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Archives for 01/06/2008 - 01/12/2008

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Headline of the Day

posted by on January 12 at 6:47 PM

It’s up now on Drudge:


Hawks Losing? Kelly O is Here to Help

posted by on January 12 at 4:32 PM

Kelly O sent some more pics from Vegas—to help get your minds off the game, guys.





Go Hawks!

posted by on January 12 at 3:06 PM


The first five minutes of the game: Right fucking on.

The next 25 minutes: Ugh.

Seahawks 17, Packers 28 at halftime.

…And the season’s over. Our D barely got close to Favre, our offense couldn’t stay on the field, and Packers RB Ryan Grant handed us two TDs then destroyed us. 42-20. Goodnight.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on January 12 at 2:40 PM

Who doesn’t love a delicious plate of food? This one comes to us from Flickr pool contibutor Kevin Schlosser.


Stranger News Hour on 710 KIRO

posted by on January 12 at 2:23 PM

Tonight’s installment of The Stranger Hour on KIRO is at 8pm.

I’ll be on talking about the upcoming legislative session in Olympia and trying to make sense of the Democratic primary New Hampshire.

Tune in..

More Vegas Pics

posted by on January 12 at 2:00 PM

A furry makes the scene…

Kelly O cabs it with Aurora Snow…

Hey, it’s Pauly Shore—and that guy with the maniacal grin again!

Lube is a good thing…

Something for everyone…

He’s hooked…

Hitchhiked Her Way Across The USA, Plucked Her Eyebrows On The Way…

posted by on January 12 at 12:08 PM


These ads for some strip show or other are plastered on every available surface at the Luxor. Now check out the lovely lady on the left. Hm… kinda masculine facial bone structure… no real curves to speak of… rather slim hipped… and a spangly collar covering up a possibly incriminating Adam’s apple? Kelly O and I have been arguing about this poster all weekend. Boy? Girl? Ex-boy? Real girl?

Guess who else is currently playing the Luxor…

A ‘Long-Term Strategic Partnership’ With Iraq?

posted by on January 12 at 11:17 AM

Did McCain get some kind of tip-off? We may be in Iraq for longer than any of the Democratic candidates for president would like. (As you may recall, I think that’s a good thing.)

From Newsweek’s Michael Hirsch:

In remarks to the traveling press, delivered from the Third Army operation command center [in Kuwait], Bush said that negotiations were about to begin on a long-term strategic partnership with the Iraqi government modeled on the accords the United States has with Kuwait and many other countries. Crocker, who flew in from Baghdad with Petraeus to meet with the president, elaborated: “We’re putting our team together now, making preparations in Washington,” he told reporters. “The Iraqis are doing the same. And in the few weeks ahead, we would expect to get together to start this negotiating process.” The target date for concluding the agreement is July, says Gen. Doug Lute, Bush’s Iraq coordinator in the White House—in other words, just in time for the Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Most significant of all, the new partnership deal with Iraq, including a status of forces agreement that would then replace the existing Security Council mandate authorizing the presence of the U.S.-led multinational forces in Iraq, will become a sworn obligation for the next president. It will become just another piece of the complex global security framework involving a hundred or so countries with which Washington now has bilateral defense or security cooperation agreements. Last month, Sen. Hillary Clinton urged Bush not to commit to any such agreement without congressional approval. The president said nothing about that on Saturday, but Lute said last fall that the Iraqi agreement would not likely rise to the level of a formal treaty requiring Senate ratification. Even so, it would be difficult if not impossible for future presidents to unilaterally breach such a pact.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 12 at 11:00 AM


‘Fluke’ at On the Boards

Moby Dick is a weird, impassioned collage of a book and Fluke, an adaptation of Melville’s opus by the NYC trio Radiohole, is a weird, impassioned collage of a show. Among its elements: a raving Ahab, a song by Rammstein, a bucket of Budweiser, lots of ropes and knots, Tokyo Rose, dinghies on wheels, and a new gadget called the Audio Spotlight, which can throw the actors’ voices around the theater or beam them directly into your skull. (On the Boards, 100 W Roy St, 217-9888. 8 pm, $24, Jan 10–13.)


Some Vegas Pics

posted by on January 12 at 9:59 AM

Kelly O can’t make her computer go, so she asked me to post these pics for her…

Marketing the Fleshlight…

The, er, duct tape demo…

Kelly O with porn stars Belladonna and Sasha Gray…

Two gay boys walk the floor…

T-shirts for sale…

A lucky boy hits the big time…

More later…

Obesity a Lifestyle Choice?

posted by on January 12 at 9:37 AM

So says “health economist” Eric Finkelstein in his new book The Fattening of America, which argues that affluence and advanced medical care leads some people—a majority in the USA, it seems—to choose obesity. You can read the article here, you can find the fat activist/acceptance types fuming here.

This is from the AFP story:

Obesity is not a choice for Alley English, a 28-year-old mother from Missouri who has struggled with a weight problem all her life.

“If you knew that you could be what society considers normal, why would you not choose to do that?” English told AFP. “As we get older, life does get more rushed and we do tend to make the easier choices sometimes,” English, who currently weighs 392 pounds (178 kilograms), told AFP.

“But you can’t say if you quit going to the drive-through, exercise more and eat more vegetables, you’ll lose weight. There are so many more factors involved.”

No, you certainly can’t say that you’ll lose weight if you stop eating fast food, get more exercise, and eat more vegetables. It’s true, of course, but you’re not allowed to say it.

The Morning News

posted by on January 12 at 9:05 AM

Real Delay: Chertoff extends timeline to institute Real ID programs, but after May 11 of this year residents of lagging states – such as Washington – won’t be allowed to use state identification to board airplanes.

Top Giuliani Aides: They’re volunteers this month.

Grain of Salt for Me, Please: McCain and Clinton lead national poll; 34 percent of GOP and 49 percent of Dems, respectively.

376 Days to Reverse Impending Recession: Pelosi and Reid tell Bush, “We want to work with you.”

What a Fucking Mess: Golden Globes reduced to reading a press release and airing an episode of Dateline.

Taiwan Voters: Likin’ China.

Japan Politicians: Bush believers overriding UN loyalists.

But He’ll Still Take the Allowance: Musharraf says U.S actions against Al Qaeda in Pakistan will be treated as an invasion.

Waiting for the Sun: Under morning light investigators unearth suspected remnants of murdered Marine.

Happy Birthday, Rush: Pill-popping hypocrite is 57.

“Holy Sand”: Man dressed as priest arrested after police examine his package.

Dear Johns: Seattle prostitution sting nets 32.

Dear God: 14-year-old boy shot and killed in South Seattle.

Crocodile Beers: Group files to take over club’s liquor license.

In the Poker: Nickels’ cohort sentenced to 60 days for role in gambling scheme.

The Not-So-Honorable Patricia Clark: Chief Juvenile Judge ranked worst justice in King County.

Good Sports: High-school swim team members impale 15 piglets on car antennas.

Water Foul: Gulls migrate to Green Bay for scuttle at 1:30 p.m.

Wiki entry of the day: Cheese.

In the U.S., the consumption of cheese is quickly increasing and has nearly tripled between 1970 and 2003. The consumption per person has reached, in 2003, 14.1 kg (31 pounds). Fior di latte (commonly known as mozzarella) is America’s favorite cheese and accounts for nearly a third of its consumption, mainly due to it being one of the main ingredients of pizza.


Friday, January 11, 2008

What the New Museum Needs Is A New Museum

posted by on January 11 at 6:15 PM

Kim Jones, Self Love

Robert Storr’s talk last night at the University of Washington was by turns thoughtful and impatient—the work of a man waiting for something new. “What the New Museum needs is a New Museum,” he said in response to a question about the health of art given the drop in the number of alternative spaces around the country. “Start-ups. Adaptational activity.”

Storr is not an official representative of start-ups or of adaptational activities. He runs the Yale School of Art, formerly worked as a curator at the Museum of Modern Art, and championed older artists at the Venice Biennale he curated this summer. Joking about the lists that Artforum publishes at the end of every year, he said he’s been listed, dropped, and made a comeback in his career, and now, “I think I’m going to be dropped definitively.”

But Storr did shine a few lights forward last night, with his belligerently moderate opinions. He’s not buying the purist myth of the avant-garde, but he also said, “I frankly don’t want somebody else’s skull with a bunch of diamonds on it,” he said. He’s tired of art that’s about the market, or about money, and he’s tired of Marxist-based 1980s critical theory.

“Critical theory has bred its own Frankenstein,” he explained. “There are so many artists that ironize, jam, play, and flip the system of art evaluation. … There’s also a lack of honesty [among artists]—and I see it among my students—about their engagement, their relationship, with the market and with marketing.”

Fair enough.

Getting a jab in, he dissed the journal October for its visual asceticism and overtone of somber seriousness: “Ros [Krauss, who split off from Artforum to form October after artist Lynda Benglis posed with a dildo on the pages of Artforum] didn’t mind when Bob [Morris] put in a photo of himself all buffed up, because she was living with him and she liked his work, but that a beautiful woman would be sassy enough to show up him at his own game…”

But when someone in the audience followed Storr’s lead of criticizing Artforum for its lists, adding that it is fat and overrun with ads, Storr made an about-face. He retorted that those who think the magazine is shallow should consider their own reading habits: do you actually read the magazine or do you mostly just look at the pictures?

Storr was in the mood to be contradictory: his slide lecture, before the spirited Q&A period began, was about the artist Kim Jones, whose retrospective is at the Henry Art Gallery through Jan. 27.

Storr made a great case for Jones’s work as a stalemate between vulnerability and aggression. In his war drawings, the allegory is literal. Jones sets the dots and the Xs against each other, but he plays both sides. And consider his Mudman costume—the sticks of the armature jut out in a way that’s threatening to the people around him, but they also cut into his soft body as he wears them. He’s both the attacker and the victim when he walks the streets (or in the Henry’s case, the gallery) with that thing on.

Storr skipped over the episode early in Jones’s career, when he burned live rats to death in a public performance after having done the same thing casually and privately as a member of the Marine Corps in Vietnam in 1967 and 1968. At the end of the Q&A, I asked Storr how he felt about it. Here’s what he said:

“I feel like if I had seen it, it would have hurt me. I wouldn’t have done it. I also feel like it was undertaken with the utmost of seriousness, and that it meant something that it was done.”

Not You, Faggot

posted by on January 11 at 5:22 PM


No-Goodnicks Strike Seattle U Campus

posted by on January 11 at 5:20 PM

Last week, several pieces of “hate-graffiti” were scrawled around Seattle University’s First Hill campus.

One of the school’s shuttle vans was tagged with a swastika and “Hitler,” while another swastika was painted on the wall of SU’s soccer field, accompanied by the word “racism.”

The school’s security called SPD after they found the graffiti but, according to a police report, there are no suspects or witnesses. The school used duct tape to cover the offending words and symbols.

The police report quotes a SU security officer as saying this is the first such incident on the school’s campus in “recent history.”

Revealing Update

posted by on January 11 at 5:20 PM

I was jazzed about a bill Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles (D-36, Seattle) was shopping last year that would have required drug companies to reveal—on a state database— the gifts they give healthcare providers. The intent was to let patients know that their doctor may not be making objective prescriptions and also to intimidate pharmaceutical companies out of this crass practice.

(I actually think a better approach would be to force healthcare providers to disclose the information.)

The bill died, but Kohl-Welles promised to bring it back this year. I didn’t see it listed this morning when I checked the pre-filed bills list for the 2008 session (which starts on Monday), so I called her office to ask what was up.

They said they were filing the bill this afternoon, which they did.

Bring On the Brisket

posted by on January 11 at 5:04 PM

The Ranch House BBQ, which was wiped out by flooding in December, has found a new home.

One month and one day after the Ranch House BBQ and Steak House restaurant was destroyed by flood waters in December, the barbecue business got a fresh start today by reopening in the Governor Hotel in downtown Olympia.

The hotel has donated the restaurant space free of charge to the business for six months.

I’ve never been to the Ranch House, but I’m going to try and make Josh bring me back some ribs when he goes down to Olympia next week.

UPDATE: I’ve been informed this was already on Slog.

Shut up.

I bet you still didn’t know that they opened today.

See, I Do Say Something Nice About Local Government Sometimes: Take 2

posted by on January 11 at 4:57 PM

It’s been a longtime pet peeve of mine that you can’t just look at the list of who’s been visiting (lobbying) City Council members; the receptionist takes down each sign-in sheet as it fills up, and you have to fill out a request for the old sheets—a doable but timely process (and one that citizens may not be aware exists). Anyway, the city just made it much, much easier for citizens to find out who’s in their council members’ offices—putting PDF copies of the lists online (including archives) for anyone to see.

For example, on January 3, Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis visited council member Sally Clark; on the same day, John Fox and members of the Seattle Displacement Coalition visited Tom Rasmussen; and on December 13, Jean Godden saw students from Seattle Public Schools. It’s a little thing, but it improves public access to information about their elected officials, which is always welcome. Now, will the mayor’s office follow suit?

And You Thought the Presidential Primaries Were Exciting…

posted by on January 11 at 4:41 PM

…check out the clash in our own Gubernatorial primary where Renton attorney Lou Rousso recently filed to challenge Gov. Christine Gregoire.

Rousso’s bio says he “has successfully handled a broad range of complex matters” and that he “was chose Class Speaker by his classmates.”

Jock Itch Strikes Back

posted by on January 11 at 4:37 PM


All day, Brad and I have been meaning to post about tomorrow’s big Hawks/Pack playoff game. However, we’re both too busy to do a proper write up. So, we decided to poll the Stranger staff on the game’s outcome. Watch out, Skip Bayless. With analysis like this, you could be out of a job soon.

Who’s going to win tomorrow?

Stranger editor Christopher Frizzelle pondered the question for a moment before blurting out “Diane Keaton. Maybe Meryl Streep, but probably Diane Keaton.”


Jen Graves told me “All I know is it’s not going to be the Huskies.” Too true, Jen. Too true.

Megan Seling correctly answered “Uh…the Hawks!” Then she asked if there was a Seahawk named “Toopoo.”

However, Josh Feit believes the Washington Wizards will go on to play either Dallas or New York next week, and he puts the point spread at 97-94.

Eric Grandy thinks Canadian hardcore band Fucked Up will make it all the way to the Super Bowl, compeletely disregarding the fact that Canadians know absolutely nothing about football.

And finally, Annie Wagner proudly proclaims “The only thing I know about the Seahawks is they won because Barack Obama said they did during the debate.”

Anyhow, Brad thinks the Seahawks are going to take it 24-21 but said he’s really only sure of one thing: he won’t be sober by the end of the game.

Meanwhile, I refuse to make a prediction outside of the fact that I think the game is going to become a field-goal fest, and Josh Brown will finally win Carrie Underwood’s heart.

Also, I hope the Jags stomp Tom Brady and Co. into the turf.

And now, a heartwarming tune sung by Brett Favre’s children. Every time Brett throws a pick, the city of Green Bay makes him adopt a kid.

And remember, Mike McCarthy has to drive down Holmgren Way to get to the game on Saturday.

Video via Kissing Suzy Kolber.

Photo courtesy of Doug’s SI subscription.

It’s So Dumb That I Can’t Give Blood

posted by on January 11 at 4:34 PM

So our blood banks are running super low, as Brad mentioned in the Morning News. I could help—I have O positive blood, which is a pretty good kind, right? But they won’t let me donate, because I got a tattoo during Capitol Hill Block Party this past year. And you have to wait an entire year after you get a tattoo to donate blood.

The Red Cross even calls me and asks me if I can donate and I feel really bad for my sweet forearm tat that’s causing me to say no.

I don’t even understand why you have to wait a year. A month, I could see—how long could it possibly take for all the bloodborne pathogens that I theoretically received from my tattoo artist to infect me with something? As far as I know, I don’t got the Hep C or nuthin’. Hey Science, what’s the deal?

Wheel of Fortune!

posted by on January 11 at 4:28 PM


I’m going to say something nice about Las Vegas. Brace yourselves. The casinos are lot quieter—at least at the Luxor and the Venetian. Either I’m going deaf or they’ve actually cranked down the volume down on the slot machines. It used to be that you couldn’t go anywhere in a hotel—in the casino, outside it—without hearing “bloop-doodle-bee-bee-boop-ding-dong-Wheel of Fortune!” over and over and over again. On day one you would think, “This is what a casino sounds like! How exciting!” On day two you would think, “Man, that ‘bloop-doodle-bee-bee-boop-ding-dong-Wheel of Fortune!’ crap is getting on my nerves.” On day three you would think, “Get me the fuck out of here.”

At first Kelly and I didn’t notice the absence of the “bloop-doodle-bee-bee-boop-ding-dong-Wheel of Fortune!” But yesterday we looked at each other and said, practically simultaneously, “They turned down the slot machines, didn’t they?” They did. (Maybe they were disturbing all the new poker players?) Even better: the casinos on the strip—okay, the Luxor and the Venetian—have gotten rid of those God awful “Wheel of Fortune!” slot machines. I once spent a week in Vegas gambling—for a book—and hearing “Wheel of Fortune!” in my sleep for a month. You don’t hear it anymore.

But you can still find the Wheel of Fortune slots in Vegas—at the airport. In Terminal C, waiting for my return flight, I spotted this pilot passing the time. Better than spotting a pilot in the bar, I guess.

Oh, and you’re probably wondering where all the pictures are of half-naked porn stars. Kelly O is taking those pictures. She has a computer. She has the ability to post stuff to Slog. If you’re going to yell at someone about the lack of porn-related smut on Slog despite the presence of two Sloggers are this porn convention, yell at Kelly O.

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on January 11 at 3:40 PM

Hell of a Flow Chart: A post about Vampire Weekend turns into a post about W.A.S.P.’s “I Wanna Be Somebody.” Bzzzzz.

Poll: Fucked Up vs. Swallowing Shit. Which Canadian hardcore band is tougher?

Breaking News!: MTV discovers that Brooklyn has a music scene!

Yum?: Chop Suey starts serving food. Again.

Cash Rules Everything: Million Dollar Orchestra brings Better Days to 2008.

#1 Fan: What Lulu loves about the hiphop scene.

This Week’s Setlist: Pleasureboaters, Siberian, the Translucents, Throw Me the Statue, and many more.

Vampire Weekend: Molly Hamilton loves them in an I’ve-only-heard-four-songs way.

Cancer Rising Cagematch: CR’s Gatsby calls Larry Mizell an assclown.

Tonight in Music: This Bike is a Pipe Bomb, Lupe Fiasco, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Guns ‘n’ Rosetti, and, of course, Egyptian Lover.

Lemmy’s in Town: And he brought his rockabilly band (featuring dudes from the Stray Cats) with him.

When House Meets Disco: They make a funky worm!

Super Bowl Dream Duet: Tom Petty and Paula Abdul. It could happen.

In Music News: Speaking of dream collaborations… an MP3 player and taser join forces; Zooey Deschanel works with M. Ward; and Outkast’s Big Boi works with Atlanta’s ballet? Yes.

Party in the Back: What does your Alter-Mullet-Ego look like?

Color Blind: Jonathan Zwickel apologizes to non-black and non-white people everywhere.

My Dream Post: Minor Threat and an angry German kid together at last.

Lost in a Rockstar Moment: Eric Grandy reviews last night’s Joshua Roman and Co. vs. Radiohead performance.

Fucking H.O.T.: The Fascination Movement sign with Aube Records.

Fucked Up: I say the 21+ scene is fucked up, Eric Grandy posts a video response as a joke, and the world explodes.

American Gangster: Will it earn Jay-Z an Oscar? David Schmader thinks it should.

Throbbing Gristle: R U THROBBING YET?

RIP: Dave Day of the Monks died yesterday morning.

Hardcore MCs: Jonah Spangenthal-Lee says their day ain’t over.

And I thank Science (Jonathan Golob) so much for discovering this (horrific but admittedly enjoyable) site:!


Edwards Falls to Third Place—In His Home State

posted by on January 11 at 2:41 PM

John Edwards really needs to drop out of this race so his supporters can get real and go with their second choice: Clinton or Obama?

Via Sullivan.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on January 11 at 2:40 PM

From Flickr pool contibutor red_jesus.


Sex Miseducation

posted by on January 11 at 2:38 PM

I saw Deep End—coming to NWFF—at a screening last week and I’m still despondent. If the abstinence-only people really want to keep kids off of sex, they’d show more movies like this:


Deep End is Harold & Maude’s evil twin—both were released in 1971, both concern a boy’s sentimental education by older women, and both feature cars sabotaged for symbolic purposes and songs by Cat Stevens.

(Also in Deep End, a sexual rival spitefully runs over our hero’s bike—it all sounds so familiar…)

But where Harold is saved by his older paramour, Mike’s drives him insane. That scene in the poster above, where he’s reclining naked at the bottom of a dry pool and she’s finally going to deflower him? It’s so tragic you’ll want to cry.

But the Wikipedia entry and its plot summary in weird—French?—grammar is cheering (spoiler alert, etc.):

After the school Mike (John Moulder Brown), a 15 year old boy, finds a job in a public bathhouse. There he meets the slightly older Susan (Jane Asher), a provocative girl that soon invades Mike’s fantasies. Working in the bathhouse he will soon be molested by older women willing to have pleasure from him in exchange for bigger tips: Susan will reveal him that this is normality there. Mike’s obsession for Susan will soon grow, leading him to follow her in the night. Several episodes reveal this obsession: he tries to touch her breasts from behind when she is at the cinema with her boyfriend, watching an adult movie, and he is shocked when he finds a portrait of her in front of a strip-house. He steals the portrait and, after a fight with Susan, he will deep in the public bath’s swimming pool during the night, simulating sexual intercourse with the portrait.

Thanks, French film nerd, whoever you are.

Need Help Keeping Up?

posted by on January 11 at 2:24 PM

Just a friendly reminder that our Slogging Toward 2008 page has a helpful caucus and primary calendar, along with a collection of all of The Stranger’s reporting and blogging on the presidential race.

Monorail! Monorail!

posted by on January 11 at 2:21 PM

It glides as softly as a cloud…


It took some doing but we finally found the Las Vegas Monorail. It’s behind the hotels—way behind ‘em—where no one can see it and think of actually taking it. But there it is, sailing over the cab I was taking back to my hotel.

And speaking of cabs in Las Vegas: Is there anything more inefficient than the taxi lines outside these fucking hotels? There’s a huge line of cabs, idling, waiting to pick fares up. There’s a long line of people waiting to get picked up. One at a time a douchebag hotel employee gives a little wave, a cab pulls up, he asks the next person in line where he/she/they’re going, the douchebag opens the door to the cab, tells the cab driver where the fare is going, the fare get in, the douchebag shuts the door. We’re forced to line up for this elaborate ritual so that we’ll feel obligated to give the douchebag a dollar for opening the door of our cab, something we could do for ourselves, and telling the cab driver where we’re going, ditto.

People need to line up for cabs in Vegas, of course. Wouldn’t want the front of every hotel to look like 5th Avenue in New York City during a thunderstorm, with people competing for cabs, racing each other into the street. But there’s no reason why folks couldn’t be loaded into a line of cabs—seven or eight, all at once, just like at the airport—and slowly loaded into cabs one at a fucking time. No wait, there is a reason: Because then we wouldn’t feel obligated to give the douchebag a dollar. So to make us feel obligated to give the douchebag a dollar, we have to stand in a cab line for 45 minutes instead of five or ten minutes.

Sorry. Just needed to get that off my chest.

Emotional Question

posted by on January 11 at 2:13 PM

Voter excitement about Obama seems to be based on ephemeral stuff: He’s charismatic. He stands for hope and change. He’s likable.

In short: Obama has found a way to make an emotional connection with voters.

But when Hillary Clinton apparently makes an emotional connection with voters—her misty-eyed diner moment and her response to a question during the debate that she’s not “likable” (her best moment in the debate)—the press pillories her for playing to emotions.

Question: Why is Clinton’s emotional connection suspect while Obama’s emotional connection is hailed as Messianic?

Just asking.

Kucinich and the New Hampshire Recount

posted by on January 11 at 2:00 PM

Two of the most respected liberal blogs, TPM and DailyKos, are describing claims of voting machine tampering in New Hampshire as “lunacy” and “knee-jerk.”

But, for those of you who still fear a cover-up, Dennis Kucinich is calling for a recount.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on January 11 at 2:00 PM

I’m a 25 year old male. I’m a zoophile and always have been. Long time reader (I’m sure you’re thrilled), so I know my interests aren’t on the GGG approved list. Not trying to argue that point. I’m not an active zoophile, I’ve never owned a four-legged friend. However it’s very clear what turns my head when I walk down the street, and it’s never the one holding the leash. The long time use of pretty specific porn is also a pretty good clue. I took a couple long breaks on the porn to see if something else (men, women, houseplants, anything) would fill the void. No luck, imagination would pick up the slack. I know from your column and other sources, once your brain is “wired” a certain way, “rewiring” it is unlikely (i.e. snowball’s chance in hell), so this isn’t going away. My question is what do I do next?

Currently I don’t date, no sexual attraction going on so didn’t feel the need to, also sharing this with anyone I attempted to date would probably end in horror, tears, and me needing to move out of state. However, a lifetime without a relationship (two or four legged) seems pretty unappealing. Here are the options I see, got a better one?

1. Keep the status quo.

2. Get a shrink (who I can talk to this about) and a girlfriend or boyfriend (who I can’t talk to this about) and in terms of the sex, master giving great head since my dick may not want to join the party.

3. Buy a house with a big yard, and… well, you know.

I don’t care if you post this. I’d just like another opinion. I mean honestly, who else would answer this anonymously, for free, and I actually have some faith in their judgment?

Really Unsure For Future

In short… my advice… which is going to get me killed… is… buy that big house, RUFF, the one with a nice, big yard… and do what you gotta do. Inside, shades drawn.

Bestiality is wrong, wrong, wrong, because an animal can not give its consent. But… anyone that’s ever actually owned a boy dog knows that most would be only too delighted to… well, you know. I’m assuming that you want to be fucked by dogs, not fuck dogs. Man-on-dog is a lot, uh, wronger than dog-on-man, if I may use a certain former senator’s formulation, most importantly for reasons of safety to the animal, so I can’t smile on man-on-dog. (Actually, I can’t exactly smile on the dog-on-man either.) Take a torn up girl dog to the vet, RUFF, you’re going to wind up talking with the police and having to cross a PETA picket line to get back into house—and it’ll serve you right.

For the record I’m con bestiality. I think it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. But I had pork and beef and chicken at dinner last night—here in Vegas, so all 100% factory-farmed meat, derived from animals that were cruelly tortured every second of their brief and miserable existences—and my particular strain of Tourette’s syndrome commands me to say this: If i were an animal, I’d rather be screwed than stewed. We murder animals for their flesh, skins, fur, and just for the fuck of it. Those of us that eat meat, wear fur, run around in leather pants, jackets, shoes, restraints, etc., and kill animals for sport don’t have a lot of moral authority when it comes time to lecture those of you that just wanna smooch the pooch.

Finally, RUFF, build a nice, high fence around that yard, okay?

Race and the Presidential Race

posted by on January 11 at 1:47 PM

There’s a long, interesting article up at The Politico right now that catalogs a series of comments by Hillary and Bill Clinton that are “spurring a racial backlash.”

The comments, which ranged from the New York senator appearing to diminish the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement — an aide later said she misspoke — to Bill Clinton dismissing Sen. Barack Obama’s image in the media as a “fairy tale” — generated outrage on black radio, black blogs and cable television. And now they’ve drawn the attention of prominent African-American politicians.

One of those politicians, a South Carolina Congressman, is now thinking of dropping his neutrality and endorsing Obama as a result. One of those black blogs responds, “Oh, Snap.” And one of the Clintons, Bill, was on Al Sharpton’s radio show this afternoon doing damage control.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on January 11 at 1:45 PM

DUI Checkpoints: Washington Governor Christine Gregoire has backed a proposal to establish checkpoints around the state to catch drunk drivers. 225 drunk-driving-related fatalities were recorded in Washington in 2006, making it the 36th worst drunk-driving death state in the country.

Currently, 29 states and Washington, D.C. allow DUI roadblocks, but, according to a 1988 ruling, Washington’s constitution only allows motorists to be stopped when there’s suspicion that the driver has done something wrong. Civil liberties advocates say they would prefer a legal alternative: increased DUI patrols that stop drivers who appear impaired. Nevertheless, the proposal, endorsed by the PI, will be introduced in the state House by Rep. Pat Lantz (D-Gig Harbor) this legislative session, which begins Monday.

If it passes, I’m sure we can count on Black and Latino people driving old cars to sail through the checkpoints while white people in nice cars are questioned and their cars are scanned for suspicious contents…

In Other Gregoire News: She’s not in favor of the assisted-suicide initiative, but, she clarifies, she won’t work to opposed it.

More Lethal Injection News: Supremes consider unusual cruelty arguments.

End of the Track for Marion Jones: She’s going to prison.

Those Aren’t Maple Leaves: Canadian court trims limits for medical marijuana growers.

Robot Bartenders: Mixing chemo cocktails.

Bulls Eye? Study finds protein target for future AIDS drugs.

The Stupidest Drug Story of the Week: It’s actually the stupidest drug-news story of last week. But it’s still news because the parrots at mainstream media outlets keep repeating the White House press releases that say ecstasy mixed with meth is a new phenomenon designed to lure kids.

Product Rollout: Meth scanners.

Not-So-Great Grandmother: Eight years for selling cocaine.

Kingpin: Back at the helm of the mermaid coffee cartel.

What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been: Father of LSD turns 102.

Vanguard State: New Mexico to provide nasal-spray overdose prevention.

Quote of the Week: “Alcohol is a heck of a lot worse than marijuana, and I’m sure a lot of you have tripped out on alcohol,” Mike Gravel told a group of teenagers. “It’s a lot safer to do it on marijuana.”

Competing Stories in the Persian Gulf

posted by on January 11 at 1:07 PM

This Iranian boat incident is getting very weird.

[A] five-minute video, released by Iranian television yesterday, offers no indication of the tensions that supposedly sparked the encounter between U.S. and Iranian vessels in the Strait of Hormuz—and no indication of an intention to attack. The Pentagon said it does not dispute anything in the Iranian video.

In Tehran, Revolutionary Guards Brig. Gen. Ali Fadavi charged that the United States was creating a “media fuss,” the Fars News Agency reported. He said the Iranian objective was to obtain registration numbers that were unreadable…

…The United States yesterday sent an official protest to Tehran through Switzerland, while Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates charged that Iran had acted aggressively. “What concerned us was, first, the fact that there were five of these boats and, second, that they came as close as they did to our ships and behaved in a pretty aggressive manner,” he said at a news conference.

Quoting former defense secretary William S. Cohen, Gates said: ” ‘Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?’ I think that aptly characterizes and appropriately characterizes the Iranian claim.”

It’s worth reading the whole story.

Satellite Closed, For Now

posted by on January 11 at 1:06 PM

The Satellite Lounge at 1118 E. Pike St., known for dirt-cheap happy hour drinks and so-so happy hour food, has been shut down by the state Liquor Control Board for four days for selling alcohol to a minor—its second such violation. According to the liquor board’s web site, a third violation would mean a 30-day suspension.

Regarding the Upcoming Session in Olympia

posted by on January 11 at 1:05 PM

I got my carpool mate—an unnamed lobbyist—and so, I’ll be heading down to Olympia this Monday for Day 1 (and regularly throughout the two-month session) to keep you up-to-date on the People’s Business.

I kicked off my coverage with this column a few week’s ago in the print edition, and I’ve got a follow-up in this week’s paper.

As we head into the session, here’s the list of pre-filed bills.

One thing that jumps out right away is this: Rep. Maralyn Chase (D-32, Shoreline) is back. Rep. Chase, widely-considered to be an uninfluential lefty outlier in the Democratic caucus, pushed for a cap & trade bill last session that went nowhere.

This year she’s ahead of the curve again (or actually, in sync with the coming apocalypse). Among a barrage of environmental bills on her docket, Chase is floating legislation to: establish a carbon tax, prohibit plastic water bottles, outlaw non-recyclable plastic bags at grocery stores, and outlawing small-scaled powered equipment (like death-to-the-environment leaf blowers and small lawn mowers.)

I count zero co-sponsors so far, but her cap and trade bill has some traction this year.

But Where Will Ecce Homo Stay on His Next Trip to New York City?

posted by on January 11 at 1:00 PM

New York City is attempting to shut down its gay bathhouses by inspecting them to death.

Even as the city health department maintains it has not decided whether it will regulate the city’s sex clubs and bathhouses, continue its current policy of aggressively inspecting these businesses, or try to close them all down, a senior department staffer said the agency’s goal is to shut them down.

“They are very much looking at this from a medical model and the medical model says shut them down,” said Joshua Volle [the health department’s director of community HIV prevention planning and programs] at a January 7 meeting of AIDS and gay groups at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Community Center. “They don’t have the resources to do it, but their intent is to shut them down… These are my words, they are on a witch hunt.”

Good. Shut ‘em down. If you could trace as much disease back to a Denny’s or a Taco Time as can be traced back to a bathhouse, health officials wouldn’t hesitate to shut ‘em all down. And as for the standard rebuttal—HIV-prevention educators can reach the men that need education most in bathhouses!—that’s bullshit. Precious little HIV education goes on bathhouses. Transmission? Tons. Education? Hardly.

Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement: Cities (Still) Falling Behind

posted by on January 11 at 12:58 PM

As I’ve written, I think it’s great, in theory, that more than 700 cities have signed on to the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement, spearheaded by Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. Under the agreement, cities pledge to reduce their total greenhouse-gas emissions to eight percent below 1990 levels by 2012. (The agreement came in the wake of the Bush Administration’s refusal to do anything about climate, including ratify the Kyoto Treaty; the idea is that local governments should take matters into their own hands.) As I’ve also written (and as Mayor Nickels, to his credit, has acknowledged), that reduction level is totally inadequate: scientists now predict that if we want to prevent catastrophic climate change, we need to get greenhouse-gas emissions down 80 percent below current levels by 2050—and that’s the optimistic prediction.

But a bigger question than where we set the climate goalposts is whether local efforts are working in the first place. The agreement is non-binding on cities, so even if a city signs, there’s nothing to guarantee that it will follow through with policy changes that work toward the goals. According to several accounts that have come out over the past year, many cities are not meeting the goals they agreed to; some mayors, in fact, appear not to even remember signing the agreement. According to a story in the San Diego Voice:

Vista [California] Mayor Morris Vance said he vaguely remembered signing it. He said he asked city staff to “come back with some recommendations,” though that hasn’t happened.

“I remember at the time I thought it was a good idea,” Vance said.

In Imperial Beach, Mayor Jim Janney said his city hadn’t followed up with any specific action, either. “It’s not like we’ve ignored it completely,” he said, “but we haven’t pushed real hard.” […]

Some cities have already begun taking steps to address climate change. La Mesa added three hybrid cars to its fleet. Solana Beach replaced a gas guzzling pickup with an electric car. San Diego mandated recycling.

While officials in those cities laud their progress, many also admit they aren’t likely to meet the 2012 emissions reduction goals they agreed to. Mary Sessom, Lemon Grove’s mayor, said that’s why she has refused to sign on to the mayors’ accord.

“It doesn’t do anything,” she said. “Signing a piece of paper doesn’t mean we intend to do anything about climate change. Signing a piece of paper gives you political cover.”

In green San Francisco, meanwhile,

“We are not on track,” said Shirley Hansen, a [County of San Francisco] Civil Grand Jury member. “In order to meet this goal, we will have to triple our efforts now for the next five years.”

One reason the city hasn’t accomplished its goals is because the San Francisco Municipal Railway is under-funded, Hansen said.

Green New York isn’t meeting the goals either. Nor are many much smaller cities, many of which have tiny budgets and no extra money to hire sustainability consultants or do much more than add a hybrid or two to their municipal fleet.

And that’s a problem. Cities will have to play a role in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions—even if the federal government does step up and mandate better fuel efficiency, increases in funding for public transit, targets for renewable energy use, and a cap-and-trade system for pollution. Cities can mandate building standards, determine where development will be allowed, tax or toll auto usage to encourage transit ridership, and a long list of other things the federal government simply cannot do. It isn’t enough for city governments to reduce their own emissions; they have to do more to encourage (or, better, require) citizens to change their own habits, too. Mandates from state government may be part of the answer (see Josh’s upcoming post on some smart, green bills coming up in this year’s legislative session), but local governments have a lot to answer for. If they aren’t working toward the goals they pledged to aim for, no one will.

Seattle’s LGBT Center Is Going, But Not For Good

posted by on January 11 at 12:02 PM

Rumors of the Seattle LGBT Center’s (SLGBTC) demise have, apparently, been greatly exaggerated. The SLGBTC has to be out of their location at 1115 East Pike by midnight on Monday, and they’re selling off all of their furniture.

According to an SLGBTC volunteer, the center has had “funding issues,” which forced them to move out of their current home. However, SLGBTC co-president Jerry Stewart is optimistic about the Center’s future, and says they’ll be temporarily using Equal Rights Washington’s offices at Harvard and John.

Despite SLGBTC’s sudden downsizing and office-clearing sale, Stewart says the center is definitely coming back. “[We’re] refocusing but we’re not going away,” he says.

Want To Gain Fourteen More Years Of Life?

posted by on January 11 at 12:01 PM

Don’t smoke, drink moderately (1-2 drinks per day), exercise and eat five servings of fruits or vegetables a day.

We examined the prospective relationship between lifestyle and mortality in a prospective population study of 20,244 men and women aged 45–79 y with no known cardiovascular disease or cancer at baseline survey in 1993–1997, living in the general community in the United Kingdom, and followed up to 2006. Participants scored one point for each health behaviour: current non-smoking, not physically inactive, moderate alcohol intake (1–14 units a week) and plasma vitamin C >50 mmol/l indicating fruit and vegetable intake of at least five servings a day, for a total score ranging from zero to four. After an average 11 y follow-up, the age-, sex-, body mass–, and social class–adjusted relative risks (95% confidence intervals) for all-cause mortality(1,987 deaths) for men and women who had three, two, one, and zero compared to four health behaviours were respectively, 1.39 (1.21–1.60), 1.95 (1.70–-2.25), 2.52 (2.13–3.00), and 4.04 (2.95–5.54) p < 0.001 trend. The relationships were consistent in subgroups stratified by sex, age, body mass index, and social class, and after excluding deaths within 2 y. The trends were strongest for cardiovascular causes. The mortality risk for those with four compared to zero health behaviours was equivalent to being 14 y younger in chronological age.
(Random bolding added by me.)

Like many such (non-interventional) studies, it’s hard to tell exactly how much of this is due to the behaviors measured compared to other unmeasured factors. And it might only apply to pasty UK residents.

Still, it’s a pretty stunning result.


Slog Happy Recap

posted by on January 11 at 11:56 AM

Thanks, everyone who came out to Slog Happy last night. Turnout was double that of last month, and the bar staffed up for us so it was much easier to get a beverage. There’s a thread of recollections underway here if you’re wondering what you missed.

Next Slog Happy is February 14 at 6 pm, then Savage’s Valentine’s Bash follows next door at Neumo’s (doors at 8, show at 9:30). See you then if not before.

See, I Do Say Something Nice About Local Government Sometimes

posted by on January 11 at 11:10 AM

Who knew? King County’s web site has a guide to what’s in season here throughout the year. Locavores, enjoy your turnips, beets, and Brussels sprouts soon, because come February you’ll be looking at a steady diet of cabbage, greens, leeks, parsnips and winter squash.

(Via Field to Plate)

Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

posted by on January 11 at 11:01 AM

A Southeast Washington woman accused of killing her four daughters told police that they were “possessed by demons” and that they had been dead for at least four months before marshals found their bodies, according to police and charging papers filed yesterday.

Authorities said they believe the girls, ages 5, 6, 11 and 17, could have been killed as early as May, noting that the bodies were in an advanced stage of decomposition when discovered Wednesday by marshals serving eviction papers at the two-story brick rowhouse.

UPDATE: Well, not really an update. Another:

A Winter Haven man was charged with murder, accused of fatally beating his 4-month-old daughter Christmas Day because he wanted a son, authorities said. Marcos Gomez-Romero, 28, told investigators that he beat Ariana Rodriguez Romero to death because he wanted a son instead of a daughter, according to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office report.

According to deputy interviews, Gomez-Romero said he became angry every time he saw the girl. He also said that abusing his daughter became a habit, a sheriff’s report showed.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 11 at 11:00 AM


Lupe Fiasco at Showbox at the Market

Lupe Fiasco’s headlining slot at last year’s Bumbershoot was a star-making performance. Lupe, wearing all white, owned the stadium, shaking its foundations with deep, bass-bomb beats and flying around the stage while still nailing his intricate rhymes. His sophomore album, The Cool, is a conflicted record—misfired cheeseburger rap gives way to a comic-book narrative starring characters named the Cool, the Game, and the Streets—but it’s wall-to-wall dexterous wordplay and grand, summer-blockbuster production. (Showbox at the Market, 1426 First Ave, 628-3151. 8 pm, $22.50 adv/$25 DOS, all ages.)


Obama vs. Clinton. Food Fight

posted by on January 11 at 10:45 AM

Gristmill is running a comparison between Obama and Clinton on Fastfood Nation issues, comparing their respective relationships to agribiz.

Their first installment looks at the contributions both frontrunners have gotten from big food.

It’s a pretty cursory analysis. Agribiz has given Clinton about $200K more than Obama so far this year. (Romney is the biggest recipient.) And they gave more to Clinton in her 2006 run than they gave to Obama in his 2004 run.

Gristmill says the next installment will focus on “ties to agribusiness.” Let’s hope that comes with a little more analysis.

I did a quick search and found that Clinton appears to be pretty cozy with agribusiness. And Gristmill did have this bit of disheartening news about Clinton last month:

On Monday, Clinton named Joy Philippi, the former president of a the National Pork Producers Council, the main trade group representing confined animal feeding operators, as co-chair of Rural Americans for Hillary.

Meanwhile, when rated by various conservative and liberal ag groups like the National Farmers Union (lib) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (conservative), their scores are similar, with Clinton getting a slightly lower rating from the conservative Farm Bureau and Obama getting a better rating from the liberal Farmers Union. In fact, he got 100% lockstep with the NFU. Clinton got an 83.

Ed Murray Endorses Obama

posted by on January 11 at 10:16 AM

While everyone’s keeping tabs on who’s endorsing whom

Seattle’s state senator, Democrat Ed Murray, has endorsed Barack Obama. Maybe this has been out there for a while, but I haven’t seen it. Murray tells me:

I have been with Obama since day one. I did not wait to be asked and am serving on a committee. I feel as strongly about Obama as I have about anything in politics.

Murray will be at the ribbon-cutting for the official opening of Obama’s Seattle campaign office this Saturday—an event that shows how seriously Obama is taking this state (he’s the first candidate to open an office here) and that suggests at least some people think our Feb. 9 Democratic caucuses might matter in the nomination fight.

Foolishness in NYC

posted by on January 11 at 10:09 AM

The profligacy and exploitativeness of capitalism are illustrated by the 20-story tall advertisement in New York pictured here. nyad2.jpgNote that it is being re-painted. I have watched this ad since July, and the capitalists spend 6-8 weeks painting it, then leave the finished product up for 3 or 4 weeks, then immediately start re-painting it to suit the whims of the next corporate master. This unproductive labor only serves the interest of the capitalist; Marx clarified productive vs. unproductive labor in Theories of Surplus Value:

An actor, for example, or even a clown, according to this definition, is a productive labourer if he works in the service of a capitalist (an entrepreneur) to whom he returns more labour than he receives from him in the form of wages; while a jobbing tailor who comes to the capitalist’s house and patches his trousers for him, producing a mere use-value for him, is an unproductive labourer. The former’s labour is exchanged with capital, the latter’s with revenue. The former’s labour produces a surplus-value; in the latter’s, revenue is consumed.

In places where workers control the means of production, such as Cuba, this waste does not exist. The monthly ration given to the Cuban workers—a bag of rice, two desiccated onions, four eggs, tea fannings, and a few cigarette butts—represents the full value of the labor of the workers. No labor is wasted at all on advertising, never mind on painting a sign over and over.

A First?

posted by on January 11 at 9:55 AM

The Stranger gets a mention from that highest of high-minded media ethics and criticism publications, the Columbia Journalism Review.

The author of the piece was with me on the John Edwards bus tour, writing about how the media behaves on the campaign trail, and he had to spend a lot of his time calming down reporters for bigger publications who called him a “spider” and fretted about what their bosses and colleagues would think if they ended up with—gasp—a negative mention in CJR.

Me, I’m worried my bosses will be annoyed that I behaved too properly to get a negative mention—or even much of a mention at all—in CJR. “Sanders! What the fuck? You couldn’t even smoke a little pot in the bus bathroom for Christ’s sake?!?” Look, if it helps, I did engage in some public urination out behind the John Edwards headquarters in Creston, Iowa. But that’s the worst of it. And the guy from CJR didn’t see me. Sorry guys.

The Souls of Perugia

posted by on January 11 at 9:53 AM

A few hours ago, I had drinks with a reporter for La Voce di Perugia, Francesco Murruco, at a place, Blu Bar, not from this view:

The story Marruco wrote, “Il Dna di Raffaele trovato sul reggiseno di Meretith,” gave new information about a crime that took place here on the day before All Souls’ Day:

This is how the scene of the crime looked exactly five hours ago.

Raffaele, Amanda’s lover, is in deep trouble.
Perugia is a beautiful city.

PI: Hide All Copies of The Stranger

posted by on January 11 at 9:52 AM

Here’s the lead paragraph in a Wednesday PI story about a convention of convention managers coming to Seattle, as pointed out by a Slog tipper Steve:

Seattle had better be on its best behavior next week: Stop running red lights, reschedule protest demonstrations, postpone biker-versus-driver scuffles and hide all free-floating copies of The Stranger.

I emailed the writer of the story, business reporter Andrea James.

Hey Andrea,

I was just wondering what you meant by that dig at The Stranger in your lead.

all best,

James replied:

You know, I didn’t even know if anyone over there would notice!

It was totally a friendly dig. I love reading The Stranger, and I think it’s a fun part of Seattle.

I chose The Stranger because I was trying to think of something to hide that would be edgy, but very Seattle, that would throw off a stereotypical straight-laced visitor. I pictured in my mind the ads surrounding Dan Savage’s column blowing in the wind and some conventioneer saying, “Oh. My word.” haha.


There we have it, Steve.

The Morning News

posted by on January 11 at 7:50 AM

Bail-Outs: Bank of America is buying Countrywide Financial, described as “the troubled lender that became a symbol of the excesses that led to the subprime mortgage crisis.”

Countrywide shares soared 51 percent, to $7.75 Thursday on news of a possible sale. The shares are down 83 percent from $45.26 last January.

Meanwhile: Federal Reserve chairman Ben S. Bernanke is hinting at a cut in interest rates — a big one.

Also: The U.S. trade deficit is now $63.1 billion, the biggest in 14 months.

This Is Promising: “Using a new type of genetic screen, researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified 273 proteins that the AIDS virus needs to survive in human cells, opening up new potential targets for drugs.

Creepy Food: The European Food Safety Authority has determined that meat and dairy from cloned cattle and pigs is “very unlikely” to be harmful to humans — provided the clones are healthy.

Michigan Primary: While Mitt Romney has spent close to $3 million, Mike Huckabee is counting on the home-schoolers to deliver the state.

Sinking Giuliani: Campaign staffers are giving up their January pay.

One Last Mountain: Sir Edmund Hillary, conquerer of Mount Everest, has died. He was 88.


Not Even 2%? Really?: Dennis Kucinich is calling for a recount in New Hampshire.

Accidental Incest: “Marriage Annulled After Separated Twins Marry.

Witnesses: Six people have come forward with information about the attack of a University of Washington student earlier this week.

Christmas Eve Killings: Joseph McEnroe and Michele Kristen Anderson pleaded not guilty yesterday in the Carnation murders.

Silver Medal: The group In Defense of Animals has ranked the Woodland Park Zoo as the second worst habitat for elephants. Six Flags Discovery in California is #1.

Identity Theft: Madrona couple has $665,000 stolen from them in a complicated scheme.

Disagreements: Environmentalists say clear-cutting made mudslides during the December storm worse. Weyerhaeuser says it didn’t.

Donate Now: Western Washington blood centers need your arms to bring the community blood reserve back up to a four-day supply.

And Finally, For No Particular Reason:

Thursday, January 10, 2008

UW Assault Update

posted by on January 10 at 6:13 PM

According to a roommate of the 22-year-old University of Washington who was brutally attacked Tuesday morning, the woman is slowly recovering and is in stable condition. “She was sleeping most of the time,” says the victim’s roommate, who visited her in the hospital. “She woke up to acknowledge [I was] there and to grab my hand but after that she went back to sleep.”

The 22-year-old woman moved to Seattle from Kenya several years ago, and is now a freshman in the UW’s engineering program. She lives with 2 other young women, on-campus in the UW dorms.

Police believe the woman was moving her car from a campus parking lot to on-street parking when she was attacked, but they have not released information about a suspect or motive. The woman’s roommate says she can’t think of anyone who might have attacked her roommate, but she says an email from the UW administration about sex offenders living in the area sent out earlier this school year, has put her on edge. “I cannot imagine anyone that knows her wanting to hurt her,” she says. “She is one of the nicest girls you will ever meet. She always has a smile on her face.”

That Einstein Guy Might Be Onto Something

posted by on January 10 at 5:34 PM


At the American Astronomical Society meeting in Austin, Texas, Treu unveiled the first-ever image of a double Einstein ring. It shows an obscure galaxy in Leo, designated SDSS J0946+1006 for its coordinates in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, encircled by two concentric glowing rings. These aren’t part of J0946 itself, but are the strongly distorted images of more distant galaxies strung out behind it like beads on a string.

This is a spectacular example of a phenomenon called gravitational lensing. It’s caused by the distortion of space-time by massive objects. While formulating his general theory of relativity, Albert Einstein realized that because of this warping, light won’t always travel across the universe in straight lines. For example, if one galaxy lies almost directly behind another as seen from Earth, light from the more distant one will bend around the foreground galaxy and form multiple images — or, in the case of near-perfect alignment, an Einstein ring.

In other news, refurbishing the Hubble telescope is worth the cost.

Let’s Go!

posted by on January 10 at 5:09 PM

We’re not live-slogging nor taking photos tonight, so if you’re curious and in Seattle, best make your way to Moe Bar. SlogHHJan10.jpg

TWO Powerful Women in Washington?!?

posted by on January 10 at 4:58 PM

Time asks (via TP) whether there’s “room in Washington for both a Speaker Pelosi and a President Hillary?”

Obviously not, because imagine the catfight they’d have if they both got their period at the same time!


posted by on January 10 at 4:49 PM

The stories about how he’s a wimpy girly-man who can’t keep it together enough to answer a question, much less run a country appearing in 3… 2…

(crickets chirping)

Huh. I guess that one slipped under the media radar.

The FBI Reads Slog…

posted by on January 10 at 4:47 PM

…and not for the reasons you’d think.

I’d been trying to get in touch with the FBI all day about calls to members of the local Pakistani community, following Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. I hadn’t had much luck getting the feds on the phone, but minutes after my post went up, I got a call back.

FBI Spokeswoman Robbie Burroughs says it’s “generally correct,” that the FBI has been trying to contact local Pakistanis. Of course, Burroughs says the calls are no cause for alarm. “We’re going out and listening to what they have to say about the [assassination],” she says. “When something significant like this happens, we’ll go out there and ask if there are things [people are] hearing that they’d like to tell us.”

As innocuous as these calls supposedly are, it’s evident that the FBI is attempting to do some intelligence gathering. Burroughs says the FBI isn’t looking for any information in particular but, she says, “If something seems like it’s of intelligence value, we would share that with the rest of the intelligence community.” However, Burroughs adds, “We’re not out there looking for a bad guy or information to solve a crime.”

I asked Burroughs if the FBI had contacted Spanish transplants following the Madrid train bombings. She said she didn’t know.

Random Student Drug Testing Summits Coming to Washington

posted by on January 10 at 4:30 PM

I’m surprised the White House’s drug-policy office invites The Stranger to its press events anymore. I mean, after publishing this, this, this, this, and this, you’d expect them to be, like, fuck those guys. But nope. We’ve been invited to another one.

On the agenda this month: Random student drug testing. It’s the silver bullet to prevent drug abuse before it starts, they say. By threatening the youths with getting picked out of class and being required to piss in a cup, they will abstain from smoking pot, snorting coke, taking ecstasy, etc.

Two events – Des Moines on the 17th and Pasco on the 18th – encourage school administrators to enact the federally funded program in the their districts. The events are open to everyone; you can register here.

I’m curious how the White House will answer questions written on those little yellow note cards about why random student drug testing is opposed by such groups as the National Education Association and the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, whether random student drug testing is constitutionally flawed, or why they’re pushing it despite research that shows it doesn’t work. When the University of Michigan conducted the first national study on student drug testing in 2003, researchers concluded, “At each grade level studied—-8, 10, and 12—-the investigators found virtually identical rates of drug use in the schools that have drug testing and the schools that do not.” Worse than ineffective, another report by the Oregon Health and Science University released last October revealed, “The mere presence of drug testing increases some risk factors for future substance use…” Of course, nobody wants young people to use drugs. It’s just that randomly testing students in public schools is an ineffective, wasteful, and invasive way to do it.

The practice is already facing a legal challenge in this state for its murky ethics. Says the ACLU of Washington’s Doug Honig:

The ACLU opposes requiring individuals to pee in a cup when there is no reason to believe that a student has done anything wrong. We are pursuing two lawsuits — in Cle Elum-Roslyn and Wahkiakum districts — challenging random drug testing under our state constitution, which requires individualized suspicion that a student has broken the law or a school rule in order for authorities to conduct a search (and drug testing is a search of one’s bodily fluids).

The news advisory for the Des Moines event is posted after the jump.

Continue reading "Random Student Drug Testing Summits Coming to Washington" »

Gregoire, Then and Now

posted by on January 10 at 4:26 PM

It’s pretty interesting to see a 520 replacement plan that says this:

Because tolls change the time and monetary costs that travelers face when making a trip, they cause changes in travel behavior [including] mode diversion — a shift in travel mode to transit or carpool to avoid or lower the toll cost; […] and change in trip frequency — a reduction in the frequency of a recurring trip, including trip elimination. …

When SR 520 is tolled, general purpose lane traffic is expected to decrease and HOV
lane traffic is expected to increase for the reasons described previously.

Implementing tolls could actually improve throughput during these periods because the variable toll schedule would bring down peak travel demand to be more in line with available capacity.

From the woman who insisted that any option other than replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct with a bigger, wider six-lane viaduct would result in total gridlock.

“I can’t see just tearing it down and letting it go and creating a parking lot on I-5. I think the citizens would be appalled,” Gregoire said. “They want congestion relief. If what we’re going to do is cause them just the opposite, I think they will be very unhappy, and rightfully so.”
Gregoire said the so-called surface option has been studied extensively and the results are clear: it would divert too much traffic onto Interstate 5 and downtown Seattle — even if transit options are expanded.
Gregoire said the surface option would significantly reduce the capacity of state Route 99 (the main road atop the viaduct) and clog downtown and Interstate 5 with more congestion.

I mean, it’s great that Gregoire has come around on the notion that things like inconvenience and cost cause people to change their travel behaviors (she’s starting to use similarly green rhetoric when talking about the viaduct)… but it sure would’ve been nice to hear her talking that way, oh, a year ago, when she was delivering exactly the opposite message.

FBI Phone Calls Rattle Local Pakistani Community

posted by on January 10 at 4:08 PM

According to several members of the Arab American Community Coalition (AACC), the FBI has been attempting to contact members of the Pakistani community

Amin Odeh, of the AACC, says his organization started getting calls from members of the Pakistani community, asking for legal advice. “[There is] a sense of fear in the community,” Odeh says. “Whether you’re a Muslim or an Arab, or a white American it’s concerning when you get a call from the FBI.”

Odeh says he’s been in contact with the FBI, and has been given contradictory answers about the purpose of the phone calls. “[First they said] it was about Benazir Bhutto,” Odeh says. Later, Odeh says he was told the FBI was creating an outreach program.
“Its the FBI, do you believe them, or [not]?” Odeh laughs.

Odeh says many of the Pakistanis who were contacted refused to answer questions, or flatly refused to return the FBI’s phone calls.

What’s more troubling, Odeh says, is there doesn’t appear to be any logic to who the FBI is contacting. “They’re not just going through the phone book and calling every Pakistani,” he says. “[Some of] the people they’ve contacted are not even active in the Pakistani community.”

The AACC plans to have a meeting with the FBI, but no meeting date has been set. For now, the AACC is advising people to bring a witness to any meeting, and to meet in a public place.

The FBI could not be reached for comment.

24 Hours on Line Out

posted by on January 10 at 3:45 PM

RIP: Michael Griffen of Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live, Noggin

The New Hard: Lupe Fiasco and Tim Dog

Making Love Out of Pac Man Plastic Balls: Trent Moorman on A Gun that Shoots Knives

Tonight in Music: Gabriel Teodros, Joshua Roman, and Danny Massure

Red Flags and the Triforce: Sam Machkovech on Press Start to Rock

Tampered Leaks: Jeff Kirby on the Overdub Tampering Committee

Photo of the Day: Band of Horses

Today in Music News: Chan Marshall, John Darnielle, Snoop Dogg, and more…

Brick House: Kate Nash - Made of Bricks

Freak-a-Holic: The One and Only Egyptian Lover

Live Fast, Love Hard: Kim Hayden on Faron Young

Marijuana Grow Operation Busted

posted by on January 10 at 3:04 PM

Gee, wherever will we get our pot now?

This particular grow-op was located near a school—a middle school! filled with children! think of the children!—and this detail is trumpeted in the PI’s homepage right now… for no discernible reason. The two men that were arrested weren’t charged with selling pot to kiddies, and there was no tutoring program being run out of this house. All grow ops are near something—other houses, churches, schools. Don’t want grow ops near your house, your church, your kid’s school? Legalize pot and let farmers grow it where God intended it to grow: outdoors.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on January 10 at 2:40 PM

From Flickr pool contibutor Dalmatica


To Live and Buy in Las Vegas

posted by on January 10 at 2:38 PM

Holy crap—there’s a bookstore in the passageway between the Luxor and Mandalay Bay. A bookstore. In Las Vegas.


They even had a book I wanted: The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever, edited by Christopher Hitchens. I bought it this morning a few hours after I woke up at 6:00 a.m. and started totally stressing out because Kelly Fuckin’ O never came back to our room last night, didn’t call, and wasn’t answering her phone. Since I am, deep down inside, not just my mother’s son, but my mother herself, I was convinced that Kelly O was dead and by 11:00 a.m. this morning I was walking around desperately trying to remember of the name of the porn starlet Kelly O crawled into a cab with at 1:00 a.m. at the Venetian, preparing my statement for the police, and trying not conjure up any mental images of shit I’ve seen on CSI: Las Vegas or whatever, when I happened upon this bookstore. I bought The Portable Atheist to take my mind off Kelly’s decapitation.

Kelly O is fine. She met a nice boy, they took a bubble bath at the Casino Royale. And the rest is, I hope, another birth-control success story.

The porn starlet’s name? Aurora Snow. And you know what? People smoke in elevators in Las Vegas. In elevators. In Las Vegas.

Run Away from the Light!

posted by on January 10 at 2:21 PM

Well, I was blinded by American Apparel last night. (Legally? Perhaps.)

And I didn’t even go inside the place—I NEVER go inside the place—I was just walking by and happened to glance (or “happenglanced”) in the general direction of the window, and…..scooooorch! My eyes fried like quail eggs in the sockets. Some sadistic fool has ratcheted the light settings in that place up from “Romantic” to “Acid Bath”. It’s like staring contest with a nuclear blast. The underwear is surely micro-waving as we speak, and the poor sales clerks? They must be ready to bust like bacon fat. (And there’s no way their insurance is going to cover the full-body melanoma they’re going to get, let alone exploding like a potato. Somebody! Please! Wrap these poor people in some tinfoil!) And me? Well, I’m blind now.

Honestly. Can we turn down the lights a little? The underwear won’t suffer, I swear. Global warming, people!



Young Voters Are Energized

posted by on January 10 at 2:19 PM

Even if the headline for this WaPo article is so, so tired.

This time, they are proving their passion at the polls. Young voters have turned out in record numbers for the first two state contests, Iowa and New Hampshire, spurring some candidates to step up their outreach. Turnout of 18- to 29-year-olds in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary climbed to 43 percent of eligible voters, compared with 18 percent in 2004 and 28 percent in 2000, according to the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at the University of Maryland. In Iowa, 22 percent of all caucusgoers were under 30, compared with only 9 percent in 2000.

Keep it up, kids.


posted by on January 10 at 2:03 PM

After a supposedly dramatic increase in attempted home break-ins, car thefts and vandalism, neighbors in Laurelhurst have banded together to hire their own private police force.

In November, the Laurelhurst Community Council (LCC) sent letters to neighbors, asking them to pay a $200 subscription fee to hire an off-duty officer—at $40 and hour—to patrol the neighborhood five days a week. LCC President Jeannie Hale says she was hoping to get at least 40 neighbors to sign up. However, nearly twice as many Laurelhurst residents subscribed to the service, and Hale says she’s looking at expanding the pilot program, which was originally planned to go from Thanksgiving through Martin Luther King Jr. Day. “If we did this neighborhood wide, the cost would go down substantially,” Hale says.

According to the Seattle Police Department’s 2007 crime statistics, Laurelhurst had 2 robberies, 10 assaults, 23 burglaries, 32 auto thefts, 113 thefts and no arsons, rapes or murders.

By comparison, North Ballard—a considerably smaller census tract—had a higher number of burglaries, assaults and auto thefts with 3 robberies, 23 assaults, 52 burglaries, 53 auto thefts, 114 thefts and no arsons, rapes or murders.

“Maybe we don’t have the prostitutes like on aurora or the [stabbings] and crime like in the University District,” Hale says,” but this is grave concern to our neighbors.”

Hale says SPD regularly only has one officer patrolling Laurelhurst—where the median home price is $600,000, well over the city average of just under $380,000—and its surrounding neighborhoods, and that officer often gets called to deal with hijinks on Frat Row.

Now, several off duty officers—one of them an SPD detective—do house checks when paying neighbors are out of town, and put delivered packages out of view. However, moochers who refuse to pay for the service will still be covered. “If the officers see any suspicious activity, they won’t just let crime happen,” Hale says.

Indeed, Laurelhurst’s police team is already investigating one big case. “We had one evening where we had 5 car break-ins within a half a block,” Hale says. “Someone was having a big party and had valet service and we thought the kids parking the cars might have had something to do with [the break-ins].”

Felons beware. Laurelhurst won’t be easy pickings like it used to.

Savage Love Letter of the Day

posted by on January 10 at 2:01 PM

I’m a straight guy going to a West Coast university. Although I enjoy vanilla sex, I really get off on the fantasy of women submitting (not forcing them), and it’s all made that much kinkier by the fact that the less they (hypothetically) enjoy it the more it turns me on. If you still need clarification, the Bloodhound Gang has a song called ‘A Lap Dance is So Much Better When the Stripper is Crying.’

Here’s why I’m writing: this kink is a really major part of my sexuality, and has been, no lie, since kindergarten. But I’m a decent guy, I’m not a misogynist, and I would never do any of this in real life, because it would involve nonconsensual sex and that’s just not cool. But it’s something I can’t exactly be open about, if only because the local women’s group would burn down my house. I’ve only ever told two people, close friends who won’t blab; one didn’t get it, and the other thinks I’m going to turn into a rapist. I think you’ve got a better chance of understanding, and it would be good to hear someone say “Yeah, keep it in your head but there’s nothing wrong with it,” because I’ve never gotten that from anyone. Plus, any sex tips you’ve got lying around for a sadist getting it done with a more vanilla partner would come in handy.

Sadist Assuaging Distressing Intolerable Solitary Time

Why keep it in your head? There are plenty of kinky, masochistic women out there and one of the tired-and-true tricks of the BDSM trade—and a major turn-on for tons of BDSM players—is the bottom being “forced” (but willingly enduring) something he or she doesn’t enjoy in order to earn something he or she does enjoy. Those sadistic trade offs— “Drink my piss, which i know you hate, and i’ll let you suck me off, which i know you love”—spin the cranks of submissive men and women everywhere.

So not to worry, SADIST. There’s a girl out there for you. Of course, you can’t engage in any kinky or extreme sex acts—in any sex acts, period, however vanilla—without first obtaining someone’s consent. But you can, as many kinky folks do, engage in consensual role-play scenarios where you pretend there’s no consent. The sex you’re having can look, sound, and feel like rape but—poof!—it’s not rape if both parties consented and are getting off. Consent is the magic ingredient.

So there’s nothing wrong with your kinks, and harboring them doesn’t make you a bad dude. And, again, there’s no reason to keep ‘em in your head. Find a girl that shares ‘em, talk it all through, establish boundaries and safe words, and then… well, do what turns you both on.

Funny Guy

posted by on January 10 at 1:57 PM

Mike Huckabee on The Colbert Report last night:

Beautiful, Objectively. (For You, Jen.)

posted by on January 10 at 12:40 PM

Is there an objective, biological basis for the experience of beauty in art? Or is aesthetic experience entirely subjective? Using fMRI technique, we addressed this question by presenting viewers, naïve to art criticism, with images of masterpieces of Classical and Renaissance sculpture.

First up: take a picture of a sculpture and modify it to be “uglier” by distorting away from the golden ratio.

(Pretty in the middle, uglier on the left and right.)

Volunteers were shown each image, and the brain responses compared.

The result? The original images, of the sculptures closely conforming to the golden ratio, activated the brain in ways that the modified images could not. The primary visual cortex, the shape recognition centers, and even the motion analyzing centers of the brain all were more activated by the original images. Finally the insula, one of the key emotion processing centers of the brain, gets drawn up and activated.

Brain research, Italian-style. Nifty.

In Which I Applaud Christine Gregoire

posted by on January 10 at 12:38 PM

For proposing variable tolling on the existing 520 bridge starting next year. Provided that:

• The state also toll I-90 (so people don’t just clog up the other bridge);

• The tolls on the new bridge won’t apply to HOV drivers with two passengers or more; and

• The state seriously consider a narrower replacement bridge that doesn’t decimate Marsh Island and the Arboretum.

Otherwise, yay!

Wanna Go Bowling This Weekend?

posted by on January 10 at 12:04 PM

Sunset Bowl may be closing, but there will still be five other bowling alleys left in the Seattle area!

Magic Lanes

10612 15th Ave SW

AMF Bowling Centers

2101 22nd Ave S Seattle, WA 98144-4520

Garage Billiards & Bowl

1130 Broadway Seattle, WA 98122-4202

Roxbury Lanes & Casino

2823 SW Roxbury St Seattle, WA 98126-4148

West Seattle Bowl

4505 39th Ave SW Seattle, WA 98116-4209

and of course, good ol’ Sunset Bowl will be open through April.

1420 NW Market Street


The Ultimate Obama Irony. In a Good Way.

posted by on January 10 at 11:52 AM

The GOP has been successfully hitting the Democrats from the same corner for 30 years: Tapping the reservoir of populist anger about the cultural revolution of the 1960s. Everyone from backlash Reagan to anti-govenment Gingrich to warmongering Bush II has relied on attacking and ridiculing the Democratic Party for its anti-war, bleeding heart elitism—all stereotypes that come from the fact that the Democrats were aligned with and driven by the liberal causes of the 1960s and early ’70s, most notably the civil rights movement.

Bill Clinton tried to clean up the Democrats’ image with his DLC centrism (and homespun charm), and he won two presidential elections doing just that. But, tellingly, the most lasting political moment from the Clinton era is actually Republican Newt Gingrich’s populist revolution against “big government.” Even when Clinton was president, his administration was plagued by its association with ’60s/’70s social engineering. Indeed, Gingrich’s revolution was sold as a “Contract with America.” Get it? The liberals in power weren’t Americans, they were those anti-American hippies (still).

In steps Barack Obama, who actually seems capable of redefining the Democratic Party. Whether his rhetoric is substantive or not doesn’t matter. (Judging from the guy’s record, he’s a flaming SDS liberal.) But no worry, his “We shall transcend” frame has voters believing that the ’60s are dead. Check this quote Sarah Mirk got from Alec Schierenbeck, head of the Iowa College Democrats, after Obama’s caucus victory.

Schierenbeck says. “When Obama talks about politics, it doesn’t sound like politics is a fight between people who did and did not burn their draft cards in the ’60s.”

Obama has found the answer to the GOP’s endlessly effective battle plan. Rather than trying to defend the liberal frame or do defensive somersaults to explain why liberal policies are actually better for America, Obama speaks in sweeping rhetoric that makes all that irrelevant. The GOP will be left snarling at an old foe, while the rest of the country has moved on with Barack Obama. Nicely played, if he can pull it off.

The irony: The whole root of the GOP’s “liberal bogeyman” frame that has dogged the Democrats for 30 years is the civil rights movement. The civil rights movement, with its elitist court rulings and enforced desegregation and forced busing and bratty northern college kids (who would grow up to be the Bill Clinton administration), was about equal opportunity for blacks.

There isn’t a bigger symbol of equal opportunity for blacks than a mainstream, black frontrunner for president.

In a way, it would be the ultimate fucking burn on the GOP if they got caught (still) fighting their coded battle against the fallout from the 1960s, while the practical result of the great gains of the 1960s—a successful black man—became president.

Barack Obama was born in 1961. 1961 was the turning point in the civil rights movement. It was the year of the Freedom Rides—when hundreds of white kids joined forces with black kids to challenge the segregated South by riding Grayhound and Trailways buses into Jim Crow turf. The Freedom Ride movement kicked off everything that was to come in the ’60s.

If Last Night’s Project Runway Taught Us Anything

posted by on January 10 at 11:42 AM


It’s that few things are as entertaining as old photos. (Thank you, circuitous Slog tipstress Stephanie.)

And if my pre-Project Runway Slog post taught me anything, it’s that certain readers are deeply appreciative when they encounter photos of non-skinny, non-hairless men on Slog. For these readers, I present the ridiculous accumulation of attractiveness known as English rugby player Ben Cohen:


Really, he’s like a frickin’ Care Bear version of the World’s Sexiest Man.

Goodbye to All That

posted by on January 10 at 11:25 AM

I’m finally, gratefully, back from a week in Iowa. Goodbye, penis on the plains


Goodbye, Centro (where as of December Hillary Clinton had spent over $1,300 and where, as of yesterday, I’d spent just over $161)…


Goodbye, memories (and nightmare flashbacks) of the John Edwards bus tour


Goodbye, caucus-night history


Goodbye, bitter cold


Goodbye, road


And hello warm bed and (relatively) warm rain. You can read the feature that came of my trip to Iowa here.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on January 10 at 11:00 AM


‘Quartet’ at Town Hall

In the summer of 1940, Olivier Messiaen (French composer, Catholic mystic, and Allied soldier) was captured by the Nazi army and sent to prison camp Stalag VIIIA. There he composed Quatuor pour la fin du temps, an ethereal and frightening quartet for cello, piano, clarinet, and violin, and premiered it for 300 prisoners and their guards. Tonight, Seattle’s cello wunderkind Joshua Roman will play Quatuor, as well as Fractured Jams by Dan Visconti and a medley of songs by Radiohead, with Sarah Rudinoff, John Osebold, and others. This is a night of excellent music by excellent musicians. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, 7:30 pm, $15–$20, all ages.)


Art Lecture

Robert Storr at Kane Hall

This may be the most important art lecture of the year. In the 1990s, Robert Storr became a power curator—from 1990 to 2002, he was curator in the hallowed department of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. In 2006, he was made dean of the Yale School of Art. And in 2007, he was the (largely unpopular) commissioner of the Venice Biennale. This is your chance to ask him anything. (Kane Hall, University of Washington, 7 pm, $15.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Happy Belated Birthday, Lady Randolph Churchill

    posted by on January 10 at 10:58 AM


    She invented the Manhattan. She was sexually ravenous. She said of her third husband, 23 years her junior: “He has a future and I have a past, so we should be all right.”

    Yesterday was her birthday.

    The Stranger Shadow Cabinet Recommends

    posted by on January 10 at 10:34 AM


    The readings schedule is light this week. I presume everyone has something better to do at 4pm on Saturday than listen to Norman Solomon’s tedious ramblings.

    If you’re looking to pick up a policy book, I suggest The Road More Traveled by Sam Staley and Ted Balaker.


    Strictly cheap eats on the Slog. Anyone know what is up with Takohachi? I heard they were closing, I heard they were getting a new owner, then I heard they weren’t. Last time I was there it was same ownership, same food. If they still exist—I recommend Takohachi. The hamburger and croquette combo platter, if you’re undecided.


    I don’t have much interest in music. I’ve never been to a concert or a live music event and I have no desire to do so. I was at a “DJ Event” (if that’s the correct term) for the first time a few months ago, and I left after 5 minutes, it was so loud and idiotic—more like punishment than entertainment. No recommendation.


    Hmmn—the Midnight at the Egyptian movie is Paprika. Looks decent, looks like a midnight type of movie. It’s only 90 minutes so you’re out before the bars close.

    I made the mistake of checking the Seattle Weekly website for film times, and they’re claiming that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is playing this week at Central Cinema. Here’s a screenshot. Don’t be fooled; Sunshine played there LAST week. So I recommend it—last week.


    I won’t be there. I’m in New York City all this week, peddling my ass to recoup the donation money. And can we all agree to hold this in West Seattle next time? I’m sure a fine West Seattle establishment like the Corner Pocket, or the lounge at Maharaja, or Poggie Tavern, would love to have a Cap Hill infusion for a night. I know it would strain the bus system, it would probably be the largest group of confused crosstown bus riders since 1970s Boston schoolchildren, but I think it’s worth a shot.


    Equal Slog Time for Equal Jackassery

    posted by on January 10 at 10:00 AM

    Hey, I won’t defend Jesse Jackson Jr.’s ridiculous (post-NH!) speculation on Hillary’s touching displays of emotion, but neither can I let this one go:

    Hillary Supporter Andrew Cuomo On Her NH Win: “You Can’t Shuck And Jive” w/Press Corps

    By Eric Kleefeld - January 10, 2008, 12:10PM

    A big Hillary Clinton supporter and statewide official in New York might have just given the Hillary campaign a real headache. During an appearance yesterday on talk radio — at almost the same time as Obama co-chair Jesse Jackson Jr. questioned Hillary’s tears — New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo used some words with a very troublesome racial history, apparently in reference to Barack Obama.

    “It’s not a TV crazed race. Frankly you can’t buy your way into it,” Cuomo said, according to Albany Times Union reporter Rick Karlin. He then added, “You can’t shuck and jive at a press conference. All those moves you can make with the press don’t work when you’re in someone’s living room.”

    The phrase “shuck and jive” refers to mischievous blacks behaving innocently in the presence of an authority figure, so as to lie and get out of trouble.

    What is wrong with these people?


    Here’s Cuomo’s pathetic apology justification:

    Cuomo called to play the tape of the interview, in which he says nice things about Obama, and in which the quote above is describing both Iowa and New Hampshire—meaning it’s not a direct reference to Clinton’s primary victory, or attempt to explain it.

    “Barack Obama is a beautiful symbol. He’s a powerful speaker. He’s a charismatic figure. And what he has to say is important for the Democrats,” Cuomo says in the interview, with the New York Post’s Fred Dicker.

    “It was never about Obama in the first place,” Cuomo told me of the use of the phrase, which he said he was using “as a synonym for ‘bob and weave.’”

    This makes no sense whatsoever. Who was “bobbing and weaving” (Cuomo should go play Balderdash, he’d be good at it) if not one of HRC’s opponents? The reference to how one has to behave at a “press conference” strongly suggests Cuomo was referring to a presidential candidate, and HRC’s obvious rival is Obama.

    For those of you in the comments who are saying the phrase is of African-American origin and therefore not derogatory: That’s silly. This is a reference to the stereotypical behavior of a black man who sucks up to and dissimulates in the presence of white people. It’s in the signifying monkey/Uncle Tom/tar baby orbit of race terminology, and even if a black person were to use it in reference to another black person, it would mean that person was a clever liar. To a politician, it’s an insult. Period.

    History Repeats Itself

    posted by on January 10 at 9:55 AM

    Six and a half years ago—on Thursday, August 9, 2001Last Days shared a story sent in by Hot Tipper Kate:

    This afternoon on I-5, an errant meat truck dumped what Hot Tipper Kate described as “a huge, red, glistening pile of rendered meat smack dab in the middle of the freeway,” clogging traffic for over an hour. Even ickier, after removing the carnage, the road folks had to cover the area with sand, to prevent cars from sliding on the remaining blood and grease. Thanks, Kate, for this thrilling Hot Tip (and highly effective appetite suppressant).

    Over half a decade passes before I hear from Hot Tipper Kate again. At the start of the new year, I found an email from the long-lost tipper in my inbox:

    Well, I never thought I’d have the pleasure, but it’s happened again. That’s right! I got stuck in traffic on I-5 due to a giant pile of rendered meat.

    I was headed north on I-5 on Thursday the 27th on my way back to Seattle from Oregon. Dark, driving rain, etc. I wasn’t at all surprised to get stuck in traffic near Tacoma—nothing out of the ordinary there. When I saw the blinking arrow, I expected road work… then when I saw cop cars I expected a fender bender. I didn’t see (or smell) the pile of gelatinous, grey squishiness taking up the two left lanes until I was actually driving through it. By then it was too late.

    Moments later came the following on KUOW: “Traffic on I-5 is backed up near Tacoma due to a rendering truck spill in the two left lanes… This traffic report brought to you by Kaopectate.”

    Heh. Bon appetite!

    Hot Tipper Kate (yes, the same one)

    Thanks again to Hot Tipper Kate, who is clearly a rendered meat magnet.

    Jones Throne

    posted by on January 10 at 9:30 AM

    One of my favorite things to do these last few months has been to pay a visit to the throne at the Henry Art Gallery. It’s the humblest possible throne, made of splattered mud and sticks, beset by a pair of van Goghish boots that push it almost into ridiculous cliche, but don’t.

    Photo: Youth in Focus

    That photo was taken before the black boots were added, not long after artist Kim Jones’s brief performance in October in that spot in the gallery, as a tired Mudman with an eyelid crushed under a pair of hose. The hose are on the chair.

    Jones is old and thoughtful now (listen to him on podcast). Robert Storr, in his lecture tonight at UW, will talk about why he chose Jones for this summer’s Venice Biennale. Surely, it had something to do with war—Jones’s war drawings on the backs of shirts echoed plenty of other politically minded photography and installation work at the Arsenale.

    When he was young and stupid, not long after he’d returned from duty in Vietnam, Jones burned live rats as an art performance, repeating an act that was fairly common among American soldiers in Vietnam. It earned him probation and the lifelong hatred of plenty of people, some of whom know nothing else about him and never fail to comment every time I write anything about him here. (Hi again!)

    Burning rats is pathological, but Jones is not. See his haunting, violent, rickety, quiet work before the Henry show closes January 27.

    Las Vegas is the Most Depressing Place on Earth

    posted by on January 10 at 9:20 AM

    And for so many varied reasons…


    On the brighter side, I met Buck Angel at a party last night. We had a nice talk about his pussy, his politics, and his workout routine. If Kelly O ever returns from the late-night party she went to last night with the porn stahs—I had to crash, images of Buck’s pussy dancing in my head—we’re going to head to the trade show and videotape an interview Buck for Slog.

    Why the Polls in New Hampshire Were Wrong

    posted by on January 10 at 8:57 AM

    I hear there was some grumpiness about my post yesterday wondering whether issues of race warped the pre-primary polls in New Hampshire. Today the president of the Pew Research Center writes in The New York Times that he suspects the polls were warped by… issues of race and class. He discusses the other theories floating around and then writes:

    To my mind all these factors deserve further study. But another possible explanation cannot be ignored — the longstanding pattern of pre-election polls overstating support for black candidates among white voters, particularly white voters who are poor.

    In exploring this factor, it is useful to look closely at the nature of the constituencies for the two candidates in New Hampshire, which were divided along socio-economic lines.

    Mrs. Clinton beat Mr. Obama by 12 points (47 percent to 35 percent) among those with family incomes below $50,000. By contrast, Mr. Obama beat Mrs. Clinton by five points (40 percent to 35 percent) among those earning more than $50,000.

    There was an education gap, too. College graduates voted for Mr. Obama 39 percent to 34 percent; Mrs. Clinton won among those who had never attended college, 43 percent to 35 percent.

    Of course these are not the only patterns in Mrs. Clinton’s support in New Hampshire. Women rallied to her (something they did not do in Iowa), while men leaned to Mr. Obama. Mrs. Clinton also got stronger support from older voters, while Mr. Obama pulled in more support among younger voters. But gender and age patterns tend not to be as confounding to pollsters as race, which to my mind was a key reason the polls got New Hampshire so wrong.

    Poorer, less well-educated white people refuse surveys more often than affluent, better-educated whites. Polls generally adjust their samples for this tendency. But here’s the problem: these whites who do not respond to surveys tend to have more unfavorable views of blacks than respondents who do the interviews.

    A Talk With One of Those Female Museum Directors

    posted by on January 10 at 8:55 AM

    They’re a wave, according to sources I talked with yesterday for the story about Sylvia Wolf coming to the Henry.

    And Tyler’s got a Q&A with one of them today: Dorothy Kosinski.

    Kerry to Endorse Obama

    posted by on January 10 at 8:29 AM

    The former Democratic presidential candidate will throw his support behind Obama today at a rally in South Carolina.

    Interesting flashback:

    It was back in 2004 when Mr. Kerry selected Mr. Obama – then a state senator, vying for a U.S. Senate seat – to deliver the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention in Boston. The speech elevated the stature of Mr. Obama almost overnight, launched the reprinting of his book, “Dreams From My Father,” and set his political career in overdrive.

    The Morning News

    posted by on January 10 at 7:51 AM

    Pakistan: At least 23 dead after a suicide attack. 22 of those killed were policemen.

    President Bush: Still confident peace can be attained in the Middle East before he leaves office.

    Meanwhile in Iraq: The new strategy is to let Iraqis work it out.

    Suck It Edwards: John Kerry is set to endorse Obama.

    G.O.P. Candidates: Talking about the economy as they try to drum-up support in Michigan.

    Bill Richardson: Reportedly dropping out of the presidential race.

    $2,500 Car: Unveiled today in India. It averages 50 miles/gallon, but has no radio, air conditioning, or passenger-side mirror.

    NBC and AT&T: Talking all scary about digital fingerprinting and network-level filtering in order to fight piracy.

    Indiana’s Voter-Identification Law: Will most likely be upheld by the Supreme Court.

    3,000 New U.S. Troops: On their way to the forgotten war in Afghanistan.

    My Alma Mater: Former O’Dea High School teacher accused of sexual abuse during the 1970s by six of his students.

    Governor Gregoire: Offering options for the 520 bridge.

    17 Employees: Soon to be laid off by the Seattle Times.

    Rabid Dawg Fan: A University of Washington booster offered $100,000 towards a law school scholarship on the condition that Huskies coach Ty Willingham was fired.

    Dept. of Dummies: Local man tries to use mannequin to skirt HOV lane rules, gets caught.

    And Finally, For No Particular Reason:

    Italy Loves the Obama

    posted by on January 10 at 6:49 AM

    He is everywhere.

    Wednesday, January 9, 2008

    Live Blogging Project Runway

    posted by on January 9 at 9:50 PM

    Thank you all for playing! Carry on!

    The Winning Candidate: The Henry Art Gallery’s Incoming Director Is a Curator, a Professor, and Part of a National Wave of New Women Directors

    posted by on January 9 at 7:13 PM

    After an eight-month search, the Henry Art Gallery has appointed Sylvia Wolf, 50, as its next director. She will take over at the contemporary art museum, located at the University of Washington, on April 14.

    By all accounts, Wolf is not a household name, a flashy personality, or an agent for radical change. Instead, according to colleagues around the country, she is a respected thinker and connoisseur, an impassioned professor, and an effective fundraiser who represents a wave of promising new women directors at American museums.

    “It’s long overdue,” Indianapolis Museum of Art director Maxwell Anderson said of her entry into museum administration. “I wish she’d made the transition earlier, for the good of our industry.”

    Continue reading "The Winning Candidate: The Henry Art Gallery's Incoming Director Is a Curator, a Professor, and Part of a National Wave of New Women Directors" »

    H&M Is Coming to Seattle

    posted by on January 9 at 6:21 PM

    This fall. Finally.

    (Internal: how come we don’t have a SHOPPING category? CLOTHES? BUSINESS? CAPITALISM?)

    For Once..

    posted by on January 9 at 6:14 PM

    … it’s not the Jews’ fault.

    Looking for theories on Hillary Clinton’s surprise win in NH last night. You can’t blame the Jews.

    Here’s the exit polling on religion:

    Clinton won the biggest bloc, Catholics (35% of voters) with 44% to Obama’s 27%.

    Obama and Clinton tied among Protestants (25% of the voters), 36% to 36%.

    Obama won the No Religion vote (21% of voters), 45% to Clinton’s 29%.

    The Jewish vote? It made up just 3% of the voters. And there’s no stats on how they voted.

    Oh wait. Didn’t Clinton win by 3%? … Hmmm….

    Clinton Obama Edwards
    25% Protestant 36 36 13
    35% Catholic 44 27 24
    0% Mormon — — —
    8% Other Christian 52 31 7
    3% Jewish — — —
    7% Something else 41 37 12
    21% None 29 45 19

    Richardson Is Out?

    posted by on January 9 at 6:02 PM

    Maybe. Here’s the NYT.

    Seattle Times Sticks to 5 Core Principles Including: “Streamlining functions and processes” and “Preserving key future investments, especially regarding online and niche products” …

    posted by on January 9 at 4:59 PM

    …announces layoffs.

    The PI reports.

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on January 9 at 4:35 PM

    I have been dating my girlfriend for six months and we are very passionate with each other, making love at least twice a day and very much in love. My girlfriend’s best friend is a gay male whom she dated in high school before he came out of the closet. My girlfriend and I were talking about taking a vacation this year and she told me that she can’t go on a vacation with me because she is going to Italy for 2 weeks with him. Is this screwed up or am I freaking out about nothing? I mean she is going away for 2 weeks with her ex-boyfriend who now just happens to be gay?!?


    At six months, JJ, you don’t have the seniority to make demands on your girlfriend where travel companions are concerned. And he’s GAY, you idiot. They dated in HIGH SCHOOL. He is, for all intents and purposes, her GIRLFRIEND now—he probably always was. As he’s just a friend, JJ, why shouldn’t she travel with him? What are you afraid of? That he’s going to give her a pedicure over there?

    If you can’t be chill about this you’re going to sabotage this relationship. She either made these plans before you met or before you became serious. At a year and six months—maybe—you would have a right to be aggrieved if she was running off for two weeks with a friend, preventing you two from getting away together. But at this point you’ve got nothing to bitch about. You can say, “Man, I wish i was going with you—I can’t wait until we can travel together and fuck our way across Europe.” And, if you must, you can add, “I know it’s COMPLETELY IRRATIONAL, but i’m a little jealous and threatened. Tell me again how completely and thoroughly and screamingly gay your ex is, please.” Say it with a smile so she’ll laugh, then you fake a laugh, and then take them BOTH out to dinner, give them a travel guide, and tell them to have fun over there.

    Who knows? if you play your cards right, Jay, you might get invited along. if you act like a jealous, irrational douchebag, you’ll definitely get your ass dumped.

    Grande Steamed Milk of Human Kindness, Please!

    posted by on January 9 at 4:20 PM

    Is that the worst Slog post title I’ve ever written? MAYBE! Let’s move past it at a rapid pace.

    I just want to say that I had the nicest time at Joe Bar today. I was (am) all unwashed and janky and hungover, and my bangs were (are) a wreck, and I kind of can’t use my right arm after arm wrestling a Giuliani supporter last night (I won!).

    At Joe Bar, cute people smiled at me and said neighborly things like “How’s it going?” Then they made me the best Americano ever and a cinnamon & sugar crepe.

    Joe Bar and its friendly ways banished my Wednesday hangover. So thanks! And sorry you had to look at my bangs!

    Clear Your Schedule, Shine Your Shoes

    posted by on January 9 at 4:14 PM


    This Week’s Issue

    posted by on January 9 at 4:13 PM


    Jonathan Raban on the Source of Obama’s Big Idea
    “What the crowds crave from this scrupulous agnostic is his proven capacity to deliver the ecstatic consolation of old-time religion.”

    Eli Sanders Witnesses the History-Making Moment in Iowa, Then Sticks Around to Watch New Hamshire Returns on a Hotel TV
    “In the Twilight Zone of the Edwards bus tour—same message, same day, new location—people in the crowds were having a once-in-a-lifetime experience that was making them make “I believe” faces, and I was having a 10-times-already-since-2:00-a.m. moment, which was making me sick and reminding me that it’s not real, can’t be real, that John Edwards can’t really care about everyone he meets and want to fight the corporations every hour of the day. I heard, however, that reporters on the Obama bus started to believe, which is extraordinary considering the hope-deadening aspects of watching a message on repeat.”

    Erica C. Barnett on Why She’s Glad Clinton’s Still in the Race
    “It’s not just that I’ve failed to be electrified by Obama’s ‘dynamic’ personality and message of ‘hope’; it’s because, on policy grounds, he isn’t saying what I want to hear from a Democratic frontrunner going into an election that’s the Democrats’ to lose.”

    Also this week’s cover: Brendan Kiley eats marrow at three Seattle restaurants, and Jeff Kirby on why the Eastside music scene is still important proving ground.

    The Most Interesting Stat from the New Hampshire Exit Poll

    posted by on January 9 at 4:11 PM

    A vote for HRC is a vote for the dynasty.

    If Bill Clinton were eligible to run again and had been on the ballot, would vote for

    61%  The candidate they chose today274719
    37%  Bill Clinton582414

    37% of NH voters would have preferred Bill Clinton to the array of great Democratic candidates we have in 2008. 58% percent of those are settling for his wife.

    Obama Opens a WA Campaign Office

    posted by on January 9 at 4:00 PM

    The press release:

    January 9, 2008


    Seattle, WA- The Obama For America campaign will host an office opening ceremony for members of the community and the local media on Saturday, January 12 at 11:00 a.m. Located on the 3rd floor of the Howard Building at 614 First Avenue in Pioneer Square, the office will serve as a home base for Obama supporters in Washington state to continue building grassroots support leading up to the February 9th caucuses.

    UPDATE c/o David Postman:

    Barack Obama’s presidential campaign has appointed Grant Lahmann to be Washington state director. Lahmann was in Iowa for Obama until the candidate’s big win there. He arrives back in Washington — he’s a former aide to Congressman Brian Baird and field coordinator for the state Democratic Party — just as local grassroots supporters of Obama open a Seattle office. Lahmann was a county organizer during the run-up to the Iowa caucuses. He is the son of Olympia School Superintendent Bill Lahmann.

    So the office is still grassroots but now we have an official Washington state director. Mmm-kay?

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on January 9 at 3:47 PM

    Dan’s on an airplane but his sarcastic motto is loud in my head:

    BAYOU LA BATRE, Alabama (AP)—A day after reporting his four young children were missing, a shrimp fisherman broke down and confessed that he threw them off an 80-foot-high bridge to their deaths, authorities said Wednesday.

    Lam Luong, 37, was charged with four counts of capital murder, and divers searched the murky waters for the bodies of the youngsters, who ranged in age from a few months to 3 years.

    Full story.

    Flip Out

    posted by on January 9 at 3:16 PM

    Moby Dick is too big to be a play. It is as America is: huge, multivalent, funny, pseudoscientific, bombastic, tragic, and not terribly interested in women. Its 135 chapters are like citizens or waves—each a small, independent thing that’s part of a whole so enormous, you can’t hold it all in your mind.

    Fluke, an adaptation of Moby Dick by a New York company called Radiohole, is not a play. It is, as company member Maggie Hoffman wrote in an e-mail, “a collage that’s barely a show.”


    It begins with Eric Dyer, an actor who seems like a sailor—bald and tough looking with a five-o’clock shadow and a blustery voice. He distills the first, funniest chapter of Moby Dick (I would like to resist quoting it; I cannot): “…whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball.”

    Which Dyer growls out as: “I go fishing because I get so fucking fed up and depressed with this shit that I just have to get out of here.” That’s as literal as this adaptation gets. The rest is a jumble: two women sharing a joint in a tiny boat, actors painting their eyelids, a song by Rammstein, Ahab playing golf.


    Fluke started as a tenuous metaphor Dyer found in an essay by Gregory Whitehead, something about Ahab being, as Dyer wrote in an e-mail, “a cosmic peg-legged receiver/transmitter picking up a nameless death rattle and rebroadcasting it to his crew.” The metaphor was a good excuse to buy a new gadget that beams sound directly into your skull. (The device, called the Audio Spotlight®, was invented by soud prodigy Dr. F. Joseph Pompei, who was hired as an acoustic engineer at Bose when he was 16 years old.)

    “This technology,” wrote Hoffman, “is used mainly by the military to hurt people or freak them out.” The Audio Spotlight®, Dyer appended, is a civilian version, “not capable of keeping America safe.”


    Dyer also built boats for Fluke, small dories that wheel around onstage, based on the design of a rocking boat he saw at a cousin’s house. One of the cofounders of Radiohole happened to be working in a plant that built NYC subway cars. Dyer and his friend snuck in one weekend to steal some time with the tools, building tiny boats for a tiny play in the corner of an enormous factory.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on January 9 at 2:40 PM

    R.I.P. Sunset Bowl. From Flickr pool contibutor Kevin Schlosser.


    So Much For the Youth Vote

    posted by on January 9 at 2:19 PM

    As the Huffington Post points out, Super Tuesday falls on Mardi Gras this year.

    Overheard in this Morning’s Staff Meeting

    posted by on January 9 at 1:59 PM

    “Vegan Werewolf.”

    Your guess is as good as mine.


    Theories, Theories, Theories

    posted by on January 9 at 1:56 PM

    First off, let’s note that Obama did not go down to crushing defeat in New Hampshire. (In fact, technically, he earned the same number of delegates as Clinton in the primary, and won among superdelegates.) But he did underperform according to the NH polls approaching the primary date. An explanation is warranted.

    Obviously, factors work in concert. Here are the ones I’m leaning toward.

    1) The emotional moments. Erica contends that women were voting on substantive issues. In my opinion, this is one race where it’s really all right not to be paying attention to the nitty gritty policy details—the candidates are extremely close to one another on the issues. But let’s consider that possibility. The issue that’s gotten the most attention is actually quite narrow and abstract: the mandate/lack of mandate in Clinton and Obama’s health plans. But among voters who cited health care as the top issue facing the country, Obama beat out Clinton. Try the Iraq war: Obama again. Clinton won only among voters who cited the economy as a top concern. If you pay attention to the issues, I’d argue that you would know that the president doesn’t have an enormous amount of control over the direction of the economy. Meanwhile, I’m for Obama, obviously—I just made a donation this morning—but even I found myself defending Clinton’s wobbly voice Monday and “angry” moment at the debate this weekend to male friends. I have no doubt that the almost cruel reaction of John Edwards to her emotional claim to a personal investment in the future of our country had an impact among women voters (a majority of women voted for Clinton, and they made up a formidable 57% of D voters, up 1% from 2004). Clinton herself endorsed this view:

    Clinton attributed her win in part to her success late in the race in telling voters why she’s in public life, a reference to her choking up when a voter asked her how she was faring. Asked whether that was a turnaround for her, she said, “I think it could well have been.”

    Also, the issues didn’t change over the weekend, but the emotional tone of the race did. Among the 17% of people who decided for whom to vote the very day of the primary—the day after the wobbly voice and the largely disapproving media response—Clinton won by three percentage points. People who decided within three days of the caucus (as well as over the past week and in the last month) went for Obama—which gives the lie to Clinton’s other assertion that the Saturday debate was what did it.

    2. Those fickle youth. I’m kidding, sort of. Youth (17-29) made up only 18% of the Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire, versus 22% in Iowa. But they were a pathetic 14% in New Hampshire in 2004 (so up 4 this year), versus 17% in ‘04 Iowa (up 5 this year). The youth turned out in droves, but it wasn’t enough. Interestingly, Clinton actually won among 25-29 year-olds (that’s my demographic—so fickle!), while Obama walloped her among 18-24 year-olds (60% of the vote!) and again edged her among thirtysomethings (43% to her 36).

    3. Clinton’s outrageous fact distortion. I don’t know how many people received this mailer attempting to undercut Obama’s record on abortion, but given the reversal of women’s support (Obama in Iowa, Clinton in NH), it may very well have had an effect. I, like Obama, “relish… Mrs. Clinton’s suggestion that voters take a closer look at his record and positions.” Health care, abortion, Iraq war… bring it on!

    From the Folks Who Brought You University Village…

    posted by on January 9 at 1:52 PM

    It appears developer Weinstein A U has been commissioned by the city to redevelop the Seattle Center’s Fun Forest property. Weinstein AU was behind the redevelopment of the University Village in 2003, and they’ve worked on the renovation of Ballard’s Bay Theater, as well as the Agnes Lofts and under-construction Pearl Building on Capitol Hill.

    The City’s Century 21 Committee—tasked with redeveloping the aging Center—has been mum on their plans for the five-acre Fun Forest site, but it appears that any hopes of a new amusement park may be officially dead. As I wrote several weeks ago, there was a collective of former theme park executives courting the city and the Center for the space.

    According to an email from a member of Weinstein’s development team, it appears the developer is soliciting local architects for ideas.

    For those of you unaware - the wee “amusement” park at the Seattle Center is soon to disappear. [Weinstein AU] a big part of the process in figuring out what should be put there in it’s place. Much of Seattle is protesting the loss of our low brow Fun Forest (or Gay Way as it was initially called at the ‘62 world’s fair- tee hee hee!) me included. However - the times they are a changing and the Fun Forest is OUT.

    The people in charge of the Seattle Center want to put something in place of the Fun Forrest that is interactive, family friendly, experiential, acts a a “draw” into the area, and is easy on the eyes when no body’s using it. Some ideas that are currently going around are: Old classy carousel like the one in Central Park or Golden Gate,
    Interactive art and architecture such as can be seen at Millennium Park in Chicago.

    The thing is… what we end up doing with that prime public space doesn’t have to be anything that’s ever been done before. We are being called to really think outside the box.

    Now here is where you come in….

    My employers are looking for a “feel” for what people want there, so I am asking you - what do you want? If you could do anything you wanted in that space, what would that be? What would it look like, what would be the attraction… and so on. I’m asking for general ideas and opinions.

    Specifically what I am asking you to do is reply by Jan 9 to [email address withheld] with “Good-bye Fun Forest, Hello…..” in the subject heading and please attach any ideas about what you think would be a good use of that space. You may include drawings, sketches, photos - whatever to support your thoughts. I will be putting together a report listing all of the information I receive from you NEXT WEEK. If my employers really love love love your idea - they might want to meet you or something.

    I don’t think this is an open invitation for everyone to start calling Weinstein and submitting ideas for the space but, if you’ve got a reallllllly great idea, it couldn’t hurt.

    Live-Blogging Tonight’s Project Runway Carnage

    posted by on January 9 at 1:50 PM


    With Dan Savage off mingling with porn stars in Vegas, tonight’s Project Runway live-blogging duties are falling to me.

    Die-hard Savage fans: Don’t worry, we’re basically the same person. We’re both homosexuals, we’re both writers, and we both have the initials “DS.” (Also eligible for the group: David Sedaris.) But where Savage is a homosexual writer who likes guys that look like this, I am a homosexual writer who likes guys that look like this.

    See you here at 10:00 pm Pacific time.

    P.S. Bring your bongs.

    The Most Scientific Presidental Candidate

    posted by on January 9 at 12:50 PM

    Obama, Clinton or Edwards? McCain, Huckabee or Romney?

    What are they saying on the stump, and how would they govern? This special report tries to answer those questions by examining the leading contenders among the Democrats and the Republicans, in alphabetical order, based on recent polls identifying those with a plausible shot at their respective nominations. (We’ve also provided basic information on the rest of the field.) Although none of the campaigns afforded us direct access to the candidates themselves—a telling indicator of the importance of science in the campaign, perhaps—we’ve talked to some of their advisers, as well as to colleagues, friends and foes alike, who are familiar with their careers.

    This series, put together by the AAAS journal Science, is worth a serious read.

    Among the leading democrats a few things are held in common: increased funding for research in general, with a focus on environmental technologies and less interference of scientists by political appointees. Any would be vastly better than Bush and preferable to anyone in the Republican field as far as science policy.

    For Hillary:

    However, supporting good research isn’t just about money, says physicist David Moncton, director of the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a former administrator at two national laboratories. Just as important as any budget, says Moncton, who is not advising the campaign, are “competent individuals managing [science policy].” And Moncton thinks “that might be more likely to happen with a Hillary Clinton [presidency].

    Against Edwards:

    In a 1985 case, for example, Edwards addressed the jury in the voice of a brain-damaged child, describing from within the womb how she waited for a doctor to perform a cesarean section as a fetal heart monitor signaled her distress. The doctor was accused of waiting too long; the jury awarded $6.5 million. Many such suits were “fueled by bad science,” says neurologist Karin Nelson of NIH, who concedes she has not reviewed the specific cases that Edwards handled. She says that the same type of cerebral palsy litigation has now spread to Europe—to the detriment of children’s health, she believes. Nelson sat on a panel of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that in 2003 found that most cases of cerebral palsy are not caused at birth.

    And now Obama, who has an intriguing mixture.
    The bad:

    Last year, for example, Obama introduced a bill to subsidize the conversion of coal to liquid fuel, arguing that it would make the United States less dependent on foreign oil. But environmentalists saw it as a sop to the multi-billion-dollar coal industry in his home state. Obama then backtracked, saying he would support liquefying coal only if the net carbon dioxide emissions from producing and burning the fuel were 20% lower than levels generated by petroleum-based fuels.

    Observers say the awkward shuffle reflects Obama’s relative inexperience in national politics. “It was naïve of him to think that he could side with the coal industry to please voters in his home state and not land in a frying pan on the national stage,” says Frank O’Donnell of Clean Air Watch, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit. Nonetheless, O’Donnell says, the senator’s green credentials are still pretty solid.

    and the good:

    Eric Whitaker, a research administrator at the University of Chicago and former director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, points to a 2004 proposal before the state legislature to offer free flu shots to everyone without health insurance during a shortage of the vaccine. Obama, then chair of the Health and Human Services Committee in the state senate, pressed Whitaker and others on their advice that the shots be limited to high-risk groups. “He pushes you to defend your data,” says Whitaker. In the end, Obama was convinced by their argument that vaccinating everybody would be economically unwise and bucked the majority in voting against the proposal.
    (Emphasis added by me.)

    Now for my opinion. If we consider science as not just a series of findings but rather as a process, Obama was the most scientific of the three. He demonstrated a willingness in two cases to go against the obvious and intuitive choice, to listen to the evidence, to challenge findings, to come to a different conclusion and to take an empirically supported but politically difficult position.

    After eight years of Bush, more than anything I want a president who is willing to consider the evidence—all of the evidence—in an honest manner, who will take politically sticky positions based upon the evidence and who remains willing to change his or her mind as the evidence changes. Senator Clinton will likely be such a president. Obama has been such a Senator.

    (The Republican candidates after the jump…)

    Continue reading "The Most Scientific Presidental Candidate" »


    posted by on January 9 at 12:41 PM

    As if Hillary hasn’t gotten enough bullshit from the press about her nonexistent “emotional breakdown” (see, for example: The Politico, Dowd), Obama’s national co-chair had the temerity to suggest that Clinton faked her tears, and was crying about “her appearance.”

    Jesse Jackson, Jr., ladies and gentlemen:

    … Those are tears that Mrs. Clinton cried on that day, clearly moved voters. She somehow connected with those voters.

    But those tears also have to be analyzed. They have to be looked at very, very carefully in light of Katrina, in light of other things that Mrs. Clinton did not cry for, particularly as we head to South Carolina where 45% of African-Americans who participate in the Democratic contest, and they see real hope in Barack Obama. […]

    We saw something very clever in the last week of this campaign coming out of Iowa, going into New Hampshire, we saw a sensitivity factor. Something that Mrs. Clinton has not been able to do with voters that she tried in New Hampshire.

    Not in response to voters — not in response to Katrina, not in response to other issues that have devastated the American people, the war in Iraq, we saw tears in response to her appearance. So her appearance brought her to tears, but not Hurricane Katrina.

    So either: Obama’s co-chair thinks Hillary’s tears were a “clever,” conniving ruse to get women to support her, or Obama’s co-chair thinks Hillary cares more about how she looks than she does about black people. Way to keep it classy, guys.

    Obama Youth Continued

    posted by on January 9 at 12:40 PM

    Given last night’s news, which was breaking as we were going to press, we decided to yank a story by Sarah Mirk about the Obama youth vote in Iowa.

    Mirk, a former news intern, is a youth. Caucused in Iowa. And she’s pals with Alec Schierenbeck. Schierenbeck is the President of the Iowa College Democrats and the face of the youth movement—at least according to the NYT last Thursday night.

    Schierenbeck (in the Kerry t-shirt), signs in the night’s first caucus voter in the Grinnell College gymnasium

    Sarah filed a great piece, and worked her ass off all Obama-weekend while she was on Winter break and was supposed to be hanging out with her boy friend’s family and playing Scattergories.

    Despite last night’s monkey wrench, Iowa is still a big moment, and Mirk’s dispatch on Schierenbeck and Obama is worth reading.

    An excerpt:

    When the crowd thins out that night after the caucus results are in, I find myself next to Schierenbeck. While the rest of the Obama students around us are grinning and beginning to open bottles of wine, Schierenbeck is barely smiling. He’s honest to God misty-eyed. So I do what any good friend would do. I make fun of him. “Are you going to cry?!” I laugh. Schierenbeck looks over at me and replies, with no hint of irony or facetiousness or any of those other emotions at which we youths excel. Instead, his face is full of relief and hope and he says, very seriously, “It’s just so important.”

    Winning the War on Drugs

    posted by on January 9 at 12:30 PM

    Via the Toledo Blade.

    Tarika Wilson, 26, was shot and her 1-year-old son was wounded when Lima police conducted a drug raid on their home Friday night, prompting members of the black community to organize a candlelight vigil and demand answers from police.

    Police were there to arrest Ms. Wilson’s boyfriend, Anthony Terry, 31, who was suspected of selling drugs from the house; he was arrested Friday night at the residence. Marijuana and crack cocaine were found in the house.

    Ms. Wilson, the mother of six children, ages 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 8, was pronounced dead at 218 East Third St., where SWAT team police officers executed a search warrant at 8:15 p.m. Ms. Wilson’s youngest child, Sincere Wilson, was shot during the drug raid as she held him.

    Despite claims by Ms. Wilson’s family that police had raided the wrong house, Chief Garlock confirmed that the search warrant was executed at the correct address. He said officers were aware that children were inside the home because there were toys in the yard outside and on the front porch.


    Thanks, or something, tipper NaFun.

    The Artist Trust Auction Is February 9

    posted by on January 9 at 12:12 PM

    Here’s the auction preview. Uneven as usual, but here are a few good ones.

    Ben Chickadel

    Kristen Ramirez

    And check out this portrait of Kelly O by Ellen Forney:


    Sylvia Wolf Named Director of the Henry Art Gallery

    posted by on January 9 at 11:36 AM


    The Henry Art Gallery has just sent out a release announcing that Sylvia Wolf will take over as director in April 2008, following her 20-year career as a curator of photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Art Institute of Chicago.

    She takes over from Richard Andrews, who has run the Henry since 1987 and who solidified its standing as a center for contemporary over historical exhibitions. Andrews made the Henry known for working directly with artists in original commissions. He called Wolf “terrific.”

    “She will probably move it in a different direction, which is appropriate,” Andrews said in a phone interview, declining to specify what he meant.

    Much more to come.

    Or Maybe It’s Possible That Women Have Opinions, Vote on Issues

    posted by on January 9 at 11:35 AM

    The Carpetbagger Report, Kos, and other supposedly liberal male bloggers don’t seem to think so.

    Steve Benen at the Carpetbagger Report:

    It seems, at first glance, utterly ridiculous to think Hillary Clinton getting choked up on Monday might have propelled her to victory on Tuesday. And yet, it was the biggest political moment of the last several days, got wall-to-wall coverage in the media, drew a wildly inappropriate response from John Edwards, and may very well have contributed to some sympathy for Clinton. Keep in mind, women backed Obama in Iowa, but women backed Hillary in New Hampshire.


    If I found myself half-rooting for her given the crap that was being flung at her, is it any wonder that women turned out in droves to send a message that sexist double-standards were unacceptable? Sure, it took one look at Terry McAuliffe’s mug to bring me back down to earth, but most people don’t know or care who McAuliffe is. They see people beating the shit out of Clinton for the wrong reasons, they get angry, and they lash back the only way they can — by voting for her.


    There was a backlash by women against the media’s coronation of Obama. There may well have been something about Clinton implying that she was an older woman who was being passed over by a less experienced man for a job. That may well have resonated with some women, especially after she seemed actually human in the last two days. Once Clinton was weak enough to ask for their help, they gave it to her.

    The Politico:

    Her victory was apparently driven by moments of raw, spontaneous emotion: a flash of anger at a debate and, most of all, her choking up in a Portsmouth coffee shop, in response to a question about her hair.

    Now she will have to channel those moments and try to maintain what her campaign sees as a new, authentic connection with the women who deserted her in Iowa and returned in New Hampshire.

    And on, and on, and on.

    I’m not discounting the fact that women sympathized with Clinton for all the sexist shit that’s been flung at her through this campaign—hell, I did—but to suggest that “sympathy” for the media’s reaction to her “emotional outburst” is the only thing that turned women out yesterday is, frankly, retarded.

    Hey, A Curator!

    posted by on January 9 at 11:00 AM

    Since the Museum of Glass in Tacoma lost its inaugural curator in 2003, it has hobbled along with contractors, administrators, and pre-packaged exhibitions. Finally, the museum—which recently announced its decision to collect—has decided to devote a staff position to the job of, you know, overseeing the art.

    The new curator, effective this week, is Melissa G. Post, most recently assistant director of the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design in Hendersonville, North Carolina. She has a curatorial background at the Mint Museum of Craft + Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, and she holds a master’s of arts degree in the history of decorative arts, design, and culture from the Bard Graduate Center in New York City.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on January 9 at 11:00 AM


    From a Nuclear
    Cooling Tower
    at OKOK

    Satsop Cooling Tower No. 5 was built in Elma, Washington, in the 1970s, and abandoned just before it was finished. It is 500 feet tall, covers four acres of grass, and has concrete walls 15 feet thick—it was only a matter of time before artists got their hands on it. Last fall, sound artists Yann Novak, Myello, and Problems used on-site recordings to make compositions that will be heard at OKOK, along with a sculptural installation. (OKOK Gallery, 5107 Ballard Ave NW, 789-6242. 7–9 pm, free.)


    “But Taco Bell Was Closed”

    posted by on January 9 at 10:45 AM


    Posse up!

    This is What a Writers’ Strike Looks Like

    posted by on January 9 at 10:39 AM


    Did anyone else happen to catch last night’s television broadcast of the People’s Choice Awards? Oh my god.

    Toronto Star columnist Vinay Menon lays it out well:

    With no red carpet, no live audience, no attending celebrities and no reason for host Queen Latifah to be as giddy as she was, the broadcast had the look and feel of a cable-access retrospective. CBS promised a “newsmagazine” approach. We now know what this means: clips, taped acceptance speeches, asinine questions from the People and, most bizarrely, a musty glut of “highlights” from previous telecasts.

    It’s as if some executive suddenly stood up during a sombre planning meeting and triumphantly declared, “I’ve got it! We can’t actually have a show this year, right? But we could just replay bits from previous years!” And then somebody else chimed in, “Also, let’s get Queen Latifah to routinely break into song for no apparent reason! And let’s make sure all the taped speeches induce mass narcolepsy!”

    From Katherine Heigl to Reese Witherspoon, from a mute Robin Williams to a cue-card using Joaquin Phoenix, the speeches were delivered with all the spirit and energy of political hostages. And let’s not even get started on Queen Latifah. Was she rapping? Doing research for an upcoming operatic role? Trying to be funny? Or just heavily medicated?

    Who knows but the People should definitely consider a class-action suit for hosting negligence.

    True, true, and true. It was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen on television. Despite being royalty, Queen Latifah worked her ass off, in all directions. If a winning movie or actor came from or took place in Britain, Latifah announced the name in a kicky Cockney brogue. For every category, Latifah came on with a level of enthusiasm typically reserved for lottery wins. It was just her and the camera and she effing went for it, to everyone’s detriment.

    More than anything, it reminded me of the Simpsons episode where Springfield bans television so Krusty the Klown commences 24-live broadcasting from a scrappy outpost, eventually just dancing wearily before the camera saying “Hey HEY! Hey HEY!”

    If anyone else lived this nightmare, please share your experience in the comments. I’m still kind of freaked out, and need commiseration.

    In/Visible is Up: Zoe Strauss

    posted by on January 9 at 10:30 AM

    Click here for the interview with the Philly photographer who has a residency and exhibition at Open Satellite in Bellevue through Saturday.


    She took that one somewhere around here, but I couldn’t place it. Anyone?

    Glimpsed from the Car Window

    posted by on January 9 at 10:15 AM

    I don’t know who is more excited about the light rail line opening in 2009—me or my boyfriend, who is so looking forward to never having to drive my ass to the airport again.


    Off to Vegas with Kelly O to mix it up with porn stars. Wish me luck.

    Art Is Art and Life Is Life

    posted by on January 9 at 9:30 AM

    That’s what Ad Reinhardt, painter of deep black canvases, wrote was “the one thing to say about art and life.” Seattle’s best advocate of art for art’s sake is Jeffrey Simmons, a painter whose watercolors slay me.

    They just seem physically impossible. I don’t know how he does this with watercolor. The control is superhuman; they’re as precise as if they were made in wet concrete. (It scares me a little.)

    At the same time, they’re vulnerable, unlike Simmons’s abstractions in acrylic or coated in resin. The fact that all this fine-toned achievement will fade, however subtly, is unthinkable. Yet the fuzzy planes of color in the watercolors look like they’re disappearing, hovering the way only paint made from water can, and interrupted by subtle light splotches, as if errant fingerprints have stolen away a little color already.

    A color theorist might have a field day with these. Not being one, I’m inspired to devotion instead. Art like this doesn’t need life; it’s the other way around.

    Below is Sift, made in 2007. It’s well worth seeing in person, along with six other Simmons watercolors, in the group show Unexpected Watercolors at Seattle U’s Lee Center. Closes this Saturday (hours are 1:30 to 6 pm daily until then).

    Photo courtesy the artist and Greg Kucera Gallery

    A Theory on Clinton’s Win

    posted by on January 9 at 9:15 AM

    Don’t have one really.

    Although, it’s annoying that people weren’t really looking for a “theory” on Obama’s Iowa win as much as they were going with it—and pronouncing it a historic moment.

    On looking for a Clinton theory, there seems to be some search for a nefarious, foxy ploy that explains why voters are dumb. (Wait for Annie’s post on how HRC tricked women voters. Did Obama trick young voters by talking in ephemeral terms?)

    Some stats: She won among self-identified Dems 45-34% (The majority of the remaining primary states don’t allow independents to vote in the dem primary. This helps her.) 47% of women voted for her. Like Obama’s youth, maybe this is a movement. (I’m being sarcastic.)

    All I know is this, not everybody was expecting an Obama victory in NH. Voila: I sent a little e-mail to my friend Annie W. on Saturday night, during the middle of the Obama craze, with this post script:

    p.s. The whole reason I’ve liked Hillary all along is because I think she’s a killer with a hyper competent machine. Now’s the test. If she can’t show up strong in NH and wallop Obama, than I was wrong. I don’t think I’m wrong.

    A Theory on Obama’s Loss

    posted by on January 9 at 9:05 AM

    Something very surprising happened in New Hampshire last night. In the days before the primary, poll after poll showed Hillary Clinton losing to Barack Obama by double digits. Then, last night, she beat him by three percentage points. The polling director for ABC News writes:

    It is simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong. We need to know why.

    We do. Or, at least, political junkies and campaign strategists do. So what happened?

    The Page offers a running list of theories that might explain the outcome—including the effect of Clinton’s tearing up, the state’s complicated Independent math, and the fact that New Hampshire is used to women leaders.

    It also notes the Wilder/Bradley effect, which is political code for something that is alluded to more directly here: That Barack Obama is black, Hillary Clinton is white, and New Hampshire voters make their decisions alone inside polling booths, not in public at a caucus with their friends and neighbors looking on.

    Now, before you accuse me of crying racism based on very imperfect information, remember, this is just a theory. Yes, the information about what happened in New Hampshire is still far from perfect. I’ve read that Clinton pulled women voters to her side in New Hampshire in a way that she wasn’t able to in Iowa, and that voters who made up their minds in the last days broke for her—which suggests, perhaps, that race wasn’t the important factor here but rather the increasingly visceral sense, in the last days of the New Hampshire contest, that a woman was not going to gain the presidency this cycle. (See here for a Slog commenter supporting, without knowing it, this idea.) If you believe American voters are for the most part led around by their emotions, then it’s very plausible that Clinton’s very visible and sad televised connection with the idea that she might be finished caused people to rally behind her at the last minute.

    But it’s at least worth considering that race also played a role. Like this Obama volunteer who sent a letter to Slog yesterday, I’ve also had the sense on the campaign trail that some voters seek a sort of social permission to vote for Obama. At the caucus site I observed in Iowa, that kind of social permission filled the air as the huge, multi-racial, multi-age-group crowd that was initially committed to Obama drew supporters of other candidates into its embrace all throughout the evening. If the largest group in the room thinks a black candidate is the one, then maybe an individual can put aside his or her reservations about electing—or trying to elect—a black president. This dynamic played out at my caucus site, and all across Iowa, and I think it partly explains Obama’s historic 8-point victory there.

    By contrast, in New Hampshire a Democratic voter steps into a booth, draws a curtain, and faces the ballot and his or her own interior thoughts about race, America, and realistic possibilities.

    Like I said, it’s too early to know what happened. But I agree with this:

    We need to know why. But we need to know it through careful, empirically based analysis. There will be a lot of claims about what happened - about [poll] respondents who reputedly lied, about alleged difficulties polling in biracial contests. That may be so. It also may be a smokescreen - a convenient foil for pollsters who’d rather fault their respondents than own up to other possibilities - such as their own failings in sampling and likely voter modeling.

    We do need to know why. Because if it turns out that Americans are ready to embrace a black candidate in public caucuses, but not when they step inside a private polling booth—the kind of private environment every American will vote in during the general election—then this nomination fight could go very differently than anyone currently expects. (Although, if this is correct, then maybe it’s all the pollsters’ fault. And if this is correct, then maybe it’s all Obama’s fault.)

    Creative Capital Winners: SuttonBeresCuller, Trimpin, David Russo

    posted by on January 9 at 9:00 AM

    Since 1999, Creative Capital has funded three major projects by Seattle artists: Zhi Lin’s history painting series “Five Capital Executions in China,” Deborah F. Lawrence’s cycle of collages titled “Utopia,” and Lead Pencil Studio’s temporary land installation “Maryhill Double.”

    Now there will be two more: SuttonBeresCuller’s “Sun Hill Mini-Mart City Park,” and Trimpin’s “Gurs Zyklus.”

    Creative Capital, the New York foundation that has been supporting artists with up to $50,000 for each project since 1999, last night announced this year’s winners in visual arts and film/video. The other visual arts recipients include Sanford biggers, Joseph Grigely, Kalup Linzy, Naeem Mohaiemen, Otabenga Jones & Associates, Eve Sussman, and Mario Ybarra, Jr. In film and video, Seattle’s David Russo, a Stranger Genius (like SuttonBeresCuller and Lead Pencil Studio) is a winner.

    More on “Sun Hill Mini-Mart City Park” and “Gurs Zyklus” in next week’s In Art News …

    That Swearing Ban, and Hillary

    posted by on January 9 at 8:46 AM

    That story about a town’s attempt to ban swearing in taverns was misreported by the AP. Mark Brown of the Sun-Times was all over it today, and it turns out that Missouri law already bans swearing in taverns, but the law isn’t enforced. Richard Veit, the lawyer behind the issue, is a tavern-goer, but is not happy that there is no way to shut down out-of-control bars. He went looking into the law, and found many things are illegal in taverns, including profane language. Money quote:

    “I did not expect it to get this attention,” Veit admitted, explaining he was focused on other restrictions. “I thought the story was we were cracking down on underage drinking.”

    So you don’t have a particular concern with swearing?

    “Absolutely not,” he said.

    I hope he really said “Absofuckinglutely not” but no self-respecting, little-old-lady-subscriber-fearing newspaper could print such a thing.

    Speaking of fucking profanity, how come none of the whoopdedoo political pundits considering the Deeper Meaning of Clinton’s “victory” in NH haven’t had bullshit called on them for failing to notice one obvious thing: more Democrats voted against her than for her. If Edwards wasn’t there, would his voters have gone for Clinton or Obama? My money’s on Obama.

    The Morning News

    posted by on January 9 at 8:05 AM

    New Hampshire: Clinton makes a comeback; Obama comes in second, lands two key union endorsements in Nevada; McCain also makes a comeback; Romney loses again. Full results here. Scroll down for Stranger coverage.

    Pundits & Blowhards: Proving they don’t know jack shit once again.

    Lame Duck: President Bush travels to the Middle East. The world cringes in anticipation.

    Drums of War: On Monday it was reported that

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard gunboats harassed three U.S. Navy warships in the Strait of Hormuz Sunday, in what the U.S. military considers a “significant provocative act.”

    Military officials told NBC News that two U.S. Navy destroyers and one frigate were heading into the Persian Gulf through the international waters of the Strait of Hormuz when five armed “fast boats” of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached a high speed, darting in and out of the formation.

    The Pentagon released a video of the incident, and today an “anonymous Iranian official” in the Revolutionary Guard stated that

    “The footage released by the U.S. Navy was compiled using file pictures and the audio has been fabricated.”

    Here’s the video:

    Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Discharge: Over 500 gays are serving openly in the military.

    Mean Mother Nature: At least six dead after storms punished the Midwest.

    Graduation Day: Gary E. Cherry of Shelton, convicted three times of rape and labeled a “sexually violent predator,” could become the first man to graduate from Washington State’s Special Commitment Center for sex offenders.

    It’s Not the Assisted-Suicide Act: It’s the Death with Dignity Act.

    Troubled Port: The Port of Seattle received catcalls, the threat of an initiative from Tim Eyman, during yesterday’s public hearing.

    Still No Leads: Mayor Nickels and the SPD met last night with Capitol Hill residents about the murder of Shannon Harps.

    Oklahoma City Seattle Storm: Four local women now own the last Seattle sports franchise to win a championship.

    Jock Itch: There’s a flasher running amok around Green Lake.

    Too-Tall Jones: Despite Children Hospital’s reducing the heights of its proposed expansion by 80 feet, Laurelhurst residents still aren’t happy.

    Compare & Contrast: Obama’s New Hampshire speech vs. Clinton’s.

    Town to Ban Swearing in Bars

    posted by on January 9 at 8:00 AM

    From MSNBC

    A St. Louis-area town is considering a bill that would ban swearing in bars, along with table-dancing, drinking contests and profane music.

    City officials contend the bill is needed to keep rowdy crowds under control because the historic downtown area gets a little too lively on some nights.

    Gee, I hope Greg Nickels isn’t reading Slog.

    Tuesday, January 8, 2008

    Heads Up on Feb. 9

    posted by on January 8 at 11:59 PM

    If this isn’t sorted out after Feb. 5 (Super Tuesday)—which seems kinda possible after tonight’s curve ball— it’s all eyes on Washington’s Feb. 9th Democratic caucus.

    p.s. Everyone seems pretty hard pressed to explain Clinton’s surprise win tonight. I was glad to see Josh Marshall at TPM at least mention something that seems to be getting overlooked in all the talk of the “emotional” moment at the diner. In the middle of all the Obamamania there was a debate in N.H.

    Clinton’s been an impressive force in the debates all along, typically gaining ground after most of them. Perhaps her performance in Saturday’s debate (her brain power) was just as relevant as her tears.


    posted by on January 8 at 11:10 PM

    Clinton and Obama both top 100,000 votes in New Hampshire—McCain pulls 86K. A good sign for Dems. And, um, Barack Obama leaves New Hampshire with more delegates than Hillary Clinton. So… uh… who won?

    Edwards Deluded

    posted by on January 8 at 10:39 PM

    C’mon, John.

    Reminding voters that less than one week ago he took second in the Iowa caucuses, John Edwards said Tuesday night that he would continue his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, despite his distant third-place showing in the New Hampshire primary.

    Edwards needs to get the fuck out of this race. He hoped to make it a two man race by knocking Hillary out in New Hampshire. Didn’t happen, game over. It’s time for him to go.

    Good to Know

    posted by on January 8 at 10:07 PM

    The delegate count:

    Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama each won nine delegates in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary, followed by former Sen. John Edwards with 4 delegates, an AP analysis of primary results shows. All 22 of New Hampshire’s delegates to the national convention this summer have been allocated.

    Clinton and Obama won the same number of delegates, even though Clinton edged Obama in votes, because New Hampshire awards delegates proportionally, and the vote was relatively close.

    In the overall race for the nomination, Clinton leads with 187 delegates, including separately chosen party and elected officials known as superdelegates. She is followed by Obama with 89 delegates and Edwards with 50.

    New Hampshire is a tie? Interesting. But—silly me! I thought the superdelegates waited until the voters had their say.

    The OPA Alternative

    posted by on January 8 at 9:39 PM

    According to a report from the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA), the OPA sustained a surprising number of complaints against police officers last month.

    Complaints against officers who were busted for driving drunk and an officer who used a police vehicle for personal use were sustained, as was a complaint against a cop who was cited for obstruction, and dinged for being discourteous to another officer. Two other officers were also reprimanded for keeping a man in custody after they had determined he was not the suspect in an assault. In addition to the sustained complaints, other officers were given “supervisory intervention,” or additional training, for using profanity during a traffic stop and unlawfully asking for identification.

    While the OPA only sustains about 9% of the complaints they get, five of the 23 complaints in the OPA’s most recent report were sustained, and another two were given supervisory intervention, which, anecdotally, seems like more than you’d generally see in one OPA report. However, all of the officers accused of excessive force were either exonerated or administratively exonerated, which means they were given a pass by the SPD brass.

    As we’ve said before, if the OPA and the Chief aren’t willing or able to punish officers when they use excessive force, more people are going to turn to the court system to keep officers accountable.

    Two men who were involved in a scuffle with officers in the University District—which I wrote about last November—have had lawyers beating down their doors looking to represent them in a case against the city. Neither man has gone to trial yet, but civil cases against the city are already being discussed.

    While it appears the OPA is taking a closer look at certain types of officer misconduct, it seems that lawyering up is quickly becoming the most viable means of police accountability.

    What He Said

    posted by on January 8 at 9:29 PM

    Goldy at HorseAss:

    With about 65% of precincts reporting, the big news tonight is in the race between candidates with hot, much younger wives, where Dennis Kucinich [with 2,478 votes] clearly kicks Fred Thompson’s ass [1,696 votes].


    For Those Who Think JOSH is Being a “Sore Winner”…

    posted by on January 8 at 8:20 PM

    Here’s Melissa McEwan’s awesome response to tonight’s Hillary upset:


    Clinton/Obama ‘08

    posted by on January 8 at 8:07 PM


    Here We Go…

    posted by on January 8 at 7:45 PM

    UPDATE: With 66% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%

    NBC and AP have called New Hampshire for Clinton.

    Says Sullivan:

    We’ll have plenty to chew over in the coming days. But the Clintons deserve congratulations for pulling this off. This will now become a brutal, long slog. Maybe that’s for the best.

    Can’t argue with that—but we’re partial to brutal, long slogs.


    UPDATE: With 61% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%

    Found these two graphs up at the NYT right now

    Mrs. Clinton said she expected to lose the New Hampshire primary, and even before the polls closed pledged to fight on to the next round of early-voting states. She said she planned to continue to aggressively question Mr. Obama’s credentials for the presidency, declaring, “at some point the free ride ends.”

    Clinton advisers privately debated how to revitalize her candidacy and calm nervous contributors and supporters, as they attempt to regroup after two consecutive losses.


    Bill Clinton lays into Obama on Iraq in New Hampshire yesterday. Guess it helped:

    Watch Mike Huckabee’s give his concession speech here. Oh, and “write-ins” got twice as many votes as Fred Thompson, and Ron Paul is one point behind Rudy Guiliani—who tried to win the state. Right now on NPR they talking heads are talking about how Clinton’s tears/choking up helped, didn’t hurt, her campaign. And the youth vote that put Obama over the top in Iowa? Didn’t materialize in New Hampshire.


    UPDATE: With 53% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 37%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 48% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%

    Says Sullivan…

    It looks as if female voters rallied at the last moment to Clinton. She won them 47 to 34. The tears worked? Wait for the come-back kid rhetoric.

    Says Kos…

    If Hillary holds on, this thing will go a long way. All that money that is drying up for her? The spigots will open. And the rest of the country might have a say in this thing after all. The Obama people are fervently praying for these numbers to turn around. There is a lot at stake here.

    Says Josh Marshall…

    Whatever the final results are tonight it seems clear the final polls missed some late movement in Hillary’s direction—to put it mildly

    Back on the GOP side…

    McCain’s victory speech is being described as underwhelming. (No video yet.) But Mitt Romney’s concession speech is being described as just weird:


    UPDATE: With 39% of precincts reporting… finally some movement…

    DEM: Obama 37%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 39% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 37% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 31% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 39%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 23% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 34%, Clinton 40%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 21% of precincts reporting… it’s still…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 40%, Edwards 17%


    UPDATE: With 16% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 40%, Edwards 17%

    GOP: McCain 37%, Romney 28%, Huckabee 12%.

    Bill Clinton, earlier today: “I don’t know what’s going to happen. I know it’s going to be a little closer than people expect. You’ve just got to keep your chin up and keep fighting.” Looks like he was right.


    UPDATE: With 13% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 35%, Clinton 40%, Edwards 17%

    GOP: McCain 37%, Romney 28%, Huckabee 12%.


    UPDATE: With 11% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 36%, Clinton 38%, Edwards 17%

    GOP: McCain 37%, Romney 28%, Huckabee 12%.


    UPDATE: With 6% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 35%, Clinton 37%, Edwards 17%

    GOP: McCain 38%, Romney 29%, Huckabee 11%.


    With 4% of precincts reporting…

    DEM: Obama 39%, Clinton 33%, Edwards 17%.

    GOP: McCain 39%, Romney 30%, Huckabee 12%.


    Everyone is calling New Hampshire for McCain—with 13% of the ballots counted, and a roughly 2000 vote lead over Romney. Clinton’s current lead over Obama: roughly 2000 votes.

    History Falters

    posted by on January 8 at 7:37 PM

    Hillary, who was supposed to get trounced today, is currently up by nearly 5,000 votes (w/ 63% reporting).

    And the current headline in the NYT? “Clinton and Obama race closer than expected.”

    Uh, WTF, NYT? According the breathless NYT over the last few days there wasn’t even supposed to be a race anymore.

    I call bullshit. How about something like the hero treatment Obama’s surprise victory in Iowa got. “Obama Takes Iowa in a Big Turnout as Clinton Falters.”

    It seems to me, Mr. History faltered a bit in New Hampshire.

    Why the kid gloves for Obama?

    UW Student Attacked

    posted by on January 8 at 6:06 PM

    Just after 7am this morning, a 22-year-old University of Washington student pulled her car into the north campus entrance—on 17th Ave NE and NE 45th street—with a serious head injury. According to UW police, the woman had been assaulted my an unknown male earlier that morning. The woman was transported to Harborview hospital where she is in critical condition.

    According to UW Assistant Police Chief Ray Wittmier, the victim has only been able to answer yes or no questions due to her injuries. The police have not identified any suspects, and do not know where the woman was attacked, although they believe she would not have been able to drive far in her condition. Police say there is no indication it was someone she knew.

    UWPD is asking anyone with information to call (206) 685-UWPD (8973).

    Philippe de Montebello to Retire

    posted by on January 8 at 5:15 PM

    He has been director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since 1977. The news comes from the New York Sun via Artsjournal.

    UPDATE: The New York Times weighs in on possible successors (not a woman in the bunch, notably), Michael Kimmelman registers his adoration, and Richard Lacayo is deferential, but offers almost no praise at all.

    Seattle’s Sexiest: Call for Nominations

    posted by on January 8 at 5:06 PM

    Help us find Seattle’s sex bombs! Every year in February, The Stranger hunts down and photographs Seattle’s sexiest citizens. This year we want you to nominate sexy people you know or notice around town. We don’t care about sexy local celebs; we want to hear about Seattle’s sexiest shoe-salespeople, bike messengers, clerks, fish-throwers, trash-collectors, and college freshmen—all the regular sexy people who make leaving the house worthwhile.

    Here’s how to nominate someone: Upload a photo of your sexy friend, barista, dentist, whomever… to The Stranger’s Flickr group. Make sure to tag the photo “seattlesexy.” You should also collect contact information for your nominee—but keep this to yourself for now. We’ll e-mail you via Flickr for that info if your nominee is chosen. The submission deadline is Friday, February 1.

    Stephanie%20and%20Deim%20Nguyen-sexiesttakeoutgirls05.jpegDeim and Stephanie Nguyen, Sexiest Take-Out Girls, 2005

    Watch for our Valentine’s Issue, chock full of free reader valentines and sexy ladies and gents, coming February 13.

    24 Hours on Line Out

    posted by on January 8 at 4:00 PM

    Grunge Day on Line Out Finale: Eddie Vedder - “Throw Your Arms Around Me”

    Are Audiophiles Musicophiles?: Matt Corwine Asks Science

    Witch Way Out Yonder: Josh Feit on Sonic Youth’s “Death Valley ‘69”

    Grunge Day on Line Out, Reprise: New Tad Documentary

    WWDMD?: What Would Dave Matthews Do For Strangercrombie?

    Problems: Megan Seling on Sia

    Photo of the Day: Dan Deacon

    Tonight in Music: Sara Gazerek

    Today in Music News: Eminem, Pandora, Starbucks, XM, and more…

    Oh, Insufficient Evidence: Shins Domestic Assault Charges Dropped

    Apt. #1325: Jonathan Zwickel’s Guide to the New Chop Suey Concert Series

    Weatherman: Paul Schaffer and “It’s Raining Men”

    Crack Rock: The Sounds of Harmony Korine

    Rock’n’Roll Burritos: Does Chipotle Rock Harder than Bimbo’s? Trent Moorman Investigates

    Galactic Get Down: TJ Gorton on the Paper Dolls

    An Open Letter to the Woman With the Heating Pad at the Cafe

    posted by on January 8 at 3:12 PM

    Dear Woman Etc.,

    That other woman who brings her own desk lamp to Caffé Vita on Pike: She’s a little odd. Is she a friend of yours? I thought of her when you produced a heating pad from your bag, plugged it in, and sat upon it while typing on your laptop and drinking coffee at Top Pot on Summit. It’s been a week or two, and I confess: I still don’t know how to feel about you.

    On the one hand, your heating-pad-in-public seems annoying. If your rear’s that cold, maybe you should heat it at home. On the other hand, I felt envious of you and your seat-warmer. Maybe you’re just a smart person in a cold-assed world. But: A friend says many modern heating pads have vibrating capabilities. Does yours? And: What will be next? Will you maybe bring in your own espresso machine?

    You’re on my mind, still,



    posted by on January 8 at 3:05 PM

    Last month, my friend Adam was riding his bicycle when a fucking asshole in a Porsche decided to run over him. Then Adam lived at Harborview for many days while the shards of his exploded vertebrae slowly fused back together. Adam’s doing better now, but the point of this post is to show you the following piece of art, which hangs on the wall of Harborview to comfort its broken and battered residents:

    So it’s a crazy-eyed duck, but it’s also a…samurai? And it has squiggly human fingers, and it’s cuddling its faithful pet toucan, or possibly strangling it with a shoelace. And the toucan is eating sardines.

    Now, first of all, Harborview, everyone knows that toucans are FRUGIVOROUS, and most Japanese people don’t have beaks. Racist. Second of all, though I am not a doctor (surprised?), I’m pretty sure terrifying avian hallucinations don’t speed up the healing process. For example, I’ve got like a permanent face palsy just from looking at that thing. Maybe. Third of all, birds are gross. Take it down, please. Arigato in advance!

    Sexist? Or Just Clueless?

    posted by on January 8 at 2:51 PM

    This ad for was on the Seattle Times’s web site today. Given my well-documented tendency to see every little thing through a gender lens, I’m putting it out to Slog readers: Is this ad (full text: “Rearrange her face!”) just tacky and insipid? Or outright offensive?


    Attention Salon of Shame Fans

    posted by on January 8 at 2:33 PM


    If you don’t already know, the Salon of Shame is a one of Seattle’s best reading series. Officially labelled “Seattle’s bimonthly reading series featuring your worst teenaged writing,” the Salon is described by its creators thusly:

    The idea is simple: Seattleites stand before you and read their middle school diary passages, high school poetry, unsent letters, and other bits of horribly shameful, and inadvertently hilarious adolescent writing. Founded in 2005, the Salon is cathartic for readers and hilarious for listeners. Everybody wins when it comes to embarrassment!

    (I have attended and I agree.)

    However, the Salon of Shame is also one of Seattle’s most popular reading series, with all seats in CHAC’s small downstairs space typically selling out in minutes.

    Which brings us to today’s good news: Thanks to a scheduling mix-up, tonight’s Salon will take place NOT in CHAC’s small downstairs space but in their HUGE UPSTAIRS SPACE, meaning there are suddenly a whole bunch of seats up for grabs.

    If you’ve ever wanted to check out the Salon of Shame (or have been frozen out of a sold-out Salon), tonight’s your night. For ticket info, go here.

    The Magic of Rhetoric

    posted by on January 8 at 2:20 PM

    Think Obama is somehow less of a Democrat because he talks about hope and bipartisanship, because George Will and Andrew Sullivan have been complimentary about the tone of his campaign?

    Think again. A little less than a month ago, Babak Mozaffari at DailyKos posted this side-by-side comparison of the advocacy group ratings for the leading Ds:

    Abortion Issues - National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association - 2005-2006 Clinton: 93% - Obama: 100%

    Taxes - National Taxpayers Union - 2006,2005 — 2003,2002,2001
    Clinton: 17%,9% — 21%,17%,3%
    Edwards: N/A — 22%,18%,13%
    Obama: 16%,6% — N/A

    Business - Business-Industry PAC - 2006,2005 — 2003,”2001-2002”
    Clinton: 27%,11% — 13%,05%
    Edwards: N/A — 00%,05%
    Obama: 10%,15% — N/A

    Conservative - American Conservative Union - Lifetime Rating, 2005 Rating
    Clinton: 09% - 12%
    Edwards: 10% - N/A
    Obama: 08% - 08%

    Environment - League of Conservation Voters - 2006,2005 — 2003, “2001-2002”
    Clinton: 71%,95% — 89%,88%
    Edwards: N/A — 37%,68%
    Obama: 100%,95% — N/A

    Public Health - American Public Health Association - 2006,2006 — 2003,2002,2001
    Clinton: 100%,80% — 100%,100%,100%
    Edwards: N/A — 100%, 71%,100%
    Obama: 100%,80% — N/A

    Liberal - Americans for Democratic Action - 2003,2002,2001
    Clinton: 95%,95%,95%
    Edwards: 65%,70%,95%

    Liberal - National Journal, Composite Liberal Score - 2006
    Clinton: 70.2%
    Obama: 86%

    Pro-Israel foreign policy - Haaretz
    Clinton: 7.62 (of 10)
    Edwards: 5.87 (of 10)
    Obama: 5.00 (of 10)

    National Security Issues - Center for Security Policy - 2005-6, 98-2002
    Clinton: 32%, 56%
    Edwards: N/A, 50%
    Obama: 21%, N/A

    Civil Liberties: ACLU - Lifetime rating
    Clinton: 72%
    Edwards: 50%
    Obama: 79%

    Let’s see. Better on abortion rights, more progressive on taxes, better on the environment, more balanced on Israel, better on civil liberties…

    Clinton wants you to remember: Rhetoric is not action. That’s true. Clinton’s rhetoric is true blue, but her actions show her to be a centrist in many ways. Obama’s rhetoric may be purple (in more ways than one), but his voting record is decidedly progressive. And Edwards? He was a centrist in office, a hedge-fund consultant out of office, and now he’s running as a populist. The choice should be transparent. If you’re a lefty, you should pray those wayward Republicans and Dem-leaning independents sweep Obama into office with an overwhelming mandate, and you should thank your lucky stars that rhetoric is a powerful and flexible tool.

    You can certainly argue that this record will turn into a liability in the general election, but that’s a different point from saying his principles are somehow foggy or indecipherable. Obama was asked that question at the debate Saturday, and his answer seems reasonable enough:

    MR. SPRADLING: Senator Thompson referred to your support as endorsement by some of the most liberal groups in the nation, trying to paint a picture that you would be way left of center.

    SEN. OBAMA: Of course, but Scott, that’s what they’re going to do to any Democrat. I mean, we — you know, we’ve seen this movie before. We know the Republican playbook. Here’s what I’m betting on, though, is that regardless of what the Republican candidates are talking about, I think there are a whole host of Republicans and certainly Independents who have lost trust in their government, who don’t believe anybody is listening to them, who are staggering under rising costs of health care, college education, don’t believe what politicians say, and we can draw those Independents and some Republicans into a working coalition, a working majority for change.

    Meet Me at Moe Bar

    posted by on January 8 at 2:11 PM


    Props to Chopp (and Rossi) from the BIAW

    posted by on January 8 at 2:01 PM

    The latest edition of the Building Industry Association of Washington’s right wingy newsletter hypes some of its favorite politicians.

    In addition to endorsing Dino Rossi for governor, they also give a shout out to Speaker of the House Frank Chopp for killing a homeowner protection bill last session after the Senate sent it his way.

    The bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-41, Mercer Island), would have given homeowners the right to sue builders for faulty construction.

    Here’s the BIAW’s blurb on Speaker Chopp and Sen. Weinstein

    Son of Weinstein Last session BIAW successfully stopped Senator Brian Weinstein’s so-called “homeowner bill of rights” legislation thanks to House Speaker Frank Chopp. Weinstein’s bill would have imposed mandatory warranties and extended homebuilder and remodeler liability, which would have ultimately created another liability insurance crisis and forced small contractors out of business. In response to Weinstein’s bill, Speaker Chopp created a task force headed by Rep. Mark Ericks to examine ways to better protect consumers. This group may make some recommendations in the upcoming session. BIAW is participating in this process. Unfortunately, Senator Weinstein will most likely reintroduce his ‘warranty’ legislation—be prepared for another fight.

    “Unfortunately” for the BIAW maybe, but given shoddy—and shocking— work like this, it seems like a good thing for consumers.

    Overheard at the Table Behind Me

    posted by on January 8 at 1:27 PM

    I’ll have another bowl of the beer cheese soup, and the barbecue bacon ranch burger.

    Get. Me. Out. Of. Iowa. Now! My health depends on it…


    posted by on January 8 at 1:25 PM

    The Seattle Times has another pot-shot story in today’s paper. But unlike most of the Times’ pot coverage, this one isn’t just biased, it’s wrong.

    A headline inside the print-version of paper about the report on the impacts of I-75, making marijuana possession the city’s lowest law-enforcement priority, reads, “Number of Cases Against Black Men Went Up.” Then the article by Sharon Pian Chan states…

    Despite the overall drop in cases, cases brought against black men went up, both in number and in proportion to the population.

    Holy shit, the pot initiative worked for white people and not black people? That’s what it says.

    But that’s not what happened. When I-75 passed in 2003 (before it went into effect), City Attorney Tom Carr charged 65 black men with marijuana possession; then in 2004, the number of charges “went up” to 31 black men charged, and in 2005 to 34 cases. That’s a drop of half. Now, in the Times’ defense, the number returned to 65 in 2006—this indicates something seriously fishy may be occurring with the Seattle Police Department and City Attorney’s enforcement practices. But that’s still not an increase. Even if you average the number of annual pot filings – including the anomalous 2006 – there were more pot filings against black people before the measure passed than afterward. An average of 50 annual filings before measure passed went down to 43. So this claim that the number of cases went up for black people is flat wrong. Fewer black people (and all other races) were prosecuted for pot after I-75 passed. Josh Feit got the story right yesterday, and he examined the more-telling stats of marijuana-only charges.

    When I called the Seattle Times this morning to ask the record be corrected (I was on the panel that reviewed the impacts of I-75), I got Chan’s voice mail. Chan also didn’t answer her cell phone. So I called the news desk, where a nice woman punted me over to editor Nick Provenza. Also a nice guy, but he said it wasn’t his call to change the Web version and I’d have to talk to another editor, Beth Kaiman. Kaiman wasn’t at her desk. And the clock ticks. So, fuck it. Hi, Slog: This story is full of shit.

    Still, Seattle has a major disparity in drug-law enforcement, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating non-whites are a rate disproportionate to the 30 percent of the city’s non-white population. A report from the Defender Association shows two-thirds of drug dealers arrested in Seattle were black. And now, this report shows that bias is applied across the board—from sellers of cocaine to smokers of marijuana. And while any reasonable person would like to see this changed, a city pot measure cannot fix the systemic inequalities of the criminal justice system. It can only reduce arrests and draw attention to the problem.

    The overarching issue raised here is how the Seattle Times reports drug news. When the paper covers pot busts, all you read is that heroic cops are doing a great job protecting us from the devil weed, without a peep about why arresting people for pot is utterly futile and unfair (Hi, Jonathan Martin). No other policy that has such sweeping impacts on police resources and civil rights is covered without examining its futility, unfairness, and wastefulness. And when stories about drug-policy reform run in the Seattle Times, which opposed I-75, the story is about how it’s not working.

    UPDATE: I just got a call from Sharon Chan, who said,“You’re right. It is worded wrong; it rose above cases brought against white men.” That’s true, however, I pointed out, that disparity existed before I-75 passed. She says the Times will change the Web version and run a correction in tomorrow’s paper.

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on January 8 at 1:23 PM

    My boyfriend of a year and I broke up a month ago. We had fun, had amazing sex, met each other’s families, hung out all the time (maybe too much), moved to a new city (though did not move in together). Towards the end I realized what different ideas we had about our relationship. I was, and still am quite in love with him but he claims to have never said “I love you” to anyone and won’t say it to me. It’s almost nihilistic. He really doesn’t communicate anything about how he feels about me. He rarely tells me I’m beautiful, he thinks that just by us having sex implies that. It’s so infuriating, and really fucks with my head, putting ideas of jealousy and betrayal in the mix.

    I got so fed up, I called it off, which is what he wanted all along but was too weak to do. But since we broke up we’ve been hanging out with mutual friends and about once a week having mind-blowing sex. Now he’s talking about the merits of non monogamous relationships, and of course vaguely implying that’s what he wants to do. It could be fine, I wouldn’t mind having sex with other people but I really need him to say he loves me. Is that ridiculous?

    Chicken Ass Boyfriend

    Yes, CAB, it is. Or I should say, “Yes, CAB, you are.” Your boyfriend is an asshole and he’s playing you—he enjoys the emotional torment he’s inflicting on you. DTMFA—again, and mean it this time. No more sex with this particular ex.

    Biggest Fairy Tale Ever?

    posted by on January 8 at 1:17 PM

    Bill Clinton on the attack against the media:

    And the media swinging back:

    Democratic Leadership Not Keen on Light Rail in ‘08

    posted by on January 8 at 1:15 PM

    Several big issues are up in this year’s legislature: Funding/Expanding the Family Leave bill; payday loans; cap & trade.

    However, Postman is reporting that another big issue—light rail in ‘08—isn’t on the Democrats’ agenda.

    [Senate Transportation Chairman Mary Margaret] Haugen said that following last November’s voter defeat of a gas tax increase for roads and light rail in Central Puget Sound, that it would be “very unwise” for Sound Transit to try again to ask voters for more money. The Sound Transit package was tied to the road projects by the Legislature in the hopes that a unified ballot measure would win voter support. Haugen said she still thinks “we need to look at the whole package.”

    [House Transportation Chairwoman Judy] Clibborn said that the state should not prevent Sound Transit from trying again now. But, she said, “I think cooler heads will prevail” and she doubts there will be another attempt before 2010.

    Seattle-area legislators should stand up to leadership (oh wait, a Seattle-area Rep., Frank Chopp, is Speaker of the House) and demand that local voters get a say on expanding light rail.

    Hillary’s Strategy? Go 527. Go Negative.

    posted by on January 8 at 12:41 PM

    Huffington Post’s got the story.

    At the same time, some top independent expenditure groups supporting Clinton have been exploring the creation of an anti-Obama “527 committee” that would take unlimited contributions from a few of Clinton’s super-rich backers and from a handful of unions to finance television ads and direct mail designed to tarnish the Illinois Senator’s image.

    Three groups conducting independent expenditure campaigns in behalf of Clinton - Emily’s List, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) - have explored the possibility of trying to put together a multi-million dollar effort privately dubbed the Anybody-But-Obama 527 Committee, but they have run into problems finding any Democratic operative willing to become the director of a campaign against the man who now is the odds-on favorite to become the party’s nominee.

    Missing at 25th & Cherry

    posted by on January 8 at 12:33 PM

    JoAnna’s Soul Cafe and Jazz Club, where I went a couple of times last summer on the recommendation of Stranger food writer Angela Garbes, appears to be closed down.

    I’ve called the number several times now, and I get a message about a catering and DJ service, but nothing about the restaurant, which was shuttered and dark—and without any signage—when I went over last Sunday night.


    “Enjoy the Ride”

    posted by on January 8 at 12:10 PM


    Wow. Just wait until Pastor Hutch gets a load of/blows a load over these gay-friendly ad campaigns, assembled and analyzed by Radar. Air Canada, BMW, Hyatt Resorts, Subaru, Embassy Suites—it would seem that the Redmond’s highest-profile anti-gay bigot, anti-pro-gay-corporate warrior has his work cut out for him. One ad in particular—which features some seriously hairy calves and gorgeous feet (shown on sensitive-to-the-gay-market tannish/brown sheets)—will certainly appeal to the gay calf fetishists we have on staff here at the Stranger.

    Jack and Jill Politics

    posted by on January 8 at 12:10 PM

    I’ve been meaning to give a Slog plug to one of my favorite new blogs, Jack and Jill Politics, which “offers a Black Bourgeoisie perspective on American politics.”

    The blog is doing a fascinating job of parsing the racial subtext of a lot of the recent Clinton-Obama exchanges. Here’s an instant classic, titled: “Hillary: You Negroes Better Thank The White Man For Your Rights.”

    The blog is very pro-Obama, but it’s always an interesting read.

    When the Bird Flu Comes

    posted by on January 8 at 12:05 PM

    While the non-veg among us will be digging into our supplies of Chef Boyardee and beef jerky or dining on our small, furry neighborhood friends, vegetarians and vegans need not fear: A web site called Vegetarians in Paradise has everything vegetarians need to prepare for the apocalypse. Enjoy those CLIF bars!

    I Went and Saw Improv and Standup in the University District on Saturday Night, and It Was Actually Funny

    posted by on January 8 at 11:52 AM

    It is hard to get anyone to go with you to see standup and improv in the University District at midnight-thirty on a weekend night; no, not hard, it’s impossible. A friend who’s usually game for theater stuff declined in favor of going to see Blazing Saddles at midnight at the Egyptian; another friend, one who’s had a career in improv, so you think he’d be at least inclined, declined too, in favor of going to see Blazing Saddles with the first guy. A couple other friends said no too. I took the bus, which got from Capitol Hill to the University District so rapidly I had almost an hour to kill, and I spent it getting as drunk as possible.

    Which isn’t really necessary, it turns out, because there’s a bar in the Historic University Theater, and not just in the lobby or something, but in among the seats, so you can drink and drink without missing a thing (although you couldn’t get a vodka soda on Saturday night, because the bar was out of club soda, as well as vodka). Dartanion London is the MC of Dart-Mondo (Saturdays through March 15; $8) and its curator of sorts. He introduces a standup comedian, the standup comedian comes to the stage and does a couple minutes, and then four actually funny improv actors come out and do actually funny improv based on the subjects that the standup was just discussing. Then someone else comes out and does some standup, followed again by improv. It is different every night, but the standup comedians on Saturday were Ted Tremper from Chicago and Bengt Washburn from California. Some of the subjects raised: John Wilkes Booth, Jamie Foxx, and the retarded. Tremper said he thinks Hillary Clinton is going to be out of the race soon, and added, “The only thing sad about that is I really want to see her pick up a baby and devour it.” Washburn was even funnier. He opened with the guy-eaten-by-a-tiger story. “I thought that was neat,” he said. “For the tiger. Looking all those years. Wondering.” I’d recount more of it for you, but I took bad notes because I was laughing. The standout among the improv crew was Amanda Williams—incidentally, the only woman onstage.

    The End of Ron Paul

    posted by on January 8 at 11:36 AM

    The New Republic has unearthed Ron Paul’s old newsletters—Ron Paul’s Freedom Report, Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Survival Report—which the candidate himself has refused to release. They’re not pretty.

    What they reveal are decades worth of obsession with conspiracies, sympathy for the right-wing militia movement, and deeply held bigotry against blacks, Jews, and gays. In short, they suggest that Ron Paul is not the plain-speaking antiwar activist his supporters believe they are backing—but rather a member in good standing of some of the oldest and ugliest traditions in American politics.

    Traditions like this:

    Martin Luther King Jr. earned special ire from Paul’s newsletters, which attacked the civil rights leader frequently, often to justify opposition to the federal holiday named after him. (“What an infamy Ronald Reagan approved it!” one newsletter complained in 1990. “We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”) In the early 1990s, a newsletter attacked the “X-Rated Martin Luther King” as a “world-class philanderer who beat up his paramours,” “seduced underage girls and boys,” and “made a pass at” fellow civil rights leader Ralph Abernathy. One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” and “Lazyopolis” were better alternatives. The same year, King was described as “a comsymp, if not an actual party member, and the man who replaced the evil of forced segregation with the evil of forced integration.”

    While bashing King, the newsletters had kind words for the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke.

    Read the whole, distressing thing here.

    If Your Child’s Breath Smells Like Asparagus, It Might Mean He Was Eating Asparagus

    posted by on January 8 at 11:26 AM


    Please enjoy my new favorite list, “A Parent’s Guide to Unusual Breath Odors and What They Mean,” brought to you by the medicine-hippies at

    Dead fish - stale fish syndrome
    Rancid butter - odor of rancid butter syndrome
    Sweaty socks - odor of sweaty feet syndrome II

    And my favorite:

    Asparagus - eating asparagus

    Huge Turnout in New Hampshire

    posted by on January 8 at 11:19 AM

    So big that officials are worried about running out of ballots.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on January 8 at 11:00 AM


    Clams Steamed
    in Sake
    at Hana

    It’s wet, but it’s not quite soup. It’s light, but it’s primal. It’s alcoholic, but that’s not why it’s intoxicating. Manila clams steamed to succulence in pungent sake, garnished with shaved scallion and an eyelash-thin slice of ginger: an everyday delicacy. A clam in its shell is nature’s ladle; the broth has been known to cure sexual malaise of all kinds. (Hana, 219 Broadway E, 328-1187. 11 am–10 pm, $5.99.)


    Re: Ken Hutcherson Specifies His Threat to Microsoft

    posted by on January 8 at 10:30 AM

    Life on the campaign trial has left me a bit behind on my Prayer Warrior chronicling, so I’m grateful that Dave was able to bring you the news of Pastor Ken Hutcherson’s plan to use the U.S. stock market to Christian-fundamentalist advantage.

    I just want to add that this idea is not new—in fact, it’s been a dream of Hutcherson’s for nearly two years to bring Microsoft to its knees via some sort of well-financed hostile takeover of a large number of the company’s shares. Back in 2006, Hutcherson was pushing a kind of Evangelical pump-and-dump scheme, in which Christians would buy up Microsoft shares, sell them all on the same day, and thereby destroy Microsoft’s stock price.

    Back then, a market expert laughed in Hutcherson’s face (via an Associated Press story) and I pointed out that any group buying and then dumping Microsoft stock on Hutcherson’s timetable would become “one of the dumbest classes of investors in the marketplace.”

    But I think Hutch has gotten a bit smarter this time around. Instead of asking a wide network of Christians to buy and then dump Microsoft stock on their own, he’s asking them to buy Microsoft stock and then donate it to—well, basically, donate it to him. Or, if you read the fine print, to his newly-formed “AGN Financial Network.”

    Now there’s market savvy. Forget that collection plate! Get a bunch of people to give you gifts of stock in a valuable company, and then hold it, like a smart investor would, waiting for the stock to rise so you can sell it at a profit.

    I happen to know that Microsoft pays annual dividends to its shareholders. So if Hutch—excuse me, AGN Financial Network—comes to be the holder of, say, several thousand shares, or (in his wildest dreams) several hundred thousand shares of MSFT, I wonder: While the stock is rising and Hutch is showing up at every shareholders’ meeting to wage a losing anti-gay battle whose hopelessness may only serve to rile up even more people to buy and then donate MSFT to AGN—while all that’s happening, who will be getting those annual dividends? Hmmm?

    Maybe the answer is here:

    When asked whether the new initiative is a ploy to make money for his church, Hutcherson said, “Absolutely.”

    Canada Bans Gay Organ Donors

    posted by on January 8 at 10:10 AM

    Yeah, yeah: gay men have always been generous with their organs. Snicker, snicker. But Canadian GLBT groups are up in arms about this news:

    [New] Health Canada regulations that mean sexually active gay men, injection drug users and other groups considered high risk will no longer be accepted as organ donors.

    The new rules, which came into effect in December, are similar to the regulations for determining who can donate blood. Those rules exclude groups that are at high risk of transmitting infectious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C and B.

    Okay, now before gay folks, activists, and orgs freak out about this patently discriminatory policy and the ginormous unfairness of it all—oops, too late.

    Some in the gay community complained that the new policy is wrong-headed and that Health Canada should focus on risky sexual behaviours, not sexual orientation.

    “I think it’s more of an issue of anal sex, anal intercourse, than it is to do with whether someone is gay or straight,” said Dean Robinson, a gay activist.

    Okay, before anymore gay folks, activists, or orgs freak out about this, we have to recognize that our response will be viewed in light of a recent cascade of distressing headlines about gay men and STIs. A sampling:

    Risky Sexual Behavior Among MSM in Europe Increasing Number of Syphilis Cases, Health Officials Say

    Arizona Gays Face Growing Number Of Syphilis Cases

    HIV on Rise Among Gay New Yorkers

    Examining Bathhouse Policy, NYC Says HIV Infections Up

    I agree that an out-an-out ban on gay organ donors—or blood donors—is a blunt instrument. Potential gay male donors with less risky lifestyles than some straight donors are needlessly turned away. But most public health measures are blunt instruments. And I don’t think medical organizations seeking blood and organs for desperately ill patients are tossing gay men’s out for the shits and giggles of it all.
    And if we’re going to get exercised about our blood and organs being discriminated against, we have to answer for—and do something about—higher rates of STIs among gay men. We can’t simply insist that it’s discriminatory for health officials—some of whom are gay—to look at our community’s STI rates when they’re contemplating pumping our blood or transplanting our organs into desperately sick people—some of whom are gay themselves—and decide it’s too risky.

    Another Party for Seattle’s Obama Fans

    posted by on January 8 at 9:50 AM

    Last week, Seattle’s Obama supporters packed into their new grassroots headquarters down in Pioneer Square to watch the results of the Iowa caucuses come in. Tonight they’ll be at the Tap House Grill to watch the New Hampshire returns, and they’re predicting they’ll once again have something to cheer about:

    Seattle, WA- Grassroots supporters of presidential candidate Barack Obama (D-IL) announced today that they will be holding a “New Hampshire Primary Returns Watch Party”… Tuesday, January 8 at 5:30 pm at the Tap House Grill located at 1506 Sixth Avenue in downtown Seattle.

    “With polls predicting another win for Senator Obama in the New Hampshire primary, we are calling on all Obama supporters in the Western Washington area to come out and join the people in New Hampshire as they stand for change on this historic day” said Peter Masundire, media and communications director for the grass-roots group Washington for Obama.

    Ken Hutcherson Specifies His Threat to Microsoft

    posted by on January 8 at 9:42 AM

    Insanity buffs will recall the events of last November, when the Northwest’s pyschotic and inadvertantly hilarious anti-gay preacher par excellence Ken Hutcherson spiced up a Microsoft shareholders’ meeting with a cryptic threat:

    I am putting together the largest contingency of Evangelicals, Catholics, Jews, and Muslims to challenge Microsoft’s support of people and policies that challenge America’s moral beliefs since its inception….I could work with you, or I could be your worst nightmare, because I am a black man with a righteous cause, with a host of powerful white people behind me. I hope to hear from you and if not, you will hear from me.

    Today Hutch is publicizing the specifics of his threat, which involves urging his religious followers to buy Microsoft stock, in a professed attempt to force the gay-friendly company to “stop financing ungodly ventures.”

    As the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

    The Rev. Ken Hutcherson, who leads Antioch Bible Church in Microsoft’s hometown of Redmond, says that he will create a global and powerful group to promote traditional family values, including marriage exclusively between a man and a woman. Hutcherson, joined by some of the country’s most influential Christian leaders, has created a new organization, AGN Financial Network, to finance the effort. The worldwide venture asks people to buy three shares of company stock and donate one to AGN. Its Web site tells visitors, “You have the power to change the world,” and contains tips on how to open a brokerage account.

    Here’s the full report from the Seattle P-I, where one commenter writes:

    All this really sounds like is that he is trying to influence the price of a stock he already owns by persuading people to buy it without first considering their financial objectives and limitations. This is not only wrong, but is also illegal. I hope the SEC sees this for what it is and throw the Rev into the Pen. At least then, this paranoid bigot can be out of public eye for a few years.

    Stay tuned. In the meantime, divert yourself with this old Hutch classic.

    Vaughn Bell and Susie Lee

    posted by on January 8 at 9:30 AM

    Sure, they’re different. But maybe they should get together and talk, huh?

    Views of an installation from a three-month residency Bell just did in Japan, combining video and natural elements in a contemplative way:



    Bell’s web site. Lee’s web site. Another comparison point: Bell just returned from Japan, Lee is leaving this spring for a residency and exhibition in Salerno, Italy.

    Letter from New Hampshire

    posted by on January 8 at 9:27 AM

    Josh, a Slog reader that lives in New York, sent this letter from New Hampshire…

    Hi, Sloggers,

    As someone under-25 who had never before campaigned for a political candidate, but caught a 4:45am bus from NYC to Manchester on Saturday to make calls and knock on doors for Obama over the weekend, I thought you might appreciate my perspective on the ground race in New Hampshire heading into Tuesday.

    First of all, everything they say about the face-to-face, handshaking, lift-the-hood-and-kick-the-tires retail politics of early primary states is completely true. With fewer exceptions than I expected, everyone I spoke with was kind, patient, thoughtful, interested, and welcoming. In one “only in New Hampshire” moment, when I arrived at one house I discovered an Edwards volunteer finishing a conversation on the steps with the undecided voter I was courting. The voter turned out to be a Navy engineer home at weekend liberty from his station in Maine, where he’d returned after his most recent tour in Iraq disposing of IEDs. I got the impression that this kind of coincidence was typical.

    As for the horse race: In the conversations I had with voters who were undecided, the people I spoke with seemed to be almost… seeking permission to vote for Obama. I heard a lot of “I’m leaning toward Obama, but…” and “He’s really inspiring, but…” followed by some doubt or worry (usually about either his relative inexperience or the lofty, generalized nature of his speeches). Over and over again, I got the impression from the start of the conversation that the people I talked to wanted with their hearts to vote for Obama but were holding back. Clinton’s argument that “hope is not enough” is appealing to voters’ most cynical fears about historical moments like this one, but the idea of an Obama presidency is tugging at their heartstrings.

    On the other side, Clinton’s recent positioning doesn’t seem to be resonating with the New Hampshire voters I spoke with. While people seem to agree with her that she is truly ready to be president, her Big Contrast line about “hoping” vs. “demanding” vs. “producing” change seems to leave folks feeling somewhat deflated. Particularly with her stab at Obama in the NH debate that “we don’t need to be raising the false hopes of our country about what can be delivered,” she seems to have inadvertently positioned herself as being against hope. With the appearance of arguing that voters should not set their sights beyond what is achievable, I don’t think her message will exactly send people running to their polling place.

    I think that the results from Iowa, along with recent news that he’s ahead, will assuage reservations about Obama with more of an effect than people have been predicting. And like the neophytes in this video from Sunday’s rally, I think voters are captivated by Obama’s answer to Clinton’s argument, subtly woven into his stump speech, that the greatest moments in American history—from the revolution to emancipation to women’s suffrage to the civil rights movement—were born of hope, and, as he puts it, that the biggest gamble is playing the same game with the same players over and over again and expecting a different result.

    Based my conversations in Manchester, I think Obama is going to pull ahead from Clinton by an even bigger margin than he did in Iowa—a suspicion that, as you have noted, has support from recent polls.

    In a caucus, people have to make known their choices publicly, a setup which might have discouraged those who were afraid to be thought naïve or blindly optimistic from caucusing for Obama. New Hampshire voters, of course, are famously reluctant to divulge their preferences. If I am right that people’s hearts in New Hampshire are with Obama, how many more of them do you think will vote their hopes in the polling booth, when no one’s looking?

    I guess will know later today.


    P.S. Here I am at the Manchester rally, from a picture lifted right off Obama’s website.


    Edwards Loses a Feminist Supporter

    posted by on January 8 at 8:24 AM

    Remember yesterday, when John Edwards took a pretty hard swipe at Hillary Clinton for tearing up on the campaign trail? Now one of Edwards’s earliest supporters, Amanda Marcotte of the blog Pandagon, who once was such an Edwards fan that she was part of his campaign, is furious:

    What the hell? Completely unacceptable amounts of sexism. It’s bad enough that the media plays the game with Clinton where if she shows any emotion, she’s too feminine or too scary, but if she’s more stoic, she’s a scary ballbuster, but to have her own party members (if political rivals) play that cheap sexist card is too much. I’ve been reconsidering moving my Edwards support to Obama, and unless someone can show me evidence that Obama is just as likely to take cheap, sexist shots like this, I think that’s what I’ll be doing in light of this. We need someone at the top of the ticket who can know when to hold ‘em. And Obama does on this issue—when baited with the opportunity to be sexist to Clinton, he declined. Edwards appears to have taken it back, so it’s hard to say that it wasn’t just base opportunism on his part. Still, it should be immediately evident to any candidate that playing the “Hillarygirlieweak” game with the media is a bad idea…

    I can’t bring myself to vote for the hawk in the campaign during the primaries, but dammit, this makes me sort of wish she’d win so that I can vote for her in the general election in good conscience. You don’t get much closer to saying outright, “We simply will not allow a woman to win if we can help it,” than that quote there.

    Every Child Deserves a Mother and a Father…

    posted by on January 8 at 8:12 AM

    Sad news out of South Dakota—but, hey, at least the two dead girls had a male and a female role model in the home.

    Two girls found dead in a smoke-filled house Sunday were the victims of a ritual slaying, police said Monday. Their stepfather, Lawrence Douglas Harris Sr., 25, has been arrested and charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Kendra Suing, 10, and Alysha Suing, 8.

    Police Lt. Marti Reilly said Harris had been performing “some strange ritual.” Harris told investigators he was casting a spell that “had gone bad” and the spell “could have had severe consequences,” according to Sioux City Police Chief Joe Frisbie…. Kendra and Alysha Suing were dead before the fire and appear to have died of strangulation and stab wounds. Frisbie said an official cause of death will not be released for several days.

    Sioux City Police and Fire departments responded Sunday afternoon to an anonymous report of a fire at 1420 Nebraska St. When officers arrived at the scene, Frisbie said, Harris indicated that the victims were dead in their bedrooms. Frisbie said Harris told authorities he was the only adult present at the scene. The girls’ mother, Marla Harris, also lives at the house.

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

    posted by on January 8 at 7:54 AM

    We’ve heard from Iowa. We’re going to hear from New Hampshire tomorrow. But we haven’t heard from the highly-influential Slog mob in a while. So:

    Who do you want to be the Democratic nominee?

    Poll closes this evening at 5 p.m., when the polls close in New Hampshire.

    The Morning News

    posted by on January 8 at 7:30 AM

    There’s so much compelling local news that we’ll start with the great nearby…

    Housing Prices: Falling in Seattle—by nearly 10% in one year. But condo sales “holding firm.”

    Port in a Storm: Port of Seattle focus of criminal investigation.

    Storm: Staying in Seattle.

    Pit Bulls: Seattle Times columnist Nicole Brodeur piles on.

    Chai: Young, fun, and full of (elephant) come.

    On to national and world news…

    New Hampshire Round Up: Voting is underway in first-in-the-nation primary—and Obama’s got the ‘mo. Clinton campaign showing the strain. Final polls shows Obama and McCain out front. Youth vote breaking for youthful, energetic Obama—and grumpy, old McCain? And, finally, sexist assholes shout “iron my shirt” at Clinton. Here’s the video:

    Bush Out: Dear Leader heads to the Mideast.

    The Obesity Epidemic: Not even our dogs are safe.

    It’s a Floor Wax and a Potentially Deadly Self-Defense Device: Combo MP3 player/taser rolled out at Vegas tech expo.

    Tax Cuts for Dummies: Paul Krugman explains it all for us.

    The Machinery of Death: Supreme Court hears arguments, must decide whether to tinker with death penalty.

    Shut Up, Mike: So long as “bipartisanship” means “give the Republicans everything they want,” we need less of it, not more.

    Stewart & Colbert: They’re back on the air. Hosts, guests, audience all cross picket lines.

    Wicked Stage: I’ve posted this before, but I love it so much I want to share it again…

    Monday, January 7, 2008

    The Sonics Are Leaving

    posted by on January 7 at 8:47 PM

    But the Storm is staying. From the Seattle Times:

    The Storm has been sold to local private owners, and the team will stay in Seattle, according to sources. WNBA president Donna Orender and Karen Bryant, the Storm’s chief operating officer, are scheduled to hold an 11 a.m. news conference Tuesday to announce the sale….

    Bennett had said many times he would not separate the franchises and sell the Storm, but potential local, private ownership groups continued to approach him in order to buy the team and keep it in Seattle.

    The Storm’s WNBA championship in 2004 was Seattle’s first major title since the Sonics won the NBA championship in 1979.

    Enter The Claw

    posted by on January 7 at 8:13 PM

    Can somebody out there translate/explain/expunge the following?


    Golden Globes Canceled

    posted by on January 7 at 6:00 PM

    There will be no Golden Globes show this year.

    Good for Something

    posted by on January 7 at 5:02 PM

    Ron Paul supporters chase Sean Hannity down a street in New Hampshire.

    Listen as the Paul supporter behind the camera wonders aloud about the likelihood of arrest. They’ve got a sense of humor about it… but I was chilled.

    KUOW’s Pot Shot

    posted by on January 7 at 5:00 PM

    This morning I caught a “news” report on KUOW. The Marijuana Policy Review Panel (MPRP), a task force created by voters to track the impact of I-75, a law passed by Seattle voters that made marijuana the SPD’s “lowest law-enforcement priority,” submitted its final report to the city today. Josh has more about the report here. Here’s what jumped out at me about KUOW’s report: Tom Carr, the Seattle City Attorney, and one of the 11 members of the MPRP, was the only person interviewed for the story. KUOW handed Carr the mic. And guess what? Carr thinks I-75—which was passed into law by 58% of Seattle voters—is a bad, bad thing. Carr doesn’t like I-75, the MPRP, or the report the panel approved by a 9 to 2 vote. And why not?

    “I’m always concerned about anything that minimalizes the impact of drug use particularly on the youth. I think one of my cautions is while most people think of marijuana as a fairly harmless drug. It’s not necessarily harmless when teenagers start using it… it leads to other drugs and that’s always the worry. And those of us in the public safety community are always concerned when people seem to want to downplay the risk of dealing with illegal drugs.”

    Sigh. Marijuana is not, as Carr implies, a “gateway drug.” As for laws that might minimize the impact of drug use where the young are concerned, pot use among young people actually fell in the United Kingdom after penalties for possessing marijuana were decreased in 2004. As for danger, marijuana is the least deadly drug—there is no toxic dose—much less deadly than alcohol, a legal drug.

    But, like, whatever. Drug-war-mongers like Carr never let the facts get in their way.

    It was, however, telling that KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy—who works for one of those “objective” news gathering organizations—didn’t feel compelled to get the other side of the story and wasn’t, when she turned this piece in, compelled by her editors to get the other side of the story. Why didn’t Murphy interview some one that spoke for the majority of the panel? Marijuana activist and Stranger contributer Dominic Holden, a member of the MPRP, sent a letter of protest to KUOW.

    Carr spoke out against the Panel’s findings, citing the harm to teenagers—despite the report’s findings that the prevalence of marijuana use among 8th, 10th and 12th grade students surveyed in Seattle Public Schools remained essentially unchanged, even declining slightly in some instances, in the years following the measure’s passage.

    But Carr has been the leading opponent of the measure since the initiative was filed in 2003—holding a press conferences to oppose the measure with the White House Drug Czar, writing the voters’ guide opposition statements, and campaigning against the measure. He was one of only two dissenters on the 11-member panel’s recommendations….

    I think it’s only fair to present both sides of this discussion, and if any side should be given more weight it is the side representing the 58 percent majority of voters who passed the measure in 2003 and the 9-of-11 panel members who concluded the statute should remain on the books.

    Holden is asking KUOW to make air time available to panel members that supported task force’s final report.

    Finally, here’s why I said it’s “telling” that KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy didn’t get any comments from someone that supports I-75: When it comes to stories about pot, the MSM shuts out pro-marijuana reform/legalization voices. It’s all drug-war-talking-points, all the time, at the Seattle Times, Seattle PI, KUOW, etc., despite the fact that many—hey, gang—of their reporters and editors use marijuana safely and responsibly. That kind of hypocrisy just begs an organized outing campaign.

    Full text of Holden’s letter after the jump.

    Continue reading "KUOW's Pot Shot" »

    Police Brutality Case Update

    posted by on January 7 at 4:19 PM

    A 37-year-old man who was involved in a violent scuffle with police in the University District—which I first reported on last November—will be in court later this month. Mark Hays, who—according to witnesses—was brutally beaten by police, faces charges for allegedly assaulting Officer Thomas Hanley.

    Hays and another man, Micheal Lujan, were allegedly jaywalking across 45th on University Way, when an undercover police SUV stopped in front of them. The officers claim they identified themselves and say Lujan and Hays responded with several anti-cop epithets.

    Officers got out of their car to “contact” the men and grabbed Lujan. According to the police report, Hays tackled one of the officers and a fracas ensued. Witnesses claim that when officers took control of Hays, they repeatedly bashed his head into the sidewalk while he was handcuffed.

    Hays’ trial is scheduled to begin January 22nd.

    I-75 Report

    posted by on January 7 at 3:54 PM

    A panel tasked with tracking the effects of voter-approved I-75 (making marijuana arrests the lowest law enforcement priority in Seattle) offered its final report today.

    From the Executive Summary:

    It appears that following the adoption of I-75, there were reductions in both the number of referrals of marijuana-related incidents from the Seattle Police Department to the City Attorney, and in the number of cases filed by the City Attorney that charged individuals with possession of marijuana. However, the Panel was unable to conclude definitively that these reductions were attributable to I-75’s passage.

    Bearing in mind that the numbers of marijuana case referrals and filings were already small before I-75’s passage, the Panel also concluded that there was no evidence of any adverse effect of the implementation of I-75 in any of the substantive areas examined, including: (a) no evident increase in marijuana use among young people, (b) no evident increase in crime, and (c) no adverse impact on public health. The Panel did observe some evidence of arguably positive effects, assuming that the caseload reduction was caused by the passage of I-75: (a) fewer adults experiencing the consequences of involvement in the criminal justice system due to their personal use of marijuana; and (b) a small reduction in the amount of public safety resources dedicated to marijuana possession cases, accompanied by a corresponding slight increase in the availability of these resources for other public safety priorities.

    Says Dominic Holden, a Stranger freelance writer and I-75 task force member, “The voters got exactly what they voted for: a drop in marijuana only arrests and a transfer of resources to other more important crimes.”

    Indeed, according to the report, in the year prior to I-75’s implementation (2003), there were 50 marijuana-only arrests. In the following years: 20, 25, and 30 arrests. While it’s trending back up, it should also be noted that the crime index overall increased, so marijuana arrests are staying proportionally low.

    Interesting note (on page nine of the report): Arrests of white males for mary jane went from 75 to 50 between 2003 and now. Arrests of black males went from 94 to 76. So, arrests of white males, fewer to begin with, dropped more dramatically, 33%, while arrests of black males dropped about 19%. Sigh.

    From Holden’s prepared remarks to City Council this moring:

    Following the passage of I-75, the Panel’s findings suggest a potential cost savings in criminal justice resources from 2003 to 2004 of $66,190 that were made available for other crimes. This represents over one hundred police and prosecutor hours, and savings of other costs, including public defense and incarceration, that were freed to address other crimes. Similar savings can be extrapolated for following years. In essence, these savings allowed our limited law-enforcement resources to be used to fight more serious, violent, and dangerous crimes.

    In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out

    posted by on January 7 at 3:26 PM

    Phantom Limbs: The Shins’ Marty Crandall and his ex-girlfriend were arrested over the weekend for domestic violence.

    Spotless Mind: Trent Moorman asks science if he can clean his brain.

    New Blakes Video: For the song “Don’t Bother Me.

    An Open Letter to Alice in Chains: You’re a fraud!

    New Xiu Xiu Video: Xiu Xiu says “I Do What I Want When I Want.”

    Crystal Castles: Announces tour, release date for new album.

    #1 Fan: A ninja crashes the Lashes show.

    Tonight in Music: Welcome to the Cinema and Throw Me the Statue.

    Flickr Photo of the Day: Yoko Ringo on New Year’s Eve.

    Q: Is Anyone As Good As Nirvana?: A: Who gives a shit? (Also, Jeff Kirby says that Soundgarden’s better.)

    Today in Music News: Sub Pop issues statement regarding Shins’ arrest and Daft Punk partners up with Playboy.

    A Find from 1975: TJ Gorton on “Undecided Love.”

    In Search of Amelia Earheart: Plainsong sings about what supposedly happened to the missing pilot.

    Baby red pandas (courtesy of

    A Real Life “Chester the Molester”

    posted by on January 7 at 2:38 PM

    And she’s 26-year old woman? Step aside Mary Kay…


    From hot tipper Andrew in NYC

    The Battle of Portland!

    posted by on January 7 at 2:23 PM

    This is a long sucker. There are no pictures. But it’s important. Hang in there. I’m counting on you.

    Portland. It is indeed many things, but what it is the very most is completely schizo. Double-personalitied, so to speak. One might even go so far as to really annoy David Schmader by calling it rather “Gemini”. It is its own evil twin. And it can turn on a dime.

    Really. It’s the most peculiar phenomenon.

    One moment you would swear before God in a court of law that Portland was just about the darlin’est little place you ever did see: everyone is beautiful and smiles at you, the sweet smell of coffee, books and young Democrats wafts upon the breeze, the roses yawn wide to serenade you as you frolic with the roaming deer and so forth. The next moment—SNAP! Everyone is looking at you like you have crap in your hair, even the squirrels are vaguely antagonistic, the city turns ugly and small and desperate and cold as a frozen hooker’s ice cube tray, and you really just want to die. I’ve lived it. I know.

    Another notable strangeness about Portland: On those dark cold nights when Portland’s Dr. Jeckyll is Mr. Hyde-ing…well. It can do things to a man. Mean things. Ugly things. Here’s a jaunty example from just last weekend:

    I (yes, me, Adrian here, hello…) was walking in NW Portland, just a block off SW Burnside (you know the area). It was interminably gray and drizzly, and my hood was up, and I was inarguably having one of those Portland nights. (I had witlessly stumbled into some tragic 1992 gay time capsule they deign to consider a gay bar, where I was whacked in the face by a wall of cigarette smoke and Escape for Men so thick it left marks, and treated to at least four songs of the “We Are Family” and “It’s Raining Men” variety before I could either kill myself and/or shake off the very, very scary gentleman who apparently believes that “No” is negotiable and who shocked even me by pulling from his wallet a business card upon which was printed—oh my holy Jesus—-a picture of his HOUSE BOAT with which to tempt my loins, please kill me. When I finally stopped running, I realized I was missing twenty bucks. PORTLAND!)

    Up the street a bit, three blocks ahead of me, there gathered a little herd bar-hoppers, guys and girls, who had huddled on the corner just off Burnside to destroy their lungs. (SMOKERS!) One of them was very loud and very stupid. I could hear him, clear as day, even three blocks away. And here is what he was saying:

    Wait. Before I tell you what he said, it is important that you get his voice just right. Think snotty surfer-dude with a coke-cold and the charm of a candied turd. Proceed.

    “Yeah—so I’m in phone sales, you know. And sometimes just to piss people off, I use my “gay voice”. My supervisor thinks it’s fucking hilarious. So, I’m all like (in a sing-songy “Big Gay Al” with more Ss than a busted tire reunion), “Huuull-Ooooo! Thisss isss John, and I’m….WELL! That’ssss not verry niiiiiiccce!” It totally pisses off this one fag I work with …”

    And so on, relentlessly. The girls were all tittering like horny little lorikeets, and the dudes were assholing it up predictably. But then suddenly, unexpectedly, from somewhere barely identified, there came another voice, a furious voice, much louder and really rather scary:


    The peeping girls suddenly peeped no more and kind of hunched down into their shadows as if they expected flying objects, and the guys suddenly lost the gift of speech, but still tried to act all casual about it somehow like nothing was happening. (And who can blame them?) But the strange angry voice, apparently not mollified, continued:


    And etcetera. The angry screamer went on screaming for at least another block, until just about the point that I finally became fully aware that the scary screaming voice was, in fact, mine. Coming out of my mouth, from under my hood. I was the crazy screaming person.

    Then, rather startled, I went on screaming for half a block more, just to get it all out. Then, come to think of it, I felt much, much better. Pretty damn much better, actually. Huh.


    Note to Bradley Steinbacher

    posted by on January 7 at 2:12 PM

    Why you gotta hate on Iraqi children?


    My Bucks will bring the power. (I, uh, hope.)

    Sympathy for the Clinton Tears

    posted by on January 7 at 2:02 PM

    Not from John Edwards:

    I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business.

    But, somewhat, from Barack Obama:

    “I didn’t see what happened,” he said, but added, “I know this process is a grind. So that’s not something I care to comment on.”

    Taco Belle Of Amhearst

    posted by on January 7 at 1:58 PM

    From the glories of Craigslist:

    Theatre director needed

    Date: 2008-01-06, 5:38PM

    There is no theatre category on Craig’s list, so I am posting here.

    I am a nutritionist/performer, and I am mounting a show in April, ‘08, at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle. My show is unique. No one has ever performed nutrition before. I have written the script for a series of characters through which I speak about food, politics, illness, extreme health, and more. I need a director to help me realize these characters at their most entertaining and educational pinnacle. (That may not be grammatically correct, but you get my meaning.)

    I have a Bachelor’s degree in Drama from the UW, and a Master’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University. I perform and speak on a semi-regular basis. I work well with directors.

    Your pay will be based on a percentage of the ‘door’ at the McEachern Auditorium at MOHAI, a 300 seat venue. The exact percentage is negotiable.

    I believe you will love this show. I do. Please email me and we can get together to see if we can work well together.

    Thank you.

    Thanks to Jake for the tip, thanks to commentor Comte for the title.

    Note to Jen Graves

    posted by on January 7 at 1:54 PM

    I look forward to watching LSU destroy your beloved Ohio State Buckeyes this evening.


    (Jen Graves, 1/7/08, 8:30 pm PST.)

    Obama and Peace in the Middle East. Or Palestinians are the Niggers of the Middle East.

    posted by on January 7 at 1:32 PM

    I’m trying to warm up to Obama. (Just don’t like him. Like Hillary. Like her wonkery. Like her fisticuffs.)

    But I do see the significance of the movement away from Clinton’s Baby-Boomer politics that he represents, and that’s pretty cool.

    So, I’m trying to get excited about Obama. And there is one thing that inspires me. Ever since a viable black candidate hit the stage, I’ve been thinking: This is a guy that can broker a deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

    It’s kind of “Nixon-in-China” in reverse. “Nixon-in-China,” of course, refers to the fact that you needed a Republican to make peace with China because if a Democrat did it, Americans wouldn’t have gone along with it. Democrats are already seen as Commie symps, so, you know, a Jimmy Carter deal with China would have been problematic for Americans who view Democrats as wimpy on foreign policy.

    However, it’s not the Americans that need to be assured. It’s the Palestinians. And the Palestinians are going to feel much better about a black president than a white one. I don’t have any proof of this, but there’s been a long history of African-American support for the Palestinian cause and “Third World” liberation movements, and Palestinians know that.


    Honestly, whenever I see Condi Rice (or before that, Colin Powell) meeting with the Palestinians, I get the the sense that they’ve got some cred; that the Palestinians have an identity politics connect with African Americans.

    Of course, the buck stopped with Bush, and so, Rice and Powell can’t/couldn’t deliver.

    With Obama as President of the United States, there will be a giant shift in how Americans are viewed by the Palestinians. This is a good thing.

    “The Time for Come Has Change”

    posted by on January 7 at 1:23 PM

    Even super-campaigners like Barack Obama get tired and make funny mistakes.

    Suicide Is Painless! It Brings on Many Changes!

    posted by on January 7 at 1:14 PM

    In response to this piece in the Regrets Issue—“We Regret Mentioning Suicide, Publishing Essays about Suicide, and Placing Visual Depictions of Suicide on Our Cover”—the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention sent me a letter the other day.


    If you like, here’s a bigger, more readable version. (I’ll put the text of the letter, which was also emailed to me, after the jump.)

    As one of the designers upstairs, Matt Ziegler, was helping me scan this letter, he smiled and said (while drawing his finger across his wrist): “You don’t cross the street”—and then Matt drew his finger down the length of his arm—“you walk down the road.”

    Continue reading "Suicide Is Painless! It Brings on Many Changes!" »

    SPD Corrects the Record

    posted by on January 7 at 1:10 PM

    I just received a call from SPD spokesman Mark Jamieson. Jamieson called to correct some facts about a gay-friendly gay-bash that occurred on Broadway earlier this morning.

    Jamieson says that 911 received a call at 2:04am and officers were at the scene between 2:08 and 2:10. “We are working on [the case],” Jamieson says. “We responded and we took a report. I don’t know where this is coming from. We didn’t make an arrest [but] we did document [the incident]. We did everything we were supposed to.”

    I Agree

    posted by on January 7 at 1:10 PM

    One of the super-hugest Obama fans in my life just emailed to say: “This is a really weird thing for Clinton to say.”

    He’s talking about this:

    Clinton rejoined the running argument over hope and “false hope” in an interview in Dover this afternoon, reminding Fox’s Major Garrett that while Martin Luther King Jr. spoke on behalf of civil rights, President Lyndon Johnson was the one who got the legislation passed.

    Clinton was asked about Obama’s rejoinder that there’s something vaguely un-American about dismissing hopes as false, and that it doesn’t jibe with the careers of figures like like John F. Kennedy and King.

    “Dr. King’s dream began to be realized when President Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act,” Clinton said. “It took a president to get it done.”

    Clinton didn’t explicitly compare herself to Johnson, or Obama to King. But it seems an odd example for the argument between rhetoric and action, as there’s little doubt which figure’s place in history and the American imagination is more secure.

    “The power of that dream became real in people’s lives because we had a president” capable of action, Clinton said.

    Here’s what she was responding to, in part:

    The Straight Poop

    posted by on January 7 at 12:55 PM


    22nd Ave NW & NW 58th St


    For several months, residents of a quiet Ballard street have been plagued by poop. On 58th Avenue—between 22nd and 20th—nearly a dozen large piles of turds dot the parking strips and sidewalks, and there’s ample evidence of other leave-behinds, now marked by smeared shoe prints along the street.

    Last weekend, an anonymous neighbor began posting signs around the block, in protest of the prodigious brown mounds.


    “It’s a minefield,” says Tom Simpson, a 15-year resident of 58th Ave. Simpson and his neighbors have speculated about the cause, and whether certain houses or apartment buildings are being targeted, and some residents have even debated whether the culprit is animal or man.


    “It’s disgusting and unsafe,” says Sylvia, who’s lived on 58th for the last five years. Sylvia says she sees lots of dogs in the neighborhood, and speculates that the problem may be coming from a nearby 35-unit apartment complex where, she says, every resident in the building has “2 or 3 dogs.”

    Simpson walks his three dogs—a Pekingese, a Pug and a Chow, none capable of leaving such massive dog deposits—around the neighborhood every day, and he says this is the worst it’s ever been. “[There are piles] even I couldn’t leave behind,” Simpson says.

    Simpson estimates the problem has been going on for a month or two, but it seems to have gotten better in the last few days. “Maybe the signs did some good.” he says.


    As Simpson continues down the block, pausing to pick up one of his own dogs’ piles, An older man, who’s lived in the neighborhood for 30 years, stands in front of the sign, looking it over. When asked about the poop problem, he pointed to a nearby apartment and blamed it on a Rottweiller which, he says, freely roams the neighborhood.

    Dear Future Public Interns,

    posted by on January 7 at 12:45 PM

    Assuming someone will be taking the mantle of the public intern position once I leave for South Africa, I thought it might be nice to leave this columnist with a couple criticisms of the position, and some kernels of knowledge I’ve picked up on the job.

    To be the public intern is to be the public’s darling! No one will ever hate you because hey, you’re at the bottom rung of the newspaper (you’re a bottom-feeder), you’re not stepping on anyone’s toes and you’re fucking helping people. Even the people who sorta like you or are on the fence about liking you (maybe happiness threatens them) will falsely remember liking you after all of their friends talk about how much they like you.

    People will pretend to be mean to you and they’ll think it’s hilarious. You will be on assignments and people will say things like “Stop playing around!” in a faux-angry tone and you will groan at this person for trying (and failing) at pretending to be mad at you.


    You will have to fake enthusiasm for things you don’t like so you won’t hurt other people’s feelings. If you’re helping a vet pop anal sacs, you can’t be too disparaging about the task because hey, vets do that shit every day and who are you to say it’s awful and it’s disgusting and you’re in a different kind of hell just watching the procedure from afar. Keep all those thoughts flying in your head and get ‘em down on paper later.


    People will watch their words around you, sometimes painfully so. There will be a thin layer of artifice surrounding many interactions. This may depress you. I imagine it depresses many journalists. If you were a journalist you could commiserate with them….but you’re not one. This may also depress you.


    You will be a mini-celebrity. It doesn’t matter that you ate a Weight Watchers TV dinner last night and watched Mame with your parents. The world doesn’t care. Actually, they may come to think Mame and Weight Watchers are totally en vogue beause a mini-celebrity likes them.


    People will also ask you what its like working with Dan. Tell ‘em the truth: you have no idea. Never met the guy. Heard he was cool. Don’t tell ‘em what I tell ‘em: that you’ve idolized him from afar ever since you were 16 and this whole internship thing has been kind of a let down because you envisioned an elevator moment where he would pat you on the head after a particularly hard day at work and say “you did good kid, you did good” and you’d suddenly feel like all the gay stars had aligned in the universe and you had acquired total and complete self-acceptance. This moment will never happen….but Dan may tell you your piece on squeezing dog’s anal glands is “brilliant.” Savor this. Let it melt in your mouth. Slowly. For days. Remember the word “brilliant” and remind yourself Dan thinks of you this way at bus stops, when you’re eating alone in restaurants, and when you’re riding in the car with your mom and she’s listening to “Christmas in the Northwest” on Warm 106.9.

    Do not sit and wait for comments to build up on your Slog post. The comments will never be constructive. They will never help you become a better writer.

    Better yet, don’t even read the Slog. There is no knowledge to attain from it. It is a life-drainer.


    Capitol Hill Safety Forum

    posted by on January 7 at 12:28 PM

    There’s a neighborhood safety forum tomorrow night at the Group Health building on 16th. It was called to discuss the murder of Shannon Harps on New Year’s Eve. The cops will be there—to listen and to give tips on, you know, safety.

    Maybe a moment or two can be devoted to discussion about why the Seattle Police Department refused to do anything about an anti-gay assault—with a straight victim, which happens more often than one might think—at Broadway and Pike last night. The victims have the license plate number of the car the gay bashers used to flee the scene. It seems like tracking down this particular basher would involve some pretty simple, you know, police work. So why aren’t the police working it?

    ‘Zoo’ Makes New Nonfiction Award Shortlist

    posted by on January 7 at 12:21 PM

    Since the Oscars are clearly going to shit this year, this little indie protest award might prove almost meaningful.

    The shortlist for a new nonfiction filmmaking award contains:

    “Billy the Kid,” directed by Jennifer Venditti (opens this Friday at SIFF Cinema)
    “Deep Water,” directed by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell
    “The Devil Came on Horseback,” directed by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg
    “Ghosts of Cite Soleil,” directed by Asger Leth
    “In the Shadow of the Moon,” directed by David Sington
    “Into Great Silence,” directed by Philip Groning
    “Lake of Fire,” directed by Tony Kaye
    “Manda Bala (Send a Bullet),” directed by Jason Kohn
    “Manufactured Landscapes,” directed by Jennifer Baichwal
    “The Monastery - Mr. Vig and the Nun,” directed by Pernille Rose Grønkjær
    “No End in Sight,” directed by Charles Ferguson
    “Sicko,” directed by Michael Moore
    “Taxi to the Dark Side,” directed by Alex Gibney
    “The Unforeseen,” directed by Laura Dunn
    “Zoo,” directed by Robinson Devor

    Congratulations, Charles!

    Monica and Perugia

    posted by on January 7 at 11:53 AM

    This is Monica Bellucci’s mini biography on IMDB:

    Born in 1964 in the Italian village of Città di Castello, Umbria, Bellucci originally pursued a career in the legal profession. While attending the University of Perugia, she modeled on the side to earn money for school, and this led to her modeling career. In 1988, she moved to one of Europe’s fashion centers, Milan, and joined Elite Model Management.
    The great Monica Bellucci studied law in Perugia! When I arrive in that ancient town on Wednesday, I will go straight to the law department and let my mind go wild with all sorts of imaginings. Monica with a law book. Monica in class. Monica in Perugia.

    monicab_l.jpg Monica lost in thought.

    Picture%204.jpg Monica as Mary Magdalen.

    2004_she_hate_me_006.jpg Monica on a real soul brother.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on January 7 at 11:22 AM

    From Flickr pooler ~petem~.


    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on January 7 at 11:09 AM

    I’m a 20 yo guy and have been dating the most incredible lady I’ve ever know. She’s 28, beautiful, and we have an incredible sex life. I love her and she loves me. The problem: She also loves another man and essentially he and I share her. I don’t know him except that he is older than her and they too have a great sex life. This has been going on since we started dating and she’s been very upfront about it from the start; she doesn’t want to be in a position to choose one over the other. Obviously this is a real painful situation for me, but I care so much for her that I don’t ever want to be without her.

    Recently a few things happened that have really got me. First, she had come over the other night to have sex with me; when she got on top of my face, it was so obvious that she had been carrying the other man’s load in her. Secondly, I got so upset about that that we got into an argument and then found out that not only was his load in her, but another guys! Apparently, her other lover and her had been having 3-somes with a guy friend of his and this had been going quite regulary. This really bothered me and I’m not sure what to do at this point. I don’t want to lose her. Any help would be appreciated.

    Pussy Whipped

    Your girlfriend doesn’t want to be with one man, PW, and, what’s more, she gets off on rubbing the noses of the men she is with in the reality—using the best evidence available to her—that they have to share her. It’s a power trip for her. Now there are guys out there that would love nothing more than to be in your place—to be with a woman that wants them to, oh, eat other men’s come out of her pussy. You’re not one of those guys, clearly.

    Which means, PW, that you will have to break up with her. Unless, of course, she’s so incredible that you can find some way to tap into and enjoy your submissive, boy-toy, cuckold status. If you can’t do that, again, you’ll have to break up with her.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on January 7 at 11:00 AM


    APT #1325 at Chop Suey

    APT #1325 is a new idea for Seattle: One band will have a month-long residency, and play weekly, at Chop Suey. “These things happen in L.A., N.Y., Chicago,” explains booker Kris K. “I figured it was time for Seattle to give it a go.” Throw Me the Statue inaugurate the series, and their songs range from gentle electro-acoustic bedroom twee to full-bore fuzz rock. With Husbands, Love Your Wives—the gorgeous acoustic project of singer/songwriter Jamie Spiess. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 8 pm, $6, all ages.)


    “Oh, For Fuck’s Sake.”

    posted by on January 7 at 10:52 AM

    (Other potential titles for this post: “What Money Can Buy,” “When Hillary Clinton Isn’t Crying,” and “Jon Stewart’s First Gig During The Writers’ Strike.”)

    Yesterday, Bill Gates gave the keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. As I mentioned last week, nerds anticipated big things from the speech, as it as Gates’ “final” CES keynote before leaving his full-time position at Microsoft to pursue more philanthropic work later this year. Nothing too huge was announced—unless you’re a Canadian who gives a shit that the Zune will finally be released up north, eh—but Gates did star in a dorky, cameo-filled video about his “last day at work” while he looked for new jobs. Jay-Z, Obama, Hillary, Al Gore, Jon Stewart, Steven Spielberg, Brian Williams, George Clooney, Matthew McConaughey… it’s cute, I guess. At the very least, Bono redeems his cash-in appearance by dropping the F-bomb at 3:15.

    However, do yourself a favor and choose not to watch the clip from a few minutes later when Bill Gates stood next to Slash for no real reason.

    Once a Year, I Do Something Nice

    posted by on January 7 at 10:46 AM

    There were some grave concerns expressed about auctioning off Slogging rights for a week. In the wrong hands, an attempted “hijack” of the Slog was a possibility. These rights are now under my sober caretakership.

    I could provide a flurry of posts, some informative, some profane, some inane, but this isn’t necessary; The Stranger already has an entire staff that does this. Instead, I’d like to encourage people to think about the big picture, the civilizational picture, regarding the alternative media that we enjoy today.

    The environment that allows for the existence of The Stranger and the Slog did not appear overnight. It is the product of a great inheritance - cultural, philosophical, scientific - that has been centuries in the making.

    The first great step was the development and proliferation of the printing press. Before this development, information was held by a small group of elites, and the great mass of people were only allowed to consume the few crumbs of knowledge that would be told to them by their king or conqueror or pope. The combination of printing and rising literacy slowly chiseled away at the information stranglehold.

    The information disseminated by the rise of printing was not stagnant; it was fed into the great twin engines of philosophy and science, where it was debated, scrutinized, improved, and expanded. The methodical inquiry into the nature of our physical universe has led to the family of technologies that comprise the Internet; centuries of legal, moral, and philosophical inquiry have led to the family of rights that we exercise whenever we read or write online (or offline, for that matter).

    So, realize that the things you do on the Internet today might be stupid, might be profane, might be angry, might be trite—but they’re also a celebration of simply being in a time and place that allows such activities.

    It’s important to remember our blessings because this great inheritance of rights and technology is not enjoyed in every corner of the world. Every day on the Slog, people declare their sexual orientation in a way that would get them into the hottest of hot water in fundamentalist Iran, political views are expressed that will bring a knock to your door in authoritarian China, and information is consumed that is totally denied to the residents of hermetically sealed North Korea. Creaky control systems are still fighting the battle against freedom of conscience and dissemination of information.

    It should be a goal of the current generation not to just consume and enjoy this inheritance, but to enrich it, expand it, and pass it forward to the future.

    Gay-Friendly Bashing Last Night on Capitol Hill

    posted by on January 7 at 10:44 AM

    This just in from Hot Tipper Laszlo:

    Dear Last Days,

    Last night, January 6, my heterosexual male roommate and his friend were buying beer at the Shell gas station on Broaway and Pike when they were confronted by an angry man in line, who stated the he “fucked up faggots.” He then asked my roommate’s friend if he was a friend of gays, and he told him yes, and that the angry man should not speak about gays like that. The man then called him a faggot and told him that he would be waiting outside for him. When they went outside, both of them were blindsided and my roomate had his nose broken.

    The most fucked up thinng about this is that a man in line heard the entire ordeal, called the police, but they didnt come! They only came after several other people had called the police, and a while after the incident happened. These guys are not gay, but the point is that we have a serious issue on Capitol Hill with people attacking anyone they think are “fags.” Also once the police arrived, my roomate and co. were told that nothing much would probably come of it (even though they had the license plate of the getaway car, a rental), although this technically qualifies as a hate crime under Washington state law.

    So that’s my fucked-up Hot Tip, and I hope that these motherfuckers get caught so they can’t harm anymore innocent people, gay or straight.

    This Breaks My Heart

    posted by on January 7 at 10:19 AM

    I’m serious. If you watched Hillary Clinton closely when she got the “Why aren’t you more likable?” question in the last debate, you could see her hurting. And today, in a diner in New Hampshire, she was almost crying. You’d have to be heartless not to feel for her right now.

    This is going to be via everywhere in about an hour, but for now, here’s a take via Ben Smith:

    Exhausted and facing the prospect of losing the second test of her primary campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton fought back tears as her voice broke at the close of a sedate event in a Portsmouth coffee shop.

    She expressed the sheer difficulty of heading out to the trail each day — “It’s not easy,” she said — and suggested she faced “pretty difficult odds.”

    And with audible frustration and disbelief, she drew the contrast between her experience and Sen. Barack Obama’s that suggests that her campaign’s current message — the question of who is ready — matches her profound sense that she alone is ready for the job.

    “Some of us know what we are going to do on day one, and some of us haven’t thought that through enough,” she said.

    Watch the video. She’s still fighting, but she knows she’s finished.

    The Mormon Mafia

    posted by on January 7 at 9:46 AM

    Nice yard signs you’ve got there. Shame is somethin’ should happen to ‘em.

    Mitt Romney’s tubby thugs? Or John McCain’s undercover plumbers? The debate is here.

    Via Sullivan.

    Movies Keep Violent Thugs Off the Streets

    posted by on January 7 at 9:42 AM

    Or so says the (Mormon!) author of a new study:

    Professor [Gordon] Dahl [of UCSD] and the paper’s other author, Stefano DellaVigna, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, attach precise numbers to their argument: Over the last decade, they say, the showing of violent films in the United States has decreased assaults by an average of about 1,000 a weekend, or 52,000 a year….

    Analyzing the data, the authors found that “on days with a high audience for violent movies, violent crime is lower.”

    From 6 p.m. to midnight on weekends — when the largest numbers of people are in theaters — violent crimes decreased 1.3 percent for every million people watching a strongly violent movie, the study found. Violent crimes dropped 1.1 percent for every million seeing a mildly violent film.

    Calm down, little thugs. There will be (fake) blood!

    Slog Happy Hour This Thursday

    posted by on January 7 at 9:39 AM


    Judd and the Taxicab

    posted by on January 7 at 9:27 AM

    Back in early December, while I was guesting on Modern Art Notes, I posted a love letter to an art collection held almost entirely underground in my hometown of Albany, New York.

    At the time, I wished I’d had images of a beautiful Conrad Marca-Relli collage-painting (Marca-Relli was a pal of de Kooning, Kline, and the gang on Tenth Street), and the incredible pairing of a Donald Judd and an early New York City taxicab inside the state history museum.

    Thanks to Martin Bromirski at the great Anaba (which reminds me—I do seriously need to update my blogroll, and I will), here are the pictures.

    The Marca-Relli:


    Judd and cab (look at that!):


    From beneath the Judd, looking upward through it:


    The Morning News

    posted by on January 7 at 8:56 AM

    Bill Clinton: Not exactly wowin’ the crowds in New Hampshire.

    Hillary Clinton: Vows to fight on after what looks like an increasingly likely loss in New Hampshire tomorrow.

    Barack Obama: After bashing Hillary all last year—remember Huckabee’s pledge to put her on a rocket to Mars?—GOP nervous about running against “post-partisan” Obama.

    Mitt Romney: Now running against Washington D.C.

    The Queen of England: The incomes of the subjects of HRH, Elizabeth Windsor, surpass the incomes of U.S. citizens for the first time since the 19th Century.

    The French: They’ve got a crush on Obama.

    Roger Clemens: Swears he never took steroids—honest!

    John Michael Obert: Sex offender incarcerated on McNeil island had “computer CDs full of graphic child pornography,” say officials.

    Pit Bulls: Crazed killing machines an increasingly popular “pet” in Seattle area. In cheerier pit bull news, over the last few days police shot and killed charging, attacking, threatening pit bulls in Virginia, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida, and Minnesota. In Tennessee a police officer shot himself in the foot trying to take down a charging pit bull, and in the U.K. a man jumps on a pit bull that was mauling his friend and chokes the dog to death with his bare hands.

    Sunday, January 6, 2008

    Benazir Bhutto is the Best Hope Against Al Qaeda…

    posted by on January 6 at 6:50 PM

    That’s according to today’s cover story in the Seattle Times’ Parade magazine anyway.

    There’s an apology on their web site and on the front-page of their paper explaining that the magazine went to press prior to her December 27 assassination.

    My God. It’s January 6 today. How about a wee bit of quality control? In today’s 24-7 news cycle, you’d think the Seattle Times would have caught that one.

    Not Again!

    posted by on January 6 at 1:35 PM

    From the Edwards campaign:


    Slog addicts will remember that I was on the last “Marathon for the Middle Class,” a non-stop bus tour here in Iowa. I’ll be writing a bit more about the experience in next week’s Stranger. It’s a great political stunt, but brutal on everyone involved. I feel for the reporters who are permanently assigned to Edwards—they had a rough time of it on last week’s marathon, and now they have to do it all over again.

    Stoned off the Job

    posted by on January 6 at 12:53 PM

    From today’s Seattle Times.

    Under Oregon’s 1998 medical-marijuana law, employers don’t have to let patients with medical-marijuana cards smoke it in the workplace. But the law left it unclear whether employers must accommodate workers who smoke medical marijuana off the job.

    Negotiations are being conducted at the State Capitol over a bill sought by Associated General Contractors specifying that medical-marijuana users who work in dangerous or “safety-sensitive” jobs could be fired or disciplined if they test positive.

    This is outrageous.

    Sure, it makes sense to ban employees from being stoned when they’re in a dangerous work environment. Shit, nobody wants to work around some guy who is baked of his ass idly swinging a nail gun. Likewise, a worker should be banned from those sorts of jobs while he or she is under the influence of psychoactive pharmaceuticals—such as painkillers like oxycodone or stimulants like Adderall.

    But that’s not the beef from the contractors’ lobby, which is seeking the right to fire workers who—with their doctors’ recommendations and the state’s approval—use marijuana after work.

    The big difference between state-permitted medical pot and the federally-prescribed drugs is that pot stays in fat cells longer, so trace amounts are detected by a urinalysis weeks later. So, in a way, this would be a form of metabolic, chemical discrimination. But more to the point, this is disability-based discrimination: If you suffer from a certain condition and your doctor believes this is the best treatment, you’re fired.

    Since when did employers deserve a say in which HIV medications or cancer treatments an employee can use?

    Employers may doubt the legitimacy of medical marijuana, but unless a worker is impaired on the job that opinion is meaningless. The only opinion that matters is that of a doctor who’s seen a patient’s medical files and actually understands the pharmacological properties of THC (pot’s active ingredient) in the treatment of that patient’s condition.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on January 6 at 11:20 AM

    Under the Ballard bridge, from Flickr pool contributor Slippery Joaquin.


    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on January 6 at 11:00 AM


    ‘There Will Be Blood’

    The latest from Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights) wants to bruise and batter you before you stumble out of the theater, your faith in humanity damaged but good. Loosely based on Upton Sinclair’s Oil!, it features a menacing performance by Daniel Day-Lewis as an unscrupulous turn-of-the-century oilman whose rise to obscene wealth fulfills the title’s promise. Holiday cheer it ain’t—the best American film in years it definitely is. (See movie times for details.)


    The Wire

    posted by on January 6 at 9:49 AM


    A significant portion of the ridiculous mountain of cash I hand over to Comcast every month will be completely justified tonight as The Wire begins its fifth and final season.

    The fifth season adds another element of life in a decaying American city—print media—to the already astoundingly rich portrait created over the past four seasons.

    It’s the best show ever made, and certainly the best thing to come out of Baltimore—my home town—ever. (Sorry, Natty Boh.) I’m already sad it’s over.

    Oh, and Obama loves The Wire, which is as good a reason to vote for him as any, no?

    More on the fifth season from The New York Times.