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Archives for 03/09/2008 - 03/15/2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Writers’ Strike at DailyKos

posted by on March 15 at 12:22 PM

By Hillary Clinton supporters who are mad as hell at the online abuse they say they are getting, and have decided not to take it anymore.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 15 at 11:00 AM


The Presidents of the United States of America at Paramount Theatre

Holy hell, what a bill! Pleaseeasaur opens, and he’s like a demented, singing furry with an overhead projector. Then United State of Electronica bring the disco dance party with flashing lights, glitter and confetti, and every ounce of good energy in the immediate area. But tonight’s shiniest stars are the Presidents of the USA, who released their fifth full-length album, These Are the Good Times People, earlier this week. Stay away if you’re shy—tonight you’re going to be asked to dance. A lot. (Paramount, 911 Pine St, 467-5510. 8 pm, $23 adv/$25 DOS, all ages.)


Wright Brings Obama Down. In a Good Way.

posted by on March 15 at 10:35 AM

The whole Obama/Wright story makes me like Obama more.

While Obama is obviously bullshitting when he acts as if he’s surprised by Rev. Wright’s statements, I actually like that Obama goes to a church with an incendiary, kinda trite black minister.

Ha! Wright’s “chickens home to roost” line about 9/11 is directly lifted from Malcolm X talking about JFK’s assassination, right? It doesn’t get any more amateur-hour than that from a firebrand wannabe. But The fact that Obama has a goof ball minister like that just makes Obama more normal. About time.

Meanwhile, Obama’s performance on Olbermann about the whole flap was particularly well played.

Although, before I get to that, I must say, the typically dogged Olbermann was a total pussy. Watch the first Q&A in particular. Obama doesn’t answer the question (did Wright resign or did Obama ask him to step down?), and Olbermann doesn’t persist.

Having said that, Obama’s explanation about Rev. Wright is perfect. Obama subtly tells mainstream America to fuck off (!) by paying respect to Wright’s ’60s POV, but at the exact same time, Obama uses Wright’s outdated and silly POV to bring this whole thing back to his central campaign theme: It’s time to move on from the old polarizing battles of the baby boom years and so, vote Obama.

Well done. Even genius. Obama uses a bad story coming out of his campaign corner as more evidence that you should vote for him.

Re: From A Nongamer With Love

posted by on March 15 at 10:33 AM

Exelizabeth made some good points about obtuseness in gaming, though technically, that issue has been going for a long time. Most of the commenters with NES/SNES nostalgia are forgetting just how criminally hard a lot of games were in the 80s, when many were designed to frustrate folks in the arcade and keep the quarters rolling. (Even home exclusive hits like Mega Man were filled with ridiculous “jump on the tiniest ledge possible” levels.)

But then she went and disproved her own points by listing her own fave games. The Sims? Viva Pinata? These games might be pick-up-and-play at first, but they turn complex pretty quickly. Both require micro-managing a sandbox to the point where you’re almost better off having a strategy guide at your side while playing. But such a time investment isn’t a bad thing. The whole point of a winning video game is that it earns your desire to figure it out. Maybe you really like the idea of fake-fighting your friends, so you learn how to do an uppercut in Street Fighter. Or you’re a history addict who is so in love with military strategy, it’s almost second nature to make sense of Age of Empires. Or you see the absolutely bizarre production values of Katamari Damacy and take about two minutes to make sense of its ball-rolling tutorial—whammo, you’re now picking up loud, horny cats with a sticky ball. And on and on. Probably takes less time to learn Katamari Damacy and get into some wonderfully bizarre gameplay than it does to sift through enough humanities courses and books to “truly” appreciate art’s baroque era.

But the games industry would still be wise to listen to exactly what Exelizabeth is saying. Earning players’ desire is definitely different for those who have their noses stuck in the games world and for those who look at it from afar. I get that the world of art isn’t exactly fair to compare to, as it has thousands of years and scholars and everything else behind its existence. Games still need a few more decades to really find a comfortable spot in culture—not necessarily in art, but at least in something people are overwhelmingly choosing to include in their adult lives.

I can only hope Exelizabeth (and, duh, her bf) come out for the Slog Super Smash Bros. Brawl Slog tourney that I am gonna organize when I get back into town this week. Who’s in? What days/nights work best for everyone?

Currently Hanging

posted by on March 15 at 10:30 AM

Walter Grio’s Waiting (2008), framed digital print on Kodak quality paper, 16 by 20 inches

At McLeod Residence.

Reading Today

posted by on March 15 at 10:00 AM


March is now Ideful and Friday has been Freaked and there are lots of readings to attend, so let’s get down to it. There are two open mics and a thriller and more.

Exelizabeth wrote about Amy Sutherland in a much more entertaining (and also forgiving) way than I ever could, and so follow the link if you’d like to read more about a self-help book that’s on the topics of marriage lessons from a killer whale. Sutherland is at Queen Anne Books today.

Exelizabeth also paid considerable homage to Lois Lowry, a young adult writer that I will always adore. Apparently, Lowry’s reading at Town Hall isn’t sold out yet, but you should probably get tickets before you go.

Warren Read is at Elliott Bay Book Company, reading from The Lyncher In Me, which is about coming to terms with the sins of a favorite great-grandfather. This is one of those “If I had all the time in the world…” books that gets ignored for other, more pressing books. But that’s one of the reasons we have readings, right? To see if the book’s worth the purchase?

Finally, there’s a reading going on that’s kind of a special case: local author Jefferson Elliott is reading from Suicide Diary, a novel that looks, frankly, pretty bad in the preview pages up at But it’s also a grand opening for a new bookstore, called The Bottom Shelf. A new bookstore is always exciting, right? Here’s what the owner, Ben Corey, told me about it in an e-mail:

…what we are working towards is essentially an information shop. its a small place so we are going to specialize generally in non-fiction and more specifically in science, travel and social commentary. We will always have a selection of fiction as well, but I am trying to weed out all but the classics and the best of the contemporary. We also have art from a number of local artists and a small selection of music from local bands and musicians.

I might not make it there today, but I will make it there in the near future.

Full readings calendar, including more information about these readings, here.

The Morning News

posted by on March 15 at 9:00 AM

posted by news intern Chris Kissel

Bear Stearns collapse: Stock market shakes, Federal Reserve fears the problems will spread.

Free Tibet: Violence overshadows Chinese elections, threatens to mar Beijing Olympics. Unconfirmed reports put death toll at 100.

Explosions in Albania: Two hours of blasts at army depot leave 150 injured in Tirana.

Storm hits Atlanta
: City braves tornado that leaves destruction, 13,000 without electricity.

Delegate debate: Desperate Democrats continue to squabble over what to do with Michigan and Florida.

Wright leaves campaign: Obama condemns sermons of pastor accused of being a “black separatist.”

Southern justice: New mothers in southern Alabama thrown behind bars.

Local economy suffers
: Seattle well ahead of national inflation rates.

Seattle Center redesign: New $676 million proposal threatens Memorial Stadium.

No more bottled water
: Nickles purges the city government of water bottles in an effort to save the environment.

…So Fucked I Can’t Believe It…

posted by on March 15 at 12:23 AM

Seen enough to eye you
But I’ve seen to much to try you
It’s always weirdness while you
Dig it much too much to fry you
The weirdness flows between us
Anyone can tell to see us
Freak scene just cant believe us
Why cant it just be cool and free us?

Seen enough to eye you
But I’ve seen to much to try you
Its always weirdness while you

What a mess
Dig it much too much to fry you
The weirdness flows between us
Anyone can tell to see us
Freak scene just cant believe us
Why cant it just be cool and leave us?

Its so fucked I can’t believe it
If theres a way I wish we’d see it
How could it work just can’t conceive it
Oh what a mess it’s just to leave it

Sometimes I don’t thrill you
Sometimes I think I’ll kill you
Just don’t let me fuck up will you
‘cause when I need a friend it’s still you

What a mess

Friday, March 14, 2008

Food Fight

posted by on March 14 at 9:30 PM

Multiple viewings recommended.

“…so fucked you do not even know what is coming…”

posted by on March 14 at 8:40 PM

After today’s financial meltdown “[y]ou have to go back to the banking crisis of the Great Depression to find a moment when the financial system as a whole seemed so close to the precipice.”

A bit of commentary from the Exile, an alt-weekly for American ex-pats in Russia:

Everything about Bear Stearns collapse and bailout is a deja vu of collapse of Yeltsin-era banking system

In Russia under Yeltsin, when a bank was close to collapse they always assured the public that everything was fine and they blamed “rumors” for causing problems; this week, the CEO of Bear Stearns and all the American journalists on Bear Stearns payroll blamed “rumors” and “irrational psychology” for causing a run on Bear Stearns’ money during the week. The purpose of these lies is that it allows the insiders to cash out their money while the rest of the trusting American fools keep their money in, only to lose it later. Then after the insiders cash out, comes the supposed “panic” and “sudden” collapse, best to take place on a Friday of course. The “sudden collapse” and “panic” gives cover for the next even bigger transaction: the connected Bear Stearns banker calls the Central Bank Chief Bernanke, just as Khodorkovsky would call Dubinin or whoever was Central Bank chief then, and naturally Bernanke gives to Bear Stearns as many billions as the CEO asks for, and everyone thinks it’s okay because the billions were necessary in this atmosphere of alleged “sudden panic,” as if Bear Stearns and Bernanke had not been speaking to each other like phone sex addicts every day 24/7 the entire week.

It is sad to see Americans imitating the very worst Russians 10 years late, what incredible fucking losers you are! And meanwhile the American masses have no fucking idea, free press or no free press, they just stand around like retarded jackasses with a sign on their backs that reads “ASS-FUCK ME”, because they trust their leaders. Americans don’t know anything about Iraq anymore except that they’re winning, they don’t know hundreds of billions being stolen in front of their fat stupid faces, they don’t know anything except where to find a bargain on hamburger buns. I almost cannot blame Bush and the bankers for stealing from American fools, it’s just too easy! Let the bloodthirsty corrupt elite steal from the bloodthirsty retarded masses, it will hasten the final collapse of this cruel and shameful empire called “America.”

Moves: Prayer for My Enemy Goes to Off-Broadway, Freehold Goes to Belltown

posted by on March 14 at 6:21 PM


The latest by the writer/director team of Craig Lucas and Bart Sher is scheduled to premiere at Playwrights Horizons in 2008.

(It was originally scheduled to premiere at the Roundabout, but Lucas and his agent pulled it because the theater wanted forty percent of the play’s subsidiary rights for the next ten years.)

Congratulations to Sher and Lucas, even if Prayer, at least in its Seattle iteration, wasn’t our favorite. Paul Constant’s review put it well:

The theater world would be a better, more populous place if nobody ever produced another play about an adult son with a tough-as-nails father, a frazzled mother, and an inferiority complex. That’s a lot of cliché, but at least it is well-acted cliché.


Freehold, after being booted out of Odd Fellows Hall, is moving to the old Speakeasy space, on the second floor of 2222 Second Ave. (Freehold’s numerologists are happier than they’ve ever been.)

Our new location has a beloved history having been a former fringe-theatre space set in the heart of the vibrant Belltown neighborhood currently anchored by numerous coffee shops, restaurants and art galleries. Our new space will house two large studios (which includes a 49 seat performance space), a writing room, and administrative offices. Macha Monkey (, also a former Odd Fellows’ Hall tenant, will be sharing space with Freehold at our new location.

Pioneer Organics to Merge With Rival

posted by on March 14 at 6:20 PM

Seattle-based Pioneer Organics, a home-delivery service operating in Seattle and Portland, will merge with the largest home-delivery service in Canada, Vancouver, B.C.-based Small Potatoes Urban Delivery, or SPUD. Pioneer president and co-owner Ronny Bell has his interest in the company he founded and will no longer play a role in the new company. Bell shared ownership of Pioneer Organics with a relative, Michael Knight, with whom he was reportedly battling over ownership of the company. Bell did not return a call for comment.

SPUD CEO David Van Seters says each company will continue to operate under its own name for the time being, and that all cities currently served by the two companies (which include Portland, Seattle, Victoria, Vancouver, and San Francisco, among others) will still be served by the new company. “We’re rapidly growing and expanding out to new markets,” Van Seters says, adding that the company does not plan any layoffs. “We’re actually planning to grow.”

Both SPUD and Pioneer Organics started in 1997. In its early years, SPUD grew rapidly, merging with other home delivery companies and expanding its own operations. The company claims on its web site that each SPUD van carrying 100 orders saves up to 200 private car trips to the grocery store and reduces fuel use by 40 percent. “With 100 orders, that’s literally an entire grocery store parking lot [replaced by] one little truck,” Van Seters says. The combined company will have a total of about 18,000 customers.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on March 14 at 6:19 PM


From Laser Butter

Rezko Raised as Much as $250K For Obama

posted by on March 14 at 6:15 PM

According to the Chicago Tribune:

Indicted Chicago businessman Antoin “Tony” Rezko was a more significant fundraiser for presidential candidate Barack Obama’s earlier political campaigns than previously known. Rezko raised as much as $250,000 for the first three offices Obama sought, the senator told the Tribune on Friday.

Obama also said for the first time that his private real estate transactions with Rezko involved repeated lapses of judgment. The mistake, Obama said, was not simply that Rezko was under grand jury investigation at the time of their 2005 and 2006 dealings. “The mistake was he had been a contributor and somebody involved in politics,” he said.

In an extensive interview that he hoped would quell the lingering controversy over his relationship with Rezko, Obama said that voters concerned about his judgment should view it as “a mistake in not seeing the potential conflicts of interest.”

Islam Rips a Page From Scientology’s Playbook

posted by on March 14 at 6:06 PM

It’s nice to know that the Muslim world has its priorities in order.

The Muslim world has created a battle plan to defend its religion from political cartoonists and bigots.

Concerned about what they see as a rise in the defamation of Islam, leaders of the world’s Muslim nations are considering taking legal action against those that slight their religion or its sacred symbols. It was a key issue during a two-day summit that ended Friday in this western Africa capital.

Enslaved women, honor killings, murderous extremists, sexual backwardness, fascist regimes, peak oil, global warming—yeah, yeah. Let’s focus on what’s really important, kids. Someone ink-stained cartoonist made fun of our prophet. Boo hoo. Maybe folks living in parts of the world where we can’t execute them for blasphemy will hold our religion in higher esteem if we threaten to sue ‘em. Yeah, that’ll work.


Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

posted by on March 14 at 5:59 PM

Thank you to our guest Sloggers and all the back-seat-driver commentary today. The blog was lively, weird, and wonderful, while the staff writers enjoyed a leisurely 18 holes. (If you’re looking for more critical feedback, Strangeways offers his review.) Bravo!

The Best Thing Ever

posted by on March 14 at 5:58 PM

Stressful week? I have the ultimate relaxation tip for you. This guy:


You cannot be stressed out while watching Bob Ross paint. That soothing voice, the happy trees, the tranquil landscapes, the occasional clip of a baby squirrel. It’s so relaxing that while watching I have literally started to drool like my cats do when they’re really happy. It is that good.

The only way to see Bob is to catch reruns on PBS, or to buy DVDs from his website. It’s a bit pricey at $46 a series (13 shows), but trust me, knowing you have The Joy of Painting on demand is priceless.

And that’s everything for me! Thanks everyone, it’s been fun.


posted by on March 14 at 5:55 PM

I’m squeaking in under the wire to show some love for a topic near and dear to my heart: Comic books.

You guys are going to the Emerald City ComiCon, right?

I’m not a superhero fan, I read a lot of Vertigo books, and a lot of, quite frankly, weird and dark books. But, even for a non-hero-lover like me, the ComicCon offers an opportunity to find new titles I wouldn’t otherwise see, meet authors and artists I like, and generally geek out. The ComiCon is making the move from the Qwest Field Events Center to the Convention Center downtown this year, and I’m excited to see their expansion. Please support them!

If you’re looking for a resource on comic books but don’t want to have to ask an actual person in real life, my friend Peter runs the P-I’s comic blog, and he knows more about comics than anyone else I’ve ever met.

Thanks Slog, it’s been fun. Or, humbling and stressful. That’s sort of like fun.

This Weekend at the Movies

posted by on March 14 at 5:54 PM

This weekend at the movies we have… a lot of movies I’ve never heard of. Seriously, the only one I’ve heard anything about is Horton Hears a Who! (which looks not-so-good to me, but Megan Seling says it’s funny).

Out of the movies covered in this week’s On Screen, the only one that looks watchable to me is Funny Games. The first sentence of Annie’s review:

In an interview included on the recently released DVD of the original Funny Games, from 1997, Austrian director Michael Haneke asserts that any viewer who chooses to sit through his entire movie is sick in the head.

She goes on to not recommend the film.

So, there isn’t much in the way of movies this week. Perhaps you ought to stay home and read a book.

All Is Full of Love

posted by on March 14 at 5:52 PM

If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to give back a little of what I take away from here every day. But now there is serious drinking to be done, and I have a date with Kratos in Olympus. Thanks for all of the kind comments and post assists. You’re the best.

ISSUE ONE: Paws or Feet?

posted by on March 14 at 5:28 PM

I state with metaphysical certitude that Friday nights are not the same without John McLaughlin. Once, Seattle’s proletariat could ring in the weekend with a cocktail or two and a half-hour of civil unrest with John, Eleanor, Pat and the others. But no longer. Seattle’s KCTS now broadcasts The McLaughlin Group only on Sundays at 11:00 am. The poetic shouting is not the same, stone-cold sober on a Sunday morning. Fortunately Andrew WK has captured the energy, wit and wisdom of The Group in this powerful little ditty, written exclusively for PRI’s Fair Game.

Bye bye!

Freaky Indeed

posted by on March 14 at 5:26 PM

Thank you to The Stranger and Ms. Horn for the opportunity to Slog for a day. Thank you to the commenters for making it fun. Thank you to the wife for all her help.

“But why shouldn’t I post a response?” she’s asked for the fifth time today. “What the heck is a troll?”

Have a good weekend everyone. Try to stay out of trouble.

Thinking Critically about Legalizing Prostitution

posted by on March 14 at 5:16 PM

In the wake of the Spitzer scandal, one rarely-discussed issue that’s being brought to the forefront is the legalization of prostitution. And, it would seem, most progressives are for it. They pronounce that Spitzer’s affair “wasn’t that bad” because “prostitution should be legal.” But I want to back the party wagon up, here and really consider—should prostitution be legal?

Even though I am an ardent feminist, prostitution was not something I thought about in great detail until, frankly, this week, when I’ve started doing research about it. I’ve always had an unarticulated unease about prostitution, and I’ve been shocked by the attitude that many people have it’s “just another line of work.”

What previously was viewed as a severe form of sexual exploitation is now a woman’s right to do what she wants with her body and a way to sexual liberation and self-determination. This change is a contemporary and pertinent example of the revival of a stagnant repressive political agenda, which now permeates virtually all current political, academic, and popular discourses on prostitution and trafficking in human beings.

It is a logical enough train of thought in a capitalist system that prostitution would be an extension of “choice” as applied to reproductive rights. Unfortunately, “choice” has an economic rather than moral connotation, and these are not economic issues. They are moral ones. The Left shies away from talking about morality, because we (selectively) find imposing our morality on others distasteful. However, I don’t think being anti-prostitution is imposing morality; it’s being anti-exploitation. But more on that in a minute.

I’ve started investigating countries who take different approaches to prostitution than the US. In Australia, the state of Victoria has legalized prostitution (made it legal to buy and sell sexual services, as well as run a business that provides sexual services). Turns out, it’s not working so well. The women don’t have any more control over their situations, and trafficking, including that of children, has been increasing ever since legalization. They don’t have a means of transitioning out of prostitution (since no other legal job requires state-supported transition programs).

So far, the best approach that I’ve come across is that taken by Sweden, where it is not illegal to be a prostitute, but it is illegal to purchase sexual services.

In Sweden, it is understood that any society that claims to defend principles of legal, political, economic, and social equality for women and girls must reject the idea that women and children, mostly girls, are commodities that can be bought, sold, and sexually exploited by men*. To do otherwise is to allow that a separate class of female human beings, especially women and girls who are economically and racially marginalized, is excluded from these measures, as well as from the universal protection of human dignity enshrined in the body of international human rights instruments developed during the past 50 years.
One of the cornerstones of Swedish policies against prostitution and trafficking in human beings is the focus on the root cause, the recognition that without men’s demand for and use of women and girls for sexual exploitation, the global prostitution industry would not be able to flourish and expand.

Continue reading "Thinking Critically about Legalizing Prostitution" »

Slogging Is Difficult

posted by on March 14 at 5:05 PM

Thanks to The Stranger staff for giving me a chance to do this. I enjoyed it, but it was also rather difficult. I certainly am better at consuming information than providing it. I already had respect for the staff members who contribute to Slog, and it has nothing but increased as a result of the experience. I hope I did okay!

Thanks also to Casio, whose last minute decision to assist me with these posts proved invaluable.


In other old news, here are a few actual stories:

Maybe we can learn something from the conservative, Iranian, view regarding Sex Changes.

They are already talking about building BMWs here because the labor is cheaper than in Germany. If the dollar continues to fall I suppose we can look forward to the latest in Low Paying Jobs.

Here’s some good news, but don’t say you heard it from me.

And with that, I think I’m officially done as a guest slogger today. Here’s a crappy cell phone pic of me. Say hello if you see me around town. And check out my band, razrez.


If There’s Grass On the Field…

posted by on March 14 at 5:01 PM

Last Friday I stayed in with the intention of working on Slog posts, but instead I watched 20/20. I hate the news-magazine format for its cloying sensationalism, but their story on a young couple dealing with the husband’s sex-offender status, earned while he was a teenager having consensual sex with the woman who would later become his wife, was well-balanced and thought-provoking. They are running part two of the story tonight (on our local ABC affiliate, KOMO 4), so if you’re not doing anything else at 10 o’clock, it may help you forget how lame you feel for not doing anything else at 10 o’clock on a Friday night.

Laws like this frustrate me because, when applied in such a black-or-white way, they are not necessarily protective, and can unfairly ruin someone’s life. Sure, you can argue that it’s one’s personal responsibility to know the law and follow it, but teens with teens? I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again: I did not magically start making awesome decisions when I turned 18. How is it beneficial to society to make a man suffer for the rest of his life for a victimless mistake?

Any parents of teens out there, PLEASE talk to them about the age of consent laws in your state and how to avoid a very costly mistake. I feel strongly that this should also be covered in high school health classes, but in abstinence-only land that seems unlikely. This site collects the specific state laws, and many others provide a breakdown of ages of consent around the world.

When Will This Farce End?

posted by on March 14 at 4:54 PM

Sherman Alexie convinced me to love the Sonics. His stories make me happy. If the Sonics make him happy, then I’m all for keeping them around. In my dream world, the Trailblazers have their bags packed and are waiting for a vacancy in KeyArena before they move here.

While Mr. Bennett pretends he’ll keep the team here, his fellow Oklahomers announced today they’ll pave the Sonics’ path from Seattle with tax-payer money.

At what point can we all stop pretending? Wouldn’t this Band-Aid hurt less if we just ripped it off quickly?

It’s Cocktail Time, and I Must Away

posted by on March 14 at 4:47 PM

My beloved gay husband and I are taking the weekend off to travel in a big loop through the mountains to Leavenworth (short stop for a bratwurst?) then on to Yakima (antique stores, burgers at Dusty’s) for Saturday night. Sunday morning we move on to The Maryhill Museum in Oregon to see Marie of Romania’s stuff, the concrete Stonehenge, and the Theatre De La Mode. Finally, over to Portland for a night in a good hotel (thanks Orbitz!), a nice meal (at the Veritable Quandary, perhaps) and Portland things on Monday like Powell’s, Counter Media, etc.

Any suggestions for somewhere to stay in Yakima area that won’t cost an absurd amount and isn’t too scary? We are teh gay, and therefore can enjoy the kitsch, but we are also over 40 and like to be reasonably comfortable.

Is there anything not mentioned on our itinerary that we should stop for?

Thanks everyone for letting me SLOG today. I got little else done, but enjoyed myself thoroughly. Sorry I didn’t unearth any showtunes for Fnarf, sorry I wasn’t able to share my thoughts on Hillary VS Obama (short one-issue version: The Clintons have been known to toss the gays under the bus at the earliest opportunity. I’m hoping for better from Obama.) But thanks to Amy Kate and everyone from the Stranger for letting me spout off today.

And to finish up by being completely self-serving. Let me mention that I bar tend (most) Sunday afternoons at MOE Bar, starting at 3 PM. Come have some drinks and tip me lavishly.


As for the pagoda, we found it on Craigslist!

The State of Things

posted by on March 14 at 4:42 PM

As the sun sets on Freaky Friday, I’d like to first take this opportunity to thank the Stranger staff, lovely, charming folks that they are. I will conclude with a slideshow of what are, as of 4:15 PM on March 14, 2008, the current best things on earth. They are, in order, sea otters…

pad thai…

and roller derby.

Behold, the World’s Nicest Jerk

posted by on March 14 at 4:33 PM

Slog would like to thank me for being here today. I would have posted more, but I’m busybusybusy and unoriginalunoriginalunoriginal, and I’m sorry. (Not for you, for me.) I am way too awesome for this… this “work” nonsense.

Anyway, thanks for shoving your tongue up my ass and/or making fun of me. It was fun, but this fun must end. If you ever see me around town, say hi. I’m not scary. I promise. I look like this:

Don’t be shy. And if you’re pictured anywhere in this post, you pretty much have a 100% chance of fucking me. Up the ass. Or in the face. Or just spray it all over. I’m GGG. Whatevz.

My Mom

posted by on March 14 at 4:08 PM

This is my last post of the day. I have to go off and prep for a big Saturday offsite.

I want to thank Dan and Amy and the whole Stranger family for giving me this opportunity. I had a blast. I especially want to say a deeply sincere “thank you” to the 90+% of Obama supporters who today argued articulately, passionately, and respectfully for him. I come out of today more confident that we as Democrats are going to kick McCain’s ass in the fall, regardless of who carries the flag. I hope the Stranger and the SLOG become a big part of that effort in Washington, which isn’t nearly blue enough for my tastes. Though the road to the nomination is uncertain, my second greatest wish in life would be that we leave the nomination united and optimistic.

There’s something that I’d like even more, though. I hope after reading this, you’ll understand why I asked the folks at the Slog to turn off comments for this particular post.

My Mom is the most stalwart Democrat, liberal and feminist that I know. When I was growing up, she was always positive and never didactic about her political beliefs, always letting her boundless optimism and confidence in the judgement of the people sustain her though the darkest of seasons (that would be Ronald Reagan and Shrub, natch.) Likewise, her feminism was such a positive, equality-for-all, organic part of our household that it always just seemed obvious and natural and not at all anti-guy (my Mom likes guys. Quite a bit. A troublemaker might almost argue a tad too much at times…)

She was diagnosed early last year with advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer. Though there have been some tough times, she is still fighting the good fight now, over a year later. We had a perfect summer and a wonderful Christmas last year. I just want to let her know- here in the strongest, most vibrant, most progressive forum I can find- how much who I am is built on the foundation that she gave me, and how grateful I am for the clear, exuberant, rational, hopeful, compassionate, fighting, forgiving, and strong political and ethical force that she will always be in my life.

Mom, I love you so much! Get better soon.


Slog the Future (and the Rest!)

posted by on March 14 at 3:59 PM



Will In Seattle

Ecce Homo

My Favorite Synthesizer

posted by on March 14 at 3:56 PM


Sally Kern’s Son Says He’s Not Gay (And I Believe Him)

posted by on March 14 at 3:55 PM

Sally Kern’s son denies reports he is gay

by: Mick Hinton, World Capitol Bureau

OKLAHOMA CITY — The son of a state lawmaker who has condemned homosexuality as a worse threat to the U.S. than “terrorists or Islam” said Friday he wants it known that he is “straight and not gay.”

Jesse Kern, son of Rep. Sally Kern, R-Oklahoma City, said information purporting that he is gay, which has appeared on several blogs, is damaging to himself and his family.

Kern, 31, said he feels the media has a responsibility to seek out the truth, then report it.

Kern, who said he is affiliated with the Des Moines School of Metaphysics, said that he chooses to be celibate, but he is not homosexual.

Was his statement and consequent oversharing about his celibacy necessary? I would guess not, but according to the very snazzy website of the Des Moines School of Metaphysics, he is not just affiliated, he is the director of said school. He also looks possibly do-able, in a squirrely but earnest kind of way.


“First of all, no one’s sexuality is anyone’s business. It is not even my mother’s business,” he said. “I practice celibacy to give to my God,” he said.

He neglects to mention if he’s celibate like a Catholic priest, and only diddles children, or celibate like the Blessed Virgin and may one day give birth to a saviour. I’m too afraid to delve into Metaphysics to find out. It is possible too, I suppose, that he’s gay and is celibate because he is afraid of his Mommy, but that is too tedious and sad-making to consider.

It is hoped that Mr. Kern will return to keeping his big trap shut, and let us also hope that his bigoted, dangerous, and paranoid mother learns to do the same.

Worst Post Ever About Pit Bulls

posted by on March 14 at 3:48 PM

I have a 1968 Honda Scrambler (cl305) now, and have owned at least one motorcycle for the past ten years. When I bought this one, my friend Peter—who was studying prosthetics at the UW—told me that after his internship he will never ride a motorcycle. He seems to know a lot about losing body parts. And replacing them, too.


So i thought he’d be a great person to ask about pit bulls. I mean, why not get some expert opinions on the matter? Every time a pit bull story surfaces people always argue about the nature of pet-inflicted injuries, about good and bad owners, about identification of breeds, and on and on…. So I wanted to get some facts.

I emailed him a question: “Have you ever had to create a prosthesis for someone who was attacked by an animal, maybe a pit bull or something?”

His very revealing response was, “Negatory, but lawnmowers, yes.”

Maybe all these posts about the dangers of pit bulls should be directed to a more damaging problem: lawnmowers. Many of the same questions, unfortunately, would dog such a topic. Was the injury the result of a bad owner verses a good owner? Was the lawnmower cared for properly? Do lawnmowers attract a certain kind of owner? Could medical workers even properly differentiate a lawnmower from other similar tools, such as a gas-powered weed whacker?

Instead of getting sidetracked, I decided to remain focused on pit bulls. Maybe I’d just have to work a little harder to get the information I was seeking. Since I stopped working hours ago, this seemed possible.

Each time the pit bull discussion comes up, someone—often me—posts this crazy link to a list of dog attack deaths and maiming in the US and Canada between September 1982 and November 2006.

This would seem to provide the authoritative information people need to make good decisions about pit bulls. But still, people would reply that cat bites are more infectious, it’s the owner’s fault, or that animal control agents couldn’t correctly identify a pit bull in most cases. All of these arguments can be seen somewhere way down in this thread.

The report was compiled by Merritt Clifton, who happens to live in Washington state. I thought he might be an expert or something, and that maybe he could clear things up a bit. So I emailed him.

He responded instantly. And at great length.

I asked about breed identification first.

Do people really know what a pit bull is? Are there vast numbers of people who might not know that they don’t even have a pit bull? Do animal control agents make enough mistakes to invalidate your findings?

MC: This is also damned silly, because even if 50% of the identifications of breeds were erroneous, which would reduce the accuracy of breed identification to the level of random chance, you would still have one breed that amounts to 5% of the dog population committing 25% of the attacks that rise to the level of fatality or permanent injury—about one dog attack incident in 10,000.

But come on, people make mistakes. We’ve seen all the polling errors in the recent primaries. What margin of error do you think is present in your final document?

MC: None of significance. I’m not looking at hair-splitting cases.

Continue reading "Worst Post Ever About Pit Bulls" »

I’m Afraid We Can’t Do That

posted by on March 14 at 3:29 PM

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are convinced they can, with the help of IBM’s new supercomputer, build true artificial intelligence.

Human common sense reasoning is extremely hard to model. Consider how much unconscious reasoning goes into your morning routine: hearing the radio, figuring out your alarm just woke you up, turning it off, getting up and walking to the kitchen (avoiding anything on the floor in the process), deciding you need a cup of coffee … you get the idea. In the 1980s, a researcher named Doug Lenat had an idea: Just get enough people filling in enough facts into a huuuuuuge database, apply some simple straightforward algorithms to them, and - poof! - you’ll have the software apparatus to build robots who can run around figuring out how not to burn your toast. Thus the CyC project was born. They went off and spent long hours compiling collections of simple information about everyday life, like “Toasters make toast”. And entered some more. And more. And more. It’s now eighteen years later, and CyC has done some cool things, but they’re still off filling gaps in the data, and we still don’t have toast-making robots.

Since then other researchers have come up with similar models for AI - trying to decompose intelligence into multiple simple layers which can be built upon, trying to automatically learn that same common sense information about the world from libraries of text, or from the World Wide Web, and so on. Projects based on these models have solved very specific problems well and brought us wonderful technology - the Roomba that cleans my floor, for example - but the task of building a robot that can interact with and think about the world as humans do remains largely unsolved. We still don’t really understand what intelligence is - how observation and memory are connected and built upon - let alone how to model it.

These researchers have gone about the task of modeling intelligence via a Second Life character that shows the cognitive skills of a child. From this, they expect to build a machine that will eventually solve the famed Turing test. History suggests they will instead solve a couple of tiny problems very well - say, building convincing personalities for video game characters - and then move on. This AI problem has turned out to be a lot harder than we thought forty or so years ago, when Marvin Minsky declared that within a generation the “AI problem” would be solved. But the most efficient process found for creating intelligent beings so far has taken about 3.7 billion years, so I guess we shouldn’t feel so bad.


Will the Last California Roll to Leave the Sushi Bar Please Turn Out the Lights?

posted by on March 14 at 3:03 PM

I’d recommend Blue C in Fremont. Hurry.

Be True to Your School

posted by on March 14 at 2:59 PM

I went to a public high school in Santa Barbara with Christian Love, son of Beach Boy Mike Love. He hung with the surfers and I didn’t really know him except as “that son of a Beach Boy”. I think we had a Spanish class together.

His first cousin, Kevin Love, currently plays basketball at UCLA, my alma mater. I went to just one UCLA basketball game during my four years of college, spending my Saturdays instead building grand pyramids from cans of Coors Light.


Today, America is on the cusp March Madness, a three-week college basketball extravaganza which will cost U.S. employers a SLOGesque $1.7 billion in worker productivity. The UCLA Bruins should be the West’s #1 seed when match-ups are announced this Sunday.

These are lofty times for the Bruins, but the shot clock winds down on UCLA’s legendary coach, John Wooden. The 97-year-old Wizard of Westwood recently spent two weeks in the hospital, recovering from a fall he took at his home. One wonders how much time the old coach has left. Can this year’s Bruin team, playing with a Woodenesque mixture of unity, toughness and poise, give the Wizard one last taste of March Madness glory?

Stranger Personals

posted by on March 14 at 2:53 PM

Who chooses the Love Lab profiles and images displayed in the right hand column?

If you posted to Love Lab, would you want to be one of the featured profiles? Or is that too much exposure? Would you only want to be found when someone searches for you? They seem to find fairly interesting pictures to post, but why are they mainly women?

Has anyone here ever been the featured profile?

How to Cook a Wolf

posted by on March 14 at 2:50 PM


Ethan Stowell’s latest brainchild, How to Cook a Wolf, is located on top of Queen Anne and derives its name from an M.F.K. Fisher book. Not as casual as Tavolata and less formal than Union, the atmosphere is cozy and ebullient. There are a handful of tables along the south wall, but the space is primarily focused on a cork-lined bar where patrons can sit and eat and catch glimpses of the action in the tiny kitchen. The room is softly lit, with a warm glow from the copper that lines the elegant, curving plank walls. It feels like you’ve just walked into a secret.

But first, the waiting.

Continue reading "How to Cook a Wolf" »

Two TV Shows

posted by on March 14 at 2:44 PM

1) Machine learning via watching COPS:

I like to watch / CopVision is a program that watches television. Specifically, it watches COPS on Fox. It is not a video, it is a software process that tries to make sense of a live video feed. COPS is all it has ever known, and it probably thinks it is COPS …

CopVision learns its language from closed captioning subtitles transmitted in the television signal. Everything that is said on COPS is tucked away in its memory to help it understand what it’s seeing.

2) Mild discomfort via watching Full House:

You’re Not My Father, by Paul Slocum, is composed of a sequence of recreations of a 10 second scene from the television show Full House, overlaid with sound loops from the scene’s original music.

And now, just because I can, an image of Vanilla Ice being attacked by a swarm of bees.


Zombie Supermodels

posted by on March 14 at 2:40 PM

She looks like a corpse.

Posted by Greg | March 14, 2008 1:02 PM

I agree with Greg. I also believe that looking like a corpse while wearing Haute Couture is part of the fucking deal.


This girl looks a little steadier on her feet, and is slightly more animated than a corpse. She is a glamor zombie. I think she has great forward thrust in the upper body, which shows some capacity for locomotion. The photograph reveals nothing about her capacity for eating human brains.

Le costume is again Galliano for Dior, from the Spring couture, ‘07. The workmanship in this particular collection is especially beautiful, with silk origami decorating many of the clothes. These ensembles are made by hand by teams of people with rare and specialized skills. It is the ultimate in the dressmaker’s art. It is magnificent, and vain, and we deserve a world where it thrives for its own sake.

Now, how to eat a puppy like a zombie. For Jake and David.

This is Not a Parody, This is Where I Want to Live

posted by on March 14 at 2:34 PM

I know this is old news to some, maybe many of you. However, I am posting these in case there are people unfamiliar with these houses as we all once were.

I was amazed and intrigued when I found out there was a residence in the top pyramid of the Smith Tower.


Notwithstanding the decorations inside, I can think of no other place I’d rather live in Seattle.

Okay, maybe either of these places would suffice…



I am obsessed with houseboats. Unfortunately, I cannot even afford this one. Or the mud beneath it.

The houseboats moored within 150 feet of the 1907 Lake Union shoreline are actually on owned real estate. Local legislators snuck a bill through the Legislature that required anyone owning property on Lake Union to buy the adjacent underwater property. The subsequent one million dollars funded the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition on the University of Washington campus.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

posted by on March 14 at 2:19 PM


Photo by Steven MacDonald.

We seem to have a lot of dog lovers here on Slog, some to the detriment of human compassion. While we’re busy getting up in arms over dogs being mistreated thousands of miles away, there are dogs here in Washington State that are going to be put to death simply because they aren’t wanted any longer. This sad fact inspired local woman (and Rickshaw Restaurant owner) Ginger Luke to found and operate Ginger’s Pet Rescue.


Dawn-Marie and Ice-T. Photo by Steven MacDonald.

Dawn-Marie Crowe has been a dog owner and enthusiast for years, and decided that she had the time, compassion, and resources to help. She applied to take part in Ginger’s Foster Program, a process that involved filling out an application, providing pictures of her home, and submitting references. She received her first placement within a week, which consisted of three dogs rescued from a puppy mill. One dog found a permanent home within six days, while the other two are still in her care.

Dawn-Marie says that it’s easy to get attached and want to keep the dogs herself, but she realizes that she can do more by letting the dogs find other homes: “The more dogs I have, the less I can save. If I keep adopting them, the less I can foster.”

If you’re willing to complain online about the mistreatment of animals, are you willing to go one step further? The Pet Rescue site lists 102 things people who can’t foster or adopt a dog can do to help. Here are the first fifteen:

Transport a dog?

Donate a dog bed or towels or other bedding type items?

Donate MONEY (collect your change for a week or a month and donate that!)?

Donate a Kong? A nylabone? A hercules?

Donate a crate?

Donate an x-pen or baby gates?

Donate a food dish or a stainless bucket for a crate?

Donate a leash?

Donate a collar?

Donate some treats or a bag of food?

Donate a halti or promise collar or a gentle leader?

Walk a dog?

Groom a dog?

Donate some grooming supplies (shampoos, combs, brushes, etc.)?

Go to the local shelter and see if that dog is the breed the shelter says it is or go
with rescue to be a second opinion on the dog?

I Got A 97

posted by on March 14 at 1:55 PM

Green is everywhere. Now you can get your Walk Score.

Mr. Poe Wants You to Know What Megan Seling Wants You to Know

posted by on March 14 at 1:48 PM

Free tickets. Presidents of the United States. Free.


From a Non-Gamer With Love

posted by on March 14 at 1:43 PM

Video games are omnipresent in my life. My boyfriend, Nick, is a dedicated gamer with an encyclopedic knowledge of the industry, so I hear about new releases, reviews, controversies, and analysis of video games. We got a two bedroom apartment so the entertainment system, which centers on video games, can have its own enclosed space. I often fall asleep to the muffled sound of electronic gunshots.

But I don’t play video games. Or at least, I hardly play them, because I am really bad at any of them that require any fine motor skills. They make me feel incompetent, which is not an entertaining use of my time. I am unwilling work to be even mediocre at them, because I know the entertainment value in the end wouldn’t be worth the effort.

Knowing this, Nick sent me this article, in which a gamer talks about why he doesn’t think video games will ever become a significant form of cultural discourse like books and film are. Part of this has to do with exactly what I complain about: inaccessibility to the average non-gaming person.

Over time, the technical and systemic complexity of video games have increased… controllers have sprouted more buttons, gyroscopes, and analogue sticks than ever; and it’s still extremely common for games of high quality to be too difficult for a non-game to play effectively.

I want to like video games, it’s just that I want them to be on my level, instead of having to work up to their level. And I would like to play games with Nick. Since it’s such a big part of his life, it necessarily affects mine: if you live with a gamer, you hear it in the background, wires and controllers are everywhere, and it intensely consumes their time . So it seems a shame that it’s so difficult to join them in their hobby on occasion, and to participate in what, throughout human history, has been a shared experience—playing games.

The game I’ve found that is best able to bridge the gap between gamers and non-gamers is Rock Band (we play on the Xbox 360, though it’s out for the Playstation 2 and 3). It’s designed to be multi-player, and the bar to entry is low (even the most tone deaf can sing on “Easy”), but different players can play on different difficulty levels, so it can also be challenging for skilled gamers. Essentially, it’s a whole freakin’ lot of fun to play with your friends: we’ve got some buddies who live out in Issaquah and have no neighbors, so we’ve had several cheap-beer and coffee fueled Rock Band sessions that last until the wee hours of the morning. I just wish there were more games like Rock Band that appealed to group-play and accommodated a variety of gaming skills. Added bonus if, unlike RB, is doesn’t cost nearly $200.

And, for any non-gamers out there who are looking for some games that might appeal to them, here are some of the console games I have enjoyed:

Animal Crossing (GameCube). A Sim type game played in real time. Soothing like Bob Ross is soothing, but still manages to gently sate the capitalist drive to acquire useless crap.
Legend of Zelda: Windwaker (GameCube). A quest type game with manageable game play that doesn’t require a lot of precision.
X-Men Legends (Xbox): Okay, I have a total boner for all things X-Men, so my dedication to this game was kind of a one-off thing. However, the four-character game play is repetitive and doesn’t require much precision so it’s pretty easy to control, but it does require some knowledge of role-playing game conventions (or access to someone with said knowledge). Online cheats are also helpful.
The Sims (Xbox). Duh, the classic non-gamer game where you live a fake life that doesn’t involve shooting much of anything. I originally played Sims games (City, Tower, Ant) on our old Mac IIci.
Viva Piñata (Xbox 360). Another Sim type game, you basically breed piñatas. It’s kind of weird, but so pretty!
Dance Dance Revolution Universe (Xbox 360). Great for exercise, but even I can tell the “Quest Mode” is utter and complete crap.
Carcassonne (Xbox 360). This is an Xbox Live Arcade title that’s based on a board game. It’s essentially a strategy game.

Breaking A Fine Tradition in Washington Pork

posted by on March 14 at 1:39 PM

The AP reports today that Republican Representatives Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers are “taking a one-year break from pet projects known as earmarks.”

The two Washington state members of Congress say they will voluntarily adopt a one-year moratorium as a way to protest a system they say has been abused for personal and political gain.

Like heck they will! I don’t live in either Congresspersons’ district, but if I did, I wouldn’t have not voted against them just so they can turn their backs on the barrels of pork our State so richly deserves.

If Maggie Magnuson, Scoop Jackson, and even Slade Gorton can bring home the bacon, why can’t Reichert or McMorris Rodgers?

A Sense of Perspective, Please

posted by on March 14 at 1:33 PM

Could everybody who thinks that this Clinton/Obama contest is somehow the deathknell of the Democratic Party please take a very large chill pill? After all, let me remind people that this ad that ran in Iowa in 2004…

…is far worse than anything we’ve seen this year. Some think it tanked Dean in Iowa. And who created it? Why Robert Gibbs, Obama’s current Communications Director.

I say this not to “score points” against Obama—I like him, and if he’s the nominee I will enthusiastically support him—but to point out that every campaign fights tooth and nail to win, and this year’s no different. In either camp.

Good Night Nurse

posted by on March 14 at 1:16 PM

Warner Home Video released on DVD this week a second volume of the “Forbidden Hollywood Collection”. These are all films made in the early 1930’s before the Production Code of 1934 was foisted on Hollywood by censorious religious pigs.

I recommend “Night Nurse”, starring Barbara Stanwcyk and directed by William Wellman (“The Public Enemy”). It’s a weird and grimy little film with a somewhat bizarre plot, but with great performances by Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, and Clark Gable (who’s tricked out in a very fetishey, very hot Chauffeur’s uniform). Stanwyck gets clocked in the jaw at one point and hits the floor! Ka-bang! Worth seeing!


In “Divorcee” from 1930, it’s all urban ennui and upper middle-class fucking. After divorcing a very studly, square-jawed Chester Morris, Norma Shearer swanks around Manhattan in a variety of freakishly gorgeous Art Deco costumes, sleeping with everything that moves, drinking too much, and trying not to look cross-eyed.


I feel her pain.

I caught “Divorcee” on TCM not long ago, and it truly blew my mind (the weed helped). High contrast, jazzy black and white settings, and splendid, sophisticated costumes make this a design fag’s dream. I always find Norma Shearer a bit too uppish and self-satisfied, but when she gazes off midrange looking troubled and brave you can always study her jewelry.

Three other films are included in the set— “Three on a Match” 1932 directed by Mervyn Leroy, Clarence Brown’s”Free Soul” from 1931, and Michael Curtiz’ “Female” from 1933.

Don’t Be So Quick to Blame the Pigs, Yo!

posted by on March 14 at 1:10 PM

Daily Camera—whatever the fuck that site is— is filling us in on some interesting High School shit that happens to be boring. Check it:

Boulder police spokeswoman Sarah Huntley said Thursday that 10 Fairview students, all boys, have been ticketed on suspicion of public brawling. Police think they were part of a club of friends that regularly met near the South Boulder Recreation Center for public “street fighting.”

“Apparently, they were gathering in the field after school hours … where they were engaging in fights,” Huntley said. “They see this as sort of a recreational, spectator-type sport where they just wanted to go out and fight.”

Huntley said police started receiving calls about the fights in February but were never able to catch anyone in the act—until a female Fairview teacher broke up one of the fights March 6, which resulted in two teens being ticketed.

Obviously, the pigs didn’t care enough to deal with this “problem” until the female strolled by.


Fuckin’ bitch.

Drunk (Zero in a Series of Zero)

posted by on March 14 at 1:04 PM

Speaking of water…

Okay, I can admit it: this is a pretty stylish water fountain. Bronze, fully immersive, ELKAY! However, it is still only slightly cooler than the Fresh Flow Pet Fountain my cat drinks out of at home. Let’s face it: public water fountains are fucking gross. How much of the water actually goes into your mouth, and how much of it dribbles down your disgusting face back onto the spigot? I’m guessing A LOT. Rinse, repeat, gross. Coupled with the fact that god knows what else is happening with the pipes and the filters and the transients and I’m sorry but I haven’t drunk out of a public water fountain since the third grade.

Stranger Offices: Please invest in one of these!! SAVE JOSH FEIT!!


A Belated, “Good Morning”

posted by on March 14 at 12:57 PM

Liveslogging from w7ngman’s apartment…

It’s noon, and I have finally, thankfully outslept my hangover. Good lord.

Since Sven dropped the ball on Slog Happy, here are a few observations:

1. Havana has much more seating, and much more space, though it was so dark I began to wonder if they were trying to tell us something.

2. The drink specials weren’t quite as generous as they were at Moe Bar. Not that my liver noticed, but my wallet was complaining.

3. Where was everybody? It’s been more populated at Slog Happies past. Although everyone I wanted to see was there, for the most part.

4. As was noted earlier, TSM is better-looking than I expected.

5. Who was that girl on the laptop in the corner? I meant to talk to her, but then I didn’t, and then she left before we started talking about her.

6. Mr. Poe left too early. I’d like to see him with a few shots in him. There was no leg-humping that I observed, though Dan did leave pretty early, as well…

7. Paul Constant is still one of the most likable people I’ve ever met.

That’s all, really. I got pretty sauced, received a very enthusiastic hug from NaFun, was generally impressed with everyone, and left to go drink more. Why do some of you refuse to come to these things?

Pet Peeve: Cutting in Line on the Highway Exit.

posted by on March 14 at 12:55 PM

why isn’t anything interesting or technological or funny happening today? why? why??!?!

anyways, i want to go home. remember the last king of scotland? and that kid icarus post about the cubicle farm? well i thought my job was like kid icarus’s… but now i tend to think it’s more like being apart of the idi amin’s regime. i’m like the personal physician, dr. nicholas garrigan; my days play out much like the film, but without the constant sexual tension or academy awards.

so i want to go home early.

which reminds me of a traffic pet peeve of mine, considering the route i will take.. my pet peeve is basically this, there are certain known rules of etiquette that i think people should follow. a base level of civility usually practiced in the real world, and rarely practiced online.

here’s a big example of this. on the viaduct (which we all love so) approaching the western avenue, there is usually a long line of cars waiting to exit. here’s what it normally doesn’t look like during the commute:


every time i get stuck here countless drivers speed by in one of the left lanes only to cut in just before the exit. this drives me crazy to no end. especially when they have to slow down—causing a backup in the middle lane—because for some strange and surprising reason no one wants to let them over.

you want some regional identity? make sure it is not that we are all civilized drivers, because i don’t see that happening anytime soon.

a couple of my other big pet peeves includes both the person with twenty items in the twelve items or less line and the cashier who allows it.

Photo of Western Ave. exit (Seattle) taken April 2007 by Deathworm 06:58, 1 May 2007 (UTC)

Clinton Is Broccoli

posted by on March 14 at 12:52 PM

A guy I play poker with mentioned an article in Slate comparing Barack Obama to Bugs Bunny and Hillary Clinton to Daffy Duck.

The comparison game is almost as much fun as Who Would Win in a Fight? So far, I’ve come up with three examples:

Hillary Clinton is Paul McCartney. Barack Obama is John Lennon.

Clinton is Broccoli. Obama is Kale.

Obama is Eugene Debs. Clinton is Jimmy Hoffa.

(For the record, a miniature elephant would totally win in a fight with genetically modified Super-dog.)

Bottle Water

posted by on March 14 at 12:30 PM


Mayor reports city’s most pressing issue resolved!

Now, about that police contract…

Isn’t It Good? Norwegian would.

posted by on March 14 at 12:26 PM

Norway Proposes Gay Marriage Measure

OSLO, Norway (AP) — The Norwegian government proposed a marriage law Friday that would give gay couples the same rights as heterosexuals, including church weddings, adoption and assisted pregnancies.

The new legislation would replace a 1993 law that granted gays the right to enter civil unions similar to marriage but did not give them other benefits enjoyed by married couples.

I want my marriage rights!


Pitching a Tent

posted by on March 14 at 12:22 PM

Homeless advocates set up some tents on City Hall’s doorstep last night to protest how Seattle treats homeless people camping in parks.

According to the article in the Times, the city plans to give 48-hour notices before removing camps. They also plan on dispatching outreach workers to connect campers with shelters and services.

I can’t look at any greenspace within the city limits without seeing the obvious signs of hidden camps. Before I’d been in an urban camp, I completely ignored the foot trails, brown and green tarps, campfires, and trash deltas that mark their locations. They’re everywhere.

I know nothing about getting people into housing and human services. I do know, however, sooner or later I’ll have to climb in the dark to one of these camps again. They’re dirty, dangerous, and way to hard to get into and out of in case of emergency. Good luck to the people who live in them if the tents catch fire and burn for a while.

It Gets Worse

posted by on March 14 at 12:17 PM

Apparently Spitz may have used donations for his recreational activities of choice.

Federal prosecutors are investigating whether Gov. Eliot Spitzer used campaign funds in connection with his meetings with prostitutes, including payments for hotels or ground transportation, three people with knowledge of the investigation said … If campaign money was involved, it would expand the scope of a criminal inquiry, because it is illegal to use campaign money for personal expenses.

Oh, and that prostitution ring he busted? Ashley Dupre (who’s at least cashing in on this a bit) may have actually worked for them at one point.

The Puget Sound Area

posted by on March 14 at 12:13 PM

I’ve lived in Seattle ever since I turned 18, which is going on 7 years now. But I grew up in California, and spent my childhood in the Bay Area, which really shaped my idea of what a city and a metropolitan region was.

The weirdest thing to me about Seattle is lack of understanding of our region as, well, as region. The fact that Bellevue is different than Kirkland is different than Bothell is OMG totally different than Seattle is completely baffling, as if we don’t have interconnected cultures, necessities, resources, and challenges. There is no sense of “The Puget Sound Area.”

If you’ll notice, I referred to growing up in the “Bay Area” and not “Richmond,” which is where our house was, though I went to school and spent a lot of my time in El Cerrito and Berkeley. In Sacramento, where I spent my adolescence and which is a much less happening metro area, I technically lived in unincorporated Sacramento county that was most closely associated with the neighborhood of Carmichael (it’s not an incorporated city), which is—oh who the fuck cares. You don’t know where these places are, and if you do you know that this cataloging of technicalities is pointless.

There are many things that contribute to this localism, but one of them has to be our shitty transportation infrastructure. It is a pain to get to the suburbs—or, hell, many part of Seattle—on the bus, and not that much better in a car. If I could hop on a train, I would visit friends in the suburbs a lot more often. Hell, I would think about living there. But right now getting to and from the suburbs is a logistical hassle to varying degrees, depending on where you’re going, so I just stay in my little corridor of the U-District and Capitol Hill.

In conclusion, what he said. (Hey, I know it’s a few weeks old, but I don’t get to Slog every day!)

The first step toward working together to solve our region’s problems is self-identifying as [a region], so let’s drop all this petty localism, recognize our shared interests, and march arm in arm toward achieving a common goal on which we can all agree: kicking the spandex-clad asses of those bike-worshiping, bastards down in God forsaken Portland. Go team.

A Little Test

posted by on March 14 at 12:01 PM

Here’s how you can tell if you’re with the right person. This is Toba:


It’s a very large volcanic caldera on Sumatra Island, Indonesia. How big? For reference I’ve placed a dot on the middle of the island, which is in the middle of the caldera. The dot is the size of Crater Lake. Toba blew its stack some time between 65 and 75 thousand years ago, in the largest eruption seen anywhere on Earth in the last 25 million years. The eruption was so large that it dropped 6+ inches of ash over the entire Indian Subcontinent.

There’s a theory that this was very, very Bad News for humanity. The theory says that as a result of the environmental carnage wrought by the eruption, we were reduced as a species to somewhere between 10,000 and 1,000 breeding pairs.

Think about that for a minute. Fewer people—on the whole planet—than currently live in scenic Issaquah, WA (“home of the Issaquah Alps—don’t miss Salmon Days 2008!”) Just scattered bands all over the globe, starving to death, hoping the clouds clear and the plants bloom again before the very last members of the tribe die.

Here’s where the test comes in: tell all this to your partner. If they just give you a blank stare, or an uninspired “huh”—well, fine. Perhaps they’ve had a very tough day or have pressing affairs of the day on their mind.

What you want is the partner who goes, “Holy shit! We’re so lucky! This really makes you realize how precious life is!” Take this person and fuck their brains out right that very minute- don’t wait for the end of the day, or the TV show to end, or anything. And then hold them for while. And then take a vacation that you can’t really afford to some place really amazing where you’ve never been before.

But… what if they come back with the dreaded “well, it would probably have been better for the planet if we would have died out?” Give a non-committal “huh,” leave the room, set any cell phones and/or car keys on the nearest flat surface, and flee the residence. Don’t stop until you’re on a bus bound for Tucson, paid for with cash. (Not valid if you started in Tucson—in that case, choose some place else where the winters are warm and the stars are visible most nights.) Change your hair color and clothing styles. Burn all forms of identification and never answer a phone, or a hail to your given name, ever again.

Checking Your Six

posted by on March 14 at 11:58 AM

Yes, it’s still there. *Phew*. Is my luck changing?

What’s for Lunch

posted by on March 14 at 11:51 AM

my boss keeps calling me for “important” things. apparently, he doesn’t know i’m supposed to be slogging today, not, you know, working.

but i’m on my lunch break now, so i finally get to do what i want. and i’ll start out by posting what i’m having for lunch:

while i don’t necessary think QFC really deserves the Q any longer, i still like it better than safeway. being a block from my place is rather convenient, as well. (trader joe’s and madison market are for weekend shopping trips.)

but every year they put these banquet macaroni and cheese dinners on sale for $1.00. (you don’t have to buy ten to get the discount.) and they come with a free-game-of-bowling coupon. since i picked up a pair of $2.50 bowling shoes at that greenwood thrift store before i closed, i basically get to bowl for free. and that makes $1.00 microwaved macaroni and cheese taste just good enough to eat.

here is a list of the bowling alleys that participate. don’t get too sad when you see sunset lanes listed.

also, i’m usually more healthy than this. really.

Slog the Future! (the Ladies, the Ladies)

posted by on March 14 at 11:44 AM

To the unsung heroines of Slog, I offer these avatar suggestions for my favorite rock girl commenters.




Original Monique


Lunchtime Quickie

posted by on March 14 at 11:28 AM

Behold, the 47th best scene in cinematic history:

Sigh. They don’t make ‘em like they used to. For shame.

Greedy Bastard Gets Caught

posted by on March 14 at 11:02 AM

The Washington Post and others report that the former treasurer for the National Republican Congressional Committee stole up to a million dollars of the NRC’s funds, siphoning it into his personal accounts. It’s said to be one of the largest political frauds in U.S. history.

I mean, if you don’t count the current unpleasantness in Iraq.

I have been unable to find any salacious details associated with this case SO FAR. It’s hoped by some (me) that a story of paid companions, piggish drug use, and perhaps a fetish or two might be uncovered. Other than that, it’s just a tale of some asshole stealing a million bucks.


Let’s look instead at an example of epic, bravura dressmaking, courtesy of John Galliano of Christian Dior, Spring Haute Couture 2008:
Only the Couture matters. Everything else is just clothing.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 14 at 11:00 AM


Boys Noize at Chop Suey

Tonight’s Broken Disco marks the Seattle debut of Berlin’s Alex Ridha, aka Boys Noize, a standout among the current swell of hard-rocking techno producers. Boys Noize’s debut full-length, Oi Oi Oi, is a relentless electronic beatdown, full of hard- punching drums, thick bass, gnarly synths, and overloaded distortion. It’s also an exhausting hour-long dance party. Boys Noize’s remixes of Feist, Bloc Party, Tiga, and others demonstrate his skill at the boards and his pop crossover tastes. Incite!, a new alias for Decibel Festival’s Sean Horton, opens. (Chop Suey, 1325 E Madison St, 324-8000. 9 pm, $15, 18+.) ERIC GRANDY


Type Cast

posted by on March 14 at 10:53 AM

Gary Hustwit’s documentary HELVETICA ended its run at the Northwest Film Forum last night. At just 80 minutes, it’s still a bit long, but is nonetheless an interesting and occasionally amusing insight into the usage and history of the ubiquitous font.

In the film, 59-year-old graphic designer Paula Scher expresses her disdain for Helvetica, calling it the “typeface of the Vietnam War”, and now the typeface of the war on Iraq.

John Kerry’s fate was sealed four years ago when his campaign unveiled the Kerry/Edwards logo. Already perceived as too wimpy and too French, Kerry’s campaign simply reinforced this image with their choice of the weak and uninspired typeface, Georgia, timidly condensed to 90%.


Serifs and light italics do not evoke “A STRONGER AMERICA.” They are Dukakis in a tank.

Meanwhile the Bush/Cheney campaign marketed their two draft-dodgers as brave, strong and decisive by blanketing them in Helvetica Extra Black Condensed (CONDENSED!), paradoxically horizontally-scaled 150%.

Democrats take note, they will stop at nothing.


Meet the New Bags

posted by on March 14 at 10:29 AM

My wife, Susan, came home with these fun bags handy bags last week. We don’t own a car, so grocery shopping is a hassle, made less so in late-2006 when Whole Foods opened in South Lake Union. We both work within a few blocks of this store.

I now shop there often, but typically forget to bring my bulky reusable bag. So I’ll ask for a plastic bag and feel the guilt. Or sometimes, when I do remember my bag, it will be a purple one from PCC and I’ll feel the guilt.


Check out these little guys from ACME Bags. Pocket-sized and feather-light with no obtrusive logos. My guilt is gone. I am from the future.

AIDS Tickles!

posted by on March 14 at 10:21 AM




Enough Dilly Dallying: Let Me Just Jump Right Into It

posted by on March 14 at 10:20 AM

I made it two whole posts without bringing up Clinton/Obama.

I know this story has come up in various comment threads, but somehow last week the fine folks at the Stranger forgot to mention that Obama Girl, the most publicly visible Gen Y Obama supporter, didn’t actually bother to vote for Obama in the New Jersey Primary.

I’m sure a few thousand Obama supporters will tell me why I have no need to worry that young Obama supporters will flake out in the fall. And that I’m an asshole for even bringing this up. I mean, she was partying in New York City, and she would have had to go all the way to Jersey City, NJ. Which is like… let’s see… 3.3 miles away. And it was strategically meaningless, after all- it’s not like Obama lost New Jersey.

If you want to get more than 51% of the Democratic vote for your candidate, kindly figure out a way (without resorting to ad hominems) to convince us old farts that you youngsters won’t flake out. Thanks.

Money on Free Parking

posted by on March 14 at 10:16 AM

The Stranger staff has always been there to tell us that we need to give up our cars, that we need congestion taxes, or that we should vote “No” on more mass transit and wait for state Democrats to fail us on the issue instead. Which is why I’m surprised that I don’t recall them spending much time on another environmental issue: the excessively cheap parking on Seattle’s streets. I live in Capitol Hill and have a car I am trying to sell. I park on the street, and, like some others, find this a pain in the ass. I drive so rarely, and pay so little attention to my car, that an ecosystem is developing on it (see picture below).


Unfortunately, it’s evidently not enough of a pain in the ass to drive me to social responsibility, because I would’ve sold it months earlier if I had to buy a spot instead.

I suspect that I am not alone in this regard; every time I seek a spot, I must duke it out with many other fellow driver too cheap to buy a proper spot. My particular neighborhood is unzoned, meaning that I need to compete for spots with even more people (some looking to park for work downtown), increasing the congestion further at rush hour. The average time I find looking for a spot after I drive: about seven minutes, varying wildly depending on time of day. How much carbon is spewed out by people cruising for a spot to park their car? I haven’t done the math, but someone else took an initial stab at it:

Over the course of a year, the search for curb parking in this 15-block district created about 950,000 excess vehicle miles of travel - equivalent to 38 trips around the earth, or four trips to the moon. And here’s another inconvenient truth about underpriced curb parking: cruising those 950,000 miles wastes 47,000 gallons of gas and produces 730 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. If all this happens in one small business district, imagine the cumulative effect of all cruising in the United States.

Yep, excessively cheap parking is a social evil. It’s a real issue: making parking too cheap creates congestion, adding 3.3 minutes cruising on average to a commute in LA. You really want to get people using public transit? Instead of focusing on quashing plans for expanded roads, get them to open up the parking lane instead. Raise the price of meters. Start charging nontrivial amounts for zoned permits.

Police Scanner

posted by on March 14 at 10:16 AM


Charles Mudede writes the greatest Police Beat column in the history of the genre. He’s perfected the form. Others will continue to attempt adjustments; their copies are simply Ocean Force to the original Cops.

Having paid my respect to Mr. Mudede, allow me to turn you onto The Central District News Blog’s CD Scanner feature. Scott chronicles the day’s calls for Seattle’s Finest with sparse commentary.

I’m not sure how he does it. I’d go insane if I spent every hour of every day on radio watch.

Philosopher’s Song

posted by on March 14 at 10:15 AM

I. Thesis


II. Antithesis


III. Synthesis


Immanuel Kant was a real pissant
who was very rarely stable/

Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
who could think you under the table/

David Hume could out-consume
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel/

And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
who was just as sloshed as Schlegel!

Concurrently Hanging

posted by on March 14 at 10:00 AM

kid icarus @ work, Mon. - Fri., 8:00 to 5:00

Check one, check two, sibilance sibilance. Good morning! Above you will find an image which pretty well captures the sense of resignation that I feel each morning when stepping out of the elevator and entering the cube farm. Thankfully there is solace in a perfect cup of Harrogate and my favorite collective of freaks and geeks at the Slog. Without the venom and hilarity which ensue here every day, I’d long have been certified. The dialogue happening in this community rarely fails to engage, inspire or revolt, and I’m pretty excited to be a part of it this Friday. Thanks for the opportunity, and thanks to all the Stranger writers and Slog commenters that genuinely make this place worth returning to.

Reading Tonight

posted by on March 14 at 9:58 AM

Hey! Don’t you just love advice about your (heterosexual, natch) relationship? Good news! There’s a reading for you tonight!


Okay, I haven’t read this book (but, um, can it really say much more than the column it’s adapted from?), but the upshot is: men in relationships can and should be trained using positive reinforcement, and women should be the trainers. Actually, from this write-up in the PI, it doesn’t sound like the worst advice book ever, and it does seem to address more than heterosexual relationships, but I’m still pretty over books that are marketed by emphasizing the differences between men and women and their supposed inability to communicate, because it’s pretty much bullshit. Anyway, there’s probably more to it, but if you want to know, you’ll have to get to Third Place Books at 7:00 tonight to ask Amy Sutherland yourself.

Moving on! Did you know it’s women’s history month? Women often get glossed over in the history you learn in school, so if you’d like to fill in one of those gaps, Glynda Schaad will be talking about her book Women to Reckon With: The Untamed Women of the Olympic Wilderness at the U Bookstore at 7:00 tonight.

Lastly, if you’re the mood for an intense work of fiction, Michelene Ahoronian Marcom will be reading from her new novel Draining the Sea at 7:30 at Elliot Bay Books. Quick summary: “Cross-cutting between the stories of a half-Armenian man in Los Angeles and a brutalized young woman in Guateamala, Marcom beautifully mines the undercurrents that suffuse their lives.” Sounds like a good way to kick off an evening of drinking.

For more info and locations, check out the Reading Calendar

PS Okay, technically it’s out of my jurisdiction because it’s tomorrow, but I can’t not tell you that Lois Lowry is coming to town. That’s right, Lois motherfucking Lowry, author of such classics as Number the Stars, The Giver, and the Anastasia books, will be at Town Hall at 1:00 on Saturday. Town Hall is not saying it’s sold out yet, but I’m pretty sure Lois Lowry is on KUOW as I type this, so get your tickets now.

“For God So Loved the World”

posted by on March 14 at 9:51 AM

Forty-seven years ago today the revised version of the New Testament was published! Yay! In holy celebration, I give you five of best things about the Bible (and how!):

1 Corinthians 11:7-9: (Duh.)

Leviticus 25:44-46: (Double duh.)

2 Samuel 12:14: Baby paying for its parents sin? Hey, makes sense to me. We still practice this today by protesting abortion!

Ezra 10:1-5: The same God that hates divorce allows men to “put away” (send back to Babylon) their wives and children without giving them a chance at converting? Lord we lift your name onnnn hiiiiiigh!

2 Corinthians 4:4: This one is simply peachy. The “God of love” doesn’t unblind the minds of the unbelievers? He allows the God of this world (allegedly Satan) to blind people and then holds those people accountable? Man, God is hardcore.

OMG anybody else have any favorites?! It’s only the greatest story ever told! Please don’t be sacrilegious. It’s rude to make fun of someone else’s beliefs. KTHX!


News from the Heartland: Stuart Smalley Going to Washington?

posted by on March 14 at 9:20 AM

Now that Tobacco War Hero but Perennial Failed Candidate Mike Ciresi has bowed out of the race for the Democratic domination, Al Franken looks poised to beat incumbent Republican and dick Norm Coleman like a baby seal.


“Why the fuck should I care,” you ask yourself? Because Al is really smart. He writes great books. And Republicans really, really hate him. If it looks like they’re going to lose a Senate seat to Mr. Air-Fucking-America, maybe they will become so disillusioned with the whole sinful mess that they’ll just stay at home on election night, reading Leviticus and waiting for the rapture.

I have another reason for caring. Besides being from MN, and having friends who volunteer for Franken, I feel a personal need to see Coleman destroyed. I didn’t know Senator Wellstone well, but I had met him. And I was friends with DFL Associate Chair Mary McEvoy, who was one of the other people on Senator Wellstone’s plane that day. Coleman would have never, ever, ever beaten Paul Wellstone, and to see Smilin’ Norm use Paul’s seat to defend the failed policies of George Bush is just galling beyond words.

Kick some ass, Al.

On the Woefully Miniscule Number of Slog Posts Dedicated to Films About Popping Zits

posted by on March 14 at 9:12 AM

I will take this unique opportunity to increase it by one.

You’re welcome.

Via BoingBoing.

I Can’t Complain

posted by on March 14 at 9:09 AM

I promised my lovely, talented wife I’d post her list of complaints if she helped with my other posts. Like most beautiful women, she expects the world to listen when someone or something bothers her. Her list, in no particular order:

1. Sexually explicit or suggestive fliers posted publicly. “I don’t want my daughter to see that man licking that other man’s back.”

2. Employees parking in the customer spaces behind the E Pike Street Mud Bay. “No one is ever in there. Why are both spots always taken?”

3. Able-bodied men who don’t give up their seats for pregnant or elderly ladies on the bus. “Can’t we just agree to some minimum standards of behavior?”

4. The cranky neighbor lady who once called her the White Devil. “I didn’t even know there was a white devil.”

5. Litterbugs. “Do I even have to explain why this bothers me so much?”

Slog the Future!

posted by on March 14 at 9:07 AM

So yeah I love the Slog (obvs), but the progression from BBS to message boards to blogs to Gawker represents a continual march towards even better internet communities (and flame wars and trolls and 4chan). Amy Kate Horn and her minions perform a tireless service for all of us ingrates, and I love you to death, but goddamn I want me some avatars up in here. Just another subtle personal touch that brings a little value add to all the navel-gazing masses that frequent this fine establishment. SHOUT OUT TO THE LURKERS! In the spirit of friendship, I suggest these potential avatars, the images that pop into my head when I read a post, to you gentle commenters.


Bellevue Ave


There’s more percolating in my Acrobat… but feel free to play along at home!

Currently Hanging, or Where Was the Dumpster?

posted by on March 14 at 9:00 AM


“Waiting for Ride Home” Marc Samuelson - Ink, Acrylic on paper.

Faire Gallery Café - $1,250 (?!?!)

What’s In a Name?

posted by on March 14 at 8:56 AM

My favorite anagrams of Stranger staffer names:

Charles Mudede = Lauded Schemer

Eli Sanders = Endless Air

Daniel Savage = Sealed Vagina

Erica C Barnett = Acerbic Natter

A Confession

posted by on March 14 at 8:55 AM

As my first post, I’ve got to lay it out there how fucking scary I find this. My biggest irrational fear is people being jerks on the internet, which I know is sort of like being afraid of the rotation of the earth or the rain here in Seattle: it’s just a fact of life, and if you can’t handle it, you should GTFO. But nevertheless, I can get very, very upset over comment threads on blogs, and while I know I am being stupid, I do it.

I think this pathos can be attributed to three things: 1) words and writing are very important to me and I respond viscerally to the written word; 2) I, for some stupid reason, believe in the basic decency of humanity; and 3) my generally alpha personality doesn’t translate to the internet, where moronic, obnoxious assholes whom I would probably dominate in real life get just as much say as I do. In sum, what drives my dysfunctional relationship with the internet is a heady mix of sensitivity, optimism, and egomania.

But what I hate even more than jerks on the internet is feeling that I’ve been shut up by jerks on the internet, so here I am. I figure Slogging today will either help me grow a thicker skin, or leave me a defeated, blubbering husk of a human being. Fortunately, no matter what the outcome, today is Friday, and many hours of blissful alcohol consumption await me when this is over.

So my Slogging today is dedicated to anyone who is kind of scared to the internet. And/or addicted to it.

Re: Guns. Guns! GUNS!

posted by on March 14 at 8:47 AM

When do I get to see Obama hunting in the woods like a real man? Right now, we don’t have the slightest clue as to whether or not Obama likes to go out in the woods with his second amendment and kill shit. You know why?! Because Obama is not a man. He’s a boy. He’s a little boy playing Presidential Campaign. Little boy!

Fact: A gun can turn a boy into a man in less than a second.

Guns play a major role in our society, Mr. Obama. They have solved every problem this world has ever seen. I can’t vote for you until I know you’ve murdered something. It can be a bird, or something equally irrelevant to society. But I need you to kill something for me. Then I’ll feel nice and cozy with you running the country. Hillary killed a lawyer, so you’re a little behind there.


P.S. I stole Doug.’s bike.

It Could Be Worse. Much, Much Worse.

posted by on March 14 at 8:38 AM

Let me start by saying that I had signed up to review SLOG Night. But I fucked up. We have a huge design review tomorrow (yes, Saturday) and I worked late last night on supporting materials. Sorry So before I get to the point of my post, let me by way of amends play my favorite game—“Who Would Play Them in the Movie Version?”—for some of the SLOG regulars, to give you a mental image of who they kinda, sorta look like:

Amy Kate - Cody Diablo

ECB - Janeane Garofalo

annie - Naomi Watts

Gillian Anderson - Jena Malone

Will in Seattle - Lewis Black

elenchos - Joel Coen

Rhett Oracle - Will Durst

Original Monique - Marion Cotillard

Mr. Poe - could only be played by Mr. Poe

Now back to your regularly scheduled program…

Are you feeling blue? Worried that your candidate (or his/her opponent) is destroying the very fabric of the universe with their pure unadulterated evil and/or puppy-like naïveté? Cheer up. At least you are not an emergency room patient, or one of the physicians who treat them.

What I Learn From My Patients is one of the longest threads anywhere ever, but richly rewards viewing any one of its pages, with sage advice like

if you are given a prescription for narcotics wait until the rx is filled before you try to sell them… pt yesterday with bs pain complaint gets rx for vicodin and trys to sell them over the phone(loudly) in the E.D. lobby…” they gave me 30 vicodin…how about $250? ok meet me here in 20 minutes”. pt overheard by staff who took written rx from pt and ripped it up in his presence…..

…and my personal favorite:

Latex paint, despite being thick and creamy, does not coat your stomach and provide the same relief as pepto bismol.

Note: some items are not for the faint of heart, and the level of (painfully earned) cynicism is sometimes simply breathless. Read this if any of the hep lingo has you confused.

You Are Powerless To Resist the Charms of Slog

posted by on March 14 at 8:35 AM

And science knows why.

Dr. Biederman first showed a collection of photographs to volunteer test subjects, and found they said they preferred certain kinds of pictures (monkeys in a tree or a group of houses along a river) over others (an empty parking lot or a pile of old paint cans) … When he hooked up volunteers to a brain-scanning machine, the preferred pictures were shown to generate much more brain activity than the unpreferred shots …

[C]oming across what Dr. Biederman calls new and richly interpretable information triggers a chemical reaction that makes us feel good, which in turn causes us to seek out even more of it. The reverse is true as well: We want to avoid not getting those hits because, for one, we are so averse to boredom.

It is something we seem hard-wired to do, says Dr. Biederman. When you find new information, you get an opioid hit, and we are junkies for those. You might call us ‘infovores.’ “

So, yes, the Internet is in fact a drug of sorts, releasing happy hormones in your brain. Computer gaming, unsurprisingly, produces similar results. To keep civilization from surfing and gaming itself to death, clearly we must find ways to exploit our boredom aversion for productivity and profit.

Thankfully, we are at work on that as well. Consider, for example, the Peekaboom and ESP projects at Carnegie Mellon, which exploit
our desire for entertainment by getting us to perform otherwise tedious tasks - like labeling online images with words - as a side effect of playing games. (Full article on the subject here
by Luis Von Ahn, the MacArthur Fellow behind these projects.) Rest assured that researchers will be there to identify and save us from the destruction they have rained upon us.

Have You Seen Me?

posted by on March 14 at 8:04 AM


This bike, MY bike, was stolen from the UW campus last month while I attended the ACLU’s annual membership conference. UWPD told me that bike thefts are increasingly common at UW. Bike recoveries are not so common. Bicycle thieves, when caught, should be waterboarded.

Also last month SPD staked out the Burke Gilman Trail near campus, ticketing cyclists for running the stop sign at Brooklyn Avenue.


This stop sign (like most others at crosswalks along the Burke Gilman Trail) defies logic and creates confusion. Most cars stop here already (because it’s, you know, a CROSSWALK), leaving drivers and cyclists and pedestrians and dogs to stare stupidly at each other, waiting for the first to go.

In the interest of traffic uniformity and public safety, these stop signs should be moved to face oncoming autos who are more likely to see a big red sign than a bicyclist anyhow.

Then SPD could stop writing tickets. And maybe find my bike.

Good Morning, Slog Readers

posted by on March 14 at 8:04 AM

Many thanks to Ms. Horn and The Stranger for picking me to guest Slog. I’m as excited as a fat kid early for an ice-cream party. Also, I’d like to thank to Ms. Horn for making posting firefighter-proof.

Firefighter-proof: adjective 1. Impossible to use incorrectly: Hey Six Shooter, use the stairs. That elevator isn’t firefighter-proof. 2. Hard to break: Sorry about your high-dollar camera, Chief. I thought it was firefighter-proof.

I’ve surveyed friends, coworkers, and family members for Slog ideas. Most of them are useless. I’m pretty much unqualified to write about anything else, so let’s all hope a building catches fire or some other tragedy happens.

Just Someone Else’s Sentimentality

posted by on March 14 at 7:16 AM

Down in my basement is stored a small yet cherished sports card collection left over from my childhood. This was my favorite:


In the late-70s Ralph Kiner said, “Two-thirds of the earth is covered by water, the rest by Garry Maddox.” When I was 11 years old, I wanted to look like Garry Maddox, instead I looked like this:


In the mid-’70s, Topps Chewing Gum humanized NFL players by including personal trivia along with seasons played, yards gained, touchdowns scored, etc, on the back of their football cards. In the days before multi-million dollar salaries some of these factoids were pretty mundane: “Joe sells insurance in the off-season,” “Bill lives on a ranch in Montana.” But none in my collection is less remarkable than New York Jets cornerback Ed Taylor’s:


Rise and Shine, Fellow Sloggers!

posted by on March 14 at 7:00 AM

Since my taste in everything is absolute, allow me to aid your morning wood (or dewy taco) with pictures of these fine, fine specimens.


I’ll take care of my load in the kitchen sink while drinking my coffee like I always do. Mmm. Tony’s. How deliciously consumoliberal of me.

Bellingham sucks and everyone who lives there is a loser.

Ugh. Why is my cum chunky and yellow?

It’s Freaky Friday

posted by on March 14 at 7:00 AM

Good morning! Today 10 of our favorite commenters will take over Slog. Here are brief biographies for each.


Aislinn made a name for herself on Slog by defending bestial-necrophilia and sticking up for ECB (aspiring Freaky Friday-ers, take note). She’s a 24-year-old office monkey and part-time student. She goes to a lot of shows, reads a lot of books, and drinks a lot of gin; sometimes all at once. Despite hailing from coastal Maine, she has fully embraced Seattleism and is liberal, vegetarian, and gay-friendly, with a pierced nose and frequently-fluctuating hairstyles—just like everyone else. She plays too much Scrabble and takes Trivial Pursuit more seriously than anything containing the word “trivial” is meant to be taken.


Big Sven is a Midwestern transplant to the Pacific Northwest, and an unapologetic suburban breeder. He is an engineer in the aerospace industry, but neither works for Boeing nor designs anything that ever gets sold to, or used by, the Department of Defense. Having campaigned for Carter over Ford with the all important first-grade vote, he has been a Democrat ever since. He shares his mountain lair with Inga (Mrs. Sven), Lena (10), and Sven Jr. (7). He gets worked up some times, and begs your preemptive forgiveness.


DOUG.’s pet/street stripper name is “Lady Orchid.” He grew up in Santa Barbara, idolizing Steve Garvey. His first concert was the Simple Minds. He has an English degree from UCLA, yet finished no books last year.
Bumbershoot cost $6 when DOUG. moved to Seattle. He met his wife at the Fremont Dock. They rented near Broadway for a decade, now they’re in Wallingford.
DOUG.’s eaten 200 mini-pizzas at Bill’s Off Broadway. He subscribes to The Nation and Sports Illustrated. He loves anagrams, palindromes, and squirrels. He makes large pancakes and wishes he were Picasso. If Oprah gave DOUG. $1,000,000 he’d still live in Seattle.


Exelizabeth moved from Sacramento to Seattle when she was 18 to attend the UW—she graduated in 2005 with a degree in English and a plan to work in politics. However, working multiple campaigns left her burnt out and made her realize that she actually wants to be a teacher. So she’s a desk jockey for now, but is hoping to be accepted to the UW Masters in Teaching program for next year. Ultimately, she would like to teach middle school. She has yet to meet anyone who doesn’t cringe when she tells them that.


Geoffrey initially called himself “infrequent” because he didn’t think he’d comment often (he was wrong about that). He loves Washington, Seattle, and Capitol Hill—he was born in Seattle’s Providence Hospital, and the longest amount of time he’s spent outside of Washington was three months when he gave Portland a try.
Goeffrey likes music—he plays organs and synthesizers in razrez, and used to play in infomatik. He also likes movies, walking places, synthesizers, tight jeans, sushi, school, selling things and buying them back later, Scrabble, and, of course, Slog.


Mark Mitchell is a local yokel—Capitol Hillbilly division—of the last 25 years. He’s never considered a conservative vote of any kind, is great at a party, and is blissfully “gay married.” He makes custom clothing and costumes and lives in a pagoda.


Kid icarus has been crushing eggplant wizards since his formative years in the Bay Area, CA. He fell in love with Seattle a decade ago and now happily(?) whiles away his hours clicking Refresh at a downtown biotech. He thinks this town is rocking some of the greatest cuisine in the country and can’t understand why Top Chef hasn’t filmed here yet. His favorite Slog moment ever was that one time when Fnarf was all “Eat my fuck” to Mr. Poe. That was awesome. Kid icarus would like to remind you to please not feed the trolls.


Mr. Poe was born in Minneapolis and raised in Boise. After years of excessive right-wing political action, with the support of his abhorrently racist and conservative family, he flew 3,100 miles away from “home” and finally wrapped his lips around a nice big cock. Finally ditching his religion and politick, he studied film, film theory, entertainment law, and older men. Rarely will he take anything seriously, and no, he’ll never care what anybody thinks of him. The only thing he cares about is having a sense of humor.


Six Shooter loves the sound of his own voice. He sees facts and figures as crutches for the unimaginative. When he gets old, he hopes he’ll be slightly deaf and completely cranky. Complaining, to him, is as American as voting.
Six Shooter is 34 years old and has lived in Seattle since 1996. He, like almost every guy knows, moved to Seattle to follow a girl. When that didn’t work out, he got a computer job, made some Internet money, married a girl way out his league, reproduced and reevaluated his day job.
Six Shooter is a professional firefighter. “The fire service is the sorority I always wanted to join,” he says. He’s never loved a job or the people he works with more than he does now. Most days he feels like he’s won the lottery.


TSM lives in Capitol Hill with his girlfriend. After carting dead bodies around a gross-anatomy lab and playing in punk bands to an audience of three, he went on to spend too much time in school and then took a postdoctoral position at UW. When not toying with probabilistic models or feeding his insatiable internet addiction, he may be found playing any number of musical instruments, playing Scrabble, and cooking strange and unfamiliar food.

Slogging is hard work, so make them feel welcome and cut them a little slack while they figure out how best to feed this blog monster.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hey, Slog Happy People

posted by on March 13 at 9:58 PM

If you went to tonight’s party at Havana AND one of the past Slog Happys at Moe Bar, which venue did you prefer?

Those of you who missed it tonight missed many fine mojitos, lots of small talk, and a good turnout, including Michael Strangeways, Lindy West, and every single healthy Stranger writer.

Britain Will Not Deport Gay Iranian Teenager—For Now

posted by on March 13 at 9:54 PM

A little good news from the UK

Britain halted deportation proceedings Thursday against a gay Iranian teenager who has said he would probably be hanged because of his sexual orientation if he is returned to Iran.

Mehdi Kazemi, 19, moved to Britain in 2005 to study and has said he then learned that his boyfriend in Iran had been hanged after being convicted of sodomy. Homosexuality is a severe crime under Iranian law, and Kazemi’s case has drawn concern from gay rights groups around the world.

An initial appeal for asylum was turned down here. But Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, Britain’s top law enforcement figure, said Thursday that “in light of new circumstances” Kazemi’s appeal would be reconsidered, handing him a temporary reprieve that his supporters hope will ultimately lead to his being granted the right to stay in Britain.

Hillary Clinton

posted by on March 13 at 8:41 PM


I’ve escaped most of the battles at the office and on Slog by shrugging and saying, “Clinton, Obama—I’m for either or both. Whoever gets the nomination.” I’m afraid I can’t say that anymore. Some Clinton supporters are so dug in they can’t see the real damage Clinton is doing to the Democratic Party and any chance the Dems might have of re-taking the White House this fall if Clinton isn’t the nominee.

Twenty-five percent of Clinton supporters say they won’t vote for Obama in the fall if he gets the nomination25%. Says John at Americablog:

Someone in the party (and the media) needs to ask Hillary what her plan is to get those 25% back should she not win the nomination. Hillary can only tell Democratic voters so many times that McCain is more qualified to be president than Obama before her supporters (and lots more Americans) end up listening to her. Or is that her plan after all? If Hillary can’t win, then no Democrat deserves to win?

Positions are hardening as the Clinton campaign continues to poison the well and baldly but effectively play the race card. Now I’m sitting here feeling like I won’t be able to support her if she does manage to wrest the nomination from Obama using tactics like these. (But I will, I will.) I feel like I’m being blackmailed. “Support me even though I have fewer delegates, I’m trailing in the popular vote, and I’ve taken fewer states than the other guy—or I’ll destroy any chances that the other guy has of winning this thing out of sheer spite.” (Check out this great post by Kos about how Clinton is losing by every available measure—states won, money raised, delegates taken.)

Clinton seems less like a candidate with each passing day and more like a suicide bomber intent on taking the Democratic Party out with her. I’m beginning to feel embarrassed for having voted for her husband.

UPDATE: Clinton’s totally unhinged interview on NPR today—link here, courtesy of Chris in comments—is one of the things that pushed me over the edge today.

I’m struggling to put my finger on just how I’m feeling after this depressing, distressing week, but… when I watch Hillary campaigning now I feel like I’m watching a replay of Joe Lieberman campaigning for reelection after he lost the Democratic nomination for the Senate in 2006 in Connecticut. It’s galling. Only now instead of watching Lieberman destroy the Democratic Party in teeny-weeny Connecticut, I’m watching Clinton destroy the Democratic Party nationally. So history is repeating itself—but in this case the first time was farce and the second is tragedy.

And, hey, does anyone know what Lieberman is up to lately?

“We don’t need no bling! We’ve got the real thing!”

posted by on March 13 at 5:33 PM

Gee, someone has bling—I wonder who these Clinton supporters are referring to when they invoke bling?

Man, that was painful. And, uh, I thought suggesting that Hillary should be doing housework was an insult?

Major Career Blunders Discovered While Clicking Around the Internet Movie Database

posted by on March 13 at 4:59 PM

Bruce Jenner turned down the role of Superman in order to appear in the Village People’s Can’t Stop the Music.

Campout At City Hall in 45 Minutes

posted by on March 13 at 4:55 PM

Real Change is holding an all-night campout at City Hall to protest the city’s punitive proposed homeless encampment policy, which authorizes city departments to destroy temporary encampments and confiscate people’s property. A meal will be served starting at 5:30; the campout goes until 9:00 tomorrow morning, when participants will deliver comments and petitions to the mayor’s office.This year’s One Night Count of the homeless found more than 2,600 people sleeping outside in sub-zero weather on a night when emergency shelters were full. To learn much more or donate to Real Change, check out Real Change director Tim Harris’s excellent blog.

Good Work, Sloggers

posted by on March 13 at 4:54 PM

I asked for the name of a hot French-Canadian actor, singer, or athlete and… man… did you guys come through or what. Ladies and gentleman, Antoine Vermette…


He’s a hockey player or something. And here’s a pic of him shirtless, here’s a pic of him at work with a little scruff on his chin, here’s a pic of him looking absolutely adorable meeting with a fan, and here’s a pic of him sucking my dick—oh, wait. There are no pics of that. Yet.

Anyway, it’s not surprising that I think the dude is hot. A lot of folks think Antoine looks something like this guy.

Uber Alles

posted by on March 13 at 4:31 PM

Looks like the Air Force really thought this new ad campaign through…

Via Boing Boing


The New Virtue

posted by on March 13 at 4:22 PM

The Chief Urban Designer for New York City, Alexandros Washburn, has a lovely little (and not too old) article on that names nature (green) as the civic virtue for the 21th century.
Agreed, it’s not a profound article. But because it’s thinking the current against the ancient Greeks (one of the most productive ways to think or construct a path for a problematic—the Greeks need to return to the center of our eduction system), it generates exquisite passages like this:

To be a better city, we must build green, use mass transit, and restore purity to our water and air, with park access for all. This is a vision of a new type of city for the 21st century: at once more urbane and more natural. It is a marriage of building and landscape that is challenging every notion we have ever had about design.

The paradigm has shifted, and we must change our direction: just as two millennia ago, a sculptor transformed the biomass of the acanthus plant into a template for architecture, using its stalk, leaves and flower as a model for the shaft and volutes of the Corinthian column, we today must transform the rigidities of architecture into the adaptations of nature. The stone column crumbles and is replaced with the growing stalk. Networks of green signify community in ways that the architecture of the past no longer can. City-initiated rezonings center around new public spaces or streetscape improvements and each is crafted in consultation with the community it serves.

“The stone column crumbles and is replaced with the growing stalk.” For me, at every read, a spinal jolt of joy from this terrific connection of words and imagery.


posted by on March 13 at 4:22 PM


A discussion about four very exciting foodstuffs: Homegirls (It’s All That) Potato Chips, ThirstyDog! Crispy Beef Flavor Daily Pet Drink, Chumpies (“Flavor”) Potato Chips, and James Brown Cookeez, is going on at WFMU.

Sally Kern’s Son May Be a Fag

posted by on March 13 at 4:21 PM


It appears that Sally Kern—the anti-gay Oklahoma state rep—may, like Alan Keyes and Phyllis Schlafly before her, have a gay kid herself. From what Queerty dug up, it sounds like Sally’s may-be-gay kid is a bit of a mess. But he would be with a mom like that, wouldn’t he? Gay children are born. Screwed up gay children are made. Good work, Sally!

Inside Clinton Headquarters

posted by on March 13 at 4:14 PM

Satire, people. Via Jack and Jill Politics:

Sick Mothers, Aspirin Users and Convenience Store Clerks, Repent!

posted by on March 13 at 3:53 PM

Apparently lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride are now only half the pitfalls that could send you straight into the fiery maw of hell. Here’s the story earlier this week from Fox News.

After 1,500 years the Vatican has brought the seven deadly sins up to date by adding seven new ones for the age of globalization. The list, published yesterday in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, came as the Pope deplored the “decreasing sense of sin” in today’s “secularized world” and the falling numbers of Roman Catholics going to confession. …

“You offend God not only by stealing, blaspheming or coveting your neighbor’s wife, but also by ruining the environment, carrying out morally debatable scientific experiments, or allowing genetic manipulations which alter DNA or compromise embryos,” he said.

Bishop Girotti said that mortal sins also included taking or dealing in drugs, and social injustice which caused poverty or “the excessive accumulation of wealth by a few.”

Jeepers, Jesus in Jerusalem! With 14 sins tempting secular wanderers around every corner, hell’s gonna be crowded as… uh, hell.

But watchdogs of liberal bias in the media claim this mainstream coverage, such as the above by those lefties at Fox News, is a smear job on the church. “The list [of sins] actually didn’t come from any official Catholic Church document, but from an interview of a bishop that was published in L’Osservatore Romano, the “semi-official” newspaper in Vatican City,” writes Matthew Balan at NewsBusters. Well, in the name of being fair and balanced on Fox News’s coverage, I shall report and you can decide. Here’s an excerpt (.pdf) of Bishop Girotti’s interview.

In your opinion, what are the “new sins”?

There are various areas today in which we adopt sinful behavior, as with individual and social rights. This is especially so in the field of bioethics where we cannot deny the existence of violations of fundamental rights of human nature – this occurs by way of experiments and genetic modifications, whose results we cannot easily predict or control. Another area, which indeed pertains to the social spectrum, is that of drug use, which weakens our minds and reduces our intelligence.

Regarding the abortion issue, it seems that the Church does not take into account the difficult situations women have to deal with.

It seems that this is an excessive concern, especially since it is the Church that constantly seeks to protect and safeguard the rights and dignity of women. There are many courageous and intelligent initiatives led by Catholic organizations and Church movements. They endlessly and efficaciously support single mothers and fight today’s social and cultural tendencies to the contrary. They even take responsibility to raise unwanted children and facilitate their adoption.

Off the hook, for now, are drunks quaffing the blood of Christ, like me. As are women who don’t deal with the “difficult situations” of pregnancy by resorting to abortion, such as the 536,000 women who die each year from pregnancy complications.

What do you bet the good bishop has taken aspirin before, thus indulging in drug use? And after his sanctimonious little interview, I’m sure he’s proud of himself. See him in hell.


Editing Graffiti on Ballard Avenue

posted by on March 13 at 3:53 PM


Ballardians don’t take none of that bad-grammar bullshit.

Re: Re: Erica?

posted by on March 13 at 3:49 PM

Sorry, but that’s just not the same as appearing on television shows as an Obama surrogate, which is what Ferraro was doing for Clinton. Not that I ever complained about the stupid things Ferraro said.

Whatever, make the man resign from his honorary committee, I couldn’t care less. But no one would mistake those statements for Obama’s views.

This is getting so fucking stupid.

More Democratic Debates!

posted by on March 13 at 3:47 PM

I was completely sick of them by the time Texas and Ohio rolled around. There had been—what, something like 20 by that point?

But with all the new arguments about race, re-do elections, and red phones, I’m ready to see Clinton and Obama go at it again. Mark your calendars: Two more debates will be held, one in Philadelphia on April 16 and one in North Carolina on April 19.

(And we’ll do our part by updating our handy election events calendar, which is right over here on the nice page we’ve created for one-stop election clicking.)

Re: Erica?

posted by on March 13 at 3:40 PM

Come on, Annie. As I noted in the comments below, Wright does have a formal role in the campaign—he’s a member of Obama’s African American Religious Leadership Committee. That is, as Ben Smith points out here, exactly “the sort of largely honorary, advisory body” that Ferraro served on as a member of Clinton’s finance committee. Much more on Wright here.


posted by on March 13 at 3:27 PM

Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Weight—a man who is at least as much a surrogate for the Obama campaign as Geraldine Ferraro was for Hillary’s…

Bullshit. And you know it. Obama knows Wright (not Weight) is a liability and has been trying to distance himself from his pastor’s views for the entire length of his presidential campaign, starting with canceling a scheduled invocation at Obama’s formal announcement in February ‘07. Here’s a NYT article on the subject.

Yes, speeches such as the below will come up in a general election campaign. But you aren’t even couching it in those terms. That’s really, really unfortunate.

Denny’s Owner Sues City

posted by on March 13 at 3:19 PM

From a statement by the Benaroya Company:

Today BCC Mikie Ballard, LLC, a development entity of The Benaroya Company, filed suit in King County Superior Court to challenge the action by Seattle’s Landmark Preservation Board to designate the abandoned Denny’s building in Ballard, located at 5501 15th Avenue NW, as a Seattle landmark. “The boarded up former Denny’s is not an important historic or architectural building, nor the work of a significant architect,” said Marc Nemirow, spokesman for Benaroya. “The landmark board agreed with these conclusions, but incredulously decided to designate the building a landmark anyway. This action isn’t legal.”

1) The landmarks board didn’t actually “agree with these conclusions,” so much as they determined the building was a landmark for other reasons—primarily because it’s an icon in that part of Ballard. The Benaroya representatives’ condescending argument—that the landmarks board merely hoped to “satisfy the not unimportant sentimental yearnings for the coffee shops you visited in the past”—probably didn’t do them much good either.

2) I think he meant “incredibly.”

Slog Happy Tonight

posted by on March 13 at 3:19 PM


What’s your favorite Cuban cocktail? Cuba libre? Daiquiri? Mint-laced mojito? Something else to blow this gray misery away for a few hours?


posted by on March 13 at 3:09 PM

Obama’s pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Weight—a man who is at least as much a surrogate for the Obama campaign as Geraldine Ferraro was for Hillary’s—delivered a fiery, race-centric sermon arguing that Hillary, as a white woman, has never had to battle adversity (partial transcript below):

Jesus was a poor black man who lived in a country, and who lived in a culture, that was controlled by rich white people. The Romans were rich, the Romans were Italians, which means they were white, and they controlled everything in Jesus’ country.

It just came to me in the past couple weeks, y’all, why so many folks are hatin’ on Barack Obama. He doesn’t fit the model. He ain’t white. He ain’t rich, and he ain’t privileged.

Hillary fits the mold. Europeans fit the mold… Hillary never never had a cab whiz past her and not pick her up because her skin was the wrong color. Hillary never had to worry about getting pulled over because her skin was the wrong color.

I am sick of Negros who just do not get it. Hillary was not a black boy raised in a single parent home. Barack was. … Hillary can never know that. Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger. Hillary has never had her people defined as non-persons. Hillary ain’t had to work twice as hard just to get accepted by the rich white folk who run everything. …

Jesus taught me how to love the hell out of my enemies and not be reduced to their level of hatred bigotry and small-mindedness. … That’s why I love Jesus, y’all. He never let their hatred dampen his hope.

Meanwhile, Hillary attempts to heal the wounds Ferraro’s statements have caused in the black community.

I certainly do repudiate it and I regret deeply that it was said. Obviously [Ferraro] doesn’t speak for the campaign, she doesn’t speak for any of my positions.

Once one of us has the nomination there will be a great effort to unify the Democratic Party and we will do so, because, remember, I have a lot of supporters who have voted for me in very large numbers and I would expect them to support Senator Obama if he were the nominee.

The fact that Clinton is encouraging her supporters to unite behind the nominee now—while we’re still in the midst of this overheated primary battle—gives me hope. Maybe, once this campaign is over, both sides will finally agree that racism and sexism (and classism and homophobia) are interlocking issues, and that none of them will be solved by pitting victim against victim, a la Ferraro or Wright. That would be nice.

Might the Gays help the Straights?

posted by on March 13 at 2:57 PM

An entry to help make up for the slow slogging due to Make-Out Monday’s flu pandemic at the Stranger’s office:

The MSM doesn’t usually get much credit for creative thinking, but Steve Chapman at the Chicago Tribune today had a great column about the Spitzer mess. He’s a hard-core libertarian, and so his argument

Politicians take people’s money with a promise to fulfill desires that supposedly can’t be attained any other way. Prostitutes do the same, though by reputation, they are more reliable in delivering

I understand why Spitzer’s alleged hiring of a call girl was stupid, selfish, reckless, immoral and a betrayal of his family. What I don’t understand is why it was illegal.

It’s not as though sex is otherwise divorced from money. If it were, hot young women would be found on the arms of poor older men as often as they are seen with rich ones.


comes as no surprise to any regular readers. But he goes on, and connects the Supreme Court’s striking down of Texas’ sodomy law fin Lawrence and Gardner v. Texas as a route that could be taken to make prostitution legal.

But all this is secondary to the priority of human freedom. We no longer believe the government has a right to prevent homosexuals or heterosexuals from engaging in sexual practices. In 2003, the Supreme Court had the wisdom to strike down a Texas sodomy prosecution against two homosexuals caught in the act.

“The petitioners are entitled to respect for their private lives,” asserted the court. “The state cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government.”

Some brilliant lawyer ought to ask the courts why the state may ban one type of sex between consenting adults but not another. Maybe Eliot Spitzer would like to take it on.

And this from the Chicago Tribune, a paper that makes the Gray Lady look technicolor most days of the week.


posted by on March 13 at 2:34 PM

The Page at Time has news of a possible—repeat, possible—compromise in the Michigan-Florida delegate battle:

–Michigan’s 156 delegates would be split 50-50 between Clinton and Obama.

–Florida’s existing delegates would be seated at the Denver convention—but with half a vote each. That would give Clinton a net gain of about 19 elected delegates.

Why do I think most of the parties involved won’t actually go for this?

Pot Will Make You Sell Your Kid

posted by on March 13 at 2:25 PM

I guess people have stopped buying the arguments that smoking marijuana makes you sterile, run over little girls on tricycles, lose your girlfriend to an alien, a deflated bag, an indie-rock robot, or a terrorist. I mean, those just aren’t plausible scenarios. Nowadays, if you want to justify denying medicine to someone dying with cancer, just explain that doing so could make people sell their babies.

Here’s a letter from Iowa Senator Tom Harkin to a constituent who asked why medical marijuana, despite recent support from the American College of Physicians, is still illegal.

Dear XXXX:

Thank you for contacting me. I am always glad to hear from you.

Marijuana is often the drug singled out for legalization. However, marijuana is not the recreational drug that many believe it to be. In a study completed by the Drug Abuse Warning Network, the number of marijuana related emergencies has nearly reached the level of cocaine related emergencies. As this statistic indicates, marijuana use often has fatal consequences.

I was deeply troubled when I learned of another recent study which found that nearly one-third of all eighth graders had tried marijuana. As the father of two daughters, it greatly disturbs me that children are exposed to drugs at such a young age. I am concerned that legalization of this drug will only increase the number of children who gain access to its harmful effects.

The victims of the drug war are many — the small child whose parents are so addicted to illegal drugs that they sell everything including perhaps their own children to obtain a fix; the police officer’s family which must now learn to cope with the loss of their loved one as a result of a violent drug bust gone awry. These are the people I think of when I say that drugs pose a significant threat to the security of this nation.

Legalizing drugs is equivalent to declaring surrender in the war on drugs. However we may differ in tactics, I am hopeful that we can work together to fight drugs in our communities and to make Iowa drug free.

Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. Please don’t hesitate to let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.


Tom Harkin
United States Senator

This gem was posted on AlterNet by Ron Fisher of NORML, for which I serve on the board. Thanks, ECB, for sending it my way.

People Helping People

posted by on March 13 at 2:25 PM

A reader just sent this in:

Here’s a photo I took at 24th and Lynn, in front of Fuel coffee, about 9:30 a.m. this morning. The man in the street was hit by a newish volvo wagon turning left onto 24th, driven by an older woman from Madison Park. The man on his knees was a bystander helping out, while others directed traffic and so forth. Bike bystander guy started taking pictures, completely pissing off on-knees man, who screamed at bike guy and then kicked him really hard, breaking his camera. The guy hit by the car was taken away in an ambulance, coherent. The woman said she was turning when he ran out in front of her car. He was not at the crosswalk.


Scandal Gives Kristen’s Music Career a Boost, Provokes Aggressively Unfunny “Crosscut” Parody

posted by on March 13 at 2:20 PM

As reported over on Line Out, in the latest “Kristen”-related news, the $1,000-an-hour prostitute—AKA Ashley Alexandra Dupré—has gotten a surprising career boost from the scandal: NYC’s Z100, the most popular radio station in the country, has put her song “What We Want” in rotation. To listen to more of Ashley’s R&B-inflected musical stylings, check out her page on AmieStreet—which she hastily updated with a new song this morning. Is it wrong that this makes me sort of love her?

In other Kristen-related non-news, Crosscut has a “parody” imagining what it would be like to interview the high-priced hooker. The joke: Whores are dumb! And they like to do it! That’s why they’re whores! HA!

In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out: Reports from SXSW, Staff Changes at 107.7 The End, and More Prizes!

posted by on March 13 at 1:49 PM

I knew boobs would get your attention.

bigger.jpgPhoto by Kelly O, from SXSW

107.7 the End: KNDD fires two DJs and pulls harms from his long-time evening slot.

Nectar Gains Another Booker: Colin Johnson announces Patrick Haenelt as the club’s local booker.

The Kids Are Alright: David Schmader’s 16-year-old niece makes him a mix-CD that doesn’t suck.

Today’s Music News: Nationally speaking, there really isn’t much, since the industry is on hold while everyone gets drunk in Austin.

More on Curling: This time it involves Swedish metal and hot blondes with brooms.

SXSW Wrap Up: Eric Grandy survives day one and sees more bands in just a few hours than I have room to mention here. Sam Machkovech ditches the breakfast taco for late-night pizza, Portland Mercury’s Ezra Careff is also down there and he’s hoping for more tacos while seeing Kimya, the Kills, and Bon Iver, and Kelly O is capturing it all in photos.

Speaking SXSW: Extreme Animals covered Archers of Loaf and made me totally jealous that I’m still here in Seattle.

Working Girl: What does the nation’s most talked about prostitute listen to?

Leslie and the Ly’s: More fun than Casey Catherwood expected them to be.

Tonight in Music: Cool Nutz, Neema, and Club Pop with New Faces.

Sound Check: An interview with Dr. Heavy.

Follow Line Out on Twitter: And be the first to hear about breaking news and contests.

And hey, you can win a free, autographed Presidents of the USA cd! Head over the world of music and nightlife for more info.

Lacanian Money

posted by on March 13 at 1:16 PM

The most interesting bit of information in this art story is not directly connected to the sexy painting below, Femme nue couchée
article-2442.jpg …But another Courbet that was also once owned by a wealthy Hungrian art collector, Baron Ferenc Hatvany, and sold not long after he lost his fortune to the Communists:

In 1955 L’Origine du monde was sold at auction for 1.5 million francs. Its new owner was the famous psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan.

For those who don’t know Lacan;

GIVEN MAN’S RELIANCE ON LANGUAGE for entrance into the symbolic order…it is not surprising that, according to Lacan, we are not even in control of our own desires since those desires are themselves as separated from our actual bodily needs as the phallus is separated from any biological penis. For this reason, Lacan suggests that, whereas the zero form of sexuality for animals is copulation, the zero form of sexuality for humans is masturbation.

For those who don’t know L’Origine du monde (and, yes, this is not safe for work): CLICK.
Une femme est une femme, mais un philosopher est un homme.

Help Me Out Here, Sloggers

posted by on March 13 at 1:11 PM

I need the name of a scorchingly hot French Canadian pop star, actor, or athlete. Anyone reading up there?

Also a bit closer to home… my son wants to go out for ribs tomorrow, his tenth birthday. Where’s the best place in Seattle—or nearby—to have ribs?

Old Number 6638: Finally Passed Still Trying to Pass, Like a Kidney Stone

posted by on March 13 at 1:02 PM

That arts funding bill in Olympia I keep hollering about? It finally passed the House. And our much-maligned Representative Chopp even voted yea.

(Quick history: The bill, Old Number 6638, will shunt some money, originally meant to pay off the soon-to-be-paid-off Kingdome, to arts funding, especially 4Culture. It glided across the Senate floor [44 yea to 5 nay] glissaded through the House Finance Committee [7 yea to 2 nay], then got stuck in the House Rules Committee, run by our much-maligned Representative Frank Chopp. Somehow, it was wrested from Rules and onto the floor, where it passed by a less-resounding 67 to 30.)

Read the whole bill history, in romantic legislative shorthand, here.

So who voted nay? Who hates art?

Mr. Alexander, a Republican from the Centralia territory:


Mr. Sump, a Republican from Kettle Falls/Omak territory:


Mr. Hinkle, a Republican from Thorp/Yakima territory:


And a few other Republicans and two Democrats: Tami Green, from the Fort Lewis territory:


And Kelli Linville, from Bellingham territory:


I’ve got a call out to Linville to ask why she—the representative from Bellingham? Home of bluegrass bands, potheads, a liberal university, the Marrowstone Music Festival, and the comic geniuses of the Cody Rivers Show?—hates art.

UPDATE: Re-cork the champagne. Old Number 6638 has not passed. Its amended version (which makes 6638 law only until June 2009—that is, only for a year) is on the Senate floor for vote now. Why it has been amended to only be law for a year (that is, effectively neutralized) is a secret.

An Oral Version of ‘Gimme Head’

posted by on March 13 at 12:54 PM


Last November, the lovely and talented Angela Garbes, a Stranger food columnist and writer par excellence, appeared with some other local food writers at an event called “Talking With Your Mouth Full.” She read Gimme Head, which is about eating the heads of animals. The audio of that event is now available here, and it’s a lot of fun. Think of it as a very special, offal-centric episode of “This American Life.”

“Obama Really Can’t Win the General Election”

posted by on March 13 at 12:52 PM

So said top Clinton strategist Mark Penn in a conference call today with reporters.

The Drug Czar Must Be Feeling Pissy

posted by on March 13 at 12:45 PM

The Washington State Supreme Court this morning ruled unanimously that randomly testing students’ urine for drugs violates the state’s constitution. Drug tests now require suspicion of wrongdoing.

Implementing and maintaining random drug-testing programs, which are allowed under federal law, is listed at the top of Bush’s 2008 national drug-control strategy. The Drug Czar’s office argues that random drug testing reduces drug use, but the only peer-reviewed scientific study found it has no effect.

The decision permanently ends the practice here. “The Washington Supreme Court gets the last word on the Washington Constitution,” says Aaron Caplan, a staff attorney for ACLU of Washington, which litigated the case. Only three districts in the state have been randomly piss-testing students who participate in extracurricular activates; other districts have been holding off, waiting for this decision, despite the White House’s pressure and funding to start the programs. “One of the things we’re doing is making sure those districts know they need to stop and let other districts know they should not start,” says Caplan.

The case, York v. Wahkiakum School District, arose from disputes over testing the children of a Deputy Sherriff and emergency room manager in Wakiukum County, where a judge ruled the practice was within the law. But the Supes unanimously tossed out that decision. Writes Justice Sanders in the lead opinion:

The urinalysis test is by itself relatively unobtrusive. Nevertheless, a student is still required to provide his or her bodily fluids. Even if done in an enclosed stall, this is a significant intrusion on a student’s fundamental right of privacy. …

In sum, no argument has been presented that would bring the random drug testing within any reasonable interpretation of the constitutionally required “authority of law.”

Judge Madsen concurs:

As pointed out by the Washington Education Association and Drug Policy Alliance in their amicus brief, drug testing may actually be counterproductive, as participation in athletic activities is itself an important factor in discouraging drug use and the drug testing program may actually discourage such participation, isolating students from healthy activities. … Indeed, suspicionless drug testing jeopardizes other important educational objectives, including preparing students to become responsible citizens who share a common understanding and appreciation of our constitutional values.”

Caplan says the ruling is based primarily on precedent from a 1985 decision, also by the state’s high court, which concluded school officials chaperoning Renton students on a field trip could not randomly search for alcohol in the kids’ luggage. “You can’t search through luggage at random, you what makes you think you can search their bodies?” Caplan asks.

In January, the drug czar’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) sent a cadre of drug testing advocates to Highline Community College as part of a national campaign to persuade more school administrators to implement the programs here. Thus far, school districts around the country have received $36.1 million for the programs. Caplan says, “School districts in Washington are not allowed to take the ONDCP’s sucker money.”

The ONDCP has not returned calls for comment.

The Mount Si Saga Continues—Part 3,246

posted by on March 13 at 12:29 PM

Reverend Ken Hutcherson is still pushing the Snoqualmie Valley School District to fire two teachers who harangued him during an appearance at Mount Si High School’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day assembly last January. Hutcherson’s also demanding Mount Si cancel its Day of Silence, and he’s going after the school’s librarian, Elaine Harger, for defending the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance student group.

Here’s the letter:

Dear Elaine Harger,

I want the teachers Kit McCormick and George Potratz fired and I will not stop until they are gone. Do you wish to be added to that list? I want the day of silence silenced and it will not happen during school time anymore. I have never said that the GSA should not be a club but have asked why a sex club is pushed on campus.

You have the right to invoke my name for being an invited guest, and as an invited guest that was treated very poorly, I demand that all students have a safe environment and not just the students of the GSA.

Do you think my daughter feels Mount Si is a safe environment for her? Do you think that conservative, ultra-patriotic, pro-war, Bible-stumpers as one administrator has said feels safe at Mount Si? Do you think Christian, Mormon, and any other religious groups of kid think Mount Si is a safe environment for them?

You and others may have wished I was never invited but I was so now you have to deal with me and how I was treated. I am here for the long run and I am not going away, even if letters like yours are continued to be written. Please do continue to write because I am collecting them for my case of a hostile environment for me as a parent, for me as an invited guest, for me as a Christian, and for me as a resident of the Snoqualmie School District.

Dr. Ken Hutcherson
Senior Pastor Antioch Bible Church

With just over a month until Mount Si’s Day of Silence, a showdown between Hutch, the school district, the teacher’s union and Lambda Legal—which is now providing legal support to the GSA—can’t be far off.

Flickr Photo of the Day

posted by on March 13 at 12:20 PM


From shapefarm

Lunchtime Quickie

posted by on March 13 at 12:00 PM

I can’t remember how old I was when I realized a Tasmanian Devil was actually an animal from Tasmania, not just the preferred tattoo of the Hillman Michigan men’s softball team…

Jaws stronger than a pitbull? From YouTube: NationalGeographic

Werner Herzog Blogs for The Stranger!

posted by on March 13 at 11:39 AM

He’s not the first filmmaker to blog for us, but he’s definitely the Germanest.

Ladies and gentleman, Werner Herzog’s Werner Herzblog.


(See larger version here.)

I Don’t Know if This Is Fake or Not…

posted by on March 13 at 11:39 AM

…but it still makes me feel like a caveman who suddenly happened across a working food processor.

Without further ado: A voiceless phone call, made by a special phone that turns your thoughts into a computer voice:

Keep Dreaming

posted by on March 13 at 11:35 AM

Nancy Pelosi today:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reiterated her prediction Thursday that New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama would not share the Democratic presidential ticket this fall.

“I just don’t think it’s going to happen,” Pelosi told a roomful of reporters who wanted her to expand on her comments earlier this week in Boston rejecting the suggestion that the two senators would form a “dream team.”

“I do think we will have a dream ticket,” Pelosi said. “It just won’t be those two.”

Asked why by the chorus of reporters, the speaker chose not to expand on her prediction, saying only that she had a gut feeling as a result of her lifetime in politics.

“Take it from me, that won’t be the ticket,” Pelosi said with a smile, provoking laughter from members of the media who were prodding her.

Faux Ferraro

posted by on March 13 at 11:23 AM

Via TPM:

David Paterson would not be Governor of New York today if he was not a black, blind man.

If he was a black man, he would not be in this position today. And if he was a blind man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman, of any color, he would not be in this position today.

If he was a black woman, who’d lost sight in only one eye, he wouldn’t. If he was a half-black, half-white woman, who had sight in both eyes, but had lost an arm, he would not be governor. If he was anorexic, or bulimic, he would not have that job.

Muslim? Nope. Blind Jew? Certainly not.

Let me be perfectly clear — David Paterson is lucky to be a black, blind man. The people of New York are looking for a black, blind man, and they are simply caught up in the moment.

Now, I know many of the commenters here on the blog are going to accuse me of being racist for saying this. The reality is, anytime you try and talk about how lucky black, blind men are, you’re accused of racism.

Well, I think it’s YOU who are being racist. Reverse racism. I really think you’re attacking me because I am white.

How’s that?


posted by on March 13 at 11:19 AM

Geraldine Ferraro = Samantha Power = Silda Wall Spitzer = call girl?


In their defense, it’s not like the P-I could have just run four separate stories about women on the front page. I mean, that would just look crazy.

Wondering Who’s Going to Star in The Diary of Anne Frank at Intiman?

posted by on March 13 at 11:08 AM






Ladies and gentlemen: Lucy Chet Devito.

And who’s playing Mrs. Frank? Last year’s Stranger Genius Award winner, Amy motherfucking Thone. Hurrah for that.


At Roughly the Same Time Olbermann Was Lecturing Hillary Last Night…

posted by on March 13 at 11:06 AM

…Pat Buchanan was screaming at an Obama defender.

I’ve never seen Keli Goff before, but the way that she snaps the word “Pat” at Buchanan, as though it’s a very filthy cuss word, after he tells her to shut up, makes me love her.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on March 13 at 11:00 AM


‘The Band’s Visit’ at Harvard Exit

This forlorn comedy about an Egyptian orchestra stuck in Bumfuck, Israel, is funny, sweet, and a shade lighter than the orchestra’s baby-blue uniforms. It’s not going to solve any problems in the Middle East, and it doesn’t attempt to, either. It’s just a quiet story about the uncomfortable charm of coerced hospitality. You’ll leave the theater just like the Arabs leave the town of Bet Hatikvah: precisely the same as you were, but smiling. (Harvard Exit, 807 E Roy St, 781-5755. 4:45, 7, 9:30 pm, $6.75–$9.25.)



Projections: DXArts at Henry Art Gallery

Its full name is University of Washington’s Center for Digital Arts and Experimental Media, but—thank god—it goes by DXArts. Few know exactly what goes on in there. But it makes some big claims, describing itself as a lab for “mind- blowing new forms of art.” In a free talk at the Henry, artists will describe and introduce these forms, from “dance technology” and “computer music” to “visual synthesis” and “sensing and control systems.” (Henry Art Gallery, 4100 15th Ave NE, 543-2280. 7 pm, free.)

  • More Stranger Suggests for this week »
  • Hoaxes and the Hoaxing Hoaxers Who Hoax Them

    posted by on March 13 at 10:54 AM

    So about Eunicure, that organization I wrote about yesterday

    Allegedly based in Topeka, Kansas, Eunicure describes itself as “a network of volunteer medical professionals… providing the only one-hundred percent effective treatment for curing homosexuality.” Eunicure’s treatment is castration-based, so I’m thinking it’s not all that effective where female homosexuality is concerned. But as we see with religious groups and other gay haters, it’s really the buttsex that fascinates ‘em. (Lesbians and heterosexuals, for the record, have buttsex too.) Well, late yesterday afternoon I managed to get a hold of Eunicure’s media liaison, Andrew Johnson, and we had a very pleasant phone conversation. But I must say that Mr. Johnson, hoax or no hoax, had to be the least informed media liaison in the whole sordid history of media liaisoning.

    Can you tell me about the service?

    The idea is that, if you’re gay, and if you’ve tried everything else, and you want to be straight, or if you can’t be straight but want to get right with God, after you get a full physical, and a full psychological battery of tests, we can refer you to one of the places around the country where a surgeon would be wiling to perform the service. We’re a referral service. We don’t do medical work ourselves. We refer and fund.

    So you guys pick up the tab for these castrations?

    Yes. It can run anywhere from $1,600 to $2,600. Depending on location, mostly. Everything in New York City is more expensive than in Kansas City, obviously. And we don’t pay for cosmetic implants, just for taking the testicles out.

    How many of these procedures has Eunicure paid for?

    Since 2004… it’s been… let me see… let me see… I can’t give you an exact number… between 150 paid for in full… and 150 we paid for in part.

    Can you put me in touch with men you’ve Eunicured?

    No. We have to respect patient confidentiality.

    Your area code is 913—that’s Kansas City, not Topeka.

    I’m a media liaison and I work for a lot of different companies. My office is in Kansas City.

    How long have you worked with Eunicure?

    Three weeks now.

    The mailing address listed on Eunicure’s website is the street address of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Are you guys affiliated with Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps?

    We’re inspired by their teachings. We don’t see eye to eye on everything. But we have the same goals. We are not affiliated though.

    If you’re not affiliated, why do you share offices?

    Because Dr. Timothy Feathertree is part of the organization.

    Where is Dr. Feathertree, Eunicure’s medical director, licensed to practice medicine? I can’t find him on any databases in Kansas or anywhere else.

    He’s not licensed right now. He’s not working as a physician. Right now. Or I’m not sure if he is. I’m not up on everything right now. But what was explained to me is, if you’re working as a medical director, you don’t actually have to be licensed to practice medicine.

    Your website was registered only a month ago.

    Eunicure has been in existence since mid-2004, but it was just a word of mouth thing. People these days seem to think that you can’t exist until the moment you went on the web.

    Eunicure is soliciting for donations. Is it a charity?

    I haven’t checked out what their filings are, but they tell me they’re a nonprofit.

    Is Eunicure registered with the IRS? Is it a registered 501(c)3?

    I honestly don’t know.

    For a spokesman, you don’t seem to know much.

    [Laughs.] Frankly, we only went live two weeks ago. We registered the website a month ago, we’ve been working on it for a bit. We had it out for a very little while. Only Monday we started to let people know we were here on the web.

    Before we got off the phone, Mr. Johnson promised to get back to me about where exactly Dr. Feathertree is licensed to practice medicine and where he went to medical school. He e-mailed me later…

    I have reached Dr. Feathertree’s wife, Jennifer, and she tells me that I misunderstood—Dr. Feathertree is a Doctor of Biology, not of Medicine. He is South African (no, not Nigerian) and graduated in ‘85 from the University of Cape Town. He has never practiced medicine anywhere let alone in the U.S. As I noted, Eunicure does not perform any medical procedures itself, it just refer people to surgeons willing to perform the procedure. Dr. Feathertree limits himself to reviewing the qualifications of the doctors he refers patients to.

    I suppose the University of Cape Town was chosen because it’s so very far away, and calling to check up on Mr. Johnson’s claim might prove logistically difficult. (What time zone is it in? It’s in Africa—do they even have phones?) But the University of Cape Town actually has a zippy little website and I was able to blast an e-mail off to the student-records office. “I have checked our records correctly and could find NONE under the name below,” writes Sipho Masha in the student-records office.

    Of course, I thought this was a hoax all along—come on—but it’s a great idea for a hoax, and it’s really a shame that it wasn’t better done. The dead giveaway? When I was speaking with Andrew Johnson about why Eunicure shared a mailing address with Westboro Baptist Church, he said…

    If Dr. Feathertree was going to get hate mail, he might as well get it at that address.

    The Hooker Prize

    posted by on March 13 at 10:54 AM


    AbeBooks, an online used bookseller, has a list of the top ten non-fiction books about prostitutes. By far my favorite title is about prostitution in the early West: Soiled Doves. There’s no fiction list, so far, but it’s pretty easy to come up with those: Vollman, Houellebecq, and all those other pervy-men-but-fabulous-novelists that fiction seems to breed.

    (Fabulous hooker-on-a-plane image from a slightly disturbing photoshop contest at

    Dept. of Hacks and the Classics They Destroy

    posted by on March 13 at 10:42 AM

    Michael Bay wants to remake Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby.

    Speaking of unnecessary disasters, here’s the trailer to the Lost Boys sequel.

    The Zine: 1970ish-2008

    posted by on March 13 at 10:41 AM

    Critical Mass has a tersely-written obituary of zines.

    Indeed, the Internet has altogether replaced zines as a forum where young people may vent about (or flaunt) their alienation from mainstream society. Once a source of tremendous energy, zines are now ancient history, much like big hair and dollar gas.

    I know that some people are still clinging to the idea of zines, but it does feel a little like vinyl addicts at this point. Still, I hope the Zine Archive at the Hugo House reopens. It was a pretty neat place, and it would be a shame to lose all those lovingly-constructed artifacts. So far as I know, now that Confounded Books is gone, the only two places left in town to buy zines are Elliott Bay Book Company and Left Bank Books. I may be showing my age, but I think that that’s kind of sad.

    Attention, Washington Wonks and Precinct Delegates

    posted by on March 13 at 10:33 AM

    Over in Colorado, which, like Washington, uses a caucus system for apportioning its Democratic delegates, Hillary Clinton seems to be picking up delegates as the process grinds along from precinct to district to state convention. Why?

    A theory from a University of Denver political scientist:

    It’s hard to know if this is all due to chance, if she really does have an effective post-caucus strategy in the urban counties, or if the Obama folks are just flakier as the process goes on. It’s also hard to say just how much this will matter in the end. Each of the state’s seven congressional districts will only send six or seven delegates to the DNC. So maybe she can flip two or three this way, and if she does that in the other caucus states, we’re talking about serious numbers, although obviously not enough to overtake Obama in pledged delegates. Still, every little bit matters right now.

    If Clinton really is trying to work the post-caucus system in caucus states, there’s nothing unfair about that. Those who show up, win.

    Which means: If you were elected as a legislative district delegate at last month’s Washington caucuses, and you want your candidate to have the best shot at the nomination, then you better figure out the where and whens of the next step in the process and, you know, show up.

    Book Award Post # 13,557

    posted by on March 13 at 10:33 AM

    Kate Christensen’s novel The Great Man won the PEN/Faulkner Award. This award, which has gone to Phillip Roth for the last thirty-seven years straight, usually has a pretty high-quality shortlist. I’ve not read Man, but I’ve read In the Drink, her first novel, and it was pretty good. The Great Man is about a painter’s death and the women who he’s left behind. Christensen jokingly refers to it as ‘biddy lit.

    It’s a Hideous Drizzly Day In Seattle

    posted by on March 13 at 10:33 AM

    Which means it’s a perfect day for show choirs.

    Today’s offerings: a pair of magical medleys.

    First up: Straight outta Iowa, here’s Linn Marr High School’s ass-kicking Metal Medley:

    And then Twinsburg, Ohio’s Great Expectations retaliate with the stunningly weird “Na Na Na Medley,” a collection of songs featuring nonsense syllables, from “Hey Ya!” to “Hey Jude.”

    Thank you, Auschglitz!

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on March 13 at 10:30 AM

    A 2008 oil painting by Cable Griffith

    At SAM Gallery.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on March 13 at 10:17 AM


    Two thrillers, three open mics (including one at the Hugo House with wine for a buck a glass,) and so much more going on tonight.

    Anita Boser is up at Third Place with Relieve Stiffness & Feel Young Again with Undulation, a book that shows how in just ten minutes a day you can blah blah and etc. Only one human being can build a better, stronger you in just minutes a day, and that human being is Charles motherfucking Atlas, motherfuckers.

    Clay Shirky, a name that I adore, is at the U Bookstore with Here Comes Everybody:The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, about the rise of Wiki and the Internet. This could be pretty interesting, if the reading isn’t commandeered by a bunch of marketers trying to figure out how to exploit Wikis. Every so often, seemingly at random, a gaggle of ad people will show up at a reading in their fancy clothes, and take notes and ask business questions and suck the life out of the room. I blame Malcolm Gladwell, myself.

    Stacy Levine and Lou Rowan are at Third Place Books. Levine published a terrific novel called Frances Johnson out of Clear Cut Press (Whatever happened to those guys? They were totally poised to be the Northwest McSweeney’s and then they disappeared) a few years ago. Rowan is the author of My Last Days, an autobiography of Superman. I was psyched to read this book—I’m a sucker for anything Superman that’s not endorsed by Time Warner—but it’s so riddled with typos that I couldn’t read it. A blurb on the back had a typo, fer crissakes. Everybody’s human, I know, and I’m really not that nit-picky when it comes to typos, but one or two or three or four typos per page is just ridiculous.

    The big reading of the night is Dominique Fabre, reading from The Waitress Was New, his first novel to be translated from French to English. It’s about a waiter who’s worked at a restaurant for a very long time. Fabre’s written nine novels and has been given so many awards in France that he must walk with a hunchback from carrying all of them around.

    If you’re not in the mood for something Gallic, perhaps Jody Rosen, Slate’s music critic, at Town Hall will be more your thing. Rosen is talking about “Jewish dialect songs and novelty hits performed by vaudeville’s Hebrew comedians,” and what that racist self-parody meant for Jews in America and for the performers themselves. The talk is called “Jewface.” That oughta rile up some folks in the audience.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, here.

    Light Slogging

    posted by on March 13 at 10:13 AM

    Expect a slimmer-than-usual Slog today, as half of editorial is out sick. “Looks like we’re going to have to put a stop to Make Out Mondays,” says Steinbacher.

    An Athlete and a Stoner

    posted by on March 13 at 10:06 AM

    The Seattle Times:

    The state Supreme Court says that random drug testing of student athletes is unconstitutional.

    The court unanimously ruled in favor of some parents and students in the Wahkiakum School District that were fighting the district’s policy of random urine tests of middle school and high school student athletes.

    Did Anyone See Lewis Black’s New Show on Comedy Central Last Night?

    posted by on March 13 at 10:04 AM

    The first ten minutes of Root of All Evil were so… not funny… that I turned off the teevee. Maybe I bailed too soon. Thank God then for Bill Donohue’s Catholic League, which transcribed the best bits of last night’s premiere and stuffed ‘em in my inbox this morning.

    Last night, Comedy Central aired the first show in a new series, “Lewis Black’s Root of All Evil.” Black played a judge ruling on who was more evil—the Catholic Church or Oprah Winfrey. Click here for a partial transcript.

    Catholic League president Bill Donohue raised questions about it today.

    “The worst part of the show was the assault on Our Blessed Mother and Pope Benedict XVI,” [said Donohue]. “This is a direct quote: ‘The Catholic Church is also evil because it has such a grip over the mindless masses that they’ll wait in line, thousands of them in the rain for hours, just to get a glimpse of a pork rind in the shape of the Virgin Mary… God impregnated Mary. We have a whole religion based on one woman who really stuck to her story.’ The pope was called ‘a hypocrite in his Prada loafers and his ball gown. How can he condemn homosexuality when he dresses like he is on his way to nickel cosmo night at the Veiny Shaft Tavern?’”

    Hey, that’s good stuff—and there’s more good stuff here, courtesy of the Catholic League—so maybe I’ll give the show a second chance. As for the alleged anti-Catholic hate on display, I called my mom—a practicing Catholic—and ran some of the jokes by her.

    “I love it, I love it,” said mom. “There’s nothing offensive there. And it’s true that there’s a mindless component of the Catholic Church. I don’t like to be lumped in there, but some really do have a ‘follower’ mentality.” As for Bill Donohue, “Thinking people don’t give him much credence. He needs to get a life.”

    Mom hath spoken.

    Keith Olbermann’s “Special Comment” about Clinton and the Ferraro Blunder

    posted by on March 13 at 9:55 AM

    That Woman Whose Skin Grafted to Her Toilet Seat

    posted by on March 13 at 9:54 AM

    She was afraid to leave the bathroom.

    A 35-year-old woman who sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for so long that her body was stuck to the seat had a phobia about leaving the bathroom, the boyfriend said.

    Police say Pam Babcock apparently spent two years living in the bathroom of her boyfriend’s mobile home.

    “She is an adult; she made her own decision,” said her boyfriend, Kory McFarren. “I should have gotten help for her sooner; I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it.”

    McFarren, 36, said he can’t be certain how long Pam Babcock stayed in the bathroom because “time just went by so quick I can’t pinpoint how long.” He said beatings she received in her childhood caused her phobia.

    “It just kind of happened one day; she went in and had been in there a little while, the next time it was a little longer. Then she got it in her head she was going to stay — like it was a safe place for her,” McFarren said.

    But McFarren said she moved around in the bathroom during that time, bathed and changed into the clothes he brought her. He brought food and water to her. They had conversations and had an otherwise normal relationship — except it all happened in the bathroom.

    Oh, my word. I don’t know what to say except, parents, please don’t beat your kids.

    The Morning News

    posted by on March 13 at 7:02 AM

    Spitzerpalooza: How the case went down. What the former Gov will do now. The woman at the center of it all. The man who will be governor.

    Today in Plunges: Falling dollar means falling global stocks. Meanwhile, foreclosures were up a whopping 60% in February.

    Israel and Gaza: Exchanging fire. Again.

    Coming Soon to YouTube: The Pentagon reveals it has close to 50 tapes of interrogations in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay.

    Geraldine Ferraro: Resignation tendered, accepted.

    Do-Over: Florida democratic party leaders pick June 3 for a primary re-vote. The estimated cost would be $10-$12 million.

    Is Are Kids Learning?: Presidential panel finds American kids suck at math, calls for the mastering of “key skills.”

    Pot, Meet Kettle: China accuses America of human rights violations.

    Gone, Forgotten: Just 28% percent of Americans known that close to 4,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Iraq.

    Under the Knife, Silently Screaming: An estimated 30,000 people a year wake up during surgery.

    Free Once Again to be a Creepy Asshole: Girls Gone WIld founder Joe Francis back on the streets after a year in prison.

    Breaking News From CNN: “School clears kids in contraband candy caper.”

    Today in Important Legislation: Florida looks to regulate how much toilet paper is available in public restrooms.

    Green Fare: Nickels wants Seattle’s taxis to get at least 30 miles/gallon by 2013.

    There Are 560 Calories in a Big Mac: Nutrition information coming to King County restaurants by the end of the year.

    Wednesday Signings: More than 170 benefits granted to the state’s domestic partners yesterday. On a related note: Pastor Ken Hutcherson is still an asshole.

    Shop ’Till You’re Shot: One man wounded in a shooting at Southcenter Mall.

    I-5 Improvements: Not coming soon to a state near you.

    And Finally, Because Kid Icarus Requested It: William Shatner’s Rocket Man.

    Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    This Just In

    posted by on March 12 at 11:24 PM

    A letter to the editor, received at 10:42 pm:

    To every person in America who considers himself or herself to be a journalist:

    I would like to point out to you that ALL PEOPLE HAVE GENITALS. For some reason, journalists seem to find this piece of information to be sensational. It’s NOT. Anybody who works in the medical field in any capacity will say that after a while, genitals are about as exciting as elbows and kneecaps. I honestly don’t care what other people do with their genitals. When my daughter had surgery several years ago, it would not have occurred to me to ask her surgeon, “What do you do with your penis when you’re not in the operating room?” When I get on the bus to go to work, I don’t ask the driver, “What did you do with your genitals last night?” Journalists who are obsessed with the sex lives of celebrities are perverts. Normal people don’t spend all day obssessing about other people’s genitals. That is just warped.

    Signed, I’m just trying to be normal in this sick fucking place

    Goodnight, everyone!

    Return to Saturn

    posted by on March 12 at 6:20 PM

    …Saturn’s ring becomes a cast-iron balcony on which the inhabitants of Saturn take the evening air.
    The arms of spiral galaxies, the rings of Saturn, rainbows, sand dunes, life, consciousness, cities, and symphonies all are ordered structures that emerge when many interacting particles, or “agents”—be they molecules, stars, cells, or people—are subjected to a flow of energy.

    Meet Kristen

    posted by on March 12 at 6:15 PM

    She’s the woman at the center of the Elliot Spitzer scandal—she’s the call girl—and the New York Times got an interview with her.

    God Bless the Ancient Apparatchik

    posted by on March 12 at 5:40 PM

    I just got back from interviewing a member of an Uzbek theater company, Ilkhom, which has produced rebellious, anti-authoritarian plays since the Soviets were in power.

    Its leader, Mark Weil, was stabbed to death in front of his apartment in Tashkent six months ago, possibly by Muslim fundamentalists, outraged that some Ilkhom shows feature sympathetic gay characters (which is still superlatively taboo in Uzbekistan) and heretical interpretations of the Koran (ditto).

    Ilkhom started small in the basement of an abandoned building in Tashkent but eventually got famous and toured to Moscow, where the Culture Ministry freaked out because the company was producing rebellious work by forbidden playwrights. But the Soviets let them be.

    I asked how they got away with it.

    There was an old Soviet functionary named Rajim Karev [phonetic spelling] who said ‘I do not know what you do, but I am sure you do something right.’ He was very powerful in the culture ministry, one of the old communists who was not afraid of anything—he survived the Stalin repression and what could be worse than that? And he always said to young functionaries who wanted to close the theater: ‘You will NOT close this theater and you will obey me because I saw Lenin when he was ALIVE!’

    The Ilkhom actor smiled.

    Maybe he saw that the system was in sunset. Mark Weil always remembered that functionary with good feelings.

    Ilkhom will perform two U.S. premieres (photo below from one of ‘em) at ACT Theatre. Previews begin this Friday.


    Samantha Power/Geraldine Ferraro

    posted by on March 12 at 4:40 PM

    Can we just call it even and let them both get back to work on their respective campaigns?

    C’mon, Obama and Clinton: Here’s your chance to show the Democratic party can work together. Call it a draw, and get these two smart-yet-verbally incontinent women back in the game.

    Re: Hulu Who?

    posted by on March 12 at 4:25 PM

    Their embed function doesn’t work very well, either.

    Still, this is kinda fierce.

    Wanna See a 4K Hooker?

    posted by on March 12 at 4:24 PM

    Via The Grey Lady, “Kristen” and her MySpace page!

    Hulu Who?

    posted by on March 12 at 4:11 PM

    Hulu went live today. I never thought I’d see the day when I’d praise YouTube, but here we are. Hulu is a way to get ad-supported tv shows and movies— allegedly in their entirety, athough I haven’t tried it out yet—on your computer. I feel as though this is the Internet’s version of a hideous, six-story primary-colored condo with retail space on the ground floor. Praise be, then, to YouTube. Hulu would never allow things like this:

    within its prettified walls. But you can watch all the Fantasy Island you want.

    Westerns for Gun Control

    posted by on March 12 at 4:11 PM

    In my Suggests for Grand Illusion’s Phil Karlson series last week, I tried to guide you to movies with nice, squarish aspect ratios—the image ends up looking bigger on that postage-stamp screen. Of course, I missed both of those films and ended up at one of this week’s entries, a Cinemascope Western (wide image, teeny cowboys) called Gunman’s Walk. I recommend it nonetheless—and there are two more screenings, tonight and tomorrow at 7 pm.

    Gunman's Walk

    Hot off his role as Dan Evans in the original 3:10 to Yuma, Van Heflin plays a man’s man’s man named Lee Hackett, living on an enormous ranch just outside of in a town he helped found. He has two sons: Ed (played the very Aryan-looking Tab “The Sigh Guy” Hunter), who’s basically a sociopath, and Davy (James Darren, also a former teen idol), who’s sensitive and effeminate—though, of course, he’s in love with a half-Indian girl. After Ed is implicated in the death of the girl’s brother, the town begins to close ranks, defending Lee’s wayward progeny. But Ed adores his pistol, and he doesn’t care for being locked up.

    The direction is nothing fancy, but the story and acting are fantastic. I love revisionist Westerns, and they don’t come much more revisionist than Gunman’s Walk, with its line on gun control (“Put a gun in a boy’s hands, and he’ll sooner or later use it”) and fondness for girly men and race-blind justice.

    Phil Karlson’s 1952 noir Scandal Sheet, set in a tabloid newsroom, follows at 9 pm. It sounds pretty great.

    A Note from Geraldine Ferraro

    posted by on March 12 at 4:03 PM

    Via CNN:

    Dear Hillary –

    I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.

    The Obama campaign is attacking me to hurt you. I won’t let that happen.

    Thank you for everything you have done and continue to do to make this a better world for my children and grandchildren.

    You have my deep admiration and respect.


    City and Police Guild Back in Contract Talks

    posted by on March 12 at 2:53 PM

    The City and the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) are, according to SPOG President Rich O’Neil, finally on speaking terms.

    Two weeks ago, the Mayor Greg Nickels’ office distributed their contract offer directly to police officers. The Mayor’s move pissed off the Guild and its members, and talks over the long-delayed contract—which expired in December 2006—were suspended. SPOG also filed an unfair labor practice complaint against the City, claiming city negotiators reneged on a confidentiality agreement.

    O’Neil says an “intermediary” got the Guild and the City back at the table, and they’ll be meeting tomorrow to restart negotiations. “As long as we’re talking, good things can come,” O’Neil says. “If we’re going back to hardball tactics, it won’t last very long.”

    Denounce or Reject? Pt. 2

    posted by on March 12 at 2:51 PM

    Now, this is funny.

    Listen to Wolfson on Clinton and Ferraro:

    Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman, replied that the campaign was “completely unaware” of Mrs. Ferraro’s remarks before she made them. “We did not in any way encourage them,” he said. He noted that when Mrs. Clinton responded to a question about the comments, she “made clear she disagreed with them and she rejected them.”

    But didn’t Clinton make a big deal out of the meaning of the word “reject” when Obama simply “denounced” Louis Farrakhan.

    “Reject,” as a NYT op/ed which defended Clinton’s position on the squabble, means to throw back, return. So, in practical political terms, it means to fire.

    But Clinton did not fire Ferraro or ask her to step down:

    She told CNN she had not been asked by the campaign to step aside but decided on her own it was the best move.

    On a conference call this afternoon with Clinton officials, Andrea Mitchell of NBC News asked why Mrs. Clinton had not been more emphatic in objecting to Ms. Ferraro’s comments. She also asked if there hadn’t been a pattern by the Clinton campaign of exploiting such remarks after they had been made.

    Howard Wolfson, Mrs. Clinton’s spokesman, replied that the campaign was “completely unaware” of Mrs. Ferraro’s remarks before she made them. “We did not in any way encourage them,” he said. He noted that when Mrs. Clinton responded to a question about the comments, she “made clear she disagreed with them and she rejected them.”

    My Dream of Being a National Co-Chairman for the John McCain Campaign

    posted by on March 12 at 2:40 PM

    Can be had for as little as $500,000, according to the New York Times:

    The McCain campaign will also try to give incentives to its fund-raisers by bestowing them with honorary titles, each coming with new perks and levels of status, in much the same way the Bush campaign did by naming its biggest fund-raisers Rangers and Pioneers. One proposal that has not been officially announced calls for dubbing fund-raisers who bring in $100,000 Trailblazers, those who bring in $250,000 Innovators, and those who bring in half a million dollars co-chairmen of the campaign.

    I think I could settle for merely being an Innovator, but would balk at the idea of having to take on Trailblazer status. Of course, I’m exceedingly poor, which means I will probably have to solicit donations for my quest from the SLOG. PayPal information will be forthcoming.

    John McCain’s search for clever titles to bestow on his biggest fund-raisers is part of a program for helping to close the perceived money gap that he is expected to have facing either Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. McCain’s present financial resources? They’re described in the article as “meager.”

    Mark, Bob, David, Larry, Gavin, Richard, Kwame, Eliot, Bill, Ted…

    posted by on March 12 at 2:26 PM

    Rep. Mark Foley
    State Rep. Bob Allen
    Sen. David Vitter
    Sen. Larry Craig
    Mayor Gavin Newsom
    State Rep. Richard Curtis
    Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick
    Gov. Eliot Spitzer

    Am I leaving anybody out? Bill Clinton?

    I guess I could add New Life Church Pastor Ted Haggard.

    The question I have is this: Why don’t any female politicians ever go down (ha) in sex scandals? Don’t female politicians build up the same sense of invincibility that comes with power that leads to crazy risks, like, oh, wiring thousands of dollars to a prostitution ring?

    Are they just smarter than their male counterparts about covering their tracks?

    Has there ever been a big political sex scandal where the main character was a woman?

    Ferraro Resigns

    posted by on March 12 at 2:24 PM

    From Clinton’s finance committee.

    Yup, Aaron Eckhart Is at the Market

    posted by on March 12 at 2:21 PM

    On the set of Traveling, a romantic drama starring Aaron Eckhart (Mormon!) and Jennifer Aniston (Quaker!—I mean, Friends!). Eckhart plays a self-help guru with a dead wife and Aniston is a fan.


    Lindy West is on the scene. She spotted Mayor Greg Nickels talking to Eckhart (about the weather) and Nickels talking to director Brandon Camp (about the weather). A rain machine was on hand.

    Traveling is mostly being shot in Vancouver, standing in for Seattle, so these authentic bits are for the pig and neon sign, no doubt.

    Breaking News: Old, Rich White Man Now Conservative

    posted by on March 12 at 2:18 PM

    The Village Voice has a longish, rambling piece by David Mamet about how he’s no longer a “brain-dead liberal.”

    And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.

    But my favorite part, and what will be the money shot for the blogosphere, is the paragraph where he compares two presidents:

    Bush got us into Iraq, JFK into Vietnam. Bush stole the election in Florida; Kennedy stole his in Chicago. Bush outed a CIA agent; Kennedy left hundreds of them to die in the surf at the Bay of Pigs. Bush lied about his military service; Kennedy accepted a Pulitzer Prize for a book written by Ted Sorenson. Bush was in bed with the Saudis, Kennedy with the Mafia. Oh.

    Now, I’m not of the opinion that JFK was a great president. Symbolically, of course, he was great for the nation, I think, but in terms of actual achievements, he’s lacking. But this list of similarities is just plain insulting. And Mamet hasn’t been relevant for at least a decade, which maybe explains why he’d write a faux-shocking piece in order to promote his new political play that’s just opened in New York and for which, he reminds the reader, seats are still available.

    Notes from the Prayer Warrior

    posted by on March 12 at 1:37 PM


    Wednesday, 12 March 2008

    It’s Pastor Hutch calling and it’s time to be praying again…I will not be satisfied with any compromise with regard to the Day of Silence in schools. My desire is that there be no Day of Silence recognition during the school day. This activity can take place before or after school just like Christian activities. They already have a Day of Respect, why do they need a Day of Silence?

    Remember That Woman Whose Skin Grafted to Her Couch?

    posted by on March 12 at 1:19 PM

    It looks like she can start a support group now.

    Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said a man called his office last month to report that something was wrong with his girlfriend.

    Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old Ness City woman’s skin had grown around the seat. She initially refused emergency medical services but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.

    “We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital,” Whipple said. “The hospital removed it.”

    Whipple said investigators planned to present their report Wednesday to the county attorney, who will determine whether any charges should be filed against the woman’s 36-year-old boyfriend…. He told investigators he brought his girlfriend food and water, and asked her every day to come out of the bathroom.

    “And her reply would be, ‘Maybe tomorrow,”’ Whipple said.

    Obama Campaign on Pennsylvania

    posted by on March 12 at 1:13 PM

    Important, but not as important as the Clinton campaign says:

    Now that Mississippi is behind us, we move on to the next ten contests. The Clinton Campaign would like to focus your attention only on Pennsylvania – a state in which they have already declared that they are “unbeatable.” But Pennsylvania is only one of 10 remaining contests, each important in terms of allocating delegates and ultimately deciding who are nominee will be.

    Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha

    posted by on March 12 at 1:12 PM

    Well, that’s two.

    Another case stemming from last year’s controversial sting operation of nightclubs has been dismissed.

    Majid Al Musawi, 38, an employee at the now defunct Tabella Restaurant & Lounge, had been charged in September with allowing two minors into a tavern.

    The witnesses against him included a Seattle police officer and two women who had posed as minors. The officer and one of the women were no-shows at a Seattle Municipal Court hearing Monday, and the other woman was unable to identify Al Musawi as the person who let them in.

    City Attorney Tom Carr said that he didn’t view the no-shows as “comment on the merits of the case.”

    Two questions: Could Tom Carr be a bigger douchebag? And exactly how much money—public money—has the city wasted on these idiotic prosecutions?

    Our Long Horacio Ramirez Nightmare is Finally Over

    posted by on March 12 at 1:10 PM

    The meatball pitcher has been released by the Mariners.

    In the Last 24 Hours on Line Out: More Prizes to be Won!

    posted by on March 12 at 12:47 PM

    Videos from Last Night: Ari shot Team Gina at Neumo’s, and I captured a couple covers at Round 34 in Fremont (Flight of the Conchords fans, you’ll wanna see this).

    Meet This Week’s Band of the Week: And see what they have to say about fingering the Mickey Mouse Club?

    I Want Your Love: TJ Gorton on the Disco Edit Master.

    Remember the Riff: Franz Ferdinand is in the news every single night.

    Today’s Music News: Tacoma pride, SXSW and facepaint, and SNL’s hot streak.

    The Crocodile: Still not open, now in even more trouble.

    Today’s Poll: Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses and My Morning Jacket and who’s really ripping off who (whom?)?

    Tonight in Music: Tiny Vipers at the Triple Door.

    “Yes, I am a Nerd”: Brian Cook reviews the new Earth record.

    Smelly: Eric Grandy would rather smell like armpits, even though that deodorant has okay taste in music.

    Eddie Van Halen is Still Sick: And the band continues to postpone shows.

    Iggy Pop Covers Madonna: Basically, all your dreams have come true.

    Not All Commentors are Assholes: Sometimes they’re nice!


    Today’s Presidents of the USA prize up for grabs is one of their brand new t-shirts! There are six designs the winner will choose from, all of them drawn by singer Chris Ballew. Visit to see how to win.


    Bad News for Gay Men

    posted by on March 12 at 12:38 PM

    The U.S. syphilis rate rose for the seventh straight year in 2007, driven by a continued surge in cases among homosexual and bisexual men, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday.

    Since 2000, when the national syphilis rate sank to a low of 2.1 per 100,000 people after a decade of progress in the 1990s, the rate has soared by 76 percent, the CDC reported. Homosexual and bisexual men accounted for 64 percent of syphilis cases in 2007, up from about 5 percent in 1999.

    What can be done to reverse the trend?

    “Having multiple sex partners and other high-risk behaviors like not using condoms do put you at higher risk for HIV and syphilis,” CDC epidemiologist Dr. Hillard Weinstock said in a telephone interview.

    Use condoms, have sex with fewer people—maybe even just one person, if you can hack monogamy. But kind of advice do gay men get from gay health organizations? Nothing as straightforward as “Have more, and safer, sex with fewer people (far fewer, in some cases),” but meaningless, unhelpful horseshit like this:

    Preventing STDs is about having good info and resources, knowing your own body, and communicating honestly with yourself and your partners. There are an infinite number of sexual possibilities and contexts, including sex within a relationship, sex with a stranger, and sexwork. Whoever you are, whoever you’re with, and wherever you connect, you deserve respect, a chance to agree on what you’ll do together, and the experience you desire.

    What does that paragraph even mean?

    Fifth Time’s the Charm?

    posted by on March 12 at 12:23 PM

    To anyone who’s been wondering why I’ve been MIA in the last few months—on Slog, from their shows, from events—it’s because I have had the worst winter ever.

    It’s getting so ridiculous that I feel I have to explain.

    Since January 1, I have had a stomach flu (four days, one trip to the hospital), two colds (one worse than the other, six days total), food poisoning (brief but eventful, one day), and, now, for the past four days, a monster flu with an unmoving fever of 101.5. I’ve noticed that it looks like nice weather outside—during the 8 or so hours I’ve been awake since Sunday.

    Back to sweaty sleep.

    Frank Chopp’s Not All Bad. But You Still Can’t Sue Your Contractor.

    posted by on March 12 at 12:08 PM

    Olympia hammered out its final budget today—a combo of the Senate budget, the House budget, and the Governor’s budget. And low-income housing advocates are cheering Speaker of the House Chopp who was able to increase the Housing Trust Fund by $70 million—$20 million more than the Senate and the governor’s proposal.

    The Senate and the governor had called for a $50 million increase—$130 million to $180 million. Chopp wisely kicked off the negotiations by coming in high, initially calling for a $90 million increase. The fund goes into low-income housing construction and services for low-income families.

    In the end, Chopp was able to push the fund to $200 million. Pretty cool, especially given how important this fund is right now thanks to the lending crisis.

    Too bad low-income residents won’t be able to sue their contractors if their houses are f’d up, though. You can thank Chopp for that too.

    Spring Movies

    posted by on March 12 at 12:07 PM

    The local calendar-programmed theaters have all miraculously released their schedules around same time. This deserves a Slog post.

    At Northwest Film Forum: The By Design festival is wrapping up this week with screenings of the font doc Helvetica. Other highlights: La Chinoise for Godard fans (starts this Friday), The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival for Dylan fans, Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait for headbutting fans. New indies from American directors include the SIFF ‘07 alum Shotgun Stories, Ramin (Man Push Cart) Bahrani’s Chop Shop, and Harmony Korine’s Parisian meta-celebrity picaresque Mister Lonely (with Denis Levant as a Charlie Chaplin impersonator!). For the hardcore cineaste, there are two programs of short films by Apichatpong Weerasethakul. And there are lots of revivals: Alain Resnais’s Muriel, Divorce, Italian Style, Breathless, La Dolce Vita, Le Doulos (again so soon!), 8 1/2, Pierrot le Fou (again so soon?), and Leo the Last.

    SIFF Cinema has its schedule together, but the website is a little confusing. Here’s what they’re playing: The two-week Global Lens series starts next week (highlights include the SIFF ‘07 alums Opera Jawa and The Bet Collector), then a documentary about 21st-century womanhood, then some Buddhism-related movies (including the excellent The Saltmen of Tibet, the terrible Dreaming Lhasa, and the sad/cute ’80s classic Why Has Bodhi Dharma Left for the East?), a couple of fair trade agitdocs (The Price of Sugar and All This in Tea), and then a long stretch of revival stuff from United Artists (Woody Allen, Billy Wilder, Martin Scorsese, etc).

    Grand Illusion’s new slate kicks off next week with Funky Forest: The First Contact from Taste of Tea director Katsuhito Ishii, then the Chinese melodrama Lost in Beijing and then it’s all Bette Davis for three weeks straight. Rad.

    And at the Varsity, a classy series of festival darlings, including the enviro doc The Unforeseen, the Camera d’Or winner Jellyfish, Hou Hsiao Hsien’s Flight of the Red Balloon, and, uh, Dario Argento’s Mother of Tears (after SIFF is over).

    Lunchtime Quickie

    posted by on March 12 at 12:00 PM

    In honor of all the Stranger music writers, that are heading down to Texas right about now, for SXSW 08, I bring to you, this lunch hour, The Dirty Cowboy…

    And I know it’s “old”. But that’s still one cowboy I’d definitely take a bubble bath with. From YouTube ekgism and/or TV Carnage.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on March 12 at 11:52 AM

    Here’s a pretty random one. X at Cellophane Square in 1995 (or ‘96?), on the “Unclogged” tour. I must have been standing right behind evil robot 6


    Cop Watchdog Website Shut Down

    posted by on March 12 at 11:40 AM

    A new web service that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community is scrambling to restore service Tuesday, after hosting company GoDaddy unceremonious pulled-the-plug on the site in the wake of outrage from criticism-leery cops.

    Visitors to on Tuesday were redirected to a GoDaddy page reading, “Oops!!!”, which urged the site owner to contact GoDaddy to find out why the company pulled the plug.

    RateMyCop founder Gino Sesto says he was given no notice of the suspension. When he called GoDaddy, the company told him that he’d been shut down for “suspicious activity.”

    Then the site went live on February 28th. It stores the names and, in some cases, badge numbers of over 140,000 cops in as many as 500 police departments, and allows users to post comments about police they’ve interacted with, and rate them. The site garnered media interest this week as cops around the country complained that they’d be put at risk if their names were on the internet.

    A GoDaddy spokeswoman says the company can’t comment on the RateMyCop takedown due to its privacy policy.

    The site hasn’t gone back up yet but if/when it does, I’d be interested to see if SPD is rateable. Did any of you Sloggers visit Ratemycop before it went down?

    Via Wired

    Required Viewing

    posted by on March 12 at 11:30 AM

    Olbermann, tonight, MSNBC…

    “Countdown,” Keith Olbermann announced that tonight he’d be delivering another of his “Special Comments”—his impassioned, angry monologues fueled by outrage and usually addressed to President Bush and the Bush administration. Tonight, his special comment will be directed at Hillary Clinton—and, for the first time, his special comment will be directed exclusively at a Democrat….

    Says John at Americablog

    Speculation is that it will be about Ferraro’s racist eruption against Obama, and the larger issue of the Clintons’ race-baiting in this campaign.

    In other Clinton/Obama news… Kos noticed this overlooked tidbit in the Mississippi exit polls:

    Is Clinton honest and trustworthy? 52 Yes, 48 No

    Says Politico

    Obama’s at 70-30. And this is among Democrats.

    Dumb Fucking Racist Cracker Pieces of Shit

    posted by on March 12 at 11:27 AM

    A white family in South Carolina attacked a black TV news reporter doing a stand-up outside their home—and just the black one, not the white reporter doing a stand-up for another TV news station—after a relative was busted for something or other. From HuffPo:

    Three people upset that a news crew was reporting on the arrest of a relative attacked the television reporter and yelled racial slurs at her and a photographer, authorities said Tuesday.

    The family members, all white, began yelling and charged at black WSPA-TV reporter Charmayne Brown while she was standing in the street near the family’s home in Union, said news director Alex Bongiorno.

    Brown was punched in the head, and black cameraman Ti Barnes was also struck as he tried to pull family members off Brown, Bongiorno said. A video of the attack shows Brown, who wasn’t seriously injured, defending herself.

    Of course the white news crew turned their cameras on the attack, so… it’s all on film and now this entire family of dumb fucking racist cracker pieces of shit is behind bars. Here’s the video…

    Says Slog tipper Reggie…

    I’m black and originally from SC. SC voted for Obama. But shit like this still happens today.

    The Truth About Pennsylvania

    posted by on March 12 at 11:17 AM

    Pretty dumb comment from Hillary Clinton spokesperson Larry Springer.

    In the debate over electability (popular vote, battleground states, delegates) He says:

    The path to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue goes through Pennsylvania so if Barack Obama can’t win there, how will he win the general election?

    Except that George Bush did not win Pennsylvania in 2004 or 2000, and he got into the White House. I get that PA is part of the winning Democratic electoral vote equation, but get your facts right, dude.

    Scientist I Saw U!

    posted by on March 12 at 11:09 AM

    Attention quantum physics lovers! An urgent and rather twitterpating message from Slog comments fixture, Original Monique

    Guess who I saw at the opera?

    Stephen fucking Hawking.

    Yes, it’s true. It was awesome. Totally surreal and someone that I never dreamed I would ever get to see in person…He is totally a hero of mine, and I respect him so much. Although I told the guy sitting next to us that he was there, the guy had no idea who he was. I couldn’t believe it. I wonder why he was in Seattle…

    Steven Hawking? At Tosca? Quantum.

    Thanks for sharing, O.M.!


    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on March 12 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Girls Rock!’ at SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall

    Forget Outsourced. The real populist favorite at SIFF 2007—the one that had people squealing at afterparties and fighting over their favorite characters (Amelia all the way!)—was this fierce, adorable documentary about a rock ‘n’ roll camp for girls in Portland. Come for the fleeting shots of camp counselors Carrie Brownstein and Beth Ditto, stay for the wicked banshee screams of 7-year-old Palace and her song about how much San Francisco sucks. (SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St, 633-7151. 7:30 and 9:15 pm [director in attendance at 9:15 screening only], $10, through March 20.)


    Vote Her Out

    posted by on March 12 at 10:41 AM


    Do you think Sally Kern—the Oklahoma state rep whose crazed anti-gay tirade made it onto the web—should resign? You can vote here.

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on March 12 at 10:30 AM

    Images from Charles LaBelle’s video Exterior Song-Hollywood (Cracked Actor) (2003), based on the David Bowie song, with found mattresses

    At Lawrimore Project.

    Naming Rights (and Wrongs)

    posted by on March 12 at 10:24 AM

    Like any regular TV watcher, I am consistently dazzled by commercials for new prescription drugs, all of which seem to boast amazing names. (If I ever have a son, his name will be Flomax; a daughter, Plavix.)

    But where many drug names achieve near-poetry, others seem to be barely trying. Case in point: Abilify, which is pronounced “uh-BILL-if-eye” and prescribed for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. But more than anything, it reminds of some malapropism from this monkey. (“We will abilify the Iraqis to govern themselves!”)

    Abilify. Schizophrenics deserve better. (Especially when you hear the list of potential side effects.)

    Shopaholic Takes the Library of Congress

    posted by on March 12 at 10:19 AM


    According to LibraryThing, “Chick Lit” is officially a subject heading in the Library of Congress. Information about how they decide to tag a book Chick Lit is unavailable—does any “lit” written by a “chick” apply?—but I’m going to try to find out.

    “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off!”

    posted by on March 12 at 10:15 AM

    That’s the motto of Eunicure, a loosely affiliated group of “board-certified urological surgeons” that offers hope—in the form of castration—to homosexuals that have failed to control their desires through prayer, meditation, or other non-scalpel-based interventions. From the Eunicure website…

    Q. Isn’t the Eunicure extreme?

    The Eunicure is not for everyone and should be no one’s first choice. Only if all other forms of treatment have failed to eliminate your homosexuality should you consider what Eunicure offers. However since the rate of AIDS and suicide is so much higher among homosexual men than among those without such an orientation, the Eunicure method can and does save lives.

    Q. Is the procedure painful?

    The procedure is conducted under a local anesthetic and post-operative pain management is taken very seriously. That said, there will be some discomfort after the procedure that should pass in a week or so.

    Q What can I expect after the procedure is complete?

    The main effect will be a complete lack of sexual desire of any kind. While loss of testosterone may entail side-effects such as the potential for loss of body hair, positive side-effects may also include the retention of head hair that might have been lost due to the effects of testosterone. It is a common misconception that a man’s voice will rise, but that is false. There are some reports of hot flashes and loss of bone density.

    Q is the procedure reversible?

    No. The Eunicure procedure is something that requires serious thought and we suggest counseling because there is no going back. While testosterone injections can reverse some of the effects, they cannot completely replace what you will be losing.

    This can’t be real, right? Eunicure’s website seems like a cross between and Donnie “God Hates a Fag” Davies. And wouldn’t any surgeon that castrated an otherwise healthy man—even if the castrated dude was a self- and ball-hating homo—be running the risk of losing his license? And this question from the Eunicure fact sheet makes me think the website is a spoof…

    Q. My ex-wife, mother, lover etc. wants to watch the procedure as it takes place, Is that allowed?

    That depends on of the local surgeon performing the operation and the local hospital. Some allow visitors during such procedures and some prefer to maintain a sterile environment.

    Mom gets to watch? Uh… right.

    But Eunicure is based in Kansas, a gay-hating state… but it’s based in Topeka, Kansas, home to Fred Phelps, which tips the scales toward hoax and parody. Unless Fred Phelps & Co. has decided to branch out of the funeral picketing business and start combatting homosexual behavior at its source. Then again, Eunicure’s website states that homosexuality is an “inborn condition” and not a sinful choice, like most Christian fundies insist. So… parody, right? And then there’s this: “If you are a board-certified urological surgeon who wishes to donate their services to the Eunicure cause…” So maybe Eunicure is just an elaborate prank to gather names and ultimately expose fundy urologists that would be willing to castrate gay men?

    I’ve sent an email to the group’s media contact—whose name is Andrew Johnson, and whose email is (get it? a johnson?)—asking for a comment. In the meantime… does anyone know if there’s a Dr. Timothy Feathertree—Eunicure’s “medical director”—licensed to practice medicine in Topeka, Kansas, or anywhere else?

    UPDATE: So about Eunicure, that organization I wrote about yesterday

    Allegedly based in Topeka, Kansas, Eunicure describes itself as “a network of volunteer medical professionals… providing the only one-hundred percent effective treatment for curing homosexuality.” Eunicure’s treatment is castration-based, so I’m thinking it’s not all that effective where female homosexuality is concerned. But as we see with religious groups and other gay haters, it’s really the buttsex that fascinates ‘em. (Lesbians and heterosexuals, for the record, have buttsex too.) Well, late yesterday afternoon I managed to get a hold of Eunicure’s media liaison, Andrew Johnson, and we had a very pleasant phone conversation. But I must say that Mr. Johnson, hoax or no hoax, had to be the least informed media liaison in the whole sordid history of media liaisoning.

    Can you tell me about the service?

    The idea is that, if you’re gay, and if you’ve tried everything else, and you want to be straight, or if you can’t be straight but want to get right with God, after you get a full physical, and a full psychological battery of tests, we can refer you to one of the places around the country where a surgeon would be wiling to perform the service. We’re a referral service. We don’t do medical work ourselves. We refer and fund.

    So you guys pick up the tab for these castrations?

    Yes. It can run anywhere from $1,600 to $2,600. Depending on location, mostly. Everything in New York City is more expensive than in Kansas City, obviously. And we don’t pay for cosmetic implants, just for taking the testicles out.

    How many of these procedures has Eunicure paid for?

    Since 2004… it’s been… let me see… let me see… I can’t give you an exact number… between 150 paid for in full… and 150 we paid for in part.

    Can you put me in touch with men you’ve Eunicured?

    No. We have to respect patient confidentiality.

    Your area code is 913—that’s Kansas City, not Topeka.

    I’m a media liaison and I work for a lot of different companies. My office is in Kansas City.

    How long have you worked with Eunicure?

    Three weeks now.

    The mailing address listed on Eunicure’s website is the street address of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Are you guys affiliated with Fred “God Hates Fags” Phelps?

    We’re inspired by their teachings. We don’t see eye to eye on everything. But we have the same goals. We are not affiliated though.

    If you’re not affiliated, why do you share offices?

    Because Dr. Timothy Feathertree is part of the organization.

    Where is Dr. Feathertree, Eunicure’s medical director, licensed to practice medicine? I can’t find him on any databases in Kansas or anywhere else.

    He’s not licensed right now. He’s not working as a physician. Right now. Or I’m not sure if he is. I’m not up on everything right now. But what was explained to me is, if you’re working as a medical director, you don’t actually have to be licensed to practice medicine.

    Your website was registered only a month ago.

    Eunicure has been in existence since mid-2004, but it was just a word of mouth thing. People these days seem to think that you can’t exist until the moment you went on the web.

    Eunicure is soliciting for donations. Is it a charity?

    I haven’t checked out what their filings are, but they tell me they’re a nonprofit.

    Is Eunicure registered with the IRS? Is it a registered 501(c)3?

    I honestly don’t know.

    For a spokesman, you don’t seem to know much.

    [Laughs.] Frankly, we only went live two weeks ago. We registered the website a month ago, we’ve been working on it for a bit. We had it out for a very little while. Only Monday we started to let people know we were here on the web.

    Before we got off the phone, Mr. Johnson promised to get back to me about where exactly Dr. Feathertree is licensed to practice medicine and where he went to medical school. He e-mailed me later…

    I have reached Dr. Feathertree’s wife, Jennifer, and she tells me that I misunderstood—Dr. Feathertree is a Doctor of Biology, not of Medicine. He is South African (no, not Nigerian) and graduated in ‘85 from the University of Cape Town. He has never practiced medicine anywhere let alone in the U.S. As I noted, Eunicure does not perform any medical procedures itself, it just refer people to surgeons willing to perform the procedure. Dr. Feathertree limits himself to reviewing the qualifications of the doctors he refers patients to.

    I suppose the University of Cape Town was chosen because it’s so very far away, and calling to check up on Mr. Johnson’s claim might prove logistically difficult. (What time zone is it in? It’s in Africa—do they even have phones?) But the University of Cape Town actually has a zippy little website and I was able to blast an e-mail off to the student-records office. “I have checked our records correctly and could find NONE under the name below,” writes Sipho Masha in the student-records office.

    Of course, I thought this was a hoax all along—come on—but it’s a great idea for a hoax, and it’s really a shame that it wasn’t better done. The dead giveaway? When I was speaking with Andrew Johnson about why Eunicure shared a mailing address with Westboro Baptist Church, he said…

    If Dr. Feathertree was going to get hate mail, he might as well get it at that address.

    Chopp + The BIAW: What’s Not in the PI

    posted by on March 12 at 10:12 AM

    An important detail is missing from this morning’s coverage of Rep. Frank Chopp’s counter-proposal to Sen. Brian Weinstein’s homebuyers’ bill of rights legislation.

    While some accounts explain that Chopp (who killed Sen. Weinstein’s bill late last week at the behest of the Building Industry Association of Washington) crafted his alternative proposal (a study!!) with Democratic Rep. Mark Ericks (D-1, Bothell), they fail to report that Rep. Ericks was the guest of honor at last Tuesday’s BIAW fund raiser at the BIAW’s offices in Olympia.

    Killing Sen. Weinstein’s bill—which would have guaranteed a warranty for consumers when they buy a new home (allowing consumers to sue contractors for faulty or shoddy work)—was the BIAW’s top legislative priority this year. The powerful conservative lobby—which bankrolls the GOP—also maxed out to Democratic Rep. Ericks last election cycle.

    No wonder the proposal strikes Sen. Weinstein as a joke. Here’s Sen. Weinstein in this morning’s PI:

    Weinstein ticked off reasons why Chopp’s plan doesn’t do enough for consumers. “There’s no cause of action, no right to go to court.

    …a task force to study whether consumers should have the right to sue is “comical,” he said, noting that fellow Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee voted to allow consumers that right.

    “If he considers this a good-faith proposal, I say, ‘Thank you,’ but to me it’s a joke,” Weinstein said.

    It’s not the first time Weinstein had harsh words for Chopp. When Chopp killed the senator’s home-warranty bill last year, Weinstein said Chopp was acting like a dictator, according to news reports [ here ; )].

    Despite the omission about Rep. Ericks, I’m glad this issue is getting so much good coverage.

    I’ve been tracking this seemingly picayune issue all session (or as David Postman has it, I’ve been “the primary rouser of the rabble” on it.)

    But it wasn’t until the TV stations and partisan liberal bloggers (who are typically averse to criticizing Speaker of the House Chopp) started covering the issue that Chopp was forced to come out with his BIAW-friendly plan, confirming the primary equation of Frank Chopp’s universe.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on March 12 at 10:03 AM






    The poetry slam is tonight, along with two thrillers and a parenting book.

    First, we’ve got Jason Pinter at Third Place Books with The Guilty (which I can’t believe has not been a John Grisham book title yet), about someone assassinating sleazy New York Celebrities.

    Then, Ceridwen Dovey is at Elliott Bay Book Company with the super-originally named thriller, Blood Kin. The Amazon page for Blood Kin quotes Vogue as saying that it’s “Part erotic thriller, part menacing political allergory(sic.)” If you like your political allergories menacing, you know where to go.

    Jennifer Fox is at Town Hall with Your Child’s Strengths, which has the disturbing subtitle Discover Them, Develop Them, Use Them. The tour page for the book has this disclaimer, which you teachers out there might want to pay attention to: “We have arranged it so that in the cities where a presentation takes places(sic), teachers can receive one unit hour for professional development by attending the event. We will have the forms for you at the event. ” So there’s that.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, here.

    Sex and the Super-Rich

    posted by on March 12 at 9:47 AM

    Via Sullivan, a brief, great, Wall Street Journal take on the new economics that support $5,000/hour prostitutes.

    The wealth boom — and the explosion in the number of multi-millionaires — has created entirely new pricing levels for escorts. According to the complaint, the Emperors Club escorts charged between $1,000 and $5,000 an hour, depending on their “rankings.” Clients could also pay between $25,000 and $50,000 for a three-day visit. It may be the world’s oldest profession: but the prices reflect the new realities of wealth.


    There’s no mystery to why the rich visit escorts. But the secondary reasons are surprising.

    According to a survey by Russ Alan Prince, president of Connecticut-based wealth-research firm Prince & Associates, in his book “The Sky’s The Limit,” a sizable percentage of the super wealthy use escorts. He surveyed 661 people who owned private jets. It found that 34% of males and 20% of females had paid for sex.

    The most popular reason was “unique experiences” (71%), followed by “higher quality experiences” (57%). Conventional wisdom says that the rich visit escorts to avoid messy break-ups or extra demands for cash. But the study shows otherwise: “No strings attached,” ranked last as a reason.

    “With the wealthy,” Mr. Prince says “it’s all about power and control and new experiences.”

    A Mother’s Love

    posted by on March 12 at 9:43 AM

    The mother of a 14-year-old girl was passed out in the passenger seat of her Dodge Caravan when her drunken daughter hit a ditch on state Route 18 and rolled the van several times near Tiger Summit, State Patrol troopers said.

    The girl wasn’t wearing a seat belt and was thrown out of the vehicle through the back window, causing serious head and back injuries. She was rushed to Overlake Hospital Medical Center, but later stabilized and released to another medical facility, a hospital spokeswoman said. The girl’s 32-year-old mother suffered minor injuries and was released from the hospital Tuesday afternoon.

    “I can’t even wrap my brain around how you would let your 14-year-old daughter drive drunk, let alone drive with her,” State Patrol Trooper Cliff Pratt said.

    Winning the War on Drugs

    posted by on March 12 at 9:31 AM

    An Antioch man was shot and killed Tuesday as county narcotics agents tried to search his apartment. Investigators said the victim, whose name was not released, was shot as he tried to reach for the handgun of one of the agents.

    County and state narcotics officers were searching the apartment on H Street for marijuana. The suspect, remembered by neighbors as a helpful man who always had a smile on his face, was pronounced dead at the scene.

    Wait, this sounds so… familiar: Oh yes, they both reached for the gun… Understandable, understandable, yes it’s perfectly understandable. Comprehensible, comprehensible, not a bit reprehensible, it’s so defensible…

    But What if Elliot Spitzer Wanted to Shit in His Wife’s Mouth, Dr. Laura?

    posted by on March 12 at 9:26 AM

    We don’t know what Client 9—that would be New York Governor Elliot Spitzer—was doing with those hookers. We do know, however, that it was something kinda out there. From the NYT:

    In a wiretapped conversation after the encounter, the prostitute, Kristen, called her booker to inform her that the session had gone well, and that she did not find the client “difficult,” as other prostitutes apparently had, according to the affidavit.

    The booker responds that he, in an apparent reference to Client 9, sometimes asks the women “to do things that, like, you might not think were safe.”

    On the Today Show yesterday Dr. Laura blamed Mrs. Spitzer for her husband’s resorting to prostitutes to get his “difficult” sexual needs met. Via ThinkProgress:

    “When the wife does not focus in on the needs and the feelings—sexually, personally—to make him feel like a man, to make him feel like a success, to make him feel like her hero, he’s very susceptible to the charm of some other woman. […]

    When asked if she meant to blame Mrs. Spitzer, Dr. Laura answered affirmatively:

    The cheating was his decision to repair what’s damaged and to feed himself where he’s starving. But yes, I hold women accountable for tossing out perfectly good men by not treating them with the love and kindness and respect and attention they need.

    Oh for crying out loud. Men don’t cheat simply because their wives are failing to worship them with sufficient zeal. Some men (and women) cheat because they want a little variety, because monogamy isn’t natural (even Bill Bennett says so!), and because after ten, twenty, or thirty years of married life, the desire to see someone else naked—and gobbling your knob—can become too powerful to resist. Monogamy sounds good on paper, but it’s a long, hard, thoroughly unrealistic slog in practice. I’m not saying men and women should have a license to cheat, or that folks shouldn’t honor their commitments, keep their vows, refrain from hypocritically hiring escorts after signing a law that stiffened (ha! stiffened!) penalties for men that patronize prostitutes. All I’m saying is that it’s idiotic to make—or extract—commitments that we damn well know few of us will be able to keep.

    And many men patronize prostitutes because they have desires—unsafe desires, difficult desires—that their wives, however worshipful, can not or will not indulge. Some men are kinky—good, decent guys, good husbands and fathers—and their wives would rather look the other way than be pestered about BDSM or choking or two-girls-one-cup action. Some women actually encourage their husbands to get their more problematic sexual needs met safely and discretely with other women.

    That may well have been the case here. We don’t know what Client 9 asked of his escorts, but if professional sex workers regarded it as difficult and potentially unsafe, it’s safe to say it wasn’t anything as basic as oral. I’m guessing that Spitzer was into something kinda hardcore, something that a woman secure about her husband’s devotion to her—or a woman that wants to get off the hook—might encourage her husband to seek out elsewhere, even if it meant going to a pro.

    If this was the case here—and that’s a huge if, I realize—it doesn’t make Spitzer’s patronizing a prostitute any less idiotic, risky, or hypocritical. But a man going to a prostitute to get a difficult need met isn’t necessarily evidence that his wife is insufficiently worshipful, or that he doesn’t feel like a hero at home, or any of the other idiotic things Dr. Laura had to say on the Today Show. For many couples—happy couples, healthy couples—allowing the husband seeing a sex worker is a mutually agreed to, mutually agreeable, and loving solution to the problem posed by a husband’s kinks.

    So the follow up question I would’ve put to Dr. Laura if I were the host of the Today Show (in some crazy, fucked up, alternate universe) would have been, “But What if Elliot Spitzer Wanted to Shit in His Wife’s Mouth, Dr. Laura? Is that a need a wife should focus on, or is that a need a wife might reasonably refuse to meet—even if it meant that her husband would go elsewhere to get that need met?”

    UPDATE: Spitzer’s out. And this is funny.

    Spitzer Resigns

    posted by on March 12 at 9:25 AM

    For real this time, effective Monday. Full remarks here.

    In the past few days I have begun to atone for my private failings with my wife, Silda, my children, and my entire family. The remorse I feel will always be with me. Words cannot describe how grateful I am for the love and compassion they have shown me. From those to whom much is given, much is expected. I have been given much: the love of my family, the faith and trust of the people of New York, and the chance to lead this state. I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me. To every New Yorker, and to all those who believed in what I tried to stand for, I sincerely apologize.

    Slog Happy Tomorrow

    posted by on March 12 at 9:17 AM


    Details on those drink specials: $3 wells, $2 beers, $1 off everything else until 8 pm. Do you have a babysitter lined up?

    The Morning News

    posted by on March 12 at 6:50 AM

    Spitzer: Will resign today, according to aides.

    Obama: Winner of the Mississippi primary, 60%-37%. Meanwhile, Clinton is leading in Pennsylvania, 55% to 36%.

    Adm. William J. Fallon: No longer commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East.

    Florida’s Democratic Delegation: Not interested in that whole re-vote thing.

    The Chinese Government: Using tear gas on protesting Tibetan monks.

    Iraq: Now a stalemate, according to the Government Accountability Office.

    The Dollar: At an all-time low against the Euro.

    Dick Cheney: Still pimping the missile defense system.

    Andre Carson: Becomes the second Muslim elected to Congress.

    New State Toxicologist Fiona Couper: Looking to restore trust.

    State Rep. Helen Sommers: Retiring from the legislature after 36 years in office.

    Dino Rossi: For the latest Sonics/Key Arena package.

    King County: Facing a $45 million deficit.

    Jones Soda: Posting a $10 million fourth quarter loss.

    Ichiro: 0-21 in spring training. Why waste hits in games that don’t count?

    And Finally: “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.”

    Tuesday, March 11, 2008

    Ferraro on Jesse Jackson

    posted by on March 11 at 6:06 PM

    Via Ben Smith, and from The Washington Post of April 15, 1988:

    Placid of demeanor but pointed in his rhetoric, Jackson struck out repeatedly today against those who suggest his race has been an asset in the campaign. President Reagan suggested Tuesday that people don’t ask Jackson tough questions because of his race. And former representative Geraldine A. Ferraro (D-N.Y.) said Wednesday that because of his “radical” views, “if Jesse Jackson were not black, he wouldn’t be in the race.

    Asked about this at a campaign stop in Buffalo, Jackson at first seemed ready to pounce fiercely on his critics. But then he stopped, took a breath, and said quietly, “Millions of Americans have a point of view different from” Ferraro’s.

    Discussing the same point in Washington, Jackson said, “We campaigned across the South … without a single catcall or boo. It was not until we got North to New York that we began to hear this from Koch, President Reagan and then Mrs. Ferraro … . Some people are making hysteria while I’m making history.”

    Obama Wins Mississippi

    posted by on March 11 at 5:21 PM

    Says FOX News.

    Re: As Long As We’re Holding Candidates Responsible for Every Single Thing Their Supporters Say

    posted by on March 11 at 5:20 PM


    Your post is so full of misrepresentations that I think our commenters will probably have completely picked it apart by the time I finish writing this.

    But, briefly, because I’m on the run:

    1) Read what I wrote more carefully. I didn’t “flat-out” say what you’re so upset about me supposedly “flat-out” saying.

    2) Samantha Power and Maxim Thorne have resigned from the Obama campaign because of their statements, which Obama made clear he did not support.

    3) Obama did not, “himself,” refer to Clinton as “D-Punjab.” That was from an early oppo-research paper that he repudiated.

    4) Ferraro is perhaps technically in some sort of gray area in terms of her official title, but the facts remain: She is Clinton’s finance chair a member of Clinton’s finance committee (hardly an unimportant role) and has frequently acted as a spokesperson or message amplifier for the campaign (hardly your average supporter).

    5) I was trying to get a quick post up on a busy day. I was also trying to deal in true facts. If I have something factually wrong in my post, I’ll correct it. Hope you’ll do the same.

    Slog Happy at Havana

    posted by on March 11 at 5:16 PM


    Havana is staffing up for us (three bartenders!). Come put faces with nicknames.

    Religion: Not All Bad!

    posted by on March 11 at 5:06 PM

    Sometimes, the stars align and religious people take positions that hippies like me agree with. Like the Vatican, which just listed “pollution” among its “new sins,” and a group of renegade (gulp) Southern Baptist leaders, who are backing a declaration calling for more action on climate change.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled anti-religion programming.

    An American Tale

    posted by on March 11 at 4:58 PM

    Little Paul John Schalow of El Mirage, Arizona, was minding his own business, celebrating his tenth birthday in the Tonto National Forest, among the cacti and the rocks…


    … when he was attacked by a rabid mountain lion.

    “It just placed its paw on me, and it bites my head,” Paul told KSAZ-TV Monday. “It scratches my back.

    “I just stayed calm. I like animals but I know this one would probably try to kill me.”

    Then one of Little Paul’s unflappable uncles pulled out his pistol and shot the rabid mountain lion while it was right next to the kid, baring its fangs.

    But the unflappable uncle is a crack shot, a son of the American west, and he killed the rabid mountain lion quite, quite dead.

    Then, for reasons nobody entirely understands, one of Little Paul’s unflappable grandfathers “performed an impromptu autopsy on the lion, discovering skunk parts in his stomach.”

    Then the family took the mountain lion home, before jackbooted thugs from the Arizona Department of Fish and Wildlife carted it away to test for rabies (yup) and administer shots to Little Paul and his unflappable male relatives.

    And that was the day Little Paul became a man.

    More here.


    As Long As We’re Holding Candidates Responsible for Every Single Thing Their Supporters Say

    posted by on March 11 at 4:52 PM

    Let’s have a look at some statements some prominent Obama supporters (most of them official campaign advisors, unlike Clinton supporter Geraldine Ferraro) have made lately.

    Obama LGBT leadership council member Maxim Thorne, dragging up the 10-year-old Lewinsky scandal:

    At 3am, Hillary said she and Bill were in bed and she knows of all the calls a President gets at different times of the day and night. Really? So much involvement - so much togetherness. Where was she when Monica was having sex with Bill? …They settled with Paula Jones for the full amount of her lawsuit. I haven’t forgotten and none of us should.

    Key foreign policy advisor John Brennan, on telecom immunity:

    There is this great debate over whether or not the telecom companies should in fact be given immunity for their agreement to provide support and cooperate with the government after 9/11. I do believe strongly that they should be granted that immunity, because they were told to do so by the appropriate authorities that were operating in a legal context, and so I think that’s important.

    Key foreign policy aide Samantha Power:

    Clinton is a monster … You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh’. But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.

    Power, again, on Obama’s promise to pull one or two combat brigades from Iraq per month, until all combat troops are gone by the end of 2009:

    What he’s actually said, after meeting with the generals and meeting with intelligence professionals, is that you – at best case scenario – will be able to withdraw one to two combat brigades each month. That’s what they’re telling him. He will revisit it when he becomes president.

    Chief economic advisor Austan Goolsbee: Obama’s anti-NAFTA statements have been “more about political positioning than a clear articulation of policy plans.”

    Obama foreign policy advisor Susan Rice: “both” Clinton and Obama are “not ready to have that 3 am phone call.”

    To say nothing of the time Obama himself referred to Clinton as “D-Punjab,” mocking her efforts on behalf of Indian-Americans.

    None of this is to say Ferraro’s comments weren’t outrageous. They were, and she should retract them and distance herself from the campaign. But Ferraro is a Clinton supporter—not, as Eli’s post below flat-out says, a member of the Clinton campaign. If we’re going to hold the Clinton campaign’s feet to the fire over a statement made by a Clinton supporter—well, why not Obama?

    I Don’t Have Time to Slog Today, but…

    posted by on March 11 at 4:34 PM

    I do have time to go on right-wing talk radio.

    I’ll be on KVI, AM 570 at 5 O’clock to bash the Democrats in Olympia.

    There is No Morality Without Religion

    posted by on March 11 at 3:48 PM

    Two young men desecrated a Catholic shrine Colorado—and guess what, Joel Connelly? They weren’t representatives of the intolerant secular left.

    Photos posted on the Internet show three Mormon missionaries mocking a Catholic shrine and holding the broken head of a statue of a saint there, a church official said.

    Costilla County Sheriff Gilbert Martinez said deputies on Monday were beginning to investigate whether the men vandalized the Shrine of the Mexican Martyrs at the Chapel of All Saints, which stands on a butte overlooking San Luis.

    The photos show young men holding the broken head of a statue, preaching from the Book of Mormon at an altar and pretending to sacrifice one another.

    You have to love this quote from a spokesman for the Mormon church:

    ”We have a history of people doing things like this to us, so we’re mortified that our missionaries would do it to someone else.”

    You gotta love the way the Mormon church spokesman strains to shift the focus to his own church’s victimization. Can’t the Mormon just say sorry, offer to pay to have the statue restored, promise to work with the authorities, and then shut the fuck up? No, he can’t. Because a carefully nurtured persecution complex has become an article of faith for all American Christians—even Mormons, who most American Christians don’t believe to be Christians at all. Which is very intolerant of them, don’t you think?


    posted by on March 11 at 3:46 PM

    The Clinton campaign, or at least Geraldine Ferraro, seems to be going all-in over this statement:

    If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.

    There’s been a huge back-and-forth over the above Ferraro quote today, with Obama aides calling for Ferraro’s head and Obama himself pressuring the Clinton camp over her remarks. But now Ferraro’s called back the publication that initially quoted her and gone even further:

    Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up. Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?

    Hey Democrats, how about a little race war to go with your unresolved nomination fight?

    Up-to-the-minute blow-by-blows here and here. And here is Ferraro on FOX News a short time ago:

    More From the Mouth of Geraldine Ferraro

    posted by on March 11 at 3:30 PM

    Asked to respond to the negative reaction to her comments about Barack Obama, she said:

    “Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let’s address reality and the problems we’re facing in this world, you’re accused of being racist, so you have to shut up… Racism works in two different directions. I really think they’re attacking me because I’m white. How’s that?”

    Did This Make Slog?

    posted by on March 11 at 3:14 PM

    I’ve been on a plane all day—doing my part to the destroy the planet—so maybe this story is already up on Slog and I missed it. But this piece in today’s NYT blew my mind. Here’s the headline…

    Pollution Is Called a Byproduct of a ‘Clean’ Fuel

    First, gawd, I hate that headline. The byproducts of “clean” fuel production are pollutants—as the piece that follows the headline proves—but the NYT, being a daily paper (as well as paper I love and respect, subscribe and contribute to), can’t come right out and make an objective statement of fact in a headline. Or anywhere else. Heavens no. With dailies, someone else always has to “call” it—or contend it or assert it or maintain it or suggest it—because four decades of accusations of bias, real and imagined, have left dailies so punch drunk that they can’t even risk a simple statement of fact in a headline.

    Anyway, here’s a bit of the story…

    After residents of the Riverbend Farms subdivision noticed that an oily, fetid substance had begun fouling the Black Warrior River, which runs through their backyards, Mark Storey, a retired petroleum plant worker, hopped into his boat to follow it upstream to its source.

    Oil and grease from a biodiesel plant had been released.

    The spills, at the Alabama Biodiesel Corporation plant outside this city about 17 miles from Tuscaloosa, are similar to others that have come from biofuel plants in the Midwest. The discharges, which can be hazardous to birds and fish, have many people scratching their heads over the seeming incongruity of pollution from an industry that sells products with the promise of blue skies and clear streams.

    “Ironic, isn’t it?” said Barbara Lynch, who supervises environmental compliance inspectors for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

    Yes, it is ironic—apparently biodiesel isn’t the solution to all of our problems, and won’t, along with a biodiesel bumper sticker, transform your car into mobile environmental restoration program. Nor does biodiesel solve the problems of corporate greed, indifference, and criminality…

    In October, an anonymous caller reported that a tanker truck was dumping milky white goop into Belle Fountain Ditch, one of the many man-made channels that drain Missouri’s Bootheel region. That substance turned out to be glycerin from a biodiesel plant.

    In January, a grand jury indicted a Missouri businessman in the discharge, which killed at least 25,000 fish and wiped out the population of fat pocketbook mussels, an endangered species.

    Who knew?

    Freaky Friday: Meet Your Hosts

    posted by on March 11 at 3:03 PM

    On Friday, between 8 am and 6 pm, 10 of our favorite commenters will take over the blog. (If you weren’t chosen, know that we do this every few months.)


    Aislinn made a name for herself on Slog by defending bestial-necrophilia and sticking up for ECB (aspiring Freaky Friday-ers, take note). She’s a 24-year-old office monkey and part-time student. She goes to a lot of shows, reads a lot of books, and drinks a lot of gin; sometimes all at once. Despite hailing from coastal Maine, she has fully embraced Seattleism and is liberal, vegetarian, and gay-friendly, with a pierced nose and frequently-fluctuating hairstyles—just like everyone else. She plays too much Scrabble and takes Trivial Pursuit more seriously than anything containing the word “trivial” is meant to be taken.


    Big Sven is a Midwestern transplant to the Pacific Northwest, and an unapologetic suburban breeder. He is an engineer in the aerospace industry, but neither works for Boeing nor designs anything that ever gets sold to, or used by, the Department of Defense. Having campaigned for Carter over Ford with the all important first-grade vote, he has been a Democrat ever since. He shares his mountain lair with Inga (Mrs. Sven), Lena (10), and Sven Jr. (7). He gets worked up some times, and begs your preemptive forgiveness.


    DOUG.’s pet/street stripper name is “Lady Orchid.” He grew up in Santa Barbara, idolizing Steve Garvey. His first concert was the Simple Minds. He has an English degree from UCLA, yet finished no books last year.
    Bumbershoot cost $6 when DOUG. moved to Seattle. He met his wife at the Fremont Dock. They rented near Broadway for a decade, now they’re in Wallingford.
    DOUG.’s eaten 200 mini-pizzas at Bill’s Off Broadway. He subscribes to The Nation and Sports Illustrated. He loves anagrams, palindromes, and squirrels. He makes large pancakes and wishes he were Picasso. If Oprah gave DOUG. $1,000,000 he’d still live in Seattle.


    Exelizabeth moved from Sacramento to Seattle when she was 18 to attend the UW—she graduated in 2005 with a degree in English and a plan to work in politics. However, working multiple campaigns left her burnt out and made her realize that she actually wants to be a teacher. So she’s a desk jockey for now, but is hoping to be accepted to the UW Masters in Teaching program for next year. Ultimately, she would like to teach middle school. She has yet to meet anyone who doesn’t cringe when she tells them that.


    Geoffrey initially called himself “infrequent” because he didn’t think he’d comment often (he was wrong about that). He loves Washington, Seattle, and Capitol Hill—he was born in Seattle’s Providence Hospital, and the longest amount of time he’s spent outside of Washington was three months when he gave Portland a try.
    Goeffrey likes music—he plays organs and synthesizers in razrez, and used to play in infomatik. He also likes movies, walking places, synthesizers, tight jeans, sushi, school, selling things and buying them back later, Scrabble, and, of course, Slog.


    Mark Mitchell is a local yokel—Capitol Hillbilly division—of the last 25 years. He’s never considered a conservative vote of any kind, is great at a party, and is blissfully “gay married.” He makes custom clothing and costumes and lives in a pagoda.


    Kid icarus has been crushing eggplant wizards since his formative years in the Bay Area, CA. He fell in love with Seattle a decade ago and now happily(?) whiles away his hours clicking Refresh at a downtown biotech. He thinks this town is rocking some of the greatest cuisine in the country and can’t understand why Top Chef hasn’t filmed here yet. His favorite Slog moment ever was that one time when Fnarf was all “Eat my fuck” to Mr. Poe. That was awesome. Kid icarus would like to remind you to please not feed the trolls.

    MR. POE

    Mr. Poe was born in Minneapolis and raised in Boise. After years of excessive right-wing political action, with the support of his abhorrently racist and conservative family, he flew 3,100 miles away from “home” and finally wrapped his lips around a nice big cock. Finally ditching his religion and politick, he studied film, film theory, entertainment law, and older men. Rarely will he take anything seriously, and no, he’ll never care what anybody thinks of him. The only thing he cares about is having a sense of humor.


    Six Shooter loves the sound of his own voice. He sees facts and figures as crutches for the unimaginative. When he gets old, he hopes he’ll be slightly deaf and completely cranky. Complaining, to him, is as American as voting.
    Six Shooter is 34 years old and has lived in Seattle since 1996. He, like almost every guy knows, moved to Seattle to follow a girl. When that didn’t work out, he got a computer job, made some Internet money, married a girl way out his league, reproduced and reevaluated his day job.
    Six Shooter is a professional firefighter. “The fire service is the sorority I always wanted to join,” he says. He’s never loved a job or the people he works with more than he does now. Most days he feels like he’s won the lottery.


    TSM lives in Capitol Hill with his girlfriend. After carting dead bodies around a gross-anatomy lab and playing in punk bands to an audience of three, he went on to spend too much time in school and then took a postdoctoral position at UW. When not toying with probabilistic models or feeding his insatiable internet addiction, he may be found playing any number of musical instruments, playing Scrabble, and cooking strange and unfamiliar food.

    And Now, Kids in Pantsuits

    posted by on March 11 at 2:58 PM

    The scourge of child-abusing political spots continues…

    Overheard in the Office

    posted by on March 11 at 2:52 PM

    Eric Grandy (in response to the post below): “You know what that means. Cheaper prostitutes!”

    It’s Like the Blind Leading the… Oh, Never Mind

    posted by on March 11 at 2:50 PM

    ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The man poised to succeed Gov. Eliot Spitzer would not only become the first black governor of New York. He would also be the state’s first legally blind governor and its first disabled governor since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

    More here.

    Just Words

    posted by on March 11 at 2:15 PM

    Last Wednesday on CNN, the Republican nominee for president stood in the Rose Garden next to the incumbent Republican president, who was trying to explain something. It’s no secret that our president isn’t very good at explaining things, but what he was trying to explain was brief, had presumably been written by someone in advance, and was the reason the press conference in the Rose Garden had been called in the first place. The president was trying to explain why John McCain should be the next president. The sound bite that made it into the CNN replay (and is confirmed by the official transcript) was Bush saying about McCain: “He’s a President, and he’s going to be the President who will bring determination to defeat an enemy, and a heart big enough to love those who hurt.”

    I’d been enjoying the squinting and the handshaking and the two men’s actorly performance of being friends, but a little part of me dies—still, every time—when the president speaks. I waited for Anderson Cooper to pounce on the statement, or one of the talking heads to pounce on it, but everyone involved in the broadcast sat there as if what the president had just said made total sense. He’s a president. Um, actually, he’s not a president. That’s sort of the whole idea at this point. He will bring determination to defeat an enemy. Determination to defeat an enemy! Wow. Really going out on a limb there. He wants to defeat enemies. A heart big enough to love those who hurt. Jesus, really? How big of a heart does it take to love those who hurt? A really, really big one, apparently.

    It’s amazing how poorly written the shit that comes out of the White House still is after seven years of practice, amazing how drained and useless language has become under Bush. It’s like his people think up words that sound good independent of context, feed them into a machine, have him read whatever comes out, and high-five each other (go team!) for coming up with something that so perfectly sounds like something while simultaneously meaning nothing (and, in the present case, implying disdain for, like, people who hurt). Repeat this process for seven years as the leader of the free world and it has an effect on, well, the whole world.

    Which is why Hillary Clinton—who is smart and capable and would make a great president—going apeshit on Barack Obama recently for his rhetorical talents, for “plagiarizing” his friend Deval Patrick, for consistently arguing that words matter (the Constitution, Dr. King, JFK), seemed so hollow and disheartening and desperate. You can call it cheesy if you like, or superficial, or beside the point, but it’s not: Obama’s success revitalizes the possibilities of a very fatigued language, revitalizes the whole idea that language matters. This is a good thing, and people like it. It wasn’t until Clinton dropped this language-doesn’t-matter tack and started in on Rezko (so murky!) and the 3 a.m. phone call (so scary!) that her attacks finally got some purchase and characterized her to victory in Texas and Ohio and Rhode Island.

    That was a week ago today, and in the intervening week I haven’t been Slogging much because all I can think about is the election, a topic we’ve, uh, got pretty well covered on Slog. Oh, sure, if Obama had swept I probably would have had some jumping up and down to do, but instead I had to settle last Tuesday for the bittersweetness of the narrative not going the way you think it’s going to—which is the great gift of this Democratic battle. Jon Stewart describes the battle as “an alcohol-free Edward Albee play.” The New York Times’s Michael Powell and Jeff Zeleny, in a piece of political analysis published on the front page last Thursday, wrote: “Mr. Obama once again failed to administer an electoral coup de grace, and so allowed a tenacious rival to elude his grasp,” a phrase that reminds you of the very oldest narratives, of mythology, of animals on the plain.

    What we’ve got in this political cycle is what you want in any book/movie/story—you’re in a state of suspense, it turns in a way you don’t expect, it turns in another way you don’t expect, you want the end to come, you don’t want the end to come. It’s intense. Obama may be the guy who reminded us of the power of words—the March 18 issue of The New Republic is a depiction of Obama’s face drawn in bold “YES”s over a sea of gray “NO”s—but it took both Democratic candidates, Clinton and Obama, to remind us of the giddy pleasures, the depressing blows, the profound grip of an unpredictable narrative.

    Fallon From Grace

    posted by on March 11 at 1:40 PM

    Adm. William J. Fallon, the “top U.S. military commander for the Middle East” abruptly quit today, allegedly due to “a rift over U.S. policy in Iran.*” AP-via-Huffington Post story here.

    Continue reading "Fallon From Grace" »

    Tonight’s Design Guidance Meetings

    posted by on March 11 at 1:20 PM

    Props to the developers and architects who submitted proposals for three brand new projects before their first design-guidance meetings tonight, and much love to the Department of Planning and Development that made them do it. Folks can now see, in detail, plans before they attend. Heck, this may even inspire more residents to show up.

    If you envision a bustling and visually appealing metropolis—one that doesn’t spill with ranch homes to the town of Index, you should go. Your voice may be necessary to counter meeting-goers who are there to carry out grandpapa’s final wish to limit Seattle’s future construction to single-story brick houses, preserve the precious, precious parking lots, and to tear down that new-fangled space thingie. The bravest among you might even challenge a design-review board’s well-meaning advice to build something that was perfectly suited for Seattle in 1942.

    So here, dear Sloggers, are the design reviews de jour.

    Eighth Avenue and Stewart Street

    Remember those cold mornings in line at the Greyhound Bus Station, standing in a pool of transients’ urine? Sweet yesteryear. Those memories are all you’ll have after R. C. Hedreen Co. builds a 51-story hotel and Convention Center expansion.


    This is a superior use for the block, no doubt, but can Seattle’s market support another skyscraper? “It might be somewhat of a slowing down for high-rise condos, although that market is still chugging along,” says Shauna Decker, principal architect of Spencer Decker Architects. But the hospitality market, she says, is strong as ever. “We have the smallest amount of convention space [of major cities] on the West Coast, so people are interested in increasing the capacity of the Washington Convention Center.”

    Based on this initial massing proposal, it’s impossible to determine if the tower will make a statement in Seattle’s skyline. But the base will be certain improvement for the sidewalk.


    The proposal shows that the two buildings will be joined by a promising atrium, which is unfortunately also referred to as a “hall of light.” Ugh. But the worst term in their otherwise excellent proposal is the always-trite use of “water feature.” Which brings us to a pressing question: Isn’t the term “water feature” just a super-pretentious way of saying “fountain” or “pond”? Or are there legitimate uses? (UPDATE: Decker emails to let me know the “water feature” will collect rainwater and circulate it to the building, so it’s neither a fountain nor a pond. Duly noted, but I will forever find “water features” to be ambiguous and loathsome.) In linguistic redemption, an open-air aperture to the sky is referred to as an oculus. I love octopus…

    The meeting is tonight at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall, room L280. Here’s the groovy proposal. Here’s the groovy notice.

    Rainier Avenue South and South Walden Street

    It’s flat Albert… razing Chubby and Tubby. Owner of the Rainier Valley site, South East Effective Development is proposing 58 affordable “workforce” apartments on the arterial corner and 10 more units across the alley on Claremont Avenue. The project is funded through one of four grants for low-income housing recently awarded by the city. Nice work.


    A funny thing, though. The design proposal proclaims it the “Chubby and Tubby Workforce Housing” and prominently displays the logo, but project manager Diana Keys reveals that Chubby and Tubby isn’t actually involved with the development. Not at all? “No, no at all,” she says. “We call it Chubby and Tubby because it’s a landmark,” says Keys. “It’s just a placeholder name.” Chubby and Tubby, the namesakes, died years ago, and their respective sons sold the site for use as a warehouse, she says.

    Here’s more chub on the tub. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the Rainier Cultural Arts Center banquet hall, 3515 S Alaska St.

    15th Avenue South and South Oregon Street


    This exquisite parking lot is located next to the former Christian Restoration Center, which is now vacant. In its place, a four-story mixed-use building with up to three retail units at the ground level and 30 residential units above has been proposed by Rudeen Development. No decision yet on condos or apartments, according to Carlos De La Torre of architecture firm H+DLT Collaborative.


    The location is a crossroads between Beacon Hill and Columbia City, so like an evangelical density zealot, I’m pro-life—for this intersection. However, this design is stillborn. “It is purposefully boring,” explains De La Torre. “This is the early design, and there are very specific rules to early design guidance. [The design-review board members] don’t want to see a lot of design,” he says. “As architects, we have something in our heads and we’re very excited, and we’d like to get people geared toward that goal.” Attend the meeting and goad them on.

    Here’s the proposal. The meeting is tonight in the banquet hall of the Rainier Cultural Arts Center, 3515 S Alaska St.

    Today in Drugs

    posted by on March 11 at 1:08 PM

    According to the Associated Press and published in the Seattle Times:

    DRIGGS, Idaho — Perhaps they should have called her Mary Jane.

    A surprise birthday party for Dawn Wells, the actress who played Mary Ann on “Gilligan’s Island,” ended with a nearly three-hour tour of the Teton County sheriff’s office and jail when the 69-year-old was caught with marijuana in her vehicle while driving home…

    (Thanks, Will.)

    In the Last 24 Hours (or more) on Line Out: Win the New PUSA Album

    posted by on March 11 at 12:37 PM

    Go to Line Out RIGHT NOW and enter to win an autographed copy of the new Presidents of the United States of America record These Are the Good Times People (in stores today).

    Here’s what else is happening in The Stranger’s world of nightlife and music:

    In From Austin: Sam Machkovech’s last minute SXSW recommendations involve a bubble machine.

    Speaking of SXSW: Eric Grandy prepares to take his virgin voyage to the Austin festival.

    Rhythmic Language: Christopher Delaurenti on Artforum’s current article about avant garde avatar Karl Karlheinz Stockhausen.

    Alopecia: Eric Grandy gives the new Why? record (also in stores today) four stars.

    Today’s Music News: In the world of the over-hyped, under-hyped, and totally brutal.

    “Usually, I fuck.”: Trent Moorman captures a moment in pre-show rituals.

    Tonight in Music: Leslie & the Ly’s bring their gold to Seattle, Round 34—a clash of music, words, and art—goes down in Fremont.

    The Thermals Need a New Drummer: Which sparks a debate of whether or not they’re a good band (I say they are).

    3 pm MP3: Yesterday’s was by Alyse Black. Check back at 3 pm to see what today’s is.

    New Minus the Bear Video: See it here.

    Speaking of Bands that May or May Not Be Good: Jeff Kirby (and about 30 commenters) on Vampire Weekend (I say they’re not good).

    Rockstar Curling: I went curling this weekend. It was awesome. I also discovered that Springsteen and Bon Jovi are closet rock pushers, and there’s a reality show in the works all about it.

    Hos and Area Codes: A map of where Ludacris claims to keep his ladies.

    This will make sense (sorta) if you go to Line Out. There’s a lot of taco talk over there.

    Re: Youth to Power

    posted by on March 11 at 12:35 PM

    It’s happening tonight at Town Hall. I’m moderating, or interviewing, or something. Brendan’s preview here.

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on March 11 at 12:24 PM


    From thinklab

    Lunchtime Quickie

    posted by on March 11 at 11:57 AM

    Now with furries!


    Historic or Not?

    posted by on March 11 at 11:52 AM

    Last week, Dan wondered whether a rusting arrow counts as historic. (Actually, he called it a piece of crap.)

    A group of concerned citizens is trying to get the B&O Espresso building, constructed in 1924, declared an historic landmark. It looks like this:



    It’s a nice one-story building. It’s made of boards; it has windows. In 1937, it had other shops—including a cleaners, in front of which very cute ladies would stand—in it:



    But an historic landmark? Really?

    Jetsonsesque Novel-Reading Experience Terrifying, Wrong

    posted by on March 11 at 11:36 AM

    Via Bookninja comes this review of the Kindle in the Times Online. The first paragraph disgusts and scares me, with especially-frightening bits bolded for emphasis:

    Imagine this: it’s 2018, and you’re gripped by the latest political thriller by JK Rowling. (Didn’t she start out writing children’s books? Who can remember now?) You scarcely want to break off to do the washing-up or have a shower. So you don’t. You just tell your e-book reader to read it to you for a while, then, when you’ve finished, you go back to it yourself. Later, you wonder if this part wasn’t a little different in the movie. At a click of a button, you’re watching the film. Or there’s a dramatic scene - a whispered conversation at a concert. You’re given the option to hear the concert music as you read. For attentive fans, the novelist has decided this piece should be one referenced ear-lier. Novels are changing, and Amazon’s Kindle e-reader is just the start.

    When I read about shit like this, I keep picturing Chris Ware’s lonely future-man:


    Tomorrow People

    posted by on March 11 at 11:26 AM

    A comment on this article concerning new data about the expanding universe:

    “We are living in an extraordinary time,” said Gary Hinshaw of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Ours is the first generation in human history to make such detailed and far-reaching measurements of our universe.”

    How is it that we of all the people in the history of time (and beyond time), all the billions who have come and gone, flickered and vanished—not them but the us of today are living “in an extraordinary time”? How did that come to be? How can we be so sure of this exception? And will the people of tomorrow recognize us as the modes and mediums of an extraordinary moment?

    While reading the ancient Greeks, our scientific minds cringe in embarrassment when passing the pages that concern their unscientific ideas and concepts about the heavens. Will the people of tomorrow cringe when reading that the people of today believed there is a “sea of cosmic neutrinos [that] permeates the universe,” and “that the first stars took more than a half-billion years to create a cosmic fog”? Will the people of tomorrow see in us the same children that we see in the Greeks of yesterday?

    Note: Plato’s most brilliant intellectual move in the The Republic is not his feminism (the second wave), nor his concept of the philosopher as ruler (the third wave), but the way he downplays astronomy. What’s important for him are not celestial objects but what is most real, and what is most real are the forms. And so to intellectually grasp (begriff) the form of a stone is far better than staring at a bright and wandering star. Because Plato, unlike Aristotle, gives astronomy almost no play in his most important work, he doesn’t look like a complete fool, a child of our day.

    Scooter Forum at City Hall

    posted by on March 11 at 11:13 AM

    My own scooter—a 1979 royal-blue Piaggio Vespa—is out of commission, which is probably for the best since the thing weighs about 500 pounds and isn’t exactly a poster vehicle for environmentalism. Still, I’m sympathetic to the thousands of people who get around Seattle by scooter, most of them with much cleaner engines than the dirty two-stroke models of the ’60s and ’70s. Back when I was driving a (much cleaner) Honda Elite, the biggest complaint I had was that the city’s parking regulations were nearly impossible to figure out—you couldn’t park on the sidewalk, but could you squeeze in to a regular parking spot beside a car? And if you took up a whole paid parking spot, what recourse did you have when some jerk in a car got out and moved your scooter to a spot that wasn’t legal, causing you to get a ticket? When the city went to a centralized metering system, things got even worse; apparently, city transportation planners didn’t spend much time thinking about where those “curbside” stickers would go on motorcycles, and their improvised solution—just stick them on the mirror—allows people to walk up and steal them: Free parking for automobile drivers, tickets (and a headache) for those on two wheels. Given that scooters are almost always more environmentally friendly and can share space with cars, I’ve always thought they shouldn’t have to pay (or pay as much) for parking in the first place. We let bicyclists park for little or nothing; why not scooters?

    If you’re concerned about parking or anything other scooter-related issues, head down to City Hall (600 Fourth Ave.) tonight at 5:30 for a forum on scooter transportation in Seattle. The session, hosted by council transportation committee chair Jan Drago and council member Sally Clark, will be in the Bertha Knight Landes room on the first floor from 5:30 to 7:30.

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on March 11 at 11:12 AM


    Three events tonight.

    Firstly, Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein, the authors of Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar are at the University Bookstore with Aristotle and an Aardvark Go To Washington. The previous book is about how philosophy can be fun, and the newest one is about how we can learn to crack the political doublespeak code. I have no patience whatsoever for this sort of thing, really. These two authors, who I suspect would really enjoy being referred to as “that wacky duo,” are delivering the kind of annoying, mushy ‘insight’ that a zany high school teacher ordinarily provides.

    At Town Hall, Michael Connery is talking about his book Youth to Power, about getting the youth vote involved in democracy. This could be interesting, especially if a bunch of “Young people won’t vote in this election” people show up in an argumentative mood. (And if I can be permitted a brief observational statement: those people who dismiss the youth vote are usually Hillary supporters. Maybe this will come up tonight.) But if Connery starts talking about how amazing text messaging is, I suggest you abandon ship as soon as humanly possible: People who think that text messaging is some sort of evolutionary leap make my hair hurt.

    And Philip L Fradkin is at Elliott Bay Book Company tonight with Wallace Stegner and the American West. If you’ve never read Wallace Stegner, this is your annual reminder that you should: Start with Angle of Repose or Crossing to Safety.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, here .

    Uh Oh. Now She’s Pissed Off Sinbad.

    posted by on March 11 at 11:10 AM

    Of course you’ve been following the whole debate about Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy experience, her harrowing adventures in Bosnia as First Lady, and her “tested and ready” ability to answer any and all red phones at 3 a.m. So you’ll need no recap before diving right into this rejoinder, from Sinbad, who was on Clinton’s allegedly-harrowing Bosnia trip in 1996:

    Harrowing? Not that Sinbad recalls. He just remembers it being a USO tour to buck up the troops amid a much worse situation than he had imagined between the Bosnians and Serbs.

    In an interview with the Sleuth Monday, he said the “scariest” part of the trip was wondering where he’d eat next. “I think the only ‘red-phone’ moment was: ‘Do we eat here or at the next place.’”

    Clinton, during a late December campaign appearance in Iowa, described a hair-raising corkscrew landing in war-torn Bosnia, a trip she took with her then-teenage daughter, Chelsea. “They said there might be sniper fire,” Clinton said.

    Threat of bullets? Sinbad doesn’t remember that, either.

    “I never felt that I was in a dangerous position. I never felt being in a sense of peril, or ‘Oh, God, I hope I’m going to be OK when I get out of this helicopter or when I get out of his tank.’”

    In her Iowa stump speech, Clinton also said, “We used to say in the White House that if a place is too dangerous, too small or too poor, send the First Lady.”

    Say what? As Sinbad put it: “What kind of president would say, ‘Hey, man, I can’t go ‘cause I might get shot so I’m going to send my wife…oh, and take a guitar player and a comedian with you.’”

    Of course the Clinton campaign is firing back:

    Defending Clinton against Sinbad the refuter, Singer said, “The sad reality of what was going on in Bosnia at the time Senator Clinton traveled there as first lady has been well documented. It appears that Sinbad’s experience in Bosnia goes back further than Senator Obama’s does. In fact, has Senator Obama ever been to Bosnia?”

    Turn That Frown Upside Down

    posted by on March 11 at 11:06 AM





    Racing (and Helping) the Tabloids

    posted by on March 11 at 11:00 AM

    Jonathan Martin ran a contest yesterday. But it seems not to have helped because Gawker is unimpressed with today’s offerings…


    …and provides some suggested alternatives:

    Spitza’s Otha Shiksas!

    Scarlet Harlot

    Tricks For Spitz

    Escorted From Office?

    Guv’s Bank Skank Spank

    No Pass On High Class Ass

    Governor? I Barely Ho Her!

    All of which are pretty damn good.

    Now, you know I love all you Slog commenters (each and every one of you!), and I think you’re all incredibly brilliant and witty, but I have to say I doubt your ability to do better than Gawker and its commenters, or Jonathan Martin and his commenters, in improving upon today’s New York tabloid headlines. Prove me wrong?

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on March 11 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Boat Load’ and ‘Boom’ at Theatre Off Jackson

    Two solo comedies by our betters to the north. First: Boat Load, by Ontario’s Jayson McDonald, about a desperate actor and a very sick cat. Second: Boom, by Bellingham’s Andrew Connor, about a nostalgic bomb maker and his fraught relationship with his hometown. Connor is the taller and more agile half of the Cody Rivers Show, who’ve been shortlisted for a Stranger Genius Award. If Boom is only half as funny as Cody Rivers, it will still be twice as funny as anything else. (Theatre Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave S, 800-838-3006. 7 pm, $15.)


    Miniature Scandals in the Movie World

    posted by on March 11 at 10:48 AM

    It’s no Emperor’s Club, but a revoked invitation to a screening of the intelligent design farce documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed is creating quite a stir.

    According to the New York Times,

    Shortly before he was to attend a screening in January of the documentary “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” which is about alternatives to the theory of evolution, Roger Moore, a film critic for The Orlando Sentinel, learned that his invitation had been revoked by the film’s marketers.

    In a film, Ben Stein interviews believers in intelligent design.

    “Well, you already invited me,” he recalled thinking at the time. “I’m going to go.”

    So Mr. Moore traveled to a local megachurch and planted himself among a large group of pastors to watch the movie. In it, Ben Stein, the actor and economist (and regular contributor to The New York Times) interviews scientists and teachers who say that Darwinism gets too much emphasis in the classroom and that proponents of the theory of intelligent design are treated unfairly.

    There were nondisclosure agreements to sign that day, but Mr. Moore did not, and proceeded to write perhaps the harshest review “Expelled” has received thus far. The film will open April 18, but has been screened several times privately for religious audiences.

    Yes! I love that the Discovery Institute’s precious little pseudoscience has to be peddled directly to pastors, rather than being debated in the open air, as ID proponents constantly insist they’d prefer. When you market a supposedly secular, scientific movie to religious people—purposefully excluding anyone from the independent press—it’s pretty clear that you’re trying to dupe the poor rubes. It’s also sweet that the reviews that the Discovery Institute has been trumpeting so far on their blogs are from places like Christianity Today (you came into the film “very, very skeptical,” did you , Mr. McCracken? I’ll show you skeptical).

    Here’s Roger Moore’s blog post about the movie.

    In soberer news, Tang Wei is being blacklisted by Chinese censors because she appeared in Ang Lee’s sexually explicit and politically murky Lust, Caution.

    Hey, Look At This!

    posted by on March 11 at 10:48 AM


    Or maybe this?




    Currently Hanging

    posted by on March 11 at 10:30 AM

    Anne Appleby’s Maple Grove (2007), oil and wax on canvas over wood panel, 60 by 106 inches overall

    At Greg Kucera Gallery.

    March 14 Is Freaky Friday

    posted by on March 11 at 10:19 AM

    This Friday is Freaky Friday, when we’ll turn the blog upside down—commenters become front-page bloggers, and bloggers are relegated to the comments. Come back this afternoon to learn who will take over our megaphones.

    “A Lot of Writers Write Because They Don’t Want to Die”

    posted by on March 11 at 10:08 AM


    Dear Leader Christopher Frizzelle was on KUOW yesterday, discussing this story, which concerns Moby Dick, death, and an awkward Christmas-dinner conversation in which his stepmother (newly religious—the worst kind) asked about his higher power.

    Interviewer Megan Sukys also digs up a little personal history: How his family got religion (via adultery), how they responded when he came out (it wasn’t pretty), and whether literature, and language, can be a person’s religion.

    Listen to the whole thing here.

    (Christopher’s interview begins around 43:30—before that, you can listen to a poet with breast cancer [the beginning], trapeze artists in love [14:00], and Nancy Pearl talk about Ender’s Game and a book about health care [34:20].)


    posted by on March 11 at 9:37 AM

    Spitzer, according to his aides, according to the New York Times.

    British Government to Execute Iranian Homosexuals

    posted by on March 11 at 9:26 AM

    This leaves me speechless.

    An Iranian lesbian who fled to Britain after her girlfriend was arrested and sentenced to death faces being forcibly returned after losing the latest round in her battle to be granted asylum.

    The case of Pegah Emambakhsh, 40, comes a day after The Independent reported on the growing public outcry over the plight of a gay Iranian teenager who fears he will be executed if he is deported to Iran….

    In turning down Ms Emambakhsh and Mr Kazemi’s asylum applications, the Home Office has said that, provided Iranians are discreet about their homosexuality, they will not be persecuted.

    Wow. Setting aside the whole blame-the-victim aspect of this statement—be discreet, kids, and this won’t happen to you!—discretion isn’t really an option at this point for Ms. Emambakhsh and Mr. Kazemi. In Mr. Kazemi’s case, a gay teenager, Iranian authorities have already arrested and executed his boyfriend. If he’s sent back, he dies. Period. If Ms. Emambakhsh is sent back, she dies. Period. And if the British government sends them back, it will be a party to their murders. Period.

    Still a Dick

    posted by on March 11 at 9:10 AM

    Tucker Carlson in the NYT this morning:

    In a telephone interview Mr. Carlson said his conservative point of view was “out of sync” with the more liberal bent of MSNBC’s other marquee shows, including “Countdown With Keith Olbermann” and “Hardball” with Chris Matthews.

    “I don’t think I was a perfect fit in the lineup,” he said. “I think that was obvious to anyone who was tuning in.”

    Still, he said, “It’s not my nature to cry bias.”

    It’s not in my nature to point out that Tucker did, in fact, cry bias. As for Tucker’s replacement—David Gregory—here’s his biggest claim to fame…

    The Case for the Big States

    posted by on March 11 at 9:05 AM

    As made by Stephen Colbert:

    The Morning News

    posted by on March 11 at 7:53 AM

    Spitzer: Hooker happy governor reportedly thinking about resigning. See also this, from the original story:

    Though his signature issue was pursuing Wall Street misdeeds, as attorney general Mr. Spitzer also had prosecuted at least two prostitution rings as head of the state’s organized crime task force.

    In one such case in 2004, Mr. Spitzer spoke with revulsion and anger after announcing the arrest of 16 people for operating a high-end prostitution ring out of Staten Island.

    “This was a sophisticated and lucrative operation with a multitiered management structure,” Mr. Spitzer said at the time. “It was, however, nothing more than a prostitution ring.”


    Pakistan: Two suicide bombers, at least 24 dead in the eastern city of Lahore.

    Uncle Sam: Offering to lend $200 billion to financial firms and investment banks in an effort to prop up the economy. Meanwhile, oil is at $109 a barrel, the U.S. trade deficit at $58.2 billion.

    From the Mouth of Geraldine Ferraro:

    If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”

    Bleak Study of the Day: At least one in four teenage girls has a STD, according to the CDC. HPV is the most common infection.

    Lost & Found: One Ernest G. Munn, missing since 1942.

    Protesting: Boeing, over the Air Force tanker contract.

    Mourning: Friends and family of a 10-year-old Everett boy who died after asking to be buried head-down in the sandbox by his friends.

    Running Out: A local group’s offer to buy the Sonics and help renovate Key Arena.

    Downtown Bellevue: Watching as a flood of techies buy up the condos. Predictably, not everyone is excited:

    Tanya Elder, 33, moved downtown with her husband a year and a half ago to be closer to work and is already hoping the neighborhood doesn’t get too popular. The cleanliness and low crime rate are rarities, she said.

    “Don’t let people move downtown,” she said. “I don’t want it to turn bad.”

    And Finally: Dynaman!

    Monday, March 10, 2008

    If You Have a Problem With the Word “Art”… Go Fuck Yourself

    posted by on March 10 at 5:14 PM

    SXSW Film/Interactive Festival Dispatch 1: Sunday, March 9
    Nearly all my impressions of Austin come from the SXSW music festival, and walking down 6th at 8am brings the familiar sense and smell of all-night-party aftermath—perhaps not quite as strong as it will be once the rockers and their handlers, sycophants, and various remora show up on Wednesday. For now, a city built for music is being used for film. The result is a sparser, mellower, gathering, notable for the presence of serious movie fans and serious moviemakers—as opposed to the industrial vermin who cough their plague-ridden blood all over the shores of the music portion every year. Who knew SXSW could run so smoothly? With badges that actually get you in places? With no hassles and no confusion? Combined with the presence of actual enthusiasts—almost no one seems to be here in the hopes of squeezing any money out of the proceedings (unless that money is meant to bankroll another movie)—this ease of use is an exciting variation on the SXSW experience I’ve been having on and off for the past 11 years as a musician and journalist.

    As ever, I am late in arriving. By Sunday morning, the fest has already been in full swing for a day and a night, and people are burbling about the movies they’ve seen. the red carpet-bestriding Harold and Kumar Escape Guantanamo Bay has gotten the widest attention—SXSW Film is an interesting blend of the legitimate underground and the slightly left of mainstream; other big premieres include David Schwimmer/Simon Pegg’s Run, Fatboy, Run, the Judd Apatow-produced Forgetting Sarah Marshall (which doesn’t look all that awesome, but features a supporting performance by the inestimably brilliant stand-up comic/reality TV refugee/former junkie/and full-time dandy boy Russell Brand, who has the best radio show/podcast in England, if not the world, and will almost certainly be a massive star in America before too long), as well as Stuart Townsend’s The Battle in Seattle (a dramatization of the WTO riots starring the great Charlize Theron and Andre 3000). Most of the movies I’m planning on seeing are a bit lower to the ground.

    First things first: My Effortless Brilliance, by Seattle’s own Lynn Shelton, starring and semi-written by me and Basil Harris and Calvin Reeder and Jeanette Maus, screens at 11am. On Daylight Savings Morning, after a long night of Texas-style drankin’. Everyone’s a bit nervous that no one will show, but people do. The theater is about 3/4 full, and though our movie has a laconic tempo, they seem to respond. The Q&A is hilariously predictable (what was your budget, how much was improvised, etc.) but good natured, and then it’s over and you’re like, hey, can we have another screening right away, please?


    Next up, an acting workshop featuring Jeffrey Tambor (best knows as Hank Kingsley on The Larry Sanders Show, and the dad from Arrested Development, though to me, he’ll always be the guy from The Ropers) and indie stalwarts Kent Osborne (Hannah Takes the Stairs) and Greta Gerwig (Hannah Takes the Stairs, almost every film in this year’s festival. If, as media types keep trying to say, SXSW Film is the new Sundance—it really, really, super isn’t; it’s WAY better than Sundance on 50 levels, but play along for the sake of analogy—then Greta Gerwig is its Parker Posey. She has prominent roles in three major films showing this year, her face adorns the cover of the Austin Chronicle film issue, and she’s not yet so famous that she seems unapproachable. Evidence of this approachability can be found in the phalanx of 5-20 dudes often to be found within a few feet of wherever she is. Anyway, the real story here is not Gerwig, who has obvious star quality, but Tambor, who emerges from the acting workshop as a combination guru, master thespian, and life coach. From a career spent as a brilliant supporting actor, reliably being the funniest thing about a funny show or picture, you wouldn’t necessarily assume that he’d be so commanding as the focus of the room. But that’s absurd. No one is better prepared for his moment at center stage than a character actor; he had the best stories, the the shrewdest insights, the warmest convictions about the essential beauty and truth at the heart of acting. Watching him put Gerwig and Osborne (to be fair, he focused more on Gerwig, from which you can glean what you will) through the paces of a scene from John Patrick Shanley’s The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, calling audible directions, asking exacting personal questions, insisting on more specificity, more commitment, more risk taking, more MORE, was a constantly expanding thrill—particularly if, like anyone with any sense, you don’t really greet the prospect of watching someone else’s acting class with relish. You watched the scene get better because of how he directed the actors—both of whom have traditionally been seen in films with a reputation (however inaccurate) for feeling undirected, improvised, amateurish. You also saw them get better (not to mention being able to see them taking stock of themselves on stage, reeling from the respectful invasiveness of his approach). You felt like you were getting better. “People are ridiculous. Write it down!” he commanded the room, and I reached for a pen. “If you have a problem with the word art,” he digressed at one point, then paused for effect before declaring: “Go Fuck Yourself!” I hate the word art when used by people who make art, especially actors for some reason, but I cheered right along with everyone. I honestly wish every single person I know could have been in that room. Though I’ve known who he was since I was six years old, and have been a fan of his for at least 15 years, I never saw Jeffrey Tambor coming. I would happily follow him into hell.

    The rest of the day would be devoted to seeing films by people I’ve met in the course of being part of a movie that’s loosely associated with the horrible (however occasionally apt) term mumblecore. Both the films and the filmmakers seem bent not so much on breaking out of that pigeonhole—after all, it’s nice to get some attention rather than none—but on pushing the edges of the ill-defined non-genre (nonre?) to make more capacious cinematic shapes. Or maybe they’re just getting better after having made a few films and gained an audience. The Duplass Brothers, whose The Puffy Chair is probably the most visible product of this “movement” (I really don’t think it counts as a movement, not in the same sense of, say, the Civil Rights Movement or even cubism were movements), have made Baghead, a genuinely funny/genuinely scary hybrid of comedy, drama, and horror involving two guys and two girls in a cabin trying to write a movie. The plot gets intricate (and does indeed involve a scary dude with a bag on his head out in the woods), but not as interesting as the constantly shifting sexual, romantic, and platonic dynamics between the four characters. The movie is really smart and really funny, and unbefitting the mumblecore archetype, very crafted. Well crafted, but crafted. (Well acted, and well written, too.) Intentional. And super enjoyable.


    The other major filmmaker of mumblecore (like everyone anywhere near this school, I deeply wish I were clever enough to generate a useful replacement word, but I fear it’s just going to be the grunge of its moment—though it probably won’t be as big; there is no Alice in Chains of mumblecore, nor will there be a Candlebox) is Joe Swanberg, whose films LOL and Hannah Takes the Stairs have set the standard for the improvised dialogue, verite camera, candid sexuality, and “revealed” narrative style that characterizes these films (and frustrates their detractors). With Nights and Weekends, a project written, directed, and acted in close collaboration with Greta Gerwig, Swanberg has utterly outdone himself. A far craftier movie than Hannah or LOL, Nights and Weekends nonetheless capitalizes on the emotional language (which is to say, as opposed to intellectual language) those earlier films developed. It’s another movie about feelings, but the frame Swanberg and Gerwig (Swanwig? Gerberg?) hang around the central doomed, obsessive relationship—which ends midway through after being on arduous artificial life-support for the first 45 minutes, and is revisited, obsessively, brutally, even tragically, during the second 45—is exactly the piece that has been missing from this whole oeuvre (oeuvrecore!). There’s drama in this movie, not just feelings; progress, not just process. It’s also probably the most French movie I’ve ever seen by an American, so French it’s almost Swedish (shades of Contempt, but also of Scenes from a Marriage). It makes Vincent Gallo look like Nora Ephron. And it is fucking cataclysmic, though not exactly cathartic. As the impossibly lovers walk away from each other (a subtext here is Gerwig walking away from deep-down independent cinema and towards a glorious future), you’re left in the exact position you are at the end of a relationship—before you figure out what you’ve learned and what you haven’t, before you have “distance” or “closure,” before you’re ready to like yourself or your ex- at all. It’s agony. But it’s powerful cinema. Swanberg and Gerwig are no strangers to onscreen nudity, but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a movie be so naked before. The audience sat in the screening room totally flummoxed and shellshocked by what we’d seen. Then a bit of Q&A got going, but unlike every other post-screening session, no one asked how much it cost to make.

    You could tell that the filmmakers weren’t entirely certain themselves.

    Re: Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Marry Politicians

    posted by on March 10 at 4:09 PM

    Okay, let’s vote!

    If you had to be one of these women—if you had to stand next to your husband while he conducted a humiliating, career-ending press conference about his hookers/gay lovers/adult diapers/airport toilet escapades—which of these women would you be?


    Oh, and for the record: this Spitzer thing shouldn’t be a scandal. Prostitution should be legal—I’d go so far as to say safe, legal, and rare. You might think, as a Slog commenter pointed out, that politicians would be eager to legalize prostitution, considering how many politicians get ruined in prostitution scandals. But, eh, our political class uses drugs (hey there, Mr. Obama; hey there, Mr. President) and they’re not exactly moving to decriminalize recreational drugs.

    West Seattle Woes

    posted by on March 10 at 3:58 PM

    We’ve arguedrepeatedly—that the city can get by just fine without the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the double-decker freeway on the downtown waterfront. Part of the reason we’re so confident is that when other cities have torn down waterfront freeways, they’ve actually seen traffic levels go down—contrary to the doomsday scenarios the highway lobby likes to peddle. Part of the reason for this is that taking out highways makes people travel smarter—combining trips, avoiding trips at rush hour, and choosing transit over driving alone.

    The other part, of course, is better transportation planning by and coordination between city and state officials. Here, that means that transportation planners will need to finish work on the Spokane Street Viaduct quickly, add a lot of new bus service to West Seattle and Ballard, and reconnect the waterfront to the downtown street grid, creating multiple escape valves for waterfront traffic. Check, check, and (maybe) check.

    One glitch in plans to keep traffic moving smoothly during and after viaduct construction is that the lower West Seattle bridge, which serves as an alternative route for 11,000 cars a day, opens frequently for boats traversing the Duwamish Waterway during morning and evening rush hours, jamming up traffic so that vessels can get through. As Mike Lindblom reported in the Seattle Times last week, the two-lane bridge opens during peak hours about 23 times a month, causing an average 12-minute delay. Over the course of 12 weeks, the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) found, the bridge was most commonly open between nine and 13 minutes during rush hours, but on at least six occasions it kept cars idling for as much as 43 minutes straight. It’s the only bridge in the city allowed to open during the morning and evening rush hours, says Tom Rasmussen, head of the city council’s parks committee. Last month, after a period of time Rasmussen describes as “months,” SDOT sent a letter to the US Coast Guard, which regulates bridge openings, asking the agency to restrict openings to off-peak hours. Assuming the Coast Guard responds, there will be a 60-day period for public comment, after which the Coast Guard will make a decision—hopefully, Rasmussen says, in commuters’ favor. “Not only now, but as we’re planning on construction for the Spokane Street Viaduct as well as the Alaskan Way Viaduct, we really need to have that traffic flowing as smoothly as possible,” Rasmussen says.

    The Starbucks Promise: Un-Messed-Up Coffee

    posted by on March 10 at 3:52 PM

    Following the recent three-hour nationwide closure of all Starbucks stores for employee—pardon, associate—”Espresso Excellence Training,” it was speculated that Starbucks might return to hand-pulled espresso (as opposed to automated, push-the-button machines). Nope: It was just a publicity stunt—pardon, remedial education for the baristas—sorry, pardon again, an effort to “elevate the Starbucks Experience…. revisit our standards of quality that are the foundation for the trust that our customers have in our coffee and in all of us…. But…equally important…to celebrate who we are” (from the ominously entitled “Howard Schultz Transformation Agenda Communication #8”).

    Then, yesterday in the first section of The New York Times, a full-page ad saying that if they mess up your coffee, you are free to let them know and they’ll “make it right.”

    We believe that our baristas can hand-make any espresso beverage perfectly.
    “We believe”! We’re not totally sure, though. But if YOU clap your hands and shout it, too, Starbucks won’t die! And the espresso beverages are kinda hand-made. It takes a hand to push a button!
    This is why we promise that if your drink isn’t perfect, every time, let us know and we’ll make it right. This isn’t a promotion, this isn’t “for a limited time only,” this isn’t “while supplies last.” This is every coffee, every day, forever.

    Welcome back to basics—pardon, excellence—where it is believed that you can expect un-messed-up coffee but, should your coffee prove to be messed up, you may ask to have it re-made, which will be really fun for everyone involved. Excellent!

    Can We All Just Take a Moment…

    posted by on March 10 at 3:45 PM

    … to appreciate the fact that the service was called the Emperor’s Club VIP?! How skankily obsequious.

    Best Wishes on Your Scandal!

    posted by on March 10 at 3:29 PM

    Hillary Clinton’s statement on the Spitzer prostitute troubles:

    “I don’t have any comment on that, but I obviously am sending, you know, my best wishes and thoughts to the governor and to his family,” she said.

    When asked whether she thought the beleaguered governor could survive the scandal, the senator declined to comment.

    “Let’s wait and see what comes out over the next days, but right now I don’t have any comment, and I think it’s appropriate just to wish his family well, and we’ll wait and see how things develop,” she said.

    The I.D. Building

    posted by on March 10 at 3:13 PM

    There is a void on Fourth Avenue, between the southern edge of downtown’s business district and the northern border of Chinatown. Despite the proximity to two thriving urban centers, nearby blocks are mostly parking lots, single-level businesses, and the erstwhile club Aristocrats.



    Fourth Avenue and Washington Street (above), and Fourth Avenue and Main Street (below)

    In this bridge between the two neighborhoods, the challenge for architects is designing buildings that meet standards for the historic International District, yet mesh with the glass and steel of downtown. In one example, an almost-completed fire station at 4th and Washington combines angular shapes and industrial materials with panels painted the color of red associated with luck, gold, and dragons. Across the street, however, developers are proposing a fresher approach to Asian design—the I.D. Building.



    Pb Elemental

    “The design is taking cues from current trends in modern Asian architecture,” says Chris Pardo, principal of Pb Elemental, a local development and architecture firm behind this proposal and the proposed Trophy Building. Pardo says that the designs, still preliminary, are geared to attract “a premier modern boutique hotel for Seattle.” The 24-story building would contain 110 hotel and 120 condo units, and would be crowned with a rooftop bar. (Don’t worry, dear Cloud Room, we’ll always remember you.)

    If the Fourth and Blanchard Building (or some say the Columbia Center) can be dubbed the Darth Vader Building, then the I.D. Building could become Vader’s mini me. Far more square, though, the design is unlike anything else downtown or in the International District—like a cut block of black quartz. But this is not wayward, this is forward. It is the sort of statement the I.D. needs. As a modern Pacific Rim city, Seattle’s new I.D. construction must occasionally deviate from the predictable Asiana gestures of jades, reds, and yellows.

    But it’s uncertain if the board tasked with reviewing construction proposals will approve this stark design. “There is some preference to earthen materials and muted colors within the district,” says Rebecca Frestedt, Board Coordinator of the International Special Review District. The timing could also play a role in the design; the review board is currently revising guidelines for new construction in the area. “We are hoping to adopt that set of guidelines this summer,” she says. Either way, Frestedt continues, “It will likely undergo many revisions before the design is approved.”

    On building over the bus tunnel and a temporary new lounge after the jump.

    Continue reading "The I.D. Building" »

    The Way You Used to Dis Me

    posted by on March 10 at 2:19 PM

    I’m sure that better video of this will surface soon, but I was desperate to hear Bush sing “The Brown Brown Grass of Home,” at the Gridiron Dinner. It’s just as sick-inducing as I had hoped.

    Thanks, China!

    posted by on March 10 at 2:10 PM

    My friend brought back this “MEN’S EXTREME” lip balm (for “water in lip”) from China:

    We were relieved to discover that it’s “INSPECTION-FREE.”

    Because when you’re cruising the highways on your sweet X-treme man-cycle, you don’t want to risk moisturizing with one of those NON-lead-poison-containin’ lip balms. Inspection-free moisture. That’s China’s promise to you.

    $5,500 Prostitutes, Senate E-Mails, and Schadenfreude

    posted by on March 10 at 1:57 PM

    E-mails are zipping back and forth between legislators on the floor of the state senate right now about the Eliot Spitzer news.

    Sen. Jerome Delvin (R-8, Richland) started it off with this missive:

    From: Delvin, Sen. Jerome Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 1:27 PM To: @SDC Members; @SRC Members Subject: NY Gov and prostitution ring

    Can not say ” the Republicans are always falling from grace.” One party is no better than the other.

    To which Sen. Brian Weinstein (D-41, Mercer Island), kinda my new favorite Senate Democrat, responded:

    From: Weinstein, Sen. Brian Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 1:32 PM To: Delvin, Sen. Jerome; @SDC Members; @SRC Members Subject: RE: NY Gov and prostitution ring

    At least he is not a closet homosexual hypocrite that bashes gays like the Republicans who usually get caught up in these scandals.

    Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-19, Raymond) also had a response to Sen. Delvin:

    From: Hatfield, Sen. Brian Sent: Monday, March 10, 2008 1:30 PM To: Delvin, Sen. Jerome; @SDC Members; @SRC Members Subject: RE: NY Gov and prostitution ring

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    True, true. Except, Spitzer is the law and order guy. A friend of mine works on Wall Street—one of Spitzer’s main targets—and he’s reporting gleeful cheering around the TV sets.

    Youth to Power

    posted by on March 10 at 1:55 PM

    Tomorrow night at Town Hall, our own Eli Sanders will interview Michael Connery, an author and blogger for and

    Connery got sucked down the net-politics hole by the Dean campaign and the thesis of his latest book, Youth to Power: How Today’s Young Voters Are Building Tomorrow’s Progressive Majority, is in the title.

    Sanders and Connery will discuss the “millennial” generation (first-time voters) and how they’re the future of the Democratic party and how their influence may or may not arrive in time to tilt this presidential election.

    The discussion begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets are five dollars.

    (And, while you’re at it, read Sanders’s latest feature, “Washington State as Prologue: Washington State Is Already Living a Democratic Dream, and It’s Not So Dreamy,” about how our governor (the only female governor in the U.S. working with a democratic legislature) is “a study in cautiousness.”)

    Mommas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Marry Politicians

    posted by on March 10 at 1:15 PM




    UPDATE: Whoops, I left someone out…


    Glam Overpass

    posted by on March 10 at 1:04 PM


    This overpasses/rest stop I’m sitting in—along the highway between Madison, Wisconsin, and Chicago—has free wi-fi, a Starbucks, and cleanish bathrooms. It’s pretty glamorous, for a highway overpass. It looks like an nicer, newish airport in here.

    This doesn’t have anything to do with anything, of course. Just sayin’.

    Tina Brown in Newsweek

    posted by on March 10 at 12:57 PM

    The ex-New Yorker editor weighs in on Hillary’s appeal to boomer women:

    In 1952, Ralph Ellison’s revelatory novel, “Invisible Man,” nailed the experience of being black in America. In the relentless youth culture of the early 21st century, if you are 50 and female, the novel that’s being written on your forehead every day is “Invisible Woman.” All over the country there are vigorous, independent, self-liberated boomer women—women who possess all the management skills that come from raising families while holding down demanding jobs, women who have experience, enterprise and, among the empty nesters, a little financial independence, yet still find themselves steadfastly dissed and ignored. Advertisers don’t want them. TV networks dump their older anchorwomen off the air. Hollywood studios refuse to write parts for them. Employers make it clear they’d prefer a “fresh (cheaper) face.” …

    What saddens boomer women who love Hillary is that their twentysomething daughters don’t share their view of her heroic role. Instead they’ve been swept up by that new Barack magic. It’s not their fault, and not Hillary’s, either. The very scar tissue that older women see as proof of her determination just embarrasses their daughters, killing off for them all the insouciant elation that ought to come with girl power in the White House.

    Re: Wyoming & Mississippi & Credulity

    posted by on March 10 at 12:35 PM

    Warning: Messy math ahead.

    I think the pundits skipped lightly over Wyoming and Mississippi mainly because those states were/are unlikely to change the status quo: ie, Obama leading Clinton by well over 100 pledged delegates. Pennsylvania is her next best chance to catch up. Not that she will.

    What I find curious is why people aren’t marveling over how accurate the Obama camp’s early February projections have been. That document probably wasn’t leaked in order to manage expectations, people said then—why, it has him winning every February post-Super Tuesday contest save Maine. (He ended up winning those caucuses too.) But if people had taken those projections seriously, they wouldn’t have been surprised that he lost Ohio resoundingly and Texas by a hair. The projections didn’t seem to take the Texas two-step caucus advantage into account, but the primary vote margin was spot on: O 47, C 51.


    A Daily Kos diarist has broken down the Obama campaign’s projected and actual delegate counts for the contests up to Wyoming:

    Louisiana Projected: 31 / Actual: 34 / Difference: +3
    Nebraska Projected: 15 / Actual: 16 / Difference: +1
    Virgin Islands Projected: 2 / Actual: 3 / Difference: +1
    Washington Projected: 49 / Actual: 52 / Difference: +3
    Maine Projected: 10 / Actual: 15 / Difference: +5
    Dems Abroad Projected: 5 / Actual: 6 / Difference: +1
    D.C Projected: 9 / Actual: 12 / Difference: +3
    Maryland Projected: 37 / Actual: 42 / Difference: +5
    Virginia Projected: 43 / Actual: 54 / Difference: +11
    Hawaii Projected: 11 / Actual: 14 / Difference: +3
    Wisconsin Projected: 40 / Actual: 42 / Difference: +2
    Ohio Projected: 68 / Actual: 66 / Difference: -2
    Rhode Island Projected: 8 / Actual: 8 / Difference: 0
    Texas Projected: 92 / Actual: 98 / Difference: +6
    Vermont Projected: 9 / Actual: 9 / Difference: 0

    Wyoming was projected at 7 delegates, and the actual count is 7. Pretty creepy.

    So what’s Obama going to lose in the coming weeks?

    According to the memo, we can look forward to Clinton wins in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Puerto Rico—a conservative but reasonable assessment. Accordingly, from tomorrow through June 7, we can expect Obama to win approximately 303 additional pledged delegates. Clinton should win approximately 296. Which changes absolutely nothing.

    It’s about the superdelegates, stupid. The media ought to be very, very careful about which Clinton narratives they repeat (big states! Obama has to prove himself in Pennsylvania! pledged delegates can actually change their votes!) and which Obama narratives they mimic (more pledged delegates! more states! popular vote!).

    Let’s say the projections hold—and Michigan and Florida are not seated. Obama will have 1,379+303 pledged delegates at the convention, for a total of 1,682. Clinton will have 1,526. You need 2,025 to get the nomination, so Obama will need 343 superdelegates, and Clinton will need 499. (Currently they have 210 and 245, respectively, so Obama needs 133 more and Clinton needs 254 more.) There are 795 superdelegates total, so let’s see… Obama needs 39% of the remaining superdelegates and Clinton needs 75% of the remaining superdelegates to clinch the nomination.

    No wonder Clinton’s fighting so scrappy for Florida and Michigan.

    Lunchtime Quickie

    posted by on March 10 at 12:30 PM

    And, uh, sorry if you’re actually eating lunch and watching this…

    From YouTube eltelbarker

    Flickr Photo of the Day

    posted by on March 10 at 12:16 PM


    From shapefarm

    Savage Love Letter of the Day

    posted by on March 10 at 12:00 PM

    Someone would like a referral…

    My wife and I are looking for a sexy night out on the town (Seattle or Tacoma) with hotel and maybe a visit to a not-so-well-known alternative/sexy establishment for an outside of the box experience. Any ideas?

    I have to recuse myself from answering this letter. I find people seeking outside-the-box experiences in not-so-well-known establishments far too annoying to offer this person, you know, the level-headed, impartial advice that made me famous.

    You see, Borat here is seeking a not-so-well-known “alternative/sexy establishment” because he and the wife don’t want to run into anyone they might know, or anyone that might know anyone they might know, which, of course, rules out all those well-known-and-popular alternative/sexy establishments.

    I get a lot of mail from people seeking mythical alternative/sexy establishments crawling with alternative/sexy people enjoying alternative/sexy outside-the-box experiences—but ones where they won’t run into anyone they know from their non-alternative, not-so-sexy daily lives. There are sex clubs out there, gay and straight, where people go for alternative/sexy experiences. But if you’re afraid of being recognized, or if you think alternative/sexy experiences are shameful, you’re really not big enough to ride those rides, in my opinion. So even if I knew about a not-so-well-known alternative/sexy establishment in Seattle (or, uh, Tacoma), I wouldn’t tell this guy about it.

    But, hey, if anybody else wants to help this guy out in comments, feel free.

    Obama on the Veepstakes

    posted by on March 10 at 11:40 AM

    In the last few days, Hillary and Bill Clinton have been suggesting that Barack Obama would be a great VP—for Hillary. Today Obama responded at length:

    COLUMBUS, Miss — Sen. Barack Obama delivered an animated rebuke today of suggestions from the Clintons in recent days that he could run as her vice president.

    “Now first of all with all due respect, with all due respect,” he said here during a town hall meeting. “I won twice as many states as Sen. Clinton. I won more of the popular vote than Sen. Clinton. I have more delegates than Sen. Clinton. So I don’t’ know how someone in second place can offer the vice presidency to someone in first place. If I was in second place I could understand but I am in first place right now.

    He referenced comments from Bill Clinton in 1992 that his “most important criteria” for vice president was that person must be ready to be commander in chief.

    “They have been spending the last two or three weeks” arguing that he is not ready to be commander in chief, Obama said.

    “I don’t understand. If I am not ready, why do you think I would be such a great vice president?” Obama asked the crowd, which gave him a standing ovation during his defense. “I don’t understand.”

    “You can’t say he is not ready on day one, then you want him to be your vice president,” Obama continued. “I just want everybody to absolutely clear: I am not running for vice president. I am running to be president of the United States of America.”

    The New Critic

    posted by on March 10 at 11:23 AM


    Now that we know there are more than “400 billion galaxies in the observable universe,” and that galaxies come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and brilliance, it is up to the critic of tomorrow to judge which are good galaxies and which are not so good. The new critic must also pass judgment on the Milky Way, the home of our home. What is the Milky Way’s place in the galactic order? Is it mediocre? Or is it special, remarkable, original? This our new world calls into existence the galactic critic.


    posted by on March 10 at 11:15 AM

    Gov. Eliot Spitzer has informed his most senior administration officials that he had been involved in a prostitution ring, an administration official said this morning.

    Hm. Was he involved as an administrator? A customer? Or a prostitute? The public demands answers.

    This Is Going to End Badly

    posted by on March 10 at 11:12 AM

    If you knew a straight couple that had been together eight months—eight months—and they were talking about getting married and having children, would you take them seriously? No, you wouldn’t. So please don’t feel obligated to take this couple seriously just because they’re gay.


    Jaason Simmons, who starred on Baywatch for three years, has come out of the closet. Good for him. He’s got a boyfriend! Good for him. They’re adopting—or they’ve adopted, or one of them adopted (it’s hard to tell)—an 8-year-old Ugandan boy. And they’re getting married. At eight months. Which strikes me as just a bit premature. Via Towleroad:

    Simmons has appeared in Australian New Idea magazine with his boyfriend of eight months, Irish actor John O’Callaghan, and his adopted six year-old Ugandon son saying that they want to get married. The couple plan to wed in Canada as same-sex unions are not legally recognized in California where they both live.”

    Said Simmons: “We’re doing it for our family and for my soon-to-be son. Although you don’t want to typecast yourself, you have to take responsibility and ownership and move humanity forward, out of bigotry. Our son needs to see we can stand in front of family and loved ones who are going to support our union through the good times and bad.”

    Eight months. These men have been been together—excuse me, they’ve been dating—for eight months. And they’re getting married and adopting a child together. Does anyone believe that if Simmons were straight—if he were, say, a female pop star, and Miss Simmons was marrying a man she’d only known for eight months, and if Miss Simmons were already pregnant or talking about adoption—that Miss Simmons would be taken seriously?

    Straight people? Please don’t take premature/immature commitments—marriage, family, children—any more seriously when gay people make them. You’re not obligated to make up for the centuries when our relationships weren’t taken seriously by smiling and nodding when someone introduces you to a “life partner” he met eight months ago. You would laugh in the face of a straight friend or relative who introduced you to a fiancé of eight month’s acquaintance. You should treat your gay friends and relatives the same way. We want to be treated equally. That means we should be treated with equal contempt when we engage in equally stupid behavior.

    And gay people? While it’s nice to see another semi-famous actor come out of the closet—particularly one that looks like Simmons—Simmons’s premature commitment to this man, and their willingness to involve a child in this premature commitment, isn’t something to celebrate. Not yet, anyway. If they’re still together ten years from now, or two years from now, great, let’s have a party. But the odds are stacked against Simmons and O’Callaghan—not because they’re gay, kids, but because they’re foolish. They’ve only been together for eight months. Rather than end anti-gay bigotry as we know it, odds are that anti-gay bigots will be pointing to Simmons and O’Callaghan as an example of the instability of gay relationships when their marriage—like Britney’s and Pamela Anderson’s and J Lo’s, et al.—predictably ends in divorce.

    Oly Folly, Year 2

    posted by on March 10 at 11:09 AM

    In yesterday’s post about disgruntled Democrats condemning House Speaker Frank Chopp (D-BIAW) for snuffing out Sen. Brian Weinstein and Rep. Brendan Williams’s homebuyers’ rights bill, a commenter (“Young Dem”) wrote:

    It’s an election year. You should do a big exposé on these trojan horse democrats and on Chopp. No wonder the House has failed on so many issues important to progressives. For the past four years they’ve apparently had the building industry and the business lobbyists running their agenda!

    That’s a good idea, Young Dem.

    In the meantime, (sigh) check out this story I did last year at this time as the Democratic-majority session came to a close: “Misled: Democrats Have a Supermajority in Olympia. Progressive Legislation Is Being Killed. Who’s Blocking the Democratic Agenda? Seattle’s Frank Chopp, Speaker of the House.”

    When this ran last year, Chopp was super pissed, and his sycophantic colleagues, who were more than happy to criticize him off the record, cheered him in caucus when he ridiculed the story.

    Chopp was short-sighted to be pissed about a story like that. He should have peddled it east of the mountains as proof that, despite the “43rd District” tag by his name, he doesn’t represent Seattle.

    In addition to the homebuyers’ rights bill (which the arch-conservative Building Industry Association of Washington, BIAW, killed) what else died this session:

    1) A bill to make global warming a litmus test for new development

    2) A bill to stop mentally ill people from getting handguns

    3) A couple of bills to stop expanded strip mining on Maury Island

    4) A bill to outlaw plastic grocery store bags

    5) A bill to expand family and medical leave

    6) A bill to expand health care

    7) A bill to regulate payday loan interest rates

    8) A bill to cap condo conversions

    9) A bill to prevent landlords from discriminating against Section 8 tenants and

    10) A bill to protect student free speech.

    And that’s just a cursory Top-10 list of the bills I’ve been keeping track of this session.

    Meanwhile, the legislature expanded the state’s right to get DNA samples, overruled King County’s right to enact local health code standards, and killed a bill to pass a progressive tax credit for working families.

    Certainly, all of this can’t be laid entirely at Speaker Chopp’s feet. The Section 8 bill, for example, sailed through the House only to get bogged down in the Senate. And Chopp has made a stand for additional funding for low-income housing.

    But his blatant sop to the BIAW on the homebuyers’ rights legislation is totally embarrassing.

    Scientists Discover What Your Brain Says When You’re Hungry and You See a Doughnut

    posted by on March 10 at 11:05 AM

    It says, not only am I hungry, but here is food.”

    Slog Happy Thursday 6 pm

    posted by on March 10 at 11:02 AM


    Everyone is welcome.

    Russian Big Pharma Mafia Strikes Again

    posted by on March 10 at 11:00 AM

    Maud Newton’s website was taken over this past weekend by a Russian pharmaceuticals company. Another website of Newton’s,, was hijacked and had this ransom note pasted on it:

    “Yes, I’m bitch. Fuck me with big penis!. You must give us site else we are delete your blog.”

    I’d heard that the Internet was a lawless, wild-westy place, but I didn’t believe it until now.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on March 10 at 11:00 AM


    ‘The Counterfeiters’

    As a Holocaust story, the Oscar-winning Austrian film The Counterfeiters is a little too entertaining. It even has, unlike most movies of its kind, a happy ending. But it’s based on a true story: how the Nazis ran the largest counterfeiting operation in history from inside a concentration camp. Who were the master counterfeiters? Imprisoned Jews. What was the money for? So the Nazis could flood the economies of England and America and win the war. It’s a fascinating and little-known episode. (See Movie Times for details.)


    “He’s the Most Singinest Janitor I Ever Seen”

    posted by on March 10 at 10:40 AM

    These folks decided to stage a musical number in a mall food court. Though I’m generally annoyed by audience-participation things, especially when the audience doesn’t realize they’re participating, I’m kind of delighted by both the performance and the annoyed looks on some of the food court patrons’ faces.

    Currently Hanging

    posted by on March 10 at 10:30 AM

    Melissa Pokorny’s Dress Rehearsal (2008), polystyrene, archival digital prints, resin objects, polarfleece, silicone, aluminum tape

    At Platform Gallery.

    Winning the War on Drugs

    posted by on March 10 at 10:19 AM

    This ought to spell the end for drugs in the college town of Stellenbosch, South Africa.

    Stellenbosch students, their parents and club owners are outraged at what they have described as brutal drug raids on nightspots in the student town on Friday night, and some are considering taking legal action against the police.

    Police found only a small plastic bank bag and two joints of dagga [marijuana] and three grams of hashish, at the clubs.

    Several witnesses have come forward, describing how the police, wearing Kevlar vests and carrying firearms, burst into Bohemia, Die Mystic Boer and Springbok Pub around midnight and assaulted several students, sprayed them with mace, took their cellphones and ordered them to delete cellphone pictures of the raid.

    Police officers also reportedly put their hands in some womens’ underwear to search for drugs.

    Willem Coertze, owner of Die Mystic Boer, said he was punched in the face and had his wrists tied behind his back with cable ties after asking a police officer why his club was being raided and whether there was a search warrant.

    Nobody was arrested, but that girl thrown on her face at the end of this video sure learned her lesson.

    A Theory on Clinton and the Gays

    posted by on March 10 at 10:15 AM

    Via Sullivan:

    At a cocktail party this weekend I was talking to a friend and his boyfriend - both are rabid Clintonites - and I’m asking questions like Why did she attack Rick Lazio for not releasing his taxes, yet now she is doing the same? Why did Bill refuse to release his medical records when he ran even though Dole did, is this a pattern with them? If she takes credit for Bill’s presidency then shouldn’t she be tarred with DOMA?

    And listening to his defense I realized what it reminded me of. It wasn’t the defense of a politician whom he admired, he sounded like somebody 40 years older defending Judy Garland or Liza Minelli: “Oh, life has been so cruel to them, but didn’t they come through it with fire and glamour?!”.

    Perhaps Hillary constantly playing the victim has worked somewhat. Apparently my gay brethern don’t feel like they are defending a politics, they feel that they are sticking up for a tragic aging Diva whoes life and glamour is fading but who can always count on her shrinking gay fan club to buy up every ticket to her “Comeback Concert”.

    It reminds me of the line out of Absolutely Fabulous, Eddie says to her gay ex husband when he comments on how fabulous Patsy’s older sister is. “A bitch with a drug habit and you’re anybody’s aren’t you.”

    Wyoming & Mississippi & Credulity

    posted by on March 10 at 10:11 AM

    After the primaries & caucuses in Texas, Ohio, Vermont, and Rhode Island, all the talking heads on the teevee were like, “Six weeks until Pennsylvania! OMG Pennsylvania! Pennsylvania! April 22! Pennsylvania! Pennsylvania!” Since I hadn’t committed the Dem primary/caucus schedule to memory, I was kinda blind-sided by the Wyoming caucus (12 delegates) on Saturday, which seemed to come out of nowhere. (Well, it came out of Wyoming, which is pretty close to nowhere). And now we’re suddenly hearing about a primary in Mississippi (33 delegates), which take place tomorrow.

    Obama won the Wyoming caucuses, and he’s expected to win the Mississippi tomorrow.

    Curious as to whether there were anymore Democratic primaries or caucuses lurking between now and April 22, I did some research this morning (.12 seconds worth on Google), and obtained this top-secret list of the remaining Democratic contests: Mississippi (March 11th); Pennsylvania (April 22nd); Guam (May 3rd); Indiana (May 6th); North Carolina (May 6th); West Virginia (May 13th); Kentucky (May 20th); Oregon (May 20th); Montana (June 3rd); South Dakota (June 3rd); Puerto Rico (June 7th).

    Based on past wins, I’d say Obama is likely to take nine of eleven remaining contests (Mississippi, Guam, North Carolina, West Virginia, Kentucky, Oregon, Montana, South Dakota, and Puerto Rico) and Clinton is likely to take just two (Pennsylvania and Indiana). So why is the media taking Hillary—she who is behind in votes cast, states won, delegates sewn up—seriously when she floats the idea of Barack taking the #2 spot on her ticket?

    Reading Tonight

    posted by on March 10 at 10:02 AM


    After yesterday’s big bit of nothing, we’ve got a similarly dismal day in the readings world.

    Steven Thomas (a.k.a. Steven M. Thomas) is reading from Criminal Paradise, about “the redemption of an honorable thief” at both Seattle Mystery Bookshop and at Third Place Books. I said it in the calendar and I’ll say it again here: If he’s so honorable, why does he need redemption? I don’t think I’ll ever find out.

    E. J. Dionne, Jr. is at Town Hall with a book called Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics after the Religious Right. Personally, I’m fine with leaving faith where it is and moving on, rather than bothering with all that messy reclamation.

    Then there are two open mics, and that’s it. I feel as though I’ve personally let everybody down with this weak-ass day of readings.

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, here.

    UPDATE: Author Craig Jeffrey is at the University Bookstore with his book Degrees Without Freedom, which is about marginalized poor people in India. It’s clearly the best reading of the day. My apologies to the good folks at UBooks.


    posted by on March 10 at 9:45 AM

    [Character Study is a new weekly feature—an interview with a person on the street by photographer Brayden Olson.]

    LOCATION Denny Way and Bellevue Ave
    TIME 3/08 3:03:41
    REASON STOPPED Radical bag

    Where do you get a bag like that?
    Seattle Silk Company at the Convention Center across the way from Kinkos! They are 10 dollars and the logo is free… purple, blue, magenta, cream, teal… red—you know— any color you want.
    Those dolphins are fresh! Ten bucks?
    Oh yes, and they have all different types off logos on the wall and you can pick any of them to be put on for free. They steam press it right in front of you like magic.
    Thanks for spilling the beans, man. When are they open?
    From nine in the morning until six in the evening. I work very close to there, you know?
    Where do you work?
    Oh no, don’t go there… it’s a secret!
    You know, Raymond, secrets hurt feelings.
    Well, I am off to work, nice to talk to you.

    “Man in the Arena”

    posted by on March 10 at 9:40 AM

    John McCain’s entry into viral video:

    What He Said

    posted by on March 10 at 9:16 AM

    Not this guy, a GOP congressman from Iowa who claimed—again—that a victory for Obama in the fall would be a victory for the terrorists. Here’s the video…

    I agree with what this guy, David Kurtz, has to say at TPM:

    There’s so much nonsense here, where do you start?

    But I will say that the Obama camp better dispense with its standard “there’s no place for this in our politics” response. They’re getting killed with this kind of stuff. And if they think they can stay aloof from it until November, then he deserves the fate of Michael Dukakis and John Kerry. But they’ll be lucky to make it that long. Bill Bradley showed you can be an aloof loser in the primary, too.

    Yes, I Said that Gay People are a Cancer that Will Destroy Our Civilization and They Must Not be Tolerated and They’re Coming for Your Children and They’re a Bigger Threat to Our Country than Islamic Terrorists…

    posted by on March 10 at 9:03 AM


    …but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-gay or anything.

    I caught a quick interview with Sally Kern, the now-infamous Oklahoma state representative, this morning on MSNBC. She said she wasn’t gay bashing. Here’s the audio again—can you detect any gay bashing in it?

    Tucker Carlson No Longer Hurting America

    posted by on March 10 at 8:39 AM

    Thank God.

    Insiders tell TVNewser Tucker Carlson’s 6pmET show Tucker is getting the axe, but Carlson stays on as a political contributor to all MSNBC shows at least through the 2008 election. The official announcement, expected tomorrow, will include details about who will replace Tucker at 6pmET as well as other political programming additions. Sources say the network is going to beef up its schedule with more NBC News talent.

    Watching Tucker Carlson on teevee—not something I did willingly or often—was always a painful experience. I remember one episode in particular: He was talking about hate crimes legislation, waving his arms around, and screaming “Why should it be more illegal to beat up me, a straight man, than to beat you up, a gay man?” at some hapless spokesmodel for the gay civil rights movement. The guy from the gay group stuck to his talking points, didn’t answer Tucker’s question, and so Tucker—doing his best Bill O’Reilly—kept repeating the question, upping the volume and mock outrage with each repetition.

    The answer, of course, is that hate crimes statutes apply whether the victim is gay or straight; if a person is targeted for violence because of his real or perceived sexual orientation—whether he’s gay or straight—the added penalties of hate crimes laws kick in. (Why added penalties for hate crimes? Because when someone is targeted for violence to send a message to a large group of people—get out, you’re unsafe, be afraid, etc.—he or she is not the only victim.) So if a band of big, bad gay people go out straight bashing one night and beat the fuck out of Tucker Carlson, Tucker’s bashers would face added penalties for targeting Carlson because of his sexual orientation. Tucker, who isn’t an idiot (despite having played one teevee for many years), had to know this—anyone that takes a moment to actually read a hate crimes statute or an article about hate crimes statutes knows this. But Tucker was too busy playing the outraged conservative teevee shouter to let facts get his way.

    Oh, and this is a good time to enjoy this clip again: John Stewart takes Tucker Carlson apart on Crossfire in 2004…

    Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy Watch

    posted by on March 10 at 8:07 AM

    On the day of the Texas primary Bill Clinton went on the Rush Limbaugh show—Limbaugh had been urging Republicans to show up at the polls and vote for Hillary Clinton, and the Clinton campaign wasn’t above working with Limbaugh to scare up votes. Christ.

    WARNING: Don’t Read William Kristol Over Breakfast

    posted by on March 10 at 7:54 AM

    I made that mistake and the second-to-last paragraph in Kristol’s NYT op-ed column this morning made me scoff audibly—twice. The first scoff was “dry,” but the second sent bits of cheese omelette flying all over my table. It was very embarrassing.

    Perhaps the most obvious way McCain could upend the normal dynamics of this year’s election would be a bold vice presidential choice. He could pick a hawkish and principled Democrat like Joe Lieberman. [Audible scoff.] He could reach beyond the usual bevy of elected officials by tapping either David Petraeus or Raymond Odierno—the two generals who together, in an amazing demonstration of leadership and competence, turned the war in Iraq around last year. He could persuade the most impressive conservative in American public life, Clarence Thomas, to join the ticket [Lacto-ova projectile scoff.] There are other unorthodox possibilities.

    If Clarence “Pubic Hair” Thomas—who hasn’t asked a single question during oral arguments during oral arguments in the last two years—is the most impressive conservative in American public life, one has to wonder just who Kristol has in mind when he mentions “unorthodox” potential running mates for John McCain’s. Dick Cheney? Larry Craig? Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s reanimated corpse?

    The Morning News

    posted by on March 10 at 6:44 AM

    Straight Cash Express: While Clinton and Obama duke it out, McCain is getting his house in order for the general election.

    Meanwhile: Two Clinton supporters have a proposal for new primaries in Michigan and Florida.

    Bleak Study of the Day: Reducing carbon emissions may not be enough:

    Using advanced computer models to factor in deep-sea warming and other aspects of the carbon cycle that naturally creates and removes carbon dioxide (CO2), the scientists, from countries including the United States, Canada and Germany, are delivering a simple message: The world must bring carbon emissions down to near zero to keep temperatures from rising further.

    Direct Marketing: Web companies are gathering detailed files on you.

    Fueling Conspiracy Theories: Traces of a bunch of pharmaceuticals (such as antibiotics, mood stabilizers, and sex hormones) have been found in drinking water. Chances Seattle’s water supply is tainted are reportedly slim.

    Dept. of Stopped Clocks: Some bigwig Southern Baptists now think climate change is, you know, something to worry about.

    On the Rise: The cost of the Iraq War, which this year could reach $12 billion a month.

    Also On the Rise: Hates crimes against Latinos.

    The Dark Side of Sumo: Beatings with baseball bats and beer bottles, burns from cigarettes.

    A Little Less Noise: Tucker Carlson’s rancid MSNBC show is getting canned.

    Whole Foods is Just the Beginning: Interbay wants to become an “urban village.”

    Airball: Local basketball fans shouldn’t count on landing another NBA team after the Sonics leave.

    Sharpest Tools, Sheds: Seattle man hires escort, gets ripped off, reports it to police.

    Respect: After 49 years and 250 records, the Ventures are finally getting some love from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    And Finally: “From the early days of our administration, Nancy has been abusing marijuana on a daily basis…”

    Sunday, March 9, 2008

    Democratic Party Faithful Pissed at Speaker Chopp

    posted by on March 9 at 10:06 PM

    House Speaker Frank Chopp’s (D-43, Wallingford) decision for the second year in a row to kill Sen. Brian Weinstein’s (D-41, Mercer Island) bill that would have given homebuyer’s a guaranteed warranty has the typically partisan Northwest Progressive Institute hopping mad.

    They’re naming names:

    And yet we know that there are at least seven Democratic representatives in the state House who have foolishly sided with the BIAW and used their influence to block legislation the BIAW opposes, or at least pledged to vote against it. This includes SB 6385 - the Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.

    Speaker Frank Chopp - 43rd District
    Representatives Judy Clibborn and Fred Jarrett - 41st District
    Representative Larry Springer - 45th District
    Representatives Deborah Eddy and Ross Hunter - 48th District
    Representative Mark Ericks - 1st District

    Of all of these individuals, it is perhaps Judy Clibborn who has been the most honest about her position - though she hasn’t hesitated to deceive her constituents by explaining her opposition to SB 6385 using a canned BIAW response filled with false assertions and lies.
    From: Clibborn, Rep. Judy
    Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 2:48 PM
    Subject: RE: Cause of action for negligent construction -SB 6385

    This is a bad bill. I will do everything in my power to see that it does not get to the floor for a vote. It is currently in Rules and not eligible for a vote. IF it gets out, I will vote no.

    The message speaks for itself. Judy Clibborn has allowed herself to be used as a tool of the BIAW. Rather than standing up for the people she’s supposed to represent, she has sold herself to the other side.

    The BIAW will undoubtedly reward Clibborn’s loyalty with a check from its political action committee, the “Affordable Housing Council” - as it has done in the past:

    11/06/2006: $700.00 from the WA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL (general)
    07/28/2006: $700.00 from the WA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL (primary)
    09/13/2004: $675.00 from the WA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL (primary)
    11/01/2004: $675.00 from the WA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL (general)

    At the same time, the BIAW will be working to ensure that Clibborn loses her Transportation Committee chairmanship by spending huge sums of money to help Republicans take control of Olympia. That is, after all, their agenda.

    New York Acknowledges Seattle’s Existence, Part Two

    posted by on March 9 at 7:24 PM

    And, on the front page of the arts section of today’s New York Times, is a story about the state of regional theaters, which discusses “The Empty Spaces Or, How Theater Failed America”—an essay by Mike Daisey commissioned by and published in “the alternative Seattle newspaper The Stranger.”


    New York Acknowledges Seattle’s Existence

    posted by on March 9 at 12:35 PM

    Tucked into the business section of the New York Times is a story about Seattle—specifically Nancy Pearl, Costco, Starbucks, and Amazon—as a tastemaker in the book world. There’s also a photo of Amazon senior books editor and Stranger contributor Tom Nissley. It’s a little late to the party, but the article does confirm something that I’ve been saying for a while: We’re probably the second-biggest book city in America, right after New York, and our influence is only going to grow.

    Today The Stranger Suggests

    posted by on March 9 at 11:00 AM


    ‘Safe and Sound’ at Punch Gallery

    Howard Barlow’s last sculptures were made of bright orange earplugs and cubes of metal, painted in cheerful colors and riddled with bullet holes. For his new works (including Seven Pains Mended and Big Guns Make Good Neighbors) the Thorp-based artist uses institutional powder-coat colors, gun-barrel patina finishes, recycled bullet-lead solder, broken window panes, wool yarn, and abused steel—all of it knitted, hacked, shot, and shattered. (Punch Gallery, 119 Prefontaine Place S, 621-1945. Noon–5 pm, free.)


    Currently Hanging

    posted by on March 9 at 10:30 AM

    Vesna Pavlovic’s Display, Desire (2007), photographic installation using Kodak slide projectors, 16 black-and-white images in a loop, 4 sheets of Plexiglas, handmade projector unit

    At SOIL.

    Reading Today

    posted by on March 9 at 10:00 AM

    There is nothing going on today, readings-wise—probably one of the twenty days of the year in Seattle where this is true. In lieu of readings, you should read a goddamned book instead. Or, if you can’t get off the internet, I provide you this creepy analysis of a man who may or may not be Thomas Pynchon:

    Full readings calendar, including the next week or so, here.

    The Morning News

    posted by on March 9 at 9:00 AM

    posted by news intern Chris Kissel

    College competition: Admissions frenzy at American universities to ease up… in a few years.

    Obama takes Wyoming
    : Leads Clinton 13 - 3 in caucuses. Here’s the delegate scorecard if you’re having trouble keeping track.

    Storm takes Midwest: Columbus, Ohio buried under 20 inches of snow.

    Fat cops: Chicago superintendent wants to force officers to get in shape.

    Weekend work session: Spending plan delayed as WASL, 520 bridge bills sent to Gregoire’s desk.

    The Singapore series: Hollywood teacher imports textbooks, sees a spike in math scores.

    New settlement: Israel to build 750 new homes in West Bank.

    New government: Pakistani party leaders agree to share power.

    Stop that spot!
    : Air Force tells YouTube, Threat Level to take down 30-second ad.

    Mean monkey: Bites three, has a violent record that includes throwing feces at Feds.