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Archives for 09/09/2007 - 09/15/2007

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Mob Scenester

posted by on September 15 at 8:22 PM


We just got back from the Bridge Motel, the art installation that everyone is talking about.

Our visit was brief—the event is a huge success, the place is absolutely packed, congrats to dk pan for putting this together. But it was too successful—and too crowded—for most folks to appreciate the art, installations, and performances. I was too nervous to wait forever on crumbling staircases and balconies that were not designed to support the weight of hundreds of people. So I wasn’t able to crowd into any of the Bridge Motel’s rooms and check out works by Implied Violence, Jack Daws, Davida Ingram, Laura Corsiglia, Sarah Kavage, and others. I’m sure folks born too late to remember the collapse of a pair of walkways at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1981—I was 15 at the time—weren’t bothered, got in eventually, and enjoyed the art. But the crush of people, the wait, and my inability to shut off the voice in my head that’s constantly screaming “You’re going die!” prevented me from enjoying much about Motel #1 save the festive scene in the parking lot.

Maybe I’m an increasingly bourgeois fuckstick, but standing around in the parking lot I could only think, “Gee, maybe they should have sold or given away tickets that admitted workable numbers of people at specific times?” That way more people could’ve gotten in and, you know, actually been able to view the work. Oh well, maybe next time.

And to the dopes that refused to clear off the second-floor balcony after they were done touring the rooms (yeah you guys, up there enjoying the view of downtown), which made it nearly impossible for other people to get in: What the fuck?

The Stranger News Hour. Today 710 KIRO

posted by on September 15 at 2:33 PM

I’ll be on David Goldstein’s radio show today at 7pm for the weekly installment of The Stranger News Hour.

I want to spend the whole hour talking about the SPD’s ignominious sting (a fancy word I kept out of the print story, but have been gravitating back to all week to describe the city’s tacky and defining freak out crack down).

Goldy gets a little bored with SPD news, so expect us to move on to Dino Rossi’s deceptive non-profit, Forward Washington.

We’ll also talk about the Stranger’s first ever: Political Genius awards.

“Christ is over here, Senator Obama is over there.”

posted by on September 15 at 11:30 AM

Alan Keyes—batshitcrazy Alan Keyes—has announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination. I suppose a Keyes v. Obama rematch is too much to hope for. The last one didn’t go so well for Alan.

Keyes is a raving homophobe—and Jesus rewarded him with a queer daughter, Maya, with the nerve to come out. (Here’s what I had to say about Maya back in 2005.) Keyes disowned his daughter and threw out of the house. But Maya’s picture is still up on Keyes’ website…


That’s her on the left there, with her father’s hand on her shoulder.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 15 at 11:00 AM


Motel #1 at Bridge Motel

The Bridge Motel on Aurora is seedy and haunted, with syringes in the sheets, a stream of suspicious characters, and a history of murder. It’s being torn down this month, the residents have moved out, but, for one night, it will become a playground for artists like Paul Rucker, PDL, Jack Daws, Implied Violence, dk pan, and over a dozen more. There will be food, installations, performances, music, and motel furniture in the parking lot, which will become the lounge. It’s going to be weird and great. (Bridge Motel, 3650 Bridge Way N,, 5 pm–midnight, free.)


Friday, September 14, 2007

Pool Party

posted by on September 14 at 5:33 PM


Christine Larsen, a Capitol Hill resident and mother of 3, says she’s tired of ferrying her kids to outdoor pools in West Seattle and Magnolia during the summer months. Earlier this year, Larsen founded Project Splash—a “group of neighbors who are tired of driving across town”—to lobby the city for an outdoor pool east of I-5.

Seattle already has 3 indoor pools east of I-5—Meadowbrook, Medgar Evers, and Rainier Beach—but Larsen says while indoor pools are “great for laps and senior aerobics,” a new outdoor pool would act as a community gathering place.

Outdoor pools might seem like an unwise investment for a city that has miserable weather 9 months a year. However, according to Seattle Park’s Aquatics Director, Kathy Whitman, Magnolia’s Pop Mounger pays for itself.

Mounger gets more than 80,000 visitors between May and September, which pays for almost all of the pool’s $400,000 annual budget. By contrast, an indoor pool costs about $600,000 to operate year round, about $300,000 of that is subsidized.

With Seattle’s Parks Department already strapped for cash, and with no new levies on the horizon, I asked Larsen where she expects to get the money to fund such a major project. Larsen says she’s looking for private contributions or county and state funds. According to Parks’ Whitman, Pop Mounger pool was financed through community contributions. “There was no Parks Department money that went into it,” Whitman says. Larsen estimates a new pool would cost between 5 and 8 million dollars.No site has been identified for the pool.

Project Splash will be holding a meeting at the Miller Community Center on October 15th at 7pm and at Meadowbrook Community Center on October 23rd at 7:15.

Tired of Footing the Bill for Nickels’s Campaign Stunts?

posted by on September 14 at 5:16 PM

“Operation Sobering Thought” cost $52,000 in police time; took up 900 police hours; and involved 40 officers.

This is a lot of money. But it raises a question for people like me who argue that we don’t need a license because we already (obviously) have laws on the books to bust wayward clubs.

The question is: Do I want us to spend that kind of dough enforcing those laws when the SPD has other pressing needs? My answer is no.

Because I don’t think we need to. The reason “Operation Sobering Thought” was so expensive is because it was a show. A show for political purposes.

But you don’t need to put on a $52,000 show to stop liquor violations. As the SPD acknowledged to me when I asked why they didn’t arrest the people on the spot instead of waiting three weeks: “That would have tipped our hand.”

In other words, the bad behavior would have stopped. Indeed, they didn’t need to continue with such an elaborate operation. They could have arrested the offender right there, thwarted the behavior and called it a day.

Meanwhile, the liquor control board can fine clubs and revoke licenses. So, I don’t think the city has to spend a ton of money enforcing the rules anyway.

So, I’ll throw the question back at the gung-ho Mayor’s office: If club security is such a burning issue for you, are you willing to prioritize the money that way? How are you going to enforce a special city license? With expensive stings? Or are you just going to do low-profile enforcement like the liquor board already does? If so, what’s the point of the special license?

And if you’re not willing to spend that kind of money, then shut up about the license.


posted by on September 14 at 5:02 PM

The man:

The woman:

Team Nickels Wants Park Rangers

posted by on September 14 at 4:51 PM


The Mayor’s budget comes out on Monday and, according to several sources, he’s pushing a new $460,000 park ranger program. The rangers, who would patrol Seattle’s problem parks, would be part of the parks department. According to one source, the $460,000 would pay for 6 park rangers, although that number seems low for the amount of money involved.

This summer, the Pioneer Square Community Association (PSCA) employed a security guard, who patrolled Occidental Park. According to Craig Montgomery, Executive Director of the PSCA, the patrols “completely changed” the feel of Occidental—traditionally occupied by pigeons and homeless people—for the better. Montgomery says the security guard kept an eye out for problems—and picked up trash—but didn’t have the authority to kick anyone out of the park.

The city’s rangers would be able to boot people from parks by issuing “exclusion citations,” although we were not able to verify the guidelines for citations. While the rangers would be unarmed, they would be trained in self-defense and deescalation. They would be patrolling downtown parks, like Steinbrueck Occidental and Freeway Park.

The Mayor’s office had rangers in last years budget, but the council scrapped the plan in favor of using the money to pay for new police officers. While the $460,000 would pay for 4 new police officers, SPD has had trouble meeting their recruitment goals.

My Walk to Work

posted by on September 14 at 4:20 PM

So… uh… if you were walking to work and saw someone throwing a rope over the limb of a tree, clearly about to hang themselves, or preparing to jump from the Aurora Bridge… do you say something? Anything? “Hey, man—sure you wanna do that?” Or do you walk on by?

Heading in to work this morning I passed a young woman—late teens, early 20s—on the street. She was clearly anorexic. She looked like someone in a photo taken at a Nazi concentration camp after liberation—if, uh, people in concentration camps had blonde pony tails, iPods, and pink work-out suits hanging from their emaciated bodies. And it was anorexia—she wasn’t suffering from leukemia or breast cancer or a brain tumor. People reduced to skin and bones by cancer don’t go out running. If it was cancer, she would have been in a bed in a hospital, morphine dripping into her veins, not out exercising.

She was anorexic, starving herself to death, committing suicide.

Should I have said something? “Hey, can I buy you some breakfast? A bagel or six?” I didn’t, of course, because… it would have been rude. And considering the prerequisite mental damage that anorexia requires, it would have been futile. Maybe a single comment from a stranger—“Sure you wanna do that?”—can convince someone not to jump off a ledge or a bridge, but can a single comment enough to save someone disciplined and determined enough to starve herself to death? Kinda doubt it.

Still, you hear that anorexics believe they’re fat, and that they walk around thinking that everyone that looks at them thinks they’re fat. But what if every person an anorexic walked past said, “Jesus, you’re skinny! Eat something!” Or, “Can I get you a sandwich?” Would that help? Would it hurt? Have no effect at all?

All I know for sure is that I felt terrible all morning, like I passed someone preparing to jump off a bridge and I didn’t have the courage—the simple human decency—to say, “Hey, you sure you wanna do that?”

Ron Paul at Seattle University

posted by on September 14 at 3:50 PM

In case you hadn’t heard, Ron Paul is in town today.


He spoke at Seattle University this afternoon before heading out to Microsoft for another speech, after which he will head back to Seattle for a rally at the downtown Westin.

Jeff Jared, the campaign’s special projects coordinator, told me that Paul expects to bring in $50,000 - $60,000 from his one-day swing through the area.

I went to the Seattle University lecture, which was packed. In terms of rhetoric, I didn’t hear anything new from Paul. But then again, a major reason people like Paul is because he’s so consistent—he’s had the same libertarian positions forever, and when your cache is never shifting your positions, you don’t have to change your talking points much on the campaign trail.

So there was his usual talk about the importance of strictly following the Constitution; his distrust of our monetary policy; his warnings about the welfare state; his distaste for the IRS, the Federal Reserve, and so on; and his reverence for the Founding Fathers.

One noteworthy exchange: When a member of the SU College Republicans asked Paul about endangered species laws and King County’s critical areas ordinance, Paul appeared to come out against federal endangered species protections.

“I’ve been reading the Constitution now and then,” he told the crowd. “I can’t find endangered species written in the Constitution.”

He quickly added that his comments shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning he’s opposed to protecting endangered species. “It’s the bureaucratic approach vs. the free market approach,” he said—and he wants the job of protecting endangered species to be left to the free market.

“Private property owners would do a better job than we would through federal regulations,” Paul said.

I’m not sure that’s what liberals in King County want to hear, but Jared, Paul’s special projects coordinator, told me he thinks Paul has a chance of doing well in this area.

“I’m hopeful he’s going to kick butt out here,” Jared said. “A lot of his message is attractive to liberals.”

I wrote a feature about Paul, and his appeal among local liberals, for the Aug. 9 Stranger. You can find it here.

Sex Sells

posted by on September 14 at 3:43 PM

…and Hump! 3 is about to sell out. A few tickets are still available for the 6 pm shows October 5 and 6.

Today on Line Out

posted by on September 14 at 3:40 PM

Samey Winehouse: David Schmader on Amy Winehouse’s Dopplegangers.

Smash Your Head, pt 3: Band of Horses on licensing to, Stealing Batteries from Wal Mart.

Terror Clubbed: Institubes Beats Me Down.

Smith-Ra: The Cure Descends Upon the Gorge.

“Anything for a Blond Dyke”: Kanye West and Ellen Degeneres.

I Can’t Go For That: Hall & Oates’ Fan Club Scam.

Maps of the Stars’ Larynges: Trent Moorman on Axl Rose, Enya.

Sweet: Terry Miller on Lesbian Concentrate.

The Trooper: The Couch, the Bobble-Head, and the Hand Farts.

Appetite for Destruction: Anthony Bourdain and Queens of the Stone Age’s Very Special Christmas.

Best Song Ever (This Week): The Chromatics - “Running Up That Hill”

No Metal Men: Metal Men Reschedule Show.

“Leave Britney, the Beatles, and Sergei Eisenstein Alone!”: Les Savy Fav’s “The Equestrian”

The War Forever

posted by on September 14 at 3:19 PM

What is the meaning of this?

“[U]nderstand that their success [Iraqi leaders] will require U.S. political, economic and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency.”
One possibility: GWB knows that war is already a failure not in and of itself but because it will not extend beyond his presidency. Had he but world enough and time, the war would grow, expand, and express the success that is in its seed.

Another possibility: GWB imagines the war will not expire when his presidency expires, which means he sees the war as something that has a life of its own, a life outside of his presidency. The war will go on without him because the war has a purpose that is independent of his presidency. According to this imagining, the war would have happened even if he had not been the president. The war was the logical result of historical forces. GWB did not cause the war, the war caused him. He was a victim of the “cunning of history.”

Ultimately, what this type of thinking wants to conceal is the fact that one man has the power to spend more public funds on, and to send more American lives into, the vacuum of a war. Just one man. Remove him, you remove the war.

The Best Art Show. Ever. (Part I)

posted by on September 14 at 3:08 PM

At least that’s what I’m calling it until I come across something better. It was “Artempo” (forgive the cheesy name) at Palazzo Fortuny in Venice. The old palazzo is crumbling and grand, Miss Havisham-style, and the exhibition of painting, sculpture, video, photograhy, shrunken heads, devotional objects, corals and minerals, scientific devices, installations, and many, many other, well, things, spans the building’s four floors.

Each floor is quite different in architecture and light, and the exhibition has a different character on each floor. The mashing up of all that artistic, scientific, and religious material—stuff, for lack of a better word—sounds tedious, like it would level everything to the blank relativism of anthropological looking, but instead it is absolutely, absolutely magical.

More on it on Monday morning, but for now, this Friday afternoon, I’ll just leave you with an intro to the show’s hundreds and hundreds of lasting images.

The exterior of Palazzo Fortuny with Ghanian artist El Anatsui’s tapestry of recycled metal and copper wire.

A closeup of the tapestry.

A view of one of the rooms, featuring an elephant’s ear on the right and a Lucio Fontana painting on the left. (Just out of view on the left is a stool by Le Corbusier.)

This Week on Drugs

posted by on September 14 at 3:07 PM


Czar Struck: Yesterday the White House Drug Czar, John P. Walters, held a press conference in Seattle to trumpet a $10 million anti-meth ad campaign in Washington and seven other states.

Alongside Representatives Dave Reichert and Rick Larsen, Walters gave the impression that the campaign, which runs through March 2008, is based on messages of hope and the success of treatment. (That is the story over at the PI and Seattle Times.) Walters said we have “to put our arm around somebody to get them to treatment.” He drove home the point that rehab is effective: “The biggest single obstacle is people believing treatment doesn’t work.” Also, two-dozen framed black and white posters around the room and handouts in every press pack read, “Life After Meth,” each with a photo of a former addict and their tale of decline and recovery.

But Walters was elusive when pressed for the campaign’s content. He eventually said he didn’t know how much of the new campaign used content from the posters and handouts and how much was lifted from the Montana Meth Project—which saturated airwaves and ran copious print advertising, making it the leading advertiser in Montana in 2005 and 2006, but had questionable results. (A survey found Montana teens who believed that trying meth just once created “great” or “moderate” risk of getting hooked decreased from 95 to 92 percent, which is within the poll’s margin of error but shows no indication that the ads worked.)

Afterwards, I spoke to Mark Krawczyk, of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, who revealed that the “Life After Meth” images, despite being the only print ad examples provided to reporters, was “not part of the media buy.” The posters are just a touring display. But images and televisions ads from the Montana Meth Project, such as the one below, are in the media buy. The scare-tactic pieces are the ones in the national Meth Project’s gallery and the only ones we’ve seen in Washington thus far. Earlier this week, I wrote about why I think those ads are flawed.


Furthermore, the talk about treatment was lip service. The ONDCP isn’t allocating any additional money for treatment in the eight ad-campaign states. And Doug Allen, Director of Washington’s Division of Alcohol and Substance Abuse, said the state’s ability to provide treatment falls far short of demand. So while you can argue that scaring kids shitless with graphic images and abstinence-only messages might dissuade them from using meth – even though stats show that isn’t effective – it’s disingenuous to claim this campaign is one about treatment and recovery.

Club Drugs: Partying Brits get swabbed.

Temptations: Narcotics officer arrested for stealing coke and meth from evidence room.

Shortages: Marijuana crop crisis in the Southwest.

Crackdowns: Reducing cocaine availability in US.

World’s Poor Dying in Agony: Doctors won’t prescribe addictive pain killers.

“Leave General Patraeus Alone!”

posted by on September 14 at 2:38 PM

Speaking Of Lesbians…

posted by on September 14 at 1:28 PM

Just add water.


Some poems:

Judy Grahn - A History Of Lesbianism
Pat Parker - For Straight Folks

Check out the lesbian songs from this lesbiantholgy at Lineout.

Big Plays, Big Spaces

posted by on September 14 at 1:27 PM

There’s an article over in England that says this:

The head of the Royal Shakespeare Company gave warning that contemporary theatre would not thrive unless it addressed the most challenging political and social issues of the day, with “big plays in big spaces”.

You are totally correct, Head-of-the-Royal-Shakespeare-Company. We’ve been thinking in that direction over here, too.

It had to happen. Years ago, when the arts money dried up, theaters went broke or had to shrink by orders of magnitude in order to survive. They stopped doing big, spectacular plays. Moon for the Misbegotten and other two-to-four-person scripts were all over the place.

That wincing, wounded strategy could only work for a little while. Quiet, small work can be great, but one will starve on a steady diet of small studio plays. We need spectacle.

So it’s no coincidence that the theater we’ve been most excited about lately has concerned people who’ve figured out how to make spectacles. This year’s Genius Award winner for organization, Strawberry Theater Workshop, does everything it can—including managing its debt—to pay big casts of actors and build complicated sets that aren’t modular and throwaway but tailored to their spaces.

In an interview with me a couple of months ago, STW director Greg Carter said, in effect: Pulling punches in the beginning of our career while we chase grants is stupid. Let’s show them what we can do and, if the world likes it, it’ll give us money.

Which is admirably gutsy—they’d rather flame out with big shows than limp along with anemic ones.

And then there’s Implied Violence, who are all about spectacle.


And the seven members of “Awesome” who have been fooling around with the rock show/theater show divide for a few years now.

It’s why we liked Dorky Park at On the Boards.

It’s why we’re excited by Motel #1 this weekend.


Spectacle: It’s the future.

The Week in Geek

posted by on September 14 at 1:15 PM


Stop me if you’ve heard any of this before..

Thought Crime of the Week - Polish Googlebomber faces three years in prison. The problem is having “bomb” in the word “Googlebomb.” They probably thought it was a real bomb, you know, because Polish people are stupid.

Not So Much - Yahoo!’s “Mashup Debate” won’t allow mashing-up.

iPhone Officially, Really Unlocked, for Realz, and for Free - And a nerd war begins.

Like a Cool Mountain Soda - Water so pure, it tastes like strawberries.

Spare a Gigabit, Buddy? - Bandwidth as currency.

How come everybody’s suddenly talking about Dr. Who again these days?

Free McD Goodies! - SMS 2.0, now with McDonald’s ads. This is a fantastic idea.

Prince to sue YouTube - Enigmatic rock star hires the “Web Sheriff” (serious!) in attempt to “reclaim the Internet” from the rest of us and keep it all to himself.

YouTube to sue JewTube - Or someone.

Domain Still Available -

We’re Rich and We’re Smart and We Live Nearby - High-fallutin’ tech jobs abound in Seattle. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, Amazon all expanding all up in our faces.

MySpace Out, Facebook In - 23% growth in a year is just sad. Sorry Rupert, the dream is over.

Time Suck - If you’re at work, don’t click this. It’s too awesome.

Every Important Invention. Ever. - Wikipedia has the definitive list. For example, did you know that the only two important things that have been invented this century are the self-contained artificial heart and the Scramjet? S’true. If we can invent three more things by the end of the decade, we can stick it to the stupid lame-ass 1990s, and their “World Wide Web.” Get busy.

Sure to Fuel the Rice-is-a-Lesbian Rumors

posted by on September 14 at 12:23 PM

Via Raw Story:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice co-owned a home and shared a line of credit with another woman, according to Washington Post diplomatic correspondent Glenn Kessler, who reveals the information in his new book, The Confidante: Condoleezza Rice and the Creation of the Bush Legacy.

Kessler discussed the revelations with talk-show host and gay author Michaelangelo Signorile Friday on his Sirius Radio show.

According to the book, Rice owns a home together with Randy Bean, a documentary filmmaker who once worked with Bill Moyers. Kessler made the discovery by looking through real estate records.

Free Interactive Theater Tonight at Alki

posted by on September 14 at 12:16 PM

This evening at 6pm, everyone’s favorite alterna-Christians Mars Hill Church will be holding a mass public baptism on Alki Beach.

Go get dunked, then come get tanked at the Genius Awards!

UPDATE: Here’s West Seattle Blog on tonight’s soggy God show.

Genius Primer*

posted by on September 14 at 11:57 AM

Going to the party tonight? Want to be able to recognize our certified Geniuses, maybe buy their drinks? Here’s footage (of the moments when they learned they’d won) to familiarize you.

*Maybe I’m the only one, but I’m never certain if it’s “PRIME-er” or “PRIM-er” in this case (meaning a small introductory book on any subject). It’s the latter: prĭm’ər, from Medieval Latin prīmārium.

Update: Club Crackdown

posted by on September 14 at 11:13 AM

The Seattle Nightlife and Music Association, the lobbying organization for Seattle’s clubs, met at J&M Cafe in Pioneer Square yesterday afternoon. It was a meeting to discuss the “Saturday Night Massacre,” as club workers are now calling the SPD’s recent undercover sting where 17 bar workers were hauled off to jail (and 28 warrants issued) for failure to appear after getting warrants for violations like serving a minor and admitting a minor.

68 people showed up to the meeting, including many of the workers who were arrested on Saturday night.

The point of the meeting, according to Seattle NMA’s lobbyist Tim Hatley, was to hear everybody’s stories and to connect workers with lawyers.

What came to light at the meeting was this: People felt the arrests were unfair because the warrants—mailed to workers’ homes—didn’t show up at their homes until Friday or Saturday. (You can only appear Monday through Friday.) The implication being: The SPD wanted to be able to make a show of the Saturday night arrests at the clubs as a PR stunt on behalf of the mayor.

People also felt unduly abused because the sting officers got workers’ home addresses by showing up at the clubs and pretending they were working on a child predator case. They’d show the bar worker a photo—saying they thought the suspect might be in the bar—and then they’d get the worker’s contact info and address in the ruse that they might need to contact the worker to help them bust the predator.

All this aside, the workers were still caught, according to the SPD, serving minors.

The alarming gun charges—the city’s smoking gun, if you will—are another story that seems to be falling apart: Tabella, the one club facing gun charges, says it let the gun owners in because they recognized the gun owners as cops. Tommy’s was also slammed in the press for allowing a gun in, but as I reported already, the press failed to read the police report. No gun got in at Tommy’s.

But ultimately, if bar workers are found guilty of allowing minors into clubs, the sting simply proves what opponents of the Mayor’s push for a club license—like the SNMA—have been arguing all along: The rules already exist to hold clubs accountable; there’s no need to give the mayor’s office the sole authority to shut down a club—which is what the licensing proposal now pending before council would do.

The city argues that they need a licensing scheme because they currently can’t hold the club accountable, they can only hold workers accountable. But that’s not true. Violations like the ones the SPD uncovered through their sting can be used as evidence to the state liquor control board to fine clubs and revoke their licenses.

The council is voting on the license proposal on Monday. (Nice timing with that sting. Pretty expensive campaign move by the SPD on behalf of the mayor.)

The vote count is reportedly: 2 strongly against the license (Peter Steinbrueck, Richard McIver); 2 leaning against the license (Tom Rasmussen, and Jean Godden); 3 for the license (Jan Drago, Sally Clark, and David Della); and 2 unsure (Nick Licata and Richard Conlin.)

Licata is floating amended legislation that attempts to appease the clubs by giving less power to the mayor’s office and more power to a commission made up of neighbors, clubs, and SPD when it comes to granting licenses and revoking them. However, Hatley reports that Licata’s legislation doesn’t go far enough to water down the mayor’s ultimate authority to shut down clubs in his membership’s opinion.

Sex Survey

posted by on September 14 at 11:00 AM

I posted this yesterday, but I’m moving up—keep those suggested questions coming!

For our upcoming HUMP issue, which hits the streets October 4, we’re going to bring back our annual Stranger Sex Survey. We’re compiling questions right now—the stuff we wanna know about our readers’ dirty, dirty sex lives—and I wanted to invite Sloggers to suggest questions too.

What do you wanna know? Post any and all suggested sex questions in comments and look for the Stranger Sex Survey in next week’s issue of The Stranger.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 14 at 11:00 AM


The Fifth Annual Genius Awards at Central Library

Celebrate this year’s Genius Award winners—see page 21 to learn all about them—with music by Velella Velella and the Blow, Seattle’s precision book cart drill team, a bevy of librarians, booze, and dancing. It all happens in the Central Library, which sparkles like a diamond and is a building built from, and filled with, genius. (Central Library, 1000 Fourth Ave, 9:30 pm, free, 21+.)


Jesus’ General Needs Your Help

posted by on September 14 at 10:48 AM


The computer from which super-star Pacific Northwest blogger Gen. J.C. Christian did his super-star blogging died tragically in a fall earlier this week. Jesus’ General needs a new computer, and you can help.

Please make a donation today.

Does the First Amendment Protect Your Right to Free Expression Even If You Don’t Know What You’re Expressing?

posted by on September 14 at 10:34 AM

The District Court and the Appeals Court in the 9th Circuit have said…. no.
Now the 9th Circuit wants to rehear the case of the motorcycle gang and their murky insignia.

I’m Gonna KICK Chris Crocker’s ASS.

posted by on September 14 at 10:28 AM

Those of you who know me well know that in my deepest and most secret of hearts, Seth Green is my perfect man. Oh yes he his. Actually, he’s, like, my totally favoritist person in the whole wide world, and kind of has been since, well, Buffy. I refuse to justify this fact. I shall explain no further.

You might also know that I’ve finally come clean, just this week in SLOG comments, with the perhaps surprising and rather alarming information that Chris Crocker, for reasons that are nobody’s business really, is NOT my favorite person in the whole wide world. Indeed, Is. Not. I refuse to elaborate on this either. I just don’t wanna talk about it. Shut up.

BUT. But. This…

Seth Green Chris Crocker Outtakes

Add to My Profile | More Videos

Well. I’m beside myself. I don’t know what to say. But heed me this: the above video fills me with a confusing, uncomfortable jealousy and boiling rage that I cannot explain or begin to understand, and I’m going to kick Chris Crocker’s ass. I have no choice. It’s out of my hands. And I don’t know when I’m gonna do it….or where. But I’m gonna do it. DO YOU HEAR ME WORLD? I’M gonna KICK Chris Crocker’s ASS!


The Future of the Sun

posted by on September 14 at 9:49 AM

A beautiful abstract for a paper called “The Collision Between The Milky Way and Andromeda”:

We use a N-body/hydrodynamic simulation to forecast the future encounter between the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies, given current observational constraints on their relative distance, velocity, and mass. Allowing for a comparable amount of diffuse mass to fill the volume of the Local Group, we find that the two galaxies are likely to collide in a few billion years - within the Sun’s lifetime. During the first close encounter of the two galaxies, there is a 12% chance that the Sun will be pulled from its present position and reside in the extended tidal material. After the second close encounter, there is a 30% chance that the Sun will reside in the extended tidal material, and a 2.7% chance that our Sun will be more tightly bound to Andromeda than to the Milky Way. Eventually, after the merger has completed, the Sun is likely to be scattered to the outer halo and reside at much larger radii (>30 kpc). The density profiles of the stars, gas and dark matter in the merger product resemble those of elliptical galaxies. Our Local Group model therefore provides an prototype progenitor of late—forming elliptical galaxies.
Because the information contained in this abstract is entirely useless, its value is that of a poem. This is not science, this is poetry.

Orenthal’s Eleven

posted by on September 14 at 9:20 AM

LAS VEGAS - Investigators questioned O.J. Simpson about a break-in at a casino hotel room involving sports memorabilia, police said Friday.


Attention Fashionistas

posted by on September 14 at 9:16 AM

The day before yesterday, on the streets of Seattle, I had an amazing music-related fashion sighting that made me glad to have eyes.

Read about it on Line Out.

Email of the Day

posted by on September 14 at 9:12 AM

This actually came yesterday, but I was out. The subject line read: “And Ron Paul is… who?”

It continued:


Who the hell is this Ron Paul guy? I have seen a million signs and flyers for him all over town. I even saw what appeared to be chalkings on the ground saying something about this Friday.

What is going on? Can you guys do some sort of piece on this?



The Morning News

posted by on September 14 at 8:45 AM

The Bush Speech: Some troops home later this year, but most stay in Iraq “beyond my presidency.”

The fact check: Bush contradicted himself and recent government reports, and The Washington Post is on the case.

Giuliani: Trying to score points on “Betray Us” flap.

Thompson on Schiavo: No opinion, and doesn’t even remember details of the case.

Newt’s odds: Says the likelihood of a Democrat winning the White House in 2008 are 80-20 in favor.

On the No Surrender Express: A dispatch from McCain’s latest gimmick.

Gentrification: Condos, bistros, cute shops, and pushed-out artists—no, it’s not Capitol Hill. It’s the East Village.

Who’s in that coalition? Debunking Bush’s talk of 36 nations helping in Iraq.

Drugstore Product of the Day

posted by on September 14 at 8:37 AM

Was in a drugstore looking for mustache wax for Brendan Kiley. They didn’t have any, although they did have Hair Mayonnaise.


According to the company’s website, it’s “a reconstructive conditioner that binds incredible moisture and strength directly into the hair shaft.”

Thursday, September 13, 2007

What In Tarnation?

posted by on September 13 at 11:24 PM


Gasworks Park will be closed on weekdays for at least the next two weeks. No, it’s not another mystery party shutting down the park. This time, you can blame the closure on tar.

That’s right, tar—leftover from when Gasworks was as a real-live gasification plant—has been bubbling up through the ground. The city is sending in special crews to take core samples and figure out how to clean up all the toxic gunk underneath the park.

I say they just cover the whole damn thing in feathers and be done with it. It’s the only way to be sure.

The drilling will take place weekdays between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. beginning Monday. The northeast corner of the park, including the play barn, will remain closed during that time. City officials expect the work to end Sept. 27.


posted by on September 13 at 8:27 PM

Oh you know, just looks like some more blatant violations of the 4th Amendment by the Bush-era FBI/AT&T dream team.

And yeah, yeah, longtime liberal House Telecommunications Committee member Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), who’s been fighting the Panopticon Superstate since Al Gore invented the Internet, is calling for an investigation. Wev. Bush will obstruct as usual.

No one cares. And what’s the 4th Amendment, anyway.

Child Mortality and Overpopulation

posted by on September 13 at 6:37 PM

As the New York Times reported today, a higher than ever percentage of children are surviving until their fifth birthday.

This public health triumph has arisen, Unicef officials said, partly from campaigns against measles, malaria and bottle-feeding, and partly from improvements in the economies of most of the world outside Africa.

So, with more babies surviving through early childhood, will there be a population boom? Maybe not.

If you live in a culture where children are the only feasible retirement plan—i.e. most of the world—it’s really important one child survives through your retirement, right? And if there is about a one in three chance that any given child won’t survive to see his or her fifth birthday (where Sub-Saharan Africa was a few decades ago), you better have several children.

Here comes some math to back up this notion. If your only willing to risk a one in a hundred chance of ending up destitute in old age, and there is a thirty percent chance than any given child will perish, the math tells us you’ll need to have four kids. Drop the mortality to fifteen percent—where Sub-Saharan Africa is today—and three kids will cut it. Five percent chance of perishing before five, like present day North Africa? Two kids will cut it. Magic. Smaller families through better survival.

Logic like this helps us understand why people in economically marginal areas of the world continue to have large families—further stretching resources, resulting in higher childhood mortalities, causing larger yet families—and how this pattern can be broken by public health.

Jesus’ General Needs Your Help

posted by on September 13 at 5:26 PM


The computer from which super-star Pacific Northwest blogger Gen. J.C. Christian did his super-star blogging died tragically in a fall earlier this week. Jesus’ General needs a new computer, and you can help.

Please make a donation today.

Working on a Building

posted by on September 13 at 5:24 PM

This building, in Dubai, has just become the world’s tallest freestanding structure—555 meters, beating Taipei 101 by forty-something meters. They want to push it up to over 700 meters, with around 160 floors.

Here’s what the Dubaians hope it will look like when it’s done:


Which reminds me of one of my favorite sentences in the new George Saunders book, when he describes Dubai’s skyline: “like four or five architects had staged a weird-off, with unlimited funds.”

The Scarlet Letter

posted by on September 13 at 4:21 PM

Richard Dawkins has launched an atheist-awareness campaign, the OUT Campaign. Though the idea is attractive (remember when you saw your first Darwin-fish car decal?), these particular slogans and motifs aren’t compelling enough to catch on. There are major challenges in trying to expropriate “out” from the gays. And unless OUT is an acronym, it has no business being capped like that.

What a Hoot

posted by on September 13 at 4:08 PM

Yesterday afternoon, the man who placed the Hooters sign at brix called me. The guerrilla art piece got a flurry visceral reactions on Slog and a follow up article in the PI


The 36-year-old artist , who asked not to be identified, says he never thought his work would get such a huge response. “I didn’t expect that hooters thing to get to the gay community,” he says. “That wasn’t the first thing I put up there [but] no one really noticed the other ones. [Clearly] people needed to be able to voice their opinions about what they’re afraid of in the neighborhood.”

The Hooters sticker certainly got people talking. However, the artist says he never intended to freak people out. His other art, which you’ve probably seen around town, is a lot more benign.


The man says he intentionally targeted the brix development, and is considering tackling a few other developments around town, but he claims he’s not on a political crusade.
“I just want to make myself laugh, he says. “I’m looking at buying a condo pretty soon. Maybe it’ll be at the brix, I don’t know.”

Today on Line Out

posted by on September 13 at 3:45 PM

The Invitation Song Remains the Same: Jonathan Zwickel on the Cave Singers.

Greece, the Musical: Terry Miller on Greece, Vangelis

Paris, the Terror: Eric Grandy on Institubes.

Bum Rockin’: Terry Miller on Native American Disco.

Voice Boxin’: Trent Moorman on the Larynx.

A Stroke of Luck?: Alex Under Cancels, Claude Von Stroke Steps Up for Broken Disco.

Death of the Party: Like Sufjan, I Made a Lot of Mistakes.

Decibel Download: Orac’s “Dance All Night, Ponies” Megamix.

S-M-R-T: The Stranger’s Genius Awards Party.

Hillary Clinton Coming to Seattle Oct. 22

posted by on September 13 at 3:30 PM

Unlike John Edwards and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton hasn’t been to Washington State once since she declared her candidacy. Sounds like that’s changing.

A source who’s on a Washington State Democratic Party email list just forwarded me this:

From: On Behalf Of Dwight Pelz

Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 3:19 PM


Subject: Hillary Clinton to Keynote the Maggie’s!

Save the Date!

Hillary Clinton will keynote the Maggie’s Awards Dinner, Monday evening, October 22, at Benaroya Hall in Seattle.

Details to follow.


posted by on September 13 at 3:28 PM

Chris Crocker’s influence reaches the White House….kinda.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Brie.)

Student Activities

posted by on September 13 at 3:27 PM


Where were these guys when I went to high school?

Some poor kid in Nova Scotia shows up for his first day of high school wearing a pink shirt. Ten bullies surrounded the kid, mock him, and threaten to beat him up—because wearing pink means you’re a homo.

The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

“It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something,” said David.

They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday—even the bullied student had one.

“I made sure there was a shirt for him,” David said.

GLSEN should give ‘em a medal, says Towleroad.

UPDATE: Reading the Chronicle Herald story again, this detail jumped out at me…

When the bullied student put on his pink shirt Friday and saw all the other pink in the lobby, “he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off is shoulder,” David said. No one at the school would reveal the student’s name.

Travis said that growing up, he was often picked on for wearing store-brand clothes instead of designer duds.

So these seniors empathized with a freshman being picked on by homophobic bullies—a kid that may not even be gay—because one of them was picked on because his family couldn’t afford designer clothes.


Why should we wait for GLSEN to pin a medal on these two kids? A lot of grown-up gay men out there are going to be moved by this story—I know it moved me—and a lot of grown-up gay men can afford designer clothes. And gift certificates for designer clothes. I’m thinking maybe we should thank Travis and David by sending the boys some gift certificates. They deserve all the designer duds their hearts’ desire.

What do you say, guys?

Genius on Genius

posted by on September 13 at 2:16 PM

As Christopher noted in his Slog post about this year’s Genius Awards, the news team added a surprise to this year’s hullaballoo by naming a Political Genius and trio of Ones to Watch.

One of our Ones to Watch is David Hiller, advocacy director for the Cascade Bicycle club. Another One to Watch is political consultant Sandeep Kaushik. (Full disclosure, Kaushik used to be writer for the Stranger news squad and showed his first sign of genius by deciding to leave this place in 2005 and make some real money in the political world.)

Anyway, I don’t know if Kaushik and Hiller have ever met, but Kaushik has offered his (genius) thoughts about Hiller to us.

At a meeting a few weeks ago where Kaushik was pitching his latest campaign, the $17.8 billion Roads and Transit package, Barnett criticized the plan and Kaushik rolled his eyes and called her a “wacka-doodle-doo hippie enviro radical.”

Barnett shot back, “Radical? I’m getting that from David Hiller,” she said as if Hiller was Bill Moyers. “Advocacy Director of the Cascade Bicycle Club. The people that made the bike plan happen. He’s a centrist.

Erica continued to hold the floor. Loudly, earnestly, and adamantly.

Kaushik had stopped listening. He shook his head and whispered to the others at the table: “Hiller’s a centrist? A centrist? The center of what?

Barnett, making several more points about HOV lanes, I think, didn’t hear the comment, but everyone else broke down laughing. Barnett stopped: “What?”

One of Kaushik’s colleagues repeated the quip. Barnett wound up to hit back. Paused. And then started laughing her ass off along with everyone else.

Letter of the Day

posted by on September 13 at 2:15 PM

Dear Erika, Josh, and Dan:

David Della is the biggest peace of crap on city council. He’s running for reelection and Tim Burgess is a decent enough candidate to serve all of our interests. I believe Tim’s position on gay issues to have evolved in earnest. If you do too, then you really got stop beating him up on this issue and start saying Dump Della.

I completely share your sentiments about Tim’s earlier statements; I found them personally offensive—I am a former PFLAG board member and sat on the ERW lobby task force for the last two years. These are my issues even more than urban and sustainable ones. However, Tim seems good enough and David doesn’t. You’ve ran Tim through the ringer enough to make a point to him and anyone else attempting to run for council, but whatever you do don’t help David get reelected.

Get back on the pro-Tim band wagon before Della starts picking up the progressive votes. We’ve got a terrible city council and need Burgess. He’ll do well.

Sean Howell

Journey Through the South Pacific

posted by on September 13 at 1:53 PM

My friend Alex just got a job in Antarctica. He will be washing dishes and doing other cleaning in the research station down there for the duration of the Southern Hemisphere’s summer. Antarctica looks like this:

Before he gets there, he has to train for a few weeks in New Zealand. New Zealand looks like this:

Understandably, he would like to enjoy the color, literally. He will probably not see anything green the entire time he’s in Antarctica! But here’s the thing: Travel guides for New Zealand are…pedestrian at best. They don’t seem to provide the kind of entertainment or lodgings that would be in Alex’s time frame (short), budget (extremely small to non-existant), or aesthetic (straight-edge, adventurous, not into resort bullshit).

Where can he go? What can he do? He’s got to do something great down there before he gets locked in the coolest research station (no pun intended) on the planet for six months.

Pattern Recognition

posted by on September 13 at 1:15 PM

Google is just the search tool bar for Wikipedia.


posted by on September 13 at 12:57 PM

Oh, and tickets are on sale NOW.

The Big Man Will Sit

posted by on September 13 at 12:45 PM

In disappointing news, Greg Oden, recently acquired Pacific Northwest sports treasure and the #1 overall NBA draft pick, will likely spend his entire rookie season on the Portland Trail Blazer’s bench. Exploratory surgery today found cartilage damage in Oden’s right knee, and microfracture surgery was performed. This totally sucks. Thankfully, microfracture isn’t quite the kiss of death that it used to be (hello, Amare Stoudemire!), so we can all remain hopeful about Oden’s career.

On the bright side, this means more eyes on the #2 pick, our own Seattle Supersonic Kevin Durant.

The Sonics home opener is November 1 against the Phoenix Suns. See you there.

Pay For Lifework

posted by on September 13 at 12:26 PM

The weakness of maternity leave as a social issue (as one that is not taken seriously enough) has its source in the initial (the ground—or even gravid) fact that woman are not paid hard cash for the labor of producing a new person (or persons). As to why they are not paid for what is clearly hard (backbreaking) work, clearly productive, clearly necessary for the survival of the whole (“species being”), this has much to do with the way men as a whole value organic production far below inorganic production.

The woman must give birth because a woman is a woman—that is the circle of her curse. A pregnant woman, then, is much like a busy bee: it must makes honey because that’s the circle of its curse. But even more than that: The bee makes honey without thinking about it. In this way, the woman makes a child without a thought. The man in the factory or the man building a house, however, has an idea (a thought) before he makes something. Having this idea is what separates him from the busy bees and pregnant women.

From Marx:

A spider conducts operations that resemble those of a weaver, and a bee puts to shame many an architect in the construction of her cells. But what distinguishes the worst architect from the best of bees is this, that the architect raises his structure in imagination before he erects it in reality.

In “Truth and Illusion,” Nietzsche also makes a similar point:

One may here well admire man who succeeded in piling up an infinitely complex dome of ideas on a movable foundation, and as it were on running water, as a powerful genius of architecture…In this way man as an architectural genius rises high above the bee. She builds with wax which she brings together out of nature; he with the much more delicate material of ideas which he must first manufacture within his self.

The substance and result of this dominant way of thinking: Because it is natural, it is not work; because it is not work, it doesn’t deserve a wage. Only at the last moment of the pregnancy do we see a woman’s situation as labor—and even then we still pay her nothing (we still do not give her her check as we give her her child). But production is production; it’s not a matter of how something is made, but a matter of making something, bringing something new into the world. This is what pregnancy does, and so it must receive payment for all the work that it does.

Why is a Prominent Democrat Endorsing a Republican Candidate?

posted by on September 13 at 12:10 PM

Prominent Democratic attorney Jenny Durkan—she’s best pals with Gov. Gregoire, she famously argued the 2004 election case on behalf of the Dems and won big, and as Eli reported this week, she’s a big John Edwards fan—has been criticized for endorsing the Republican candidate for King County Prosecutor, Dan Satterberg.

I had talked to her about this on background a few weeks ago to find out why in a year like 2007 she of all people would help the GOP.

Then, today, this e-mail, from a Democratic Party activist, came in:

Jenny Durkan has seriously damaged her credibility as a Democrat, and that of every issue and candidate she touches by endorsing the Republican, Dan Satterberg for King County Prosecutor. The Democrats on the street, Precinct Committee Officers and “party hacks”, work too hard for our excellent Democratic candidates to have the likes of “glamorous ms. Durkan endorsing the opposition. Why don’t you write about her Lieberman like turncoat behavior?

I’m not going to weigh in on the Satterberg v. Bill Sherman race (his Democratic opponent) here, but the e-mail did prompt me to call Durkan back today. I had found her reasoning convincing when we spoke on background a few weeks ago, and so, seeing this angry e-mail I wanted to give her a shot at defending herself.

So, she went on record.

First of all (or, in the firstable spot), Durkan has a longtime personal connection with Satterberg. She went to UW law school with him in the 80s where she and Satterberg were two of seven students who started up and worked on a public defenders clinic providing indigent defense. She also worked with Satterberg counseling prisoners.

More important, though, she says Satterberg is just more “seasoned.”

“When you stack them up side by side, Dan has the seasoning, experience, and temperment to decide who lives and dies, to decide wether or not to file charges, and to decide policy direction.”

Specifically, regarding policy direction, Durkan credits Satterberg in part for getting KC drug court up and running.

Regarding the death penalty, Durkan says Satterberg was “in the room every time Norm [Maleng, the previous KC Prosecutor] had to make that decision. I want someone who’s been in the room. He’s been through it. I trust him to make the right decision. He can withstand the public heat.”

Durkan also points to her “vociferous criticisms” of former AG Alberto Gonzales over the John McKay affair to make two points. One: She liked McKay, a Republican. Two: Partisan agendas should not be a factor in law enforcement jobs, like it cleary was with Gonzales.

“Who’s best for the job should be the question. Republican or Democrat should not,” she says.

She also says her endorsement of Satterberg is no slam on Sherman. She doesn’t think Sherman is as qualified, but she says she respects him and thinks he would be good at the job too. She also thinks Sherman—in a blue year in a blue state, in a blue county—is going to win. “Neither candidate is going to be able to spend the money to change voters from just voting along party lines,” she says. “The voters aren’t really going to know who either one is.”

Conspiracy theory: I also asked Durkan is she had lots of contracts with the KC Prosecutors office and just wanted to maintain the status quo. (Satterberg was Maleng’s chief of staff.) “I don’t think I’ve ever had a contract with the County,” she said. “I’ve sued them, though.”

When It Rains, It Pours

posted by on September 13 at 11:50 AM

This morning in Ohio, a woman and her toddler son required hospitalization after being bitten by a Rottweiller at the home of Cincinnati Bengal Deltha O’Neal.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Matthew.)

Forever Mies

posted by on September 13 at 11:29 AM

Some lovely passages from an old feature story (2002) about this stone of a human being:

Mies believed… in something more noble than politics, the ruthless pursuit of the perfect modern building, the true heir, he thought, to Greek temples and gothic cathedrals - buildings constructed on earth in order to escape it. These were cathedrals for the new religion, commerce and industry - factories, office blocks, skyscrapers and apartment towers, the modern urban landscape, whose architecture had yet to be invented. The form lay out there for him to discover. “The will of the epoch,” he said, must be “translated into space” - as if he were just the draughtsman for a higher system, the universe’s appointed architect.


Like any eager convert, Mies took modernism to extremes. Throughout his life, nothing got in the way of his quest for pure form: politics, family, mistresses, clients, ideas that ill fitted his single-minded worldview - all were brushed aside. Even practicality. In the 1930s, he designed furniture that users “must learn to love”


Mies had schooled himself as modernism’s cold, steely heart. He wasn’t verbose and dilettantish like Le Corbusier. He didn’t douse himself with sociology like Walter Gropius. He didn’t dress the flamboyant dandy like Frank Lloyd Wright, all cape and cane. All were diversions, Mies thought. Instead, he presented himself as a monolithic figure, silent and sober, like a monk. He read St Thomas Aquinas, St Augustine, Plato and Nietzsche.

I Fear for America

posted by on September 13 at 11:22 AM

According to a new survey, almost no Americans can name all of the basic rights provided in the First Amendment; however, fully a quarter of Americans believe the First Amendment “goes too far” in its provision of rights and freedoms. It gets worse from there:

• One in ten believed that the right to practice no religion was “not important.”

• One in three agreed that the press has “too much freedom to do what it wants.”

• One in five believed that journalists shouldn’t be allowed to keep their sources confidential.

• More than a third believed journalists shouldn’t be allowed to criticize the military.

• Nearly two-thirds believed people should be barred from protesting in public.

• Nearly one third believed “fringe” religious groups should not be allowed to worship.

• Only 18 percent believed that public schools should not have explicitly Christian programming in December.

• Nearly half believed musicians should not be “allowed to sing songs with lyrics that others might find offensive.”

• Four in ten believed people should be barred from saying things in public that “religious groups might find offensive.”

• Two-thirds believed teachers and other public-school officials should be allowed to lead prayers in public schools.

• Two-thirds believed the US Constitution “establishes a Christian nation.”

• Half believed that public-school teachers should be allowed to use the Bible “as a factual text” in history (!!!) classes.

• Strong majorities believed the government should be allowed to require all media to allot an equal amount of time or page space to conservatives and liberals.

Not at all coincidentally, most were Christian, and more than half got most of their news from television.

The Seattle Pancake Renaissance Continues

posted by on September 13 at 11:13 AM


I’ve recently been compelled to slog about pancakes not once but twice. I’m not alone in my flapjack fixation. From the Stranger Restaurant Guide’s reader reviews:

Five Point Cafe (Belltown) PANCAKES!!! I went here the other night, ready for some good ol’ flapjacks - expecting something standard and unmemorable. Whoops—wrong place for that! These pancakes were fantastic! Best I remember having in Seattle. Crispy outside, perfectly fluffy inside, soaking up all the syrup I could throw at them… People walked by, for real, and said ‘Oh my god, I’m getting pancakes’ after seeing my plate.

Posted by AGWIV on September 5, 2007

Thank you for sharing, AGWIV. Everyone else, weigh in with your own reader reviews here.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 13 at 11:00 AM


‘You’re Lookin’ at Country’ at Northwest Film Forum

We all know that contemporary commercial country music is god-awful, but let’s not forget its glorious roots. Tonight’s collection of footage, presented by country musician and DJ Dallas Wayne, offers a rare chance to watch vintage performances by classic country’s greatest: Hank Williams, Lefty Frizzell, Webb Pierce, Buck Owens, George Jones, Loretta Lynn, and so many more. It’ll be Nudie suits and steel guitars galore. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 800-838-3006. 7 pm, $10–$12.)




The Paris Terror Club Tour at Chop Suey

The artists on Paris label Institubes mulch everything from funk to new jack to rock to house, producing gnarly distortion disco and trashed electro. The Paris Terror Club Tour features 21-year-old phenomenon Surkin, TTC rapper Orgasmic, NYC’s Curses! (aka Drop the Lime), and Para One. Surkin’s debut full-length, Action Replay, is a monster record, a relentless rush of huge beats, crushed samples, and low synths. Para One’s Epiphanie is less frantic but just as kinetic. Expect total dance-floor chaos. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm, $10, 18+.)


Dept. of Accidental Sex Ed.

posted by on September 13 at 10:54 AM

Note to educators: Stick with a traditional DVD player when you’re showing a movie in class.

Some fifth-graders at Glenn Dale Elementary School in Prince George’s County thought they were going to watch “Star Wars” on DVD, but instead, they got a glimpse of a pornographic movie.

County schools spokesman John White says a music teacher put the “Star Wars” DVD in a laptop Monday morning, but the projector showed a clip from an adult film. The teacher immediately ejected the DVD, but the image of two naked adults remained frozen on the screen for about 10 seconds until the projector was switched off.

The New Language

posted by on September 13 at 10:53 AM

A friend of mine is a high school English teacher (at a fancy private high school).

He came across two amazing malapropisms while grading papers this week.

Amazing, because it seems to me, these kids have unwittingly invented some great new expressions.

One student wrote, “post dramatic stress” instead of “post traumatic stress” (and no, not on purpose.) This is a great new phrase.

Suffered through a histrionic acquaintance’s latest trauma recently? Next time they set out to bend your ear just say, ” Sorry, I’ve still got post dramatic stress.”

Another student wrote “firstable” instead of “first of all.” There’s a slightly new meaning here. “Firstable,” I think, could be a noun that means the item that comes after the expression “First of all.” Example: The case against Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was compelling and lengthy. The fact that Iraq had no connection to al Qaeada is firstable.

Dumpster Diving

posted by on September 13 at 10:34 AM

The Seattle Times is reporting a body was found in a dumpster on 1st and Pike just before 10am. However, according to Seattle Police Department spokesman Mark Jamieson, the fire department arrived on scene and immediately called SPD to tell them they weren’t needed. Apparently, when the fire department went in to the dumpster, the “body” woke up.

“He was no longer a body,” Jamieson said, channeling Charles Mudede.

Oh Lord

posted by on September 13 at 10:27 AM


I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life.

Mmmm.. Chocolate.

Even Scarier…

posted by on September 13 at 9:47 AM

In the latest report of misstatements by the Bush administration to Congress, intel director Mike McConnell told Congress that the “Protect America Act”—the controversial surveillance powers that Congress voted to grant Bush this summer—had helped in the recent terrorist bust in Germany.

McConnell’s testimony was, critics say, misleading because the “Protect America Act” hadn’t been passed yet. And so, they argue, McConnell unfairly trumpeted the program.

But I think Bush detractors are missing the more alarming point here.

McConnell probably wasn’t lying. He was probably telling the truth. Meaning: The Bush administration was using its extensive spying capabilities before getting approval from Congress.

On Making Pigs Go Boom

posted by on September 13 at 9:34 AM


I am completely smitten with this week’s visual art lead, in which Bethany Jean Clement shares her explosive opinions of the hideous fiberglass pigs littering Seattle, with key visual support provided by the great Kathryn Rathke. Enjoy.

Million-dollar post-script question: Is Seattle really home to a fiberglass pig with angel wings, a jester’s collar, and a Thanksgiving dinner on its head, or is Kathryn Rathke just a genius?

To Circumvent Election Rules, Dino Rossi Says He’s Not Officially Running for Governor. Well, Let’s Go to the Video Tape

posted by on September 13 at 9:12 AM

Goldy’s got the latest Democratic Party hit piece on Dino Rossi up at HorsesAss. And it’s a compelling exhibit in the Democrats’ case that Rossi’s non-profit, Forward Washington, is simply a front group for Rossi’s run to be the next governor.

The tape puts clips of Rossi’s 2004 stump speech side by side with his Forward Washington stump speech. The revelation? “Non-candidate” Rossi is using the exact same language in 2007 that candidate Rossi used in 2004.

The significance? Rossi, who says he’s not officially running for governor, is flouting state regulations by raising money for a political campaign, but hiding his donors from the public by using a “non-political” front group as cover.

He’s also lying to the public about his status. And as evidence like this keeps popping up, it’s no wonder he’s been losing credibility all over the state, including in Eastern Washington.

The Morning News

posted by on September 13 at 8:32 AM

Jews: Welcome to the year 5768.

States rights: Judge rules that Vermont (copying California) has the right to regulate auto emissions.

Arctic sea ice: At record low.

Trouble in Anbar: Top Sunni leader killed.

Mark Warner: Running for Senate in Virginia.

Hillary: Unstoppable?

Obama: Smeared?

Bush: Addressing the nation tonight.

A new Google perk: NASA runway for its founders’ jets.

World record: Simultaneous shofar blowing:

The 2007 Stranger Genius Awards

posted by on September 13 at 7:51 AM

Every fall since 2003, The Stranger has given a check for $5,000 and an obscene amount of attention to a filmmaker, a writer, a visual artist, a theater artist, and an arts organization making startling, original work. We’ll get to this year’s winners in a minute. First, how it works: There is no application process. A panel of Stranger editors and critics descends into a cave and conducts their deliberations by candlelight. Winners are notified via cake. The $5,000 comes with no strings attached. And then there’s a party. You might have heard the Blow is headlining. Doors open to the general public at 9:30. You gotta be 21.

In the past, the Genius Awards party has happened at Consolidated Works, Western Bridge, Seattle Art Museum, and Henry Art Gallery. This year—tomorrow night!—it moves out of the visual-art-venue ghetto and into the wide, windowed, some have said enobbling vauntedness of the Central Library, a building The Stranger’s written about too. As recounted in the introduction to the Genius issue: “When the Central Library opened in May 2004, The Stranger responded with a heavily illustrated 1,018-word joke. The headline: ‘Killer Library.’ The subheadline: ‘The New Central Library Offers Civic Validation, a Huge Collection of Material, and a Staggering Number of Startling New Ways to Die’…”

Now, this year’s winners—with photo portraits by David Belisle:

Alex Schweder, artist.


Dresses like: An architect, a bird, a body without organs.
Makes art using: Caulk, spit, resin, vitreous china, rubber, colonoscopy wands, Jell-O.
Loves art that: “Hits me in this recognizable, inarticulate place, a little too close to home, too terrifying.”

Linas Phillips, filmmaker.


Loves: Werner Herzog, Andy Kaufman, when mentally handicapped kids make fun of other people, Jesus, aliens.
Has lived in: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, his office at Northwest Film Forum (they didn’t know).
Never says “action”—instead: “I try to give people a surprise compliment.”

Heather McHugh, writer.


Has published: Seven books of poetry, a book of essays, and four translations.
Is good at: Structural engineering, reading Wallace Stevens, noticing when people aren’t paying attention, shooting pool.
Has a long-standing fear that: “I’ll come up with the perfect last words and I’ll say them and I won’t die. And then I’ll have to take a piss and I’ll ask for the bedpan and then I’ll die.”

Amy Thone, actor.


Used to eat: A lot of beef.
Thinks: Plays are like cars, Shakespeare is bigger than the Bible, parenting is like contact improv with a psychopath.
Resembles: A pirate.

Strawberry Theatre Workshop, organization.


Often produces: Plays in which scientists are undone by businessmen.
Is run by: Greg Carter, who has a master’s in architecture and a Volvo.
Believes: Political theater doesn’t have to be bad.

For further reading, here are the shortlists for visual art, film, literature, theater, and organization.

Plus—plus!—did you see what they did in the news section this week? They named the first ever Political Genius!

Cary Moon, stealth activist extraordinaire.


Is reading: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
Is tired of: Posing for pictures under the viaduct.
Is probably: “The only person in the world who learned to water ski behind a kayak.”

There’s a political shortlist, too.

The HQ of all Genius Awards coverage—past and present, including the previous years’ parties—is right here.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


posted by on September 12 at 7:25 PM

Monday was the deadline for getting films in for this year’s HUMP. Now we’re sitting in the basement of my house, eating hot dogs and corn on the cob, and watching the submissions. Just another night at home with the fam.

Tickets for HUMP go on sale tomorrow…

Drinking and Books

posted by on September 12 at 5:17 PM

This Friday. It’s happening. The annual Genius Awards party. In the Central Library, a building that sparkles like a diamond and has ached for a dance party since the day it opened.

And we will bring it to them, with the party music of Velella Velella and (swoon) The Blow. (And read Eric Grandy’s interview with The Blow—concerning genius and zebras and spazziness and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa—here.)

There will be booze. And dancing. And geniuses like this guy:


re: Nerd Alert

posted by on September 12 at 5:10 PM

Huh. I thought this was the title for the new Indiana Jones movie.

Today in Bizarre Myspace Advertising

posted by on September 12 at 4:37 PM


If you were so dumb that you FAILED a dumb test, how could you possibly learn how to use Myspace?

Wait a sec. I think I just answered my own question.

Nerd Alert

posted by on September 12 at 4:27 PM

It’s been a spectacular week for nerds. Not only was the title of the new Indiana Jones movie released:


But the diabetes-sweet trailer for the Iron Man movie burst onto the intarweb, and it uses a song by some band called Black Sabbath. Which is awesome.


You may now return to being too cool for school.

The Most Annoying Thing I Have Ever Seen Recently

posted by on September 12 at 4:26 PM

You know those people who are all, “Eeeeuuuuuuuuuuugggghhhhhhhh! Advertising!? More like BRAINWASHERTISING! Hhhhhhhhnnnnggggg!!!!!!!” all day long? Because they “hate advertising?” Because they love never not complaining about something?

I’m not one of those people.

BUT! The other day I took this picture of a bus:

This advertisement is the opposite of effective. It makes me never want to dwink water again. I would wather die of dehydwation.

Making Biking Safer

posted by on September 12 at 4:24 PM


Bryce Lewis, the 19-year-old cyclist who was tragically killed by a dump truck last Friday, was riding a fixed-gear bike (that’s the model above) with a single front brake through what is widely known as one of the most dangerous intersections in Seattle. Coming down the hill off Harvard, it’s easy to reach speeds topping 30 miles an hour, and even if you’re going slowly, drivers still pay way too little attention—as I learned when I was hit in the exact same spot a year and a half ago, by a left-turning driver who pulled into my path (also known as the bike lane) too quickly for me to stop.

But riding a fixie is inherently, undeniably, more dangerous than riding a bike with gears and brakes. When you’re on a fixie, you can’t coast downhill, and slowing down quickly—say, when you see a car turning into your path—is nearly impossible. Without brakes, they’re death machines in a hilly city like Seattle, especially for the inexperienced (and with fixies more popular than ever, that describes a whole lot of the people riding them). Even with a brake, they’re hard to stop—you can’t slam on the brake or you’ll flip the bike.

Whether Lewis or the driver of the dump truck was a fault has been debated endlessly, but may ultimately be irrelevant. My two cents is this: Lewis was following the law (forward-moving traffic has right-of-way over right-turning traffic at a green light, and passing on the right is legal in a bike lane), but was riding dangerously fast, especially for that intersection, especially given that the bike he was riding was extremely hard to stop. Technically, the dump truck driver appears to have been at fault, but as every cyclist knows, it’s up to us to look out for them, because we’re the ones who always lose in bike/vehicle collisions. Fair? No. Drivers should be more aware of cyclists too—much more aware. (In addition to my three accidents, I’ve had countless near-misses with drivers who broke the law and nearly smashed into me.) But looking out for cars—hell, assuming they don’t see you and don’t care if they hit you—is how you avoid being hit.

On the other hand, that intersection (where a ghost bike, pictured above, has been installed; photo by Denny Trimble) is notoriously dangerous. Five years ago, bike planners at the city identified Eastlake as “the most heavily used north-south corridor” in Seattle and “strongly recommended” doing something about it. So are they? I’ve got a call in to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s media relations person to find out, but my guess is no. The city has been extremely slow to support innovative ideas that could make bikers safer and more visible, including blue lanes (which Denny at Metroblogging Seattle talks about here), phased pedestrian lights (which turn green before the main signal to give bikers a chance to make it into an intersection), and bike-only signals. The city actually did get as far as discussing the installation of blue lanes and bike boxes (road markings that allow bikes to get ahead of cars and make bikes much more visible) way back in 2003, but neither proposal ever went anywhere. That’s a shame. Bikers do have a responsibility to watch out for cars, but the city has a responsibility to make them as safe as possible, too.

In other news, Seattle Likes Bikes is organizing a memorial ride for Lewis. I’ll post details as soon as I have them.

Obama’s Iraq Speech

posted by on September 12 at 4:20 PM

Well-timed (right between the Petraeus hearings and President Bush’s address to the nation tomorrow night), well-promoted (reporters have been getting emails about it for days), and well-received (at least here).

An excerpt:

The American people have had enough of the shifting spin. We’ve had enough of extended deadlines for benchmarks that go unmet. We’ve had enough of mounting costs in Iraq and missed opportunities around the world. We’ve had enough of a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged.

I opposed this war from the beginning. I opposed the war in 2002. I opposed it in 2003. I opposed it in 2004. I opposed it in 2005. I opposed it in 2006. I introduced a plan in January to remove all of our combat brigades by next March. And I am here to say that we have to begin to end this war now.

My plan for ending the war would turn the page in Iraq by removing our combat troops from Iraq’s civil war; by taking a new approach to press for a new accord on reconciliation within Iraq; by talking to all of Iraq’s neighbors to press for a compact in the region; and by confronting the human costs of this war.

The whole speech is here.

And here’s a dissent, from liberal blog heavy-weight Matt Stoller, titled Obama is Done.

The Perks of Running for President

posted by on September 12 at 3:58 PM

From my in-box:

Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and his wife Elizabeth arrive in Honolulu tomorrow (Thursday) morning for a four-day, four island campaign visit, the first this year by any candidate of either major party.

Slog is Special

posted by on September 12 at 3:55 PM

No, Slog is slow.

We’re a little understaffed in editorial this week—Jen’s gone, Annie’s gone, Megan’s gone, Frizzelle is out celebrating the first day of the rest of his life.

Anyway, it’s slow going today. Sorry about that.

But, hey, Line Out is hopping

Today On Line Out

posted by on September 12 at 3:50 PM

“The Good Life”: Kanye, T-Pain, and So-Me.

“America’s Indie Rock Mecca”: Slate on the Indie Allure of Portland.

Moody: Chris McCaan on Pseudosix

Humpty: Humpty Hump and Shock G Tonight @ Laff Hole.

Thaumaturgical: Jeff Kirby on September’s Releases

Careful With That Axe: Jonathan Zwickel on Moroccan Hash, Pink Floyd

“Doot Doo Doo, Doo Doot Doo”: Trent Moorman on Mattress Rock

Techno Blueprints: Terry Miller on Alexander Robotnick

Cool: Lupe Fiasco’s “Superstar.”

Ascending the Pride Rock: Molly Hamilton on Girl Talk.

Loose Change: Kanye Outsells, But Will 50 Cent Really Cash Out>

Who’s a Disco Dancer?: TJ Gorton on Michele.

Smoke Rocks: Dinosaur Jr & Band of Horses at Neumo’s.

An Old Letter From A Dead Friend

posted by on September 12 at 2:14 PM

To Charles Mudede Date: December 5, 2005 3:18:48 PM PST

Hey dude! Long time no speak. Well, I’m still alive and still obsessed with my old hobby (serial killers).
Anyway, I’ll get right to the point. I’m planning on doing a showing of “Collectors” (the documentary I’m featured in) at 911 Media Arts. I was hoping you might help your old pal get some free ink. Maybe an interview (I know that’s askign a lot) but at least a mention, maybe in The Stranger Suggests.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the film but I’ll be doing a Q & A after the showing. You can see details of the film at Plus I’d love to get together and watch it with you. I can bring it to your place or vice versa. I’ve got a ton of old reviews and a couple interviews about old art shows and the board game. I got quite a bit of ink during the New Orleans art show in the ’90s.
Anyway that would be a big help to me. I want to get a good-sized crowd as I plan to give some of the dough to the West Memphis Three and every penny helps them. That’s why I’m willing to defend myself after the screening of the movie, which makes me look like a complete ghoul.

Give me a call soon,

Tobias Allen

Letter Crime of the Day

posted by on September 12 at 1:52 PM

This morning I found my car’s gas-tank door open, the tank cap removed and placed neatly next to the tank opening. I looked around and noticed that the cars nearby all had their tank doors open, too. Judging by the gas gauge, it seemed like at least a couple of gallons had been siphoned out.

I have no idea what to make of this. Why did the gas thieves leave an obvious indicator that they had been messing with cars? Why not close everything back up and hope no one noticed? And who steals gas, anyway?

I was parked at the dead-end on Pike just after 18th. It’s pretty dark there at night; maybe I’ll make a point of parking near street lights next time.



posted by on September 12 at 1:47 PM

For the first time in years, good news for Zimbabwe!

Zimbabwe produced a magnificent display to stun favourites Australia by five wickets in the World Twenty 20.

At least they have that to be happy about. (As for the meaning of makorokoto.)

When Good Writers Go Bad

posted by on September 12 at 1:41 PM

It’s been a jarring week for me, in regard to favorite writers.

First there was Graduation, on which my beloved Kanye West rhymes “Gnarls Barkley” with—wait for it—”Charles Barkley.”

Then The New Yorker published this poem by my even more beloved Joni Mitchell.

What next, Gore Vidal writing the season opener of According to Jim?

(Regarding the failures of Kanye and Joni: I shall now go listen to Late Registration and For the Roses to put these stumbles in perspective.)

Now This Is a Great Goddamned Idea

posted by on September 12 at 1:39 PM

I’m glad science spends its time discovering polio vaccines and trying to figure out whether chimps wage war for sexual purposes.

But couldn’t science spare a little more time for things like this?

The unhappier you are, the more ice cream you get.


“Employing voice stress analysis of the user’s answers to specific questions, varying degrees of unhappiness are measured and the counteractive quantity of ice cream is dispensed: The more unhappy you are, the more ice cream you need.”

I know, I know. There isn’t enough research money to go around. But maybe we could take a little chunk out of our astronomy budget?

Intelligent people, properly provisioned (and that means ice cream) can think their way into the outer reaches of the universe. Do we really need to build expensive metal tubes to physically hurl them there? That seems kind of primitive and crude.

Bacon Salt: Uncut

posted by on September 12 at 1:20 PM

This morning I interviewed two local entrepreneurs, Dave Lefkow and Justin Esch, the creators of Bacon Salt. The interview will debut as a Chow Bio in the coming weeks, but due to space limitations, I had to pare a lot down. However, I feel that their struggle to conquer the American Dream—earning fat profits from bacon-flavored salt—should not be abridged.

Bacon Salt is, as Lefkow and Esch put it, the new salt. It comes in three flavors: Original, Hickory, and Peppered.

Worth noting:
It is Kosher.
It is Vegetarian.
Hickory flavor is Vegan.

The partial inspiration for Bacon Salt is a drink called the Mitch Morgan, found at the Fat Alley BBQ in Eschh’s hometown of Telluride, CO. A Mitch Morgan is a shot of bourbon with a slice of bacon in the glass, as a garnish. When they hired a flavor-tech to design Bacon Salt, this was their taste proposal: “It should taste like the smell of bacon fried on a Sunday morning.”

When Lefkow and Esch started Bacon Salt eight months ago, they borrowed $5,000 from Lefkow’s son, Dean, as startup money.
Dean is three-years-old.
He’d won $5,000 dollars on America’s Funniest Home Videos, which apparently still exists.

Esch and Lefkow keep all production of Bacon Salt local: The flavors are blended in Idaho, and then packaged and labeled in Tacoma. Labels are printed on Capitol Hill, and the boxes and bottles are produced in Tacoma.

Sometimes they pay people, like lawyers, in salt. They claim that the Romans once did this, so it’s cool.

Bacon Salt enthusiasts—who span 19 countries and all 50 states—have tried the product on nearly everything: potatoes (fried, mashed, whathaveyou), corn on the cobb, popcorn, watermelon, pineapple, steak, eggs (fried, scrambled), green beans, assorted vegetables, chocolate, bloody marys, pasta, guacamole, and peaches. The only thing Esch and Lefkow haven’t liked it on was ice cream.

I tried Bacon Salt for the first time this morning. It made my fingers taste fucking delicious. Then a plate of Bacon Salted eggs made sweet love to my tongue before tap dancing its way to my stomach.

You can order Bacon Salt online here, or at City Fish in the Pike Street Marketplace.

Ach, Zombies!

posted by on September 12 at 1:19 PM


24th Avenue E & East Lake Washington Blvd

This Saturday, Revenant Magazine will be holding its very first zombie film festival at the Museum of History and Industry in Montlake.

Revenant will be screening 3 zombie feature films (To Kako, Redemption of the Undead and Zombie Farm) and one locally produced short (Snow Day, Bloody Snow Day).


Before the festival, super-dedicated zombie fans can meet at the rock climbing wall near Husky Stadium at 3:30 to take part in a zombie walk. Geoff Bough, of Revenant Magazine says he’s allowing a half-hour for the short walk. “I’m a big fan of the lurching shambler [zombie],” he says. “It’ll be a slow walk.”

The zombie meet-up will take place after what’s likely to be a devastating Husky loss to Ohio State, so if you attend, you’ll be taking your zombie life into your own hands.

The festival starts at 5 and goes till midnight.

About Slog Posts

posted by on September 12 at 1:10 PM

There’s a comment thread going on below that I think is worth putting in the spotlight.

It’s a conversation—in reference to a bitchy quote I posted from a club owner—about Slog vs. Print.

Here it is:

Cheap shot, Josh, and not worth of a quote.

Posted by crazycatguy | September 12, 2007 12:35 PM


That’s why I cut it from the print story.


Posted by Josh Feit | September 12, 2007 12:40 PM

#3: So SLOG reporting is It’s ‘unofficial’? Or less priority? Or what? I don’t see the difference between online and print (do you?) so I don’t understand your reasoning here. Written is written.

I have to agree with #2. Pasha’s rant is irrelevant to your story, SLOG or no. Nickels’ son is over 18 and thus, the content of Pasha’s outburst is rather moot.

I completely disagree with Nickels’ approach to this issue, but I don’t see his son factoring into this story. If Nickels had been calling for leniency for his son, or claimed that his son was innocent or something, that would be different. Instead, Nickels has been largely silent about his son’s arrest and has not appeared to condone his behavior.

I think this quote is a red herring.

Posted by but | September 12, 2007 12:47 PM


The essential difference is this: The print story is the one that’s on the street for a week informing the conversation and telling the news. It’s also the version that will be archived forever on our website as the definitive story.

This Slog post will disappear from the conversation sometime this afternoon. Yes, it will live forever online, but I don’t suspect it’ll be called up to inform the conversation.

Re: Slog posts in general. They come in all sorts of different stripes. They can be weighty attempts at the definitive story (See ECB’s recent long posts on Tim Burgess) or they can be toss offs… in which case, we note that. For example, in the very post we’re talking about, I flagged its relative insignificance by writing: “I cut one of his quotes from the story because it wasn’t on topic. But the quote did capture exactly how angry Pasha is about the clampdown.”

Posted by Josh Feit | September 12, 2007 12:53 PM

Nightclub Crackdown Story

posted by on September 12 at 12:28 PM

I have a story coming out in today’s paper about the SPD’s disgraceful and defining freakout last Saturday night.

As I slogged yesterday, part of the story will show how the city and the obedient mainstream media inaccurately spun the arrests, pointing to the “fact” that guns made it into Tommy’s.

In fact, the police report from Tommy’s says otherwise. (Still waiting for a clarification from the Seattle Times. Perhaps they don’t feel compelled to set the record straight when it comes to nightclubs.)

For the story, I also interviewed Kauser Pasha, the owner of Belltown club Tabella. He calls bullshit on the gun charges at his club too and on other aspects of the SPD’s sweep.

However, I cut one of his quotes from the story because it wasn’t on topic. But the quote did capture exactly how angry Pasha is about the clampdown.

Referring to the fact that Mayor Nickels failed to persuade the Washington State Liquor Control Board to pull Tabella’s liquor license earlier this summer and to Nickels’s push for a city nightclub license that would allow the mayor to close clubs at his discretion, Pasha said:

“He’s upset that he didn’t get his way with the Liquor Board. So he wants total control. He can’t even control his own son. Why should he have control of nightclubs?”

Nickels’s son, of course, plead guilty in federal court last month to conspiracy in connection with a casino card-cheating scam he helped facilitate when working as a pit boss at the Nooksack River Casino in Whatcom County.

Naked Simpsons

posted by on September 12 at 12:20 PM

I was editing the Free Will Astrology column today when I read this:

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 22–Dec 21): Homer Simpson, star of the TV show The Simpsons, has a continually evolving list of the many feats he hopes to accomplish in his life. Among the fantasies that have come true for him are being the manager of a country-western singer, keeping a diary while living in the wilderness, devouring the world’s most massive hoagie, and seeing Steve Nicks naked.

Did Homer desire to see the nude Steve Nicks or was it Stevie Nicks? While looking into it, I found this site: The Simpsons Nudity List. It lists every instance of nudity in the show (with episode reference), including these:

• Homer shows a bit of butt crack as he waves his fanny from heaven to Ned Flanders.
• Comic Book Guy is seen in only his underwear when Marge steals his prescription pants.
• Burns and Smithers visit the “nude female fire station.”

It also definitively answered my question: It is Stevie Nicks. Hurray!

Another Newfangled Debate Format

posted by on September 12 at 11:50 AM

Today brings an online-only debate for the Democratic presidential candidates, sponsored by HuffingtonPost, Slate, and Yahoo.

Charlie Rose will be moderating and video for “mash-ups” (not in the classic sense, however) will be posted on Friday.

I know the web is supposed to make life easier, but I’ve been clicking around for several minutes and still can’t figure out what time this thing starts. Anyone know?

Patriotism Part 2: My Dad and Rep. Jay Inslee

posted by on September 12 at 11:38 AM


Last July, when local Congressman Jay Inslee (D-1) called for impeachment investigations into then-US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, I slogged this:

Dear Rep. Jay Inslee, Re: Yesterday’s news that you’re calling for an impeachment investigation into wayward AG Alberto Gonzales…

My dad thanks you.

The line about my old dad, who turns 78 in March, was a link to this post I had done last March:


The Alberto Gonzales scandal is shocking, and it gets people like me in a fevered partisan pitch about Bush’s fascism and his Stalinist purges and the end of Constitutional rule.

But you don’t have to be Dennis Kucinich to feel outraged or … hurt.

My dad is long retired. I called him on Monday to wish him a happy birthday. What he wanted to talk about though, was the Attorney General.

You see: My dad worked at the DOJ for over 30 years. Sometimes I forget he worked there because he finished up his career at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. But his heyday was definitely at the DOJ in the Solicitor General’s Office. (I’m proud of my old dad. He argued in the U.S. Supreme Court 13 times, representing the feds, getting a government salary while arguing against some corporate gun who was probably making equivelant pay just for that day’s big gig. I got to see my dad argue in the Supreme Court twice.)

“What do you think of this Gonzales stuff?” dad asked me.
Spacing out on the significance of the question coming from my dad, I leapt off into some riff from dailykos probably about contempt of Congress.

“I worked there,” my dad said, interrupting me quietly.
“Yeah,” I said. “Yeah, I know that.”
“I worked at the DOJ,” he said. “Isn’t this a disgrace?”
I stopped with the rave, and said, “Yeah. It’s a disgrace.”
We started talking about something else.

Thanks for ruining my dad’s birthday, Alberto Gonzales. For that alone—you should resign.

Yesterday, I got this postcard—dated August 4 and postmarked September 7—from Rep. Inslee:


It says: “Ruining a dad’s birthday—I will add it to the list of offenses in the articles of impeachment. Please thank your dad for his service. I will think of him as we try and restore the DOJ to its rightful place of honor.”

Gonzales resigned in late August.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 12 at 11:00 AM


‘Nothing to Lose’ at Greg Kucera Gallery

Any new show by Jack Daws is an event. Daws is the punchy, playful, and political Seattle sculptor responsible for hiding drugs inside minimalist black boxes and gumball machines, for building a miniature model of the Twin Towers out of French (Freedom) fries and ketchup, for putting counterfeit pennies into circulation. He’s been called a troublemaker, and his work demonstrates the gulf between real and petty crime. (Greg Kucera Gallery, 212 Third Ave S, 624-0770. 10:30 am–5:30 pm, free.)


The Real

posted by on September 12 at 10:55 AM

What is it in our ideology that blocks all other views of life outside of capitalism save this one: real.jpg The desert of the real. The planet of nothingness, the dead moon of dust and rocks, the sick skies of hell, and the howling clouds of utter negativity. In science fiction film after science fiction film, we end up here after finally escaping some exploitive order or system of power. Which is worse: slavery in a oppressive society or the emptiness of freedom? It was Zizek who pointed out that it is easier for Hollywood to picture the end of the world than to picture the end of capitalism. And when it does produce an image of a world outside or after capitalism, it is always this: the desert of the real.

A Rebound for McCain?

posted by on September 12 at 10:42 AM

Sullivan wonders if it’s in the works:

On Monday, John McCain gained four points in USA Today/Gallup; on Tuesday, he gained six points in CBS/NYT; today, the WPo finds McCain in second place with Unready Freddy.

Slate Seeks to Rehabilitate Cruising

posted by on September 12 at 10:34 AM

Such an exploration is incongruous with the upbeat “gay” entertainment (Will & Grace, Queer Eye, etc.) we’re consistently fed today. Even gay thugs and murderers—Vito Spatafore on The Sopranos, or Bree’s son Andrew on Desperate Housewives—are somehow likable these days. Cruising, on the other hand, never serves up any witty brunch banter or fabulous shopping sprees. It also avoids the emotional heartbreak of a Brokeback Mountain or just about any AIDS drama. The leather men in Friedkin’s movie don’t complain that they’re victims of a prejudiced society, but they also make no apologies for their “lifestyle.”

It’s strange that such a portrayal so offended gay activists at the time. But it’s reassuring to see that that community seems to have learned something over the last generation. When the Larry Craig story broke, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force quickly worked to steer the discussion toward the hypocrisy of the family values set. Closeted, self-loathing men still pose a danger to the gay community. But the ones in William Friedkin’s movie aren’t the ones we need to worry about.

Should the Mariners Be Charged with Manslaughter?

posted by on September 12 at 10:07 AM

Last week’s Last Days featured the following item, about the suicide of Seattle man Tobias Allen:

FRIDAY, AUGUST 31 The week continues with an exceedingly well-documented Seattle suicide, first noted around 11:00 p.m. last night, when 911 dispatchers received a call about a body seen floating in Lake Washington. According to the Seattle Times, police identified the body as Tobias Allen, whose death authorities will attribute to suicide. According to his MySpace profile, Allen was a 39-year-old single Libra with a penchant for the Mariners, existential drama, and exclamation points. “Most days it feels/seems that most people are mindless fucking sheep,” wrote Allen in his MySpace blog on June 15 [sic throughout]. “I’m talking about the people that actually waste presious oxygine talking about Paris Hell-ton. Who gives a fuck? Vapid little bitch… look, now I’m doing it! Thank the powers that be that the aurora bridge is only minutes away. I may need it soon!” By August 4, things were looking up: “Just when I was ready to give up on another summer…. my sweet sweet M’s start kicking ass! I’m about to grin, or cry, or something. This has been one of THEE LAMEST summers of my life, to date. I was really going nuts. Then the mighty M’s start kickin some ass! I guess, if they can do it, so can I! I have to see the end of the season! Maybe I will turn 40….” He didn’t. RIP Tobias Allen, whom interested parties can see in the 2000 documentary Collectors, chronicling the nation’s premier serial-killer enthusiasts. (In addition to Mariners and MySpace, Allen appreciated art made by serial killers. Go figure.)

This morning, the following letter arrived in my inbox from Hot Tipper Ben:

Tobias killed himself immediately after the most GRUESOME baseball week in Seattle history, as the M’s washed their season down the drain and took Tobias with him! Can we charge the M’s with assisting in a suicide?

Ben’s question is a good one. I don’t know about the criteria for assisted-suicide charges, but if I remember last night’s Law & Order: Original Recipe rerun correctly, the setting in motion of events that bring about someone’s death adds up to manslaughter.

There’s blood on your klutzy hands, M’s.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on September 12 at 10:00 AM

Or, “Why I Shouldn’t Read My Savage Love Mail Until Well After Lunch.”

I need your advice.

First of all, I’ve been happily married for eight years. My wife and I have sex once or twice a week. We have a young son, and attend church regularly. I’m leading a secret life, though: I’m addicted to pornography.

I keep a stash of porn (Hustler, Barely Legal, B & D magazines, etc.) in my locked desk drawer at work. About three times a week my lunch hour is spent jerking off in the handicapped stall of a downtown public restroom. I can’t seem to stop. It’s all I think about in the morning and distracts me from my work.

And that’s only the beginning. I have a fetish for shit. I’m excited by the smell and taste of my own shit. An ideal experience for me is to save up my bowel movement until lunch hour, find a favorite restroom, and time it just right so that I empty my bowels right before the moment of ejaculation. An extra added bonus is if someone arrives at one of the other stalls and takes a shit. The sound and smell of it excites me even more (I am definitely not gay) and once the person leaves I finish with a head-shattering orgasm.

After a really good one, I sometimes smear my shit on the walls of the stall. I feel very disgusted afterward. I’m not hurting anyone, but this seems wrong. Should I talk to someone ?

Addicted in L.A.

Yes, yes: talk to someone—but not to me, AILA, not at 9:30 in the morning. And it seems to me that you are, in fact, hurting someone—namely, whatever poor motherfucker has to clean that stall after you’re through with it. And that “addiction to pornography”? That seems like the least of your worries—but, hey, at least you’re not gay or anything.

You are, however, qualified to write for Seattlest.

Dollar Hits New Low Against Euro

posted by on September 12 at 9:47 AM

Looks like we’re never going to Paris again.

What He Said

posted by on September 12 at 9:42 AM

James at Seattlest—which is currently our Slog’s enemies list, but what the hell—takes on Wedgwood

“Neighbors fear development” has become the Seattle equivalent of “dog bites man.” Of course neighbors fear development. That’s what they do.

The latest brouhaha: Wedgwood is getting a four-story condo/retail complex in the middle of their one-story residential neighborhood. Hands are being wrung, meetings are being called, nimbyism is being denied, blogs are being written.

We wouldn’t have it any other way, really. It’s Seattle. Neighbors fret. Since we left Wedgwood, we don’t really have a dog in this fight.

But we were struck by one comment in the PI article. Responding to charges that Wedgwood doesn’t have character, Dennis Saxman says “Wedgwood does have character—single family.”

“Single family”? That’s character? In Seattle, a city that’s over 70% zoned for single-family housing? Being “single family” doesn’t distinguish you at all in Seattle. It’s easier to single out the non-single-family neighborhoods in Seattle than to count the single-family areas.

On He Who Some Commenters Don’t Want Mentioned Again

posted by on September 12 at 9:30 AM

I hear you. And you. (And especially you, Mr. Poe.)

What’s happening is this: Slog readers found out about him four months ago. Slog has some serious reach, but it’s not infinite reach, and the rest of the world just found out about him in the last 24 hours, via Gawker, Defamer, TMZ, CNN, Howard Stern, possibly The View, etc., etc.

You know why.

So, if I may: Chill. You guys are just ahead of the him-hating curve.

“Suck it, Jesus.”

posted by on September 12 at 9:24 AM

Kathy Griffin, the Rodney Dangerfield of her generation, won an Emmy last night. She failed, however, to thank Jesus—lamb of God, bestower of Emmys, awarded of Super Bowl Rings—and all hell has broken loose.

Comic Kathy Griffin’s “offensive” remarks about Jesus at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards will be cut from a pre-taped telecast of the show, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said on Tuesday….

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus,” an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. “Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.”

Catholic attack dog Bill Donohue soiled himself in reaction to Griffin’s remarks, and then issued a statement about how, you know, if Griffith had said “Suck it, Muhammad,” the organizers of the Emmy Awards show would have killed her on the spot. Griffin, also a Catholic, refused to apologize, retract her remarks, thank Jesus, or order Muhammed to suck anything.

Griffin’s reaction to the imbroglio, according to a statement issued by her publicist: “Am I the only Catholic left with a sense of humor?”

Licata Proposes More Changes for Police Accountability

posted by on September 12 at 9:00 AM

Right now, City Council President Nick Licata is holding a press conference to propose some big structural changes to the Seattle Police Department’s Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), which investigates citizen complaints against SPD officers.

Licata’s proposals—backed by council members Richard McIver and David Della—are, of course, in direct competition with Mayor Greg Nickels’ Blue Ribbon Taskforce for the OPA, which has yet to make any recommendations for revamping police oversight.

Licata’s proposal flags 3 of the biggest problems with the current oversight system:

First, Licata’s proposal would require the Chief and the OPA director to report on a semi-annual basis on any disagreements over recommendations for officer discipline. Additionally, the Chief and the OPA director would be required to put their recommendations in writing. The Chief and the police guild would almost certainly object to this requirement, as they claim some of the Chief’s decisions involve “personal information” about officers which they don’t want to air in public.

The OPA Director would also be required to report any disciplinary recommendations which were not enacted because the 180-day window for officer discipline—built into the police guild’s contract—expired. This would draw attention to cases where the Chief “ran out the clock” to avoid disciplining officers.

Finally, Licata wants council to have final approval over OPA’s budget. Since OPA is part of the police department, money that’s designated for OPA can be shifted around, and Licata wants any changes in OPA’s budget to pass through council. This would keep OPA adequately staffed and add provide another level of separation between OPA and SPD.

So far, Licata only has council support from McIver and Della. Even so, by putting these ideas out there, Licata’s proposals come as a shot across the bow of Nickels’ panel. It’ll be interesting to see if they come up with a few of their own recommendations sometime soon.

Good Morning

posted by on September 12 at 8:53 AM

Please rest your eyes on the Caribbean while we shake off our hangovers. Slog will return in just a few minutes.

The Morning News

posted by on September 12 at 8:45 AM

Stepping down: The Prime Minister of Japan, where scandals and gaffes still lead to resignations.

Dissolving: Part of the Russian government.

Also at the Petraeus hearings: Presidential politics.

Obama’s big policy speech on Iraq: Some advance excerpts.

Most-wanted polygamist: On trial in Utah.

Defending Britney: It’s not just for Chris Crocker anymore.

Fat? Maybe you should live in a more expensive neighborhood.

Speaking of home prices: A typical Seattle home price is now 7.7 times the median household income in 2006.

Say goodbye: The New York newsstand is getting an update.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Text Message From…

posted by on September 11 at 5:48 PM

Chris Crocker, who writes, in the wake his Britney video being one of the most blogged (and on YouTube, currently the single most viewed) of the day:

I was just on CNN.

I’m not surprised. I got emails today from a radio person in Atlanta and a network news person in New York, both wanting me to put them in touch with the young man behind this.

More Brit

posted by on September 11 at 4:34 PM

Allure’s September cover features a topless Britney (in an ugly wig). Photos from that April shoot are online. I bet we’ll see her in Playboy before 2007 is gone.

In the Hall: Cutting-Room Floor Edition

posted by on September 11 at 4:18 PM

Our large-print, pretty-picture-enhanced redesign has slashed about 150 words from my column, so here’s an item I wrote for this week that wouldn’t fit in the paper:

While gay groups and individuals have stood by council candidate Tim Burgess despite his work, several years ago, for viciously right-wing group Concerned Women for America, NARAL Pro-Choice Washington remains unconvinced. Last week, the statewide group decided to take the highly unusual step of having Burgess and his opponent, David Della, in for an endorsement interview. (Typically, NARAL doesn’t bother endorsing in Seattle races because all the candidates are pro-choice.) Judging from our conversation Monday, however, NARAL director Karen Cooper had already made up her mind. “Concerned Women for America is absolutely one of the most anti-woman organizations in this country,” Cooper said. “It is absolutely unconscionable that he could work for them and then turn around and try to get [our] endorsement. I personally am going to have a very hard time not jumping across the table and slapping him.” Today, NARAL announced it was endorsing Della for reelection.

Club Crackdown: And There’s More

posted by on September 11 at 3:49 PM

The Seattle Nightlife and Music Association, the industry group that’s been lobbying against Mayor Nickels’s nightlife license, believes its membership was targeted by “Operation Sobering Thought” (the Bush lite name for the city’s undercover sting).

SNMA’s spokesperson Tim Hatley would not release its membership list, but confirmed for me that all but one or two of the clubs that got hit were members.

Members believe the city is retaliating for bucking the mayor’s proposed scheme.

The mayor’s office told me they had nothing to do with the sting operation.

Hatley, citing the last few months of the “Mayor’s systematic public affairs strategy against clubs” (his “5 Worst Clubs” list, his televised tour of Pioneer Square) that “has created an atmosphere to vilify clubs,” says the mayor’s denial of involvement in a giant sting conducted by the city’s police force is just semantics.

More Beautiful Than Ever

posted by on September 11 at 3:48 PM

Thick? If so, what exactly is wrong with being thick like this:
ALeqM5h7zdWl1dr5lvy05E1SWhxFaj1dww.jpg For once, a famous woman who looks like a woman and not an elongated alien who is the negative of precisely those features that shape a woman—the curves, the hips, the universal tummy.

Update: Nightclub Crackdown

posted by on September 11 at 3:23 PM

Apparently the sting continues.

Reports are in from Neumo’s and Havana on Capitol Hill that undercover cops with fake IDs tried to get in on Sunday night. When they were turned down, the undercover cops offered bribes—up to $100 at Havana and $40 at Neumo’s.

They were turned away at both clubs.

By the way, there seems to be some confusion out there. The sting operation itself—when the undercover cops actually witnessed clubs letting in minors and serving them, and letting guns pass (although, not at Tommy’s)—didn’t happen on Saturday night. The undercover work was done in the weeks running up to that. So, for example, even though they believed specific doormen were letting guns in clubs, they didn’t put a stop to it.

All that happened on Saturday night were the arrests. With the warrants in hand (in most cases, anyway), the SPD drove a police bus from club to club and made a big show of the arrests.

“The cops stormed in all SWATted up,” says one bartender.

Interestingly, the SPD had the home addresses of the people they wanted to arrest, but chose to hit the clubs and make the arrests in a grandiose, public fashion on Saturday night.

Crystal Mess

posted by on September 11 at 3:17 PM

Take a look at this graphic, almost identical to the full-page meth ad in this week’s copy of the Stranger.


The ad reads, “Meth: Not Even Once,” threatening anyone who tries meth with a gruesome fate. You’d think it would scare kids away from using meth, but it won’t. The ad is too extreme.

This ad and others like it are copied directly from a print and radio campaign in Montana, which, according to a study last year, gave viewers and listeners a decreased perception of meth’s harm and increased their likelihood of using it. Now the same set of ads are being printed in Washington and seven other states by the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which plans to take the campaign, and its unintended impacts, around the country.

Continue reading "Crystal Mess" »

Today on Line Out.

posted by on September 11 at 3:15 PM

Tearing Up: Dan Savage on ABBA.

Flunks: Jonah Spangenthal-Lee on Kanye West’s Graduation

Breaking Disco: Modeselektor are Coming to Seattle.

White Out: White Stripes Cancel Austin Shows.

Yes New York: Megan Seling’s NYC Soundtrack.

Hell Yes Brooklyn!: Japanther’s Skuffed Up My Huffy.

Hippie Sabbath: Iron & Wine’s The Shepard’s Dog.

Bombs Dropping: 9/11’s New Releases.

Boom: The Coup’s Party Music

Bang: Phil Spector’s Murder Trial.

Where Were You in ‘82?: Terry Miller on the Monastery.

“Got To Have Your Love”: TJ Gorton on Fantastic Four.

Step Off, I’m Doin’ the Hump

posted by on September 11 at 3:00 PM

There’s a Very Special Celeb-Studded Lineup at Laff Hole this week, so you should probably put on pants and get the shit out of your apartment for once (I’m looking at you, mom).

Humpty Hump of Digital Underground, whom you might know as “the one who said ‘just grab ‘em in the biscuits,’” will be hosting tomorrow’s Hole. Humpty is certainly not to be confused with Shock G, “the one who put the satin on your panties,” who will be providing the night’s musical entertainment.

LITERALLY anything could happen.
Will Humpty limp to the side like his legs was broken, shakin’ and twitchin’ kinda like he was smokin’?
Will he use a word that don’t mean nothin’, like looptid?

Also on the bill:
The reliably droll Scott Moran, of PROK.
Billionaire spelunker Andy Haynes, who once (back in high school) told me he was going to kill me and wear my skin.
And out-of-town genius Rory Scovel, who has about a million local comics regularly pooping their pants in admiration.

Wednesday, September 12th
Chop Suey
1325 E Madison St
21+, $5
Doors at 9 pm

All are welcome, including but not limited to white people, black people, Puerto Ricans, and Samoans.

Side note #1: One time, a friend and I met Digital Underground at a house party in Seattle. The members of Digital Underground told us, “You look like the kind of girls who like to read books a lot. And watch Sleepless in Seattle.” (Guilty!)

Side note #2: While writing this Slog post, I asked a friend, “Is there such a thing as too many Humpty Dance references?” Her answer: “No. Except maybe in wedding vows. Or medical diagnoses.”

Patraeus Doesn’t Know if Iraq Strategy is Making America Safer

posted by on September 11 at 2:14 PM

The news of the day, according to AmericaBlog:

The Mayor’s Colon

posted by on September 11 at 2:02 PM

MAYOR GETS CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH - ENCOURAGES CANCER SCREENING Be aware of your personal risk factors and get screened early

SEATTLE – Acknowledging September as a national cancer awareness month, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels today encouraged people to talk with their doctors about their personal risk factors of cancer and encouraged screening for early detection. Last week Nickels underwent screening for colon cancer at Group Health Cooperative, his second — the first screening was three years ago, shortly before he turned 50.

Nickels has a family history of cancer. The mayor’s father Robert C. Nickels was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1980. It reappeared in his liver in 1982 and he survived 25 years without further reoccurrence. He passed away in May at the age of 81.

“I am fortunate to have received a clean bill of health,” said Nickels. “I will continue to get regular screenings and talk with my doctor about how to lower my risk of colon cancer and stay healthy.”

I have just been informed by Nat “Iron Man” Irons, our tech wizard, that if the Mayor was indeed full of shit, a colonoscopy could not be performed.

Learning is fun.

9/11 Truth

posted by on September 11 at 1:41 PM

If you haven’t read it yet, please do traipse over to this week’s feature on the 9/11 Truth Movement by Paul Constant. It’s a hell of a read.

I like this piece because it manages to encapsulate my exact thoughts on 9/11 Truth, especially in this paragraph:

Do I think that the government gave us the whole truth about 9/11? Of course I don’t; I’m not an idiot. The CIA trained Osama Bin Laden to fight the Soviets, the Bush and Bin Laden families have been tied together in business dealings forever, and the administration has barely released any usable information about the attacks. But I also think that the Truth Movement is looking backward, which certainly won’t help them succeed in their mission and, incidentally, is the same sin that We Are Change Seattle’s members rightfully hold the peace movement accountable for.

How do I weigh my mistrust of our administration against the fact that suggesting that these people died at the hands of our own government gives me the same feeling as denying the Holocaust?

About a year ago, a friend of mine convinced me to watch the film Loose Change, and I got very emotional and upset and extremely red in the face. What kind of balls could these people have to accuse the government of killing its own people? I didn’t know what to say to her, which is completely unlike me in any situation. This story finally helped me to have the right words. Read it now.

Happy Ten Year Anniversary

posted by on September 11 at 1:40 PM

… to triple drug therapy for HIV.

While the new therapy started in 1996, it was on September 11th 1997 when the first report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Here is a lovely manuscript—a proper randomized double-blind and controlled study.

The trial patients were grouped by CD4 T cell counts, and then randomized to triple drug therapy or the controls of single or double drug therapy. Initially, the study was to last 52 weeks. When the results started to roll in, the blinding was ended and everyone allowed access to the triple drug cocktail.

At the time the language both cautious and astounded,

The three-drug combination of indinavir, zidovudine, and lamivudine reduced the viral load in serum to less than 500 copies per milliliter for up to one year in more than 80 percent of the HIV-infected patients we studied, all of whom had prior antiretroviral therapy. Most patients in the three-drug group whose HIV RNA levels were reduced to less than 500 copies per milliliter also had less than 50 RNA copies per milliliter when the ultrasensitive investigational assay was used. The sustained response in HIV RNA levels with the three-drug therapy was superior to that with either indinavir monotherapy or the combination of zidovudine and lamivudine. No prior antiretroviral regimen has produced the marked, sustained decreases in viral load achieved with this three-drug combination.

Finally, physicians were able to reduce viral loads to near undetectable levels. The researchers didn’t even consider this a cure, rather a path to “delayed progression to AIDS and prolonged survival.” At the time, it wasn’t clear if reducing HIV viral loads would really help patients avoid AIDS; by the end of the short study, CD4 T cell levels had only started to increase.
The dissociation between the marked decreases in viral load and the incomplete restoration of CD4 cell counts in the three-drug group remains unexplained. Some patients may have ongoing, slower increases in CD4 cell counts after six months of therapy. In patients with autoimmune disease or cancer who receive intensive radiation therapy or chemotherapy, CD4 cell counts recover slowly and may take three years or more to reach normal levels.30,31 Further study is needed to determine what level of restoration of CD4 cell number and function can ultimately be attained with the three-drug regimen. It remains to be seen whether the immune system can be fully reconstituted even when regimens that achieve maximal HIV suppression are used.

The scientists ended with a prescient thought. “Without complete viral suppression, antiretroviral regimens will probably select for drug-resistant mutants, leading to the failure of therapy,” they cautioned.


So, happy ten years of highly effective anti-retroviral therapy.

Submitted Without Comment

posted by on September 11 at 11:43 AM


1984 ad for the World Trade Center via Copyranter.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 11 at 11:00 AM


Dinosaur Jr., Band of Horses at Neumo’s

The recently reunited Dinosaur Jr. remain one of the titans of independent (and not just “indie”) rock. They are as renowned for their deft guitar work and squalls of feedback as for the tensions between band members J Mascis and Lou Barlow. On Beyond, their first album since 1998 with all the original members, the animosity is gone, but the tense/slack musical dynamic remains. People say the live shows are a winning mix of gray nostalgia and renewed energy. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 7 pm, $20, 21+.)


Ye Olde First Amendment

posted by on September 11 at 10:49 AM

For a newspaper columnist, Joel Connelly has a rather bizarre take on the First Amendment. In a column attacking voters with the gall to bark at elected officials and reporters with the nerve to question candidates about the intersection of their faith and their public life, Joel wrote…

Our Founding Fathers designed the First Amendment to provide an alternative to boorish, repressive and authoritarian behavior.

I thought that was bizarre—and so did Erica Barnett, who picks apart Joel’s column here. We always thought the First Amendment was designed to prevent the government from regulating speech and that it specifically protected rude, offensive speech—particularly when it’s directed at politicians. But, hey, we’re just punk kids! What do we know about ye olde First Amendment? Or what, exactly, was going through the booze-addled brains of our founding fathers when they “designed” it? So I sent Joel’s column to the American Civil Liberties Union HQ in Washington D.C. for comment. Marv Johnson, ACLU Legislative Counsel, wrote back to me this morning.

The one thing we know for sure about our Founding Fathers’ intentions was that they opposed prior restraints on speech. Other than that, the historical record is strangely silent. “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech” certainly seems clear, but then Congress in 1798 adopted the Alien and Sedition Act which does exactly that. So, it is unclear exactly what the Founders had in mind, which is why you see very little of “originalist” language in First Amendment decisions….

As for the First Amendment “protecting” us from boorish behavior, that is the antithesis of the “free, wide-open and robust” marketplace of ideas… The First Amendment was certainly NOT adopted to keep people from being vocal about disagreements. To the contrary, it was designed to foster those disaagreements, and keep the government from being the arbiter of the who gets to speak.

Full text of Johnson’s email after the jump.

Continue reading "Ye Olde First Amendment" »

The Old Ballgame

posted by on September 11 at 10:44 AM

I have three tickets to the Ms tonight—pretty good seats, too. But I can’t go. Anyone want ‘em?


Uh… hello?

Seattle Police Cadet Killed In Car Crash

posted by on September 11 at 10:42 AM

We have an unconfirmed report that a Seattle Police Cadet was killed in a car accident this morning. We have the cadet’s name and are trying to confirm details with SPD.

From the PI:

The accident occurred near Boeing Access Road shortly before 7 a.m., when a car and pickup truck apparently hit at a right angle, a State Patrol dispatcher said.

The officer, who was driving a compact car, suffered severe trauma and was rushed to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

UPDATE: We’ve got confirmation that the 26-year-old police cadet was killed in the crash.

From Brzezinski’s Mouth

posted by on September 11 at 10:35 AM

Let’s leave all emotion at the door and enter this room of consideration with eyes that are not distorted by tears and hearts that are not mushy with family and national feelings. With this clear mind (thought in the hard home of the head and not in the soft home of the heart), let’s open and look at an important part of this interview, “Jimmy Carter and I Started the Mujahideen: Interview of Zbigniew Brzezinski” (Le Nouvel Observateur, 1998—Brzezinski served as Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor from 1977 to 1981):

About the CIA intervention in Afghanistan

Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn’t believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don’t regret anything today?

B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.

Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?

B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?

Two points.
Most who look at this declaration by Brzezinski at a distance of six years from September 11, 2001, will think, “What an idiot he was.” But let’s shake away all such feelings and look directly at Brzezinski’s argument for one cold moment. Isn’t he actually right? The Afghan war did bog down and eventual bring the Soviet war machine to a halt. The collapse of the Soviet Union, and the subsequent end of the Cold War, was clearly related to the massive loss of money and lives that it paid for the decade-long war in Afghanistan. Without such loses and the demoralization of its troops, the Cold War would certainly have continued into the 90s.

With this in mind, one can reach the mark of wondering which line of history is worse: one that is driven by the expensive military motor of the Cold War; or one in which threats and dangers to national security are limited to terrorist actions that, for the most part, are poorly funded and rarely spectacular?

The trick of the Bush Administration has been to hide the fact that the world is actually safer and to engage in wars that have no contact with this reality. And because there is no contact between the untruth (the world is as dangerous now as it was during the Cold War), and the truth (the world is actually safer), the world of truth is undone by the world it is not—the world becomes what it wasn’t in fact, dangerous: The Iraq war, and not terrorists, have made the world more dangerous). Why are we in Iraq? Because of terrorists? A national war machine is going after poorly funded and rarely successful gangsters? That is the reality—no, the absurdity.

Where Brzezinski might have been wrong is here: “We [had] the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war.” USSR’s war in Afghanistan is less and less looking like USA’s war in Vietnam, and more and more like the present war in Iraq. Vietnam did not kill a superpower; Iraq, however, seems to be the one on the historic road to that achievement.

Assholes, Charlatans, and Bores: Welcome to the World of Fine Wine

posted by on September 11 at 10:29 AM

Also: have you read the piece about Thomas Jefferson’s wine in the most recent New Yorker? It’s a delightful parade of jackasses and snobs, which makes all the cheating and double-dealing especially delicious.

There’s this guy:

Koch may be as compulsive about filing lawsuits as he is about collecting. He waged a twenty-year legal battle against two of his brothers relating to the family business. (The matter was settled in 2001.) He sued the state of Massachusetts over an improperly taxed stock transaction and won a forty-six-million-dollar abatement. When a former girlfriend whom he had installed at a condo in Boston’s Four Seasons hotel refused to leave, Koch took her to housing court and had her evicted. He talks about “dropping a subpoena” on people as if he were lobbing a grenade.

And this guy:

Starting in 1980, Rodenstock began holding lavish annual wine tastings, weekend-long affairs attended by wine critics, retailers, and various German dignitaries and celebrities. He opened scores of old and rare wines, all provided at his own expense, and served in custom-made “Rodenstock” glasses that were supplied by his friend the glassmaker Georg Riedel. Impeccably dressed, wearing stylish Rodenstock eyeglasses and shirts with stiff white collars, he bantered with guests, exclaiming, over an especially fine bottle, “Ja, unglaublich! One hundred points!” He was punctilious about being on time, barring latecomers, and when serving older wines he banned spitting, which prompted some guests, alarmed at the number of bottles they would be sampling, to hide spittoons in their laps. “You don’t spit away history,” Rodenstock admonished them. “You drink it.”

Oh, and then there’s this guy:

During his first term as President, Jefferson spent seventy-five hundred dollars—roughly a hundred and twenty thousand dollars in today’s currency—on wine, and he is generally regarded as America’s first great wine connoisseur. (He may also have been America’s first great wine bore. “There was, as usual, a dissertation upon wines,” John Quincy Adams noted in his diary after dining with Jefferson in 1807. “Not very edifying.”)

The story is here. You should read it.

When Rotting is Simply NOT an Option!

posted by on September 11 at 10:19 AM

Are you dead and just don’t know what to do with yourself? Does your weird fucking religion prevent your corpse from being cremated? Are dead people taking up all the best real estate? Junking up your storage space? Littering your lawn? Don’t you wish there was a solution?

There is!

By the good grace of God, technology has finally caught up with market demand and today, you have a new, improved, attractive and cost effective option that is proving to be a popular and more practical option than either burial or cremation.

That option is Compacting.

Yes, the man said COMPACTING. Click here, and compact YOUR dignity, today!


And Now, In Honor of the Anniversary of September 11th, I Present to You…

posted by on September 11 at 10:18 AM

… a British man playing the nose trumpet.

(If you’re short on time, fast forward to the one-minute mark. That’s when the music proper begins.)

Lucky Guy

posted by on September 11 at 10:13 AM

Madonna was spotted leaving a London hotel with her husband, director Guy Ritchie. Madonna was carrying a see-through shopping bag, and in the shopping bag was… a Purple Penetrator, a.k.a. a strap-on dildo.


The Daily Mail, a reliably trashy UK tab, concludes that Madonna “really does wear the trousers in her relationship,” because a little pegging, per the Mail, is emasculating—permanently emasculating, not just for the duration of the pegging. Please make a note of it.

There’s no evidence that Ritchie was pegged at all—the PP is still in the box, and may have been unused, and Madonna might just be lugging it around to get her name in the papers. Madonna’s like that.

From the Purple Penetrator the Mail then pivots into a discussion of Madonna and Ritchie’s efforts to adopt that little Malawi boy. Because, you know, if you’re kinky… you’re unfit to adopt. Or something.

Via Fleshbot.

Nightclubs: Police Report Shows City Exaggerated Gun Claim

posted by on September 11 at 10:07 AM

If you actually read the SPD incident report about U District haunt Tommy’s Nightclub and Grill, it takes the alarming sex appeal out of the notion, reported dutifully by The Seattle Times on Monday, that “In two cases officers posing as patrons were able to bring guns into a club, police said.”

Supposedly, one of those clubs was Tommy’s. Indeed, without balancing out the story, the Seattle Times continued dutifully reporting this morning: “Police said undercover officers were able to bring guns into Tommy’s, 4425 University Way.”

That’s actually not what the police report says, nor, incidentally, is it what workers at Tommy’s say. In fact, both Tommy’s employees and the report say no gun made it into Tommy’s. SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson did not deny this reading of the report, saying only, “It’s self-explanatory.”

Yes, it is.

The otherwise detailed report curiously stops short of saying a gun made it into the club. The charges on the report do not include allowing a gun in the club.

This jibes with the story I heard from workers at Tommy’s. They say they recognized the officer (from security trainings) who was trying to get the gun into the club.

“Tell him all he has to do is show you his badge, and we’ll let him bring the gun in,” Tommy’s manager reportedly, and sarcastically, instructed the temporary doorman.

The police report echoes this account, stating only that the doorman “told [the undercover officer] he would let him in if he had a permit.” The report ends there.

According to folks at Tommy’s, the undercover cop left the scene at that point. Two other undercover cops with guns had already been turned away, according to workers at Tommy’s.

I have interviewed bouncers, doormen, bartenders, managers, and club owners, and I will have a more detailed story in tomorrow’s paper—including a little context about the supposed gun violation at the other club, Tabella.

Britneygate Day 2: Expressive Young Men Take to YouTube

posted by on September 11 at 10:04 AM

Chris Crocker does not want anyone making fun of Britney during this hard time. He means it.

Meanwhile in a suburban bedroom, a more resilient young man works out his Britney angst by giving the performance she should’ve:

Chris Crocker makes my skin crawl, but that Hairspray-obsessed dancing boy warms my heart.

(Thanks to Towleroad for the first link, and to Hot Tipper Keith for the second.)


posted by on September 11 at 9:34 AM

Seattle is expensive.

Meanwhile in the Heartland

posted by on September 11 at 8:54 AM

Meet the flower of the white race…


…and read all about their shocking, racist sex crime—a crime that will surely revive speculation about why the media “ignored” this crime.

The Morning News

posted by on September 11 at 8:30 AM

Sept. 11: The sixth anniversary.

Sept. 11: The Bin Laden video.

Sept. 11: Some illustrations.

Patraeus and Crocker: Day 2.

Crocker: The critique.

Bush’s exit strategy: Pass it on to the next president.

Poll: Most Iraqis think the surge has failed.

Poll: Only 30 percent of Americans think the U.S. is winning the “War on Terror.”

$850,000: The amount of Hsu money that Clinton is returning today.


Monday, September 10, 2007

Vitter the Shitter

posted by on September 10 at 6:45 PM

Louisiana’s hooker-bangin’, diaper-wearin’, family valuin’ GOP senator—David Vitter—is back in the news.

A former New Orleans prostitute who says she had an affair with Sen. David Vitter has passed a lie-detector test and will provide details of the four-month relationship at a press conference Tuesday, according to Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.

Wendy Cortez, whose real name is Wendy Ellis, says she had a sexual relationship with Vitter, R-La., in 1999, when he was a state legislator.

Copies of the results of Cortez’s polygraph test, which she took at Flynt’s request, will be provided to reporters at the news conference at Flynt’s office in Beverly Hills, Calif., Hustler said in a news release Monday.

Slog Tracking Poll: Results

posted by on September 10 at 5:30 PM

Here are the results from today’s polls.

The question was: Who do you want to be the Democratic presidential nominee? (One poll included Al Gore in the list of choices, the other didn’t.)

There’s no change in the order of preference since our last identical poll at the beginning of August. With Gore in the running, Slog readers still like Gore best, followed by Obama and Clinton. Without Gore in the running, Slog readers still like Obama best, followed by Clinton and Edwards.

Without Gore…

With Gore…

But there is at least one interesting difference in the September results vs. the August results. I’ll post about that tomorrow. Meanwhile, if you think you see any noteworthy differences yourselves, put them in the comments.

For those of You Who Don’t Like Rep. Brian Baird, I Give You Rep. Jay Inslee.

posted by on September 10 at 5:12 PM

This press release issued today by Rep. Jay Inslee in response to the Patraeus report.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), who voted against the war in Iraq almost five years ago, released the following statement in response to a much anticipated testimony given in the House today by General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker on progress in Iraq.

“Whether we leave in six weeks, six months or six more years, the result is going to be the same – a result decided by Iraqis. We’ve got to get over the Six-Month Syndrome – that if we just stay another six months with another 600 American soldiers dead, that somehow democracy suddenly will blossom in Iraq.”

“We may have had a reduction in violence in some parts of Iraq, but we haven’t advanced in solving difference between Shiites and Sunnis in the last six months or five years. No amount of the administration’s smoke and mirrors can hide one fundamental fact: that there hasn’t been political reconciliation in Iraq, just a continuation of the president’s ruinous policies.

“No matter how effective our military is, it cannot solve the political problems in Iraq. The destiny of Iraq cannot be decided by American soldiers – it only can be determined by the Iraqi people and their leaders. Only Iraqis can forge political compromises necessary for long-term success. That’s why we need a timetable for redeployment in an orderly fashion.”

Get Ready…

posted by on September 10 at 4:30 PM

Tomorrow, if you’ve somehow managed to avoid being reminded, is the sixth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

A Tokin’ Gesture?

posted by on September 10 at 4:25 PM

I’m in the downtown library at a Washington Department of Health workshop on new rules for medical marijuana. DoH officials must replace the ambiguous 60-day supply of pot currently allowed for authorized patients with a presumptive quantity-per-patient by 2008, as tasked by the state legislature earlier this year.

The hearing, the first of four, consists of about 60 sick people hobbling and wheeling their way up to a microphone to tell stories about how marijuana has eased their suffering. Unfortunately, most of them have failed to answer the key questions: How much dried pot and how many plants do patients need?

One man, Jeff Morgan, stepped up and proclaimed, “Most of my life, I’ve been a pot dealer and pot smuggler.” He spoke against establishing a state-run registry for patients, an option that isn’t on the table: “With a new order trying to be imposed on you, you’re going to be paying more for marijuana. As businessman, that’s good for me.” Uh, okay.

In the most theatrical display, a man named Steve Sarich, wearing a suit and tie, strutted up to the panel and said, “I came bearing gifts.” He plunked a baby tomato plant on the table and rhetorically asked how many pounds of tomatoes it would produce. “We don’t know when we start what we’re going to get off of it,” he belabored. Point taken, we don’t know how many tomatoes it would produce, but his conclusion that the DoH thusly shouldn’t make any plant limit misses the point of the workshops.

Law enforcement officers and prosecutors need a way to determine who is complying with the law and who is abusing it—that means setting plant numbers and dried weight limits. Fortunately, several cogent speakers are also on hand to make the case for adequate supplies. A man busted in Yakima with only three joints recounted an officer telling him, “There is no medical marijuana law in Washington State.”

Beyond the sad stories, the bigger issue is whether our medical marijuana law – and drug reforms in general – can be meaningfully implemented. If the DoH sets limits too restrictive, patients will exceed the cap and continue to be busted, making this process a token gesture.

Today on Line Out.

posted by on September 10 at 3:56 PM

Hep Cats: Tommy Lee vs Kid Rock.

“Derivative of Pavement”: The Onion Takes on Pitchfork.

Overpowered: Nick Scholl on Róisín Murphy.

Record Companies Creatively Embrace New Technology! : Just Kidding, Terry Miller on MP3 “Blog Hari-Kari.”

Welcome Back, Ricardo: Terry Miller on Ricardo Villalobos’ Fabric 36.

“You Broke My Sitar, Motherfucker”: Brian Jonestown Massacre: Still Disintegrating on Stages Near You.

“Designed to Suck, and You Don’t Even Have to Pay Attention Anymore”: David Schmader on Britney Spears, Dave Grohl and the MTV VMAs.

Pacemaker of Gold: Neil “Young” Comes to Seattle.

Re: Connelly’s Wrong, etc…

posted by on September 10 at 3:39 PM

First of all, it was a little weird that the dailies hadn’t done anything on the story that a high-profile challenger for a Seattle City Council seat had ties to an extremist group.

And so it’s even weirder that the only thing that shows up after Erica’s coverage is this convoluted rant from the P-I’s Joel Connelly attacking Erica. Sheesh. Maybe the P-I should cover the story before letting Connelly out of the attic.

Second, I want to repeat one of Erica’s points about Connelly’s asinine attempt: Connelly attacks me for not talking to Rep. Dave Reichert about his religion, but then attacks us for talking to Burgess about his religion. That’s just weird, Joel.

P.S. to Connelly: When I called you to see if you had talked to Reichert before you defended his religious views, you admitted that you hadn’t. You were “planning to,” you said. You also, coincidentally, hadn’t talked to me before calling me a bigot. So, question: Have you talked to Reichert yet?

HUMP Tickets

posted by on September 10 at 2:09 PM


HUMP! tickets go on sale this Thursday. Watch this space for info about getting yours…

Got Protest? Who Cares. Part 2

posted by on September 10 at 1:02 PM


This chalk graffiti was spotted outside the Hugo House arts center on Capitol Hill.

Courtesy: Stranger Managing Art Director, Aaron Edge.

Connelly: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong

posted by on September 10 at 12:27 PM

Joel Connelly’s column today (“Freedom of Speech Takes A Beating”) attacks the Stranger (and, specifically, me) for “strafing…the First Amendment” by writing about City Council candidate Tim Burgess’s work on behalf of religious-right hate group Concerned Women for America, which advocates against equal rights for gays and lesbians, against abortion rights, against birth control, and against public education, among other things, and for quoting an editorial he wrote about Democrats and “values voters” in the wake of the 2004 election. Just so I don’t get accused of taking Connelly out of context, here’s the relevant excerpt from his column:

The latest local strafing of the First Amendment has come from a media outlet.

After the 2004 election, Seattle businessman Tim Burgess wrote an opinion piece addressing Democrats’ problems attracting support from people of faith. It tracked themes of a speech given a few weeks earlier by Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.

“Admittedly, we struggle with a lot of pressing issues,” he wrote. “We value the sacredness of marriage between a woman and a 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.

“We abhor racism and desire justice and fairness for all, especially in our courts, but also in our personal relationships. We’re conflicted by capital punishment because all life is sacred. We value truth telling and integrity.”

Burgess is now running for the City Council, and “haunted” by his article in the words of Erica Barnett of The Stranger.

As high priests of anti-religious prejudice in Seattle, editors at the Capitol Hill newspaper summoned Burgess for a grilling last week.

It seems that Burgess, too, deviated from the party line. It isn’t that he’s anti-gay or that his firm did work for a Christian right group, but — truth be told — that he violated The Stranger’s view of Seattle as a “blue” enclave united by secularism and hostility to “values voters.”

That isn’t America. Our country is a pluralistic place: Our city needs to be, too. All points of view should put on the table, discussed and debated. Intelligent folk are sometimes “conflicted.”

It is repellent to see anybody shouted down, or shut out. When it comes to “Freedom of Speech,” and First Amendment rights, we should all be fundamentalists.

Our Founding Fathers designed the First Amendment to provide an alternative to boorish, repressive and authoritarian behavior.

Where to begin? How about with the allegation that the “high priests of religious prejudice,” the “editors” at the Stranger, “summoned Burgess in for a grilling”?

Joel didn’t call me (and never has) to verify this statement, which he presents as fact. If he had, he’d have discovered that it simply isn’t true; Burgess called me and suggested he, Dan, Josh and I get together so he could explain himself more fully and in person. We (particularly Josh and Dan, who hadn’t talked to Burgess as much as I had) wanted to hear more about the evolution of his views on gay marriage and women’s rights, as well as his explanation for working for a group directly at odds with his stated values, so we had him in. The media has a right and a duty to ask candidates to explain themselves when they take contradictory positions. Giving Burgess an opportunity to explain himself (which he did; see my report on that meeting here) is the opposite of censorship.

Moving on, Joel says—again, without talking to any of us—that, “truth be told, [Burgess] violated The Stranger’s view of Seattle as a ‘blue’ enclave united by secularism and hostility to ‘values voters.’”

Joel doesn’t need to be told that there’s no such thing as “the Stranger’s view,” any more than there’s any such thing as “the Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s view.” The Stranger is not a monolith any more than the P-I; the writers and editors ere hold a diversity of views on a variety of different issues, including the value of “values voters” to the Democratic Party, which was the subject of Burgess’s editorial. The concern some of us had with the editorial is one which many Seattle voters would likely share; namely, that Burgess—running for office as a progressive, with endorsements from Democratic organizations—appeared to share the Republican point of view on gay marriage and abortion, among other issues. While it’s true that City Council members don’t vote on those issues, local elected positions are often stops on the way to higher office, making these relevant questions (and ones we’ve asked plenty of other City Council candidates.) We’ve laid out the reasons we were disturbed by Burgess’s editorial in excruciating detail here, here, and here, and none of them involve “our” view that Seattle should be hostile to “values voters.” All, in fact, include extensive quotes from Burgess—making Connelly’s assertion that we somehow “shut him out” all the more absurd. (And, for the record, Burgess and his campaign consultant have both told me repeatedly that they believe my coverage has been “fair”—hardly the sort of thing someone who’s being “censored” would say.)

Ironically, Connelly has also trashed us for failing to talk to a candidate about his religious views; in a column he wrote in July, Connelly called Josh a “bigot” for failing to talk to Dave Reichert before writing a column about Reichert’s religious beliefs. As Josh explained—again—on Slog, he tried to reach Reichert, but Reichert did not return his call. In contrast, Connelly didn’t bother calling Josh or Reichert before writing his column.

It’s also worth noting that elsewhere in today’s column, Connelly bashes “angry anti-war” activists for shouting down US Rep. Brian Baird for supporting the Iraq surge. What he doesn’t bother to mention is that, in all the reporting on that meeting, only one media outlet has criticized the left-wing anti-war orthodoxy. That would be … The Stranger.

Finally: The First Amendment was not written to “provide an alternative to boorish… behavior.” It was written to prevent government interference in citizen speech and assembly. Freedom of speech does not mean the right to speak your mind but not to be challenged or questioned. Nor does it mean, as some have suggested, that political groups like CWA have the right to be represented by a particular private PR firm. Connelly, as someone who’s been in the newspaper business for decades, is well aware of these distinctions. By calling criticism censorship—and accusing other media outlets of violating the First Amendment by asking questions—Connelly is guilty of the worst kind of scare-mongering and hypocrisy.

Edwards Coming to Seattle

posted by on September 10 at 12:10 PM

Jenny Durkan, the Washington State Chair for the John Edwards Campaign, tells me that Edwards will be in Seattle on Sept. 19 for a fundraiser at the Westin.

Also coming through town in the near future: Ron Paul (Sept. 14) and Bill Clinton (November).

Got Protest? Who Cares.

posted by on September 10 at 11:56 AM

I’ve gotten several e-mails (and phone calls) about last week’s CounterIntel column.

The column, titled “Got Protest?”, lamented that the the anti-war movement is pretty limp.

In particular, I focused on the fact that young people seemed absent. This is hard to miss given that the Iraq war is consistently compared to the Vietnam war, and the Vietnam era was defined by shock troops of young protesters who voiced this country’s growing opposition to the war.

The letters and callers pointed out that the reason young people aren’t taking to the streets and shutting down campuses is because today, there isn’t a draft.

Yes. Yes. I know that. I probably should have referenced that point in the column. But really, I wasn’t asking why young people weren’t hitting the streets, I was just pointing it out, and making the larger case that there doesn’t seem to be a bona fide protest movement at all.

Here’s the other point I left out: Protest doesn’t seem to matter, anyway.

Consider: The massive Vietnam protests did not end the war. The US was officially in Vietnam from 1964 to 1973. And we really didn’t get out until 1975—when we were driven out by the Vietnamese. The height of the protest movement, 68-70, apparently didn’t end the war.

More important, consider this: the Iraq war is unpopular, anyway. Really really unpopular. Check the polling. And the Commander in Chief, President Bush, isn’t so popular either. And all this, without a mass protest movement. So, do we even need protesters?

Yes, we do. If you believe that a heightened protest movement along the lines of the late 1960s would be able to translate the negative polling numbers into an immediate withdrawal from Iraq?

Based on the experience in Vietnam, though, it doesn’t seem like it would.

Unfortunately, the ballot box doesn’t seem to do the trick either. Even after November 2006, the Democrats voted to extend Bush’s AT&T surveillance, and they continue to flounder when it comes to ending the war.

To summarize:
No youth mobilization because there’s no draft.
Does it matter anyway?

Oh, sittin down by the fire, oh!
The radio does play
The classical music there, jim
The march of the wooden soldiers
All you protest kids
You can hear jack say, get ready, ah

The Petraeus Report

posted by on September 10 at 11:49 AM


Live video here, among other places.

Live-blogging here, here, and here.

Picture via.

Meanwhile: Nine American soldiers killed in Iraq today.

Larry Craig Still Giving Good Headline

posted by on September 10 at 11:46 AM

Craig files papers to withdraw guilty plea in sex sting

Sen. Larry Craig filed papers today seeking to withdraw his guilty plea in an airport sex sting, arguing that he entered the plea under stress caused by media inquiries into his sexuality….

In a “state of intense anxiety” following his arrest, Craig “felt compelled to grasp the lifeline offered to him by the police officer,” namely, a guilty plea Craig hoped would keep the matter from being made public, said the court papers filed in Hennepin County District Court.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 10 at 11:00 AM


‘3:10 to Yuma’

A mostly faithful remake of Delmer Daves’s 1957 classic, 3:10 to Yuma isn’t a necessary film. But it sure is tasty. Beautiful, gripping, and impeccably cast (arch-villain Ben Foster could fry twin cigarette burns with his close-set eyes, and Russell Crowe aces his best role in forever), this is a Western that lives up to the capital W. (See Movie Times for details.)


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

posted by on September 10 at 10:42 AM

It’s been about a month since we did our last poll of Slog readers on the race for the Democratic presidential nomination. I know, I know: These internet polls are way unscientific. Tell it to the comments.

But they do provide a sense of the Slogosphere, and I think it will be interesting to track the sense of Slogosphere over time, as we approach and then head through the Democratic primary contests.

To recap: In August, the top three, when Gore was excluded, were: Obama (39 percent), Clinton (24 percent), and Edwards (19 percent). When Gore was included it was Gore (45 percent), Obama (24 percent), and Clinton (13 percent).

Here we go again. One poll with Gore, one without. Vote in both, please. Poll closes at 5 p.m.

Nickels’s Crackdown

posted by on September 10 at 10:37 AM

Mayor Nickels’s undercover sting “Operation Sobering Thought” netted 17 arrests at a long list of clubs across the city. Bouncers let in underage patrons, served underage patrons, and in two cases, let in weapons. The sting hit clubs in downtown, the U-District, Belltown, Capitol Hill, and Pioneer Square.

City Attorney Tom Carr, appalled at all the violations, called the arrests “shocking.”

Shocking? Shocking that the police did their job and made arrests.

The mayor is spinning “Operation Enduring Freedom” as proof that we need a club licensing scheme to reign in problem clubs. Not sure I follow. To buy off on Nickels’s logic, you’d have to believe that rather than simply busting shoplifters, the city should make convenience stores get a special license to operate. Yeah. That’ll solve the problem. Teenagers will never lift a candy bar again. And that way, hey, the cops won’t have to worry about doing their jobs.

Look, Nickels’s sting is proof of is this: There are already laws on the books—like, don’t serve minors—and the police were able to bust people for violating those laws. End of story.

That’s why laws exist. So, when people break them, they get arrested. Why is this such a big deal? The city did its job. Apparently, it should do it more often.

Oh, My Aching Wand!

posted by on September 10 at 10:06 AM

Ladies, gentlemen, and that INSANE chick from Burien or whatever who totally believes she’s dating him (cookoo, cookoo), I am proud and rather tumescent to report that this…


is coming to America, and it’s bringing those fabulous abs with it. A report:

Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe has confirmed he’ll be stripping for theater audiences in New York after signing on to star in the London transfer of Peter Shaffer’s controversial play “Equus.”

Indeed. And he’s just 18 now, so. You know what that means…


Right. Now he can legally rent a canoe.



In Defense of Sarah Silverman

posted by on September 10 at 9:56 AM

In the comments of my Britney Spears post, Ms. Silverman is taking a beating for her merciless mockery of Britney and her kids at last night’s VMA Awards.

True, going after someone’s kids is deeply iffy, but it must be said that Silverman’s richest joke of the night took aim at her own inherently racist Jewyness. As I remember it:

“I was talking to Cee-Lo backstage. I asked him ‘When you were growing up in Atlanta, did you experience any racism?” He said the most interesting thing: ‘I’m Kanye West.’

It’s Bloodier in Jamaica

posted by on September 10 at 9:54 AM

Wow, that’s some island paradise you’ve got there.

While governments in a number of Latin American countries and elsewhere begin to recognize the legal rights of same-sex partners, Jamaica is bolstering its image as one of the most virulently anti-gay societies in the Western Hemisphere. Between February and July of this year, 98 gay men and lesbians were targeted in 43 different mob attacks, according to the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All-Sexuals and Gays. Four lesbians were raped, four gay men were murdered, and the houses of two gay men were burned down.

Human-rights activists fault gay-baiting recording artists, fundamentalist Christian church groups and mainstream political leaders who dare not antagonize some of the island’s more prominent men of the cloth… Jamaica also has the world’s third-highest per capita murder rate, behind South Africa and Colombia, and the blend of widespread violence and anti-homosexual prejudice creates a ripe climate for hate crimes targeting gays and lesbians….

Even today homophobia is tacitly condoned by some political parties and companies. The Jamaican-owned Sandals chain of resort hotels refused to lodge same-sex couples as recently as three years ago, and the country has retained a colonial-era law that criminalizes anal intercourse long after the former colonial power, Britain, struck down such statutes. During the country’s 2001 election the opposition Jamaican Labour Party adopted as its jingle the song “Chi Chi Man,” which celebrates the burning and killing of gay men.

Drunk (Sixth in series)

posted by on September 10 at 9:53 AM

Water Fountain outside the gym at Shoreline Community College.

Temperature: Finally! Cold, cold, cold. 10

Stream: Steady, high arc, but on the thin side. 6

Taste: No trace of bathroom pipe flavor. Cold water. Nothing tastes better. 10

Hum: Bona fide rumble. Although, it didn’t have much of a rhythm. 7

Style: The next-best-thing to the full-stand water fountains you can find in government office buildings and old gyms? The mid-size. As opposed to the half-assed minis that jut out from the wall, the mid-size commands a hefty chunk of real estate. And the textured facing is a delight when compared to the plain silver front you get with most minis these days. 8

Make: I was full on expecting this to be the classic fantastic Halsey Taylor or at least an Oasis or Elkay, but it wasn’t. The brand name was faded out, but it was not a Halsey Taylor.

Comments: This fountain was hidden around the corner from the gym in a dark hallway. Perfect touch: The exposed electric wiring.

Final Score: 8.2


Previously in the Drunk Series.

Every Generation Has Its Defining Moments

posted by on September 10 at 9:28 AM

Woodstock. The moon landing. Y2K. 9/11. Throw them in a blender with some Cheetos and you’ve got Britney Spears’ “comeback” performance last night at MTV’s Video Music Awards:

I hardly know where to begin. First, the obvious: Holy shit. That was the worst alleged performance by an alleged entertainment professional in the history of history. She looks awful. Her outfit was chosen by her worst enemy. She can hardly lipsynch her own damn song, which features the unfortunate refrain, “Gimme more.” And doesn’t “comeback” suggest the performer has gone somewhere? Somewhere besides Popeye’s Chicken with no underpants on?

Adding insult to injury: MTV followed Britney’s live-action career suicide with an appearance by Sarah Silverman, who promptly mocked Spears’ children, vagina, and failed career. “Britney! She’s amazing! 25 years old and she’s already accomplished everything she’s going to.”

UPDATE: Viacom has yanked the YouTube video linked above for copyright reasons. But you may still see Britney’s legendary performance at

The Morning News

posted by on September 10 at 7:00 AM

Stall Tactic: Larry “Wide Stance” Craig will withdraw his guilty plea.

Bin Laden: “Virtually impotent”, according to Bush’s national security adviser.

Impotence: Al-Qaida claims responsibility for Algerian bombing which killed 52.

Blind Optimism: General Petraeus wants to postpone a decision on major troop cuts for 6 months.

3,760: The number of US troops killed in Iraq, so far.

Pakistandoff: Pakistan’s exiled Prime Minister returns to campaign against Musharraf.

Burger Ban: Los Angeles looking at limiting fast-food restaurants.

This Weekend in Seattle: Stabbings, shootings and nightclub crackdowns.

Rabies: Could be gone in a decade.

And now, in honor of football season:

Sunday, September 9, 2007


posted by on September 9 at 4:23 PM

It’s in the PI

Police have issued arrest warrants for employees at 14 Seattle nightclubs after an investigation showed they admitted minors and served them alcohol and at least twice allowed an undercover police officer carry a pistol into a club.

The operation, which spanned 10 days, ended Saturday when police served the warrants and made arrests at all but three of the nightclubs. It also comes as the City Council is taking up Mayor Greg Nickels’ proposal to more tightly regulate nightclubs.

Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said at Tabella Restaurant and Lounge—a Belltown nightclub that Nickels wants to be stripped of its liquor license—security staff felt a pistol during a pat down, but still allowed the undercover officer to enter….

Police said the 15 nightclubs, in the University District, Pioneer Square, Belltown and one in Capitol Hill, were selected because of previous alcohol violations, but did not elaborate on specifics of previous violations or how they were chosen.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 9 at 11:00 AM


‘Czech Dream’ at Northwest Film Forum

These two film students in the Czech Republic decide to conceive of and advertise a huge temporary shopping center. They hire image professionals and a slick Prague ad agency and attract lots of attention. There’s only one catch: The whole thing is a hoax. The consumers don’t find out until they show up to consume. It’s a comedy, but it’s tense, and it actually happened. See review, page 82. (Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 267-5380. 7 and 9:15 pm, $8.50.)