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Archives for 12/16/2007 - 12/22/2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Overheard ‘Round Town

posted by on December 22 at 7:27 PM

At the quirky acoustic music shoppe:

“I love that track, how it starts with a descending hurdy-gurdy, then resolves itself into a didgeridoo. I got the chance to see them at an open-mic down in Tacoma not too long ago.”

In our living room, while debating whether to add a string of all white lights to our christmas tree, which has multi-colored lights on it already:

“Hmm, I don’t know about mixing white and colored.”

Happy Holidays.

Smell You Later

posted by on December 22 at 3:50 PM

Seattle’s best-named landmark, The Undre Arms.


The rickety apartment building at 11th Ave and E Madison St has been collecting mold for decades. “When I told my friends I lived here, they were like, ‘Ugh, really?’” says Christina Hunsberger, who moved in this summer and attends Seattle University across the street. But inside her apartment, she says, there’s a claw foot tub, crown moldings, and three-inch-thick orange shag carpet. Fancy.

A few years ago the building’s official name became a URL.


The Web site says only this: “We, the residents of the charmingly ratty Undre Arms, are not responsible for the opinions held by our landlord, who is the one with ‘the sign’ in Apt.1.”


Jerrold Boilet, who owns the property but isn’t the landlord, has submitted a proposal to replace The Undre Arms with a six-story building containing 48 residential units, street-level retail, and underground parking. Nice. The existing building might be a fine mecca for pit fetishists, but it looks like it may collapse any moment, killing every resident in its 15 units. No word yet from Boilet on when the building will meet that big stick of deodorant in the sky.

The Stranger News Hour. Tonight on KIRO. 710 AM.

posted by on December 22 at 3:14 PM

Tune in tonight’s installment of the Stranger News Hour on KIRO radio where Jonathan Zwickel and Megan Seling will talk about the Crocodile Cafe: Why’d it close. What it means for Seattle’s music scene.


And of course, they’ll pay tribute to the “indie rock think tank” —to pull a nice phrase from Seling’s story this week.

Tune in at 7pm.

Velocity to Leave the Odd Fellows Hall

posted by on December 22 at 3:01 PM

An email from Velocity executive director Kara O’Toole regarding the purchase of Odd Fellows Hall and the future of the center:

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, the Odd Fellows Hall - Velocity’s current home - has been sold to a commercial real estate developer. Many of you have contacted us expressing your concern, which has been a powerful reminder of how important Velocity is to this community.

We are currently negotiating to stay at this location for as long as we can while we look for a permanent home where Velocity can have more control over its destiny. We’ll know more details in the new year and will keep you updated.

The best thing you can do to keep Velocity strong is what you always do: take classes, come to performances and consider making a donation to our year-end campaign by going to and clicking on the “Donate Now” icon.

We are very close to our goal of raising $10,000 before the end of the year! A generous anonymous donor will match every dollar we receive up to $2,500 before the end of the year. Please consider making a contribution today.

Dance on!

Kara O’Toole, Executive Director

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on December 22 at 12:00 PM

From Flickr pooler billyohphoto


Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on December 22 at 11:00 AM


Kay Kay and
His Weathered
at Chop Suey

Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground is an indie-rock orchestra with big-top pizzazz, a freewheeling vaudevillian jamboree, with bandleader Kirk Huffman as our cool-kid ringmaster. The 11-piece ensemble’s muted trumpets and pizzicato strings maximize the good-time swing and big-band drama. Opening pop band Aqueduct has the most fun onstage, and their rosy-cheeked enthusiasm is contagious. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $10, 21+.)


The End of the World

posted by on December 22 at 10:15 AM

This is brilliant…

Via Americablog.

Morning News

posted by on December 22 at 9:10 AM

posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

CIA, Lies and Video Tape: CIA told 9/11 Commission all requested information about interrogation of Al Qaeda detainees had been surrendered… except, of course, those now destroyed tapes.

Surprise Surprise: Port of Seattle officials dragged heels, altered records and blocked access of firms conducting efficiency audit.

Condemnation From the Right Pending: Belgian authorities release 14 suspects detained over plot to free an Al Qaeda prisoner after a court decided there was insufficient evidence.

EPA Gives Fuel Standards Lump of Coal: The EPA under the Bush Administration is refusing to honor stringent fuel standards set by 11 states including Washington.

Invasive: FBI developing new database using facial features, finger prints and possibly retina and voice patterns to route out criminals and terrorists.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas: 200,000 Army employees could be laid off as a result of the Bush/Congress war-funding showdown.

All The King’s Men: Populist Illinois governor investigated by federal cronyism probe.

Oh the Irony: 91st richest man in the U.S.—a roofing company billionaire—fell to his death through his garage roof.

Tis’ the Season: Man stabbed by wife for opening Christmas gift early.

Live-Blogging the 2007 Holiday Travel Nightmare

posted by on December 22 at 8:32 AM

This ABC News story lays it out more clearly than any onsite airline professional managed to:

Dense fog and a low cloud ceiling forced airlines to cancel more than 200 flights at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport on Friday at the start of the busy holiday travel season.

All I was told last night, after standing in an hour-long line with a hundred other bleary-eyed grumps, was that my Friday-night flight from Chicago to Norfolk (home of my brother and his family, Christmas destination for me and my fella Jake and the parents) had been cancelled and the next available flight was 36 hours later, on Sunday morning.

Cruel twist: This Chicago cancellation affected only me, as Jake took separate, uncancelled flights to Norfolk, where he’s now getting to spend some quality time with my extended family while wearing underpants borrowed from my brother. (He travelled with the suitcase packed with gifts, I have the one packed with clothes.) Meanwhile, I’m getting to spend some quality time with airport-concourse carpet.

Last night I built a small hobo camp around a power outlet in a semi-abandoned hallway and watched Once Upon a Time in the West on my laptop. (The airport had set up hundreds and hundreds of cots, each with a pillow and a blanket, but I’m afraid of public cots and addicted to electricity.) This morning I’m continuing the western theme, watching Red River while drinking some breakfast beers and awaiting my newly hatched two-point escape: This afternoon, I fly to Charlotte, NC, and this evening, I land in Norfolk. Knock virtual wood.

Despite the inherent crappiness of the situation, the O’Hare Airport isn’t that bad a place. They let you walk around with beers, and the johns are rigged with auto-forwarding plastic seat covers.

Less appealing: The instrumental Christmas music that’s been playing over the intercom for the past 18 hours. I now officially hate Jesus.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Slog Poll Results

posted by on December 21 at 4:37 PM

Here are the unscientific results of our very unscientific Slog poll, which was posted yesterday morning and stayed live for a very, very unscientific 32 (or so) hours. Make of it what you will:

McCain Mania Strikes New Hampshire

posted by on December 21 at 3:55 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Trying to come up with the perfect analogy for John McCain’s run for the presidency isn’t easy.

The first one that came to mind would be McCain and the zombie movie, both because he kind of looks like he’s been dead for quite some time, and because you can continue to hit him with a shovel and he just gets right back up. Remember when he was prostrating himself in front of southern bible colleges as the “frontrunner,” and everyone hated him? Or this summer, when his entire campaign staff walked away from him and he was spending more than he was bringing in?


He’s still going. McCain wants brains!

But the narrative is changing. As the finish-line approaches, McCain is getting a sudden burst of later momentum in New Hampshire, inspired possibly by the fact that he’s stopped apologizing for being the angry-old-man independent voters fell in love with:

A source close to the McCain campaign tells me that online fundraising is up 500 percent this week over the previous weekly average — a reflection of the Arizona Senator’s lift in the polls and some key endorsements he garnered in recent days, such as that of the New Hampshire Union Leader.

“We had the Union Leader, and we had a kick-ass six day trip,” the source says.

In another positive development, the source says there’s been a rise in the number of people calling the campaign to volunteer their services.

All of this is setting up a situation in which nobody comes out of the early primary states as the clear winner; Huckabee wins the culturally conservative enclaves, McCain picks up the moderate states, and Romney wins his father’s old stomping ground of Michigan. Super Tuesday comes with everyone but Fred Thompson having some viable claim of being on top.

Washington Republicans may end up having a part in settling this whole thing. Prepare your votes for Alan Keyes now.

The Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on December 21 at 3:55 PM

Let Him Take You Dancing: Terry Miller on Bryan Fucking Adams

Perfect From Now On: Megan Seling on the Perfect Record

Croc of Shit: Update on the “Unscrew the Crocodile Employees” Benefit

Who Dealt It?: I’m Up, and That’s Not Hip Hop I Smell

I Believe in You, Your Magic is Free: Jona Bechtolt Gives Away a Bunch of YACHT/the Blow Instrumentals

Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Program: Trent Moorman Talks Big World Breaks

Tonight in Music: Blue Scholars, Wild Orchid Children, Greg Williamson Quartet, and Pase Rock

You’d Prefer a Cosmonaut: TJ Gorton’s Cosmic Jungle Love Mix

Hate Christmas?: How About New Year’s?

Today in Music News: Bob Dylan, R Kelly, Tukwila, and more…

Hate Christmas? : Wait! It Might Not Suck After All

Lumps of Coal: Jeff Kirby on Slipknot, Powerman 5000

Self and the City: Charles Mudede on NASA, London, the City

Band of the Week: Mountain Con

Über-Burger-Mensch: Lupe Fiasco on Nietzsche

Billionaires to Make Sweet, Sweet Love in South Lake Union

posted by on December 21 at 3:36 PM

The worst-kept secret in Seattle real estate is no longer a secret. and developers Vulcan Real Estate and Schnitzer West announced this afternoon that the online retailer will move its corporate headquarters to South Lake Union.

The company will consolidate its now-scattered Seattle operations in up to 11 new buildings on six blocks bounded by John Street, Terry Avenue, Mercer Street and Boren Avenue, the companies said in a prepared statement.


posted by on December 21 at 3:02 PM

Okay, the haiku thing is totally played—with the exception of the P-I’s hilarious terror-kus—but you should vote for Hillku at Capitol Hill Seattle Tourney because 1. their haikus actually manage to be funny and 2. I found this video on their website…

Avenge Slog! Remember the Slogamo! Vote Hillku here.

Boom! Noodle Watch ‘07

posted by on December 21 at 2:59 PM


(Not an actual photo of Seattle’s Boom! Noodle.)

Boom! Noodle, coming soon (not soon enough!) to the corner of 12th and Pike, is not officially spelled with an exclamation mark.

But it wants to be. It name wants to be what the shop inspires—a tiny explosion of hope. Because we are tired of pho. Because the udon and the soba at Hana and Aoki aren’t good enough to inspire us to walk there for lunch. Because we wish Samurai Noodle, and its pork ramen, weren’t all the way in the International District. Because we are hungry for something warm and noodly right the fuck now.

The windows of Boom! Noodle are swaddled in paper, with little rips to tease us. Inside: long tables, dark wood laminate, forest green paint. (It looks like Portland.) Two days ago, one could spy at an assembly of future Boom! Noodlers, sitting at the long tables, listening to a presentation. Yesterday, men on ladders wiped the inside windows. Today, another assembly of Boom! Noodlers sat at the long tables, eating bowlsful of noodles (with slices of tomato?) and taking notes.

You’re torturing us Boom! Noodle. Why don’t you open already?

Reichert Co-Sponsors Anti-Media Consolidation Legislation with Inslee

posted by on December 21 at 2:55 PM

2007’s grandstanding of the year award goes to the Seattle Times for its “The Democracy Papers” series. The Democracy Papers? Gee, thanks Publius. (I apologize for linking it.)

This is where they take the brave stance of being against media consolidation!!! (BTW: It’s in The Seattle Times interest to kill the FCC’s proposal to ease restrictions on media cross ownership, because the PI’s super rich owner, Hearst, will be able to exploit the changes and dominate the market.)

Anyway, yeah yeah, I’m against the rules changes too. Duh. It’s bad. But this self-righteous pontificating on the issue is grating.

And besides, even if these rules weren’t changed, the media is already consolidated anyway.

How easy is it to grandstand on this issue? Easy. Super Republican Rep. Dave Reichert is taking advantage of this non-controversial freebie even more than the silly Seattle Times. Yesterday, Rep. Reichert (on a bit of a “lefty” run lately ), co-sponsored legislation with Rep. Jay Inslee to counter the FCC’s rules changes.

One of my favorite moments this year was when all the huffing and puffing, self-righteous lefties were treated to Republican Rep. Dave Reichert’s anti-media consolidation speech at last month’s FCC hearing at Town Hall. The room’s “dissident” anger sorta dissipated when they realized Reichert shared their views. (I’ve linked his speech in the jump.)

Continue reading "Reichert Co-Sponsors Anti-Media Consolidation Legislation with Inslee" »

An Open Letter to Stevens Pass

posted by on December 21 at 2:29 PM

Dear Stevens Pass,

We came up last week, had a great day, love the mountain, love the way you staff the lift lines and keep ‘em moving. But I have a couple of questions.

What the hell happened to your website?

Your new site is impossible to navigate. I know you’re trying to do something cool here, something that “no other resort” is doing, but it is hackin’ retarded. There’s a reason 99% of all ski resort websites look like they do: they’re structured so that you can get the info you want as quickly as possible before you head for the hills and start shredding.

But so much of the info we’re looking for on your website is hidden from view and the paths to find that info are not very intuitive. I swear I sat looking at the site for 15 minutes before I figured out where to click to find the snow report! And you put this big pictures up in the background, often with very light or white colors (snow is white, you know), and then you lay a white font on top of that? Do you know how hard that is to read?

I know you hired some company to do this, and their “designers” raved about it. But Stevens? This site revamp was a bad idea. Last year the only picture prominently displayed on the front page of your site was the web-cam. You know, a picture that actually shows you the conditions on the mountain…

If you’re going to make riders pay extra to go into the park, could you tell us before we get there?

It came as a surprise to me that the $85 I paid to ride with my kid the other day did not cover entry into the terrain park. You made me and my son sit and watch a video, fill out a waiver, pay $5 and wait in line for 15 minutes to get a pass—at the top of the lift!—just so we could jib some rails. That was $10 extra that I wasn’t expecting to pay, and it’s not mentioned anywhere on your lame website. STUPID.

And that video?!? Who put that together? P.J. Walker talking in “dude”-speak? (Sample dialog: “When you see this lame sign, it’s actually cool, even though it’s lame, you know, so, like, check it bro.” Actual quote!)

And it’s great if your going to push helmets—my kid is wearing one this year—but then don’t have the boarders featured in the video talk up helmets and then show the same boarders performing every trick in the video while not wearing helmets.

Oh, and when I asked the checkers at the top of the park why we had to pay $5 extra, they said, “To pay for us to check that you got your pass.” So… you have to pay $5 to get the priveledge of having some shmoe check to see if you’ve paid your $5 extra. Brilliant scheme!

Outside of that, it was a lovely day, and we had a very enjoyable time.


Terry Miller

PS. Seriously, fix your website.


UPDATE: Stevens Pass must have been feeling my hate vibes all the way from Seattle. Because in between drafting and posting this item, they made some changes to their website that make the thing much, much easier to navigate. So the website bitching is withdrawn, I guess, and thanks for the changes, Stevens. Now do something about that video.

Japan, Seattle, New York: Thanks For Nothing

posted by on December 21 at 2:19 PM

That’s what Seattle Art Museum may as well be saying to the New York Times today. The Times got interested in SAM’s excellent show Japan Envisions the West: 16th-19th Century Japanese Art from Kobe City Museum, but only to run a story on it in the Antiques column.

Making matters worse, the story, by antiques columnist Wendy Moonan, was edited sloppily (in print, there are references to the “Seattle Museum,” which doesn’t exist, and “Nambam” instead of “Namban” art). Moonan also writes as if she didn’t see the show; SAM’s spokespeople say she contacted them from New York.

What’s a drag about this is that Japan Envisions the West is a rich, layered art experience (my review here) deserving of serious attention. If it’s an “antiques” experience, then so is the Matisse sculpture show Roberta Smith reviewed on the Times’s arts front page today.

Because many of the artworks in Japan Envisions the West are delicate, this exhibition is in fact two shows. Nearly half of it changed over at the beginning of this month, so if you saw it before, it’s worth another visit. Here are a few examples of what’s new.


This is a view of Washington, D.C., unlike any other—based on a fantasy vision of the American capital. It’s a woodblock print by the artist Utagawa Yoshikazu, made in 1861, after the forced opening of Japan with the arrival of American Commodore Matthew Perry. The concept of naturalistic perspective was a European one, and in this triptych it’s applied, but not naturalistically. The discrepancy in scale between the two women in the foreground and the two men in the background in the central panel is collage-like and disordered. These people don’t really exist in this place, they float. The two little men, though, also pull the eye back into the right panel (where the women look like miniature versions of the spires behind them), as if the panels are coalescing into a single, readable landscape. In other places, the three panels feel like different times and places. The architecture itself would make for a great study, with its weird industrial-religious shapes—curator Yukiko Shirahara says the countryside is based on images of Italy from a common source of imagery from that period, the London Illustrated News. The artist is adapting the imagery and calling it an American scene in order to feed the curiosity of the Japanese about their new trading partner.

And what’s with the monochrome? The blue color gives everything a dreamlike quality, not unlike this other woodblock print from the same artist.


In this one, which was on display during the first half of the exhibition, the view is doubly alien. Not only is the color weird, but the title calls the picture Steam Locomotive in an American Town and yet what’s pictured looks like a ship on land. Shirahara says the thicket of figures in the foreground is there to cover up the fact that the artist didn’t know what a train wheel looked like.


These are woodblock prints and sketches for a double portrait of Americans from that same period, of Matthew Perry and Captain Henry A. Adams, by the artist Hasegawa Sadanobu. In the catalog for the show, the portraits are described as “devil like … but they do not inspire fear.” They’re both decorative and action-oriented—Perry has his hand on his gun and his face engaged. Here’s another, similar view of Perry, by an unknown Japanese artist.


Compare those to this pose-y portrait of Perry from exactly the same time by German artist Wilhelm Heine. Which portrait would you prefer if you were the subject?


Finally, there’s one point I have to take issue with in Seattle Times critic Sheila Farr’s oddly piecemeal recent “report card” for SAM. Farr complained that Japan Envisions the West should have been at the more “intimate” Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, rather than in the white-box galleries at SAM headquarters downtown. I disagree on two grounds: One, the show is too important, quirky, and fascinating to hide away in the park. Unlike Farr, I believe it demonstrates what SAM does best (and not often enough). Two, the show benefits from the blankness of the walls. Lacking a theatrical installation that would make the artworks look immediately exotic, they are instead themselves more enterable. You disappear into their world, not them into yours.

On another point in Farr’s story, I have to agree with her—with a twist. She criticizes SAM for raising its admissions prices, both for special exhibitions and for access to the regular collections. What Farr doesn’t point out in her gripe about standard collections admission is that this charge is suggested only. This is one of SAM’s most admirable policies, and the museum does it out of sheer goodness. (By having a suggested admissions price rather than a fixed fee, SAM is in the minority nationally.) The rates have gone up, but SAM allows people to determine whether they can pay. There’s nothing to criticize there.

What’s not admirable is that admission to special exhibitions is not pay-what-you-can. In order to see those shows—and the rate is rising to $20 for Roman art from the Louvre in 2008—you have to fork over the high asked-for fee.

That’s a violation of the spirit of the suggested policy, and it amounts to cheating. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often looked to as a model in its suggested-donations policy, applies the policy to all of its shows across the board. That’s how it should be at SAM.

DIY, Portland

posted by on December 21 at 2:00 PM

DIY, Portland is a monthly radio show and podcast “highlighting revolutionary do-it-yourself projects,” and this month DIY, Portland highlights DIY sex, a.k.a. self-pleasuring, beating off, passing the time, what Brad does at his desk when he thinks I’ve nodded off at mine, etc. DIY, Portland is usually broadcast on Portland’s community radio station, KBOO, but this month’s installment is too explicit for the airwaves and, as such, is exclusive to the Internets.

And it’s probably too explicit for the air because the producers were foolish enough to interview… me.

Host and producer Julie Sabatier welcomes guests such as syndicated sex advice columnist (and Stranger editor) Dan Savage, who will enlighten listeners about the dangers as well as the ethics of DIY sex, and Portlander Isis Leeor, who will talk about a class she created called “Look Ma, No Hands! How to Orgasm With Your Breath.” Listeners will get the inside scoop on assisted onanism from a protected source in the phone sex industry. The show will also feature music from Leviethan.

You can listen to DIY, Portland here.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on December 21 at 1:43 PM

Terribly exciting news from the last two weeks:

Lists and awards!: LA Film Critics weighed in last week, and included a passel of special citations; New York Film Critics Circle parried with a stripped-down list. This week: indieWIRE publishes critics’ secret passions (confidential to BM, who’s apparently hurting for municipal scandals: Don’t you think no longer working as a film critic warrants a recusal?); the Screen Actors Guild goes mad for all kinds of boring sap. It’s a sad year when Marion Cotillard’s patchworked slump-and-tremble in La Vie en Rose counts as the frontrunner in lead performances by women. She was all right, but the way that movie was put together, the character had no room to change over time. It was all makeup and posture. As for Angelina Jolie—let’s not even go there.

Out-outsourced!: NPR had a great series last week on Hollywood’s incursions into Bollywood—and vice versa. Turns out Alvin’s chipmunks’ eyeballs—but only their eyeballs—were manufactured in Mumbai.

Tied to the mob!: Paramount exec gets wiretapped.

Censored!: The MPAA doesn’t want you to see this poster:



Opening today:

Dan Savage dismantles Sweeney Todd! (It’s perfectly fine for you horror fans, though.)


I review the excellent The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I’ll have you know in an earlier draft of this piece I compared the movie to Barack Obama. Thank god I restrained myself, but the point I was trying—feebly—to make is that this movie is grave and utterly buoyant at the same time. Even its gimmicks are fascinating.


Here’s my interview with the director, the eccentric Julian Schnabel.

Lindy West destroys National Treasure: Book of Secrets, making delightfully gratuitous use of historical allusions. Oh, Calvin Coolidge.

Speaking of the awesome Lindy West, did you know she has a new column of her very own? It’s called Concessions, and can be found in Film Shorts in the print edition every week. This week: Lindy attends the Northwest Film Forum Holiday Party, where she sees invisible people and out-dreidels the Jews.

Bradley Steinbacher takes on the latest from Francis Ford Coppola: the crazily ambitious Youth Without Youth.

And in On Screen this week: the talky yet boob-littered Charlie Wilson’s War (Andrew Wright: “True to form, the Aaron Sorkin-penned Charlie Wilson’s War features miles upon miles of speech-clogged corridors. Thankfully, the combined efforts of a top-tier cast, an undeniably relevant mid-’80s storyline, and a director who does this type of highbrow stuff better than anyone manage to punch a breezy hole through the ever-present chattering din”), the stupid P.S. I Love You (Lindy West: “Hilary Swank—dead of husband, pointy of spine (‘You make a ravishing widow, sis!’)—is just so, so unappealing as a romantic-comedy lead. She’s annoying. She’s a snooze. And, like I said, she looks like a fucking stegosaurus”), and the good-natured Johnny Cash roast Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (Megan Seling: “It’s really, really funny (if you like dick jokes), and it’s still funny even if you love Johnny Cash”).


Limited Runs and Movie Times can be found at Get Out. This week: From Here to Eternity, It’s a Wonderful Life, Bad Santa, Rope, and more. There’s tons of great stuff in theaters this weekend—you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t go to the movies.

Looking for reviews of Christmas releases like The Savages, The Water Horse, and The Great Debaters? They’ll be up at promptly on December 25.

Destroy the Squirrels

posted by on December 21 at 1:36 PM


Those damn squirrels—the same ones that bested the Slog in 2006—are currently out polling local blog Hilku in Capitol Hill Seattle’s second annual tournament of Capitol Hillians. Or whatever.

Defeat the squirrels! Click here, and vote Hillku! Avenge Slog! Remember the Slogamo! Once more into the Capitol Hill Seattle Tourney, dear friends, once more!

Thank you.

Changes in the Governor’s Office

posted by on December 21 at 1:13 PM

Longtime Gregoire aide, Lyle Canceko, has left the governor’s office.

Canceko, an extremely loyal and dedicated staffer (a fan), was Gregoire’s community outreach director, doing the important groundwork with policy stakeholders.

Canceko has been replaced by Pearse Edwards, who used to be in Gov. Gary Locke’s communications department, and most recently comes from a stint at Microsoft. Pearse’s job, Communications and External Affairs Director, represents an office reconfiguration where political outreach and communications have been combined.

Canceko, a former theology student who lives in Seattle, is going to work for the liberal Church Council of Greater Seattle.

Full disclosure: Canceko is a casual acquaintance of mine and once lent me a totally weird and cool book about exorcisms.

Seattle, You Fucked Up

posted by on December 21 at 1:02 PM


14th & Pike

After 17 years and six different owners, the vegan Globe Cafe & Bakery will close at the end of the year.

Owner Michael Leaves says he’s tired of dealing with his clientèle. “People are just bitches,” He says. “They’re not willing to wait thirty minutes [for food].”

Leaves says he was married to the Globe’s head chef, who left the restaurant following the break up of their marriage. Because of the loss of his chef, Leaves says the restaurant wasn’t able to keep up with customer demand. “We decided we had to change the menu and the clientèle revolted against us,” he says.

The Globe will now move to Bellingham, but Leaves wouldn’t say when he’d be reopening. “I don’t want Seattle to know where I am,” he says. [The Globe has] been a marvelous thing and it will continue to be. Seattle doesn’t deserve it anymore. Seattle is a wasteland. “

Leaves says an Italian restaurant will be opening in the Globe’s space.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on December 21 at 12:45 PM

The week begins in the PI. An “article” off the AP Wire about a truck from Canada stopped for smuggling pot concludes with contact information for the US Customs officer on the case, including his cell-phone number. Wait, this isn’t a news article by the AP, this is a press release from US Customs.

A man filed a complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority against Burger King for a coffee ad depicting a porcelain cup and saucer, but ol’ have it your way served the coffee in a “horrible” paper cup.

In other idiots, Felipe Francisco Garcia faces child abuse charges for allegedly making a toddler smoke a blunt. He made video of it, just like these assholes, so I can’t imagine any convincing legal defense. He faces up to four well-deserved years in prison.

Also on the topic of drugs and kids, this guy says candy-flavored meth is actually safer than regular meth. But candy-flavored meth turns out to be a candy-flavored myth.

Meanwhile, Romney and Huckabee are facing off over who supported the more draconian meth policy and who will keep those policies good and draconian if they become president. Hmm… 5 years or 10 years for consensual crimes? They both sound so reasonable, considering candy-flavored meth is being marketed to children…

Around the World: In Denver, a former Marine wants his pot plants back. In New York, a couple cops are arraigned for fingering 11 bags of cocaine. In the UK, there’s a performance-enhancement drug scandal, but the drugs are enhancing the brain muscle. I continue to omit the sports juicing news because sports aren’t news. In Kansas, a doc is charged with running a “pill mill” that allegedly contributed to 56 deaths. In Massachusetts, a statewide pot decriminalization measure made the ballot. Cradle of the revolution? And in Holland, cops are miffed because, for the first time ever, they’re banned from using drugs while off duty.

Dept. of Tea Leaves

posted by on December 21 at 12:45 PM

People are wondering: Does this mean Al Gore is going to endorse Barack Obama? And if so, will Gore weigh in before the Iowa caucuses?

John Edwards is the Surface Transit Option

posted by on December 21 at 12:36 PM

That is to say, while Clinton and Obama duke it out, Edwards is going to emerge the winner in Iowa. That’s my current prediction, anyway.

Really, I think Iowa is a contest between Edwards and Clinton—where on-the-ground machinery (Edwards and Clinton) trumps noise and crowds and Oprah (Obama.)

And with Obama suddenly in the high-expectations seat and Clinton in the low-expectations seat, the whole equation has changed about the meaning off Iowa.

Previously, if Clinton didn’t win Iowa it was going to be a big deal story. Well, the breathless press has already vetted that story. Obama’s surge in recent weeks, has ironically, put him in a precarious position if he doesn’t deliver. (This was Clinton’s previous predicament.)

College Football Players Caught Up in Sexual Assault Case

posted by on December 21 at 12:35 PM

But before you make a speech about athletes and team sports and sexism and masculinity, please read the story. It seems the the football players were the victims.

Dreading Christmas? Start Looking Forward to New Year’s Eve

posted by on December 21 at 12:33 PM

I totally hate Christmas. It’s really boring, especially because I’m not Christian and everyone else is, so I just have to sit around, maybe clean the apartment a little. Yawn. (Although last year was fun because me and a few friends snuck a bottle of champagne and a bottle of OJ into a showing of Dreamgirls. That movie is great if you are drunk and accompanied by smart, sassy gays fresh off a Paris Is Burning kick.)

Anyhow, whether you love or hate Christmas, now’s the time to start planning for New Year’s. A lot of the funnest parties are going to sell out, so you should buy your tickets now. We have 63 (!) events in our extremely comprehensive listings, plus a list of taxi and towncar services, and the Metro transit spiel for that night so you can get home safe. (Coming at the end of today—a more printable, pocketable, prettier form of that list.)

Here’s a couple of events that look neat:
MoeBar’s Enchantment Under the Sea Dance w/ DJs Paul Devro, Pretty Titty and Fourcolorzack

Science Friction, a gigantic event put on by the Decibel Festival, Shameless, Flight to Mars, SunTzu Sound, Fourthcity and EMC at the Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in West Seattle
(You can’t really read the flyer, but that’s pretty much every good DJ in Seattle. Honestly.)

More details and more events here. Get your plan on!

Piece of Stranger Office Furniture of the Week

posted by on December 21 at 12:20 PM


Huckabee’s Newest Campaign Commercial

posted by on December 21 at 12:18 PM

Governance Reform is the New Prop. 1

posted by on December 21 at 12:04 PM

There’s going to be a ferocious battle this legislative session in Olympia between Sound Transit and backers of governance reform.

Sound Transit is looking to go the ballot while governance reform advocates (Gov. Gregoire among them) want the agency to cool its jets and become a subset of a larger, coordinated transportation agency. Of course, coordinated is short hand for diluted—as in Sound Transit would be part of a giant regional agency where roads (not transit) would be the priority and there would no longer be a dedicated force pushing for light rail.

My take on governance reform is that governance reform is the new Prop. 1—a transit/roads combo platter that seeks consensus to the point of obliterating a pertinent transit project. (And it seems like governance reform advocates aren’t hiding that goal—arguing that light rail should consider stopping at Convention Place, which would fall short of even completing voter-approved Phase 1 to the U. District.)

So, I was glad to see that Sen. Ed Murray, who Gov. Christine Gregoire is counting on to move governance reform legislation (she got him to move RTID+Sound Transit legislation back in 2006), posted this comment over at Seattle Transit Blog in their discussion of governance reform.

I have no current plans to work on a regional proposal. No one has shown much interest. I support ST going to the ballot this fall should they make that decision and will oppose any efforts in the legislature to prevent them. My interest in regional issues remains one of planning. We fail to look at the best way to move people and focus on road corridors vs light rail corridors. That is not how you get to an integrated transportation system.

Ed Murray

December 19, 2007 4:27 PM

Despite Murray’s surprising statement (last time I talked to him about ST, he was hot on governance reform), my sense is that governance reform will have momentum in the legislature.

Before Sound Transit goes on the defensive they should go to work with the philosophy that the best defense is a serious offense and put light rail on the ballot now.

Today in Presidential Politics; Or, 13 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses

posted by on December 21 at 11:45 AM

Ok, yes, 13 Days: Commenters have been questioning my ability to count the days until the Iowa caucuses. Look, depending on whether you count today it’s either 13 days or 14 days until the caucuses. But the New York Times says 13 days, so I will change my today-counting ways.

Moving on: Giuliani feels fine, but won’t say exactly what was ailing him.

Facts are stubborn things: And yet Mitt Romney has consistent trouble with them.

Woman on the cross: Noonan finds Huckabee’s Christmas commercial “so sweet-appalling.”

Ludicrous: Condoleezza Rice comes up with a different way to describe Huckabee.

Under orders: No one in camp Clinton is allowed to predict an Iowa win.

Leak free: The Obama campaign.

How to rig an election: From a guy who should know.

Desperate times: When is a catalog of attacks really an attack?

Bill on Hill: In New Hampshire.

Conservative cameo: For an unhappy Obama.

The looming nine-month general: Which causes Ben Smith to ask a good question.

And a long one, with lots of banjo action:

Dept. of You Already Knew That

posted by on December 21 at 11:15 AM

“Science is the practice of obscuring, then rediscovering, what we already know.” —Unattributed

Some claim drinking eight glasses of water a day leads to good health, while reading in dim light damages eyesight. Others believe we only use 10% of our brains or that shaving legs causes hair to grow back thicker.

But a review of evidence by US researchers surrounding seven commonly-hold beliefs suggests they are actually “medical myths”.
Studies suggest that adequate fluid intake is often met by drinking juice, milk, and even caffeine-rich tea and coffee.
And the belief that hair and fingernails continue to grow after death may be an optical illusion caused by retraction of the skin after death.
The belief that we only use 10% of our brains appears to be completely untrue.
The stubble resulting from shaving grows out without the finer taper seen at the ends of unshaven hair, giving the impression of thickness and coarseness.

And so on.

(Via the BBC.)

The Supermajority Democrats Strike Again

posted by on December 21 at 11:03 AM

So, who did the supermajority Democrats appoint to head up the state House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee—the committee that’s central to drafting state environmental policies that affect water, watershed planning, timber, mining, and fish and wildlife?

Answer, an environmental conservative from logging country, of course. The new chair is Rep. Brian Blake (D-19, Aberdeen) who gets a C from the local Sierra club’s Cascade chapter. Blake voted, for example, against a bill to up biodiesel use.

“Brian Blake, in the past, has not had environmental issues as a priority and he has been hard to convince,” Clifford Traisman, state lobbyist for Washington Conservation Voters, says diplomatically.

Blake is replacing Brian Sullivan (D-21, Mukilteo) who’s leaving the legislature for a spot on the Snohomish County Council. Sullivan rated an A+ from the Sierra Club.

Silver-Lining UPDATE
Brand new Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-34)—appointed to fill now-state-Senator Joe McDermott’s seat—was assigned to Ag & Natural Resources. Nelson, an environmental warrior who was appointed by her district based on her record of fighting to save Maury Island from strip mining, will be a pain in Blake’s ass.

I’ve linked all the committee reassignments for the 2008 House Democrats below the jump.

Continue reading "The Supermajority Democrats Strike Again" »

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on December 21 at 11:00 AM

Local Hiphop

Blue Scholars, Dyme Def, J.Pinder, Jake One at Neumo’s

Do not miss the penultimate night of The Program, the five-night showcase of Northwest hiphop. For one, it features Dyme Def, the only band that can challenge Blue Scholars, the reigning champions of the Seattle scene. Like the Scholars, Dyme Def has a sound you just can’t miss, a big and hungry beat. As for Jake One, he is unstoppable. He has produced music for 50 Cent, Freeway, De La Soul, and every important local act. As for J.Pinder, he got next. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $15 adv/$50 for all shows, all ages. Through Dec 22. See for details.)


Right and Wrong Africa

posted by on December 21 at 10:57 AM

What is right with Africa:

What is wrong with Africa:

Just For My Haters

posted by on December 21 at 10:28 AM

From IndieWIRE:

A total of 106 leading North American film critics participated in the second indieWIRE Critics’ Poll, surveying the best in film for 2007. Voting was conducted in nine categories during the first half of December. (Details on how the scores were tabulated are available at the end of this page.)
What are we standing around for? Let’s go down to the end of that page and see what is there for all the haters.

Best Documentary

1 No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson

2 Into Great Silence, Philip Groning

3 The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, Seth Gordon
Lake of Fire, Tony Kaye

5 Manda Bala, Jason Kohn

6 Terror’s Advocate, Barbet Schroeder
Zoo, Robinson Devor

Eat dust, haters.

Winter Solstice

posted by on December 21 at 10:18 AM

Photo: Alex Berezow

Tomorrow will be the shortest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere. In Seattle, there will be a mere 8.5 hours between sunrise and sunset.

I Saw My Dick March Into Brad Pitt’s Ass

posted by on December 21 at 9:49 AM

But first: Mitt Romney, finding himself in hole of his own making, keeps rimming—excuse me, digging:

Now I’d like to clarify my comments about Brad Pitt’s ass.


Brad Pitt and I were not in the same city on the date that we fucked, but we have both fucked, in various cities all over the world, and on various dates, so figuratively, Brad Pitt and I have definitely fucked. Repeatedly. I was the top. And I was aware of, in the sense I’ve described, fucking Brad Pitt’s ass. I saw my dick go into Brad Pitt’s ass. I did not see my dick go into Brad Pitt’s ass with my own eyes. But I saw it in the sense of being aware of my participation in that great effort.

Thank you and I hope that I can count on your support January 3.

In other marched-with-Martin news, thirty years ago Mitt Romney not only claimed that his father marched with Martin, but that he marched with Martin too.

Mitt Romney went a step further in a 1978 interview with the Boston Herald. Talking about the Mormon Church and racial discrimination, he said: “My father and I marched with Martin Luther King Jr. through the streets of Detroit.”

Yesterday, Romney spokesman Eric Fehrnstrom acknowledged that was not true. “Mitt Romney did not march with Martin Luther King,” he said in an e-mail statement to the Globe.

Via Sullivan.

The Morning News

posted by on December 21 at 8:07 AM

Holiday Hell: At least 50 dead after a suicide bomber set himself off in a northwestern Pakistan mosque during the “Festival of Sacrifice” holiday.

Thwarted: Police in Brussels have arrested 14 Islamic extremists accused of plotting to free an Al Qaeda sympathizer from prison.

No Recession: President Bush is keeping his chin up about the U.S. economy.

Forget the Bridge to Nowhere: Republican Alaska reps want to build a “Ferry to Nowhere.”

Whistle-Blowing: Former C.I.A. operative spills the beans on waterboarding, is now under investigation.

The Katrina Effect: Plans to tear down four New Orleans public housing structures lead to a protests, pepper spray.

Fundie Rants Begin In 3…2…1…: Bill S.2521, which would “equalize employment benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal employees,” has been introduced to the Senate.

Prohibition: Iraqi insurgents are turning their bombs on alcohol merchants.

Dubious Honor: The Transportation Security Administration is now liked less than the I.R.S.

Port of Squander: A state audit reveals close to $100 million in public funds have been wasted by the Port of Seattle.

In Completely Unsurprising News: Washington State’s strong economy is making gridlock worse.

Blue Needs You: Seattle City Council has approved a $5,000 signing bonus for new police recruits.

That’ll Teach ‘Em: The Washington State Surpreme Court has ruled judges have the right to throw repeat runaways in jail.

No Tunnel For You!: Tests will now keep the downtown bus tunnel closed until Monday.

Making Waves: The country’s first wave-power program has been approved for Makah Bay, just off of the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula.

Unilaterally Withdrawing from Treaties

posted by on December 21 at 8:00 AM

It’s not just for the Bush Administration anymore: Lakota Indians declare independence from the United States, withdraw from all treaties, and announce their intention to take chunks of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming with ‘em.

The new country would issue its own passports and driving licences, and living there would be tax-free - provided residents renounce their U.S. citizenship, Mr Means said.

The treaties signed with the U.S. were merely “worthless words on worthless paper,” the Lakota freedom activists said.

Hey, guys: You can have Idaho too—but you gotta take Larry Craig.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

They Hang Gay Teenagers, Don’t They?

posted by on December 20 at 5:47 PM

A gay Iranian teenager whose asylum claim was denied in the UK fled to the Netherlands, and then to Germany. The Germans returned him to the Dutch, who are now threatening to return him to the Brits, who have already decided to return the gay teenager to Iran.

And you know what they do to gay teenagers in Iran, right?


The UK would be sending this kid to his death if they send him back to Iran, which means the Dutch will be sending this kid to his death if they send him back to the UK. The teenager, a 19 year-old named Mehdi, has asked a Dutch court not to send him back to the UK. A decision is expected in early 2008.

How to Identify Real Mass Transit

posted by on December 20 at 5:45 PM

Some more news from the 2008 Federal Budget: Sound Transit secured almost $90 million to finish the existing light rail construction and extend service to Cap Hill and the U District.

The best tidbit from the press release:

The project connects the three largest urban centers in the region: downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University District. It will offer much faster travel times for transit passengers than buses. Light rail will carry passengers from downtown to the University in 9 minutes instead of 25 and to Capitol Hill in 6 minutes instead of 14. Trips between Capitol Hill and the University District will take 3 minutes instead of 22. Riders will also enjoy reliable service no matter how bad the weather or traffic congestion.
(emphasis mine.)

Capitol Hill to the U District in three minutes. Three. Fucking. Minutes. I can’t make a right turn onto E. Roy from Summit in that amount of time, at most times of day. Even a jet pack wouldn’t be that fast.

How? The link between the Hill and the U district will be entirely underground—grade separation works.

Thanks Seattle Transit Blog.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on December 20 at 3:56 PM

The Same Question He Asks Everyone: Christopher Frizzelle and a bartender talk about the presidential race.

Freak Out, Far Out: If Dan Paulus had his way, the Moondoggies would sound and look like this.

Season of Giving: Chop Suey will host a benefit show for the Crocodile’s former employees featuring the Pleasureboaters, Peter Parker, Triumph of Lethargy, Damien Jurado, and more.

Love is the Message: TJ Gorton on NY deejay Danny Krivit.

And What “Love is the Message Inspired”: Nick Scholl takes you to vogue school.

Music News: Featuring the Eagles, James Brown, Lou Reed, Stephen Stills, and uh… Kenny G.

Without the Help of Google: Can you guess the mystery singer?

Flickr Photo of the Day: R.I.P. the Crocodile’s pretty stained glass windows.

Jeff Kirby Partied With Kid Sister: But he had no idea who the friend of Kanye’s was at the time.

The Program, Mix 3: Charles Mudede and Brian Geoghagan’s final installment of sounds from the Program.

Remy Ma: Someone’s trying to “undermine her name and character” via YouTube.

Kanye Opens His Mouth: And makes very little sense.

Silly Rabbit: Declined hiphop slogans.

Last Minute Gift Idea: A mixed tape USB and paper boom box.

This turtle is ready for Christmas!


Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on December 20 at 3:44 PM


My new boyfriend and I just spent a romantic Friday making love and performing all kinds of love acts. However, about 10 hours after our fabulous day of lovemaking, he developed a rash. He has asked me in a very kind way, whether I thought I had any skin issues or VDs, but as far as I know I’m disease-free. I haven’t even slept with anyone in at least 7 months. This looks a bit to me like a moisture-related folliculitis issue to me. Do you have any ideas? This could put a huge damper on this fabulous new relationship I’m in and I’m very worried that he may have trust issues after this if I’m to blame. Please help!

Back East

BE here was kind enough to enclose a photograph of her boyfriend’s rash for me—it’s right up there at the top of the post. That picture? Did you notice it? Scroll back up, if you missed it, and take another look. Or click here for a bigger version. I’ll wait.


Okay, a lot of people think my sex-advice gig is an easy-peasy stroll in through a park full of pervs. But there are risks, people, occupational hazards. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been innocently reading through the ol’ email and—bam!—up pops a picture like the one above. I opened this email from Back East—click here for a hi-rez version of the photo she enclosed!—while I was eating my lunch. I nearly choked to death on my spring roll. I should be getting combat pay here.

Most people that send me pictures of the sores on their cocks, labia, sacks, and assholes me they’re “too embarrassed” to see a doctor, but they’re not too embarrassed to take a picture and email it to me. Since I’m not a doctor, and can’t proscribe anti-crotch-rot-otics through the column, the folks that send me pictures like this still have to go to the doctor. By writing me they’ve just delayed an inevitable doctor’s visit and, in most cases, allowed symptoms to worsen.

But I don’t think Back East’s boyfriend has an STI. There are no STIs that I’m aware of with a 10 hour exposure-to-breakout turnaround time. And those don’t look like any syphilis sores or scabies’ bites or anything else I’ve ever seen on YouTube. What it looks like is a weird allergic reaction, as Back East suggests. But if Back East’s boyfriend is concerned—and wouldn’t you be if this happened to you?—he should GO SEE A DOCTOR, not send pictures like this one to me.

Enter the Bloomberg

posted by on December 20 at 3:30 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

New York mayor/billionaire publishing tycoon Michael Bloomberg appears to be quietly trying to round out a campaign team for what may make the electoral ride of Ross Perot seem both fiscally reasonable and utterly sane:

Mayor Bloomberg’s aides have been reaching out to consultants from his past campaigns about whether they are free for a possible 2008 White House bid - including one who helped make his slick mayoral TV spots, The Post has learned.

That Bloomberg aides would look to lock up an ad team dovetails with what the mayor has privately told people about how he would spend up to $1 billion of his own fortune on an independent run, which would be played out mostly on the TV airwaves and through direct mail.

By way of reference point, the 2004 election saw Bush and Kerry’s combined campaign spending (not including surrogates, 527s, etc.) at a little less than seven hundred million dollars. Bloomberg would be willing to outspend both combined parties for his run for the White House by almost three hundred million dollars.

Add to that the increased speculation that the reason Ron Paul isn’t spending all of his fabulous internet-won riches is because he’s harboring resources for a third party run, and suddenly you have the most fantastic disaster of an election any of us may see in our lifetimes.

Please Accept Our Apologies in Advance…

posted by on December 20 at 3:15 PM

…for the post Savage is about to put up.

Not For Althusser

posted by on December 20 at 3:14 PM


Late last week, I finally got around to reading Althusser’s For Marx. I had not read the book because I was certain that everything I needed from the French thinker was in the collection Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays consists, which contains his masterpiece “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes towards an Investigation).” I also had not read For Marx because I knew it pushed the absurd argument that a clean break existed between Hegel and Marx, and Ludwig Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity and Principles of the Philosophy of the Future were used to make this break look believable. It is not sensible or productive to pull apart Hegel, Feuerbach, and Marx. And it’s even less sensible to separate early Marx (1843 Manuscripts) from late Marx (Capital). And, finally, I strongly agreed with Herbert Marcuse’s reading of the 1844 Manuscripts, which was published 1933 and offered the German thinker a good alternative to Heidegger’s Being and Time. (Marcuse saw in the 1844 Manuscripts the process by which Marx would transform Hegel into Marxism, speculative philosophy into a social science.)

But the reason why I’m bringing all of this up is simply this: I completely side with what Althusser denounces in For Marx as “vulgar Marxism.” Meaning, a Marxism that begins and ends with the economy, with the way humans transform the natural world into their own world of food, clothing, and shelter. For me, the economy determines everything. It is a vulgar view of things, but it is also a hard and good ground to stand on.

But let’s look at the human brain for a second. We know it has three levels: a lower level, a middle level, and a higher level. We know that the lowest and oldest part of the brain is completely sunk in the functions of life. The life of being is its basic work. As for consciousness, this is made possible by the most recent, highest level of the brain. Consciousness, self-reflection, thought is not first but last to arrive on the scene; and because it is last, it is the first to go when there is a life-threatening emergency. For example, if a person is drowning, he/she quickly loses consciousness because the brain is trying to save all the energy it can, and consciousness, which you do not need for life, is not cheap but a big energy consumer, a very costly mental emergence. As it is with the brain, it is with society. Culture is a late development and it is also finally determined by the conditions of life, the economy, the base, the vulgar.

To use the words of Hegel: “Seek for food and clothing first, then the Kingdom of God shall be added unto you.” This is were I begin and end any consideration of the material and immaterial objects of human culture.

Meth Ads: Maybe Just Once

posted by on December 20 at 2:54 PM

You know those meth ads running around the state since September? The ones that say if you try meth even once you’ll end up a scabby, toothless addict? They could be gone by April. Congress passed an omnibus spending bill earlier this week that slashes the White House’s anti-drug media campaign budget by 40 percent – from $99 million this year to $60 million in 2008 – and Bush is expected to sign it by New Year’s Eve.

Washington is one of eight states running the meth ads, paid for by a $10 million grant from the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s National Youth Anti-Drug Campaign’s total budget. Bush wanted to expand the campaign – asking for $130 million in 2008 – but Congressional Democrats who took control of the funding committee this year rebuked him.

Rep. José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), the new chairman of the House Financial Services subcommittee told The Politco earlier this year: “The proposed increase for the … media campaign is something that we will have to evaluate closely in light of a report by the GAO suggesting the campaign is ineffective.” The ads, including ones that depict marijuana smokers accidentally killing children, were shown to increase drug abuse among adolescent girls. I tried to determine if the major funding cuts would mean the meth project ads would be terminated—as appears likely—or if funding for the pot ads would be reallocated to keep the new meth project afloat.

Nitsa Zuppas, Executive Director of the Meth Project, is unsure. “The national Meth Project pays to produce the ads,” she says. “The ONDCP gets to use them because they asked.” The ONDCP didn’t return my calls.

“There are dangers with marijuana and meth,” says Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington, D.C, “but teens think they are being lied to. That’s the problem with sensationalistic messages. People don’t take it seriously.”

I asked Piper what sort of ads he would like to see instead. He likes the meth ads in Utah, based on treatment, but abhors the federal ads running in Washington. Let’s compare.

Here’s the EndmethnowUtah campaign.

The message: Meth turns you into monotonous, overweight woman with a dull tattoo. Not very appealing. In contrast, here’s one of the ads funded by Meth Project:

The message: Meth turns you into a hot-bodied prostitute with a sexy, entrepreneurial boyfriend. That’s pretty alluring to the addiction-prone teen.

Planning Ahead

posted by on December 20 at 2:19 PM

Prudent plotters will be pleased to find 63 New Year’s Eve happenings here.

Donny? Marie? Boycott Them Bitches!

posted by on December 20 at 1:59 PM

Well, Mormons. They are curious beasts, aren’t they? Of course they are. All of that peculiar business about golden tablets and the American Jesus and mystic visions in a magic hat. No coffee. Lovely singing voices. Clever with numbers. Bad at history. Very straight pleats. Indeed.

And you know me: You can worship an old shoe or a flying monkey or plate of spaghetti; I couldn’t really give a candied crap. All religions are weird as hell–without exception. Yours is. So is mine. If I have one. Which I might. But we’re not discussing me or the quirks of my ostensible religion (or lack thereof), we’re discussing Mormons–specifically the Donny and Marie ones–and the quirks of that religion–specifically the institutionalized prejudice ones.

See Mormons, bless their stupid little hearts, officially believe that black people are black as a divine punishment for “turning away” from (the American) Jesus and are, by extension, really quite automatically damned. And homosexuality? Well, it’s a “sin worse than murder” that is punishable by immediate excommunication and a lovely eternity of burning, burning, burning. And, as I am sure you are aware, one of these aforementioned Mormons is running for that thing called “president.” His name is Mitt Romney, of course, his hair is very hard, and his bigotry is very institutionalized. So of course he’s running as a (forgive my French) “republican”, and why not? Neurotic and obsessive official hatred of gays (and unofficial hatred of anyone darker than a grocery bag) is the bread and butter of the republican party–it’s the backbone of their platform. Mormonism and republicanism go together like walls and Mexicans.

And Donny and Marie—-the biggest LDSs in the history of big LDSs—-have seen fit at this juncture to emerge from the misty hills of Utah to cast their very official endorsement for Mitt Romney, because, naturally, he is, like them, rather excessively Mormon. It’s not all that hard to understand, I guess, for if the Mormon’s can’t stick together, who can?

But I do find it quite remarkable that in their collective 35 million years in show business that Donny and Marie have never apparently met a gay person. They clearly don’t have any gay friends or mentors, and apparently straight people styled their hair, coached their voices and taught them ballroom dancing. Because, and let’s make no bones about it, a vote for any republican is a kick in the face of every gay person, everywhere. In fact, why ANYONE, would give ANY republican the time of day at this point defies all logic: as if Bush and Bush and Nixon et al happened in a vacuum. And anyone who would support any republican is, at best, a retarded dupe, at worst, a war-and-fear mongering capitalist douche bag.

So which is it Donny? Which is it, Marie? Are you dupes, or douche bags? Whichever, you are no friends to me. And I’d like to invite all gays and blacks and everyone else with a single iota of conscience or sense to join me in giving the Osmonds a very hearty and heart felt “Fuck you.”

Fuck YOU, little Donny Osmond. Fuck YOU, Marie.

Really, now. FUCK. YOU.


For an extensive list of other republican “celebrities” who have apparently never depended upon nor met any gays or people of color and deserve to be thoroughly fuck-you’ed, click here.

I Feel Like It’s Friday

posted by on December 20 at 1:58 PM

So, I’m going to hype this week’s installment of The Stranger News Hour on KIRO 710 AM a little early.

I’m also eager to plug it because this week’s episode has some guest stars: Stranger music columnist Megan Seling and the Stranger’s music editor, Jonathan Zwickel, will be on with David Goldstein to discuss the sad news about the Crocodile.

Mike Huckabee Gives Comfort to Jamie Lynn Spears

posted by on December 20 at 1:55 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

Attention voters, celebrity gawkers, and Dan Savage: Iowa front-runner Mike Huckabee respects the decision of newly-impregnated celebrity Jamie Lynn Spears to keep her baby.

Its called empathy, guys.

Empathy for Nickelodeon stars who don’t use protection.

“But at the same time I’m not going to condem her. There’ll be plenty of people in line to do that and I always look for the shortest lines. I just hope that she will make another right decision and that’s to give that child all the love and kindness and care that she can.”


“Apparently, she’s going to have the child and I think that is the right decision, a good decision, and I respect that and appreciate it. I hope it is not an encouragement to other 16-year-olds who think that is the best course of action.”

To put this in some perspective, the majority of SLOG readers seemed unaware that there was even a younger Spears sister. On the other hand, Mike Huckabee, who doesn’t keep up with the news quite enough to have heard about the Iranians’ lack of nuclear ambitions, was ready to rock when it came to content found in OK! magazine.

I’m kind of at a loss for further words.

From the Malicious-Photoshop Archives

posted by on December 20 at 1:22 PM

God this is mean. (And hilarious.)

Blame Light Rail

posted by on December 20 at 1:12 PM

Due to ongoing problems related to a Sound Transit circuit board upgrade, or something, the Downtown Bus Tunnel will be closed through Friday.

Tom Tancredo Is Not Running For President Anymore

posted by on December 20 at 12:55 PM

Posted by Ryan S. Jackson


Tom Tancredo has been called many things in his life: Mexican-hating Congressman, Mexican-hating presidential candidate, Mexican-hating husband and father. And now he can be called one more thing: Mexican-hating campaign failure.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo announced today he’s ending his long-shot bid for the White House.

The Colorado Republican made his exit from the race official at a press conference this afternoon in downtown Des Moines. He’ll throw his support behind GOP candidate Mitt Romney, he said.

Tancredo ran a campaign based on fear. Not a handsome man, a well-spoken man, or in many respects even a sane man, he thought that his campaign would so unite nativist sentiment that he would ride over the field like a latter-day Pat Buchanan. He believed it so much, he hired Pat’s sister Bay to run his campaign.

Oh, how the crazy have fallen. (On the bright side, Tancredo’s announcement that he’s dropping out comes on the heels of some of his highest Iowa polling ever: 6%. Take that, Alan Keyes.)

At times like this one is tempted to look backward, toward the warm memories: The way Tancredo’s stump speech had all the charms of the maladapted Pit Bull that you’re slightly scared to look in the eyes. The way he set a firm contrast with other failed presidential candidates: The reptilian Jim Gilmore of Virginia; the pious corpse Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas; and Iowa’s own answer to chugging a bottle of Ny-Quil, former Governor Tom Vilsack. People were genuinely frightened of Tancredo; he might bite them.

Why did such a potent politician fail? It could be argued that Iowa Republicans really did want to take the Colorado congressman into their immigrant-hating hearts, but that he tried too hard. Perhaps nobody wanted a candidate who, in the end, hated all the same people they did. Perhaps they wanted a bad boy they could change, like an Arkansas governor who states publicly that he believes all people are the children of God, or a New York mayor who’s ready to finally give up his Mexican-loving ways, just for them.

Tancredo said earlier this year that he wouldn’t seek re-election to his House seat, and that if he didn’t win the presidency this might be his last campaign. As he lives up to his word and begins to fade from the national political stage (yeah right), he is passing the anti-immigrant baton to Mitt Romney, who has pledged to hate Mexicans with the same unrelenting zeal—except the ones who are tending the grounds of his sanctuary mansion.

Overheard on the Corner of 11th and Pike

posted by on December 20 at 12:46 PM

“And I was like, ‘You’d better shut your face if you’re going to talk to me like that!”

Wait, what?

UPDATE: Jonah informs me that this makes sense. “They’re just saying, “if you’re going to say some shit, don’t.”” Oh.

Still. You can’t talk if your face is shut. It’s redundant.

The Dead Island

posted by on December 20 at 12:34 PM

Let us for a moment leave the city of your living

…and journey to the city that begins at the of end of your life.

Over the wall and you are in place that is so dead…

…that even ghosts have abandoned it.

Nothing walks down those crumbling steps…

…nothing lives in that cage.
15-m.jpg To be alive and trapped is better than being dead and gone.

The story of Gunkanjima:

Off the westernmost coast of Japan, is an island called “Gunkanjima” that is hardly known even to the Japanese. Long ago, the island was nothing more than a small reef. Then in 1810, the chance discovery of coal drastically changed the fate of this reef. As reclamation began, people came to live here, and through coal mining the reef started to expand continuously. Befor long, the reef had grown into an artificial island of one kilometer (three quarters of a mile) in perimeter, with a population of 5300. Looming above the ocean, it appeared a concrete labyrinth of many-storied apartment houses and mining structures built closely together. Seen from the ocean, the silhouette of the island closely resembled a battleship - so, the island came to be called Gunkanjima, or Battleship island.

Eventually, the mines faced an end, and in 1974 the world’s once most densely populated island become totally deserted. The island, after all its inhabitants departed leaving behind their belongings, became an empty shell of a city where all its peopl disappeared overnight, as if by some mysterious act of God.

Unscrew the Crocodile Employees Benefit

posted by on December 20 at 12:19 PM

An email announcement from Pete Greenberg, Chop Suey’s new bookmaster general:

We’re working with a title of “Unscrew The Crocodile Employees Benefit Show.”

Featuring members of:

Fleet Foxes
J. Tillman
Damien Jurado
Peter Parker
Pale Pacific


Sunday, December 30 @ Chop Suey. 7 pm doors, 21+. $TBA.

Come down hear some songs, share a story or two. Get to say goodbye.

Should be some raffle prizes too.

Smart move, Pete.

Last Minute Gift Ideas

posted by on December 20 at 12:16 PM

Violet Blue offers her list of the best sex books of 2007—from the New Erotic Photography to the Internet Escort’s Handbook to the Best Lesbian Bondage Erotica. She also plugs the nine—nine—books she published in 2007.

Can We Lie on the Floor?

posted by on December 20 at 12:09 PM

My interview with the ’80s art star and accomplished filmmaker Julian Schnabel (Basquiat, Before Night Falls) is up now. Yes, he really did get me to lie down on the hotel room floor with him for the second half of the interview:

I want to talk briefly about the scene with Inès [Jean-Do’s mistress] on the phone—

Can I—I’m going to lie on the floor. Can we lie on the floor?

Um, sure.

[Schnabel hunkers next to a table and tells me to where to put the tape recorder, etc. I lie down in the opposite direction.]

Very good.

Okey-doke. That’s better, right?

You gonna take a nap now?

I am one tired guy. But I’m with you! Okay, so Inès.

I recommend reading my review of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly first—you know, so you can follow what we’re talking about. Watch the trailer, too: Those hair shots feature prominently.

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly opens tomorrow at the Egyptian.

O They Will Know We Are Christians the Executive Directors of Youth Theaters By…

posted by on December 20 at 12:08 PM

… the children we bed.

Keylin, 57, who has been fired as executive director of Youth Theatre Northwest [on Mercer Island], was arrested and charged earlier this month with third-degree rape and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.
According to the court documents, Keylin, who became Youth Theatre Northwest’s executive director in 2003, had been arrested in a 1991 rape investigation but was eventually convicted of assault.
In announcing Keylin’s termination, the theater management said a background check had revealed nothing questionable in his history.

Really. You hired a man to lead a youth theater and his background check didn’t reveal an arrest for rape that resulted in a conviction? Isn’t that the kind of thing background checks are specifically designed for?

I’m afraid you’ve got some explaining to do, YTN.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on December 20 at 12:00 PM



From Flickr pool contributor Todd Sackmann.

The Press Condominiums

posted by on December 20 at 11:49 AM

From an advertising supplement in Saturday’s Post-Intelligencer:

Seattle’s Capitol Hill offers a unique living experience that isn’t replicated anywhere else, and it all converges at the intersection of Belmont and Pine at Press Condos…. Within a three block radius of Press, one can find clothes, furniture, drinks, movies, dining and dancing. On any given night near Press, an art gallery will be promoting a local artist, while the club next door is featuring a DJ from New York.


Sorry about the bad pic. But those are the Press Condos in the background there—at the intersection of Pine and Belmont, looming over the soon-to-be-demolished buildings that once housed unique bars, clubs, art galleries, etc., where one could find drink, dance, etc.

Continue reading "The Press Condominiums" »

Today in Presidential Politics; Or, 15 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses

posted by on December 20 at 11:45 AM

Who do you want to be the Democratic nominee? Take the Slog poll.

The politics of Dolly Parton’s bra size: And other gems from “the unhinged correspondence of Mike Huckabee.”

Tancredo: Reportedly dropping out today. Will he blame illegal immigrants?

Another pop quiz: This one from Gail Collins.

The power of Drudge: An example.

The power of Drudge: A meditation.

Apologies to Obama: This time from Bob Kerry.

“Not smart”: Clinton (again) on Obama’s idea of talking with the president of Iran.

Florida: Giuliani’s one-state strategy.

Blog talk: The Atlantic films its political bloggers chatting about who’s going to win.

And yes, that’s Ron Paul’s (very large) family in his holiday commercial:

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on December 20 at 11:00 AM


Three Imaginary Girls’ Holiday Party at El Corazón

Tullycraft, Seattle’s twinkling twee-pop outfit, is headlining the Girls’ annual holiday party, but a new collaboration of local musicians could steal the show—Rachel Flotard (fiery frontwoman of Visqueen) and Jon Rauhouse (of Neko Case’s band) are teaming up with locals Bill Herzog (Jesse Sykes) and Mark Pickerel (Screaming Trees) for one night to play original and holiday tunes. John Roderick (of the Long Winters) and his beard (also of the Long Winters) will make an appearance as Saint Nick—you can sit on his lap for a photo, if you aren’t too scared. (El Corazón, 109 Eastlake Ave E, 381-3094. 8 pm, $8, 21+.)



‘Heima’ at Metro Cinemas

Things usually mentioned when discussing rock band Sigur Rós: Iceland, glaciers, gorgeousness, elves, cinematic catharsis. Things depicted in the Sigur Rós documentary Heima: all of the above, including the scruffy, cute, elfish band members. A fusion of hardcore nature-porn and sublime, guitar-driven symphonies, Heima (Icelandic for “home”) follows Sigur Rós through a handful of shows in their native country with a soundtrack that is more beautiful than a Polaroid of god. (Metro Cinemas, 4500 Ninth Ave, 8 pm, $11.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Easy Truffles

    posted by on December 20 at 10:35 AM

    For Blaire:truffles.jpg

    Chocolate Truffles
    In a large bowl, beat 8 oz. softened cream cheese and 8 oz. room-temp butter until smooth. Gradually beat in 4 c. powdered sugar. Stir in 4 c. melted semi-sweet morsels, 4 oz. melted dark bittersweet baking choc., and 3 tsp. vanilla, rum, or other flavoring. Stir until no streaks remain. Refrigerate for one hour. Form into 1-inch balls. Roll in cocoa, coconut, ground nuts, or powdered sugar. Keep refrigerated. Makes about 100 truffles.

    This recipe, like Foolproof Fudge, also works very well with hash oil or pot butter, and the truffles will keep in the freezer for a year.

    Come Together

    posted by on December 20 at 9:56 AM

    What you are doing Friday night at 10:08 PM? These folks would like you to have an orgasm—but not a baby—at that time. This will, they theorize, lead to world peace. How’s that gonna work?

    Our minds influence Matter and Quantum Energy fields, so by concentrating our thoughts during and after The Big O on peace and partnership, the combination of high orgasmic energy combined with mindful intention for peace could reduce global levels of violence, hatred and fear.

    Uh-huh. But seeing as how difficult it can be for two people to synchronize their orgasms, I don’t expect peace to break out spontaneously at 10:09 PM on Friday.

    Santas in Chaps: Christmas-Themed Dating Site Delights

    posted by on December 20 at 9:51 AM


    Along with this week’s feature—Mistress Matisse’s The Whore on Christmas—comes a most beguiling and upsetting web-extra slideshow: Santas in Chaps: Christmas-Themed Dating Site Delights, which is exactly what it says it is.

    It’s weird. And gay. And NSFW. Merry Christmas.

    Today in Chris Crocker

    posted by on December 20 at 9:45 AM

    Time names Chris Crocker’s “Leave Britney Alone!” the top viral video of the year.

    The New York Observer gets Crocker’s predictions for 2008. And guess what? It’s a good, funny interview.

    And this is all, of course, the Stranger’s fault. If only we hadn’t have published Eli Sander’s thoughtful piece on Crocker—which you can read here—no one would have ever heard of Crocker. Damn you, Eli.

    The Politics of Piling On?

    posted by on December 20 at 9:35 AM

    There are two interesting investigative pieces in this morning’s New York Times. One is about the “present” votes of Barack Obama, and the other is about the finances of Hillary (and Bill) Clinton.

    But which campaign is the first to roll one of these stories into an attack? The Clinton camp, which greeted me this morning with the following email:

    Members of Congress To Discuss Senator Obama’s Illinois State Senate Voting Record on A Conference Call TODAY

    Members of Congress will hold a conference call TODAY, Thursday, December 20, to discuss a New York Times article published today, detailing Senator Barack Obama’s present votes while in the Illinois State Senate.

    Got it? TODAY is going to be all about Barack Obama’s voting record.

    Ignore the hits and keep on attacking… That seems to be the Clinton strategy right now. (See also: The new attack web sites that camp Clinton is working on.)

    UPDATE: Obama’s response this morning on Good Morning America.

    Mitt Romney: Well, It Depends on the Meaning of “March” and “With”

    posted by on December 20 at 9:23 AM

    Here’s what Mitt Romney said: “I saw my father march with Martin Luther King.”

    Pretty unambiguous—back when Mormons still believed that dark-skinned peoples were cursed, and they weren’t allowed to become Mormons (poor dears), Mitt’s Mormon dad marched with Martin Luther King. Unfortunately for Romney, Martin Luther King Jr.’s whereabouts during the Civil Rights Movement were tracked pretty closely—by his allies, the media, J. Edgar Hoover, etc.—and guess what? Romney’s dad never marched with King. Back to the Romney camp:

    On Wednesday, Romney’s campaign said his recollections of watching his father, an ardent civil rights supporter, march with King were meant to be figurative. “He was speaking figuratively, not literally,” Eric Fehrnstrom, spokesman for the Romney campaign, said of the candidate.

    And you gotta love the statement the Romney camp gave the paper that busted Romney for the lie, the Boston Phoenix

    A spokesperson for Mitt Romney now tells the Phoenix that George W. Romney and Martin Luther King Jr. marched together in June, 1963—although possibly not on the same day or in the same city.

    I Guess This is One Way to Transcend Polarized Politics…

    posted by on December 20 at 9:22 AM

    The New York Times takes a look at Obama’s no-votes in the Illinois legislature:

    In 1999, Barack Obama was faced with a difficult vote in the Illinois legislature — to support a bill that would let some juveniles be tried as adults, a position that risked drawing fire from African-Americans, or to oppose it, possibly undermining his image as a tough-on-crime moderate.

    In the end, Mr. Obama chose neither to vote for nor against the bill. He voted “present,” effectively sidestepping the issue, an option he invoked nearly 130 times as a state senator.

    Sometimes the “present’ votes were in line with instructions from Democratic leaders or because he objected to provisions in bills that he might otherwise support. At other times, Mr. Obama voted present on questions that had overwhelming bipartisan support. In at least a few cases, the issue was politically sensitive.

    The record has become an issue on the presidential campaign trail, as Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, his chief rival for the Democratic nomination, has seized on the present votes he cast on a series of anti-abortion bills to portray Mr. Obama as a “talker” rather than a “doer.”

    Although a present vote is not unusual in Illinois, Mr. Obama’s use of it is being raised as he tries to distinguish himself as a leader who will take on the tough issues, even if it means telling people the “hard truths” they do not want to hear.

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

    posted by on December 20 at 8:45 AM

    It’s been a while since we did one of these, and with just two weeks (and one day) to go before the Iowa caucuses, it seems time to do another.

    All the usual caveats apply: This is unscientific; Mr. Poe is an admitted cheater; results are not binding on anyone, anywhere; convention delegates will not be expected to conform to the clicks of Slog readers; and nothing but the delicate sensibilities of a few polling purists was harmed during the creation of this little online survey.

    The question remains the same (and as urgent) as ever: Who do you want to be the Democratic nominee?

    Giuliani Hospitalized

    posted by on December 20 at 8:32 AM

    It’s not just voters anymore—now Rudy’s making himself sick too.

    The Morning News

    posted by on December 20 at 8:05 AM

    States’ Rights: Now that King George has single-handedly conquered air pollution, the E.P.A. is telling states like California they can’t set their own standards for carbon dioxide emissions.

    The Military Shuffle: President Bush has approved the biggest military realignment since World War II. The plan will reportedly “keep more troops than previously envisioned in Europe and add large numbers of soldiers to bases in Colorado, Georgia and Texas.”

    One Loon Down: Republican Rep. Tom Tancredo is dropping his presidential bid.

    In Other Bush News: The president doesn’t want to talk about missing CIA interrogation tapes.

    Missing White Woman!: Prosecutors set to unveil “new evidence” in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.” CNN, MSNBC, FOX News all on RED ALERT.

    The Nation of Lakota: The nation of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse has withdrawn from treaties with the United States. “We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us,” announced Indian rights activist Russell Means.

    Throwing Money Away: More than $8 billion in gift-cards went unspent last year.

    Just a Nice Story: The Archbishop of Canterbury calls the story of the Three Wise Men “nothing but a legend.”

    Abuse Behind Bars: Washington state prison officials vow to improve rape investigations at the state’s penitentiaries.

    Plan Your Days Accordingly: The downtown bus tunnel will be closed again today.

    The Big Broom: City officials and homeless advocates are clashing over sweeps of homeless camps.

    Vanishing Seattle: Bernie Utz Hats, founded in 1939, may be forced to leave its downtown storefront location.

    Silly Nicholas Cage Hairy-Style of the Day (SNCHSD): From the movie Ghost Rider.


    Wednesday, December 19, 2007

    Foolproof Fudge

    posted by on December 19 at 10:53 PM

    Every few years at Christmas time I make this recipe; it’s always startlingly easy and people-pleasing. (Recipe from Elizabeth Oyer at Indiana University via newsgroup, 1993.)

    Boil 4 c. sugar, 1 c. milk, 1 tsp. vanilla, and 1 c. butter for 2 minutes, stirring. Turn off heat. Add 25 large marshmallows, stir until melted. Add 13 oz. milk choc., 12 oz. semi-sweet morsels, and 2 oz. unsweetened baking choc. one piece at a time until melted. Pour into greased 9x13 pan. Refrigerate. Makes 5 lbs. (A_lot_ of fudge). :)

    Variations include peanut butter swirled into the top and a layer of walnuts in the bottom of the pan. Do it.

    Project Runway Live Blogging

    posted by on December 19 at 5:15 PM


    Yeah, kids, we’re not really feelin’ it either. But we’re going to be LiveBlogging your asses anyway. Try and make it worth our while.

    Project Runway. 10 PM. Take your laptop to bed with yours truly.

    UPDATE: Never mind—no new episodes of PR until January 2. So no liveblogging tonight. No nothing. Carry on.

    “Some day your figure will start to spread.”

    posted by on December 19 at 5:03 PM

    Steve & Eydie sing “Darn It, Baby, That’s Love.” Try to ignore the long, strange lip grind at the beginning.

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on December 19 at 3:58 PM

    Dear Dan, I’m a gay guy, late-40’s, live in a metropolitan area. While I meet enough gay guys, I never really “click” with them. I’m “totally out” and all that, but for some reason gay guys don’t often think of me romantically or sexually. I’m really sort of an average build, normal kind of guy, and don’t really fit into the urban gay guy scene. On the other hand, bisexual guys are often drawn to me, and me to them. At first I thought it was a fluke, but after more than five years, I think there’s something about bi guys that attracts me. (Maybe because they’re not gay guys?) My shrink says “face it, it’s just the way you’re wired.”

    My question is, my bi guys always seem glad to have a hot time, sexually, but don’t seem interested in grabbing a meal, or movie, or otherwise “dating.” So, what do you think, it is hopeless for me to think a bi guy might want to date, and even build a life with a gay guy? It seems to me, a bi guy should be able to get emotionally closer to me, than to most gals he might date, since a bi guy can be honest about his life with me, but probably can’t be completely honest with most gals. What do you think, Dan?

    Wish A Nice Turned-on Biguy (WANTBI)

    Here’s my advice for WANTBI:

    Most bisexuals—male or female—seem incapable of falling in love with same-sex partners. The proof can be seen anywhere you find middle-aged bisexuals. They all seem to be married—legally—to opposite-sex partners and seeking some same-sex, if they’re seeking same-sex action, exclusively on the side. They’re capable of responding sexually to same-sex partners, and enjoying the same-sex sex. but there’s something important missing: the ability to form a lasting, intimate, emotional attachment to a member of the same sex.

    This is a generalization. You can probably find a handful of bisexuals out there in same-sex relationships. But they’re rare. And defensive bisexuals—bis that bought their own “being bisexuals means I fall in love with people, not genitals!” hype—will insist that the overwhelming majority of bisexuals have opposite-sex partners because there are just so many more opposite-sex partners out there to be had from; gay people are a tiny percentage of the population, blah blah blah, and everywhere you go there are hordes of heteros, blah blah blah. Don’t fall for it: Most people who are gay and date bisexuals hit the same wall you do. When it comes to teh gays, bisexuals are interested in sex but not interested in dating—even when they’re single.

    Of course, you have to own up to something: You are, in part, drawn to bisexuals precisely because they’re not available, right? There’s a reason you’ve ruled out gay men as sex or romantic partners—something about bisexual guys and their hetero leanings draws you. And that’s fine. But hoist, petard, etc.

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on December 19 at 3:47 PM

    Musical Advent, Day 19: It returns! With the Beatles!

    Brrrrrrrr!: DJ Spooky chills out.

    First They Save Music and Now They Save the World: Radiohead aims to make their tours as earth-friendly as possible.

    Last Night: Sam Machkovech reviews last night’s Queens of the Stone Age show and disagrees with me about Jaguar Love.

    Howling: Jonathan Zwickel just can’t get enough of the Moondoggies.

    Music News: Lily Allen’s pregnant too, Josh Groban beats High School Musical 2, the Pogues don’t get censored after all, and more!

    Rufus Does Judy: Live at Carnegie Hall.

    It’s a Pretty Great Article: David Byrne on the future of music.

    The Comet: Sold.

    The Program, Night One: In words by Paul Constant, in photos by Morgan Kueler, and from the couch, by Larry Mizell Jr.

    Himsa and Kelly Clarkson Would Make Funny Commercials Together: And they both love Vitamin Water!


    Pneu World

    posted by on December 19 at 3:32 PM

    Shawn Patrick Landis at Gallery4Culture: Where Paul McCarthy meets Archigram

    In 1998, when the Urban Center in New York hosted a show called “The Inflatable Moment: Pneumatics and Protest in ‘68,” then-New York Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp spent the last paragraph of his review drifting off: “The best time I had in the last 10 years was spent floating on a Batman raft in the blue water off Capri …”

    There’s something utopic about inflatables that goes all the way back to the 18th-century invention of the hot-air balloon. In the 1960s, French anti-establishment architects and designers used inflatables as a form of protest. That same decade, American Pop artists proposed giant inflatable anti-monuments to regular household objects, and blow-up toys have never been out of art since.

    This month inside Gallery4Culture, young Seattle artist Shawn Patrick Landis has built a semi-soft backyard riddled with inflatables. The parts of the backyard itself are real: a real wood fence built along a gallery wall, a real motorcycle parked behind the fence, a real fire pit, pile of wood, ax in a stump, ladder, folding chair, and charcoal grill. A readymade stage set for a Northwestern home-improving bachelor.

    Except that each of those real objects has an inflated box of clear vinyl stuck to its side like a growth. Each box is connected to a thicket of big, wormy pneumatic tubes that gum up the scene, leaving you to walk carefully through it. Which gives you time to look and to think.

    Are these boxes surrealistic thought bubbles, suggesting that each of these strong-and-silent type objects has something to say for itself? Are they joke vitrines, riffing on the fact that anything can be art as long as you put a glass case on it? Are they metaphysical abstractions, carvings of air that imply uncertain potential, make space for the unseen?

    Yes, no, I don’t know. I only know they’re pleasure cubes that keep my mind moving. And my eye. Due to internal air pressure, one wall of each inflated box is pressed onto the surface of the object it’s attached to, outlining the object perfectly, as if it were being cast. In each clear box, this counterintuitively collapsed wall is made of nylon fabric the texture of a tent and the color of blue tarp.

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on December 19 at 3:02 PM

    As youth-pastor-gone-bad stories go, this is pretty minor. But I am powerless in the face of news about youth pastors gone bad.


    A former youth pastor was convicted Tuesday of stealing $7,351 from a Marlboro Township church.

    Christopher S. Berlean, 29, formerly of Lake Township, pleaded guilty in Stark County Common Pleas Court to a grand theft charge.

    The Comet: No Longer For Sale

    posted by on December 19 at 2:57 PM

    Yesterday, Brendan broke the news that the Comet Tavern, Capitol Hill’s grungiest watering hole, was for sale. Well, put away your checkbooks, folks. It’s been sold.

    The Comet Tavern, a dive bar that is one of Capitol Hill’s drinking-and-music landmarks, has been sold.

    “It’s going to stay the Comet, the booking person is going to stay there, everything stays the same,” said Conrad Topacio, real-estate agent who handled the sale of the Comet, at 922 E. Pike St. Despite that, on Wednesday the Comet’s listed phone number was disconnected.

    Topacio said the deal was being finalized; he would not reveal the new owner’s name until then.

    Place your bets on the next nightlife spot to change hands. I hear Hooters is still looking for a spot on the hill.

    An Engine of Entertainment

    posted by on December 19 at 2:54 PM


    Jersey Boys is a buffed and shiny thing, an entertainment machine greased with pomade whose engine hums in four-part harmony. Every component of this jukebox musical about the Four Seasons—from the mechanized set changes to the 34 musical numbers—is engineered to make time disappear.

    It begins with some poor Italian toughs—including the fresh-faced Frankie Valli (Christopher Kale Jones)—who divide their time between burglary and singing under streetlamps. They’re romantic artist-thugs, blithely drifting in and out of jail and breaking into churches just to accompany themselves on the organ and teach young Valli to sing.

    Then the inevitable walk around the jukebox-musical Stations of the Cross: the struggle, the rise, the plateau, the fall. (It’s a soft fall. Most of the Four Seasons are still alive and some are still working in the music business.) And, in between, street-corner pop with Valli’s space-age falsetto: “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” and so on.


    Predictability has never been so relentlessly entertaining—and Jersey Boys is canny enough to congratulates its audience on their just-folks good taste:

    “We weren’t a social movement like the Beatles,” one of the Seasons explains. “Our fans didn’t put flowers in their hair and try to levitate the Pentagon. Our people were the guys who were shipped overseas, and their sweethearts. They were the factory workers, the truck drivers. The kids pumping gas, flipping burgers. The pretty girl with circles under her eyes behind the counter at the diner. They’re the ones who really got us, who pushed us over the top.”

    Jersey Boys isn’t cheap (tickets run between $30 to $90), but the gas pumpers and burger flippers of today can do the musical one better—drive out to the bluff, put the Four Seasons in the car stereo, and neck.

    This is Getting Ridiculous, Pt. 476

    posted by on December 19 at 2:23 PM

    This past July in Lockport, New York, a two-year-old boy was raped by the family’s pitbull.

    From WGRZ:

    The mother told Lockport Police that she left her two year old unattended for a short time and after hearing the baby scream, she ran to see what was wrong.

    When she got in the room, she told Lockport Police the dog, named “Bear”, had sodomized the toddler. The mother screamed, scaring the dog out of the house, but the dog was still attached to the baby.

    One neighbor told 2 On Your Side, she heard the mother screaming “The dog is raping my baby.” Neighbors ran to help, but only one man was able to get the dog and child apart.

    Anastacio Castillo says “I tried to get the dog away from the baby, the dog was already inside the baby.” When the baby was finally free, he was visibly sick. Castillo says the boy was vomiting and bleeding.

    The baby was rushed to Women and Children’s Hospital where the toddler underwent reconstructive surgery.

    Potential mitigating circumstance:

    Lockport Police say they continue to investigate how a pitbull sodomized a toddler. They are looking into calls that the dog may have been trained, but they don’t know by whom.

    As you were.

    Help Me Engineer A Christmas Miracle

    posted by on December 19 at 2:10 PM

    Hello citizens. I am looking for a few southern transplants living in Seattle who know how to cook. I’d like you to help me with a very special installment of the Public Intern column. Please email me:

    The Program, Local Hiphop, and The Crocodile

    posted by on December 19 at 1:59 PM

    The Program sold out last night, sold out tonight, and the remaining three shows will certainly sell all of their remaining tickets. “A lot of people came last night expecting to get in, but we had to turn them away. You have to buy tickets early,” recommends Dave Meinert, the show’s organizer. The remaining nights feature Jake One, The Physics, Ohmega Watts, and these cool cats…
    l_a4c7621441d4f4563189e529f7f73912.jpgDyme Def.

    This is what Paul Constant had to say about last night’s show on Line Out:

    Last night, I went to the first night of The Program at Neumo’s. I got there around ten, thinking that, you know, nothing usually happens at a show before ten. I caught the very end of Unexpected Arrival’s set, and, based on the sweaty, euphoric faces in the audience, something had just happened. Neumo’s was sold out, and the floor was packed—for the third act from the headliner! On a Tuesday!—and I really started to regret showing up late.

    Now, let’s give this success a little thought. Let’s think about it in the context of the closing of The Crocodile. What does it mean for local, indie hiphop to have its biggest show in the city’s history on the very week that an indie rock institution collapses? Is this an indication of a transition? A sign of the times? Let’s think about that.

    This Week in Sensual Keytars

    posted by on December 19 at 1:50 PM

    Every time I think I’ve moved on to Amy Sedaris or Violet Affleck, Snoop Dogg comes back with some shit like this and reminds me why he’s my favorite living person.

    Or, as my friend Meagan so elegantly put it:


    Assignment: Gold Farming for a World of Warcraft Addict

    posted by on December 19 at 1:14 PM

    This past week I received an email from Joseph, a World of Warcraft addict who wanted me to come over to his apartment, sit down at his desk, and do the dirty work required for his World of Warcraft character, Sarkylnieu, to advance to new levels.

    Joseph wanted me to come over for 4-8 hours. I called him up and said, “how about 20 minutes?”

    I drove over to Joseph’s apartment yesterday, stood by the entrance, and waited for him to come down and let me in. It was raining outside and I couldn’t tell if I was standing in human pee or cat pee. Something smelled terrible.

    Joseph came downstairs and opened the door. He seemed like a nice young man. “Hi, uhm Steven,” he said to me, “Man I feel weird about this.” “What?” I asked him. “You know, about you, coming here. The more I’ve been thinking about it…it just seems weird.” “Joseph,” I said to him, “Last week I squeezed dog’s anal glands. This is not weird.”

    I walked into Joseph’s apartment and he showed me his two computers. They were the fancy shmancy kind you could buy from Dell if you wanted to shell out a couple grand.

    I sat down in a chair and Joseph leaned over me to use the mouse. He breathed heavily on my chest. His breath seemed strained and anxious. “Meet Sarkylnieu,” he said to me.


    Sarylnieu is a level-70 troll shaman. It took Joseph a couple years to acquire all his equipment. He has a purple face with horns, decaying toenails and an aura surrounding his butt. You can make him flex, take off his pants, and kill buffalos and tornadoes but you can’t make him hump a tree or other characters (I tried). Unlike the Sims, there is no sex in the World of Warcraft…just grunting.

    Next, Joseph taught me how to gold farm. The process didn’t actually involve farming at all. To gold farm, you have to kill a buffalo (or some other animal) and skin it. After you skin it, you gain gold that can be converted into real cash (like the kind actual human beings use). Joseph taught me how to use lightning bolts to kill the buffalo. I tried to shoot one, but it didn’t work. I wasn’t coordinating my keyboard with the action on-screen, and Joseph’s left-handed ergonomic trigger wasn’t helping. Under the game’s image, there was a little box that contained text, and I saw the words ROFL, HAHAAA. Was I being laughed at by other players in China? What was going on? “Oh, those are just people talking about all the gear they want to buy from each other,” Joseph explained.

    For every buffalo I skinned, I earned one penny worth of gold. “Yay,” I said to Joseph. It felt good to be finally doing something with my life, you know?

    Joseph taught me a lot about the World of Warcraft while I was trying to skin animals. For example, did you know in the US there are more people who gold farm than people who actually farm (like with soil)? And did you know that video game sweatshops have opened in China where adolescents sit by computer screens and gold farm 40 hours a week?


    Joseph told me he doesn’t like the South Park episode where all the characters play World of Warcraft online, live in their basement, grow pimply and fat and poop in bedpans because they’re too lazy to get up. “I only play World of Warcraft in the evening,” he said to me, “and I play it with friends, and I have a purpose every time I play it. I don’t just sit around.”

    In the end, I made -10 cents because my character was attacked by a tornado. I’m sorry, Joseph. I will totally pay you back.

    Steven Blum
    Public Intern


    More Holiday Ads from the Candidates

    posted by on December 19 at 1:12 PM

    This one from Edwards:

    And this one from Clinton:

    Dept. of Out With the Old, Etc.

    posted by on December 19 at 1:09 PM

    Sugar the nightclub: closed forever after a shooting (will it become the new Pony, as some homos hope?).


    Sugar the bakery: now open on Madison at Boren, looking cute and tasty.


    One of Sugar-the-bakery’s “unpaid quality assurance engineers”

    Energy Crisis; 2008 Budget Cuts Energy Research Funding

    posted by on December 19 at 12:30 PM

    Energy crisis? The president is on the case!

    Technology Has Enabled Us To Make Significant Progress. We need to continue with important research into plug-in and advanced hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of high efficiency clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol and other biofuels. We must further expand the use of clean coal technology, solar and wind energy, and clean, safe nuclear power.

    Congressional Democrats are heeding the call to arms! Surely basic science funding will increase, particularly in energy technology. Crisis! Not a time to cave in to a veto threat.

    The White House and Congress delivered a heavy blow to the hopes of the U.S. science community yesterday as part of a long-delayed final agreement on the 2008 federal budget. As a result, what began as a year of soaring rhetoric in support of science seems likely to end with agency officials and research advocates shaking their heads and wondering what went wrong.

    NIH? “The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would receive a 0.5% increase after high hopes for a slice that would at least keep up with inflation.” (For you, David Wright.)

    Ok, but what about the Energy Department? Surely energy research will be properly funded; everyone—the president, the Republicans and Democrats in congress—agrees this is the only way out of the mess.

    The bill set the budget at DOE’s Office of Science at $4.055 billion—$342 million short of the requested amount—and the shortfall comes mainly out of two programs: fusion sciences and high-energy physics. Congress realized some savings by allotting nothing for U.S. participation in the international fusion reactor experiment, ITER, which is set to begin construction next year in Cadarache, France (ScienceNOW, 21 November 2006)

    DOE’s largest program, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), gets $1.282 billion, $217 million less than requested. That could translate into less beam time at the x-ray sources and other facilities BES runs for research in materials science, structural biology, chemistry, and other areas.

    Buy the Best You Can Afford

    posted by on December 19 at 12:01 PM

    If you’re going to smoke pot, you should smoke the dankest, stickiest, mind-fuckingly strong pot your lousy paycheck can afford. At least, according to a study released this morning from Canada.

    Inhaled cannabis smoke has more harmful toxins than tobacco, scientists have discovered.

    The Canadian government research found 20 times as much ammonia, a chemical linked to cancer, New Scientist said. The Health Canada team also found five times as much hydrogen cyanide and nitrogen oxides, which are linked to heart and lung damage respectively.

    But tobacco smoke contained more of a toxin linked to infertility. Experts said users must be aware of the risks


    This photo ran with the article.


    Wait. What the fuck is that? Is that the “cannabis” they were testing? It looks like bay leaves and hay. You’d have to smoke a pound to get high. Buy excellent pot and smoke less of it, stoners.

    Says Dr Richard Russell, a specialist at the Windsor Chest Clinic:

    Tobacco from manufacturers has been enhanced and cleaned whereas cannabis is relatively unprocessed and therefore is a much dirtier product.

    Because, as we all know, hundreds of thousands of people die each year from the harmful effects of smoking dirty marijuana but not one from squeaky-clean tobacco…

    Steve & Eydie & Andy

    posted by on December 19 at 11:44 AM

    The first minute of this clip from the Andy Williams Show makes Williams look like a giant and Steve & Eydie look like… I dunno… the Mayor and First Lady of Munchkin City. Be sure to stick around for the arrival of the corps de ballet.

    Today in Presidential Politics; Or, 16 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses

    posted by on December 19 at 11:40 AM

    The humanizing of Mitt Romney: A campaign spot about his help finding a lost raver.

    Edwards rising: According to the Clinton camp, which may have ulterior motives.

    A new ad for Richardson: He wants the U.S. “all out” of Iraq.

    Dept. of Secret Weapons: Meet Teresa Vilmain.

    Dept. of Tirades: Meet Ed Schultz.

    Dept. of Media Bias Complaints: Howard Kurtz on Obama love and Clinton double standards.

    The politics of rumored paternity: If you don’t like this kind of stuff, don’t click here.

    A Giuliani Christmas: Can’t stop talking about those fruitcakes.

    The gift that keeps on giving: Cynthia McKinney to run for president on Green Party ticket.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on December 19 at 11:21 AM

    Jamie Lynn Spears edition:

    Britney Spears’ younger sister Jamie Lynn Spears has announced in OK! Magazine that she is pregnant. Meanwhile her mom Lynne Spears’ book on Christian parenting, due in Spring 2008, has been indefinitely delayed. Us Weekly reports Jamie Lynn’s father - Lynne’s ex-husband Jamie - is “furious” that mother and daughter sold their story to OK! and “devastated” at the news that his youngest child is pregnant. Jamie Lynn supposedly got a $1 Million back-end deal for the interview.

    Uh… Mrs. Spears? Wouldn’t your divorce and your daughter’s divorce, drug use, and spectacularly bad parenting disqualify you from writing a book about “Christian parenting”? Didn’t you think that was a little jinxy—even before your other daughter got herself knocked up at 16?

    Good Morning

    posted by on December 19 at 11:06 AM



    A Story About a Story

    posted by on December 19 at 11:02 AM

    It started back in early October, when a 27-year-old Seattle woman named Cerissa Christensen was arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide after speeding her SUV the wrong way down I-5 and into an oncoming car. Killed in the collision was 18-year-old Bawny McQuistin of Tacoma, who was a passenger in the car struck by Christensen.

    Among the upsetting details reported by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: At the time of the crash Cerissa Christensen was on probation for a previous drunken-driving offense, and immediately after the crash “she wanted to know why [the state trooper] was stopping her,” as trooper Jeff Merrill told the P-I. “She was so impaired, she had no idea what she was doing or where she was at.”

    Of course I reported it in Last Days:

    TUESDAY, OCTOBER 9 Speaking of lousy human beings: Today the world was introduced to Cerissa Christensen, the 27-year-old Seattle woman whose previous arrests for driving under the influence did little to deter her from allegedly getting tanked and speeding the wrong way down Interstate 5, where this morning she crashed head-on into a pickup truck, instantly killing 18-year-old Bawny McQuistin and critically injuring the pickup’s 19-year-old male driver. As for Christensen (who walked away from the crash with a broken ankle): “She’s a convicted felon,” said patrolman Jeff Merrill to KIRO. “She’s been arrested for investigation of vehicular homicide. Alcohol was a factor in this collision.” Condolences to all, including the sociopathic Christensen, who’s doomed to roast in a hell of her own making for the rest of her life.

    Soon after the column was published, I received an email that had been forwarded to the members of a writing group and CC’d to me by one WebVirginX:

    See the word “allegedly” in the first sentence? That little word has been inserted into the story as a legal precaution to protect The Stranger from a libel action that Christensen would otherwise be able to take against the paper. Following the legal principle that an accused person is presumed innocent of a crime until proven guilty in a court of law The Stranger has nominally refrained from flatly stating that Christensen got tanked and sped the wrong way down Interstate 5, opting instead to say that she has merely been charged with it at this point. In other words, she only allegedly did it. However, look at what else they have to say about Ms. Christensen, without bothering with such legal niceties as tacking on the word “allegedly”: She is a lousy human being. She is a sociopath. She killed one person and injured another. She’s doomed to roast in hell. So much for presumed innocence… .Sadly, this is something that publications like The Stranger do regularly, essentially negating the “presumed innocence” principle in the process. It’s also known as “trying someone in the media” —and it’s ethically wrong for journalists to engage in, regardless of what the legal department says.

    Clearly, WebVirginX is confused on a variety of points, so much so that I considered ignoring his letter. But his apparent stature as a writing-group-leading figurehead inspired me to respond:

    Hello WebVirginX. Thanks for writing. However, the only thing that remains alleged is Ms. Christensen’s intoxication at the time of the crash. That she sped the wrong way down the freeway and crashed into an oncoming car, killing the passenger, is fact.

    His response:

    Oh, has Christensen already confessed to driving the wrong way down the freeway and killing the passenger (or anybody else)? Are you sure? Because if she hasn’t, then as far as the law is concerned, the accusation is not in fact, “fact”.

    My response:

    She doesn’t have to confess to driving the wrong way down the freeway and causing a crash that killed someone. Many people—including state troopers—watched the wrong-way driving as it happened, and the corpse testifies to the death. What’s still being decided is whether Christensen is a murderer, a manslaughterer, a fatal DUI driver, etc. This remains alleged. But the facts of the wrong-way driving and fatal crash are facts.

    After this, WebVirginX’s arguments devolved into general “Well, it’s still not very nice what you said” ramblings, and I figured my Cerissa Christensen-related correspondence was over. Then I got this email:

    Hello Mr. Schmader. I want to thank you for your description of Cerissa Christensen in Last Days. I am a close relative of Bawny McQuistin. Today our family was missing her in particular so I googled Bawny and came across your article for the first time. It is probably unkind and lacking in grace, but I appreciated that you called Cerissa a “lousy human being” and “doomed to roast in a hell of her own making for the rest of her life.” It is appalling to know the entire history of Cerissa’s past DUI offenses and know that she had been allowed back on the road. It was heartbreaking to learn just how little time Cerissa will likely serve in prison for killing Bawny. It was anger-provoking to learn she’ll most likely serve less than a third of her sentence if Cerissa behaves while in jail. Bawny and our family will not get justice. Other reporters gave unbiased, sterile descriptions of Cerissa. Your description of her was the first to reveal a molecule of truth. Please know your simple words were appreciated.
    This letter brings up a point central to WebVirginX’s confusion: The difference between reporters (who are required to give “unbiased, sterile descriptions”) and columnists, who are allowed to write mean shit about people roasting in Hell. To be honest, I let myself get extra bitchy about Christensen precisely in hopes of bringing dark comfort to the victim’s loved ones, should they happen to be Stranger readers or avid Googlers. Mission accomplished.

    (Confidential to the Rozella Writers Group: You’d all do well to take the “teachings” of WebVirginX with a pound of salt.)

    Next Slog Happy Is January 10

    posted by on December 19 at 11:02 AM

    Before you slip away into candy-cane la-la land, put this on your calendar.SlogHHJan10.jpg

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on December 19 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Red River’ at Metro Cinemas

    The best westerns always undercut their own myths, and few are more gorgeously conflicted than Red River. The final entry in a little series on Howard Hawks at the Metro, the film stars John Wayne as a Texas rancher with the kind of virile ambition that crosses the line into mania. Meanwhile, his adopted son Montgomery Clift and another young ranch hand fondle each other’s guns as seasoned observers predict they’re destined to “tangle.” Hot. (Metro, 4500 Ninth Ave NE, 781-5755. 6:45 and 9:15 pm, $8.25–$9.25.)


    Death in the Kucinich Family

    posted by on December 19 at 10:52 AM

    Presidential candidate’s brother, 52, found dead in his home. No signs of violence.

    Surge Protection

    posted by on December 19 at 10:51 AM

    Says right-wing pundit Hugh Hewitt:

    Victory is a wonderful thing, and [US forces] have brought Iraq and its allies victory.

    And what brought us this resounding victory? Why, the surge of course—you know, the surge. We increased the number of troops we’ve got on the ground in Iraq and—poof!—conditions magically improved over there. No one could have predicted, huh?

    Of course, back when Iraq began sliding into complete chaos four years ago—shortly after Bush’s declared “mission accomplished”—scores of commentators, retired generals, and politicians pointed out that the problem was too few troops on the ground. The president scoffed—he was listening to his generals, and his generals were telling him they had enough troops in Iraq, and the president wasn’t going to micromanage this war. God forbid.

    Has anyone pointed out to Bush that all those generals he spent so much time listening to—generals that were ordered to tell the president only what the president wanted to hear—were wrong about troop levels? And the president’s critics between 2003-2006 were right? Doesn’t the “success” of the surge proves that we did need more troops on the ground all along, and that went to war with too small a force? And doesn’t the “success” of the surge proves that Bush was foolish to listen to his generals? Or foolish in the choice of generals the president choose to listen to?


    Concerning the success of the surge, Andrew Sullivan provides the reality check for Hewitt:

    The drop in violence has been considerable and is a fantastic achievement by the U.S. but it’s worth reminding ourselves that this “victory” still means 600 civilian deaths a month. That’s roughly two 9/11s a month, when adjusting for population size—but more terrifying because more random. It reduces violence to the levels of 2005—a period when almost every observer saw the war as a catastrophe. There has been no oil law, no provincial agreement, no deal on Kirkuk, and Baghdad is a myriad different Berlins in the Cold War.

    Anyone who can all this precarious situation “victory” rules himself out as a serious commentator. He’s a propagandist. And he does no service to the troops or the American people by lying to them for cheap and temporary partisan gain. Maybe I should reiterate what I wrote here, or ask readers to show how I’m wrong:

    “Let’s be clear: we have lost this war. We have lost because the initial, central goals of the invasion have all failed: we have not secured WMDS from terrorists because those WMDs did not exist. We have not stymied Islamist terror—at best we have finally stymied some of the terror we helped create. We have not constructed a democratic model for the Middle East—we have instead destroyed a totalitarian government and a phony country, only to create a permanently unstable, fractious, chaotic failed state, where the mere avoidance of genocide is a cause for celebration. We have, moreover, helped solder a new truth in the Arab mind: that democracy means chaos, anarchy, mass-murder, national disintegration and sectarian warfare. And we have also empowered the Iranian regime and made a wider Sunni-Shiite regional war more likely than it was in 2003.

    Apart from that, Mr Bush, how did you enjoy your presidency?”

    The African Killers

    posted by on December 19 at 10:50 AM

    On November 16, a pack of African Americans shot and killed an African Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry near his apartment in Chicago. The African Americans were young; the African they robbed and murdered was an adult. The African Americans had zero future; the African was full of the future. The African Americans are uneducated, common, and will contribute nothing but an expense to humanity; the African was educated, exceptional, and had a high social value.

    Because the crime has a class structure rather than a racial one, it has received considerable attention in Chicago. The crime offers reinforcement to the belief that culture is now the leading problem with black America, no longer race. A culture of crime, poverty, and downward mobility is what debilitates them, holds them back, and loads them by the thousands into the massive prison system. The solution is simple: a positive change in their culture will result in a positive change in their social situation.

    The solution, however, is not that simple—a shift in the culture. Activating the moment of the crime are factors that are historical, global, superstructural, and beyond the control of the individuals involved. The crime must not be seen in its simple immediacy (the hysterical approach), but in its very tiny place in the larger, complex context of power and control. The shift that must occur is not in the culture (or the individual—the individual solves nothing and solely lives to maintain and reproduce the present framework of power and control) but in the base of that culture, the base systems of social metabolism (the transformation of the natural world into the human world) that organizes the society. We must be brave enough to read this crime in that way, the correct and concrete way.

    Quit Digging Your Grave With Your Campaign?

    posted by on December 19 at 10:34 AM

    Mike Huckabee’s waist-line is rising with his poll numbers—a storyline that he brought upon himself with this.

    Sentence Fragments

    posted by on December 19 at 9:26 AM

    Fire six shots into a bar without hitting anyone? You’re gonna get 92 1/2 years.

    Murder a 15 year-old girl? You’re gonna get 30 years.

    Excuse me, but what the fuck?

    SLUT Rams SUV

    posted by on December 19 at 9:24 AM

    There’s a metaphor in here somewhere

    One of the new South Lake Union streetcars suffered minor damage after colliding with an SUV about 7:30 a.m. today.

    No passengers were aboard the streetcar, and no one was injured in the SUV.

    Riding the SLUT: It’s funny until someone gets hurt.

    Department of Stopped Clocks

    posted by on December 19 at 9:20 AM

    Joel Connelly this morning suggests that Seattle liberals help Rep. Jim McDermott pay off his 800K legal bill and engineer a face-saving, graceful exit for our righteous-but-ineffective congressman. Says Connelly:

    Who would stand for peace and justice, and be more effective than McDermott?

    Five names come immediately to mind: state Sen. Ed Murray, ex-City Councilwoman Martha Choe, attorney Jenny Durkan, state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, or—if he quells a midlife crisis—Ron Sims.

    Steve & Eydie

    posted by on December 19 at 9:01 AM

    Ugly morning. But this cheered me up…

    Man, I’m going to break out the Steve & Eydie albums when I get home tonight. Because I’m really that gay—not that anyone doubted me, right?

    Thanks to Slog tipper Matt.

    The Morning News

    posted by on December 19 at 7:55 AM

    The Torture Administration: At least four high-ranking lawyers for the Bush administration were involved in the CIA’s destroying of interrogation tapes.

    Seoul Brother #1: South Korea’s new president is nicknamed “The Bulldozer.”

    Morning Fires: Washington’s historic Eisenhower Executive Office Building caught fire this morning. No word yet on how many White House emails, CIA torture tapes were being stored in the building.

    Small Steps: President Bush signed into law this morning legislation that would require new automobiles to average 35 miles a gallon by 2020.

    “Pootie-Poot” Wins It: Vladimir Putin is Time’s Person of the Year.

    Off the Rails: A train in Pakistan derailed this morning, leaving 58 dead and hundreds injured.

    Choose Life: U.S. executions are at a 13-year low.

    Running Into the Ground: The Seattle Marathon is at risk of losing its biggest sponsor.

    Lowe’s Has Everything: Man spends years searching for his mother, finds her working at the cash register.

    A Fence of Prevention: Governor Gregoire has earmarked $1.4 million for a suicide prevention fence to be added to Aurora Bridge.

    Get Out: Washington state foreclosures were up 127% in November.

    Hawaii Here They Come: Six Seahawks players—four of them on defense—are headed to the Pro Bowl.

    Silly Nicholas Cage Hair-Style of the Day (SNCHSD): From the movie Adaptation.


    Teen Locked Up Until the Year 2100

    posted by on December 19 at 7:30 AM

    Uh… I’m sure this 17 year-old kid is an absolutely irredeemable scumbag and all, but a 92 1/2 year sentence for a drive-by shooting in which no one was hurt seems a tad excessive, no? Perhaps even “cruel and unusual,” don’t you think?

    Blue Cave

    posted by on December 19 at 5:51 AM

    Once again, the Democrats don’t have the votes (not even close) to make good on troop withdrawal.

    Although, check the vote—both Sens. Cantwell and Murray voted Yea on the Sen. Russ Feingold amendment.

    From the Washington Post:

    The troop-withdrawal amendment, offered by Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), failed on a 24 to 71 vote. None of the four Democrats running for president — Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Christopher J. Dodd (Conn.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) — returned from the campaign trail for the vote, which failed for the third time this year to clear a 60-vote hurdle imposed by Republicans.

    Before leaving for a two-week Thanksgiving recess, House and Senate Democrats had pledged not to give Bush any Iraq funding without withdrawal timelines. But the president threatened to veto the appropriations measures needed to keep the federal government running unless he received war funds.

    Even if Democrats approved a resolution to keep the government functioning temporarily, they faced the prospect of shuttered military facilities and furloughs for military employees as the Pentagon threatened to move funds from other accounts to finance the war.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    Me and Cookies and Martha Stewart

    posted by on December 18 at 10:01 PM

    I meant to post this sooner, but tomorrow morning at 7:30 am Pacific time, I will be interviewed live on Martha Stewart’s Sirius Radio Channel about this story I wrote a few weeks ago for The Stranger.

    I’m sorta nervous. I hope I don’t sound like a goober.

    If you don’t have Sirius, you can get a free 3-day trial and listen online here. If you’re my mother, I suggest you do that.

    Breeding Will Out

    posted by on December 18 at 8:36 PM


    Britney Spears’ sister—Britney Spears’ 16 year-old sister—is pregnant.

    Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year-old “Zoey 101” star and sister of Britney, told OK! magazine that she’s pregnant and that the father is her boyfriend, Casey Aldridge….

    Spears is 12 weeks along and initially kept the news to herself when she learned of the pregnancy from an at-home test and subsequent doctor visit, she told the celebrity magazine, which hits stands in New York on Wednesday and the rest of the country by Friday.

    What message does she want to send to other teens about premarital sex? “I definitely don’t think it’s something you should do; it’s better to wait,” she told the magazine.

    Somewhere between 15 and 40 percent of all pregnancies fail in the first 20 weeks, which means there’s still hope. The latest Spears fetus may yet be spared the indignity of being born. Let’s all light a little candle, shall we?

    Edwards Pulls Ahead in Iowa Poll

    posted by on December 18 at 6:10 PM

    This news

    A new InsiderAdvantage poll in Iowa shows John Edwards leading among likely caucus-goers with 30% support, followed by Sen. Hillary Clinton at 26% and Sen. Barack Obama at 24%.

    This is the first poll to show Edwards ahead of his rivals since summer.

    …explains what’s up on Drudge right now:


    Guns and Commas

    posted by on December 18 at 5:30 PM

    Punctuation is at the center of an upcoming Supreme Court battle:

    Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to consider District of Columbia v. Heller, which struck down Washington’s strict gun ordinance as a violation of the Second Amendment’s “right to keep and bear arms.” This will be the first time in nearly 70 years that the court has considered the Second Amendment. The outcome of the case is difficult to handicap, mainly because so little is known about the justices’ views on the lethal device at the center of the controversy: the comma.

    The official version of the Second Amendment has three commas:
    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    The divisions created by the commas are fiercely debated, some arguing that the amendment gives individuals the right to carry guns, while others argue that it applies only to militias. The disagreements over which part of the text is the actual meat of the amendment (instead of prefatory or modifying) are never ending. It should be a fascinating case.

    Read the New York Times article here.

    A Clarification from the Fuckabee Campaign

    posted by on December 18 at 5:17 PM

    So being gay isn’t as bad as being a necrophiliac—but gay dudes fucking other gay dudes exists at the “opposite end of the same spectrum” as gay or straight dudes fucking the dead. Thanks for the clarification, Governor Huckabee.

    Oh, and being gay is bad, but it isn’t as bad as being into BDSM. Gays are perverts, says Mike, but BDSMers—even straight married BDSMers—are way more, um, perverteder.

    Huckabee, of course, is one of the Republican presidential candidates who refuses to disavow torture—they all do, save John McCain. So Huckabee’s position on torture is this: If you pretend to torture a consenting adult because you both enjoy it, that’s sick. If the government really tortures a helpless prisoner—even though torture is immoral, illegal, and ineffective—that’s America, bitch.

    So says Mike Fuckabee, “Christian leader” and GOP frontrunner.

    Strangercrombie Hooray

    posted by on December 18 at 4:42 PM

    In case you weren’t following the action on Friday, our annual 10-day charity auction was a a huge success this year. We raised $60,000 for FareStart.

    You’ll see a wrap-up in Thursday’s paper, and you can see exactly how much everything sold for here.

    A man named Jeff won the Guest Star on Slog auction. He says he looks forward to defending the honor of West Seattle and the Alaskan Way Viaduct. You’ll learn more about him when he writes for Slog for seven days starting January 7.

    Giant, glowing, red-hot thank yous to all of you who bid and to everyone who donated items and time and money. Sincerely, thank you.

    Council Committee Assignments

    posted by on December 18 at 4:32 PM

    The city council will soon announce next year’s committee assignments, perhaps as early as this week. The choice of committee chairs is important—the person who heads a committee determines that committee’s legislative priorities (typically going so far as to change the name of the committee to reflect his or her own priorities), and in a sense dictates what legislation makes it in front of the council, and in what form. An effective committee chair gets his or her priorities through the council; an ineffective one flounders (Exhibit A: David Della’s leadership of the Parks committee).

    Here’s the current tentative lineup:

    Richard McIver: Housing and Economic Development (currently Housing, Human Services, and Health.) McIver wanted the council presidency, and was the likeliest contender—until he was charged with domestic violence earlier this year. The last time he chaired this committee, it was known as the Housing, Human Services, and Civil Rights Committee; back then, lefty housing groups like the Seattle Displacement Coalition squawked that he was inaccessible and too beholden to the Seattle Housing Authority, which runs subsidized-housing programs.

    Jean Godden: Budget (currently Finance and Budget). Godden and current council president Nick Licata were reportedly battling for control of the budget committee, but it looks like Godden—who beat back Green opponent Joe Szwaja in November—has prevailed. As chair of the City Light committee, she pushed to lower electric rates and shepherded through the appointment of controversial City Light head Jorge Carrasco.

    Tom Rasmussen: Parks (currently Parks, Education, Libraries and Labor). Rasmussen should bring a needed shot of competence to the leadership of the parks committee, which, under defeated council member David Della, failed to pass a parks levy and botched negotiations on the relocation of a center-city skatepark. But given that Nick Licata reportedly wants to take over education, libraries and labor, it’s unclear what else this committee would do.

    Jan Drago: Transportation, which she’s chaired for the last two years.

    Sally Clark: Land Use (currently Urban Planning and Development). We’re a bit nervous that Clark’s taking over the committee previously headed up by retiring council member Peter Steinbrueck, who’s used it as a platform to pass progressive, pro-environment, pro-density land use policies. Given Clark’s seeming antipathy toward nightlife (she pushed through a punitive noise ordinance yesterday, albeit with full council support) and tendency to bow to neighborhood pressure (e.g., the noise ordinance, which was pushed by Belltown and other neighborhood residents who complained loudly about noise from clubs) we’re skeptical that she’ll follow in his footsteps. But we’re keeping an open mind.

    Bruce Harrell: City Light (currently Energy and Technology)—a position he said he wanted while on the campaign trail. We’re encouraged to see that Harrell, unlike Della (who campaigned against his opponent’s record on City Light but declined the leadership of the committee) is stepping up and taking on what can be a tough assignment.

    Tim Burgess: Public Safety—possibly Public Safety, Health, and Human Services (currently Public Safety, Governmental Relations, and Arts). Under Nick Licata, the public safety committee has become a sounding board for victims of police misconduct, the indigent, and arts organizations (he has a poetry reading at the beginning of each committee meeting). Burgess, an ex-cop, is certain to have a different focus than Licata. Whatever else happens, we’re almost certain the poetry readings are a goner.

    Richard Conlin: Utilities (currently Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities) and Council President. Conlin, the current utility committee chair, has tried for the position before. The last time, he thought he had a lock on the job—that is, until council member Jim Compton resigned, breaking his 5-4 majority. That fiasco was followed by another when a bloc of council members who wanted Jean Godden to be president attempted a mini-coup while Conlin supporter Tom Rasmussen was on vacation, prompting Rasmussen to cut his vacation short and eventually propelling unlikely compromise candidate Licata into the position. This time, a similar scenario seems unlikely—although McIver was reportedly still interested in the position, no one I talked to thought he was a likely contender anymore—but Conlin isn’t in any position to thwart a last-minute competitor: As of today, he’s on vacation in Mexico.

    That leaves…

    Nick Licata, who will take on a hodgepodge of issue areas, reportedly including labor, arts, health, libraries, nightlife (whew!) and the Seattle Channel. The random-seeming committee jumble will actually mean less work for Licata, who currently chairs the powerful public-safety committee in addition to serving as council president—the heaviest lifting any council president has taken on in quite a while.

    Popular in Cairo

    posted by on December 18 at 4:29 PM

    The article is terrible, but its opening is funny:

    As of last April, the late Edward Said’s “Orientalism,” originally published in 1978, was no. 2 on the best-seller list in Cairo. No. 1was a book arguing that Saddam Hussein hadn’t really been executed…

    UW Campus Stalked By El Creepo

    posted by on December 18 at 4:07 PM

    University of Washington police are looking for a man who solicited three students for sex on campus yesterday.

    According to an email sent to students this morning, a “suspicious male” approached a female student in the school’s Montlake Parking Lot and asked her if she would have sex with him.

    Three hours later, another student called UW police to report that she was being followed by a man behind the University of Washington gym, who told her she was “good-looking.”

    Again, twenty minutes later, police received a call from another woman who had been approached by a man—who matched the description of the person in the previous incidents—in a parking lot near the HUB, who told her she was “beautiful.”

    UW police describe the man as a white male, approximately 20 to 30 years old, with short or shaved hair, a pock-marked face and teeth with spaces between them.

    While no crime has technically been committed, UW Assistant Police Chief Ray Wittmeier says the incidents are troubling. “If you had one isolated report, you’d just say some guy’s being a jerk,” Wittmeier says, “but the fact that he hung around for three to four hours doing that sort of thing in the general campus area, brings up some concern.”

    Wittmeier says he believes other women may have been approached, and he’s hoping they’ll come forward with information that might help identify the man. “Hopefully we’ll be able to find him,” he says.

    Rudy Giuliani To Leave New Hampshire, Never Return

    posted by on December 18 at 4:00 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Every time Rudy Giuliani appears on television in New Hampshire, another person in that state decides not to vote for him:

    (Via the New York Sun)

    Rudolph Giuliani’s decision to largely abandon the early voting state of New Hampshire and concentrate his efforts on the Florida primary three weeks later reflects an uncomfortable truth for the former New York mayor: The more he campaigned in the Granite State and the more he spent on advertising there, the more his poll numbers dropped.

    Mr. Giuliani appears to be making a virtue of necessity by sounding the retreat in New Hampshire, where he continues to be outgunned by the Republican front-runner there, Mitt Romney, and where he has been beaten into second place by the resurgent campaign of Senator McCain.

    His campaign has long since declared that they didn’t need to win any of the first primary states. Well, that appears to be kind of a given at this point. But his contention that he plays well in the big cities?

    However, the wisdom of that strategy was cast in doubt yesterday by the latest poll in Mr. Giuliani’s home state of New York showing the mayor’s lead over his nearest Republican rivals cut by 11 points…

    Mr. Giuliani’s slide in New York comes hot on the heels of a Rasmussen poll at the end of last week showing him in third place in Florida behind Messrs. Huckabee and Romney after easily leading the field since September.

    I think it is fairly clear that there’s never been a better time for Rudy to roll out a competing blimp.

    Mitt Romney Has Memory Problems

    posted by on December 18 at 3:35 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Mitt Romney apparently has no recollection of where he’s been, what he’s done, or who he’s talked to before the year 2004. His self-styled Reagan comparisons may be more accurate than previously thought:

    Mitt Romney attended a fund-raising reception for Planned Parenthood in 1994 in conjunction with a $150 donation his wife made to the organization — notwithstanding Romney’s contention that he had “no recollection” of the circumstances under which his wife gave money to the abortion-rights group.

    In the photograph obtained by ABC News, Romney and his wife, Ann, are shown in a yellow-and-white tent chatting with local political activists, including Nicki Nichols Gamble, who was then president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.


    His positions may have changed, but his perfectly coiffed hair has not. From later on in the piece:

    “Like Ronald Reagan before him, the governor has changed his position on this issue and changed it in the right way,” Madden said. “Governor Romney does not regret, and won’t apologize for the fact, that he has become pro-life.”

    [Then CEO of the Planned Parenthood] Nichols Gamble said she’s surprised Romney has no memory of the fund-raising event.

    “I can understand that he might not remember the check — it’s surprising to me that he would not remember the event,” she said. “His main motivation for being there was a political motivation.”

    Today in Line Out

    posted by on December 18 at 3:17 PM

    Musical Advent Calendar: Eric Grandy brings Jan Terri’s “Rock’n’Roll Santa” to the mix.

    If You Have Half a Million Dollars: You can buy the Crocodile Cafe.

    When God’s Walked the Earth: They don’t make videos like this anymore…

    Today in Music News: 50 Cent performs in Kosovo, The Simpsons pay tribute to Pink Floyd, Amy Winehouse gets arrested.

    Trent Found It: A gas station, and abandoned CD, Flashdance, and Jennifer Beals all in one post.

    Funky Christmas: More holiday tunes from Peanut Butter Wolf.

    Converge and Neurosis: They’re coming to Seattle.

    Pop and the City Part 2: Charles Mudede on hot beats and promise.

    Moved: The January 21 Ingrid Michaelson (originally booked at the Crocodile), is being moved to Nectar.

    The State of the Program: It starts tonight, and tomorrow’s already sold out.

    The Beginning of the End: TJ Gorton can’t get them out of his head.


    End Zone

    posted by on December 18 at 2:58 PM

    A few of Georgetown’s 1200 residents are glum today. Despite waging an aggressive email campaign against a fast-moving bill to rezone the industrial lands surrounding their neighborhood, the city council passed the measure 6-3 last night.

    “Disappointing would be an understatement,” says Kathy Nyland, who owns a retail shop in Georgetown. In effect, Nyland and neighbors argued, the new restrictions represent a downzone that could turn Georgetown into an industrial wasteland.

    “There is no proposal to reduce industrial uses on industrial lands,” says Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck, who introduced the bill. “How can you call that a downzone?”

    In a nutshell, the legislation limits new commercial developments to 25,000 square feet in Seattle’s industrial zones—still allowing stores and offices as large as the PCC in Fremont. But the new rules ban big-box developments, such as Safeways and Targets, which would displace large industrial businesses and could devastate Georgetown’s neighborhood economy. Previous rules allowed commercial developments up to 100,000 square feet in Seattle’s 5000 acres of industrial-zoned land.

    Councilmember Richard Conlin thought the council needed more time to examine the bill. He proposed two eleventh-hour amendments: one delaying the vote for the new council next year and another exempting the area surrounding Georgetown from the regulations. Both proposals fell one vote short of passing.

    Joel Ancowitz, who owns a house in Georgetown, says, “They [the four who supported the amendment to exempt Georgetown] understand the special nature of the renaissance in my neighborhood and they understand the importance of protecting it for the good of all Seattle.”

    However, the legislation only applies to future developments beyond the neighborhood’s borders, so concerns seem less about protecting what is already there and more that the rezoning would hamper Georgetown’s expansion. And with 25,000 square feet still allowed, I don’t think Georgetown is stifled: That’s plenty of room for artist lofts and small businesses.

    Continue reading "End Zone" »

    As Long As We’re Selling Everything…

    posted by on December 18 at 2:55 PM

    Why not the Comet? From Craigslist:

    Seattle’s oldest bar - $400000

    Seattle’s oldest tavern/bar, centrally located in Capitol Hill. Very established. Possible Class H and pull tabs. NDA required. DO NOT TALK TO EMPLOYEES.

    I took the listing down to the Comet and showed bartender Raymond Kemp. He hadn’t seen it, but he didn’t seem surprised.

    “Well, there you go,” he said. “Every bar in town is for sale.”

    Prop 1 Version 2: Consensus

    posted by on December 18 at 2:49 PM

    Crosscut has posted an essay by P-I columnist Ted Van Dyk that pretends to offer up a transportation solution in the wake of Prop. 1’s failure.

    Van Dyk’s solution? Consensus. Under the mantra of governance reform, he wants to do away with “turf oriented” battles.

    In all of this, a new consensus is emerging about a post-Prop 1 agenda. It centers on moving aside turf-oriented, self-serving agencies such as Sound Transit and transferring power to a more objective, more responsive regional body. It would stress immediate priorities such as addressing the urgent Alaskan Way Viaduct and Evergreen Point Bridge, which are aging and structurally vulnerable. It would not stop light rail construction in place, but it would limit construction to a line running from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to either Convention Place, Husky Stadium, or Northgate. Future funding would be focused more greatly on express bus, bus rapid transit, and normal bus service; dedicated transit lanes; HOV lanes; tolling; and selective repair and expansion of long neglected local roads and lifeline highways. Citywide trolleys definitely would not be part of the scheme.

    Oh, Crosscut. We already had consensus. It was called Prop. 1. Transit for you. Roads for you. It lost. Why’d it lose? Because consensus on transportation projects leads to sprawling, expensive ($17 billion) kitchen-sink projects that aren’t pertinent or focused. In promising everything, planners deliver nothing. Again: Prop. 1, with incomplete funding for 520. Who the hell was going to vote for that?

    If a major transportation project isn’t focused, it isn’t going to pass.

    “Governance reform” can sound good—directly elected board members, broad regional representation, combining disparate or redundant agencies—but this sort of regionalism-driven transportation policy (i.e., “consensus”) isn’t the right ticket. Again, this is Prop. 1 Version 2. The regional governance structure was the legislature. And they handed us a turd.

    As much as it hurts our Pacific Northwest sensibility, letting turf wars flourish is good, because some turf—like King County—wants to expand light rail. And superimposing “governance reform” over KC voters to squash light rail expansion is dumb.

    If not building light rail to the east side is the balm of consensus, then advocates of governance reform should save their cosmetic fix.

    Sayonara, the Globe

    posted by on December 18 at 2:37 PM

    Everybody’s favorite hippie cafe is closing forever at the end of the month.

    Best thing to ever happen at the Globe: At a poetry open mic some years back, a burning-hot young poet-or-whatever got up in front of the crowd and asked whether anyone minded if he got entirely naked. A moment of silence ensued as everyone absorbed this request, followed by a general screaming of gleeful assent. He disrobed right then and there, and he recited a piece that was actually funny and good about how he’d gotten each of the scars on his body. I glanced outside and saw someone walking by look in, see the entirely naked man standing in the cafe, and do the most perfect cartoon double-take ever.

    The worst thing ever to happen at the Globe: the pancakes. So, SO terrible—leaden, dry as hell itself, possibly made of particleboard. NOT a good argument for vegan food, and so demoralizing that I’ve never eaten anything there again. I just can’t even begin to believe that the Globe’s vegan gravy is the best thing that’s ever happened to humanity (with apologies to Garbes). But I’m going to go try it before it is but a vegan dream-memory. (Rumor has it that in its new incarnation, the space will be an Italian restaurant with meat.)


    It’s Alive™!

    posted by on December 18 at 2:05 PM

    The Washington Post featured a muddled-but-interesting article on artificial organisms.

    I see a cell as a chassis and power supply for the artificial systems we are putting together,” said Tom Knight of MIT, who likes to compare the state of cell biology today to that of mechanical engineering in 1864. That is when the United States began to adopt standardized thread sizes for nuts and bolts, an advance that allowed the construction of complex devices from simple, interchangeable parts. If biology is to morph into an engineering discipline, it is going to need similarly standardized parts, Knight said. So he and colleagues have started a collection of hundreds of interchangeable genetic components they call BioBricks, which students and others are already popping into cells like Lego pieces.

    BioBricks has the potential to be simply amazing—the life sciences equivalent of the GNU or BSD tools underling the internet, linux and even the Windows networking stack.

    This is biology as it should be done, open and freely available. How? If you want to accept federal funds for your research, you’re required to publish and provide what you learn for free to other researchers. Check out the NCBI: Your tax dollars at work.

    The workhorse of modern molecular biology is the E. coli bacteria—available for free from your colon. If you want a strain better suited to lab work, stick DH5-alpha. Most of the troublesome bacterial genes are removed, the bacteria ready and willing to pump out your synthetic DNA. Cheap and free, after the initial purchase.

    The NIH model works brilliantly, keeping the scariest research under the glare of public oversight, the most interesting and useful results well distributed between scientists worldwide. Free, carefully regulated, and effective—can’t be left alone in Bush’s America. The NIH budget, in real dollar terms, steadily shrinks each year.

    With public funding increasingly scarce, companies are moving in. By definition, it’s difficult to patent existing living things; the e. coli are doing most of the work, right? So, in comes synthetic organisms!

    Some experts are worried that a few maverick companies are already gaining monopoly control over the core “operating system” for artificial life and are poised to become the Microsofts of synthetic biology. That could stifle competition, they say, and place enormous power in a few people’s hands.


    In the past year, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been flooded with aggressive synthetic-biology claims. Some of Venter’s applications, in particular, “are breathtaking in their scope,” said Knight. And with Venter’s company openly hoping to develop “an operating system for biologically-based software,” some fear it is seeking synthetic hegemony. “We’ve asked our patent lawyers to be reasonable and not to be overreaching,” Venter said. But competitors such as DuPont, he said, “have just blanketed the field with patent applications.”

    Poor him. The publicly funded human genome project ruined his profit model last time. Perhaps he’ll be luckier this time.

    Kentucky Fried Foreign Policy

    posted by on December 18 at 2:00 PM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    There was a lot of buzzing this weekend when Mike Huckabee’s foreign policy piece dropped in Foreign Affairs magazine—both because a piece in Foreign Affairs indicates a certain level of “I’m a serious candidate, and these are my serious views,” and because he took the opportunity to state his views on Bush’s foreign policy:

    The Bush administration’s arrogant bunker mentality has been counterproductive at home and abroad. American foreign policy needs to change its tone and attitude, open up, and reach out. In particular, it should focus on eliminating Islamist terrorists, stabilizing Iraq, containing Iran, and toughening its stance with Pakistan.

    As you would expect, the usual media mayhem ensued: Huckabee, depending on the point of view, was now either the maverick outsider or preparing for wholesale surrender to the World Caliphate. Mitt Romney seemed to believe it was the wholesale-surrender-thing.

    As for the document itself: His “get tough” section on Iran includes mentions of 9/11 vigils in Tehran and Iranian help battling the Taliban; his Iraq section could have been lifted from any of the other Republican candidates; and his section on a viable democracy in Pakistan reads more like Barack Obama’s than Rudy Giuliani’s.

    Its not the content of the piece that freaked me out so much as the phraseology: When reading it you sometimes get the feeling Huckabee drafted the document while conferring with future Secretary of State Larry the Cable Guy. Take this quote:

    Although we cannot export democracy as if it were Coca-Cola or KFC, we can nurture moderate forces in places where al Qaeda is seeking to replace modern evil with medieval evil.

    Is a future commander-in-chief really giving a shout-out to Kentucky Fried Chicken in his statement on how he’ll address extremist Islam? And didn’t anyone look at the phrase “replace modern evil with medieval evil,” and maybe die a little?

    Or maybe I’m just over-analyzing.

    Worship Band Watch

    posted by on December 18 at 1:32 PM

    A member of the Northwest Church in Shoreline is in trouble with the law. Back in July of this year church officials learned that Jeremy Lee Jones, a 21 year-old member of Northwest Church’s “worship band,” was exchanging dirty emails, videos, and photos with a 14 year-old member of the congregation. From the filing by the King County Prosecutor’s Office:

    [The victim] first met Jeremy Jones through the church, specifically they were in the church worship band…. At first Jeremy would ask [the victim] to send him a picture of her wearing her bra. Then he would ask to show him more. She eventually started taking topless pictures of herself and then fully nude photographs. Jeremy did not ask her to pose in a certain way but he told her to “be creative” Jeremy also asked her to take a video of herself masturbating, but she told him no. [The victim] did send a video of herself stripping. [The victim] estimated that she sent Jeremy at least 100 pictures in some state of undress, and that this started when she was in the 8th or 9th grade…. [The victim] said that Jeremy also sent naked pictures of himself, showing his erect penis and buttocks.

    Church officials reported Jones to the police, the police investigated, and Jones was arrested on December 4, 2007, and charged with the sexual exploitation of a minor.

    We’re Doomed

    posted by on December 18 at 1:09 PM

    Lack of sunlight may increase the risk of lung cancer, a study suggests. Researchers found lung cancer rates were highest in countries furthest from the equator, where exposure to sunlight is lowest.

    It is thought vitamin D—generated by exposure to sunlight—can halt tumour growth by promoting the factors responsible for cell death in the body.

    Au Revoir, Smoky Parisian Cafés

    posted by on December 18 at 1:00 PM

    Stranger contributor Jon Frosch has an interesting article, and a cool video, up on the International Herald Tribune’s web site today. From Paris, Frosch writes about the angst that is accompanying this news:

    Less than one year after France imposed a nationwide ban on smoking in most public places (including hospitals, schools and offices), it will extend the ban to bars, restaurants, hotels, nightclubs - and the most cherished of all spaces: the café.

    The Parisian angst will sound very familiar to veterans of Seattle’s smoking ban wars—but with a better sound-track and a few more platters of cheese and bowls of onion soup in the background:

    Assignment: Feed Jonathan Golob’s Embryonic Stem Cells

    posted by on December 18 at 1:00 PM

    This past week, I received an email from a man named Jonathan Golob.

    Public Intern-

    Feed my embryonic stem cells. I’ll show you how and promise only a slight risk of permanent genomic modification.

    - Jonathan Golob

    aka Dear Science

    I drove downtown to visit Jonathan at the UW Medical Center in South Lake Union. The building looked like something out of a science fiction movie. Big sheets of tinted glass shot up into the sky at odd angles and I saw a sign for Vulcan chained to a fence.

    Jonathan let me into the building. In the lobby hung shadowy pictures of animals (post genetic modification?). Jonathan and I took the elevator up to his lab space. Before I could see the live cells, I would have to scrub my hands and arms with soapy water. I turned on the faucet and brown rusty water exploded out of the pipes and onto my shirt. We waited a moment until the water was clean, and then scrubbed our hands and arms the way real doctors do. I pretended I was Goran Visnjic and told John he could be Maura Tierney… the dumpy depressed daughter of Sally Field on ER.

    Next, I put on rubber gloves and Jonathan led me into the room with the live cells. He asked me for the second time if I had a suppressed immune system, because the cells we were about to handle had genes that were added using a dormant HIV virus. Jonathan and his colleagues had taken out the proteins that make HIV so deadly and implanted healthy proteins into the virus instead. It was “probably safe,” to handle them, “But, if you had a surpressed immune system you could possibly be affected if you touched the cells with your bare hands,” he said.

    Jonathan opened up a large incubator, and took out a tray of yellow petri dishes. He explained to me that the cells were stuck to the bottom of each petri dish, and the water had turned from pink to yellow as the cells had sucked up all the nutrients.

    These cells were important. Eventually, Golob and his research associates wanted to implant the cells into human hearts to help them heal after a heart attack.

    I watched as Jonathan removed a sterile plastic tube and hooked it up to a vacuum. Jonathan used the tube to suck up all of the waste water out of the petri dishes. He took out another tube and stuck it into a vial filled with purple liquid, which contained nutrient water colored by beets. When the cells sucked up all the nutrients out of the water, the beet juice turned yellow. Using a hand-held vacuum, Jonathan sucked 48ml of purple nutrient water out of the vial and then dropped a few ml of the nutrient water into each petri dish.

    During the entire procedure, Jonathan had to carefully balance his hands and arms so that no body part touched the inside of his labarotory station. He explained to me that each station had a fan which circulated air into a vent above to ensure that no bacteria could hang around for very long. All of the tubes had to be opened in the labaratory station so they would remain sterile, and the tips of the tubes could not come within a foot of a human limb, lest the cells die after contact with our own bacteria. Jonathan hovered his forearms through a slit in the glass that enclosed his entire station.

    After he was done, Jonathan asked if I wanted a chance to feed the cells. Then, as if he had just realized how much scientific damage I could potentially cause, Jonathan reminded me if I accidentally sucked up the cells instead of the waste water, or touched the tip of the tube to my skin before dropping the liquid in the petrie dishes, I could ruin hundreds of dollars worth of cells.

    I lifted a sterile tube out of a plastic container sitting to my right and began to unwrap it. “Oops, you can’t just do that,” Jonathan said. “You have to open the tube in the glass enclosure. You can just throw that one out.”


    The next tube I opened the right way, and I sucked up all the waste water and fed the cells the purple water. Easy. Jonathan praised my forearm strength.

    Jonathan encouraged me to take the SLUT to Westlake Center, just to check it out, but it took forever to arrive. It was raining. I gave up and went home.

    Steven Blum
    Public Intern


    FCC Approves Deregulation of Ownership Rules

    posted by on December 18 at 12:14 PM

    Posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

    The FCC today overturned rules governing media ownership, paving the way for consolidation of newspaper and broadcast ownership in the 20 largest markets in the United States

    From the AP:

    The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to overturn a 32-year-old ban and allow broadcasters in the nation’s 20 largest media markets to also own a newspaper.

    FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was joined by his two Republican colleagues in favor of the proposal, while the commission’s two Democrats voted against it.

    Martin pushed the vote through despite intense pressure from House and Senate members on Capitol Hill to delay it. The chairman, however, has the support of the White House, which has pledged to turn back any congressional action that seeks to undo the agency vote.

    At Tuesday’s meeting, the chairman described the media ownership proceeding as “the most contentious and divisive issue” to come before him.

    That proved true as the two Democrats in the commission blasted the proposal in unusually strong language for the normally sedate agency.

    Martin, noting the steady decline in revenue for newspapers, said his proposal “strikes a balance” between the changing media marketplace and the need to protect diversity and competition.

    The Democrats blasted the chairman for making changes to the proposal “in the dead of night” and just before the meeting that created new ownership loopholes instead of closing them, as he pledged during a recent hearing on Capitol Hill.

    “Anybody who thinks our processes are open, thoughtful or deliberative should think twice in light of these nocturnal escapades,” said Democrat Jonathan Adelstein.

    The new rules have been decried by Congress and citizens concerned about media consolidation. They’ve lambasted FCC Chairman Kevin Martin for trying to slip one past the goalie by holding a series of last-minute citizen input panels across the country, including one in Seattle. The two Democratic members of the FCC called the meetings mere formalities.

    The Tribune Co., the Chicago Tribune’s parent company, has been one of the bigest proponents of the rule change. The Tribune Co. had an $8.2 billion buyout deal riding on the FCC’s decision—a buyout that would transfer the ownership of the Chicago Tribune, the LA Times, and 21 other daily newspapers and 11 broadcast stations to real estate tycoon Samuel Zell. The company’s existing cross-ownership of TV and newspapers was allowed because the cross-ownership predated rules barring such deals; the sale could not be completed until the rules were relaxed.

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on December 18 at 11:42 AM


    With good-time credit and an appellate court order, a former youth pastor convicted of drugging and sexually assaulting young boys in his care will be out of prison shortly.

    The former youth pastor at Good Shepherd United Brethren Church in Huntington, Mark Kline, 44, pleaded guilty in 1997 to 22 charges, including child molesting. Some of the assaults occurred at an apartment on church property where Kline lived. He admitted befriending boys, drugging them and performing sex acts on them without their knowledge on numerous occasions between 1993 and 1997.

    Hear God

    posted by on December 18 at 11:24 AM

    Three moments in I Am Legend:

    Moment one: A female survivor of a virus that has killed 90 percent of the human population attempts to convince Will Smith that God still exists. She tells Smith to open his ears and wait for His call. “If we only listen, we will hear God’s voice,” she more or less says. What does this moment tell us about life at the end of the world? People are still reading Luther.

    Moment two: From an opening to the underworld, hellhounds are unleashed by some devil in the dark. They leap into the day, onto the dead street, and bound toward a wounded Will Smith and his faithful dog. What does this moment tell us about life at the end of the world? Even if there’s just one man in the city, all of hell, the entire network of the underworld, has lots of work to do. Hell will only go away when not one man, one daywalker, exists.

    Moment three: There is an explosion, a fire, a vanishing, and the peace of white light. What does this tell us about death at the end of the world? That it is still moralized by two imagined purities: pure light and pure darkness. But pure light is simply another form of nothingness. One is no better than the other. Together, the light and the dark constitute a transition. Not apart, but as a transition of one and the same, one state of entry and exit—in that transition, the blurring of the states occurs, so that neither light or darkness are distinguishable. But here is the twist: That primordial indistinction is where the abstraction happens (not the other way around). This abstraction arranges the distinctions, or determinations—not without but within (from within this indetermination emerges the idea of pure, distinct states, the Christian-death states of light and dark). Out of that moment of transition, which in actuality is the stability, the existence of a vanishing (death is nothing but the vanishing of a vanishing), we draw the points of opposition that in essence to do not exist, that are one and the same. From life, from stability, from the transitory blur comes the impossibility of permanence in the poles of one or the other. But it is not a matter of good or evil; both are united in the transition from light nothingness to dark nothingness. It darkles all this our world.

    Today in Presidential Politics; Or, 17 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses

    posted by on December 18 at 11:15 AM

    Fascism: Ron Paul, commenting on Huckabee’s Christmas commercial, drops the F-word.

    It’s the economy, stupid: A smart guy writes about the Bushonomic consequences that the next president (and next generation) will inherit.

    King of the caucus: Everyone loves David Yespen.

    Are you on the list? If you’ve ever voted or donated, probably.

    Bush, Clinton, Bush, Clintion: Bill suggests a familiar partner for his hypothetical “America’s back” tour.

    Obama: More electable?

    Conservative panic: About Mike Huckabee.

    Magic Johnson on aisle four: Wooing Iowa, one Hy-Vee at a time.

    Ana Marie Cox throws up in mouth a little: Blames Romney.

    Pop Quiz: Ron Paul or Ru Paul?

    Totally Over Turducken?

    posted by on December 18 at 11:07 AM

    How about the True Love Roast? It costs £665, contains 50,000 calories, and includes one type of bird for each of the 12 days of Christmas—plus several different types of stuffing.


    You and 125 of your closest friends will have to go to England to eat it, though—US Customs won’t allow meat in from the UK, and it weighs more than the baggage allowance on most airlines.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on December 18 at 11:00 AM

    Five Days of Hiphop

    The Program at Neumo’s

    Because the past two years have been spectacular for local hiphop, Blue Scholars, the leaders of the new school, are ending the year with a five-night spectacle. The phat carnival will have lots of local acts (Dyme Def, J.Pinder, the Saturday Knights), as well as acts from Vancouver and Portland (Swollen Members, Sirens Echo, Sleep of Oldominion, Ohmega Watts). And now, a declaration: The essence of Vancouver is pleasure, the essence of Seattle is business, and the essence of Portland is culture. Peace. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 709-9467. 8 pm, $15 adv/$50 for all shows, all ages, through Dec 22. See for more information.)


    Wanna Buy the Crocodile?

    posted by on December 18 at 10:37 AM

    See how much it’s going to cost you on Line Out.

    Inside Santa Lane

    posted by on December 18 at 10:26 AM

    Someone hired to work Nordstrom’s pictures-with-Santa franchise is keeping a diary—yes, it’s been done. And, yes, linking to it might get this elf in trouble. But the elf is blogging about her experiences, and the blog is out there for all to read. So I’m gonna link. Some sample entries…

    FRIDAY: One of two twin boys with a cleft palate peed on Talks-Too-Much Santa’s lap….

    SUNDAY: A mother complained about waiting 3 hrs in line—I tried to show her my “department store smile” and reminded her, kindly, that it was SUNDAY, the worst day to bring your child to see Santa—dumbass. A 4 yr old girl, waiting to sit on Santa’s lap, gave me the up/down look then asked if I was a girl. I said yes, then showed her my gigantic boobs (not really—my boobs are quite small)….

    MONDAY: Mrs. Claus took my job passing out candy canes in Santa’s warm “workshop” so I got stuck in the cold outdoors directing angry parents waiting in line. Mrs. Claus and I are no longer friends. Eddie Elf was having his “man period” and bitching about how no one was doing their jobs properly and he was having to do “everything”… little bitch….

    TUESDAY: Super cute little girl around 2 yrs old came in with her big sister. She was showing everyone in the room her new cream colored silk dress, blue eyed, blonde kid. She sees Santa and decides she wants nothing to do with him—not going to sit on his lap—so the photographer puts out a tiny, tiny chair to see if she wants to sit in it, she likes chair. Her dad makes the mistake of putting the chair too close to Santa and the girl FREAKS OUT! Her fight/flight instinct kicks in and instead of running away like all of the other little kids she gets super pissed. She tried to pick up the little chair in a fit of rage but was too small and then she turned on Santa. She made for his face with her hands like claws and managed to only get as close as his beard, which she tried to rip off. Her parents came running over and that was the end of their session.

    MONDAY: Manager asked me why I didn’t show up to work on Sunday… awkward. Got into trouble for bringing my knitting to work (I need something to do when nothing is going on and Eddie Elf is not there telling weird-ass thespian stories). Elves knit, right? Super cute 7 yr old baby dyke came in with little sister. How do I know she is a baby dyke? She was wearing a dress shirt, tie and blazer. Very cute, her mom says she has her own style—yeah mom, it’s called gay.

    I don’t think David Sedaris has anything to worry about, but ElfDiaries makes for entertaining reading—and the anonymous Nordstrom diarist spotted me & mine when we came in for our annual Santa photo op. ElfDiaries is here.

    Oh, Goody

    posted by on December 18 at 10:25 AM

    No jokes, no patter, no… clips from movies? Damn, the Oscars are going to be a four-hour train wreck this year.

    Dick Clark Productions and the Foreign Press Assocation had sought a waiver from the guild’s strike rules to allow writers to work on the awards show, to be aired on NBC Jan. 13.

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had asked the guild for permission to use clips from movies and past awards programs that could be shown during the awards shows on ABC in February.

    However, Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, rejected the requests in letters to both groups Monday night, citing the union’s ongoing battle with studios to negotiate a new contract to replace one that expired Oct. 31.

    Anti-Duck Commiseration

    posted by on December 18 at 9:35 AM


    This morning brought this letter to my inbox:

    Hey SLOG!

    My name is Walt Sherman and I’m in charge of the Philadelphia “Shut the Duck UP!” campaign. We are fighting to quiet down the duck boats and make them stop disrespecting everybody. We have a blog and also an online petition.

    I recently read Public Intern Steven Blum’s article, Assignment: Yell at the Ducks, and I was hoping to get in touch with him. I thought you guys might be interested in how quieting down the ducks is becoming a NATIONAL movement (check out!). Also, I wanted to see if he and Jessica, the girl Steven worked with, might want to sign my petition and help out in any other way they could think of.

    Thanks for helping to Shut the Duck UP!

    Walt Sherman

    Thank you, Walt. Everyone else, if you hate the Ducks, why not help our Philly siblings out by signing the petition?

    In closing, please enjoy this inspirational graphic from the Georgia-based


    Re: That Washington Office for Obama

    posted by on December 18 at 9:35 AM

    Postman clarifies what I heard yesterday about that new Obama office in Seattle. According to an email to Obama supporters that Postman’s seen, it will be a “local grassroots Obama office” with no official connection to the national campaign.

    I’m waiting for confirmation of this, but assuming it’s true—and there’s no reason to believe it’s not—you can discard that little bit of speculation I was doing yesterday when I thought the office was, in fact, connected to the national campaign.

    UPDATE: Jen Psaki, spokesperson for the Obama campaign, just emailed me to say:

    The grassroots office is open and we should have a campaign office in early January.


    posted by on December 18 at 9:26 AM

    Joel Connelly and Joanie Balter are stroking themselves on KUOW now. Says Blatherwatch

    The hour will feature Mr. & Ms. Excitement: The P-I’s Joel Connelly and The Seattle Times’ Joanie Balter, whose generation’s futzing and forthholding has been a near lock on KUOW political anals since the 2nd Coming of Ronald Reagan.

    (The vibrant, local netroots, voices under 50, conservatives, and those outside establishment Seattle media are nearly invisible on political KUOW. We’d love to hear the voices of such as David Goldstein, Eric Earling, Sandeep Kaushik, Ron Reagan, Josh Feit, Erica Barnett, Andrew Villeneuve, Aimee Curl, Dan Kirkdorffer, Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, Nina Shapiro, Dean Nielsen, Joan “McJoan” McCarter, Will Kelley-Kamp, Geov Parrish, and Dan Savage. And, we suspect, so would the demo public radio is always wringing their hands over not attracting!)

    “Cheap Lousy Faggot”

    posted by on December 18 at 9:14 AM

    “Fairy Tale of New York” has been banned by the BBC in Britain…

    Says the Telegraph

    The BBC has censored a popular Christmas song amid fears the lyrics will upset homosexuals. “Fairytale of New York,” by The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl, has been re-released for the festive period and is a contender for the coveted Christmas number one slot.

    It tells the story of two lovers who trade insults on Christmas Eve and one verse ends with the memorable line: “You scumbag, you maggot, you cheap lousy faggot, Happy Christmas your arse I pray God It’s our last.”

    Speaking for all faggots everywhere—I am their self-appointed spokesman, after all—we don’t find this song offensive in the least. In fact, it’s on the Christmas music compilation CD my boyfriend made. We listen to it, oh, seven or eight thousand times every year. Lighten up, BBC.

    What the Fuckabee?

    posted by on December 18 at 8:54 AM

    In his book Kids Who Kill, written after a school shooting in Arkansas in 1998, then-Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee set about apportioning the blame. Mike didn’t pin the blame on America’s obscenely lax gun laws or “rural values”—school shootings almost always go down in rural areas and red states—but on, well, every single one of the radical right’s usual suspects.

    Abortion, environmentalism, AIDS, pornography, drug abuse, and homosexual activism have fragmented and polarized our communities.

    Yeah, Mike, if it weren’t for all the homosexual activists, GreenPeace volunteers, and porn stars lurking in Jonesboro, Arkansas, maybe those two boys—aged 11 and 13—wouldn’t have shot and killed four of their classmates and one of their teachers with the two semi-automatic rifles, one bolt-action rifle, and four handguns that the boys stole from a grandparent. But environmentalism and homosexuality and porn aren’t the half of it. Back to Mike:

    It is now difficult to keep track of the vast array of publicly endorsed and institutionally supported aberrations—from homosexuality and pedophilia to sadomasochism and necrophilia.

    Homosexuality, pedophilia, sadomasochism, and necrophilia… hmm. One of these things doesn’t belong on a list of “publicly endorsed” aberrations. Can you guess which? That would be homosexuality—because, as everyone knows, pedophiles, sadomasochists, and necrophiliacs can legally marry in every state, so long as they’re straight.

    More on Huckabee’s book at Mother Jones. Via Sullivan.

    Spiked In Seattle

    posted by on December 18 at 8:31 AM


    S Hanford St & 13th Ave S

    “It’s always that same little spike,” says Alma Cardenas. Cardenas, a South Seattle resident for the last six years, is referring to this:


    Last summer, Cardenas says she started finding the metal small spikes scattered on the road in her neighborhood. Tires were popped, patches were made, but the small metal spikes kept appearing. At first, she thought the spikes were spilling out of trucks from nearby construction sites. But recently, Cardenas says the spikes have evolved.


    “The [last spike I found] was glued to a nickel, with turf around it,” Cardenas says. “Our neighbor goes for walks in the morning and picks them up by the handful. There would have to be somebody sitting around making these.” Cardenas says it’s not unusual for her neighbor to find 4 or 5 of the spikes on her morning walk.

    According the Cardenas, the spikes have given her neighbor’s car “6 or 7” flat tires. “I’ve replaced a tire once and gotten one patched,” she says. “It’s frustrating, It’s such a waste of time and money.”

    Cardenas is putting the word out to neighbors to figure out who’s leaving the spikes on her street. She’s not sure who would benefit from the spiking, although she notes there is a tire store down the street. However, Cardenas says. “I doubt they’re [involved]. It’s only 15 [dollars] to patch a tire.”

    Hard News

    posted by on December 18 at 8:08 AM

    The hard news fans at HorsesAss are going to DropALoad when they see the cover of this morning’s PI. Here’s a run down of absolutely everything on the cover of today’s PI:

    The PI’s top three stories…

    The Crocodile Cafe CLOSED!
    Ticket Prices Rising for M’s Fans
    Late Night is Returning: Whom Will the Joke be On?

    Plugged along the top of the paper…

    MONEY: What’s the best credit card to use abroad?
    FOOTBALL: Huskies fire defensive coordinator, assistant
    MOVIES: “ONCE,” FOR ALL: Indie hit is now on DVD

    Plugged at the bottom of the paper under “top stories”…

    Mexico stars under seige
    Confronting a murderer
    Rail corridor gets okay

    Meanwhile… the subprime mortgage crisis continues to build, we’re sliding into a recession, we’re helping our ally Turkey bomb our Kurdish allies in Iraq, and the Clinton campaign is attempting to “humanize” Hillary…

    The Morning News

    posted by on December 18 at 7:55 AM

    Lending a Hand: Turkey is bombing Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq—and the U.S. helping them.

    Today in Damning Headlines: “Fed Shrugged as Subprime Crisis Spread.”

    Damn Ruskies!: Russia defies the U.S., delivers nuclear fuel to an Iranian power plant.

    Strong Arm of the Law: Police brutality cases are up a whopping 25% since 9/11.

    Drums of War: A Pentagon report to be released today will reportedly blame blame Iran for continued violence in Iraq.

    Goodbye Alderaan: Astronomers have witnessed a black hole “blasting its galactic neighbor with a deadly beam of energy.”

    Vitiligo, A.K.A. “The Michael Jackson Disease”: A Detroit news anchor is slowly turning from black to white.

    Keep It Down: Seattle City Council has approved stiffer fines for clubs and bars deemed too noisy by neighbors.

    Take It Outside: King County Housing Authority is going to ban smoking in public housing.

    For a Day or a Lapdance: A federal judge has ruled that Bothell’s year-long ban on strip clubs in unconstitutional.

    One Less Beer at the Ballpark: Despite striking out so far in offseason deals, the Mariners are raising ticket prices.

    Silly Nicholas Cage Hair-Style of the Day (SNCHSD): From the movie Next.


    Monday, December 17, 2007

    Re: Props to Sen. Cantwell

    posted by on December 17 at 7:15 PM

    Telecom immunity is stalled for now.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation—the folks who are suing AT&T, causing AT&T to lobby for this get out of jail free card legislation in the first place—is a good place to go for the story.

    “These are not times of high-tailored church wear.”

    posted by on December 17 at 6:10 PM

    Project Runway: the Papal Makeover.

    Franco Zeffirelli would like to make over what he called Pope Benedict XVI’s “cold” image and his “showy” clothes, an Italian newspaper reported Saturday, saying the film, stage and opera director offered his services in an interview.


    “Benedict XVI still has a cold way of communicating, little suited to what is happening around him,” Zeffirelli was quoted as telling the Turin daily La Stampa


    Ain’t it the truth. Remember the festive days of John Paul the Deuce? Now there was a guy who knew how to not-wear red velvet and ermine. There was a man who knew how to have fun.


    Mix 206

    posted by on December 17 at 5:15 PM

    If there is the time in your life, please check out this mix I arranged with Brian Geoghagan . WWturntabledetail.jpg Yes, the mix is the source of some pride.

    Washington State Now Has a Poet Laureate

    posted by on December 17 at 4:53 PM

    And his name is Samuel Green. He is the first. He was appointed by the governor. If you’ve never heard of him, well, Wikipedia has never heard of him either. (Here are all the Samuel Greens Wikipedia knows.) According to the press release just issued by Gregoire’s office:

    Green is a native of Washington and resides on remote Waldron Island. A distinguished poet and author of ten poetry collections, including his soon to be released book, The Grace of Necessity (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2008), his work has appeared in numerous publications. For more than thirty years, he has served as editor of a small press focusing on the work of Washington poets. Green has served as a visiting poet in a wide range of settings, including universities, public schools, libraries, mental health centers, correctional facilities and poetry festivals. He has been visiting poet and poetry teacher at Seattle University for several years and is been active with the Skagit River Poetry Festivals.

    The press release goes on to say that his passion is infectious, etc, etc.

    Here’s a piece from the Seattle University Magazine about how Green is a poem walking around as a person—or something—that includes a photo of our new poet laureate. And his mustache.

    The Resemblance is Striking

    posted by on December 17 at 4:17 PM


    LineOut contributor Trent Moorman thinks a certain American idol bears a passing resemblance to a certain American escort…

    UPDATE: Or maybe the resemblance isn’t striking after all. Says Trent…

    David is right, I think all white people look alike. Please, if it’s not too much trouble, I have an update picture for you: Blake - JJ - Vanilla Ice - Cody. All masquerading around this whole time, as the same person.


    Today in Line Out

    posted by on December 17 at 4:10 PM

    Later, Alligator: The Crocodile is closed. Tullycraft moves their show to El Corazon. Sweet Jesus moves their show, um, nowhere. Jim Anderson talks time off. Eli Anderson needs a job. Commenters propose a co-operative buyout.

    Silenced: M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes” With and Without Gunshots

    Tonight in Music-Related Kung Fu: The Sunset’s Kung Fu Grindhouse

    “The Only Secular Holiday the Entire World can Enjoy!”: Tomorrow’s the Last Day to Get Your Party in the Stranger’s New Year’s Eve Guide

    Today in Music News: Four Words: Minor Threat Hot Sauce.

    Suge Knight Ain’t Shit: Compared to Mexico’s Country Music Killers

    Get With It: Notes on the Program

    Zuh? Jeff Kirby is Astounded by Fleet Foxes’s Myspace Hits; Robin Pecknold Responds.

    Pie-tchfork: New York Magazine Breaks Down Pitchfork’s Best Songs of 2007

    Didn’t Like My Arts Wrap Up?

    posted by on December 17 at 3:43 PM

    Well, you can check out my take on this year’s local news instead.

    I taped a year in review show with Seattle Channel’s C.R. Douglas last week and it’s airing all week.

    I’m on with a panel of local reporters and columnists making our picks: biggest story of the year, winners, losers, predictions.

    Don’t like my news wrap up either?


    I’m taping an installment with KING 5’s Robert Mak tomorrow.

    Props to Sen. Cantwell

    posted by on December 17 at 3:26 PM

    Clinton and Obama aren’t on this list, but Sen. Maria Cantwell is.

    It’s the list of U.S. Senators who are supporting Sen. Chris Dodd’s filibuster of the telecom bill (being moved forward by Majority leader Sen. Harry Reid). The bill would grant telecom companies like AT&T immunity from lawsuits for spying on its customers.

    The rationale for letting AT&T off the hook—They were just following orders.

    It’s bad legislation that sets a creeped out precedent for letting the government abuse its power by farming out civil liberties abuses to corporations.

    Courtesy AmericaBlog.

    The Politics of Personal Destruction

    posted by on December 17 at 3:18 PM

    Jesus Christ, is anyone safe?

    Via Sullivan.

    The Year in Arts from the News Desk

    posted by on December 17 at 2:43 PM

    Best book I read in 2007:
    Only Yesterday: An Informal History of the 1920s by Frederick Lewis Allen. Written in 1931.

    Best book I read in 2007 that came out in 2007:
    The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century by Alex Ross.

    Best Music I heard in 2007:
    It’s a 3-way tie: Muddy Waters Juke Box Hits 1948-1952; Van Morrison and Them two studio albums 1964 and 1965; and Shostakovich’s 7 Songs, Op. 127.

    Best Music I heard in 2007 that came out in 2007:
    Chris DeLaurenti’s Favorite Intermissions. Yes, he’s a Stranger writer, so this is a conflict of interest, but the real world liked it too.

    Best Movie I saw in 2007:
    I’m having a hard time remembering everything I saw. And the year’s not over yet, and I think I’m seeing Red River this week, and I’m still dying to see The Godless Girl, which Annie says features a teenage riot beyond Ziggy Stardust dimensions (hand over that DVD, Brendan.)

    But when it comes to new movies I’d have to say Dance Party USA by director Aaron Katz, which came out in 2006 actually. So, maybe Superbad? Nah. It was good, but the cop duo got boring.

    For old movies that I’d never seen until this year: Peter Whitehead’s The Fall.

    Also saw some great stuff on YouTube: The 1976 triple overtime NBA finals game between the Phoenix Suns and the Boston Celtics, the 1965 Who playing I Can’t Explain on teen beat TV, and actual footage of Anne Frank leaning out of her second story window.

    Another Day, Another Dozen Stories Like This…

    posted by on December 17 at 2:41 PM

    A day doesn’t go by without an email arriving from some fundie douche expressing concern for my son’s immortal soul. Gawd, I wish those fundie douches would worry a bit less about my kid’s soul and a bit more about this kid’s home life:

    An 8-month-old boy has been removed from his mother after being left naked in a restroom. Police say the 20-year-old woman was shooting pool….

    Officers wrote that the baby appeared to be well-fed but was naked and had raised, red, pinhead-sized marks all over his body, as well as severe diaper rash.

    The baby’s grandmother told police the marks on the child were probably flea bites.

    Some Sex Workers…

    posted by on December 17 at 2:27 PM


    …give other sex workers a bad name. The police in Spokane sent out Cody Castagna’s mug shot today—he’s looking a little worse for wear, huh?—because they suspect that Richard Curtis wasn’t the only gay/bi/straight man targeted by Castagna and his accomplices. Officials in Spokane “believe there may be victims in the Seattle area,” and are urging them to contact them at 509-242-TIPS.

    Police also suspect that Castagna’s other victims, if there are any other victims, may be “reluctant to contact the police.” And considering what happened to Richard Curtis after he contacted the police, their reluctance is understandable.

    What He Said

    posted by on December 17 at 2:02 PM

    Dylan W. at Metroblogging Seattle on Mars Hill:

    Taken individually and at face value, the current problems with Mars Hill—the controversy over the fired pastors, the end of year money troubles, members airing their grievances on blogs—look like little bumps in the road that megachurches all go through. Taken together, though, you get the image of something that looks like a “bubble.” The church grew too fast. Things overheated. The leadership now trying desperately to rein things in, mainly through altering the power structure, while trying to maintain an unmaintainable level of growth.

    You can see it coming, can’t you? The correction. All it takes is one major event—sexual impropriety, financial struggles, the books getting cooked, or just some moment of theological wackiness—and the bubble pops. We saw it with the televangelists in the 1980s. We saw it out at Overlake in the late 1990s.

    Overlake is a good one to mention here because at their peak they had as many members as Mars Hill does now (6000). They were the fastest growing and most prosperous evangelical church in the entire region. They’re still around, but they are smaller (2000-3000 members) and are saddled with the debt of a building built for a much, much larger congregation.

    I’m voting for sexual impropriety, just ‘cuz they’re way more fun than financial scandals—and it was a sexual impropriety that humbled Overlake (a gay one at that), so it would be a nice parallel. And Mars Hill, Overlake, is kinda obsessed with the gay thing and Mark Driscoll’s macho posturing has officially reached she-doth-protest-too-much-methinks proportions.

    But, uh, Dylan? You wrap up your otherwise excellent post about Mars Hill with this weird dig at… me:

    Of course, what I say doesn’t matter. After all, as I’ve said before, [Mars Hill thinks] my church, the home church of a certain newly elected member of the city council, is at the least defective, at the most apostate…. That’s right, Dan Savage. Tim Burgess isn’t considered enough of a Christian by Mark Driscoll.

    So the take away message here is… it’s okay for Dylan W. to have a low opinion of Mark Driscoll’s church, but it’s not okay for me to have a low opinion of Dylan W.’s church. In fact, Driscoll’s low opinion of Dylan’s church proves that… um… what exactly does that prove, Dylan?

    Look, Dylan darlin’, I could give a shit that Driscoll doesn’t consider your church legit—I was raised Catholic and we invented that your-church-ain’t-legit game. Your church doesn’t rise in my estimation because an arguably more heinous collection of religious hucksters thinks you’re going to hell. Please.

    Wrap your head around this: I’m flexible enough to have a low opinion of Driscoll’s church and your church, Dylan. I think you’re all fools.

    Presidential Politics Round-Up; Or, 18 Days Until the Iowa Caucuses…

    posted by on December 17 at 2:00 PM

    Hillary Clinton: In the air and on the air, trying to capitalize on her Register endorsement.

    Mike Huckabee: Competing with Mitt Romney in the links-to-alleged-animal-cruelty department.

    Andrew Sullivan: Having already endorsed Barack Obama, today endorses Ron Paul. (At least he isn’t, like a woman I met last week in Iowa, trying to choose between Barack Obama and Mike Huckabee.)

    Rudy Giuliani: In retreat?

    John McCain: Replaying the kiss. (Of death?)

    Ted Kennedy: Unlikely to endorse Obama or Clinton.

    Bill Clinton: To the rescue?

    Barack Obama: No Register endorsement? No problem.

    John Edwards: Endorsed by Iowa’s first lady.

    Fred Thompson: Won’t settle for third place.

    Mitt Romney: Playing the meth card, the murder card, and the pardon card—but the question is: Does it beat Huckabee’s Christmas card?

    Notice of Proposed Land Use Action

    posted by on December 17 at 1:59 PM


    condo ad by sprizee from the Stranger flickr pool

    Re: Huge Council Meeting Today

    posted by on December 17 at 1:48 PM

    Pardon my rant, but seeing as how our Election Control Board endorsed Sally Clark this past election (and yes, I realize her opponent was some sort anti-public art loon), I feel I should point out that Clark is turning into a complete fucking disaster on the council. A noise ordinance? One that essentially gives condo owners the ability to single-handedly shut down clubs they move upstairs from? Are you fucking kidding me?

    Can someone at least semi-intelligent please run against Clark at the next opportunity? I’d vote for a package of beef jerky over her at this point.

    Huge Council Meeting Today

    posted by on December 17 at 1:34 PM

    Today’s city council agenda is absolutely packed, thanks in large part to a pile of last-minute legislation out of retiring council member Peter Steinbrueck’s Urban Development and Planning Committee. Among the stuff I’ll be covering in this week’s paper: Legislation that would limit the size of large new commercial developments in SoDo in an effort to preserve industrial lands for industrial use; and a bill that would in effect give Vulcan free development rights in South Lake Union. Vulcan, as we’ve reported, is supposed to contribute to affordable-housing and childcare funds in exchange for a height increase in South Lake Union, where it’s courting as a tenant. The company wanted a partial exemption from that requirement; Steinbrueck amended the legislation to reduce the size of the exemption.

    But there’s a ton of other stuff I won’t be able to cover in-depth in the paper.

    The biggest: A new noise ordinance, sponsored by Sally Clark, that would fine clubs $1,000 (increasing to $2,000 for the second and subsequent violations) any time a club or bar plays music that’s audible to “a person of normal hearing” inside a nearby residence. That means that any time a bar plays music that’s audible to someone in a residence upstairs or across the street—even if that person has their windows open, or if it’s 10:15 at night (as opposed to, say, 2 in the morning)—the club could be fined $1,000. The next night, that goes up to $2,000—and the next, and the next. That’s a lot of money for a small club that’s struggling to survive. Clubs can get out of the fine by installing improvements that muffle sound; but those, again, are expensive, and installing improvements is no guarantee that no one will complain—prompting yet another fine. Meanwhile, the ordinance places no burden whatsoever on developers, who frequently build condos on the cheap, without double-paned windows and thick walls that could minimize transmission of noise. A Clark staffer says the city will come up with an objective standard for “audible to a person of normal hearing” that can be measured with a noise meter, eliminating the possibility of arbitrary enforcement; however, that standard will be developed by the city’s Department of Planning and Development, not the council, meaning that there probably won’t be any public hearings on the new definition. Promoter and industry gadfly David Meinert takes the pessimistic view, charging that the ordinance is “biased in favor of shitty condos and irresponsible people who want to leave their windows open but don’t want to hear any noise.”

    Also on the agenda:

    A resolution, sponsored by Steinbreuck and Nick Licata, directing a city consultant to come up recommendations on a mandatory licensing and inspection program for rental housing. Currently, the city only inspects rental housing when a tenant complains—a setup that discourages inspections, because tenants face potential retaliation from their landlords when they complain about substandard housing. Mandatory inspections would, in theory, ensure a higher standard for rental housing citywide. The study should be finished in early 2008.

    A long list of Steinbrueck-sponsored amendments to the city’s comprehensive plan. Among other changes, the amendments would direct the city to do an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in Seattle every three years; adopt a goal of reducing emissions by 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2024, and by 80 percent by 2050 (the city’s current environmental policy calls for seven percent reductions by 2012); and adopt a new transportation policy aimed at reducing vehicle miles traveled in the city.

    An ordinance that would set up a new panel to review the city’s public defense system and make recommendations on which firms the city should hire to provide defense to the indigent. The recommendation, sponsored by Licata, comes in the wake of an audit earlier this year that found multiple problems with the city’s public-defense system, including excessive attorney caseloads and inadequate contact with clients, training, performance evaluation, and attorney supervision.

    Holy Shit

    posted by on December 17 at 1:05 PM

    Mitt Romney Was Right!

    posted by on December 17 at 12:57 PM

    Same-sex relationships are a threat to the family: A man in Florida kills ex-wife, their two children, ex-wife’s girlfriend, and then himself.

    Youth Pastor Watch

    posted by on December 17 at 12:50 PM


    WAVE 3 has learned that a man who is a local high school wrestling coach, a substitute teacher and a youth minister has been arrested. The Bullitt County Sheriff’s Department says the Shepherdsville man sexually abused a 15 year old girl at the church.

    We had a chance to speak to the victim’s mother who—obviously distraught—described 25-year-old Clayton Pruett as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. She now has a strong warning for all parents.

    “Don’t trust people that are alone with your children,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. She says her daughter was the victim of sexual abuse, for more than a year. “I didn’t listen to the little things my daughter was telling me,” she said. “That’s because I trusted him.”

    The Death of Love

    posted by on December 17 at 12:44 PM

    After just two months of marriage, Pamela Anderson has filed for divorce from husband number three/celebrity heiress boner Rick Salomon.

    Via E!

    Word of the Day

    posted by on December 17 at 12:01 PM



    Last Day to Submit New Year’s Eve Events!

    posted by on December 17 at 11:47 AM

    The deadline for New Year’s Eve events is TOMORROW!


    So here’s the deal: You are hosting a New Year’s event of some sort. Dance party, poetry reading, stitch n’ bitch, whatever. You want it listed in “The Stranger’s Guide to Everything Happening on New Year’s Everywhere! (in Seattle).”

    All you gotta do? Email your listing to with something about New Year’s in the title.

    That’s it. Bada-bing, bada-boom. But—do it quick, you only got 24 hours!
    “New Year’s—the only secular holiday the entire world can enjoy!”

    Crime Spree of the Week

    posted by on December 17 at 11:40 AM

    According to police reports, on Sunday night, just after 7pm 23rd and Dearborn, four teenagers—dressed in black, with bandannas across their faces—pulled a gun on a woman parked on the side of the road, and stole her maroon Pontiac Bonneville.

    Minutes later, on 18th and Alder, a maroon Pontiac pulled up to another car and fired at least 10 rounds at a man in the other vehicle. The man was struck in the leg as he climbed from the front to the back seat, and the Pontiac sped off. Police were called, and the officer on the scene attempted to contact the gang unit who, according to the police report, “declined to respond.”

    Around 9pm, two hours after the shooting, there was an “exchange of gunfire” in the parking lot of a Key Bank on 23rd and Union. No injuries were reported, but a half-dozen bullets were embedded in a vehicle and the exterior walls of a nearby restaurant, Thompson’s Point of View.

    According to SPD spokesman Renee Witt, police are speculating that the first two incidents are related, but they’re still gathering information on the shooting at Thompson’s.

    No suspects have been identified

    Bag of Spanners

    posted by on December 17 at 11:39 AM

    He says:

    Although I am American, England has been my home since I was three years old. I now split my time between Los Angeles and London and regularly visit New York. There are many, many differences between the British and the Americans, but none more glaring than UK women’s approach to their own upkeep…

    Why is it the case (and I’m generalising here) that British women spend so little time and effort on looking after them-selves? Take, for example, Helena Bonham Carter, a spectacular example of the English rose. And yet she is regularly photographed looking like a bag of spanners. Can you imagine a similar photo of the American equivalent, say Michelle Pfeiffer? Absolutely not.


    My sister, who lives in London, says:

    …That article is utter nonsense. The girls in london intimidate women from other countries because they are all very slim with cutting edge style. This cannot be said of women outside the capitol but then again neither are women outside LA or New York worth looking at. Seattle is full of the ugliest women I’ve ever come across, with the dress sense to match…

    I say nothing.

    Those Magnificent Libertarians and Their Flying Machines

    posted by on December 17 at 11:20 AM

    Posted by Ryan S. Jackson

    Ron Paul Blimp takes to the skies; election officially not funny anymore.

    Skip to about 1:40 in the video to see the actual lift-off of the blimp, which was attended by more-or-less exactly the kind of people you would expect to see at a Ron Paul Blimp launch. The flight plan of the blimp on its government-smashing journey to New Hampshire can be viewed here.

    And then there’s this:

    Rep. Ron Paul (R., Texas) supporters have set another fundraising record sparked by impressive online donations. This time they beat out John Kerry’s one-day take of $5.7 million in 2004 with a record $6.026 million on Sunday…

    According to the Ron Paul 2008 Web site, the campaign has already crushed its fourth-quarter goal of $12 million by raising a whopping $18.2 million. Paul may be able to out-raise all of the other candidates in both parties this quarter. The leader last quarter was Sen. Hillary Clinton (D., N.Y.) with $21 million.

    The Los Angeles Times did an interesting profile of Paul’s campaign-finance-guru Trevor Lyman: A 37-year old internet music entrepreneur, working from a home-office apparently filled with Kellog’s Frosted Flakes, and suddenly the cause célèbre of Election 2008.

    French Horns and Razor Blades

    posted by on December 17 at 11:05 AM

    If you’re looking for a comprehensive primer on the internal battles that have been screwing up the Seattle Symphony for the past few years, start here, in the Sunday NYT.

    There isn’t much new information, but the article covers all the bad bits, including Schwarz purported incompetence and cronyism, including rigging his friend John Cerminaro, a French horn player, into the orchestra:

    Normally orchestral openings are subject to rigorous blind auditions, but Mr. Cerminaro was invited to substitute for a player on leave. He eventually auditioned for a permanent job, but an orchestra committee rejected him by a vote of 9 to 1. Mr. Schwarz appointed him anyway. A number of players continued to oppose Mr. Cerminaro; he and Mr. Schwarz attribute that to jealousy or personality conflicts. “Success is the only unpardonable sin with these people,” Mr. Cerminaro said in an interview.

    (That quote’s not going to make Cerminaro any friends.)

    And it doesn’t neglect the anti-Schwarz revolts at his other conducting jobs:

    Mr. Schwarz also faced trouble elsewhere. Friction built at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra in England, where he had become principal conductor in 2001. Malcolm Stewart, the orchestra’s concertmaster of 24 years, quit in 2003. And in 2004, 40 of the 65 musicians cast an anti-Schwarz vote.

    So how does he survive? Rich people like him. He’s a charmer, a money-magnet, the man who built Benaroya Hall. Too bad his musicians don’t think much of his conducting.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on December 17 at 11:00 AM

    Alcohol-Soaked Freakshow

    Get Loweded at Re-bar

    Billed as a “variety/talk/game show aimed at giving the drunks something to laugh about,” the monthly extravaganza Get Loweded returns to Re-bar with a special holiday edition. Among the scheduled delights: Inter-Gender Arm Wrestling, a performance by People’s Republic of Komedy mainstay Emmett Montgomery, an audience-interactive competition called “Would You Eat That?!” and a very special, supersecret, surprise musical guest. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 233-9873. 10 pm, $8.)


    IMPORTANT SUGGESTS UPDATE: I, David Schmader, have just learned that Get Loweded, originally scheduled for tonight, has been bumped to tomorrow night, due to the rampaging success of The Dina Martina Christmas Extravaganza, which is now playing at Re-bar every night but Tuesday through December 31. If you want something to do tonight, go see Dina. (Really, this year’s show is amazing.) But Get Loweded is tomorrow night. End of update.

    Au Revoir, Saint-Germain

    posted by on December 17 at 10:59 AM

    The owner of Saint-Germain—he of the glossy ponytail, great pants, and penchant for railing against anything and everything that might be construed as establishment—is moving back to France. No more lovely little Saint-Germain, as of the end of this year! It is a tiny tragedy for our city. Where will one take an already-soused Marxist for a perfect late-night supper?

    From Jean-Michel (ellipses all his):

    It’s with my heart full of sadness that I have to say goodbye…. St Germain has lived, and I would like to thank each and everyone of you for supporting my little place…. I’ve loved many people in my 16 years in Seattle…. Some of you I will never forget…. Here are my hopes as long as you elect a capable man or woman into the white house…. I just want universal health care, social justice and fights against global warming to be part of the American way of life…. NEVER GIVE AWAY YOUR INTEGRITY….That’s what I got to say….

    I am leaving soon… already miss you….


    Re: The Humanizing of Hillary Clinton

    posted by on December 17 at 10:54 AM

    As Eli notes below, friends and supporters are plopping themselves down in front of video cameras to tell their stories of Hillary the Woman.

    Meanwhile, haters continue with sexist, ageist, dickheadedist nonsense, such as this morning’s lead page on the Drudge Report, which ran the photo below with the headline THE TOLL OF A CAMPAIGN.


    There was no link, no story, just the pic and the diss.

    And it’s not even 2008 yet.

    The Humanizing of Hillary Clinton

    posted by on December 17 at 10:09 AM

    Eight pages of testimonials seems like overkill, but then again… Even a “tracker” for a rival campaign was apparently moved by this type of testimonial politics today, so maybe it works.

    Perhaps You Missed This Over the Weekend

    posted by on December 17 at 10:00 AM

    The big political news of the weekend came when The Des Moines Register, the major newspaper in Iowa, endorsed Hillary Clinton.

    The choice, then, comes down to preparedness: Who is best prepared to confront the enormous challenges the nation faces — from ending the Iraq war to shoring up America’s middle class to confronting global climate change?

    The job requires a president who not only understands the changes needed to move the country forward but also possesses the discipline and skill to navigate the reality of the resistant Washington power structure to get things done.

    That candidate is New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    Unlike most endorsements, this one might actually matter. Already, it’s helped the Clinton campaign stoke a new storyline: That after seeming unsteady for a few weeks, Clinton is back in it in Iowa. (Which she’ll be touring incessantly before the Jan. 3 caucuses in what Ben Smith is calling the Hill-o-Copter, but not before appearing this morning on all six major morning shows.)

    Then there’s this, from Friday’s Charlie Rose:

    Which has people saying this, among other things.

    However: Edwards is still on the cover of Newsweek, which sees him as the “sleeper” candidate.

    And the Obama-rising theme continues to produce big pieces, with The New York Times explaining Obama’s new confidence, Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi writing about “Obama’s Moment,” and, of course, this piece.

    “Like Having Sex With a Tractor Trailer in a Parking Lot”

    posted by on December 17 at 9:58 AM

    Remember when Jolt Cola ads seemed over the top just for mentioning sugar and caffeine?

    I can’t wait to hear what the San Francisco mayor thinks about this.

    Oh, You’ll Know They Are Christians …

    posted by on December 17 at 9:48 AM

    By how they use Human Growth Hormone. Like many baseball fans, I do not care at all about performance-enhancing drug use among pro athletes and think that the Mitchell Report should be filed under “Shows, Dog and Pony.” But some schadenfreude is inevitable when one of the players named is a big whoop-de-doo Christian fuck, as JoeMyGod reports.

    Andy Pettitte is a hard-core fundy who preaches pure living and family values every chance he gets. Yet even this paragon fell before the temptation of human growth hormone. Unlike many of his peers, though, Pettitte admits that he did so, with the addendum that he used the stuff for just two days and then quit due to guilt.

    While my first response to this later news was “And Clinton didn’t inhale,” I have to admit that maybe my glee was a bit premature. I mean, doesn’t confessing one’s sins work to expiate them? I suppose it depends on your theology, though I’m sure that admitting to something before being caught is the more Christian thing to do.

    SF Floats a Soda Tax

    posted by on December 17 at 9:38 AM

    Yes, yes, yes:

    After banning plastic bags from chain grocery stores and bottled water from City Hall, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has set his sights on soda—working up a plan to charge a new city fee to big retailers of sugar drinks.

    “The bottom line is that there is a direct nexus between high-fructose corn syrup drinks like colas and Big Gulps and obesity among schoolkids,” Newsom said Friday….

    In San Francisco, Newsom said a recent Health Department survey found that 24 percent of fifth-, seventh- and ninth-graders were overweight and that high-sugar drinks accounted for 10 percent of the kids’ caloric intake. All in all, he said obesity accounts for tens of millions of dollars of the city’s health costs.

    You Can Be Too Thin

    posted by on December 17 at 9:26 AM


    Or your bodice can be too tight. Or your costume designer can be too cruel. Or your plastic surgeon can be too neglectful. More here.

    Washington Doesn’t Matter?

    posted by on December 17 at 9:25 AM

    There’s been lots of talk (including from the likes of me) about how Washington State is unlikely to matter much in the process of picking a Democratic nominee, except as a place for candidates to round up big donations.

    Included in the evidence of this: No candidate has opened a campaign office here.

    Until now. A well-placed source tells me that this week, Barack Obama will become the first presidential candidate to open a field office in Washington State.

    What does this mean? Maybe it’s the Obama campaign’s way of getting a jump on organizing for the the Washington Democratic caucuses, which happen on Feb. 9 and would be nice for any candidate to win even if he or she has already won enough states by Feb. 9 to have the nomination sewn up.

    Or maybe the Obama campaign is starting to seriously plan for a scenario in which Washington matters to their nomination fight—a scenario that would be far from the campaign’s fondest hopes.

    The Morning News

    posted by on December 17 at 7:52 AM

    Pardons: Saudi woman sentenced to 200 lashes for the crime of being raped has reportedly been pardoned by King Abdullah.

    The Forgotten War: President Bush is being urged to reduce troop levels in Iraq so they can be increased in Afghanistan.

    Speaking of Iraq: Amidst little fanfare, Britain handed over control of Basra to Iraqi authorities yesterday.

    Palestine: 66 nations come together to pledge billions to rescue the Palestinian Authority from bankruptcy.

    Garden State: New Jersey has become the first state in four decades to ban the death penalty.

    Useless Joe: Sen. Joe Lieberman has given his support to… John McCain.

    Looking for a Spine in the Democratic Party?: See Sen. Dodd, Chris.

    R.I.P.: The Crocodile is no more.

    White Flight: Efforts to bring White Center into the Seattle city limits may be abandoned.

    The Silence of Gridlock: Traffic may still be fucked, but at least our roads are getting quieter.

    Damn Seagulls!: The Seattle Seahawks horked it in Carolina yesterday. Shaun Alexander managed just 17 yards, most of them coming by way of sliding on his stomach immediately after encountering the defensive line.

    Silly Nicholas Cage Hair-Style of the Day (SNCHSD): From the movie Con Air.


    Dec. 15, 2007

    posted by on December 17 at 2:12 AM


    Today was the first Seattle workday that the 14-mile monorail line would have been open.

    For those of you that live in Ballard or West Seattle and work downtown, how long did it take you to get to work today?

    Sunday, December 16, 2007

    Croc Closed?

    posted by on December 16 at 8:36 PM

    Read about it over at LineOut.

    Seattle Police Officer Fatally Shoots Two Pitbulls

    posted by on December 16 at 7:57 PM

    Claims self-defense.

    Have Yourself a Very Little Christmas

    posted by on December 16 at 12:54 PM

    Last week I got home to find a fireplace in front of my bedroom door, built by one of my housemates, Kyle. He’d been talking about how we needed a place to hang our stockings. Well, this week he kept saying the house needed a tiny bit more Christmas cheer. I should have known what that meant… This morning, as I emerged from my bedroom (crawling out of the fireplace), I found this.


    The note:

    Dear ZHouse,

    I’ve gone through the trouble of finding the best Christmas tree that money didn’t buy. I hope you guys find it as nearly adequate and almost sufficient as I do.

    – Kyle

    Lord of Lords

    posted by on December 16 at 11:55 AM

    Out of the few or so moments ago, one is worth sharing. In a large and busy Chinese restaurant in the middle of Chinatown, I’m sitting at a table with my daughter. We are eating dim sum: sticky rice, shrimp balls, chicken feet. From the speakers embedded in the elaborately coffered ceiling above us all falls the most hysterical part of Handel’s Messiah.

    King of Kings, for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! and Lord of Lords, for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

    King of Kings,
    for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
    and Lord of Lords,
    for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

    g of Kings,
    for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
    and Lord of Lords,
    for ever and ever. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

    King of Kings, and Lord of Lords,
    and He shall reign for ever and ever
    and He shall reign for ever and ever

    However, the great enthusiasm of the angels above makes no impression on the ordinary Chinese chatter below. The table chatter is constant and earthly. People are neither excited or worried; they are just chatting. It is this all too human sound that Heidegger denounces in Being and Time (1926) and Virno praises in A Grammar of the Multitude (2003). And it is here, in this moment in the Chinese restaurant, we can see why Virno is right to praise chatter and Heidegger was wrong to denounce it. What Heidegger wanted to hear, and designated as authentic, was the enthusiasm of Handel’s angels; what Virno hears and admires in chatter is the hum of the human, the actual sound of others being in the world with others. (For Hannah Arendt, the table is a symbol of human sociality—”[it] relates and separates men at the same time.”) We can also see a reason for the change that occurred in the meaning of the word “silly”—it once described a person who was inspired by the spirit, who was full of the holy; it now describes a person who acts foolishly. Against the cool temperature of Chinese chatter, Handel’s heated angels sound silly.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on December 16 at 11:00 AM


    ‘War and Peace’ at SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall

    You can’t compare this seven-hour Soviet masterpiece with an expensive Hollywood movie. War and Peace, which was made in 1968, is not related to Titanic or The Ten Commandments. Those are private projects, not state programs. Because the Soviet government paid for this incredibly huge and powerful interpretation of Tolstoy’s longest novel, it must be compared with the Apollo 11 moon mission. Both have this as their purpose: to express the strength and mind of the state. (SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 633-7151. Part one at 1 pm, part two at 7 pm, $8–$10 separate admission for each part.)


    Morning News

    posted by on December 16 at 8:49 AM

    posted by news intern Brian Slodysko

    All Is Not Quiet On the Eastern Front: U.S. losing control of Afghanistan due to a lack of troops and funding.

    Warrantless Wiretapping: Bush administration goes to bat, trying to push lawsuit exemption for forthcoming telecom companies through Congress.

    Liquid Misery: Landslides from Weyerhaeuser clear-cutting added tons of dirt and sticks to surging Chehalis floodwaters.

    Big Surprise: Bush administration defends CIA tape destruction.

    Iraq: British return control of Basra to Iraqis, expect to cut troop levels in half by Spring.

    Agreement to Reach an Agreement: Nearly 190 countries agree to talk about creating a climate accord over the next two years.

    Hiding More Than His Mormon Underware: Mitt Romney’s venture capitalist past is fodder for critics.