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Archives for 10/21/2007 - 10/27/2007

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on October 27 at 3:25 PM


Wow. What a cool moment - this is artist Joe Sacco, last night at Fantagraphics, signing a copy of Palestine for Craig and Cindy Corrie, parents of Rachel Corrie, a local activist killed in the Gaza Strip in 2003.

From The Stranger’s Flickr pool…

Shit’s in the PI

posted by on October 27 at 12:55 PM

Golly, who’s fellating Mark Driscoll today?

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on October 27 at 11:00 AM

Death Blues

The Cave Singers at Crocodile

After four weeks on the road, the Cave Singers—Seattle’s dirgiest dirge-folk trio—have earned a proper homecoming. With these unassuming guys, that requires little more than a case of PBR, a dimly lit stage, a couple acoustic guitars, and their tiny drum kit. Expect numbers from their recently released debut, Invitation Songs: a mesmerizing, pastoral hallucination that could soundtrack a Twin Peaks dream sequence as easily as an Appalachian coal miner’s funeral. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 9 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+.)


Georgetown History

Rainier Brew House Ghost Story at Ranier Cold Storage Brew House

As a rule, haunted houses—scary, funny, or Christian—are for children and stunted adults, but this ghostly tour of the Rainier Brew House sounds promising. The brewery was built in 1903 and its plant manager was the mayor of Georgetown (the “wet outpost” for Seattle, which was a dry city). There will be performances by the cirque noir musicians and acrobats of Circus Contraption and some good actors—including Stranger Genius Award–winner Amy Thone and her supremely talented husband, Hans Altwies. There will, of course, be beer. (Rainier Cold Storage Brew House, 5900 Airport Way S, 8 pm, $5.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Morning News

    posted by on October 27 at 9:00 AM

    posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

    The world’s tiniest violin: Merrill Lynch considers ouster of chief executive.

    The cost of a Rolex: Prison photographer testifies against former Khmer Rouge leaders.

    Slipping through the cracks: Thirty CIA “ghost prisoners” unaccounted for.

    Still not as lazy as Fred Thompson: Democrats in Congress taking Fridays off.

    FEMA: Still bullshitting the country.

    For his next magic trick: Copperfield being investigated by a federal grand jury.

    Keys open doors: Money, cocaine and handgun missing from Lynnwood PD’s evidence room possibly seized in search of deputy chief’s home.

    Whatevs: Mars Hill brings lost twenty-somethings back to the flock.

    Let This Be a Warning To All the Mattress Humpers Out There

    posted by on October 27 at 8:07 AM

    This is nuts.


    A man has been placed on the sex offenders’ register after being caught trying to have sex with a bicycle.

    On Wednesday Mr Stewart admitted to sexual breach of the peace in Ayr Sheriff Court, where depute fiscal Gail Davidson described how he had been found by the hostel workers. She said: “They knocked on the door several times and there was no reply. “They used a master key to unlock the door and they then observed the accused wearing only a white T-shirt, naked from the waist down.

    “The accused was holding the bike and moving his hips back and forth as if to simulate sex.”

    Both witnesses, who were extremely shocked, notified the hotel manager, who in turn alerted the police.

    Mr Stewart was placed on the sex offenders’ register but his sentence was deferred until next month.

    This is appalling. Not Stewart’s actions, but the actions of the cleaners, the hotel manager, the police, and the courts. It seems clear that Stewart didn’t answer the door because he was rubbing one out and didn’t want to be disturbed. And if someone wants to hump an inanimate object in private—behind a locked door!—who is harmed? How is it a “sex offense” to hump a bike—or a mattress or a pillow or a ATV—in private? Or does some jerk taking offense transform a harmless solo sex act—a sex act being enjoyed in complete privacy!—into sex offense that can land someone on a sex offender’s registry?

    Stewart isn’t the first man in the UK busted for having a “sex offense” involving an inanimate object.

    Karl Watkins, an electrician, was jailed for having sex with pavements in Redditch, Worcs, in 1993.

    Republicans Rossi and Hastings MIA on Children’s Health Care

    posted by on October 27 at 7:51 AM

    Check out Thursday’s House vote on expanding children’s health care.

    There are a couple of noteworthy things.

    1) Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8, Bellevue)—facing a serious Democratic challenger next year— is a ‘Yes’—just as he was last week when he voted to override Bush’s veto. (Reichert voted No on the original expansion bill in August.)

    2) Rep. Doc Hastings (R-4, Central Washington) didn’t vote on the bill. He was a ‘No’ on overriding Bush’s veto last week. And he was a ‘No’ on the original vote last August.

    Rep. Hastings has been under pressure from Gov. Gregoire to support SCHIP expansion because Washington state’s efforts to cover more kids—an additional 38,500—will be jeopardized without the federal expansion. 11,000 kids in Hastings’s district would be covered if the bill passed.

    As I Slogged on Thursday (when gubernatorial candidate Dino Rossi wouldn’t tell me where he was on the SCHIP bill):

    The state legislature (at Gov. Christine Gregoire’s insistence) passed a bipartisan bill in Olympia last year that expanded children’s health coverage by $64 million over two years—adding 38,500 children to state Medicaid coverage. If the SCHIP bill at the federal level goes down, the state’s expanded coverage for children would be jeopardized.

    The bill raised the eligibility standard from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 250 percent (and 300 percent by 2009). For a family of three, 300 percent of the federal poverty level is $51,500.

    This expansion—covering 604,000 children in total at an overall cost of $1.6 billion over two years—is partly dependent on the SCHIP bill at the federal level, which would bring in about $90 million over two years according to the State Dept. of Social and Human Services.

    I should add: About 50 percent of our overall coverage for children comes from the feds.

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    News Item of the Day

    posted by on October 26 at 8:15 PM

    The human race will one day split into two separate species, an attractive, intelligent ruling elite and an underclass of dim-witted, ugly goblin-like creatures, according to a top scientist.


    Armed Student Suspended From Seattle Central

    posted by on October 26 at 5:13 PM

    This week, Seattle Central Community College suspended a student for one year after he was found on campus with a backpack full of guns.

    Here’s an excerpt from an email sent around campus:

    Wednesday at noon, the Seattle Police Department removed a student from his classroom and took him to the East Precinct for questioning. The student was carrying a loaded, concealed weapon on his person, along with additional weapons and ammunition in his backpack.

    Because the student had a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon, he was not charged with a crime by the Seattle Police Department, However, it is a violation of college policy to bring a firearm onto school grounds. Anyone caught with a weapon will be referred to the Seattle Police Department for prosecution.

    One More Bit of Drug News

    posted by on October 26 at 5:00 PM

    The use of pot by young people actually dropped in the UK after the government there started treating pot like a soft drug:

    Cannabis use among young people has fallen significantly since its controversial reclassification in 2004, according to the latest British Crime Survey figures published today.

    The Home Office figures showed the proportion of 16 to 24-year-olds who had used cannabis in the past year fell from 25% when the change in the law was introduced to 21% in 2006/07—still about 1.3 million users.

    The impact of the new “confiscate and warn” policy towards those found with cannabis was also reflected in a 54% rise in the number of cannabis seizures to 117,297, and in the 63,331 formal warnings issued in 2005, according to the figures.

    For some young people marijuana prohibition is an important part of the drug’s appeal, not a disincentive to light up. Wanna keep rebellious kids off drugs? Legalize ‘em, tax ‘em, regulate ‘em.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on October 26 at 4:57 PM

    From The Stranger’s reader-powered Flickr account. This one comes with a snappy caption. Go Brappy!

    PASSIVE AGGRESSIVE (or, Only in Seattle)


    Brappy also writes:

    At a local coffee shop this afternoon, I found a lot of signs telling me, a paying customer, what I should and shouldn’t do in their cafe. From top, counterclockwise: I get told how to order, told how to pay, told how to use my table and told how to use my computer when I’m at the table…

    This Week on Drugs

    posted by on October 26 at 4:45 PM


    Shooting Up: San Francisco considers nation’s first supervised injection facility.

    Shot Down: First major study gives student drug testing bad grades.

    Bird Dog: MS patient continues hounding Romney.

    Auburn: Grow-room wiring sets couple’s house on fire.

    San Juan Islands: Three-month DEA sting yields ten pot plants.

    Yes, Utah: State Supreme Court says mere presence of drugs isn’t child endangerment.

    Less than an Ounce: Amount of pot for Bali to consider the death penalty.

    Less Is More: Medical marijuana.

    Meth Guns: May soon be scanning your clothes.

    Pipe Bombs: Stuffed with THC not TNT.

    St. George Mayor: Says pot was for medical use.

    Rick Steves: Pro-pot on Evening Magazine.

    Paranoid Your Phone Is Tapped? DEA Chief takes job at Motorola.

    No Way He Forgot to Eat That: DEA propaganda not very convincing.

    Everything Halloween

    posted by on October 26 at 4:33 PM

    cheneypumpkin.jpg Photo by thom_heileson

    If you’re looking for a slasher-film screening, zombie prom, fetish ball, family-friendly karaoke, scary comedy, sexy dance party, or anything else Halloween-themed between tonight and October 31, start here.

    If you run into any amazing, brilliant, or outrageous costumes this weekend, please snap photos and add them to our Flickr group. (Some of us are still desperate for ideas.)

    What Does This Lady…

    posted by on October 26 at 4:05 PM


    … have in common with THIS lady and THIS lady?

    Continue reading "What Does This Lady..." »

    DV-One Found Guilty

    posted by on October 26 at 3:49 PM

    Reports are coming in that Seattle DJ DV-One—aka Toby Campbell—has been found guilty of assaulting an officer.


    Info on DV-One’s case can be found here and here.


    OPARB member Sheley Secrest says they are still waiting to receive files from the police department, and will still be looking at OPA’s investigation of Campbell’s case.

    UPDATE 2:

    According to Campbell’s attorney, Lisa Daugaard, Campbell’s conviction—for assault in the third degree—generally carries a sentence of 1 to 3 months in jail.

    3 of the jurors in Campbell’s case were Asian, and the rest were white.

    The jury deliberated for more than 2 days and, Daugaard says, 10 jurors have offered to come and support Campbell during sentencing. “It’s an unusual situation,” she says.

    Daugaard says she expects Campbell will file an appeal.

    This Weekend at the Movies

    posted by on October 26 at 3:47 PM

    Everything old is new again!

    Blade Runner: The Final [really final] Cut opens in Seattle at the Cinerama. The Stranger offices went berserk after I accidentally hollered the replicant/non-replicant status of Deckard. In my defense, Ridley Scott revealed it first, in the New York Times.


    The Darjeeling Limited is being paired with its companion short, Hotel Chevalier, in Seattle theaters starting today. Of course, you could have seen it on iTunes billions of years ago, but who’s complaining?

    Northwest Film Forum organized a touring program of Shohei Imamura films—count ‘em: 18, ten of which aren’t on DVD—that opens here tonight. Charles Mudede writes about Imamura’s rebellious oeuvre (which doesn’t really get messy, he asserts, until 1963’s Insect Woman on Tuesday) in this week’s film lead. If you want the book Charles refers to, go tonight—it’s being given out free.

    Also old, as in no longer with us, but new, as in died young, is Ian Curtis, the subject of the new biopic Control. Eric Grandy assesses the man-to-legend ratio in his review (“Corbijn’s film just looks perfect, as if one of his bleak, black-and-white Joy Division stills had come to life”).


    Also old, as in played at SIFF, is the limited run of For the Bible Tells Me So (“the best gay doc since The Celluloid Closet, says David Schmader”).

    And new, but no good: The entire On Screen lineup, from Sleuth (a remake of the old—ack—movie and play, botched by Kenneth Branagh and his superflat surveillance motifs) to Dan in Real Life (“Everything that you expect to happen happens, in a mild, inoffensive, and okay way,” says Lindy West) to Desert Bayou (Katrina evacuees get relocated to Utah, where they encounter racism, mistrust, and hysteria… but no Mormons?).

    See Get Out for all your movie times needs. Notable stuff only in film shorts: Let’s Get Lost at Northwest Film Forum, Vincent Price Double Bill at Grand Illusion (that’s The Abominable Dr. Phibes and Theatre of Blood), Murnau’s Nosferatu and Herzog’s Nosferatu at the Metro, and—last but by no means least—UW Special Collections: Selected Shorts at Northwest Film Forum tomorrow. Enjoy!

    A Very Exciting Soft Opening

    posted by on October 26 at 3:28 PM


    Whence the term “soft opening”? The dictionary knows not; the Internet is silent on the subject (though many things have soft openings: hotels, casinos, amusement park rides, science museums). A soft opening means a place or a roller coaster is open to the public, but not officially open; it’s a sort of a not-ready-for-prime-time test period (the implication being “don’t blame us if we fuck up,” which, for a roller coaster, yikes).

    Last night was the soft opening of Quinn’s, one block east of Broadway on Pike (right across from Neumo’s—you may remember the space as a Mexican restaurant that no one in the history of time had ever been inside). Quinn’s is the sibling of Zoë in Belltown (Zoë is named after the owners’ daughter, Quinn is their son). Zoë is a lovely and dependably excellent upscale restaurant; Quinn’s is a gastropub-type place, with drinks and affordable food in a casual space that’s completely great without trying too hard. (To whoever made the light fixtures: kudos, sir or madame.) If you have a mouth, a brain, and a stomach, the menu will make you want to scream—see?

    • warm cheesy gougère $2
    • soft-boiled duck egg, bocarones, sea salt $3
    • brandade & house-made potato chips $7
    • oxtails, potato gnocchi & crispy marrow $13
    • house-made sausages, kale & lentils $11
    braised farm animal of the week $19

    And more. YAY. Go now while you can still get in.

    Today on Line Out

    posted by on October 26 at 3:25 PM

    Impaled by a Fucking Unicorn: Megan Seling gets Mono

    G-G-G-Ghost!: Jonathan Zwickel gets Spooked

    Tonight in Music: No-Fi Soul Rebellion gets Really Sweaty, Animals at Night get Dreamy

    Thicknessing: Trent Moorman gets Good Wood

    A Whiter Shade of Pale: Panther gets “White Boy Eddie Money Fronting the Doors”

    Freaks Don’t Come Out at Night: Freaknight gets Cancelled

    Rude: Ska gets Nicked

    Friday Music Video Roundup: !!! get Wrecked, Black Dice get Blown, the Cave Singers get Saved, and More

    Berserk: Halloween gets Popped

    Into the Woods: Christopher Frizzelle gets an Ear Worm

    Setlist: Levi Fuller gets Live in the Studio

    Guilty: DV One gets Indicted

    I Need a Freak: Freak Night Artists get New Gigs

    “Making Love”: TJ Gorton gets Fit

    “A platonic love tale set in the halls of power, where ‘fuck off’ means ‘I love you’…”

    posted by on October 26 at 3:23 PM

    Don’t miss Laurel Maury’s excellent review of Tony Blair’s press secretary’s journals in this week’s Stranger.

    You won’t understand much of it unless you’re a complete political junkie, and it’s full of British terms that make no sense. But there are four reasons to read it: (1) It shows how skilled politicians work; (2) it shows what a lot of fruitcakes world leaders are (Clinton and Yeltsin comparing foot size, Gadhafi painting his fingernails, etc.); (3) Diana appears; and (4) it could get you laid.

    Wait—what? Laid? Laurel Maury explains.

    Meet the New Gay Stereotype

    posted by on October 26 at 2:55 PM

    Illustrated right here.

    (Thanks for the link, John.)

    Campaign Staffs Dominated By Dudes—Except Hillary’s

    posted by on October 26 at 2:43 PM

    Today’s Huffington Post has a comprehensive look at the gender breakdown of the leading Democratic and Republican contenders’ campaign staffs.

    No big surprise here: The manliest man on the Republican side, Giuliani, strongly favors men, with just one female senior staffer, and only four women among his top 20 staffers. Just over 29 percent of Giuliani’s highest-paid staffers are female.

    Two of the leading Democratic contenders, Edwards and Obama, have numbers that are almost as skewed. Just two of 15 senior Edwards staffers are women, with women filling 37 percent of the top-paid roles. Three of Obama’s 12 senior staffers are women, and women fill 45 percent of the highest-paying jobs. In fact, of all the leading candidates (the list also includes Huckabee, Richardson, Romney, and Thompson) the only candidate who did not favor male staffers was Clinton. On her campaign, eight of 14 senior staffers, 12 of the top-20 staffers, and 52 percent of the highest-paid staffers are women. Women are also much more likely to play important strategic roles in the Clinton campaign; in the other campaigns, women are more likely to work in finance and internal operations.

    This may seem like petty stuff, but I think it foreshadows the gender breakdown of executive staff under a Clinton administration. As I’ve written before, gender matters. Women understand, and care about, women’s interests, which is one reason many women are supporting Clinton despite reservations about her politics.

    On the other hand, Edwards is saying some pretty goddamned impressive things about restricting corporate power—and many of his ideas would benefit women (as well as all Americans). Just today, he proposed requiring employers to provide universal retirement accounts if they don’t offer pensions, stronger protections for workers seeking to unionize, a $1 million cap on tax-deferred compensation funds for top executives, tougher FDA regulations, and more.

    Housing of God

    posted by on October 26 at 2:35 PM

    When Catholic Community Services announced plans to construct a four-story, mixed-use building on 23rd Ave S and S Main St, some Squire Park residents were ready to grab their pitchforks. As Washington’s largest private provider of human services, CCS counsels drug addicts and assists prisoners reentering public life, among other services. Neighbors were concerned that this development, a few blocks from a daycare and Garfield High School, might become the home of addicts, felons, and sex offenders.

    It turns out, Village Spirit’s 51 units are “planned to be affordable housing for the homeless, poor, and low-wage earners,” says Evelyn Allen, director of the Village Spirit Center, one of many projects managed by CCS and the Archdiocesan Housing Authority (AHA). “Our focus will be on supporting African-American families, and addressing the disproportionate needs for African-American families that are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.” (However, Allen notes, nobody would be excluded based on his or her race. Or for not being Catholic.) “There will be no sex offenders in that building, and no felons with crimes against people or property,” she assures.

    The 12-million dollar development, which will occupy the CCS administration building’s existing parking lot, is part of King County’s 10-year plan to end homelessness. Funding is granted by the Gates Foundation’s Sound Families Initiative along with public and private contributions. It will be the AHA’s 42nd housing development in Western Washington.

    The centrally located, low-cost units are a refreshing break from expensive condos for Seattleites getting priced out of their homes. But usually, low-cost development comes at an esthetic price—a price that CCS has been willing to pay. Here’s the CCS administrative building:


    “The staff here was like, ‘Can’t you do something about to this building, too?’” says Allen. No, she can’t. But she is determined to make the new building, slated for completion in 2009, more pleasing than some of the impersonal strip-mall developments and boxy mixed-use buildings to the south on 23rd. The retail will sit close to the sidewalk, facing the street. “I have a special affinity to make sure our building is more inviting,” she says.

    The Money Race, Della V. Burgess Edition

    posted by on October 26 at 2:19 PM

    Looks like City Council member David Della’s alleged threat to withhold support during contract negotiations didn’t deter the firefighters’ union from spending tens of thousands on Della’s opponent, Tim Burgess, after all. According to reports filed with the city’s Ethics and Elections Commission, the Seattle Fire Fighters Union has spent more than $23,000 on two mailers promoting Burgess. Added to the $273,000 in official contributions Burgess has raised (a total that includes $63,000 of his own money), that gives Burgess nearly $300,000—outpacing Della, whose $244,000 includes $10,000 of his own money, by $65,000.

    Salon on Obama’s Homophobic Buddy

    posted by on October 26 at 2:07 PM

    Sen. Barack Obama’s decision to tour South Carolina with gospel entertainer Donnie McClurkin, a self-proclaimed “former homosexual” who believes it is his mission to turn gays straight, suggests that Obama can’t live without the support of the homophobic contingent of the black community and the black church in particular. But African-American politicians have already proved that black support is not contingent on homophobia.

    What a horrifying concept. Is that what Obama is really saying, that black support is contingent on homophobia? Wow. If a white candidate had made that assertion…

    Obama’s gay advocates obviously support him regardless of this fumble. But his gay critics are right to ask why he thinks getting homosexuals to sit at the same table with antigay and allegedly “ex-gay” Christians represents some kind of balance. Had McClurkin been a Holocaust denier, my money says Obama would be “embracing a change” in his tour’s entertainment lineup, lickety-split.

    Women of the New World

    posted by on October 26 at 1:54 PM


    I’ll ruin everything you are. I’ll give you television. I’ll give you eyes of blue. I’ll give you men who want to rule the world.

    FEMA Meets the Press

    posted by on October 26 at 1:52 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Having learned its lesson during Hurricane Katrina, FEMA solves the problem of having to speak to a press corp hungry for answers about their handling of a disaster in another major American city. The solution?

    Don’t invite the press.

    And then replace them with FEMA staffers posing as reporters.

    (VIA the WaPo)

    Reporters were given only 15 minutes’ notice of the briefing, making it unlikely many could show up at FEMA’s Southwest D.C. offices. They were given an 800 number to call in, though it was a “listen only” line, the notice said — no questions. Parts of the briefing were carried live on Fox News, MSNBC and other outlets.

    […] Very smooth, very professional. But something didn’t seem right. The reporters were lobbing too many softballs. No one asked about trailers with formaldehyde for those made homeless by the fires. And the media seemed to be giving Johnson all day to wax on and on about FEMA’s greatness.

    Of course, that could be because the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. We’re told the questions were asked by Cindy Taylor, FEMA’s deputy director of external affairs, and by “Mike” Widomski, the deputy director of public affairs. Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin asked a question, and another came, we understand, from someone who sounds like press aide Ali Kirin.

    Highlight Reel From Condoleezza Rice’s Iraq Testimony Yesterday

    posted by on October 26 at 1:40 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Missed in yesterday’s news was the increasingly Thunderdome-esque appearance of Condoleezza Rice before Rep. Henry Waxman’s House Oversight Committee. Some of the more interesting moments included:

    -The Office of Accountability and Transparency, which conducts anti-corruption operations in Iraq, has had four bosses in the last ten months. The present director is an eager go-getter of a paralegal who has been boycotting meetings of the other anti-corruption agency in Iraq. Secretary of State Rice, brought before a Congressional oversight committee, states, “I should get back to you with a sense of how we manage these programs.”

    -The money we send the Iraqi government is probably being funneled to militias for attacks on US troops.

    -Regarding Blackwater’s conduct in Iraq, “I certainly regret that there was not the oversight that there should have been.”

    -The State Department Inspector General for Iraq, Howard “Cookie” Kongard, who has been accused of hiding spending improprieties and retaliating against whistleblowers, was unavailable for testimony.

    Spencer Ackerman of TPM Muckraker has continuing coverage of all manner of Iraq oversight madness.

    This Week on DVD

    posted by on October 26 at 1:25 PM

    I’ll get to This Weekend at the Movies shortly, but first I must obsess about The Godless Girl. You’ve probably never seen this exuberant, schizoid epic—by Ten Commandments maestro Cecil Blount De Mille—because it was produced without a soundtrack when silent films were going out of style, lost money at the box office, and fell into obscurity. It’s newly available on DVD, thanks to the National Film Preservation Foundation, whose third immense DVD box set of American film “treasures” I review in this week’s DVD column. Here’s the bit of room I had for The Godless Girl:

    The most thrilling entry in the 739-minute set has to be Cecil B. De Mille’s silent The Godless Girl, from 1929, starring Lina Basquette as a popular vixen who leads her high-school godless society with a combination of sexual allure (spit curls and costumes by Adrian!) and exotic intimidation (the initiation ceremony requires the novice to swear on the head of a capuchin monkey). When her rival, handsome student body president George Duryea, gets permission from the principal to suppress the outbreak of atheism his own way, De Mille stages a teenage riot like you’ve never seen. It begins with hurled eggs, spans four floors of complete mayhem, and ends with a beautiful blonde finding God on her deathbed (and forcing Basquette into an unmistakable pietà). The godless girl eventually converts too, following a stigmatic encounter with an electric fence at reform school, but even then De Mille can’t resist a decidedly pagan nude scene in which she frolics, nymphlike, by the side of a stream. No excuses! You must see The Godless Girl.

    Obviously you want to see the monkey. Here is “The Goat”—comic relief Eddie Mullan—being forced by Godless Society ringleader Lina Basquette to forswear Christmas:


    I officially disapprove of the use of primates in the motion picture industry (by the way, did you read this sad AP article?), but this little cutie is long gone. Watching him disrupt the oh-so-high-school initiation ceremony is hilarious. (Later, during the teenage riot, the monkey tries to climb up the Goat’s pant leg. Also adorable.)

    The film stills the NFPF provided are not ideal, but believe me when I say the riot is astounding. Garments are rent, hair is pulled, the bodies of children fly abruptly across the room and tumble tragically down spiral staircases, the atheist and the Bible boy cast epithets and flirt across battle lines—it’s choreography worthy of an epic. Which, on the modest scale of high schools and juvenile detention centers, it is.

    Though The Godless Girl bombed in the US, it was a hit in the Soviet Union, where it was shown without the cheesy final reel in which our heroine comes to understand there is a God. You may prefer this version as well. But there is a delicious irony to De Mille’s delirious conclusion: The godless girl discovers God and sensual pleasure at the same time. (I wish I could illustrate this with a still from the soft-focus scene in which Basquette plashes nakedly in a stream. Alas, you’ll have to get the DVDs.)

    Dino Rossi Likes Taxes

    posted by on October 26 at 12:46 PM

    Hey, I’m pretty psyched. My report on Dino Rossi’s announcement that he’s running for governor got linked on Daily Kos.

    However, it also got linked on Sound Politics by Don Ward. Ward didn’t like that I was asking questions or that I do meth.

    Here’s his account:

    Now one would expect this sort of incompetence from an ass clown like Stranger staff writer Josh Feit who was also in attendance.

    Whoever Feit’s dealer is needs to get him a purer blend of whatever it is he’s been inhaling. The guy was rambling, incoherent and fidgeting like Tweek on South Park. First he starts with a question about Congress’ S-CHIP vote on childhood insurance - he must have been confused and thought he was at a Reichert or Doc Hastings kickoff. Then he goes all Woodward and Bernstein about transportation taxes and how Rossi voted for the Nickel funding package in 2003. A… fact… that… Rossi… has… made… widely… public… by… campaigning… on… it… ever… since… 2004… Right?

    Maybe if Don wasn’t so busy checking me out and had paid more attention to Rossi’s speech, he’d understand that my questions were in direct response to Rossi’s remarks.

    Rossi made a big deal in his speech about the fact the Gov. Gregoire hadn’t done anything on health care.

    In fact, Gov. Gregoire passed an expansion of the state’s children’s Medicaid program last session, adding 38,500 kids to the state plan. Bush’s recent veto jeopardizes our state’s effort to insure more kids by killing about $90 million in federal funds. Governor Gregoire pressured our delegation in DC to trump Bush’s veto, so I asked Rossi what he thought about the veto. Pretty appropriate question …. unless you’re a conservative hack.

    p.s. If anyone was acting weird, it was Rossi, who told me he hadn’t talked about health care in his speech.

    Second, I didn’t say Rossi had voted for the nickel tax for roads. Rossi did.

    In his speech, Rossi had two dominant themes: 1) Gregoire tries to solve all problems by raising taxes. And 2) Solving traffic congestion would be his number one priority as governor.

    So, I asked Rossi how he would address our traffic problems without raising taxes. Rossi said he was happy to raise taxes to solve our transportation problems, and pointed out that he supported the nickel tax. Fair enough, Rossi is happy to raise taxes.

    Santorum in the News

    posted by on October 26 at 12:38 PM

    Slog tipper Lauren points out that Wonkette used the term santorum in an item about fucking Larry Craig that I linked to yesterday. Not only did Wonkette use the santorum correctly, but using santorum allowed Wonkette to communicate the full awfulness of fucking Larry Craig without forcing readers to conjure up graphic mental images. And isn’t that the point of sexual slang and euphemism?

    Traumatized Slog readers may recall that shit featured prominently in David Phillips’ cherished memories of being topped by Larry Craig. By describing Phillips’ story as a “Santorum-laced tale,” Wonkette told us everything we needed to know. Just as it’s better—more refined, less graphic—to say, “I sucked him off,” than it is to say, “I took his erect penis into my mouth until he ejaculated,” it is better to calmly cite santorum when fecal matter makes an unwelcome appearance during anal sex than it is to loudly scream shit.

    Compare what Phillips said…

    “[He] disappeared and returned with lube and a condom to fuck me me with. It was a clumsy and unremarkable fuck, except that I wasn’t clean and he was frantic about not getting my shit on anything. Still, he blew his load, ripped the dirty condom off and ordered me to get dressed without wiping myself…. On the way back through [his house] with shit all in my briefs and feeling totally humiliated I let my eyes wander and saw on a table a small envelope…”

    …to what Phillips could have said:

    “[He] disappeared and returned with lube and a condom to fuck me me with. It was a clumsy and unremarkable fuck, except that I wasn’t clean and he was frantic about not getting the santorum on anything. Still, he blew his load, ripped the santorum-streaked condom off and ordered me to get dressed without wiping myself…. On the way back through with santorum in my briefs and feeling totally humiliated I let my eyes wander and saw on a table a small envelope…”

    Ah, much better! Nothing is lost, the pathos and squalor are preserved, but thanks to the artful use of a simple euphemism, readers are spared the stomach churning mental images and unwelcome olfactory sense memory.

    In other santorum-related news, former Sen. Rick Santorum may finally be able to get his revenge on all the newspaper columnists everywhere that were mean to him. Santorum is going to be writing a bi-weekly column for the Philadelphia Inquirer. Santorum’s column will tackle politics, Islamofascism, and the gays’ tackle. It will be called “The Elephant in the Room” because the original name for the column, “Spreading Santorum,” was already taken.

    Chris Crocker: Hope & Horror

    posted by on October 26 at 12:07 PM

    I just received an email from my coworker Nick, the subject line of which was abbreviated in my inbox display to:


    God forgive me, but while clicking open the email, my mind automatically filled in the space after the ellipses with …MMITS SUICIDE!

    The truth is much worse. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

    Now I have to go commit suicide.

    That Gay Wizard

    posted by on October 26 at 11:42 AM

    I was on the radio this AM discussing J.K. Rowling “outing” Hogwarts’ headmaster Albus Dumbledore. The other folks on the radio where generally pro—anything that drives the religious right batty—and I was too. But…

    I haven’t been following the Dumbledore commentary too closely because, well, I don’t really give a shit. I’ve had to read a couple of Harry Potter books to my kid, and I’ve taken him to all of the HP movies. Compared to a lot of kids’ movies, the HP ones are more than tolerable. Now Rowling is being lauded by some ‘mos for her bravery—a gay character in Harry Potter! Who knew?! No one, of course, because Rowling didn’t see fit to mention Dumbledore’s sexuality in any of the seven HP books. Why not? Well, I guess Rowling couldn’t fit it in, seeing as she was working under such a strict word limits. Ahem.

    Anyway, what’s remarkable about Hogwarts isn’t that the headmaster is/was gay, but that out of the hundreds of characters in Rowling’s book—a book set in contemporary England—there are no other gay characters. The books are set at an English boarding school, for crying out loud, notorious are hotbeds of situational homosexuality and commie homosexual conspiracies.

    If Rowling was gonna be brave, she would have made one of Harry’s classmates a ‘mo—with lots of hot gay wizard sex in front of him—and not an admired, seemingly celibate teacher with a mysterious past. If someone was gonna be gay, why not Ronald Weasley’s brothers, the identical twins? Harry’s dreamy Quidditch (sp?) captain? (The professor that teaches the kids to fly on brooms—she’s a dyke, right?)

    But, hey, they’re just children’s books. The Gay Agenda has no place in a children’s book, blah blah blah. So I can understand Rowling leaving ‘mos out of it. But then why not leave us out entirely? Why jam a ‘mo in there after the books are out and half the films are made?

    Comment of the Year

    posted by on October 26 at 11:35 AM

    Posted by jamier:

    In 20 years the Chinese will speak English, Zimbabweans will speak Chinese, and Americans will speak Ndebele.

    Ghost in the Machine

    posted by on October 26 at 11:29 AM


    There’s a ghost that haunts Robert Lang Studio, and it hates heavy metal.

    The neighborhood of Richmond Beach, where the studio is located, is a supernatural hotspot, crawling with the spirits of drowned mariners and dead children and George the Janitor (that’s another story).

    Robert Lang—a respected studio engineer who’s hosted myriad historic sessions over his 30-year career, including Nirvana’s last and the Foo Fighters’ first—has a spook story all his own. It involves buried treasure, a dead man’s ghost, the Afghan Whigs, and a piece of Italian marble depicting the image of Jesus.


    The story is this week’s music lead. The online version comes with large-scale versions of Lang’s photos of the ghost (seen above; check out the top right corner) and the Jesus marble.

    For extra chills, check out Trent Moorman’s eight-minute video documentary on our visit to the studio. We spoke with Lang and his assistant as they told us the full story of the ghost and gave us a tour of the studio. Some excerpts:

    “I saw this vision or this ghostly figure—I could see right through it—and I squealed like a little bitch.”

    “This was 1996, 1997. Greg Dulli says, ‘I just got a call from my medium and I’m a little bit concerned.’”

    “And Devon finds a dead bat under the piano.”

    “The spirit was pointing northward, and that’s exactly where I found the money.”

    “Anyone who comes here who has a negative vibe, this place will shit on ‘em.”

    Too Scary for the Public Intern?

    posted by on October 26 at 11:19 AM

    A Slog tipper thinks we should send the public intern to go live with this guy for a couple days.

    I dunno. Seems like he’d end up in the guy’s freezer. Thoughts?

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 26 at 11:00 AM


    ‘A Spectral Glimpse’ at Platform Gallery

    In A Spectral Glimpse, the art hints rather than depicts: colored light streaked across ceiling tiles, the sun flaring on a camera’s lens, a chalk drawing that disappears. In this show, Jim O’Donnell—one of our great independent curators—introduces five artists to Seattle (David Dupuis, Bari Ziperstein, Adam Ekberg, Lucy Pullen, and Leyla Cárdenas), and showcases new projects by local artists Brad Biancardi and Ariana Page Russell. (Platform Gallery, 114 Third Ave S, 323-2808. 11 am–5:30 pm, free.)


    Tenebrous, Stygian

    posted by on October 26 at 10:58 AM

    You know how if you text the name of a restaurant followed by “Seattle” to Google—just enter G-O-O-G-L as the phone number (that’s 46645)—Google will text you back the restaurant’s phone number and address? This has been covered on Slog before, months ago, though even Google can’t help me find the post now.

    Well, anyway, I was getting dressed the other day and wanted to know what the weather was going to be like but I couldn’t go to because my internet service had been shut off because I hadn’t paid my Comcast bill. Same with my TV. So I texted “weather Seattle” to 46645 to see if Google could predict the weather for me and, lo and behold, Google texted me back right away with the current temperature, the day’s cloud level, how fast the wind would be going and what direction it would be coming from, the humidity, and the forecast for the next three days.

    Just now I texted “weather Seattle” to Google and got:

    Weather: Seattle, WA
    46F, Clear
    Wind: N 4 mph
    Hum: 73%
    Fri: 39F-54 F, Clear
    Sat: 43F-55F, Mostly Sunny
    Sun: 41F-57F, Mostly Sunny

    What else can Google do? (This isn’t a fancy phone like Anthony Hecht’s. You can do this with any phone that accepts text messages.) The other day I wanted to see if Google would look up words for me. Sure enough. I texted “define tenebrous” to Google—it’s impossible to remember what “tenebrous” means—and I got a text back:

    tenebrous: dark and gloomy; “a tenebrous cave”

    Logical to wonder what dictionary Google is using. But a dictionary isn’t cited in the text message; instead, this is what the text message cites:


    Must be some kind of database because my browser doesn’t recognize that as an address. After tenebrous, a friend said, “Try ‘stygian.’ I think ‘stygian’ means something similar.” I tried stygian and Google came back with: “another word meaning Hell or the Underworld,” and citing this website as the source. Huh. Doesn’t look too official, does it? (Why doesn’t Google just get its definitions from an online dictionary? Put “stygian” into and you get a much better answer: the first definition is “of or relating to the river Styx”; the second definition is “extremely dark, gloomy, or forbidding,” e. g. “the stygian blackness of the cave.” Thanks, m-w!)

    Anything else Google can do that I should know about?

    (A sidenote: Google doesn’t know what the Broadway Grill is. I tried “Broadway Grill Seattle” and I tried “Broadway New American Grill Seattle” (that’s the full name) and neither worked the other night when all I wanted after the gym was to call in a chopped salad to go. If the Broadway Grill doesn’t exist to Google, does it exist? I walked down the street and was happy to see that the restaurant still exists. For there it was.)

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on October 26 at 10:30 AM

    A local man accused of binding his 13-year-old son to a pole in their basement and beating him with a 2-by-4 was arrested Tuesday after he tried to flee the state….

    Rodriguez bound his son’s wrists and ankles to the pole with zip ties and duct tape, and struck him at least seven times with the 2-by-4 in a “baseball bat-type swing” until it broke apart, police said. Rodriguez then found another piece of wood and threatened to strike his son again but didn’t.

    The beating was prompted by how slowly the boy completed homework assignments, police said. The boy’s mother was not home at the time, and the boy called 911 to report the assault after he was freed, police said.

    Yesterday: V.S. Naipaul

    posted by on October 26 at 10:20 AM

    Today: Martin Amis.


    Amis claimed in a recent essay that militant Islamism requires a new word to describe it: ‘horrorism’. The Independent put the following reader’s question to Amis in a recent ‘You ask the questions’ feature: ‘The phrase “horrorism”, which you invented to describe 9/11, is unintentionally hilarious. Have you got any more?’ ‘Yes, I have’, Amis replied. ‘Here’s a good one (though I can hardly claim it as my own): the phrase is “fuck off”.’

    And so to a debate at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London last Thursday (1), where Amis staged a virtuoso jam session loosely based around the rhythm of ‘you can all fuck off’. Sitting in Cinema 1, legs crossed, with a glass of white wine, Amis managed to be both laconic and scathing. Frosty about the temples, his thinning hair whipped up from his wide forehead in a backward variation of the Charlton comb-over, he puffed through roll-ups, winding up the back row with his eased-up, fag-honed tones. The room was rammed full of the notepads of media London and earnest liberals weeping at the death of the author who used to be so left-wing.

    Amis, Hitchens, Rushdie, McEwan—what is this illness they suffer from? An illness caused by an event, 9/11. Can it be named? Can it be cured? The 9/11 sickness eats the brain like a goat eats grass.

    Giuliani on Waterboarding: “It depends on who does it.”

    posted by on October 26 at 9:33 AM

    Asked at a town hall in Iowa this week if he thinks waterboarding is torture, Rudy Giuliani had this to say:

    “Well, I’m not sure it is either. I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately.”


    In/Visible Is Up: Dawn Cerny Talks

    posted by on October 26 at 9:30 AM

    Dawn Cerny—hear her in her own voice here—is the most anarchic of the emerging talents of Seattle. Her work cannibalizes history and spits it out on cheap paper.

    In a solo show at Gallery 4Culture in May 2006, wild dogs painted directly on the wall terrorized each other, but they didn’t affect the delicate, framed paintings of noblemen on which they were superimposed. The two realms rebuffed each other like opposing magnets.

    At Catherine Person Gallery in March, Cerny installed a large grid of dozens of scraps of drawings and paintings on the wall in the form of questions and answers, based on the Victorian magazine Notes and Queries.


    Now, she has an eccentric, multimedia double marriage portrait of Mary Todd and Abraham Lincoln up at Kirkland Arts Center, as part of Suzanne Beal’s excellent Help Me I’m Hurt show.


    What is this woman up to? Time to find out. Here are two older works:



    Postscript: In the print edition of this week’s paper, we promised a podcast with Mimi Gates about her love of Chinese art. But between the time of publication and podcast, the poor Seattle Art Museum director contracted a nasty cold. She’s promised to get on tape as soon as she’s back at work.

    I Hate to Talk About the Weather, But

    posted by on October 26 at 9:20 AM

    Isn’t it weird that just a few days ago we were talking about maybe going swimming in the lake, and then this morning I wake up to find Frosty Park™ on my way to work?

    It’s a whole new world out there, folks.

    The Case Against Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church

    posted by on October 26 at 9:05 AM


    For years, the calculatedly offensive Westboro Baptist Church has horrified humanity by picketing the funerals of dead homosexuals. (You may remember their breakout performance outside the funeral of Matthew Shepard, hoisting signs reading “FAG MATT BURNS IN HELL.”)

    More recently, WBC has busied itself picketing funerals of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming such casualties as God’s punishment of the United States’ acceptance of homosexuality.

    But this week, the Westboro Baptist Church is in court, fighting a lawsuit brought by the father of a Marine slain in Iraq, who claims the WBC’s hateful protest at his son’s funeral—featuring placards reading “Thank God for Dead Soliders”—amounts to invasion of privacy with intent to inflict emotional distress.

    From the Associated Press:

    [Judge] Richard Bennett instructed jurors at the start of testimony Tuesday that the First Amendment protection of free speech has limits, including vulgar, offensive and shocking statements. Bennett said the jurors must decide “whether the defendant’s actions would be highly offensive to a reasonable person, whether they were extreme and outrageous, and whether these actions were so offensive and shocking as to not be entitled to First Amendment protection.”

    Church members said they are motivated by the fear of God and their need to warn America about its moral decay, rather than a desire to hurt anyone.

    Grieving father Albert Snyder is seeking unspecified monetary damages for the alleged invasion of privacy and emotional distress. Full story here. (Make sure to read to the end, where key Westboro psycho Fred Phelps claims his use of the word “fag” comes directly from Scripture.)

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 26 at 9:00 AM

    Freed: A Georgia teenager who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a consenting 15-year-old girl. The Georgia Supreme Court called his punishment cruel and unusual.

    Thompson: U.S. being “defeated by a bunch of kids with improvised explosive devices.”

    Maybe Ron Paul is right about investing in gold: It surged to a record high today.

    Jan. 8: The likely date for the New Hampshire primary.

    Cement: Responsible for 5-percent of greenhouse has emissions, non-recyclable, and beloved by emerging economies. (And Prop 1 bakcers.)

    Colbert: Using the same elections lawyers as the RNC and GWB.

    Registration system: Another big blog gets one to fight trolls.

    Oddfellows: The Times weighs in.

    Blame Canada: If your power goes out. A group of Canadian investors just bought Puget Sound Energy.

    The Future of English

    posted by on October 26 at 8:45 AM

    On the very, very small list of useful recommendations that Zimbabweans have received from their permanent president, Mugabe, this one might be at the top: Stop learning English; start learning Chinese.

    CHINA’S strengthening ties to Africa were ambitiously tightened on Thursday October 25th. South Africa’s Standard Bank, the largest banking group in Africa by assets, announced that it was hooking up with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) in a transaction worth a whopping 36.7 billion rand ($5.5 billion). ICBC, the most valuable bank in the world, is worth some $319 billion. It will take a 20% stake in its Johannesburg-based counterpart.

    First the Good News…

    posted by on October 26 at 8:00 AM

    By flipping a genetic switch in one species of worms, researchers in Utah—yes, Utah—add to the growing pile of evidence that sexual orientation is genetic, not a choice.

    The researchers isolated the nerve cells responsible for sexual attraction in nematode worms, then “flipped” a genetic switch in the brains of female worms so they became attracted to other females.

    “They look like girls, but act and think like boys,” said Jamie White, a postdoctoral fellow at the U. and lead author of the study, which will be published in the November issue of Current Biology.

    Now the bad news…

    By flipping a genetic switch in one species of worms, researchers in Utah—yes, Utah—add to the growing pile of evidence that sexual orientation is genetic. If homosexuality can be switched on in worms, anti-gay bigots will wanna find a way to switch it off in humans—even if that means acknowledging, finally, that homosexuality is not a choice. One Southern Baptist minister has already made noises about accepting a biological basis for homosexuality if that’s the only way the can stamp us out:

    A prominent Southern Baptist said he would support medical treatment, if it were available, to change the sexual orientation of a fetus inside its mother’s womb from homosexual to heterosexual.

    The idea of a hormonal patch for pregnant women was discussed by R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, on his blog,, on March 2.

    “If a biological basis is found, and if a prenatal test is then developed, and if a successful treatment to reverse the sexual orientation to heterosexual is ever developed, we would support its use as we should unapologetically support the use of any appropriate means to avoid sexual temptation and the inevitable effects of sin,” Mohler wrote.

    Never mind that a biological basis for homosexuality demonstrates that gays are part of “God’s perfect creation,” to borrow a phrase. Religious conservatives generally oppose designer babies and playing God aren’t cool—unless you’re designing straight babies and religious conservatives are the ones playing God.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on October 25 at 5:35 PM


    Is it me, or does that kinda look like Michael Jackson?

    Thanks FLUXN… From The Stranger’s reader-powered Flickr pool.

    Cryptic Democrat for Obama

    posted by on October 25 at 5:04 PM

    At Monday night’s Hillary thing, I was talking to a local Democratic operative who has a proven track record of smart, successful campaigning. This person is a Barack Obama fan, and I told them I thought Obama was fading a bit.

    Smiling confidently, this smart Democrat said to me: “That’s what you’re supposed to think. Somebody’s doing their job right.”

    Our New Neighbors

    posted by on October 25 at 4:02 PM


    A new business is moving in to the old Vogue space between between Purr and Barca on 11th Avenue. Want to guess what kind of establishment this will be? Answer after the jump.

    Continue reading "Our New Neighbors" »

    Gentle Sonic Soul

    posted by on October 25 at 4:00 PM

    Sonic Youth’s founding clairvoyant circuitry scientist, Thurston Moore, played at Neumo’s last night.

    He wasn’t with Sonic Youth, though. He’s with a stripped-down band (“We don’t have a name,” Thurston said bashfully as the set began) featuring acoustic guitars, bass, violin and drums by Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley.

    The songs he’s gigging out, from his new solo album, sparkle with his signature pop star melodies and Trans Am guitar lines, but on back-to-the-land acoustic, the heavy Leadbelly roots are loud and clear.

    And there’s a second guitarist with the expert Mr. Moore—Keith Richards-circa-Exile- style Chris Brokaw—who trades off with Thurston, picking blues figures while Thurston is bashing out Sonic rock on the low-E, and bashing out Sonic rock while Thurston is playing the blues. They had a call and response guitar rapport that clicked like clockwork and seemed psionic all at once. Psionic Youth.


    The bass player broke a string early in the set (yes, they broke a bass string!) and during the lull, Thurston was charming (giving away an organic cantaloupe he happened to have on hand and talking about “a hippie to punk era record store” he used to love.)

    I was hoping, however, he would have used the downtime to reenact the last cut on his new album—a recording of Thurston when he was 13 circa 1972 narrating a Terry Riley? Steve Reich?-inspired art track: “The sound you are about to hear is me spraying a Lysol can around the room. There. The sound you are about to hear is me putting the cap back on the Lysol can. There.”

    Great show. And it was packed. Could have done without the macho hecklers, though, who seemed to think Thurston’s legacy of noise rock means he’s a macho asshole like them. Nope. Thurston’s a gentle soul. Last night’s wonderfully reckless acoustic raveup proved it once and for all.

    Crossposted on Line Out.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on October 25 at 3:21 PM



    And now, here’s what has happened over in Line Out today:

    Tonight in Music: Mono, Grand Hallway, and DJ Krush.

    Happy (Early) Halloween: Eric Grandy on Club Pop and Joey Casio.

    Final Fantasy: Terry Miller reviews Monday night’s show at Nectar.

    What’s Your Jam?: What song do you crave when you go out?

    Destroying Minds & Reaping Souls: Frank Fred Beldin on Coven.

    It’s Almost the Last One!: And other reasons to go to tonight’s Circus.

    Clairvoyant Circuitry Scientist: Josh Feit on last night’s Thurston Moore show.

    “I’m Not in Congress.” —Dino Rossi on Children’s Health Care

    posted by on October 25 at 3:00 PM

    So, as I Slogged a bit earlier, when I asked Dino Rossi—who had just finished slamming Gov. Gregoire for not doing enough about health care costs—if he thought Congress should override President Bush’s veto of expanded health care coverage for poor kids (SCHIP), he told me, “I’m not in Congress.”

    I pushed for an answer (which I didn’t get) by pointing out that the state legislature (at Gov. Christine Gregoire’s insistence) passed a bipartisan bill in Olympia last year that expanded children’s health coverage by $64 million over two years—adding 38,500 children to state Medicaid coverage. If the SCHIP bill at the federal level goes down, the state’s expanded coverage for children would be jeopardized.

    The bill raised the eligibility standard from 200 percent of the federal poverty level to 250 percent (and 300 percent by 2009). For a family of three, 300 percent of the federal poverty level is $51,500.

    This expansion—covering 604,000 children in total at an overall cost of $1.6 billion over two years—is partly dependent on the SCHIP bill at the federal level, which would bring in about $90 million over two years according to the State Dept. of Social and Human Services.

    So, a vote to override Bush’s veto would save a bipartisan bill passed in Olympia last year by sending $90 million our way. Even GOP Rep. Dave Reichert voted to override. You’d think someone who’s running for governor would have an opinion about $90 million in aid for children’s health care.

    A Mother’s Love

    posted by on October 25 at 2:59 PM

    A 39-year-old woman forcefully had her 13-year-old daughter’s genitalia pierced to make it uncomfortable for her to have sex, the girl told jurors in her mother’s child abuse trial.

    The girl, now 16, told jurors Wednesday that her mother asked a tattoo artist friend in 2004 to shave the girl’s head to make her unattractive to boys and later held her down for the piercing. “She was trying to protect me, but it hurt me,” the girl testified. “It not only hurt me physically, but it hurt me mentally. … That’s emotionally scarring. That’s physical abuse.”

    Prosecutor Steve Maresca said the mother called on a friend to shave the girl’s head and do the piercing after realizing that she had been having sex, including with the mother’s boyfriend.

    It’s Your “Holy Shit! How Can it be THURSDAY Already!” Celebrity Report!

    posted by on October 25 at 2:48 PM

    My Powerbook ™ evaporated my Internet is “down” (fuuuuuuck YOU, COMCAST!), so we have so-called “scads” to cover. I hope you brought a sweater. It’s cold where were going.

    God, please forgive me.

    Our brave boys undercover have reported that celebrated she-hussy Reese Witherspoon and hopefully gay person Jake Gyllenhaal were spotted and/or seen holding each other’s so-called “hands” and even (innocent children, please! Shield thine eyes!) kissing and giggling and poking at each other inappropriately like the pair of carefree lovers they secretly are as they walked hand-in-hand (as I mentioned) through the twisty and cobbled streets of Rome. And I have comletely just forgotten why this story is relevant to anything or should be even slightly interesting to anyone anywhere, ever. Actually, it all kind of makes me sick. Sorry.

    Pressing on…

    Everything you’ve heard about the spooky devil worshiper “David Copperfield” is true. And what you’ve heard is that crack agents at the FBI are slowly piecing together a terrible “case” against the dark and wizardly magician for allegedly forcing his unwanted wand upon some protesting fan. The allegedly wanded fan, locally enough, is from Seattle, although the alleged wand-forcing took place elsewhere. (And by “wand” you know I mean “David Copperfield’s huge caramel penis”, right? Just checking.) But the tale gets much, much more twisted.

    Sources so sourcey you can hardly tell the difference report that a sticky web of sexual intrigue was what David Copperfield shows were really about, and via a complex, highly technical system of walkie-talkies, secret code words, video cameras, a rather clever ruse and bunch of complicit staff members, David identified “AMHLTFs” (“Audience Members He’d Like to Fuck”), who where then plucked from the audience and profiled by his staff. Allegedly, if approved, the young (or old, you know, whatever) lady was whisked away for a magical broomstick ride, Copperfield-style. The FBI has confiscated everything the magician owns (especially those video cameras and walkie-talkies) looking for “evidence”. Satan, having abandoned his servant to his terrible fate, was dancing in the flames of Southern California, and was unavailable for comment. And I’m leaving out the Seattle “victim’s” name in this case for the sake of discretion. And because she’s my mom.

    Where’s your dark God now, Copperfield?

    And because it is inevitable, isn’t it: Courtney Love. (Why? WHY?) Well, now she’s been banned forever from (gasp!) Claridges in London, after trashing her room (yawn) and other predictable Courtney-ish shenanigans, and they say she even started a fire in her suite, and I believe it because, fuck. Courtney Love.

    Lastly: Britney Spears was seen late last week being wonderful, just wonderful. “My! What a wonderful young lady—and SUCH and great MOTHER!” said Jesus Christ, O.L.A.S. (Our Lord and Savior), who was sandal shopping at Prada when he spotted her. “Why, I’m so glad I died for HER sins…TOTALLY worth it.”

    We’re so glad too, Jesus. We’re so glad, too.

    That is all.

    What’s It Like Having Sex With Larry Craig?

    posted by on October 25 at 2:28 PM

    Sounds unpleasant. From Wonkette:

    “When we got to what reminded me of a rarely used guest room, he stripped me down, and the man’s hands and mouth were all over me. He kept his pants on, though, while laying me back on the bed to suck my cock. Then, he stripped naked and asked me to suck him. I complied for a while, then he disappeared and returned with lube and a condom to fuck me me with. It was a clumsy and unremarkable fuck, except that I wasn’t clean and he was frantic about not getting my shit on anything. Still, he blew his load, ripped the dirty condom off and ordered me to get dressed without wiping myself. He hurried me to the back door, again ranting, ‘You were never here. You don’t know me. Right?’”

    The whole horrifying story can be read here.

    Via JoeMyGod.

    Meanwhile in Australia

    posted by on October 25 at 2:14 PM

    An Australian barmaid has been fined for crushing beer cans between her bare breasts while an off-duty colleague has been fined for hanging spoons from her friend’s nipples, police said Wednesday…. The barmaid and the hotel manager were both fined A$1,000 ($900), while an off-duty barmaid was fined A$500 for helping to hang spoons from the woman’s nipples, police said.

    “It sends a clear message to all licensees in Peel that we will not tolerate this type of behavior in our licensed premises,” local police superintendent David Parkinson said.

    We’re Number 23!!!

    posted by on October 25 at 2:10 PM

    CNN Money just put out a list ranking the median home prices of big cities in the US.


    While the list doesn’t account for recent housing market trends/woes, it’s interesting to see where we place in the grand scheme of things.

    Isn’t it disappointing to find out you could’ve purchased, like, 30 houses in Memphis or Detroit for what you paid for your Belltown condo?

    What He Said

    posted by on October 25 at 2:06 PM

    Chi-Dooh Li in today’s PI:

    But one great benefit light rail will bring to all of us, for which detractors have no answer, is the certainty of travel time. Trains will—count on it—get you to your destination in a reliably predictable amount of time.

    The same can never be said for any form of transportation that uses rubber tires on asphalt roads. Cars, buses, shuttle buses, vans, taxis—you name it—there is no way time of arrival can be accurately predicted.

    Buses, the adored form of public transit among the anti-rail crowd, cannot even give you a fixed departure time. How often do we rush to the bus stop before the scheduled time, only to wait and wait for a bus that has been delayed by congestion?

    Back in 1968 and 1970, using the same arguments they are proffering today, light rail opponents voted down two regionwide rail rapid transit systems for which the federal government was ready to pay 90 percent of the cost. In 1972 they gave us instead a bus-only transit system.

    Have buses, expanded roads and highways, a new and much wider Interstate 90 bridge and corridor, and myriad other infrastructure capital expenditures succeeded in relieving congestion? … Yet opponents of light rail want us to continue believing that “bus rapid transit” is the answer to congestion. I bet they have some snake oil to sell us too.

    Buses are the adored from of public transit among people that don’t use public transit now and have no intention of using public transit ever, period, regardless of what form public transit takes in our region. The anti-transit activists’ motto: My car for me, the bus for you.

    Barack Obama Isn’t Homophobic

    posted by on October 25 at 1:55 PM

    But, says Obama, lots of African Americans are—so why shouldn’t he appear with ex-gay bigot Donnie McClurkin at a campaign rally in South Carolina? Lots of African Americans are anti-semetic too, so I guess it would be cool for Barack Obama to make a campaign appearance in Louisiana with David Duke?

    And guess what? Donnie McClurkin may not be all that ex-gay after all.

    Laura Bush Dons Hijab

    posted by on October 25 at 1:50 PM

    Hey, remember when Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi went to Syria and donned a hijab, the traditional head covering worn by women in Islamic countries?

    Who could forget comments from right-wingers like this:

    It pains the left too, I’m sure, to see the most powerful woman in America having to yield, however slightly, to a misogynistic culture’s expectations.

    Or this:

    Feminist in America, subservient in Syria.

    Or this:

    “This picture disgusts me. What message is Nancy Pelosi trying to send?

    Or this, this, this, and this.

    So I’m sure the right will have a lot to say about Laura Bush’s decision to wear a hijabagain—during a visit to Saudi Arabia this week.


    [Crickets chirping]


    Melting Away

    posted by on October 25 at 1:44 PM

    For the climate change skeptics: this isn’t a bit of worst-case-scenario animation from Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth. It’s actual time-lapse photography taken by NASA that shows just what happened to the Arctic ice cap this summer.

    Via Sullivan.

    It’s Official: Rossi is Running for Governor

    posted by on October 25 at 1:24 PM


    Dino Rossi officially entered the race for governor this morning, making his announcement to an enthusiastic crowd at the Village Theater in Issaquah. His announcement played up standard GOP themes: the Democratic incumbent governs for the government rather than the people, raises taxes, and releases felons. No mention of improving the business climate (his big pitch on the 2004 trail). I guess that’s not a surprise.

    Rossi also pledged to make relieving traffic congestion the number one priority of his administration. (At a press briefing afterwards, he would not say definitively how he was voting on the $17.8 billion roads and transit package, allowing only that he was a ‘No’ vote now, but could be convinced to vote ‘Yes’ if the evidence mounts that Prop. 1 would actually ease congestion.)

    To quote a skeptical Democratic spin doctor: “So, he’s reserving the right to flip flop? These are yes or no questions [on the ballot.]”

    At the briefing, I asked Rossi about children’s health care. In his speech, he had trashed Gov. Gregoire for doing nothing to make health insurance affordable besides convening a blue ribbon commission. Actually, the governor signed a major Democratic initiative last session that added 38,000 children to Washington’s health care plan.

    That plan, however, is threatened by President Bush’s veto of the recent SCHIP bill. So, I asked Rossi if he supported U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert’s (R-8) recent vote to override Bush’s veto. (Rossi lives in Reichert’s district.) Rossi’s answer: “I’m not in Congress. I didn’t talk about health care in my speech. I gave you all lots of new stuff that you haven’t had before. There’s a lot to write about.

    (BTW: He did talk about health care in his speech. Quote: “Have you seen your health care costs come down? Do you have more health insurance options? But if you were to read the news releases from the governor’s office, you would think our health care problems were solved. All is well.” )

    I suppose Rossi did offer up some new stuff: uh, a website,, where people are supposed to send in complaints about government. And he promised to raise teachers’ salaries.

    However, as I said, Rossi’s was mostly boilerplate—criticizing Gregoire’s budget for its unsustainable spending. At the press conference, I pointed out what I’ve been saying on Slog for months, that the state budget he helped write as a state senator in 2003 (which he boasted about in his speech) is, in fact, the same size as Gregoire’s budget when measured as a percentage of the state GDP. Makes sense: As the state economy grows, the state budget grows so the government can service that growing economy.

    I also asked him how he was going to fix congestion (or raise teachers’ salaries for that matter) without raising taxes. He said he supports gas taxes for funding congestion relief (true—as a state senator he voted for the nickel tax).


    Oddfellows Hall: Still Almost Sold

    posted by on October 25 at 1:20 PM


    Finally, a bit of official news (and not just rumor) about the impending sale of the Oddfellows Building. A letter of intent, from Redside Partners (the new property management company), went out to Oddfellows tenants yesterday:

    Dear Tenants:

    As you may have heard, the Odd Fellows building is being sold. The closing of the sale will occur in early January 2008. Our intent is to update the building systems while retaining and/or restoring much of the original charm The Odd Fellows intended almost 100 years ago. Significant changes in layout are planned for the retail and office (top floor) levels of the building.

    While many of these projects may be inconvenient for you, we will make every effort possible to minimize these inconveniences.

    The new management company for the building will be Redside Partners, LLC. We would be happy to discuss our plans with you either in person or over the phone.

    We look forward to meeting and working collaboratively to make this transition as smooth as possible.

    Sincerely, Craig M. Swanson Redside Partners, LLC

    That doesn’t sound good for the running store on the first floor.

    The small businesses and nonprofits on the second and third floors are also nervous. One says that tenants in other Redside buildings pay $35 per square foot and that everyone in the Oddfellows is paying less than $10.

    (In this article, I wrote that Ted Schroth—of the Trace Lofts—is rumored to be the new owner. Though his name doesn’t appear in the letter above, tenants say he’s definitely involved and was walking around the building this morning with appraisers.)

    What Exactly is Clinton’s Iran Policy?

    posted by on October 25 at 1:00 PM

    People have been wondering. Now comes a statement from the Democratic front-runner, in honor of the Bush administration’s new sanctions against Iran:

    We must use all the tools at our disposal to address the serious challenge posed by Iran, including diplomacy, economic pressure, and sanctions.

    I believe that a policy of diplomacy backed by economic pressure is the best way to check Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapons program and stop its support of terrorism, and the best way to avert a war. That’s why I took to the Senate floor last February and warned the President not to take military action against Iran without going to Congress first and why I’ve co-sponsored Senator Webb’s legislation to make that the law of the land. I’ve been concerned for a long time over George Bush’s saber rattling and belligerence toward Iran.

    We must work to check Iran’s nuclear ambitions and its support of terrorism, and the sanctions announced today strengthen America’s diplomatic hand in that regard. The Bush Administration should use this opportunity to finally engage in robust diplomacy to achieve our objective of ending Iran’s nuclear weapons program, while also averting military action. That is the policy I support.

    Tori: Chasing the Dark 24x7

    posted by on October 25 at 12:46 PM

    From the flowering mind of Seattle-area video humorist / artist / musician Mike Hadreas, a.k.a. perfumegenius / kewlmagik. Chris Crocker, grab some bench.

    Gay Turf

    posted by on October 25 at 12:45 PM

    The Seattle PI has a story today about the recent surge—or perceived surge—of gay bashings and anti-gay harassment on Capitol Hill.

    Anti-gay harassment on Capitol Hill, however distressing, is nothing new. I was harassed twice in one week in the summer in ‘93. Once in drag walking home, once standing out in front of a gay bar on Pine—and both times I thought I feared for my life. Gay bashings were so common before Pike/Pine was “Pike/Pine” that Concerned Gays created something called Q Patrol. The members looked slightly ridiculous marching around Capitol Hill in quasi-military formation, in matching t-shirts and berets (pink, I seem to recall), but Q Patrol were effective. I don’t think the Q Patrollers apprehended many bashers, but their presence was a deterrent—and not just because the bashers feared their righteous berets.

    You can walk past gay stores and bars without realizing what they’re about, but packs of ‘mos marching around in uniform communicated something important to straight interlopers on Capitol Hill. (Straight interlopers are not to be confused with our beloved straight friends, roommates, and coworkers on the Hill.) Capitol Hill was gay space. Seeing Q Patrol march around let straight visitors and recent arrivals know that they were not only outnumbered on the Hill, but they might actually—gasp!—be perceived as gay if they hung out on the hill, particularly if they were wearing berets.

    I’m not suggesting that we bring back Q Patrol, although others have. An “upsurge in violent acts against Seattle queers” lead to calls to revive Q Patrol—back in 2005. But perhaps we could, with the assistance of the city, recreate part of what Q Patrol used to accomplish without, you know, having to march around in pink berets.


    A few years ago the city of Chicago installed rainbow-striped, rocket-shaped pylons along a 10 block stretch of Halstead Street, which is home to most of Chicago’s gay bars. Some folks complained—not everyone that walks up and down Halstead is gay—but the city, which had installed similar markers in traditionally Italian, Polish, Irish neighborhoods, pressed ahead with the gay pylons. No hand wringing, no endless process. Chicago is like that.

    Like Q Patrol back in the day, the pylons on Halstead let folks know where they are—you’re in the city’s gay neighborhood, where you’re going to be sharing the streets and stores and clubs with ‘mos, and you just might be presumed to be gay. And if you don’t like it, well, you might want to go party elsewhere. Visually marking Pike, Pine and Broadway as gay space—pylons or whatever—won’t prevent bashing and harassment, anymore than Q Patrol did. But it couldn’t hurt.

    So Long Watson!

    posted by on October 25 at 12:30 PM

    As Eli slogged this morning, James Watson is retiring from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.


    Dr. Watson, who shared the 1962 Nobel Prize for describing the double-helix structure of DNA, and later headed the American government’s part in the international Human Genome Project, was quoted in The Times of London last week as suggesting that, overall, people of African descent are not as intelligent as people of European descent. In the ensuing uproar, he issued a statement apologizing “unreservedly” for the comments, adding “there is no scientific basis for such a belief.”

    How did he make this suggestion?

    The 79-year-old geneticist said he was “inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa” because “all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really.”. He said he hoped that everyone was equal, but countered that “people who have to deal with black employees find this not true”.
    (Emphasis added.)

    Wow. As a science blog commenter noted:

    This lamentable quote skewers JDW for how he thinks, or doesn’t think, when venturing beyond the laboratory he hasn’t seriously occupied for many years. His biased utterance really competes quite well with just about every other anti-_____ statement recorded since the printing press was invented…
    Amazingly, JDW’s statement mirrors a major public misconception of how genetics works, namely that skin color and other easily recognizable external-trait genes are not necessarily closely linked to any of the thousands of kinase, phosphatase, transcription factor, and other genes that affect neuronal development and function. And, that over the
    many eons of human evolution, migration, and hybridization, the variant forms of all these genes are inherited quite independently — albeit still being subject to evolutionary selection.

    Science blogger Greg Laden wrote a delightful post titled “James Watson: Please bend over while I kick your freakin ass.”

    It may seem odd that the guy who, with others, “discovered DNA” could be a moron, but a brief analysis suggests that this is in fact quite possible. There are at least three factors that could explain James Watson’s obvious dullness, in spite of his professed brilliance: The Nature of the Academic Free Market; the Swinging Dead Cat Phenomenon; and the Benefits of Teamwork.


    When you analyze the data, you find that the latter — SES and Home Environment — are the main predictors of IQ across a given contemporary population, not skin color. It happens that skin color and SES and skin color and Home Environment, in the US and over the last few decades, are intertwined realities…. a group of American “Whites” brought forward in a time machine from the 1920s would test perhaps 20 points lower than a matched comparative set of “Whites” living in the first decade of the 21st century. That is not a genetic change … Rather, it is some other kind of change that has not been satisfactorily explained, but probably relates to factors like Home Environment and the vagaries of this kind of testing.

    Read Greg’s whole post; it’s fantastic.

    Intelligence is clearly, in part, a genetic trait. With socio-economic factors, the intelligence of your parents are the most important factors determining your intelligence. Claiming otherwise cedes human intelligence to the creationist crowd—such a belief assumes that the human mind could only be a divine gift rather than an evolved structure. Discovery Institute, meet a David Brin SciFi series.

    Science blogger Steven Schwartz agrees:

    To argue that human intelligence, assuming it is somehow definable, is NOT genetic is itself “specist.” Animals are routinely bred for intelligence or lack thereof, why would our species be different? Evolution presents huge amounts of data that our fore-brains evolved. So the only sensible argument that the human brain is NOT genetically variable implies that human intelligence is housed in the soul or some other magical entity that was infused into our species by some magical being. In other words, claiming that intelligence is not genetic is very much part of the intelligent design agenda.

    November 7, 2007

    posted by on October 25 at 12:29 PM

    I wonder what all the centrist, but-transit-without-roads-just-isn’t-realistic Seattle editorial writers, bloggers and erstwhile environmentalists who say the roads and transit proposal is the “best we’re ever going to get” are going to say when Prop. 1 fails, as a recent King 5 poll indicates it will? Will they band together and fight for a new light rail package that doesn’t include sprawl-inducing highway expansion—or, as their defeatist endorsements of Prop. 1 indicate, will they just give up?

    Oh, and in totally unrelated news, a major new report by the UN Environment Programme concluded that unsustainable development is “putting humanity at risk.”

    “Holy Hell”

    posted by on October 25 at 12:07 PM


    Attention Watchmen on the Walls watchers: Following yesterday’s video post of Eli Sanders grilling Ken Hutcherson comes Eli’s essay on last weekend’s controversial conference. Read it here.

    And if you’re hankering for still more Watchmen, Hot Tipper Syd sent audio of the conference’s opening speaker, complete with contemporaneous Russian translation. Enjoy.


    posted by on October 25 at 11:35 AM

    A street..

    a house…

    a room..

    The end:

    The house is located on a very small plot in IJburg; a recently developed suburb of the city of Amsterdam. The house is designed as a monolythical sculptural mass, expressed by contrasting introverted private spaces (that form the mass) with open collective spaces that seem to have been ‘carved out’ from the solid volume as a continous transparent void, visually and physically connecting them to the street, the garden and roof terrace. This strategy seems to give the house a monumental and sculptural quality that articulates a sense of stability, simplicity and permanence.

    Jan. 3

    posted by on October 25 at 11:16 AM

    After much haggling and uncertainty and date-changing, it looks like both the Democrats and the Republicans will have their Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 25 at 11:00 AM


    Mono at Crocodile

    The instrumental ambient rockers of Mono have come all the way from Tokyo to redefine what rock music can sound like. Their poignant songs find more common ground with classical music than with most modern output, and only after seeing it with your own eyes can you believe that just three men and one woman are capable of creating such a dynamic and beautiful, jarring and explosive wall of sound. With High on Fire, Panthers, and Coliseum. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 8 pm, $16 adv/$18 DOS, 21+.)


    2008 Fashion Fetish Mania

    posted by on October 25 at 10:30 AM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Just because you missed out on the Tom Vilsack for President thong doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the Chris Dodd “gay-friendly rainbow gear.” Or the slightly unnerving sounding $250 Mike Gravel “Hellraiser package.” And you could always publicly declare your love for a folksy brand of narcolepsy with Fred Thompson “Fred Head!” gear.

    Punish your remaining hope for democracy mercilessly by getting the full story from the New York Times’ Stephanie Rosenbloom. I’m seriously debating buying a “Viva Rudy” baby-tee.

    Fair and Balanced: Birders v. Cruisers

    posted by on October 25 at 9:50 AM

    Usually, Homo is the Brother’s category, but his recent screed about the relocation of the Mars Hill Church and the way that the media always seek anti-gay bigots for “balance” in stories about gays, but never gays for balance in stories about anti-gay bigots, was fresh in my mind when the Chicago Tribune went and proved that the local papers can, sometimes, get things right.

    It’s a story about a contested urban space, the “Magic Hedge” at Montrose Harbor, beloved by both birders and gay men cruising for sex. The innocent birders—including, oddly, a burly Chicago cop, complain about being approached by lascivious gays, and about the post-hookup detritus of used condoms. Such conflicts nearly always are depicted as straightforward cases of gay men needing to be arrested. So, I nearly choked on my morning coffee when I got to the following passage:

    Cruisers have their defenders, who make several arguments: cruising is a part of healthy adult sexuality, police are heavy-handed in pursuit of arrests and crackdowns smack of homophobia.

    Birders said they have seen scrawled signs in the Magic Hedge saying, “Humans over birds.”

    “Historically, these charges have been used as discrimination against homosexuals,” said Jon Erickson, a Chicago lawyer who has defended cruising suspects. “I’ve never seen a straight couple charged with public indecency in Branch 29 court.”

    Ald. Tom Tunney (44th), the city’s first openly gay alderman, said police are wasting time by trying to combat an activity “that has been going on a hundred years.”

    Several of his constituents in the heavily gay ward have complained about entrapment during police stings, he said. He called those people “victims.”

    Police “are playing a game,” said Tunney, whose ward includes the Town Hall police district. “Is this really a priority when we’ve got violent crime on the street?”

    Yasmin Nair, a freelance writer who has defended cruising in the Windy City Times, a Chicago gay newspaper, said public sex allows “one to negotiate sexuality outside the domestic and restrictive normative ideas of sex.”

    Whether this fair and balanced approach was the idea of the reporter or the editor, it proves that you can get at least two sides of any story, with a modicum of effort. And even the headline is brilliant: “Nature Setting Lures Controversy.” Is that the natural setting (trees, bushes, privacy) that both birders and furtive cruisers are lured by? Or is it the way some men seem wired for promiscuity, their natures set on it?

    Depth of Field

    posted by on October 25 at 9:30 AM

    Brad Biancardi strikes me as one of those young artists I haven’t written enough about—and now I find out he’s moving to Chicago.

    He graduated from UW with an MFA in painting and drawing in 2005, and has been a member of the artist-run Crawl Space Gallery pretty much ever since.

    Last year, Piss President, the series of drawings and paintings he showed at Crawl Space based on government buildings in Washington, D.C., was the most restrained protest show imaginable—which gave it a sort of majestic tenseness. I regret not reviewing it fully.

    Each building was depicted in skeleton form, like a computer model outlining its structure and its emptiness. The spaces were haunting, and some seemed even to seethe in the dim light of the gallery. Here’s one:


    This month, Biancardi has a solo show of four paintings (including this one, with animalistic imagery I haven’t seen before in his work)


    at Crawl Space; he’s also got a floor piece in Jim O’Donnell’s A Spectral Glimpse at Platform Gallery.

    Those shows opened Saturday. (I haven’t seen them yet but can’t wait.) The openings onto other worlds in the center of Biancardi’s paintings are unsettling and inviting, wormholes for modernism’s sublime-in-paint to slither into the present through the cracks in the walls, grab you, and take you back with it, or maybe forward.


    Bush’s War on Science Continued

    posted by on October 25 at 9:13 AM

    After the Bush Administration gets caught editing Center for Disease Control director Dr. Julie Gerberding’s Senate testimony on the “Human Impacts of Global Warming,” White House press secretary Dana Perino tells the press there are benefits to global warming. Think Progress has le video.

    What’s the Internet Version of a Page-Turner?

    posted by on October 25 at 8:54 AM

    A page-clicker? Anyway, this story—concerning internet love lost and found, a shameless sociopathic liar, and (tangentially but vitally) acclaimed sci-fi writer Harlan Ellison—is one.

    It’s amazing, really. Read it now. (Thanks to Jake for the tip.)

    Maybe I Should Start Commemorating Days Without Pit-Bull Attacks

    posted by on October 25 at 8:37 AM

    It might be less tiresome.

    Anyway, here’s today’s offering: Pit Bulls Kill Miniature Horse Donated To Cancer-Stricken Child.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 25 at 8:30 AM

    California fires: The winds begin to subside and an all-out air assault begins.

    Iran: New sanctions from the U.S., the toughest since 1979.

    Turkey: Urging the U.S. to join the fight against Kurdish rebels.

    Resigned: Nobel winner who made comments about the intelligence of black people.

    Added: An openly-gay minister to Obama’s gospel tour line-up.

    Happy indeed: Clinton’s 60th birthday bash nets an estimated $1 million.

    Under consideration: A mob hit on Giuliani, in the 1980s.

    Blood-ish substance on her hands: A pained protester confronts Condoleezza Rice.

    Can’t sleep? Maybe it’s the stress mess.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Headline of the Day

    posted by on October 24 at 6:05 PM

    From the PI:

    Glowing shrimp found in Seattle supermarkets

    Glowing shrimp? Surely a cause for concern, right? Not according to the FDA.

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it was not going to investigate the Seattle episodes because no “official, through-the-proper-channels” report was made. “Further,” a spokeswoman added, “it’s not a food safety issue because no one got sick.”

    Categories of Americans

    posted by on October 24 at 5:59 PM

    Whenever I start hyperventilating about President Bush’s War on the 4th Amendment, I’m always told to cool it; that Americans just really don’t care about his creepy spying tactics.

    I’m told it’s a losing issue for Democrats, that the public would rather give up some of their rights, knowing that a macho president is taking care of them.

    Well, bah!

    Check out this latest poll, which reports:

    Sixty-one percent of voters favor requiring the government to get a warrant from a court before wiretapping the conversations U.S. citizens have with people in other countries, with an outright majority of voters, 51 percent, “strongly” supporting the requirement, the poll of 1,000 likely 2008 general-election voters found.

    Similar percentages opposed “blanket” or “basket” warrants, under which surveillance of categories of Americans would be allowed.

    “Strikingly,” says The Mellman Group’s analysis, “majorities across partisan and ideological lines oppose blanket warrants.” Seventy-two percent of Democrats, 59 percent of independents and 52 percent of Republicans opposed them; as did 71 percent of liberals, 57 percent of moderates and 58 percent of conservatives.

    On a related note, I was talking to a friend last night who’s close to freshman Democratic Sen. Jon Tester (the Cinderella populist candidate from Montana who ousted longtime GOP Sen. Conrad Burns last year.)

    “How’s Tester liking it?” I asked. “How’s he doing?”

    Tester’s friend laughed. “He’s doing great. He can do whatever he wants. He ran against the PATRIOT Act.

    Why Do Women Outlive Men?

    posted by on October 24 at 5:58 PM

    Stone age sex, say researchers.

    The reason that women outlive men by an average of around five years is due to sex, harems and violence in the Stone Age, according to a study published today.

    Scientists have struggled to understand why men only tend to live to an average age of 75 while women live to an average of 80.

    Now it seems that the reason is that our prehistoric male ancestors kept female harems and fought over them to procreate: because male life was nasty, brutish and short, evolutionary forces focused on making males big and strong, rather than long lived.

    Via HorsesAss.

    Building Big

    posted by on October 24 at 5:50 PM


    65th and 15th ave NE

    Neighbors in Roosevelt have been freaking out over a potentially huge construction project on 65th and 15th. Last month, local property owner Hugh Sisley leased an entire block to an as-yet-unnamed developer. Rumors have been flying around the neighborhood for the last few weeks about a 12-story building—twice as tall as anything else in the neighborhood—going in across the street from Roosevelt High School.

    Last night, the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association held a community meeting to discuss the project.

    The one consistent rumor about the project, is that the developer is working to build a 120-foot, block-long, multi-use building on the site and PR whipping boy Richard Milne—of Pacific Public Affairs—didn’t do a whole lot to calm neighbors fears. “I’ll tell you up front, they asked me to come and talk to you because I don’t know a lot,” Milne said, before dodging a flurry of questions about the project.

    One neighbor asked Milne to dispel the 12-story building rumor, which would require a rezone. Milne wouldn’t, and indeed, the development team has been down to the Department of Planning and Development, where they were told that a rezone would require city council approval.

    After Milne declined to give any details about the project, one audience member suggested to Milne that since he wasn’t offering any information about the project, “we should just tell you what we want.” “I’m not able to take notes,” Milne shot back.

    The animosity last night’s meeting comes from the bad blood between Roosevelt neighbors and property owner Hugh Sisley. For years, the community has complained about junk-filled yards and dilapidated conditions of Sisley’s rental properties. Last month, Sisley signed away a full block to a developer, who will lease the property—just south of Roosevelt High School on 65th—for the next 99 years.

    At this point, the developer really needs community support to push this project forward. However, they’re not doing much to gain the trust of the community. Supposedly, there are three partners involved in the project: Jon Breiner and Ed Hewson—who both work for ParagonREA—and a third “secret” partner.

    There’s clearly a lot of anger in the neighborhood over this potentially monstrous project. The community’s resentment of Sisley—who stands to make quite a bit of money off of the deal—is carrying over to the developer, but it’s a bit mind-boggling that they’re choosing to keep neighbors in the dark.

    Speaking of Aztecs and Disease

    posted by on October 24 at 5:43 PM

    Ximopanōltih Huiquipedia in yōllōxoxouhqui cēntlamatilizāmoxtli mochīntīn huelītih tlacuiloah!


    That’s “Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit,” for those of you who don’t speak Nahuatl. Granted, there are only 4,030 articles, compared the 2,061,296 in English; and there are shitload of red-dead links. I guess if those retarded Spaniards hadn’t given all the Mexica people Smallpox, the thing would be a lot better filled out (filled-out?). Whatever; you can totally end a Nahuatl sentence with a preposition.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on October 24 at 4:41 PM

    From The Stranger’s reader-powered Flickr pool!


    You can thank Secret South.

    I Fricking LOVE All This Rain!!!

    posted by on October 24 at 4:25 PM


    And you should too, if you love winter sports! From Larry Schick, The Grand Poobah Of Powder:

    Hello Snowriders!

    You are gonna like this. As I promised last spring, a La Nina pattern has developed in the tropical Pacific. This is great news for the Cascades, as a La Nina will often cause a conveyor of storms in our direction. The pattern is usually associated with near or below normal temperatures. That suggests lots of snow with good quality storms for the Cascades this season.

    This is a weak to moderate La Nina and has showed some strengthening recently. Remember, the strong La Nina in the late 1990’s was the reason for the world record snowpack at Mt Baker — more than 1000” of snow. This pattern also favors a near normal start to the ski season. We could get a surprise early start if the storms really get moving.

    Already, we’ve had an active October with new snow above 4000ft. La Nina is the most reliable long range forecast signal for a robust Cascade snowpack – it’s not a guarantee, but it’s the best long range predictor we have. In February of 1999, Mt Baker had that pattern induced by a La Nina and had about 300” that month – everyday a powder day. La Nina loves the Cascades, and we love La Nina – OK everybody - group hug.

    You can subscribe to Larry’s Powder Alert emails here.

    Obama’s Ex-Wife-Beater Problem

    posted by on October 24 at 4:22 PM

    Ex-gays aren’t the only questionable characters hanging around Obama lately.

    The Huffington Post is reporting that Obama held a campaign event today surrounded by black supporters, including welterweight boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.. Mayweather, in case you haven’t heard of him (I hadn’t) has been arrested numerous times on assault and domestic violence charges. In 2002, he pleaded guilty to two counts of domestic violence. In 2004, he was convicted of battery for punching two women at a Las Vegas nightclub. In 2005, he was acquitted of domestic violence when his former girlfriend recanted her charges. He also was convicted of battery for a bar fight in Grand Rapids, MI.

    (In fairness, I should point out that Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, Terry McAuliffe, attended an event in support of alleged model rapist Anand Jon—a fashion designer who is facing 32 charges of rape, sexual battery, and lewd acts on a child.)

    More “Would You like some Roads with that Transit?” Debate

    posted by on October 24 at 4:18 PM

    If you can’t get enough of the Prop 1 debate (btw: I highly recommend going back and checking out the anti- and pro- campaigns duking it out in front of our editorial board), here are Erica and I (anti) debating David Goldstein (pro) on his radio show last weekend. (Fast forward to the middle of the hour for the Prop. 1 segment.)

    Note to Goldy: When I said 16 percent of the 182 miles of roads are HOV, that’s a bad thing. A really bad thing. You may recall that the mainstream environmentalists who are now supporting this package fought to defeat a roads package in 2002 because, they said at the time, they objected to the paltry percentage of roads in that package that were HOV (about 15 percent.)


    Today on Line Out

    posted by on October 24 at 4:00 PM

    You, Sir, Are No josh Ritter: I Anonymous Hates You

    March On: Blood Brothers Still Not Breaking Up

    Where’s Ari’s T-Shirt?: Ari Spool Survives a Weekend with the Coconut Coolouts

    Never Forget, pt 1: RIPOink

    Never Gave Up: Ted Leo at Neumo’s

    Tonight in Music: Thurston Moore, Junior Brown

    Oh My Goth: Tullycraft’s New Video, “Georgia Plays a Goth”

    Disco Fizz: TJ Gorton on Azoto

    Never Forget, pt 2: Jeff Kirby’s Oink Eulogy

    Superlative Mode: Jonathan Zwickel on Neil Young

    On the Cover

    posted by on October 24 at 3:49 PM

    What, you thought we’d dress up as the Weekly for Halloween? Jack Hornady channeled the spirit of Seattle Metropolitan for this week’s cover illustration. He can also draw a mean Frito Pie.


    Dear Science Podcast: Mad Human Disease

    posted by on October 24 at 3:40 PM


    What is the best cut of human meat? Why is science anti brain eating? Want advice on how to win a Nobel prize or a MacArthur Award? David Schmader and I discuss the latest Dear Science column on this week’s podcast.

    “Who wants crème brûlée?”

    posted by on October 24 at 2:59 PM

    After reading this week’s Savage Love—which features a fruity five year-old—a reader sent a link to this SNL ad parody.

    Oh, if only Homocil really existed.

    Biodiesel Bandits

    posted by on October 24 at 2:52 PM

    From my inbox:

    Last night someone stole over $1,000 worth of biodiesel by taking advantage of the prepay honor system at Dr. Dan’s. We need your help identifying the vehicle that was seen leaving the scene.

    Someone was seen quickly leaving the station on 9th and 50th between 8:00-8:20PM on Sunday night (10/21/07) in a Ford F250 flatbed truck. The truck is two-tone blue/white and has a red 300 gallon oval fuel tank mounted behind the cab. The vehicle did not have plates, and was spilling fuel as it fled because the driver did not put the gas cap on in their haste.

    If you have seen this vehicle or have any information regarding this incident, please contact us immediately.

    Thank you for your help!
    Dr. Dan’s Biodiesel
    912 NW 50th St
    Seattle, WA 98107

    It sucks when small businesses take hits like this, but having a “prepay honor system” is asking for trouble.

    But I Don’t See What You’re Trying to Say at All…

    posted by on October 24 at 2:37 PM


    Hey, anonymous postcard writer, what the hell are you talking about?

    Notes from the Prayer Warrior

    posted by on October 24 at 2:35 PM



    Dear Prayer Warrior,

    Please pray as I fly out tomorrow for Hume Lake Retreat Center in California to speak at a men’s retreat. Pray for wisdom, courage, and conviction as I speak!

    Pastor Hutch

    Re: Flexcar Tax

    posted by on October 24 at 2:35 PM

    Given that the 43rd’s Capitol Hill also has one of the highest condo conversion rates and Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43) bailed on the condo conversion bill, I wouldn’t hold my breath, ECB.

    But go for it Sen. Kohl-Welles.

    Flexcar Tax Hike Back On

    posted by on October 24 at 2:22 PM

    Flexcar, the car-sharing service, will have to charge the state rental-car tax after all. According to the Flexcar member newsletter, the company “made important progress in educating the Department of Revenue on why car-sharing is different from traditional car rental” but couldn’t work out a non-legislative fix. So, starting in November, Seattle-area Flexcar users will have to pay a rental-car tax of 9.7 percent, bringing the total tax on Flexcar users to 18.7 percent.

    Flexcar says they’re looking for a legislative fix. As we’ve reported, state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36) is working on legislation that would exempt Flexcar from the tax. But given that most of Flexcar’s users live in the dense 43rd District (which includes Capitol Hill and parts of downtown, Eastlake, Wallingford, Fremont, and Ravenna), we’d like to see Sen. Ed Murray and the 43rd’s two representatives, Jamie Pedersen and Frank Chopp, stand up for Flexcar users and join Kohl-Welles in working to repeal this unfair tax.

    The Comcast Debate

    posted by on October 24 at 2:17 PM

    If you’re as obsessed with the Comcast vs. file sharing story as I am, there’s some good coverage on ars technica.

    The last paragraph gets to the heart of the debate:

    The libertarians argue that the market is the ultimate arbiter, and if Comcast is trying to stall the technology of the future, they will fail as their users flee to new ISPs.

    The liberals argue that the Internet is a public utility and must ensure equity. That is: should not get better service than to deliver its content to end users, just because they pay for and use more bandwidth. (The analogy I like to use is to water service. Just because a rich person can afford to use more water than me, doesn’t mean their water should rush out of the faucet faster.)

    Of course, the other rejoinder to the Ayn Rand crew is the point that ars technica makes (customers don’t necessarily have the option to flee Comcast):

    In a perfect free market, customers would be free to pack up in leave Comcast for greener and more open broadband pastures, but the competitive landscape in the US doesn’t always provide that kind of choice. More than a few Comcast customers are faced with the choice of Comcast or dial-up, leaving them with the Hobson’s choice of hoping their data packets can evade Comcast’s traffic shaping police or not having broadband service at all.

    This is compelling. Especially here in Seattle. Millennium? Qwest? Speakeasy? I guess.

    However, Just because Comcast has a sorta monopoly doesn’t mean the Libertarian’s logic is inherently flawed. It just means municipalities shouldn’t be granting monopolies for cable service.


    A New Anti-Hillary PAC… On the Left

    posted by on October 24 at 2:09 PM

    Introducing Democratic Courage, via Ben Smith:

    A newly formed political action committee is aiming to stop Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary by calling into question her progressive credentials.

    “We think there are other Democratic presidential candidates who are both more progressive and have a better chance of beating the Republicans than she does,” said the president of Democratic Courage, Glenn Hurowitz.

    He declined to tip his hand on the group’s case against Clinton, but said the PAC plans a paid media campaign in the early primary states to make its position clear.

    Another Bad Ad

    posted by on October 24 at 2:05 PM


    The design is obviously aimed at women, but the message (women don’t like sex or at least should consider using it as a bribe for trinkets) makes me want to smack someone at International Jewelers.

    Also offensive is the etiquette advice on her dress: “Our growing informality has placed women, sometimes, in an awkward position in regard to their clothes. Many times I have been in a smart restaurant and seen a woman dressed in dinner clothes followed by an escort in a sports jacket and sometimes with his hands in his pockets (probably out of embarrassment). Where a man can’t or won’t dress for an occasion it is bad taste for the woman whom he escorts to be dressed to the hilt.”

    This appeared in Seattle Metropolitan. Speaking of, have you seen the brand-new Seattle Necropolitan?


    posted by on October 24 at 1:40 PM

    Willamette Week deconstructs a Slog post of mine—with footnotes!

    “It’s Good to Play”

    posted by on October 24 at 1:30 PM

    Philip Morris runs this ad to promote smoking.


    And distributes this ad “to prevent smoking.”


    Washington State aired this violent commercial to promote the Lottery.

    And runs this ad to stop gambling.


    Is the state trying to be insidious, like Philip Morris, or is it working at cross purposes?

    On Art and Democracy

    posted by on October 24 at 1:24 PM

    Regina Hackett’s attack:

    [Mudede] says he’s a Marxist, but a more accurate description would be an art-for-art’s sake Marxist. He writes about historical inevitability, but in a random way. He plucks a premise from the air and defends it into life.

    The problem with criticism in all of its forms (art, film, literature) has been its susceptibility to the charge that, ultimately, it is nothing more than the product of someone’s opinion. Criticism is not truth; it is an opinion � or what the Greeks called doxa. We can all agree that opinions are no good.

    Nonsense. Who agrees that opinions are no good? Only those who believe in the Word made flesh. Mudede cannot claim to be one of them. “We can all agree” is his way of signaling his con job. He knows to his bones that a critic can’t hand down the law to the people.

    My defense:

    Marxism for me is simply this: Art and politics cannot be separated. A political truth is an artistic truth. But what is politics? It is the social space in which ideas of how a society should or should not distribute its wealth meet and compete for the prize of realization. So wealth is what matters in politics. And the matters of politics are also the matters of art. Because those who have the most wealth mostly determine the results (realizations) of politics (a government, laws, management of the armed forces, law enforcement, and other institutions that organize and express the power of the state), art must either be in the situation of reinforcing the state (status) of power or resisting it.

    This basically is my position, and it is not without problems. However, opinions (doxa) are bad for art because they are bad for politics.

    And why are opinions bad for politics? Because you are free to have as many of them as you want. Recall this: When Bush is directly criticized for going to war, he often tells his critic that he/she has the (American) right to have and express that opinion. What is the meaning of this? America is great because it permits people to have opinions. As for Bush, he has more than just mere opinions; he has the right to act on his beliefs. You can enjoy your opinions while the king controls the power to act.

    Alain Badiou puts it this way:

    Everyone knows that there is a precious ‘freedom of opinion’, where as the ‘freedom of truth’ remains in doubt. In the lengthy succession of banalities pronounced on the ‘dogmatic’, ‘abstract’ and ‘constrained’ character of the idea of truth—banalities forever invested in defense of political regimes whose (general economic) authority to exercise power is concealed behind the ‘freedom of opinion.’

    In the case of the present war (and they are many other such cases), at the center of Bush’s right to act is a lie. Not an opinion, but a lie. If he can act on a lie, then it is up to his critics to act on the truth.

    In politics, a lie and a truth have a much higher value than an opinion. Why? Because for a lie to be worth anything it must assume the character of a truth, not an opinion. Bush never acts on an opinion. He would never degrade his decisions to such a low status. The lie he used to call up the war had the power of the truth.

    As it is for politics, it must also be for art. The value of politics is close to nothing if all it can offer is a space for the exchange and circulation of opinions; the value of art criticism is close to nothing if all it can offer is a market place for opinions.

    That is my point.

    Rudy Giuliani Loses New York

    posted by on October 24 at 1:19 PM

    This can’t sit too well with voters back in New York:

    In an act of baseball blasphemy, Yankee die-hard Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday he’s pulling for the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series over the Colorado Rockies.

    “I’m rooting for the Red Sox,” the Republican presidential contender said in response to a question, sparking applause at the Boston restaurant where he was picking up a local endorsement.

    What’s Giuliani’s reasoning?

    “I’m an American League fan, and I go with the American League team, maybe with the exception of the Mets,” he said. “Maybe that would be the one time I wouldn’t because I’m loyal to New York.”

    No one “loyal to New York” would ever, ever root for the Red Sox—even if you’re a fan of the American League, and especially if you’re a professed Yankee fan.

    Watchmen on the Walls: The Video

    posted by on October 24 at 12:15 PM

    The tenacious Eli Sanders chats up the equally tenacious Ken Hutcherson at last weekend’s Watchmen on the Walls conference in Lynnwood. Enjoy.

    Brenda Dickson: I Made Myself Pregnant

    posted by on October 24 at 12:00 PM

    Watch the former soap star’s original “how-to” film here. It’s almost as ridiculous as the parody.

    Thanks Brendan.

    The Result

    posted by on October 24 at 11:12 AM

    What does the war in Iraq do best? Make 9/11 look not so bad. The increasing number of American and Iraqi dead deflates by the day the size of 9/11. The end result of the war could very well be the transformation of the most spectacular terrorist event in American history into something that looks and feels like the brief blaze of a few dry twigs.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 24 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Giant Invisible Robot’ at Theatre Off Jackson

    The good thing about the death of the Seattle Fringe Festival: the cavalcade of terrible, half-baked local shows that will never be inflicted on an audience. The bad thing about the death of the Seattle Fringe Festival: the fantastic out-of-town artists we never get to see. Jayson McDonald is one of those—a solo performer from Ontario and darling of the summer fringe festival circuit. Giant Invisible Robot, one of his perennial hits, is a comedy about a boy and his best friend, the titular robot, which is programmed to destroy. (Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 800-838-3006. 8 pm, $12.)


    What Are You Gonna Be For Halloween?

    posted by on October 24 at 10:45 AM

    Wanna be Larry Craig?


    Instructions on making a Larry Craig mask here.

    Website of the Day

    posted by on October 24 at 10:31 AM

    Men Who Look Like Old Lesbians. Enjoy.

    Dear Michael Grossman,

    posted by on October 24 at 10:29 AM

    I hate to sound like your fan club here. The Stranger is no supporter of your candidates David Della or Bob Edwards, the Port Commissioner we called “an ally of (and recipient of massive donations from) the port’s corporate puppeteers” and “not much of a stickler for ethics” in our endorsement of his opponent, Gael Tarleton. But your mailer for Edwards, while dishonest, is, once again, damned effective. On one side: A grinning shot of Edwards glad-handing with King County Executive Ron Sims, a left-leaning Democrat and environmentalist. On the other side, a big shot of George Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” photo op, with the stark message: “Gael Tarleton—Port Security from the Company That Brought You the Iraq War.” (More about the conflict-of-interest allegations over Tarleton’s work for customs-security firm SAIC here.) Never mind that Edwards is actually a Republican—or that he was right at the center of the scandal over former Port CEO Mic Dinsmore’s sweet retirement deal. Your mailer makes Edwards look like a hero. Nice job, and I hope it doesn’t work.

    Broadway Light Poles Are Pretty Entertaining Right Now

    posted by on October 24 at 10:17 AM

    Sorry for the crappy cameraphone pic.

    Here’s a Change: Gregoire on the Attack

    posted by on October 24 at 10:15 AM

    Dino Rossi is set to officially announce his run for governor tomorrow in Issaquah and later in the day in Spokane.

    The big question: What will his theme be? In 2004, you’ll remember, he ran on improving the business climate of Washington state.

    Thanks to Gregoire’s success on that front, that issue has been taken away from him. At least that’s how the Democrats want to frame it.

    Accused by supporters of not running an aggressive campaign in 2004, the Democrats are already coming out swinging, framing the campaign with this YouTube ad that segues from Rossi’s 2004 campagin stump speech—“Who’s really going to be able to turn around the business climate in this state? Me or my opponent?” into Gov. Gregoire’s stats on improving the business climate in this state.

    Her record catapulted Washington from 12th place to 5th place in a recent Forbes ranking of best states to do business in—the biggest jump of any state. Gregoire scored a profile in Forbes annual issue thanks to the impressive ranking.

    Here’s the Democrats’ hit:

    We’ll hear from Rossi tomorrow.

    Shalom Auslander

    posted by on October 24 at 10:10 AM

    I’ll be doing an on-stage interview with writer Shalom Auslander tomorrow night as part of Nextbook’s local reading series. He’ll be reading from and discussing his new book, “Foreskin’s Lament,” which received a nice review in The New York Times on Sunday.

    Auslander is a funny guy, even though his author photo is rather severe:


    And he writes on a theme that has been a favorite of Stranger writers and readers this year: The divine ridiculousness of God. As The Times wrote:

    It has been another good year for God everywhere but in the bookstores. Whether it is Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s emancipation proclamation from Islam in “Infidel” or the historian Mark Lilla’s reckoning with Christianity’s relationship to politics in “The Stillborn God” or Christopher Hitchens’s withering indictment of the Big Three in “God Is Not Great,” the religious impulse so prevalent around the globe has been taking a serious — that is to say high-minded — drubbing. With the exception of Hitchens, who is not above throwing a sucker punch to please a crowd, the current challengers to the Lord’s dominion have been instructive and edifying company on the page, but rarely any fun.

    Now Shalom Auslander has entered the ring, flying off the ropes, pro-wrestling style, with his memoir, “Foreskin’s Lament,” a no-holds-barred affront to the G-d whose name is never uttered by the faithful under Jewish law.

    The details:

    October 25, 7:30 PM, Conor Byrne’s Pub

    I’m sure Issur has a question for Auslander. Anyone else want to help me figure out what to ask him?

    There Is No Morality Without Religion…

    posted by on October 24 at 9:58 AM

    …but sometimes there are child rapists with religion. This one’s just for you, Issur:

    When convicted child molester Rabbi Alan Horowitz was arrested on May 22, at a seaside resort in southern India, it concluded the most far-flung and exotic fugitive investigation ever conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service….

    Horowitz, an ordained Orthodox Rabbi and ivy league-educated child psychologist, was convicted of 34 counts of child molestation in Schenectady County, New York. He may have imported illegal materials into the prison where he was serving time [and] previously he had been convicted of “perverted sexual practices” in Maryland. During the 1980s, while living in Israel, police launched an investigation into charges that Horowitz was sexually abusing some of his second wife’s children. He fled back to the United States. Even earlier in his life, he faced a similar investigation while living in North Carolina.

    Thanks to Slog tipper Scott.

    Meanwhile in San Diego

    posted by on October 24 at 9:56 AM


    Stranger contributor Rex Wockner lives in San Diego. The picture above was taken from the apartment of one of Rex’s friends about a mile from Rex’s home. More photos and links to info about the fires at Rex’s blog.

    Obama’s Ex-Gay Problem

    posted by on October 24 at 9:50 AM

    In an interview with the Chicago Tribune Donnie McClurkin, Barack Obama’s singin’ ex-gay bigot, denies that he’s an anti-gay bigot.

    “I don’t believe that even from a religious point of view that Jesus ever discriminated toward anyone, nor do I,” McClurkin said in an exclusive interview with the Tribune. “Most of the things that were said were totally out of context and then other things weren’t true.”

    Well, you could argue that Jesus is pretty clear about His intent to discriminate against non-Christians come judgment day—paradise for His believers, lakes of fire for everyone else. But let’s set that aside. When McClurkin says his comments were taken out of context, he’s talking about comments like these (all via Americablog):

    “[There] are many other things to be done to break the curse of homosexuality…”
    “There are certain things like, you know, anybody who has a lying problem; they get to the point where they hate being so, having such a lack of character that they make a change.”
    “[There] are countless people who are discontent in this lifestyle and want to be freed from it. They were thrust into homosexuality by neglect, abuse and molestation.”

    And my personal favorite:

    “The gloves are off and if there’s going to be a war, there’s going to be a war. But it will be a war with a purpose? I’m not in the mood to play with those who are trying to kill our children.”

    So McClurkin isn’t anti-gay or anything. He simply believes homosexuality is a curse, gays and lesbians lack character, and we got this way because we were abused and molested—oh, and we’re trying to kill your children. But I’m sure when you these statements are placed in their proper context there’s nothing offensive about them at all.

    Sorry, no. Unless McClurkin qualified each of these statements with, “I’m an idiot, I don’t know what I’m talking about, please don’t listen to me, someone turn off this mic, dammit!”, then McClurkin’s a bigot and his buddy Barack Obama is a tool. Says John Aravosis:

    What’s even more offensive than McClurkin trying to mislead the Chicago Trib about his past (and present) is the fact that Obama’s campaign clearly put him up to this interview with the Trib. Trust me, there is NO WAY this guy opened his mouth to the Chicago Trib about this matter without the Obama people setting the entire interview up, or at least approving of the entire thing. Obama is now trying to feed you misinformation about his top surrogates and their anti-gay campaigns. Nice, Senator. It was bad enough that you embraced an anti-gay bigot and put him on stage as your representative, but now you’re trying to polish his image in the media and lie about who he really is.

    Ampersand Love (For Elysha)

    posted by on October 24 at 9:30 AM

    Martin Puryear’s


    Roy McMakin’s


    Conor & David’s (with research!)


    Narrowly Disqualified: Cris Bruch’s Only Connect (2006)

    “Howard, Seriously, Please Help.”

    posted by on October 24 at 9:19 AM

    Remember Anna Nicole Smith? Thanks to tireless Slog citizen Mr. Poe, here’s a horrifying stroll down memory lane, presented by the fittingly slimy Geraldo Rivera.

    What we’ve learned: Howard K. Stern is a bigger douchebag than we ever imagined, and Dannielynn Smith-Stern-Birkhead could be in for some interesting developmental issues. (And that 9-year-old bystander deserves a medal.)

    Ugh. Why can’t all druggy celebrity behavior be as entertaining as this?

    Federal Court Protects Anonymous Porn, Says Vast Majority of Swingers are Middle-Aged

    posted by on October 24 at 8:56 AM

    The 6th Circuit has struck down a federal law—part of the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988—that requires pornographers to make records of the names and ages of anyone in their films available to the government.

    Decision of the Day reports:

    The Court explains that the invasive nature of the record-keeping requirements deters legal activities, particularly the many amateur photographers and filmmakers who put their sex lives on display but wish to remain anonymous in doing so.

    The decision, which states simply, “We conclude that the statute is overbroad and therefore violates the First Amendment,” relied in part on the fact that swingers are middle-aged schlubs:

    The key question is whether the means employed in § 2257—imposing age-verification and record-keeping requirements on all who produce depictions of actual sexually explicit conduct, regardless of the performers’ ages—burdens substantially more speech than necessary to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors in child pornography … The evidence in the record indicates that the vast majority of swingers are middle-aged and accordingly not at risk of being mistaken for minors. Relatedly, the record contains no indication of swingers engaging in sexual exploitation of minors. Accordingly, in the vast majority of instances, applying § 2257’s age-verification and record-keeping requirements to this population does not advance the government’s interest in preventing child pornography, but instead operates to burden constitutionally protected speech without any corresponding benefit. Indeed, this is true of all visual depictions of actual sexually explicit activity involving performers who are clearly above the age of majority. Accordingly, substantial portion of the burden on speech does not serve to advance the government’s asserted goal, so § 2257 is not narrowly tailored to the government’s interest in preventing the sexual exploitation of minors in child pornography.

    Voici Le Crepuscule

    posted by on October 24 at 8:47 AM

    France at the gate of Gattaca:

    France’s parliament has passed a new bill that introduces tighter curbs on foreigners hoping to join relatives in France - including possible DNA tests.

    The controversial bill was passed in both the country’s National Assembly and in the Senate.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 24 at 8:26 AM

    Turkey: Shelling Iraq.

    California fires: Day 4 brings criticism of unpreparedness.

    Katrina flashback: California fire refugees showing up here.

    Deleted by the Bush administration: CDC director’s planned Congressional testimony on global warming and the spread of disease.

    Home sales: Plunging nationally.

    Prop 1: Fact check.

    Tough guy: McCain wants to shoot bin Laden—if elected.

    Unhappy Halloween: Mask crackdown in Orlando.

    David Chase speaks: Heaps scorn on “pathetic” Sopranos fans angered by last episode.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    HRC Calls Out Obama

    posted by on October 23 at 7:32 PM

    From The Hill:

    The nation’s biggest gay rights group is trying to force Sen. Barrack Obama (D-Ill.) to cancel presidential campaign event with a controversial preacher who claims he was homosexual but has been cured.

    The Human Rights Campaign has expressed its strong reservations to Obama over his campaign-sponsored tour that features gospel singer Donnie McClurkin.

    The influential organization, representing a powerful Democratic constituency, let Obama’s campaign know that it would issue a public demand if Obama did not immediately cancel the event, said a person who had been briefed on the exchange.
    Obama will not be present on the so-called Embrace the Change Tour, but public denouncement by the Human Rights Campaign could damage him in his quest for the White House.

    McClurkin is notorious among gay rights activists for fighting what he calls the “curse of homosexuality,” for saying sexual orientation is a choice, and for claiming that homosexuality can be “cured” by prayer….

    By threatening to weigh in strongly, Human Rights Campaign has elevated what began as a controversy in the blogosphere into a full-fledged dilemma for Obama’s campaign.

    Via Americablog.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on October 23 at 5:35 PM

    Here’s today’s photo from The Stranger’s new Flickr account! Thankee michaeldempster.


    It was submitted with the caption: “Neil is the singer in Black Breath. I can’t remember why he had dog testicles.” Wa wa wee wah. Why does he have testicles? And why does he look so sad, when his pin says, “I Feel Good”?

    Republican Cash Infusion

    posted by on October 23 at 5:33 PM

    The King County Republicans—you know, the ones the King County Prosecutors Office went easy on during the whole voter challenge scandal—well, they must be getting nervous about Democratic challenger Bill Sherman (SECB-endorsed here).

    The GOP candidate, interim KC Prosecutor Dan Satterberg—chief of staff for the KC prosecutor during the voter challenge scandal—is reporting a $17,500 download from the KC Republican Party from October 15th. That brings the local party’s total Satterberg contributions to $23,400.


    There have also been some in-kind contributions to Satterberg from the local party that have come in after the latest filing, totaling $10,742.

    Overall: Satterberg has raised about $300,000 to Sherman’s $170,000.

    Meanwhile in Belltown: Mars Hill Comes, Seattle Times Swallows

    posted by on October 23 at 4:08 PM

    Mars Hill—Mark Driscoll’s anti-gay, anti-woman mini-megachurch—is opening a franchise in Belltown. Praise Jeebus. Commercial real estate doesn’t come cheap in Seattle but there’s apparently a lot of money in Driscoll’s Olde Tyme Religion. Driscoll paid $3.95 million for the building, which had been home to a “troubled” Belltown nightclub.

    The Seattle Times is predictably rah-rah. O that troublesome club has been turned into a church, ladies and gentleman, and bad things never happen in, near, or around churches, right?

    Like all daily papers in the United States the Seattle Times is cringingly deferential whenever a story touches on “people of faith,” even if those people of faith are douchebags like Driscoll. Reporter Sanjay Bhatt meekly hands the future pastor of Mars Hill Belltown the mic and lets Pastor Tim Gaydos—yes, Gaydos—get away with shit like this:

    “The fact of the matter is that everyone who did go to that club or those who come to our services are looking for the same thing—happiness, satisfaction and fulfillment,” Gaydos said. “We just think it’s found in Jesus, not in booty calls.”

    Gaydos said his church accepts the Bible as perfect and “without error.”

    Hey, Seattle Times? Where’s that balance and objectivity crap you’re always fellating yourselves about? (Hi there, David Postman!) Whenever the Seattle Times covers gay issues you go and dig up some Christian bigot for a little “balance.” Take this piece from the Seattle Times after Washington state’s domestic partner law went into effect this summer. We’re treated to a little sweetness and light about the happy couples—and then Andrew Garber drops these graphs into the middle of his story:

    No protesters were on hand Monday, but the Rev. Joe Fuiten, pastor of Cedar Park Assembly of God church in Bothell and a prominent opponent of same-sex marriage, sent out a statement opposing the law.

    “God’s law is established in the male-female relationship,” he said. “When the state acts to replace the wisdom of God with the wisdom of the Legislature, we are headed for an uncertain future, and that is putting the best face on it.”

    Then it’s back to the happy couples.

    So where’s the balance when Christian bigots make the news? There were no protesters on hand when Mars Hill bought that building in Belltown—money that could have been spent on the poor, the lame, the hungry—but Mars Hill has some “prominent opponents” around here. Not just bloggers like Godless David Goldstein, but progressive religious types and homos and feminists. Where’s the quote from a progressive religious figure grieving the “uncertain future” Mars Hill represents? Where’s the quote from a gay resident of Belltown griping about the damage Mars-Hill-style bigotry does to gays and lesbians? Where’s the quote from a feminist taking Driscoll on?

    And are you really going to let Pastor Gaydos blandly assert that the bible, like Mary Poppins, is perfect in every possible way, completely free of error?


    Perhaps you could’ve gone to Sam Harris for a little “balance” about that. In his book Letter to a Christian Nation Harris points to one of the Bible’s bigger—bigger, not only—errors:

    In assessing the moral wisdom of the Bible, it is useful to consider moral questions that have been solved to everyone’s satisfaction. Consider the question of slavery. The entire civilized world now agrees that slavery is an abomination. What moral instruction do we get from the God of Abraham on this subject? Consult the Bible, and you will discover that the creator of the universe clearly expects us to keep slaves…

    Harris goes on to cite Leviticus 25: 44-46, which lets us know how God wants us to treat our slaves; Exodus 21: 7-11, which instructs fathers on the dos and don’ts of selling their daughters into slavery; Ephesians 6:5, which orders slaves to be obedient to their masters; Timothy 6: 1-4, which does the same. Even Jesus Christ supported slavery. Back to Harris:

    Nothing in Christian theology remedies the appalling deficiencies of the Bible on what is perhaps the greatest—and the easiest—moral question our society has ever had to face.

    If the Bible got something as simple as slavery wrong, as Harris points out, it’s highly likely that the Bible got other stuff wrong too—complicated stuff like human sexuality, the role of women in the church, the sinfulness of lobster, etc. There are two contradictory creation stories in Genesis and two sets of Ten Commandments. God orders the murders of innocent men, women, and children. The Bible is without error? Please.

    The Seattle Times is all about balance and objectivity—and double standards. A story about the gays? Be sure to get a quote for “balance” from a gay-bashing religious wacko. A story about gay-bashing wackos? No need to get a quote from the gays or anyone else. Because Pastor Gaydos is religious—and religious people get a free pass.

    UPDATE: But if the Seattle Times actually spoke to a progressive Christian about the impact of Mars Hill and other churches like it they might learn that Mars Hill’s bigotry is bad for Christianity:

    “Majorities of young people in America describe modern-day Christianity as judgmental, hypocritical and anti-gay. What’s more, many Christians don’t even want to call themselves “Christian” because of the baggage that accompanies the label.

    A new book based on research by the California-based research firm the Barna Group found that church attitudes about people in general and gays in particular are driving a negative image of the Christian faith among people ages 16-29.”

    But the Seattle Times isn’t interested in learning that a Mars Hill is bad for Christianity in the long run (however good it might be for Driscoll’s bottom line in the short run) because then they’d have to print it.

    UPDATE 2: Says MHCD in comments:

    It makes sense when covering a controversial new law to interview someone against it, because otherwise the reporter is not explaining the nature of the controversy to readers. It is not some double standard that the Times did this in their coverage of the passage of the anti-discrimination law. Now if you could find, for example, similar anti-gay quotations in their coverage of this year’s Pride celebrations, then you’d have a good point. I don’t think you will find that, though.

    Really? I think I will—and, hey, here it is. From the Seattle Times’ coverage of this year’s Gay Pride Parade:

    Not everyone liked what they saw.

    A man, who happened to be walking by with his family, stopped and stared. “I am not from a big town,” he said. “This is a little over the edge.”

    Protesters, who identified themselves as Christians, shouted about scriptures and God’s will. Among them was a man who stood on an upside-down crate waving a sign that read “The wicked will not inherit the Kingdom,” and yelled out “Shame on You. Adam and Eve. Not Adam and Steve.”

    Colbert Girl

    posted by on October 23 at 3:41 PM

    Once Stephen Colbert threw his hat in the ring last week, it was only a matter of time before America got served up a steaming hot slice of Colbert Girl.

    Turns out the first—and so far only—video submitted is by Leeni, a Seattle-based singer, songwriter, filmmaker, performance artist, impressionist, and now political pundit. She wrote and recorded her “United States of Colbertica” immediately after Colbert made his announcement last week; the video went up on YouTube and Colbert’s website yesterday. It was partially made on a Nintendo Gameboy.

    “I think he’s got a lot to offer the country,” Leeni says of her muse. “There’s not a lot of people I trust. I think he has trustiness as well as truthiness.”

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on October 23 at 3:35 PM

    Pulled Pork: File-sharing hub Oink gets shut down by authorities.

    They’re Back: Brad reunites to play a benefit show at Neumo’s. Morgan Keuler reviews.

    Hey Soundguy!: Trent Moorman has some questions for you.

    Bears and Blondes: Eric Grandy reviews last night’s Digitalism show.

    Pinback Also Played Last Night: And Jeff Kirby was there.

    As For Tonight: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists!

    Erotic Drum Band: They want you to touch them where it’s hot.

    $4 Remixes: Terry Miller finds Donna Summer at Jive Time.

    And here’s a picture of baby sloth! BABY SLOTH!


    Not To Help Out the College Republicans or Anything, but…

    posted by on October 23 at 3:33 PM

    So, UW’s College Republican club is sponsoring an “Islamofascism Awareness Week” with a film about suicide bombers and a talk by right winger Michael Medved.

    According to the sponsor’s website, other suggested activities are “holding sit-ins outside women’s studies departments to protest the silence of feminists over the oppression of women in Islam.”

    Republicans aren’t very creative. What they should do is dress up like radical Islamists and protest women’s studies classes themselves.

    Or, heck, protest the fact that women are in any classrooms at all.

    Hillary Clinton: Getting the Paxil Vote

    posted by on October 23 at 3:05 PM

    Eli already noted that during last night’s speech Hillary Clinton talked repeatedly about people who feel “invisible” and feel like their lives rest on a “trapdoor.”

    He’s right. In my notes from last night’s speech, I underlined and circled Clinton’s use of both terms to remind myself how she punched those concepts.

    “Too many Americans today feel invisible” she said, putting it in the context of economic insecurity: “They wonder if anybody sees their struggles. They are working as hard as they possibly can, yet they don’t have health insurance. The cost of college is beyond their reach. They can barely figure out how to pay for gas to commute to work.”

    And later: “The economy is working fine for some Americans, but there are Americans who are working who have lost an average of $1,000 in annual income. They feel like they’re on a trapdoor,” she said, emphasizing again that Americans felt “invisible” and that they were “one paycheck away” from falling through that trapdoor.

    Here’s what struck me after the speech about all this talk of feeling “invisible” and feeling like you’re standing on a “trapdoor” and you’re about to fall through.

    These are ways of talking about economic insecurity (Mudede’s Marxism would call it “alienation”) that sync right up with our Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac vocabulary.

    Feelings of invisibility and feeling like you’re about to fall through a trapdoor are the exact types of feelings that people describe to their doctors and shrinks, and so, I think Clinton is smart to transform traditional angry class-war rhetoric into language that resonates off people’s private personal problems: “Oh my God. She really understands me!”

    I couldn’t help thinking after her speech how all her talk about feeling “invisible” sounded like a very expensive campaign research squad had found the perfect anti-depressant TV commercial language to liven up Clinton’s rap so she would make a personal connection (just like TV commercials do.)

    The number of Americans on antidepressants has tripled since the last decade and 1 in 10 women in America are on antidepressants.

    Behind My Head

    posted by on October 23 at 2:56 PM

    For Regina Hackett:
    -1.jpg To begin with, these books are right behind my head at this moment. To middle with, these books are frequently only a meter away from my life. To end with, this is how I read the books of my life: “I skip, I look up, I dip again.”

    California Wildfires Destroy 1300 Homes and Businesses

    posted by on October 23 at 2:52 PM

    But only homes and businesses belonging to America haters are burning, says CNN’s Glenn Beck, so there’s nothing to feel bad about.

    In Response to the California Fires…

    posted by on October 23 at 2:23 PM

    …the LA Times Twitters. First time I’ve seen a newspaper do that.

    Meanwhile in Portland…

    posted by on October 23 at 2:22 PM

    … the second bicyclist to be killed by a truck in as many weeks.

    Continued Notes on American Democracy

    posted by on October 23 at 1:50 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Take that, dignified history of public service: Stephen Colbert’s entry into the South Carolina primary has its first polling numbers, and he’s in a statistical tie for fourth alongside hair-plugged Lion of the Senate Joe Biden.

    Via election horserace impresario Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post:

    In the Democratic primary, Colbert takes 2.3 percent of the vote — good for fifth place behind Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (40 percent), Sen. Barack Obama (19 percent), former Sen. John Edwards (12 percent) and Sen. Joe Biden (2.7 percent. Colbert finished ahead of Gov. Bill Richardson (2.1 percent), Rep. Dennis Kucinich (2.1 percent) and former Sen. Mike Gravel (less than 1 percent).

    He was less lucky in the Republican field, where he took less than 1 percent of the vote behind even longshot candidates like Reps. Tom Tancredo and Ron Paul. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani led the Republican field with 29 percent, followed by former Gov. Mitt Romney at 12 percent, former Sen. Fred Thompson (11 percent) and Sen. John McCain (10 percent).

    For those looking for the full scope of what a Colbert candidacy means, Joshua Green of The Atlantic has a full report. If nothing else, it features the phrase “monolithically white” to describe a block of voters, which would seem to justify reading the article all on its own.

    Scary Stuff

    posted by on October 23 at 12:45 PM

    In honor of Halloween the boys at Queerty interviewed lil’ ol’ me about scary politicians, terrifying sex practices, and horrifying presidential candidates.

    Queerty: Who are the top three scariest politicians?

    Dan Savage: Jenna Bush, Jeb Bush Jr., and all future Bushes lurking in the scrota and ovum of every last member of that dense, selfish, clueless plague masquerading as a political dynasty.

    The rest of the interview is here.

    Your Car Keys

    posted by on October 23 at 12:38 PM

    You came to HUMP! 3. You laughed, you cried, you winced, you voted. And then, on your way out, you realized that you’d lost your car keys too. We looked and looked and couldn’t find ‘em. Well guess what? They’ve turned up at On The Boards—the keys to your Acura. We would give you a call if we hadn’t given up on finding your keys and tossed your phone number last week. Hopefully you’ll see this note and give us a call.

    Re: Notes on American Democracy

    posted by on October 23 at 12:35 PM

    Mudede’s post makes me think of one of Hillary Clinton’s applause lines at her speech at Benaroya last night: Her discussion of the “trapdoor” many Americans feel like they’re standing on.

    The “trapdoor” is one of the big metaphors that the Clinton campaign has been trying out lately, and in my opinion it’s an attempt to sweep in populists and anti-poverty activists who might otherwise gravitate toward John Edwards. Here’s Clinton’s new ad, “trapdoor”:

    Another big metaphor that the Clinton camp has been pushing is invisibility—the way some Americans feel like they’re invisible to the Bush administration (or, as Mudede puts it, that the woman he heard on the radio “does not live in a democracy, she is uncounted.”) Here’s Clinton’s ad, “Invisible”:

    Clinton knows the power of a good metaphor tied to a campaign commercial and repeated over and over. She dropped “invisible” and “trapdoor” into her speech repeatedly last night, and each time it drew a strong reaction from the crowd.

    The First Woman President?

    posted by on October 23 at 12:23 PM

    Josh dragged me to the Hillary Clinton event at Benaroya Hall last night, in an effort to convince me that HRC ought to be my gal in Washington.
    Like Josh, I wasn’t blown away. The first half of her speech struck me as a boilerplate rehash of standard Democratic Party red-meat lines: “Americans are desperate to turn the page”; “Too many people feel invisible”; “Americans are ready for change.” But once she got going on Bush/Cheney, the disappearance of America’s middle class, her “four big policy goals,” HRC caught fire.

    An excerpt, edited for length:

    I live in dread of discovering what we might find when [Bush and Cheney] finally leave town. I don’t think we know the half of it. The no bid contracts, the cronyism. … The turning point was Katrina and Rita… You would not have believed that you were watching something coming from America. I’ve got this old-fashioned idea – how about appointing people who are qualified to do the job?

    We will also end President Bush’s war on science. How about getting back to evidence-based decision-making? Enough with ideology. On my first day as president I will sign an order reversing the ban on ethical stem cell research.

    I am not running because I’m a woman. I’m running because I believe I am the most experienced and qualified person to hit the ground running in January 2009. I don’t believe it’s about electing me—I believe it’s about deciding that we’re going to do what needs to be done for our country.

    There are two groups that inspire me to keep going. One is women in their 90s who come to my events. … They all say something like, “I’m 95 years old. I was born before women could vote in this country and I’m going to live long enough to see a woman in the White House.”

    The other group is the children who come… I see a parent lean over to a daughter and say, “See, honey? In this country you can be anything you want to be.”

    OK, never let it be said that I’m not a sucker for a feminist argument. It’s about goddamn time we put a woman in the White House. That said: She voted for the Iraq War; she sponsored a flag-burning amendment (!); she (sort of) supports upholding DOMA and leaving the gay-marriage issue to the states; and her health care plan is only so-so.

    But I may be coming around, for one simple reason: I believe Clinton would stand up more than her male counterparts for women’s and children’s issues. And yes, this is straight-up identity politics: HRC is a woman, and just like gay men or old folks or African-Americans or any other identifiable “interest group,” her interests are aligned with women’s interests—my interests. This is why Hillary has spoken out against countries that ignore trafficking in human trafficking and forced prostitution. It’s why she sponsored legislation that would make family-planning services, including emergency contraception, more accessible to low-income women and require insurance companies to pay for birth control. It’s why she supported allowing pharmacies to sell EC over the counter (and blocked confirmation of the new FDA chief until it was approved). It’s why she introduced a bill that would make EC available to all women in America’s armed services. It’s why she opposed the noxious Global Gag Rule, which bars organizations that receive US aid from providing information about abortion services. It’s why she sponsored legislation aimed at ending the pay gap between men and women. It’s why she wants to implement a universal pre-kindergarten program. It’s why she wants to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act and implement paid maternity-leave programs in every state by 2016.

    And it’s why she says things like, “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life.”

    I also love the way Hillary has inspired Republicans to reveal how ugly, sexist, and anti-woman they really are. They called her a lesbian. They attack her for being “dowdy.” They attack her laugh—ahem, “cackle.” They analyze her necklines. They call her a “man.” They manufacture fake “catfights.” They compare her to a “nagging housewife.” They accuse her of trotting out a manufactured “maternal” side. They even try to make her look like an ice queen for giving away her cat.

    Feminist writers and others have debated themselves to death about whether being a woman means supporting Hillary. I don’t think it does. As a woman, however, I support Clinton’s record on gender issues—which is an entirely different thing than supporting a candidate because of her gender.

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on October 23 at 12:05 PM

    Donald Brent Page, 33, was indicted Tuesday by a Memphis grand jury on charges of crossing state lines to have sex with a minor. The Calera resident was arrested Oct. 6 for traveling to Tennessee to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex, according to Memphis FBI.

    The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports Page used the online name “badlilboy8898” to arrange a meeting with the girl, who was actually a member of the FBI’s Crimes Against Children Task Force. He was arrested at a Memphis apartment with condoms and wine coolers in hand.

    Prior to his arrest, Page served as youth minister of Dogwood Grove Baptist Church in Montevallo. Church pastor Todd Burr said Page called him the night of his arrest to resign…. “It’s shocking. He was doing a good job with the youth,” said the pastor.

    In other youth pastor news: Florida youth pastor gets five years for possessing child porn; 39 year-old Kentucky youth minister poses as 16 year-old on Myspace and allegedly meets, molests 14 year-old; Illinois youth pastor indicted on two counts of producing child porn; youth minister charged with embezzling $68,000 from church; Winnipeg youth minister rapes developmentally disabled woman; Bradford Baptist Church in Arkansas reassures public that the church official arrested for raping a 13 year-old boy was their music director, not their youth minister. Whew!

    And, finally, Christian groups are angry at CBS for an episode of Cold Case that featured, among other moral outrages, a hypocritical youth pastor who masturbates while listening to a young woman confess her sexual transgressions. An “exercise in bigoted, Christophobic fantasy,” says the conservative Culture and Media Institute. I have to agree: With so many kiddie-porn-producing, child-raping, thieving youth pastors out there, why make shit up?

    Notes on American Democracy

    posted by on October 23 at 11:55 AM

    Note one:

    I’m in Portland. A man of my age is making me a meaty sandwich. The radio on the shelf behind the counter is receiving a talk show. As a slice of bread is expertly spread and stacked, the host of the talk show is dispensing financial advice. A woman calls and asks the host what she should do to fix her desperate financial situation: she is in debt, she works nonstop, the future looks bleak. In a voice made confident by its sense of being the bearer of common sense, the host advises the woman to take control of the aspects of her life that she can control.

    “You can control how you save on your groceries, or how much electricity you use. These are the things you can control. But the cost of the war, the cost of health care, the price of gas, these are things you can’t control and so you should not waste time on them.” Indeed, the things that are of the greatest importance to this woman’s life—the war in Iraq, the health care system, the energy crisis—are out of her control.

    Now a question: The host’s recommendation—focus on the things you can control—correct or incorrect? The answer: Correct. To tell the truth is to tell the poor woman that she does not live in a democracy, she is uncounted. If this were not the case, if she counted, if she had permission to participate in the state’s management of war, health, and energy issues, then she would have to worry about the most important things in her life.

    A late last word:
    The 21st century has been one of disconnection between the institution of democracy and popular action. The fact that Americans voted to end the war nearly a year ago, and nothing but an escalation of it has happened since that vote, is a symptom of this diremption. One even wonders this: Has America really been in a state of emergency since September 11, 2001? Is this period one of a silent suspension of the usual? The suspension of state functions, regular laws and rights? A silent state of emergency might be related to the Cold War. Both do not have an official status.

    The Hillary Protest at Benaroya Hall: A 2008 Odyssey

    posted by on October 23 at 11:50 AM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    The tipping point of the demonstration against (and subsequent counter-demonstration for) Hillary Clinton last night in front of Benaroya Hall might have been when the youthful group of roughly twenty Republicans calling themselves MoveRed began what they called a “money laundry.”

    The laundry consisted of a large bucket of water that was filled with washing detergent; when full, dollar bills were dunked into it to great cheers from participants. The soapy money was then displayed to Clinton haters, supporters, and people attempting to catch a bus on Third Avenue. I don’t know exactly what they were trying to convey, but the results of my informal poll of people trying to catch their busses home yielded a tally of one person whose opinion of Hillary was lowered, three people whose opinions were raised, and one person who called me a “fucking bitch.”


    See the jump for Ron Paul cult accusations, shouts of “cum guzzler,” and Hillary’s praetorian grad-student guard…

    Continue reading "The Hillary Protest at Benaroya Hall: A 2008 Odyssey" »

    Alien Landscapes

    posted by on October 23 at 11:47 AM

    Found this gorgeous and horrifying film on Ubuweb. Proceed with caution: you’ll never look at your lover’s skin the same.


    If you’re unfamiliar with Ubuweb, it is a stunning collection of classic and current avant garde work in sound, film, and writing. There are amazing catalogs of movies and MP3s available for perusal. Prepare to spend your afternoon there.

    Canadian Cover Up

    posted by on October 23 at 11:07 AM

    It’s nice to be reminded now and then that Canadians can be just as stupid as Americans: a pair of naked boobs are now permanently under wraps in the B.C. capitol.

    Twice this month, blue curtains have been placed in front of frescoes which show bare-breasted Indian women in colonial times. Once was for a ceremony in the rotunda to welcome British Columbia’s first aboriginal lieutenant governor. The other was last week when a landmark treaty was introduced….

    Now, Aboriginal Relations Minister Mike de Jong says a committee has decided to keep the murals covered if they can’t be removed intact. He says covering them only for certain ceremonies sends an inconsistent message.

    A Most Satisfying Thump

    posted by on October 23 at 11:03 AM

    This is everywhere this morning, and now it’s on Slog: Marie Osmond drops dead on Dancing with the Stars.

    Okay, she only fainted, but the subject line tells it like it is.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 23 at 11:00 AM


    Ted Leo & the
    at Neumo’s

    Ted Leo and company never strayed far from their familiar upbeat punk-rock sound, but their 2007 release, Living with the Living, is a big step. The band dabbles in reggae, flaunts obvious adoration for Joe Strummer, and gives a brutal edge to Chumbawumba’s “Rappaport’s Testament: I Never Gave Up.” They usually close the show with that rowdy track—it always turns the pit into a mess of fist-waving, dancing bodies. With Quasi. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $13, all ages.)


    This week in Snowboarding

    posted by on October 23 at 10:58 AM


    The Snow Fever expo is this weekend at Qwest Field Event Center. It runs Friday afternoon and all day Saturday and Sunday. If you’re itchin’ to swap out your equipment, or to buy some of last year’s stock at great discounts, this is your last chance to do it.

    Every ski resort in the the Northwest will also be there trying to get you to come and visit, or even buy a season pass. Some will be selling discounted passes, others will offer no discounts at all.

    Here’s a breakdown of the local resorts, their unlimited-season-pass prices for adults, and the cost of a single day ticket:

    Summit at Snoqualmie: $379/$51 (you have to visit 8 times to break even). A $459 pass includes 5 days free at Crystal Mountain, the new owner of The Summit.

    Stevens Pass: $749/$54 (14 visits to break even).

    Crystal Mountain: $1095/$58 (19 visits to break even!) Including the brand-new Northway Chair and 1,000 new acres of terrain.

    Mt. Baker: $655/$41 (16 visits to break even).

    Mission Ridge: $539/$48 (12 Visits to break even).

    The best deal still appears to be Snoqualmie (funny, as they get the least and wettest snow).

    Spending two weekend days at each mountain would cost $504 before taxes and without lodging. That’s 10 days of boarding, all over Washington, for less than a single season pass at four of five Washington resorts.

    In comparison, a Colorado Ski Pass, which groups five CO resorts (including Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone) under one season pass, is $279.

    Their Smiling Mugs

    posted by on October 23 at 10:56 AM




    Say what you like about Larry Craig, the man at least had the decency to look appropriately somber in his mug shot.

    Barack Obama’s Ex-Gay Problem

    posted by on October 23 at 10:52 AM

    Barack Obama is still planning to tour South Carolina with an ex-gay/anti-gay preacher. Donnie McClurkin performed at the Republican National Convention in 2004—shouldn’t that alone disqualify him?—and has condemned “the curse of homosexuality,” declared “war” on the gays, and insists that Jeebus can turn gay people straight. He’s a bigot, pure and simple, and like other ‘mos I’m appalled that Barack Obama would tour a state, any state, even South Carolina, with the likes of McClurkin.

    Now I’m not rabid on gay issues—really. I wrote John Kerry a check in 2004 after he came out for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. (Which was after he came out against a federal constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.) And I was willing to support Obama—for vice president, preferably on a Gore/Obama ticket—after he came out for civil unions but against full marriage equality for gays and lesbians. I’m gay and I’d like to be married but I understand that the gay marriage issue is a fraught one for Dems and that politics is all about incremental gains and that we shouldn’t sacrifice the good on the altar of the perfect and blah blah blah.


    Obama called for the Justice Department to fire an official that made “offensive and erroneous comments” about racial minorities last week. This week Obama refused to boot McClurkin from his South Carolina tour over McClurkin’s “offensive and erroneous comments” about gays and lesbians.

    Here’s Obama:

    “I have clearly stated my belief that gays and lesbians are our brothers and sisters and should be provided the respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens. I have consistently spoken directly to African-American religious leaders about the need to overcome the homophobia that persists in some parts our community so that we can confront issues like HIV/AIDS and broaden the reach of equal rights in this country… I strongly believe that African Americans and the LGBT community must stand together in the fight for equal rights. And so I strongly disagree with Reverend McClurkin’s views and will continue to fight for these rights as President of the United States to ensure that America is a country that spreads tolerance instead of division.”

    Excuse me, but what the fuck? If believing in the “respect, dignity, and rights of all other citizens,” including gay and lesbian citizens, doesn’t preclude touring with a hate-monger bigot like McClurkin, what the fuck good is your support? How can the gay community “stand together” with assholes that have declared war on us? And I’m sorry, Barack, but if you choose to stand with McClurkin—if you give him a pass on his anti-gay bigotry—than your “belief” in our brotherhood isn’t worth a bucket of warm santorum.

    This is too much. It’s one thing to reach out to conservative voters, which Obama has said he intends to do. It’s another to to stump with raving bigots like McClurkin. If Obama embraces people that judge others not by the content of their characters but by the contents of their rectums, well, Barack Obama isn’t not going to see any of my money or win my vote.

    Hillary Clinton in Seattle Last Night

    posted by on October 23 at 10:50 AM

    Here’s why people like me think Hillary Clinton is formidable and on her way to the Democratic nomination. It’s not that she’s a great speaker (her speech last night at Benaroya Hall was fine, but not close to notable … “innovation nation” uggghhh.)

    But here’s what I took away from last night: She was the keynote speaker at the Democrats’ biggest event of the year.

    Why is that? Why is it that even though Barack Obama and John Edwards are more popular and raising more money in Washington State than Clinton, Clinton scores the Maggie Awards dinner—a captive audience of the most influential Democrats from the fundraising, organizing, and messaging fronts in the state. Well played HRC. You are a tactical player.

    Last night goes a long way toward wiping out all the groundwork and fundraising that the other candidates have done here. It certainly doesn’t erase Obama’s huge money lead, but it does put Clinton front and center, and I’m sure she tapped into a serious vein of local D money last night.

    The point being: Clinton is savvy as hell. In one fell swoop, by lining herself up to be the keynote at the Democrats’ premier event, she’s back in the game in Washington State.

    To wit, from Dave Ammons’ AP report on last night:

    Clinton, making her first appearance as an announced candidate in the West’s second-largest state, was given star billing at the party’s annual fundraising gala, the largest party gathering scheduled before the February caucuses. State Chairman Dwight Pelz said the event, which drew more than 1,200 people and raised more than $150,000 for the party, was the single most successful Democratic Party fundraiser in state party history. State party events typically keep ticket prices relatively low.

    Giving Clinton the coveted speaking slot did not constitute an endorsement by party elders, Pelz said in an interview. But Clinton backers said it at least gave that subliminal effect and will be a big lift to her.

    Wildfires in California: No Big Deal—Since Only Dems and Other America Haters Are Suffering, Right?

    posted by on October 23 at 9:43 AM

    So says CNN’s raving in-house bigot, Glenn Beck.

    On the October 22 edition of his nationally syndicated radio program, host Glenn Beck stated, “I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.”

    Who dropped Beck on his head? San Diego County—which is burning, home to most of the evacuees (including my father)—is a GOP stronghold. It’s home to people who are loving America quite literally to death. I realize that San Diego County is in California, but the state isn’t populated solely by Rob Reiners and Laurie Davids. San Diego County is home to folks who believe that supporting the troops mean never questioning their leaders, people that believe climate change is a myth, Barbara Boxer is a communist, that Iraq was involved in 9/11, and that every turd that drops out of George W. Bush’s ass is a magical golden egg—and that the rest of us will see that once they finish polishing Bush’s turds with their tongues.

    The Weaker Intention

    posted by on October 23 at 9:30 AM

    Recently, in writing about Nan Goldin’s controversial photograph of two girls, one with her legs spread—Edda and Klara Belly Dancing, Berlin (1998), I called it one of the few works of art I could think of that was made for children, that set adults on the outside.

    I just remembered another that purports to be: Tseng Yu-Chin’s Who Is Listening?, a series of five scenes, two of which I saw at this summer’s Documenta 12 in Kassel.

    They’re uncomfortable, to say the least. In one, the faces of giggling children are spurted with milk or yogurt, which makes them giggle more. In the other, a mother and son wrestle intimately.

    Their title, Who Is Listening?, makes them even creepier. In the end, I disliked them deeply. They were much more calculated than Goldin’s photograph of two girls at play, at home. It is a more courageous act to capture something innocent that appears to be taboo, and then make the decision to show it, than to stage something that will simply rehearse the effect of a taboo.



    Dear Michael Grossman,

    posted by on October 23 at 9:08 AM

    Dear Michael Grossman,

    As Erica posted last night, you’ve got a brutal mailer out on behalf of your client, city council candidate David Della. We endorsed Della’s opponent Tim Burgess, but I’ll be the first to admit, your mailer is powerful and effective. Really effective.

    As we reported in early 2004, after you ran David Della into office with your devastating “Rate Hike Heidi” campaign, you changed the standard in this town. You are ruthless and obviously have the knack for tasering opponents to the ground.

    That’s a compliment, Mr. Grossman. And it leads me to ask this: Why don’t you do more work for the Democrats? The big races like Gov. Gregoire, Darcy Burner? They could obviously use you. You are exactly what the Democratic Party needs. All I hear about is consultants Christian Sinderman and Moxie Media taking on the national Democratic jobs.

    You are talented Michael Grossman. You’re wasting your time on clients like David Della. 2008 is huge. Please pick up some key races and use your talents to destroy the Republicans in 2008 and to change the Democratic Party’s approach in general.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 23 at 8:42 AM

    Clinton in Seattle: Reports from the Times and P-I.

    California fires: More than 300,000 forced from homes.

    And of course: The impact of the fires on “Cold Case” and “Big Shots.”

    Bush: Warning that Iranian missiles could hit U.S. by 2015.

    Obama: Challenging Clinton’s Iran vote in Iowa.

    The anti-gay gospel: Obama campaign refuses to ditch Donnie McClurkin.

    Bush wants $1.4 billion: For the drug war in Mexico.

    Fired: Metro bus driver involved in fatal crash.

    Talk pretty: Immigrants flocking to speech therapy.

    I Am Now Required by Law

    posted by on October 23 at 8:36 AM post shit like this.

    Pit bull attacks owner, toddler son.

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    I Don’t Know if People Read Campaign Mailers In Local Races…

    posted by on October 22 at 9:35 PM

    But if they do, then Tim Burgess is in trouble.

    In my mailbox this evening was a two-sider from council incumbent David Della. On one side: A photo of a grinning Della holding a cute kid on his shoulders; a long (and questionable) list of Della’s accomplishments; a list of endorsements with NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and SEAMEC (the pro-gay-rights election-ratings group) right at the top. (Oh, and it’s green, too—the color of choice for mailers this election season.) The only off point is a lukewarm quote from the Seattle P-I, which endorsed his opponent Burgess: “We see signs of first-term growth and admire his attention to a variety of community groups.”

    But it’s the flip side of the mailer that could sink Burgess. In stark black, red, and white—colors Jean Godden used in to similar effect against Judy Nicastro—the other side charges Burgess’s with supporting “the values Seattle has consistently rejected.” The examples Della chooses: “Burgess took millions from the radical right” (fair enough, as we reported); “Burgess gave thousands to anti-choice candidates” Rob McKenna and John McCain (McKenna’s position on choice is murky, but McCain thinks Roe v. Wade should be overturned); and “Burgess supports the right’s agenda” (the weakest claim, based on a Seattle Times editorial Burgess wrote in 2005 and the fact that he supports parts of the USA-PATRIOT Act—but only “those parts that allowed for the sharing of criminal intelligence and investigative facts between law enforcement and intelligence agencies to better protect public safety,” according to a questionnaire he prepared for the King County Democrats.)

    It’s a really effective mailer—particularly if you know little about Della (who takes credit for many achievements, such as lowering electric rates, that weren’t really his) and Burgess (a Democrat and environmentalist whose positions on abortion rights and gay marriage we believe have evolved, as we explain in our endorsement of him ). Della’s consultant Michael Grossman (last seen making Seattle safe for negative campaigns with his anti-Heidi Wills “Rate Hike Heidi” ads in 2003) is earning his money.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on October 22 at 4:59 PM

    There’s so many great photos in The Stranger’s reader-powered Flickr account. Holy wow. Thanks to everyone who’s uploaded in the past few days, including new member BLUE FOOD who submitted this gem…


    I dunno WTF, but I love it. It was submitted sans caption…

    This Isn’t What Democracy Looks Like

    posted by on October 22 at 4:44 PM


    The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains.

    And in other creepy corporate power news, Comcast’s conference call to explain why it’s tinkering with content doesn’t go over well, even with it’s Libertarian apologists:

    …the Comcast guy seemed to implicitly concede that the basic allegations are true…He also made a couple of points that I found a little patronizing. For example, he emphasized that most users wouldn’t even be able to detect the traffic-shaping activities they use without special equipment and training. Which is true, I guess, but rather beside the point.

    Today on Line Out

    posted by on October 22 at 3:45 PM

    Ghost(ly) Riding: Modeselektor, Mobius Band, and Matthew Dear

    If I Couldn’t See All My Friends Tonight: Mobius Band’s “Friends Like These”

    Tonight in Music: Pinback, Final Fantasy, and Digitalism

    Nothing to do with Sasha Frere-Jones: The Hype About Indie Rock’s Black Kids?

    Nothing, But a Good Time: Xbox’s Diluted Poison

    Sink to the Beat: Cursive’s New Drummer, Cornbread Compton.

    The Way the Wind is Blowing: Bob Dylan, Smog, and Escalade

    Totally Tubular: Mike Oldfield’s Incantations

    Quadraphonia: The Flaming Lips’ Zaireeka Tonight at the Crocodile

    Different Smokes for Different Folks

    posted by on October 22 at 3:43 PM

    Today’s NYT has an Op-Ed by David G. Adams, a former director of the policy staff at the FDA.

    A two-cigarette strategy would prohibit young smokers from buying addictive cigarettes. The tobacco industry is capable of producing cigarettes that are virtually free of nicotine, and regulators could develop clear standards for non-addictive cigarettes. (Disclosure: My law firm represents tobacco companies, but I have recused myself from that work.)

    The age to purchase addictive cigarettes might be set at 21. Better yet, sales of addictive cigarettes could be restricted to individuals born 19 or more years before the two-cigarette strategy was put into effect. Under this approach, 18-year-olds who start smoking non-addictive cigarettes would be prohibited from switching to addictive cigarettes even after they turned 21.

    I think Adams’ heart is in the right place – he wants to reduce the addiction and disease caused by cigarettes – but his proposal would be a disaster.

    According to a 2007 report from the American Lung Association, half of smoking adults started before their eighteenth birthday. It’s implausible that those kids would opt for nicotine-free (i.e., buzz-free) cigarettes, which would be equally illegal to them. And, when the purchasing ban did affect them, after they turn 18, they’d already be addicted. So it’s preposterous to think those smokers would switch to a variety that doesn’t satiate their addiction.

    In effect, the proposal would simply graduate millions of adults who want to buy cigarettes illegally or off the black market. Already in the United States, a huge market for untaxed cigarettes exists. If Adams’ proposal were enacted – like one supported by the Institute of Medicine – it would simply bolster that trade and divert the taxes that would otherwise be collected to underworld entrepreneurs.

    I’m all for regulating the cigarette market, but when drug regulation becomes so restrictive that the black market is more lucrative for the dealer and more available to the buyer, society incurs the repercussions of prohibition. And if prohibitions of other substances provide an indicator, it wouldn’t reduce smoking. Instead, we should tax the hell out of cigarettes and direct the tax revenue to anti-smoking education programs (such as King County’s Tobacco Prevention Program) that have proven effective.

    Rossi to Make an Announcement This Thursday

    posted by on October 22 at 3:28 PM

    The PI is reporting that Dino Rossi will officially announce his candidacy for governor on Thursday.

    Of course, the Democrats contend that he’s been running (illegally) ever since he set up his “non-partisan” and “non-profit” group Forward Washington in early 2006.

    Fred Thompson Is the Best Fred Thompson He Can Be

    posted by on October 22 at 2:52 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    The media wants you to concentrate on Fred Thompson appearing to be semi-comatose and constantly canceling campaign events; what you don’t see is that he’s been to Florida “three or four times,” or that he once helped capture (with the able support of Alec Baldwin) The Red October.

    (Via Time)

    Thompson hasn’t been in South Carolina in more than a month, he scrapped a recent trip to New Hampshire and then canceled a news conference Saturday in Florida.

    “You can name a lot of places that I haven’t been, and you can name a lot of places that I have been several times,” Thompson said in an interview with The Associated Press.

    “I’ve been to Florida three or four times,” he said. “The mainstream media, with all due respect, likes to concentrate on the process game on a daily basis, and I can’t get caught up in that. I’m going to do it the way I want to do it.”

    Thompson pointed out he comes in second among Republicans in most national polls and has more than 100,000 contributors, despite making decisions that defy conventional wisdom.


    posted by on October 22 at 2:34 PM

    To demonstrate what is a weak man and what is a strong man.

    Sample one, from Bob Marley’s song “Waiting in Vain”:

    Tears in my eyes girl Tears in my eyes girl While I’m waiting, waiting for your love.

    Sample two, from A Tribe Called Quests’ “Bonita Applebum”:

    You and me hon, we’re a match made in heaven…
    Ummm, I’d like to kiss you where some brothas won’t

    The man in the Marley song has this in common with the man in the Tribe rap: He wants sex. But to achieve this goal, the man in the Marley song is hiding his hunger behind a display of hurt, a theater of emotions. The fact that he can cry for her love must mean he is sensitive, and the woman must sympathize with his sensitivity because women are sensitive by nature. If the man in the Marley song did not believe women are sensitive, then he would not use tears to get sex from them.

    The man in the Tribe song is offering an act, a performance: he will go down on the woman. This is not emotional, this is a hard fact. If she goes to bed with him, he will go down on her.

    We have no idea what the Marley man will do once he is in bed. Crying tells us nothing. We know what the Tribe man will do because he promised to perform a specific sex act. With the Tribe man, it is not a mystery of what will happen once in bed but a question of his promise: will he keep it?

    In conclusion: Because performance has a higher value than the mere display of emotions, the weaker man is in the Marley song and the stronger one is in the Tribe rap.

    War Zone

    posted by on October 22 at 2:15 PM

    This fall, with the post-Vietnam photography of An-My Le and the post-Vietnam sculpture, video, and drawing of Kim Jones, the Henry Art Gallery is a war zone.

    When Jones returned from the war, he burned rats to death in two art performances. “That’s what we did in Vietnam,” he said.

    Terrible idea, to say the least.

    And here’s another Henry artist heard from: When light artist (and Quaker) James Turrell (who has a Skyspace at the Henry) returned from Vietnam, he worked as a peacenik—and it put him in jail. From David Pagel’s LA Times story:

    Before Turrell had made a name for himself as an artist, he was drafted, served in the military and returned to the West Coast, where he began graduate studies in art at UC Irvine. Turrell the Vietnam vet became active in the peace movement, working on a committee that provided information and counsel to conscientious objectors and other draftees who opposed the war.

    Informing citizens about their options was perfectly legal. Encouraging them to take any kind of action was not. “We knew better,” Turrell recalls, “than ever to try to convince someone to take a particular path because then you are party to a crime. Of course it is true that we were trying to get people off as conscientious objectors, if they came anywhere near meeting that kind off criteria or even perhaps stretching the criteria.”

    It was 1966. Turrell had graduated from Pomona College the year before with a bachelor’s degree in perceptual psychology. He was a 23-year-old Quaker advising 18-year-olds from all walks of life. “You might be surprised,” he says, “what you say over a period of six months. There was a couple. I took the woman to be the man’s mother. She was not. She was an FBI agent.

    The 18-year-old had not been receiving notices sent by the government. But the letters, Turrell says, “were made up. Everything [the couple] said was in truth a lie, and they just wanted to find me saying one thing—that I thought he should do this. I was positive I never had, I told my lawyer I never had, and then they had a tape of me out in the parking lot and apparently I said this is what he should do. And that was enough. I was arrested and served time in prison. They essentially convicted me of a treasonable offense.

    In a wide-ranging conversation at Griffin Contemporary Exhibitions, Turrell’s Santa Monica gallery, he concluded the story of his incarceration by saying, “I don’t think a democracy should have a mercenary force that is voluntary because it becomes very much like a banana republic, where the military is actually a political arm. I mean, these are total Pollyanna kinds of viewpoints, but I subscribe to them. And art is another one.”

    A Norris For All Political Seasons

    posted by on October 22 at 1:53 PM

    posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Not content to change the world of home fitness and murder various assortments of America-invading communists with high impact kicks to the throat, Chuck Norris has now conquered the world of political writing from his high-profile perch atop World Net Daily.

    In one of the most finely crafted political endorsements you will ever read in your entire life, experience the Biblical truth behind Governor Mike Huckabee: You’re going to be reeling from this all day long.

    The one question that remains is: Can Huckabee win the nomination? The presidency?

    As with the other candidates, Huckabee has, and will continue to have, his hecklers: “He hasn’t raised enough money.” “He’ll never beat Hillary.” “Our society is too prejudice and paranoid to vote for a once Baptist minister.” “He’ll never out-race the top four Republican candidates.”

    I was thinking about these types of comments the other day when I recalled another leader in ancient times that didn’t match up in the line up: King David. Seven men were poised and paraded for the position of king, but David was left in the field shepherding because he wasn’t “a frontrunner in the polls.” They overlooked the best because they were too busy judging by outward appearance. But God appointed David king.

    It’s time to quit choosing our leaders based solely upon charisma or one strong suite, and move back to being a culture which esteems and elects its leaders because of character and qualifications. It’s substance, not pizzazz, we should want in a leader. Mike Huckabee is the real deal.

    Other than the high profile nod from Norris, Huckabee’s still riding the wave from a successful sweep through the Values Voters Summit, where he nearly scored a come-from-behind victory over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in participant voting.

    Invaders from Mars

    posted by on October 22 at 1:43 PM

    As we speculated in September, Mars Hill Church is moving in to Tabella’s old digs.

    Mars Hill Church is buying the property that was once home to the controversial Belltown nightclub Tabella Restaurant & Lounge.

    The property at 2333 Western Ave., which sold for $3.95 million, will become Mars Hill’s new downtown campus, said Tim Gaydos, the church’s downtown pastor.


    posted by on October 22 at 1:42 PM

    This is just an idea.

    The difference between African corruption and American corruption? African corruption is more democratic—it’s available to more people. American corruption is oligarchical—it’s mostly available to the very rich. The Haliburton contracts are an excellent example of American corruption. African corruption also works on this higher level, but it openly thrives in the lower levels of its society. For example, if I wanted to get an American passport today (a legal passport—I’m only paying for the speed of its production), that would be impossible. The official at the office would not accept my bribe and instead point me to the back of a long line. On the other hand, if I wanted a Tanzanian passport today, no problem: $200 is more than enough to bribe my way to the front of the process.

    Accessibility marks the real difference between American corruption and African corruption.

    An Insane, Wonderful Hero

    posted by on October 22 at 1:28 PM

    When Kim Jones first began performing Mudman, he was a young man in Los Angeles emerging from two worlds: art school, and, before that, a tour in Vietnam. (Once a Marine, always a Marine, as he says in a generous podcast in which he recites his service number.)

    In photographs from the time, around 1974, he is sexual, superpowered, muscular as a machine—not tall, but compact, with his face masked. He’s an animal. He wears sculptures on his naked body as he stands on a rooftop and is photographed by a girlfriend. He poses for a punk magazine shoot. Even when he’s not trying to look tough, he does.

    Those days are over. On Friday night at the Henry Art Gallery, Jones performed Mudman in the gallery. He hasn’t performed the sculpture for some time, but he decided to do it here because Seattle was the last stop on his retrospective’s national tour.

    Mudman has changed.

    In front of an assembled audience, Jones removed his clothing down to white boxer shorts and a pair of black boots. He dipped his hands into a silver bucket, covered his body in light-colored mud, then eased into a squat so he could slip into a lattice of sticks like putting on a heavy backpack.


    When I got there, he hadn’t moved very far from the bucket, and there was a reception line to talk to him, as if he were a bride or a kid who’d just taken communion.


    “You’re like an insane, wonderful hero,” a jumpy guy wearing a bowling shirt told him. Their interaction was awkward, because the bowling-shirted guy seemed to treat Mudman like a rock star, to not notice his inherent weirdness.

    Jones doesn’t act out a part when he’s performing Mudman, which is part of what’s strange about it. He answers people’s questions, talks to them gamely about sculpture. “What do you think it is?” he retorts to a trio of skeptical kids in a video on display at the Henry. They walk away.

    Here, people stayed, and talked, most of them amongst themselves. “He looks like a tree,” one woman whispered. One guy rubbed his finger in the mud on the floor and applied it to a drawing he was making.

    I shook Mudman’s hand and got mud on mine. I didn’t know how else to greet a person-sculpture who also happened to be a person I’d met once before. When I’d interviewed him, he told me that sometimes, he lifts the pantyhose that cover his face because it freaks people out too much when they try to talk to him. But that night, he kept the pantyhose on, and it crushed his left eyelid, which left him disfigured. There was something incredibly soft about this quiet, besieged Mudman, with his white, saggy stomach and his crushed eye.

    He was also tired. By the time I got to him, he’d been wearing the sculpture for almost an hour. “I’m about to take a shower,” he said, forcing the smile of a person who has been trying to escape a situation for several minutes. His shoulders were red, rubbed raw by the straps. Ever since he walked along Wilshire Boulevard from sunrise to sunset, and sunset to sunrise, Mudman has been a feat of endurance. By performing now, Jones admits the fatigue of age into the performance. The commanding, totem-like power of the sculpture and the flabby reality of the body throw each other into relief. Mudman as King Lear.

    Mudman makes his move toward the wall, and the crowd hushes. He’s sliding around on the muddy wood floor, constantly catching his balance, and a maintenance woman in purple plastic gloves is wiping up the area where the audience is standing. He half-slides, half-falls to the floor and slowly, carefully, removes the sculpture. He keeps on the pantyhose. He gets up, picks up his clothing, and walks out.

    Everyone, immediately, misses him.

    Hey, All You Naysayers!

    posted by on October 22 at 1:20 PM

    All you anti-troop, anti-American, peaceniks.

    That means YOU: The 67 percent of Americans who disapprove of the way President Bush is dealing with Iraq.

    You’re all wrong. Bush’s war for oil is a success!

    Gas prices at 16th and E. Madison

    Obviously, the liberal media is lying to you about gas prices.

    MoveRed Rising

    posted by on October 22 at 12:42 PM

    posted by definitely unpaid intern Ryan S. Jackson

    A fantastic evening of right wing t-shirts and signs will greet Hillary Clinton on her first Seattle visit of Campaign 2008, as Russell Johnson (yes, Mr. Poe!) and his MoveRed cadre will take to the streets in protest.

    In reference to this earlier voice mail, the plucky Vanguard University student wants you to know that “the only thing scarier than Halloween is Hillary in ‘08.” The protest, which kicks off at 3:30 outside Benaroya Hall this afternoon, is promised by Johnson to be a vibrant coalition of Ron Paul supporters, Young Republicans, and disgruntled members of the Democratic Party.

    “We’re protesting her in general,” Johnson said in a phone interview, reminding me once again that the only thing scarier than Halloween is Hillary in ‘08. This seemed to actually be the over arching theme of the conversation. That, and the preponderance of mind blowing signs and t-shirts, which if previous outing are any measure, seems all but certain.

    LATE EDIT- It gets deeper, Via Postman:

    State Republican Party Chairman Luke Esser says today “is a defining day for Republican in our state.” He says party members need to protest tonight’s visit by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton to “to show how our principles and ideals differ from those of the Democrats.”

    Esser sent out his call for protests in an e-mail to supporters this morning that said:

    URGENT: Hillary Clinton In Seattle Today - Let’s Send Her A Message

    But he’s also looking for money. And he’s taking a page from the liberal netroots.

    When President Bush visited Seattle a month ago, Democrats raised over $100,000 in online contributions. Their most liberal elements called it a “show of strength” and we as Republicans need to take the left wing very, very seriously. The Democrats are thoroughly committed to an agenda of larger government and higher taxes, and will not give up their iron grip on state government voluntarily.

    Today, grassroots Republicans can send a message right back to Hillary Clinton and Christine Gregoire by contributing here to help us spread the word about Hillary’s dismal record and the danger she poses to our state.

    The Christian Disease or, the Black Lion

    posted by on October 22 at 12:16 PM

    Syphilis isn’t funny. But this passage sure is:

    The name “syphilis” was coined by the Italian physician and poet Girolamo Fracastoro in his epic noted poem, written in Latin, entitled Syphilis sive morbus gallicus (Latin for “Syphilis or The French Disease”) in 1530. The protagonist of the poem is a shepherd named Syphilus (perhaps a variant spelling of Sipylus, a character in Ovid’s Metamorphoses). Syphilus is presented as the first man to contract the disease, sent by the god Apollo as punishment for the defiance that Syphilus and his followers had showed him. By the addition of the suffix -is to the root of Syphilus, Fracastoro derived a new name for the disease, which he also used in his medical text De Contagionibus (“On Contagious Diseases”).

    Until that time, as Fracastoro notes, syphilis had been called the “French disease” in Italy and Germany, and the “Italian disease” in France. In addition, the Dutch called it the “Spanish disease,” the Russians called it the “Polish disease,” the Turks called it the “Christian disease” or “Frank disease” (frengi) and the Tahitians called it the “British disease.” It was called “Great pox” in the 16th century to distinguish it from smallpox. In its early stages, the Great pox produced a rash similar to smallpox (also known as variola). However, the name is misleading, as smallpox was a far more deadly disease. The terms “lues” and “Cupid’s Disease” have also been used to refer to syphilis. In Scotland, Syphilis was referred to as the Grandgore. Because of the outbreak in the French army, it was first called morbus gallicus, or the French disease. It was also called The Black Lion.

    The NRA’s Graphic Novel

    posted by on October 22 at 12:02 PM


    Head on over to Wonkette and check out some sample images from the National Rifle Association’s new graphic novel, Freedom In Peril: Guarding the 2nd Amendment in the 21st Century. Our freedom to own assault weapons and cop-killer bullets are in peril, you see, because the Democrats are set to take control of the White House and as everyone knows the Democrats haven’t wavered on the gun control issue. Right?

    The Soviet Animal

    posted by on October 22 at 11:55 AM

    A week or so ago, I’m having lunch with Paul Giamatti, his wife, two of their associates, and my associate. We are in Manhattan, in a Chinese restaurant not far from the
    General Theological Seminary. Food is on its way and I’m telling Giamatti about the great Soviet biochemist Alexander Oparin, about his important work, about the Oparin ocean, and the materialist origins he developed to fit the ideology of a godless state. Just as I’m about to reach the most profound point of Oparin’s theory, Giamatti interrupts: “Does this scientist have anything to do with the Soviet Ape Man?”

    I have no idea what Giamatti is talking about.

    Paul: “Stalin tried to develop an army of ape men. Did Oparin have anything to do with that?”
    Me: “I’m certain he didn’t.”
    Paul (excitement growing on his face): “Do you know about the Soviet Ape Man?”
    Me: “I really don’t. I’m in the dark about this thing.”
    Paul: “Read about it and tell me what you think. It’s really fascinating.” A steaming plate of dumplings is placed between us, and we begin to eat and talk of other things.

    Today, I google the Soviet Ape Man and find this story in the Scotsman:

    THE Soviet dictator Josef Stalin ordered the creation of Planet of the Apes-style warriors by crossing humans with apes, according to recently uncovered secret documents.

    Moscow archives show that in the mid-1920s Russia’s top animal breeding scientist, Ilya Ivanov, was ordered to turn his skills from horse and animal work to the quest for a super-warrior.

    According to Moscow newspapers, Stalin told the scientist: “I want a new invincible human being, insensitive to pain, resistant and indifferent about the quality of food they eat.”


    Giamatti’s head is filled with this type of information, odd information.

    BalMar Ballot

    posted by on October 22 at 11:52 AM

    The thing I love about mail-in ballots is that you can incorporate voting into your schedule any way you like.

    I voted over the course of the weekend: For example, I voted against the $17.8 billion roads and transit measure live on David Goldstein’s radio show last Saturday night in an attempt to give Goldy a stroke.

    Goldy’s rabidly for the measure. I’m against it. Erica and I debated him on the air. I’ll post an mp3 of our argument tomorrow when it’s available.

    I also voted for Venus Velazquez at the BalMar in Ballard (the BalMar is Velazquez’s Minneapolis airport men’s room if you will, the scene of the crime.)

    I went there last night, had two drinks, like Velazquez, while marking my ballot for her. (Unfortunately, our waitress wasn’t the same one who waited on Velazquez, so we couldn’t get any sordid details.) Nice place, though. The mahi-mahi tacos I had were filling and good.

    Despite Velazquez’s blunder (failing to make sure she had a designated driver), I still think she’s the better candidate than her rival Bruce Harrell. (Here’s our endorsement.)

    After my two drinks—I don’t think I was impaired—I drove the Flexcar back home down Market.

    Photo, Erica C. Barnett—who thinks she was impaired.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 22 at 11:00 AM


    Pinback at Showbox

    Pinback, an indie-rock band from San Diego, exist in an elite realm that few are capable of visiting, even for a song or two. Their music is delicate and complex, but still engaging, and lacks that robotic edge that can invade such a mechanically proficient sound. Their new album, Autumn to the Seraphs, could finally lift them to the household-name status of similar bands like the Shins, Modest Mouse, and Death Cab for Cutie. (Showbox at the Market, 1436 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $16 adv/$18 DOS, all ages.)


    Voice Mail of the Day

    posted by on October 22 at 10:31 AM

    Received this morning, apparently in honor of Hillary Clinton’s visit to Seattle this evening:

    Eli. Protest down at Benaroya Hall. We’re protesting Hillary Clinton. Gonna start about 4 o’clock this afternoon. You should come, check it out, do a story, or whatever you guys do. So yeah, protest, Benaroya Hall, Hillary Clinton. Allright, bye.

    San Diego is Burning

    posted by on October 22 at 10:22 AM

    My father, who lives in San Diego, had to evacuate at 4 AM this morning. His neighborhood, like much of San Diego, is on fire.

    Watchmen on the Walls Wrap-Up

    posted by on October 22 at 10:10 AM

    So the Watchmen on the Walls conference took place this weekend in Lynnwood, and no one was killed or arrested. Success!

    If you missed it this weekend, here’s Eli Sanders’ Slog report on the opening ceremonies. (Look for Eli’s longer piece in Wednesday’s paper.)

    Here’s the Seattle Times wrap-up.

    After the jump, a transcription of the speech given at the Watchmen event by Dr. Joseph B. Fuiten, forwarded by Slog tipper Bethany Coleman of Equal Rights Washington.


    Continue reading "Watchmen on the Walls Wrap-Up" »

    Your Cat is Dead

    posted by on October 22 at 10:00 AM


    We’ve found so many pieces of cats scattered around the neighborhood—a leg here, a head there—that we’ve got a new name for outdoor cats: Coyote Chow. Emotionally attached to your pet cat? Coyotes don’t care. So, uh, you probably don’t want to let your cat out at night. And if you do and your cat doesn’t come home, well, you might not want to bother with the signs on light poles. Because odds are good that your cat is dead. And so is yours.

    You can track Seattle’s coyotes here.

    You Drew My Blood and Captured My Heart

    posted by on October 22 at 9:56 AM

    This morning brought the following to I, Anonymous:

    You were my phlebotomist. Your sophisticated sweetness soothed the nervous chatter and shaky hands. I was adoring you even as you missed the first time and sheepishly laughed. You made fun of my name and I tried to make you feel at ease. I thought of asking you to lunch and daydreamed as the tube finally turned red and we both relaxed. We would meet at the museum, start seeing more of each other, share our hopes and maybe a weekend getaway to Paris. In the dark, I would make promises I had no ability to keep. Then in the dull light of a Seattle Monday, you vow to make my life a living hell. After all, my blood is in your hands. Just relax, you are doing fine.

    FYI: To Get Straight to Visual Art on Slog

    posted by on October 22 at 9:45 AM

    Last week, when Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes was building his blogroll, he asked for a link directly to art posts and art posts only on Slog.

    Here it is.

    If you want to see both art and architecture posts, bookmark The Stranger’s visual art home page, where Slog art and architecture streams in below the fold.

    Obama and the Anti-Gay Ex-Gay Preacher

    posted by on October 22 at 9:36 AM

    Barak Obama is touring South Carolina with Pastor Donnie McClurkin, an “ex-gay” preacher and gospel singer. Take it away Joe:

    McClurkin, who says he was molested as a child, frequently rails against “the curse of homosexuality.” A choice quote: “There are countless numbers of people who are not happy in this lifestyle and want to be freed from it. They were thrust into homosexuality by neglect, abuse and molestation, and want desperately to live normal lives and one day have a happy home and family.”

    Says Earl Ofari Hutchinson at the Huffington Post:

    [Obama] also sold himself as a healer and consensus builder. Legions have bought his pitch, and have shelled out millions to bankroll his campaign. But healing and consensus building does not mean sucking up to someone that publicly boasts that he’s in “a war” against gays, and that the aim of his war is to “cure” them. That’s what McClurkin has said. Polls show that more Americans than ever say that they support civil rights for gays, and a torrent of gay themed TV shows present non-stereotypical depictions of gays. But this increased tolerance has not dissipated the hostility that far too many blacks, especially hard core Bible thumping blacks, feel toward gays.”

    Says Joe:

    If Obama doesn’t back out of touring with McClurkin, it will end what little support I have for his candidacy.

    And I agree with him.

    Attention Law & Order Junkies

    posted by on October 22 at 9:30 AM

    In the show Help Me I’m Hurt up at Kirkland Arts Center, Seattle artist Samantha Scherer displays a grid of little square watercolor paintings of murder victims from Law & Order.


    The paintings are numbered according to episode and order of death within episodes, but there’s no further information about these characters, and the tender little paintings have made me curious. (I don’t watch the show.)

    If you can identify any of the characters, tell me: What happened? How did they die? Why were they killed?


    All fifty-three portraits (!) are on Scherer’s web site here.


    posted by on October 22 at 9:16 AM

    This report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation is a little technical, but the bottom line is this: Adding on to last week’s story that Comcast, the nation’s no. 2 internet provider, was hampering downloads by unplugging BitTorrent, additional tests show that they’re screwing with Gnutella as well.

    The Morning News

    posted by on October 22 at 9:00 AM

    Turkey: Continues to send military forces to its border with Iraq.

    Republican debate: Testier than ever.

    Libraries: Shunning the Google scan project.

    18 months old and loaded with chemicals: Two parents test their child’s blood, and give the results to CNN.

    Colbert: King of all media, including Meet the Press.

    Clinton: Playing nice with Drudge.

    Seattle condo wave: Will it swamp the market?

    Zombie walk: Day of the living dead in Fremont.

    Hillary Clinton, the Bogeywoman

    posted by on October 22 at 8:54 AM

    Why—as demonstrated by the 34 shout outs she got last night at the GOP debate—are the Republicans obsessing over Hillary Clinton?

    Is it because her impressive campaign machine, her command of the issues, and her willingness to punch back scare the hell out of them?

    Or it because she galvanizes Republican voters like no other Democratic candidate, and so they’re dying to take her on next year?

    The Carpetbagger Report takes up the question here.

    Sunday, October 21, 2007

    The Midnight Courtney Myspace Missive!

    posted by on October 21 at 11:50 PM

    It’s close to spooky midnight, and that mysterious thing called Courtney Love has dragged her crack-crispy carcass up from whatever pit in which she lingers to type a Myspace missive—-a terrible message!——for us all. Perhaps, indeed, you’ll have some luck penetrating The Courtney Code—-but take ye heed (heed, I say!), for men have gone mad in the attempt. (Women just get kinda bitchy.) It “reads” as follows:

    “i feel a big blog coming on Fashion Week, Being announced as Givenchys muse! getting a house in London AND the Countryside(Cotswalds) and a new house in LA, and goign back to Linda Perry for ONE more song after realising there isnt that ONE other RAWK song needed……..itlltake mne about an hour, but i feel like a little tittle about Fashion Rocks , Lachapelles metoric rise in Artworld in just 3 weeks, lotsa stuff Lily Allen and me in a bitchfight in the ladies,,,nah just kidding! band coming over and us having to do extra tracks without Linda like swimming at the deep end, allthat shit! see ya soon! Clove”

    “Extra tracks without Linda like swimming”, indeed. Mysterious. Code-y. Courtney!

    Hate to say I told ya so

    posted by on October 21 at 8:43 PM

    But I told ya so

    So, look for a Boston-Colorado World Series, at least one game delayed by snow, record low TV ratings, and a Boston victory.

    I realize that three-fourths of this particular prediction have not yet come to pass. Still, it’s a slow Sunday night… and the Tribe hasn’t yet officially lost, but with the 11-2 lead Boston has just taken, I’m willing to post early. Adios.

    Bill Maher vs. the “Truthers”

    posted by on October 21 at 6:44 PM

    If 9/11 Truthers annoy you as much as they annoy me (I saw some today holding sings over I-5), you’ll enjoy this video of Bill Maher kicking them out of his audience. (I didn’t know Maher was still on the air.)

    Best line from Maher: “You’re in the audience. Audience comes from the Latin, ‘to listen.’”

    Which isn’t exactly exactly right. According my American Heritage Dictionary it’s “from Latin audentia, from audiens, present participle of audire—to hear.” Pretty damn close. Here’s the great clip:

    Anyone out there?

    posted by on October 21 at 6:15 PM

    Not a lot going on today on the Slog, so I’ll do my best to amuse and abuse whomever might look in, with those most amusing of all things: my own bullshit, and sports!

    If I’ve made the one mistake—here in Slog—-that any serious sportswriter knows to avoid, it has been making predictions. My grandfather was a sportswriter, and he insisted that you could only make one prediction: the team that scores the most points will win. He also believed in God, the Latin Mass, and the Jesuits, so I have not followed much of his advice.

    So back in late August, I predicted that when the Bears meet the Seahawks the weekend before Thanksgiving that

    the Bears will be 7-2 at that point, the Seahawks 6-3. It will rain and be miserable out. And the Bears will prevail on a field goal as time expires, set up for by a Danieal Manning kick return.
    As I write this at Bruno’s—Chicago’s Most-Slogged Bar—the Bears are 3-4 and the Seahawks 4-3. So the record prediction is impossible (for the Bears in any case). I stand by my meteorological and game-result predictions, because, it’s not like I can take them back, and November is your rainiest month. And after their miracle win today, the Bears could do anything except go back in time and not lose two games.

    Now, I’ve booked my flight to Seattle for the game to take my nephew (not to make him straight, but to make him a Bears fan). I’ve paid for tickets on Stubhub—which I never woulda thought of on my own, jeez, thanks for the advice to the Brother about where to get tix, Slog commenters, but why didn’t one of you cheap shits just offer us tickets for the sake of good karma?—so we’ll see if the other third of my prediction will come true. No one will kick to Hester, so we shall see.

    As for my other stupid prediction, the evaluation of that will depend on what happens in the ongoing Red Sox-Indians game. Right now, it looks like I might be right, which pisses me and all of my friends from Cleveland off.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on October 21 at 11:00 AM


    ‘My Kid Could Paint That’

    This tortured documentary about a toddler making abstract paintings provides a kind of sequel to Pollock. Instead of a fiery crash at the end, little Marla and her parents suffer that uniquely modern death: media humiliation. The father is caught on a 60 Minutes hidden camera telling his daughter what to paint. The dealer is revealed to be a hater of abstract painting who is using Marla as a way into the art world. But the mother and the filmmaker, Amir Bar-Lev, emerge as the truly tortured characters and the film’s queasy moral center. (See Movie Times for details.)


    Morning News

    posted by on October 21 at 9:12 AM

    posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

    Nuclear: Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator resigns.

    It was you Fredo: McKay says Gonzales may be prosecuted.

    Note to Stranger staff: Study finds even moderate drinking can be bad for you.

    Iraq: State Dept. can’t keep leash on Blackwater.

    Iraq part II: 49 “criminals” dead in Sadr City.

    Contradictory: Velazquez takes full responsibility but pleads not guilty.

    One month later: Veneer of calm returns to Myanmar.

    Life’s a campaign: Maybe this award can soothe Chris Matthews’ bruised ego.

    AP investigation: Sexual misconduct goes unpunished in nation’s schools.

    Sweet emotion: Aerosmith fans sue band for canceling Hawaii tour date.