix…. Haggard wrote that he and his family would live at the center and that they needed financial support for the next two years as he and his wife finished earning college degrees. In spite of earning $338,000 since the beginning of 2006, he said, “we are looking for people who will help us monthly for two years.”

    That announcement came as a surprise to those in charge of the Dream Center, and Haggard will not be working or living there, said the Rev. Leo Godzich, associate pastor at Phoenix First Assembly of God.

    Man! The ministers overseeing Haggard’s spiritual restoration are going to have so much to discuss when they get to Phoenix tomorrow!

    How to Piss Off Liberal Protesters

    posted by on August 27 at 4:55 PM

    While our commenters debate what a liberal should wear to an anti-Bush protest, here’s a guy who clearly knew what an incendiary conservative should wear to (and bring to, and say at) an anti-Bush protest.

    Meet Russell Johnson, 21, of Seattle.


    This afternoon in Bellevue, he and his young friends were sending lefty protesters into fits.


    The sign says, “Stop Global Whining.” Here are his friends:



    These guys look like a parody of what liberals think conservatives really feel, but they’re not doing parody. Johnson, for one, is completely serious. He’s a student at Vanguard University in California, an Assemblies of God school where he’s getting a “Masters of Arts in Leadership Studies.”

    When the protesters told Johnson that Bush was a war criminal, he told them to “stop smoking medical marijuana.” As people confronted him with their “Impeach Bush” signs and slogans, he told me dismissively: “‘Impeach Bush’ has lost its glamor. It’s lost its pizazz.”

    In case you couldn’t guess: Russell is a huge fan of Bush (“Jesus Christ is my favorite philosopher, too,” he says), he’s a big supporter of Dave Reichert, and he’s a proud member of King County’s


    Sen. Craig: Undercover Officer “Misconstrued” My Actions

    posted by on August 27 at 4:17 PM

    Via TalkingPointsMemo

    “At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously.”

    What were those actions again, the ones the officer misconstrued?

    “I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again….

    “At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot…. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

    Uh… is there more than one way to construe playing footsie in an airport toilet with a complete stranger?

    Today on Line Out.

    posted by on August 27 at 4:15 PM

    Hyperventilating: Terry Miller on Nashville Train’s Abba Our Way.

    Spun: The Pharmacy is’s Band of the Day.

    Wistful: Radio No. 1 and Cloetta Paris

    Suave?: Ari Spool on Manu Chao.

    Kross?: What a Worst Outfit Ever Really Looks Like.

    Mysteries of Seattle: Portable Sanitation, Part Two

    posted by on August 27 at 4:05 PM

    Alright. Now which one of you did it? One things for sure, someone had to make it right on Sunday. What a job. On the Lord’s Day even…


    Spotted 8/26, at 2:17 a.m., near Denny and 11th

    Day 5: The Anti Dog Shit Campaign

    posted by on August 27 at 3:48 PM

    Last week a resident of Belltown sent an email to asking me to do something about the mountains of dog shit stinking up the sidewalks in his neighborhood. He suggested I come up with an innovative anti-dog shit campaign that would shame people into cleaning up after their pooches.

    I didn’t have to walk very far in Belltown before I found my first pile of shit (on Broad Street and 1st). I used a twig to slide the shit on to one of my posters, and left it there on the ground to shame Belltown’s dog owners.


    I found more dog poop on Wall Street and 1st next to a tree.


    But I only found about 5 piles of dog shit total after walking from Wall Street to Stewart Street (about 10 blocks). That averages out to 1 pile of dog shit for every two blocks. Is that excessive? I don’t know. Perhaps the streets had been cleaned recently? Regardless, the person that wrote spends more time in Belltown than I do, and if there’s a dog poop problem he would know better than I. So I continued with my anti-dog poop campaign.

    I wrote out some pleasant letters and slipped them under their windshield wipers to remind Belltown residents to clean up after their dogs.


    I placed flyers on all the cars I could because I didn’t want anyone to feel like they were soley responsible for Belltown’s dog shit problem. Touching other people’s cars felt vaguely criminal and my hands were trembling by the time I reached the end of the first block. I also hung flyers on light poles in Belltown….


    And I taped one to the snout of a pig on parade.


    I noticed some people walking dogs and followed them with my camera, hoping to document some bad behavior and stage an anti-poop intervention. One woman’s dog peed on every bush in the neighborhood but alas, her dog did not poop. Another woman looked like she was going to leave her dog’s poop on the ground but she picked it up with a plastic bag.

    As a matter of fact not a single dog walker let their dog’s poop on the street while I was observing. I’m not sure if this was because the dog walkers noticed that I wasn’t actually taking pictures of the Space Needle. Despite my conspicuous behavior no one stopped to talk to me except for a homeless man who scared the shit out of me when he stuck his head out from behind a pole I was flyering. He ended up lecturing me about Sudan and I nodded my head with a mixture of fear and respect.

    —Steven Blum
    Public Intern

    I, Anonymous: Racial Slurs and Psycho Athlete Impersonation Edition

    posted by on August 27 at 3:43 PM

    This was just emailed to I, Anonymous:

    You were walking down 3rd at Jackson this Monday afternoon, wearing a red hoodie, with a white and brown pitbull on a leash. You were screaming “I’M MICHAEL VICK, I’M MICHAEL VICK” at the top of your retarded lungs.

    A black guy at the bus stop said something to you and you IMMEDIATELY began calling him a nigger and telling him your dog was going to “rip his monkey face off”. The volume of your voice filled this downtown canyon like the Blue Angels wish they could.

    Like divine intervention an SPD cruiser pulled up to you and you kneeled down at his passenger window for a conversation.

    He pulled away, somehow satisfied, and you continued on your merry way screaming “I’M MICHAEL VICK” looking for your next victim.

    I watched all of this from the second floor of my business and I’m here to tell you something. That kind of desperate attention grabbing activity usually requires a sense of humor.

    Too bad all you have is hate and that tiny, tiny brain of yours.

    Thank you, Hot Tipper Anonymous.

    “Your letter received and promptly burned. I prefer not to have strangers prying into my mail.”

    posted by on August 27 at 3:10 PM

    That was Groucho Marx’s first response to a query about publishing his letters.

    Now there’s a new edition you can preview on Amazon. (And then, if you’re a cad like me, buy at Powell’s.)


    I went straight for the correspondence between Groucho and the poet, Anglophile, and anti-Semite T.S. Eliot.

    The pair had swapped correspondence and photos. T.S.’s letter are tight and square, Groucho’s funny: “Dear T.S.: Your photograph arrived in good shape… I had no idea you were so handsome. Why you have not been offered the lead in some sexy movies I can only attribute to the stupidity of the casting directors.

    Now it’s 1961, Mr. and Mrs. Marx are in London, and have been invited to dine with the Eliots. Groucho’s letter about the evening begins:

    The poet met us at the door with Mrs. Eliot, a good-looking, middle-aged blonde whose eyes seemed to fill with adoration every time she looked at her husband… Your correspondent arrived at the Eliots’ fully prepared for a literary evening. During the week I read Murder in the Cathedral twice; The Waste Land three times, and just in case of a conversational bottleneck, I brushed up on King Lear. Well, sir, cocktails were served and there was a momentary lull—the kind that is more or less inevitable when strangers meet for the first time. So, apropos of practically nothing (and “not with a bang but a whimper”) I tossed in a quotation from The Waste Land. That, I thought, will show him I’ve read a thing or two besides my press notices from vaudeville.

    Eliot smiled faintly—as though to say he was thoroughly familiar with his poems and didn’t need me to recite them. I took a whack at King Lear. I said the king was an incredibly foolish old man, which God knows he was; and that if he’d been my father I would have run away from home at the age of eight—instead of waiting until I was ten.

    That, too failed to bowl over the poet. He seemed more interested in discussing Animal Crackers and A Night at the Opera. He quoted a joke—one of mine—that I had long since forgotten. Now it was my turn to smile faintly. I was not going to let anyone—not even the British poet from St. Louis—spoil my Literary Evening…

    It goes on. It’s pretty great.

    I also found jpegs of a letter from Groucho to T.S. (1963—dinner mustn’t have been too bad), with hand emendations.

    See pages one, two, and three.

    (It’s great how much Groucho needles the Christian, academic, pseudo-fascist about sex. It’s hard for me to imagine what they actually liked about each other.)

    More on The Gentleman from Idablow

    posted by on August 27 at 3:07 PM

    Pam over at Americablog reminds us that Idaho Sen. Larry Craig (R-Tearoom) has gotten into trouble in public restrooms before. Craig also

    * Voted YES on constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. (Jun 2006) * Voted NO on adding sexual orientation to definition of hate crimes. (Jun 2002) * Voted NO on expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation. (Jun 2000) * Voted YES on prohibiting same-sex marriage. (Sep 1996) * Voted NO on prohibiting job discrimination by sexual orientation. (Sep 1996)

    Well, you don’t get a 100% rating from the Christian Coalition by amassing a pro-gay voting record. You do, however, earn a 0% rating from the Human Rights Campaign.

    Owen Wilson Practically Dead, Begs for “Peace, Please!”

    posted by on August 27 at 2:34 PM

    Late last night, whist you and I dreamed of the no fucking Simpson’s (God damn you, “Teen Choice Awards!”) dark and terrible things were going down in the life and in the stomach of one certain Owen Wilson.

    Sources at the source report that at approximately 12:15PM, Mr. Wilson and that strange nose of his were madly rushed to an emergency room for a frantic stomach pumping, as the poor guy seemed to have downed several fist and/or bucketfuls of an unspecified toxic substance (Klonipin? Glue? The sperm of Ryan Seacrest? Speculation is pointless), in a confusing and apparent attempt to end his tragic Owen Wilson-ish life.

    The police, who just can’t keep their mouths shut, said,

    “Officers from the Santa Monica Police Department responded to a medical assistance call from the Santa Monica Fire Department at the 900 block of 23rd Street. The person was transported to a local hospital where they are being treated.”

    “The person” was, of course, Owen Wilson, and besides telling us where he lives almost (I’ll be climbing through the window with my designs on the underwear drawer any minute), it tells us almost nothing else. And neither does Owen, who has apparently recuperated enough already at some mysterious facility for the rich and possibly suicidal to release this vague and detail-free “statement”:

    “I respectfully ask that the media allow me to receive care and heal in private during this difficult time.”

    Good luck there, you big drama queen.*

    Kate Hudson was busy French-kissing the hell out of some dork in public, and was not available for comment. But of course it’s all her fault.


    *Also, suicide is a bad thing.

    The Gentleman from Idablow

    posted by on August 27 at 2:32 PM


    Atrios is quoting from Roll Call, which I can’t get to load… he he… load

    Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

    Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8.

    A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding”

    Hm… I’ve dragged my ass through that airport about a hundred thousand times—hell, I’m a regular at one of the bars (hey, Mindy!)—and I’ve never been arrested after a he said/he said misunderstanding in a toilet. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten into a conversation in a toilet in Minneapolis—or anywhere else—that could possibly be misconstrued by anyone, much less an undercover officer. Because I don’t talk to strange men in toilets. Because I’m not a fucked-up, closeted, conflicted Republican pervert.

    I also don’t have a 100% rating from the Christian Coalition, like Sen. Craig does.

    Here’s a little more from Roll Call about how that “misunderstanding” went down…

    According to the incident report, Sgt. Dave Karsnia was working as a plainclothes officer on June 11 investigating civilian complaints regarding sexual activity in the men’s public restroom in which Craig was arrested

    Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity.
    Karsnia entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”

    The man, who lingered in front of the stall for two minutes, was later identified as Craig.

    “I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes,” the report states.

    Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door….

    “At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

    Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could … see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

    Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.
    “With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. … Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

    Do the good people of Idaho know that one of their two U.S. senators is currently on probation? For cruising restrooms in liberal cities? My God, he could have accidentally blown a liberal Democrat!

    It seems to me that with this revelation about Craig—he pleaded guilty, he’s on freakin’ probation—that anyone who votes against gay rights measures, or opposes them, or rants and raves in public about the lavender menace, and gets a high score from the right-wing Christian bigots, should be presumed to be a toilet-cruising, knob-gobbling, deeply-closeted FAGGOT until proven otherwise.

    KUOW Update

    posted by on August 27 at 2:24 PM

    While KUOW program director Jeff Hansen was on vacation last week, program staff held a series of staff meetings to discuss Ken Vincent’s recent resignation and the changes at the station, which include an attempt to streamline and depersonalize the on-air style.

    Hansen was the main reason for Vincent’s abrupt departure.

    Hansen is still on vacation, but came in today for a staff meeting. At the meeting, staffers presented him with a bullet-point list of issues related to the changes and related to Hansen’s management style: “What is the rationale for the changes?” “Why isn’t Hansen being be more collaborative?”

    Hansen didn’t have time to respond to the questions, but he has the list.

    Photos from the Protest in Bellevue

    posted by on August 27 at 1:55 PM

    The Bush-Reichert fund raiser hasn’t started yet, but it’s already crowded at the intersection of Bellevue Way NE and NE 8th St, in front of the Bellevue Square Mall and near the Bellevue Hyatt, where the president will we be arriving soon.

    It’s a funny scene, all this political agitation in the mallified streets of Bellevue—Hummers driving by, suburban shoppers scurrying past, and in the protest zone, some very un-Bellevue language. A few images:







    And the Reichert supporters…



    More Haggard & Huberty

    posted by on August 27 at 1:54 PM

    From Slate

    What the hell sort of charity is Families With a Mission? According to online records for the Colorado secretary of state, an organization bearing that name and the same address supplied below by Haggard was dissolved voluntarily in February of this year. No permanent Web link to the record for Families With a Mission is available from the secretary of state’s Web site, but you can look it up here; click on “business center.” You can also find it reprinted here on the Web site for the Stranger, a Seattle-based alternative newspaper, whose editor, Dan Savage, broke the story with help from a Stranger reader named David Coffman.

    Wait, there’s more. Savage and Coffman verified that the name and address of the man identified by Colorado’s secretary of state as “registered agent” for Families With a Mission match the name and address of a man named Paul Huberty, who is listed online as … a sex offender!

    Ted Haggard & Paul Huberty

    posted by on August 27 at 1:50 PM

    Dave Coffman, Slog reader and muckraker extraordinaire, gets full credit for this headline in today’s Rocky Mountain News, a big-league, mainstream daily in Denver:

    Haggard Fund Drive Points to Molester

    Let’s take a moment to savor that. Hmm. Haggard fund drive points to molester… delicious. Could it get any better? I mean, surely nothing in the story itself could top that headline, right? Psych! It gets better

    Disgraced minister Ted Haggard is asking that donations to support him and his family be sent to a Monument group run by a twice-convicted sex offender. Haggard, who has moved with his family to Phoenix, could not be reached for comment today.

    The head of a four-member panel of ministers overseeing the fallen preacher’s spiritual restoration said he will fly to Arizona Tuesday to meet with Haggard for a face-to-face explanation.

    So Coffman got Haggard in trouble with his “overseers”—the same guys that declared Rev. Ted 100% heterosexual. Nice work, Dave!

    And the Rocky Mountain News shared every dirty detail with its readers—and gave them a more salacious spin than this “alternative” paper did:

    On Friday, a Seattle alternative newspaper, The Stranger, reported online that Families with a Mission was registered by Paul Gerard Huberty as a nonprofit corporation with the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. The group’s corporation was voluntarily dissolved in February.

    Huberty, who registered Families with a Mission in Hawaii in 2001, was convicted of attempted sexual assault there in January 2004 and sentenced to 12 months in jail with six months suspended.

    He also received five years’ probation and is registered in Hawaii as sex offender who has committed crimes against a minor.

    The Hawaiian state sex offender registry lists Huberty’s Monument home address—which is also the mailing address for Families with a Mission. There is no indication that Huberty has registered as a sex offender in Colorado, as required under state law.

    Calls to Huberty’s home—where the voice mail has a man named “Paul” saying to leave a message and “God bless you”—were not returned today.

    His Hawaiian probation requires him to undergo lie-detector testing and other exams to see if he is sexually aroused by deviant material, according to the Hawaii state court database.

    He is ordered to stay off the grounds of Kona Christian Academy, Makia Lani High School and the University of Nations, Kona campus. He was also barred from being a foster parent or guardian of a minor.

    While serving with the U.S. Army in Germany in 1996, then-Lt. Col. Paul G. Huberty was convicted of sodomy, indecent acts, and adultery involving a 17-year girl who accompanied Huberty to Europe as his “legal ward,” according to federal court records. Huberty was a married father of three at the time.

    In the same trial, the 18-year Army veteran was also convicted of “dishonorably fondling his genitals” during an incident involving two Dutch women at a public swimming pool in the Netherlands.

    My 5 Favorite Dirty Words Or Phrases, In No Particular Order

    posted by on August 27 at 1:21 PM

    •Cum Dumpster
    •Power Bottom

    Greece Today

    posted by on August 27 at 1:17 PM

    A recent source of concern has been my failure to make emotional and mental sense of the recent fires destroying great chunks of modern Greece.
    My confusion is caused by the fact that my knowledge of that part of world ends in 338 BC, the year Athens falls to the military power of Alexander’s father, Philip. For those of us whose heads have been filled with the history of ancient Greece (between 900 BC and 300 BC), this new catastrophe is so strange. Has it anything to do with the events leading up to Peloponnesian War? The consequences of Socrates’ trial? The power of the Athenian navy? The glory of Persian archery? Aeschylus’ odd death? The importance of Solon’s reforms? If not, then what is it about? The fact that I cannot make the connections means I was taught a bad form of history. Why? Because a history that fails to make sense of the present is a useless form of history.

    You Can’t Say that Bellevue Doesn’t Love You Today, Mr. President—Look, We Brought Puppets!

    posted by on August 27 at 11:25 AM

    According to the Washington For Impeachment blog (via Seattlest), protesters are planning to “line the streets” of downtown Bellevue during Bush’s visit.

    Let’s make it the mother of all Protest Bush events. Bring your outrage, signs, puppets, theatrics, noisemakers and friends.

    Yes, yes: bring your puppets. Because we can’t have a protest without puppets. Republicans hate puppets. They make ‘em so mad. Not that George W. Bush is going to see any of those puppets. But still. Bring your puppets.

    Sharkansky: Shitty Tipper, Vindictive Jerk

    posted by on August 27 at 11:17 AM


    Last week, the friend of a waitress at the Fremont Classic Pizzeria posted an unflattering account of her experience serving right-wing blogger Stefan Sharkansky, his wife Irene, and their five-year-old kid on his personal blog, noting that not only did they let their child run around unsupervised, they tipped a pathetic 10 percent. Sharkansky—clearly a man who spends a lot of time Googling himself—could have let the blog post remain obscure. Instead, according to Blatherwatch, Sharkansky and his wife Irene

    did [opposition] research, searched public records, got everything they could on her, like the trouble her kid got into; some profane old online rantings about boyfriends and husbands past, and posted everything on Sound Politics [a blog with a huge readership]. They also found out she worked a 2nd job temping at Amazon.

    That wasn’t enough for Sharkansky, though. He sent a relative to the restaurant, according to Blatherwatch, and the single mother of two, who had worked at the restaurant for more than a year, chose to resign rather than bring bad publicity to the restaurant.

    Then—despite the fact that the blogger had already taken down the offending post—Sharkansky demanded a retraction. Finally—after the waitress complied, with a groveling apology (“My place is to smile and serve food… Please, please forgive me”) and an official retraction (“I am so sorry for any pain or inconvenience I caused”) Sharkansky took the hit piece down. The damage, of course, was already done.

    See also here and here.

    GOP Plot to Steal the White House

    posted by on August 27 at 11:11 AM

    Is everyone following the right-wing scheme to steal the White House in 2008?

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on August 27 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Killer’s Kiss’ at SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall

    Most people with even a passing interest in film have seen Stanley Kubrick’s masterpieces—A Clockwork Orange, Dr. Strangelove, etc. But this curiosity, released in 1955, is a chance to see the director’s work before his famed iciness took hold. The simple story—fighter meets taxi dancer, taxi dancer’s boss ain’t happy about it—is an excuse to muck around in the grime of ’50s Manhattan. Any movie that climaxes with a surreal fight in a mannequin factory is worthy of attention. (SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St, 324-9996. 7:15 and 9 pm, $10.)



    Hall & Oates at McCaw Hall

    They know what the crowd wants. They want the hits, and they want them to sound exactly the way they sounded during the Reagan administration. Hearing them again—“Rich Girl,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),” etc., etc.—gives you the same basic happiness that a toddler experiences by sliding a triangle-shaped block into a triangle-shaped hole. To be at a Hall & Oates concert is to watch this happen to thousands of people at once. (McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 7:30 pm, $39.50–$69.50, all ages.)


    Ted Haggard’s Good Buddy

    posted by on August 27 at 10:57 AM

    In case you missed the post late on Friday afternoon: the charity Ted Haggard asked his supporters to send checks to—a charity that would send 90% of the money on to Ted, so that he could feed his starvin’ fambly—“voluntarily dissolved” earlier this year.

    And it was run/is run by a registered sex offender. Read all about it here. Slog reader Dave Coffman did the sleuthing. It flew all over the blog-o-sphere this weekend and now the story is being picked up by mainstream media outlets.

    Mysteries of Seattle: Portable Sanitation Edition

    posted by on August 27 at 10:55 AM


    They baffled and entranced me upon my arrival in Seattle in 1991, and continue to do so to this day: Honey Buckets, the Northwest’s #1 provider of portable sanitation, whose portable sanitation units are called, upsettingly and inexplicably, Honey Buckets.

    The mystery of the Honey Bucket is reinvigorated each time I have out-of-town visitors, who invariably can’t believe their eyes. Among the evergreen exclamations: “I thought you were kidding!”; “That’s the actual name?”; “Holy shit!”

    The great unanswered questions roiling under every exclamation: Who thought naming a line of portable toilets ‘Honey Buckets’ was a good idea, and why? After ‘Honey Bucket,’ what were the runner-up name choices? And what part of human waste is even vaguely reminiscent of honey?

    Imaginary answers to these imaginary questions aren’t pretty. My best guess at the origin of the name is horrible, positing humans as “Pooh Bears” who are eternally attracted to the “Honey Bucket.” My best guess for the rejected runner-up name is “Stink Office.” I have no guesses about the human waste/honey connection.

    One can only imagine that someone considered “Honey Bucket” a pleasant euphemism for “plastic crap shack.” But the whole point of euphemism is to diminish unpleasantness (i.e. “passed away” for “dropped dead”) and the Honey Bucket “euphemism” only serves to rub our faces in the sticky-sweet brownness of it all.

    No matter what kind of unpleasantness occurs along the way, the whole “explaining Honey Buckets to out-of-town visitors” experience always ends in amazement, when I reveal that Honey Bucket has a competitor in the local waste-disposal business, and this competitor has an even more upsetting name. I’m not kidding.

    Drunk (Fifth in a Series)

    posted by on August 27 at 10:55 AM

    The water fountain outside by the basketball courts at B.F. Day elementary in Fremont.

    I’m not going to do the whole grading system on this one. (Monday is news deadline day, and I’m slammed.) Quickly: the water was warm; the stream was lackluster; taste was like blood; there was no hum; the make was a Haws; it was pretty good looking—big green stand with an unprecedented roomy basin. But the drain was clogged with a gross clump of dirt. Score 2.

    The whole Drunk series is here.

    O They Will Know We Are Christians By…

    posted by on August 27 at 10:50 AM

    …our church deacon’s ability to rip open other men’s scrotal sacks.

    Aggravated assault charges have been filed against a church deacon and University of Oklahoma Sooners fan after officials say he grabbed a University of Texas fan between the legs during a scuffle in an Oklahoma bar.

    [The police report described what happened to the victim, including graphic details about his injuries that included a torn scrotal sack with partially exposed testicles. Beckett’s attorney, Billy Bock, said his client’s actions were in self-defense…. Bock adds that his client isn’t a hardened criminal, but is a church deacon….

    Via Drudge.

    This Headline Oppresses Fat People

    posted by on August 27 at 10:41 AM

    From the PI:

    “Obesity Rates Climb in Most States”

    Predator II

    posted by on August 27 at 10:36 AM

    Looks like we better start keeping our ponies indoors too.

    Pierce County Animal Control hopes to get to the bottom of a vicious pit bull attack involving a pony.

    The attacked happened at around one o’clock Saturday morning near the 39-hundred block of Gay Street East in Tacoma. Some nearby neighbors say they heard noises and went outside in time to see two pit bulls hanging off of a shetland pony. The two men clubbed the dogs with pool cues while a woman went for help.


    posted by on August 27 at 10:20 AM

    “Missing Cat” signs have been going up all over my neighborhood—and then about two weeks ago someone posted a sign warning cat owners that coyotes were on the loose. And coyotes, it seems, have a taste for house cats. “Keep your cats indoors at night!” the new signs warned.

    Well, someone on my block didn’t heed that warning. Last Thursday the rear end of a neighbor’s cat was discovered in front of one house; the cat’s head was discovered on across the street. Most of the middle of the cat was missing and presumed eaten. By coyotes. Who have a taste for house cats. Particularly de-clawed cats that can’t really defend themselves.

    So, like, I guess we better keep your cats indoors.

    Finding that cat smeared all over the street was a sad, spooky, gory discovery—and, of course, a thoroughly natural one. Cats—and their owners—are used to cats sitting at the top of the urban food chain, the top predator in city neighborhoods. But that’s changing, it seems, and that’s good news for birds. House cats that are allowed to roam free kill hundreds of millions of birds every year. Folks that give a shit about birds have been asking cat owners to keep their pets indoors for years, to little effect. An assist from coyotes may finally do the trick.

    What’s a Visit From Bush Worth? For Darcy Burner:$75,000 and Counting

    posted by on August 27 at 10:00 AM

    An interesting story was posted on The Politico on Friday. It’s about how the conservative “Rightroots” are struggling to catch up to the liberal “Netroots” in terms of fund raising.

    Here in Washington, we’re currently watching a good example of why the right is trying to match the left in its ability to generate internet cash. Starting on Friday, liberal bloggers here and across the country began promoting a fund-raiser for eastside Democrat Darcy Burner that is tied to today’s visit to Bellevue by President Bush.

    Bush will be in Bellevue to raise money for the man Burner wants to challenge in the general election next fall, eastside Republican Congressman Dave Reichert. It’s the first of many stops like this that Bush plans to make in an effort to help Republicans in Congress hold onto their seats, and the national netroots wants to make an example of this visit. They want to show that the cost to Republicans of accepting a Bush visit will be a large fund-raising bump for their opponents.

    They’re on their way to doing that. With just a few hours left before Bush speaks at the Reichert fund raiser in Bellevue, Burner has already raised over $75,000 in online donations since Friday, when the netroots appeal began. If that pace keeps up, it seems likely that Burner will hit her $100,000 goal for the Bush visit—a nice, big, round sum that probably won’t equal the amount that Bush will raise for Reichert today, but will certainly show that there’s a significant cost to Republicans for accepting a Bush visit (and a big benefit to Democrats when they do).

    It will also show (again) how sophisticated the liberal netroots have become at raising money, channeling dollars from across the country into targeted races of their choosing, and changing the political reality for Republicans and Democrats.

    Vick Finds Jeebus

    posted by on August 27 at 9:31 AM

    How come no one ever finds Jesus before they get caught doing something criminal?

    Michael Vick, speaking to the media in Richmond, says he has found Jesus and turned his life over to God. The former NFL superstar said that he accepted his role in a dogfighting ring. “I will redeem myself” said Vick, “I have to.”

    Why is this I’ve-found-Jesus detail trotted out, uncritically, in news reports? If a close reading of the news tells us anything—and I’m hoping that news reporters read the news closely—it’s that people who’ve made a big public fuss about “finding Jesus” are no less likely to commit crimes than people who are incapable of locating this Jesus person.

    The Artist as Writer/Airport Choreographer

    posted by on August 27 at 9:30 AM

    Alex Schweder, this year’s winner of the Genius Award in visual art, is a gifted thinker. He doesn’t have a blog all his own, but he writes regularly on MSN’s Open for design (a blog run by Nate Lippens and Peter Gaucys).

    Recently he went on a ride through desire—is it driven by a positive force or by lack? how does it dissolve boundaries between thought and object?

    About a month ago, he wrote a nice little piece about airports, which has me thinking, since I’ll be flying to Europe Friday (I won’t be on Slog) to do the the “Grand Tour” of Documenta, the Muenster Sculpture Project, and the Venice Biennale.

    Here’s the nugget:

    Airports have conflated themselves with malls and art museums to pacify the boredom of their visitors. For the most part, this has worked. As long as the duration any individual spends in this places of passage is only a few hours their needs can be met.

    Things break down, though, after a few hours. It seems that at least once a year there is a system failure due to weather or terror that makes our experience of airports last too long and grow stale. Passengers in waiting experience the spaces for hours. After eating what they can, looking through items for purchase, and viewed the publicly funded works of art, they get restless and frustrated. In the end these places that facilitate flow fail at stasis.

    With hope of eliminating this frustration, I suggest rethinking the art within these walls. Currently seen as entertainment, these brightly colored works often rub through too many committees and [lose] any edge they might have had. If art could be rethought as action rather than object, stranded passengers would receive instructions for reoccupation of the space they are stuck in that might change both their current malaise and perception of how buildings work.

    Imagine what would happen to air travel if Alex Schweder designed airports, or even just the art in them. Have you been to the convention center bathrooms in Tacoma?


    Another One Bites The Dust

    posted by on August 27 at 8:08 AM

    US attorney general Gonzales is out of here.

    The Morning News

    posted by on August 27 at 7:00 AM

    So Selfish: John Edwards pushing anti-cancer agenda.

    Greece is Burning:
    Fires approaching ancient Olympics site.

    Losing the War on Terror Drugs: Afghanistan’s poppy population soars.

    Winning the War on Trans-Fats:
    Dunkin’ Donuts gives up the good fight.

    Migrating West: Bird Flu found at German poultry farm.

    Science Makes Bacon Cheeseburgers Safe Again: Stem cells successfully regrow rat heart muscles.

    Dog Day in Court: Vick to plead guilty today.

    Huh? MTV picks a poet laureate. No, really.

    Now, here’s a delicious recipe from Mettja C. Roate’s The New HOTDOG Cookbook, courtesy of Dan Savage and the year 1968.

    Hot Dog Rib Liners

    10 hot dogs
    2 cups chopped, roasted, lean pork
    2/3 cup grated sharp American cheese
    1/4 cup grated onion
    1/3 cup mayonnaise
    12 hamburger buns, halved

    Chop the hot dogs until they are the consistency of coarse corn meal. Add the chopped, roast pork, cheese and grated onion. Add the mayonnaise and mix all thoroughly.

    Scoop out a portion of the dough from the top half of the hamburger buns, leaving about a 1/2-inch wall. Fill this cavity with a portion of the hot dog mixture. Cover with the bottom half. Wrap each bun in aluminum foil.

    Place the foil-wrapped sandwiches in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve piping hot.


    Sunday, August 26, 2007

    Penny Arcade Expo: Sunday Coverage

    posted by on August 26 at 7:07 PM

    6:00 p.m.:: How does Seattle’s biggest video gaming event of the year come to a proper, geek-crazy close? Two words: Halo 3.

    The annual event’s Omegathon is a gaming tourney, picked entirely by random draw, that closes with a surprise game for the championship. Previous years have used ancient classics like Tetris and Pong for the closing surprise, but seeing how huge this year’s Expo turned out, the hottest unreleased game of 2007—and a release from our well-known Redmond overlords—makes sense for at the curtain call.

    Other gaming sites will surely gush over the Halo 3 features debuted in this grand championship match—not to mention the crowd-pleasing flamethrower—but you guys could care less about gravity hammers and detachable laser turrets, right?

    I came to PAX with questions about the industry. When I walked in, I was concerned about the perception of gamers and the marketing choices of game companies, both of which pigeonhole an aging industry as an immature domain. The reputation problem didn’t necessarily go away when I walked into the convention center, but it was easy to lose track of that perspective when I had so much fun nerding out.

    I’d guess that most Slog readers’ game experiences are solitary, from Minesweeper to quick Flash games on the Web to perhaps World of Warcraft (which, while multiplayer, is still usually done alone at the house). Certainly, my recent gaming has been that way. But the thing I kept seeing at PAX was the common ground that games offered total strangers, not to mention families—father-son gamer duos and the like. If every non-gamer did what I did this weekend—walked into random PAX rooms, watched folks play an unknown game, received some instructions and joined in—they’d drop the kiddie stance, too. Public, social gaming is a far better solution to the reputation problem than any government lobby, advertising campaign or impassioned blog plea.

    Think I’m wrong? Come over, grab a controller and see for yourself. Or find me at PAX’08.

    3:30 p.m.: Video of a Q&A with Wil Wheaton will come when I’m able to upload to YouTube. Until then, I’m compelled to point out that the ex-Star Trek actor and well-known geek patriarch had a nicely valid point about some of the Slog forum posters’ lust for nerdy photos: “You know, parallels can be drawn between gamers and sports fans. When you see guys at Lambeau Field in diaper and body paint, you think, that’s an enthusiast. Yet when some guy goes out dressed as Mario, they say, ‘He’s a freak.’ But he’s not. He just really, really loves it.”

    1:50 p.m.: GamerDad, your work to redeem gamers’ reputations has taken ten steps back. Overheard in the men’s bathroom at PAX:

    Continue reading "Penny Arcade Expo: Sunday Coverage" »

    Ladies and Whatever, Miss South Carolina!

    posted by on August 26 at 6:55 PM

    So, Miss South Carolina! What DO you think about the tragic state of American education, and what should be done about it?

    Well. That certainly clears THAT up.

    (Thanks, Blaire! I think…)

    Year of the Dog

    posted by on August 26 at 4:28 PM

    Say it ain’t so!

    Deputies, acting on a tip of animal cruelty, [raided the Phoenix home of rapper DMX] and carried out 12 pit bulls in need of immediate medical care, investigators said.
    They said they also found the bodies of three dogs buried in the back yard of the Cave Creek property.
    DMX into dog fighting? Two things: If it wasn’t for Vick, the possibility would have never crossed the minds of his neighbors. Then again, one of the big reasons why pit bulls are so popular in hoods all across America is DMX. The man loves violent dogs so much that he doesn’t so much rap than bark. As for the French philosopher Deleuze, he called barking “the very stupidest cry, the shame of the animal kingdom.”

    Bollywood Poacher

    posted by on August 26 at 1:10 PM

    The reason why the Bollywood star Salman Khan is going to jail for five years?
    Not for this:

    [A] 2002 hit-and-run case. One person was killed and three others injured when Khan allegedly drove into a group of homeless people sleeping on a pavement.

    But for this:
    Bollywood star Salman Khan has been placed under police arrest in India after a Rajasthan court upheld a prison sentence passed upon him for poaching. Khan had asked the court to overturn a five-year jail term, issued in 2006 for hunting a protected gazelle in 1998.
    Wherever you go, the rules of the power game are the same.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on August 26 at 11:00 AM


    ‘…pass time’ at Crawl Space Gallery

    Last Call is precarious: A stool, frozen mid-topple, with a pack of cigarettes attached to its side and a perfectly level bottle of beer balancing on top. Bloom 2 is a kinetic pun: A blossom of unwinding metal ribbon, powered by an antiquey motor—a spring flower. They are by sculptors Sean M. Johnson and Kirk Lang, both UW MFA grads. (Crawl Space Gallery, 504 E Denny Way, 201-2441. Noon–5 pm, free.)