Let's all take a moment to engage in a friendly, non-horrifying, non-tear-inducing debate and binding Slog poll.
My favorite DS9 character is Quark, followed by Odo, with Garak and Kira as solid runners-up. The poll lists only what Wikipedia considers the main cast—you'll have to write in supporting cast. Show your work.
In a series of statements and letters issued today, state Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle) rejected the organizational structure proposed by the so-called "Majority Coalition Caucus," while offering a bipartisan power sharing proposal of his own.
"It is clear to us that the Senate is in a virtual tie and that the organizational structure should reflect this," Murray wrote in a prepared statement. "We propose a structure of co-leadership and co-chairs of all committees. We would support Republicans and they would support us in a true bipartisan arrangement with true sharing of power and responsibilities."
The proposal follows an earlier letter (PDF) to Senator Rodney Tom (?-Medina) in which Murray rejects the organizational structure offered by the Republicans, as well as Tom's premature claim to be majority leader.
Murray points out that under current and past Senate rules, the majority caucus is defined as "the party containing the most elected members," which currently is the Democrats, and thus the Democratic Caucus elects the majority leader. In other words, Murray is still the majority leader, at least until the Senate convenes in January.
In my counsel’s interpretation of Senate rules, accomplishing the ends that you and the Republicans seek requires a change in the permanent rules of the Senate to redefine what a majority caucus is, as well as a change to the current governance structure to recognize a new position of Senate leader with as-yet unknown authority, duties and responsibilities. After discussions with Lt. Gov. Owen, it is my understanding that his interpretation of current Senate rules is consistent with this interpretation and, until such time as the Senate rules are changed, that he will continue to recognize the Democratic Caucus as the majority caucus of the Senate. It is also my understanding that he has advised the Republican leadership of this interpretation.
Murray goes on to call out Tom's proposed "bipartisan" committee structure for the sham it is:
I wish I had time to get into detail on this... but I don't. So below is the whole the press release from Bruce Harrell, chair of the Seattle City Council's public safety committee and a potential candidate for mayor, which considers the city running a statewide initiative to return gun-control authority to municipalities.
I guess my question isn't just if Washington State voters would approve this sort of law (I'm curious what polling says about ending state preemption on gun control), I'm curious how—logistically, financially, legally?—the city could file a PAC, collect the signatures, run a campaign, and run the ads in election season to pass the thing. It would an unusual role for municipal government, for sure.
To the press release:
Today, Councilmember Bruce Harrell, Chair of the Council's Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee, announced that he is calling for a special committee to explore the option of filing a statewide Initiative to allow larger cities like Seattle to modify RCW 9.41.290. RCW 9.41.290 does not allow Seattle to regulate firearms in any meaningful way. The law states, “Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.”
This Initiative, if passed, would allow Seattle to enact laws that would increase public safety in our neighborhoods, schools and businesses by 1) requiring mandatory gun safety training for concealed carry license permits, 2) requiring handgun trigger locks, 3) requiring gun safes, and 4) requiring gun data collection. Data shows a direct, negative correlation between the rate of gun deaths and states that ban assault weapons and require handgun trigger locks and safes.
US Senator Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), the longest serving member of the chamber, died of "respiratory complications" today at age 88. Staff says his last word was "Aloha."
Under Hawaii law, Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) will appoint a Democrat to replace Inouye from a list of three finalists provided by the state Democratic Party. Inouye's term is up in 2016.
As Charles has already noted, Nancy Lanza was stockpiling weapons and ammunition in preparation for the end of the world. She thought these guns would make her safer. It didn't work out that way.
Instead, her son Adam used Lanza's guns to shoot her multiple times in the face before heading to a nearby elementary school and murdering 26 people, including 20 small children. He then turned his mother's gun on himself.
To say that this is a common use of personal firearms would be an overstatement. But it is fair to say that personal firearms are much more commonly discharged in murder, suicide, and accident than they are in self-defense. That is a fact. Owning a gun does not make you or your loved ones safer. Indeed, a 2009 epidemiological study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that people who possessed a gun were 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault than those who did not.
If you are purchasing a gun for target shooting or hunting or just for the damn thrill of holding a tool that can take a human life in a heartbeat, well then perhaps you are getting your money's worth. And if your actual intent is murder or suicide, you can't get much more bang for the buck. But for most people, if you're purchasing a gun for self-defense, it is not only a waste of money, on average it is counterproductive. Your own gun is much more likely to be used to take your life (or that of a loved one) than it is to save it.
My hope is that if more Americans understood the truth about guns, fewer people would choose to own them. And then we'd all be a little bit safer.
We're raising money for Northwest Harvest this year (as you probably know) and if you've been waiting to donate or have forgotten to donate or have already donated but can spare just a little bit more, here's a great reason to get in the game—we're holding a contest and the winner gets a pair of tickets to the upcoming Shabazz Palaces and THEESatisfaction show at the Neptune!
Eds note: I meant to post this last Friday but didn't because, well.
Hundreds of protestors gathered at the Seattle Convention Center before last Thursday's packed public hearing on the proposed coal terminal outside of Bellingham, Washington. State and federal agencies are nearing the end of a four-month public comment period on the proposal before drafting their preliminary Environmental Impact Statement, which will seek to evaluate the proposal from a host of health, environmental, and economic angles (among others). The comment period closes on January 21; You can submit online comments here.
Now here's a melange of pictures and quotes from last Thursday's events:
Ten girls were killed in eastern Afghanistan on Monday when a landmine exploded as they were out collecting firewood — the latest casualties in one of the most mined countries in the world.What is this world coming to? No. More like: What this world is and has been for too long.
I admit it: I'm still a goddamn mess today—even after having a weekend to process what happened Friday. But, like you, I'm doing the best I can and it's good to remember that kids are the best, and the hilarious stuff they do can make a shitty day like today a lot better. Check out this video of kids performing in a "12 Days of Christmas" routine—you're going to hope that #7 and #8 grow up to star in movies, because they're the most terrific comedy duo ever.
This King County press release come straight from their lips to your ears:
King County marked a milestone just after noon today, with the 1,000th and 1,001st marriage licenses issued since a new marriage equality law took effect in Washington State on Dec. 6.
“December is typically our slowest month for marriage licenses, but due to the new marriage equality law, that’s not been the case this month,” said KC Recording Manager Jon Scherer. “Our volume of business this December has been more like a typical July, when we can issue as many as 2,000 marriage licenses.”
Even after handing out a record 489 marriage licenses during an 18-and-a-half hour event on Dec. 6, the Recorder’s Office has continued to see increased demand for marriage licenses. The daily volume of marriage license applications at the King County Recorder’s Office has doubled compared to a normal December.
It's like Christmas in July (July in Christmas?) for happy gay couples! Conversely, it's now snowing in Hell for conservative Christians. Everybody wins!
This is at the base of Denny Hill. What does it mean?
1. It's always entirely possible that you totally get this and that I do not. If I am being dense, please, someone put my out of my light misery. (Light misery: the new black.)
2. It's always entirely possible that this billboard of a sexy lady glassblower is an ad just waiting for some sucker like me to post it to a blog. That it would mean, actually, nothing—if I didn't get involved. That herewith I fulfill intentions whose intentions I can't vouch for.
I still just kind of want to know. Or do I?
As Dan noted in this post, there's been backlash against Liza Long's essay, "I Am Adam Lanza's Mother." He linked to this Wonkette post that defends Long, rightfully, against people who've blasted her for telling her story.
I'd like to add to that, because what started out as a conversation about mental health and someone's experience with her violent son, has turned into an argument about whether or not Long was acting irresponsibly for writing the words she wrote.
She absolutely was not. And, more importantly, it is vital that she, and others, continue to do so.
Long writing about her own experiences with her unwell 13-year-old son is not "stigmatizing" EVERYONE who is unwell, nor is it speaking for everyone who has ever loved or known someone who is unwell. Her fears and experiences don't have to match yours to be legitimate.
For those who say, like in this post, that she wrote her story without acknowledging her son's perspective, well, how the fuck could she? She can't. And she shouldn't. No two experiences with mental health issues are the same—even when it's the same person involved. My experience with depression is not the same as my mother's experience with my depression, but both sides are very important. In order to start to understand mental health, we have to try to see as many perspectives as possible because it's a vast and very complicated monster. What's more, in wanting to understand mental health, and help those who need help, doesn't imply that EVERYONE who has even mild mental disorders will end up killing 20 children. Or shoot up a shopping mall or kill themselves or otherwise cause harm to anyone. Don't assume that one's desire to help always comes from fear.
We should ALL share our experiences with mental health. From depression and anxiety to Asperger syndrome and ADHD—to those cases that have yet to be diagnosed (like Long's son). And, the very important part, we should all LISTEN when others share, instead of criticizing whether or not it fairly represents the majority. There is no majority. To take down a brave woman who's being honest about her fear that her son, without getting the help and understanding he desperately needs, is destined to have a violent future, is what does the damage.
When we say someone who's sharing their story—therefore offering a perspective and starting a conversation—is wrong, that could keep others from doing the same thing. And the thought that someone doesn't feel safe enough to share what they're going through, in order to start to find answers, is heartbreaking. It's a conversation, not a contest to see who can better represent mental health and mental wellness in one goddamn essay.
The conversation has just started and we're already getting sidetracked on who's right or wrong. Please, let's just listen for awhile. And instead of judging or jumping to conclusions and attacking, let's ask ourselves, and/or someone who's suffering, what it is we can do to at least start to help.
Tip for parents: you might wanna keep your kids the hell away from pastors whose signature sermons have titles like "The Polished Shaft." Chicago Magazine:
In July 2010, an hour into the “Polished Shaft” sermon—in a church packed with thousands of teenagers there for a youth conference—Schaap went further. He lifted a stick in his left hand and a silver cloth in his right. He moved the bottom of the stick near his groin and angled it away from himself. Head thrown back, eyes squeezed shut, mouth gaping, he began rubbing the shaft rapidly with the cloth, up and down, up and down.... What he was doing was unmistakable: simulating masturbation, in front of thousands of children, in the middle of a church service. A row of white-coated high-ranking churchmen seated behind Schaap watched in silence. At the end, as usual, young men streamed up to the stage....
The true believers of the ultrafundamentalist Independent Baptist movement were accustomed to Schaap’s style. If he wasn’t scolding his flock for not living up to God’s demands (tithing, volunteering, “soul winning”), he was delivering R-rated sermons that, for example, likened the Lord’s Supper to having sex with Jesus Christ. “He would just repeatedly talk about sex and repeatedly talk about women, how they were dressed and body parts... in graphic detail,” recalls Tom Brennan, who attended the church for six years and is now an Independent Baptist pastor at Maplewood Bible Baptist Church in Chicago.
Unfortunately, it went well beyond talk. Last September, Schaap, 54, a married father of two, pleaded guilty to taking a 16-year-old girl he was counseling at First Baptist across state lines to have sex. Denied bond, he awaits sentencing in the Porter County Jail; the minimum term is ten years.
But Schaap is not simply one of those rogue evangelists who thunders against the evils of forbidden sex while indulging in it himself. According to dozens of current and former church members, religion experts, and historians interviewed by Chicago—plus a review of thousands of pages of court documents—he is part of what some call a deeply embedded culture of misogyny and sexual and physical abuse at one of the nation’s largest churches. Multiple websites tracking the First Baptist Church of Hammond have identified more than a dozen men with ties to the church—many of whom graduated from its college, Hyles-Anderson, or its annual Pastors’ Schools—who fanned out around the country, preaching at their own churches and racking up a string of arrests and civil lawsuits, including physical abuse of minors, sexual molestation, and rape.
Go read the whole horrifying thing. And once again: If kids got raped at Denny's as often as they get raped in churches, people would call CPS on any parents reckless enough to take their kids to Denny's.
Now on Puck Daddy (ugh, worst blog name ever): Hockey Hugs.
"Hey Ovi, who's your favourite hockey player?"
"No way! You're my favourite player too!"
"Best friends! Best friends! Best friends!"
So many great photos of so many great, happy hockey hugs here.
(Thanks for sending, Robby!)
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn has already said the state legislature is putting kids at risk by not acting on gun control.
State Senator Ed Murray (D-Seattle), who is currently running for mayor, has said "we need gun control"—though he adds that it's nearly impossible to get it done in Olympia.
Now Seattle City Councilman Tim Burgess, who's also running for mayor, is proposing new lobbying priorities for the council in Olympia this session.
Burgess's proposed changes, submitted to the council today, are in blue below:
He wants what a lot of people in Seattle want: an assault weapons ban, a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines, the closing of the gun show loophole, requirements for trigger locks and safe storage of weapons, and improved methods for tracking weapons once they're sold.
The question, of course, is whether these lobbying priorities—assuming they're approved by the rest of the council—will make any difference in Olympia.
State Senator Adam Kline (D-Seattle) says that given the power of the NRA, and the lack of an equally strong gun-control organization on the other side, what state legislators need most is to have the people behind them on this.
“There has to be the political cover of popular support for our side,” Kline says.
“I think that going back to the root of who we hire—we need to hire people who don’t have that penchant for racism and excessive force,” Martin says.
A former president of the Greenwood Community Council, who’s carved out a niche as an advocate for neighborhood organizing and education reform, Martin tells The Stranger that she’ll file paperwork this week to run for mayor. A Seattle resident since 1979, Martin runs her own design firm after getting a BA in landscape architecture at the State University of New York.
If she wins, Martin would be the city’s first female mayor in 85 years. “I think it’s time—it’s definitely time,” she says. Martin isn’t running on a ticket simply as a woman, naturally, but as someone who envisions a platform aimed at making the city friendlier to raising kids. She says, “I don’t think that anyone can champion the type of priorities that I am looking to add to the mix besides a woman.”
Not to dwell on Martin’s XX chromosomes—and she didn’t stress them in our interview—but competing against several high-profile men in the top-two primary election, every distinction could help her stand out and squeak through. After all, the vote will be sliced into slivers that could allow someone with just over a quarter of the vote to advance to the November ballot. Where the incumbent mayor, Mike McGinn, along with Seattle City Council member Tim Burgess and state senator Ed Murray certainly bring profiles of civic accomplishments, Martin may further distinguish herself as a plain-spoken community leader. She believes her neighborhood bona fides—and a platform that includes everything from building sidewalks in north and south Seattle to augmenting the school district—could win the allegiance of parent groups, neighborhood groups, education reform groups, and environmental organizations.
“I think I have a pretty nice menu of supporters… I take time to analyze issues and understand both side of the argument,” says Martin, eschewing the policy briefings she says her competitors rely on. “I think that people know that. I have a conscience. And I also have a spine.”
But realistically, Martin has never won an election (and the aforementioned men in the race all have).
That pro-marriage-equality editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times that I linked to early this morning? My brother just sent me a picture of the editorial in the paper's print edition. For the record: I posted about that editorial before I saw the photo the editors of the Sun-Times chose to run with the piece.
The journal n+1 just published this piece by Julia Gronnevet about her experience covering the trial of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik for the Associated Press. Different shooter, different country, but some eerily resonant details and (obviously) the question of mental illness. And the question of the male psyche. It is impossible to look at that advertisement for the gun that Adam Lanza used in Newtown and not wonder about the way mental illness interacts with the masculine authority thing.
Anyway, Breivik. As Gronnevet writes:
Breivik has a special look when he comes into court in the morning, solid, stomping, with great natural authority. But he only maintains it for the first five minutes, while the photographers are allowed to take pictures. Once court is in session he seems to close down, like a blown-out candle. He remains absolutely still, except for the few occasions when he writes something down. It’s almost as if he switches to a lower metabolic rate when the cameras aren’t on him.
Elsewhere she describes Breivik as "that block of ice... just waiting for the day to be over."
Breivik’s presence seemed provocative and wrong, as though by hearing this testimony and remaining unmoved he was challenging all the difficult work these families were putting in, coming here every day like a job they don’t get paid to do. I don’t think they really care whether Breivik is found sane or insane. I think what they most want is to take part in the last shred of their children’s lives.
One more quote:
He says he knows what he has done and describes his motivations and actions in rational-sounding words. He often sounds sane, but appears to lack certain qualities that would allow me to recognize him as a normal person. His words seem less representative of a consciousness than of an inchoate political mood, a xenophobic weather system in the form of one furious man.
"I AM GGG."
Researchers have discovered a new slow loris species in the jungles of Borneo, according to findings published this week in the American Journal of Primatology.
Known for its toxic bite, the slow loris — a nocturnal primate found across Southeast Asia — is closely related to a lemur and is characterized by unique fur coloration on its face and body.
An international team of scientists pinpointed the new species, found in Borneo's central-east highland area, by studying the distinctive colorings of the faces of the animals.
"Differences among these facemasks resulted in recognition of four species of Borneaon and Philippine lorises," the statement said. "Of these, Nycticebus kayan is a new group unrecognized before as distinct."
The team's analysis also recognized two other species, previously considered as possible sub-species, as unique.
So cute. So toxic. I love them.
Ed Murray, the state senator from Seattle, picked up a stunning $122,776 from more than 475 contributors in just nine days of his run for mayor, his campaign reported this morning. As the legislative session approaches, Murray hit a fundraising freeze last Friday night that runs until the session ends—a penalty that doesn't apply to his competitors. (More on his campaign is here.) By collecting a parcel of dough now, Murray telegraphs his status as a formidable contender, who has now announced raising more than others in the race. Incumbent mayor Mike McGinn reported roughly $95,000 as of the end of November, real-estate broker Charlie Staadecker reported $58,000, and Council Member Tim Burgess had reported $26,000.
North Korean Satellite Now a Piece of Space Junk: The satellite is most likely dead, experts say.
The Singularity! IBM predicts computers will be able to smell, taste, and hear within the next five years.
How Many Trolls Would a Troll Troll If a Troll Could Troll Troll? This troll may be in non-anonymous real world trouble for his antics in Sedro Woolley.
American Humans Coming to Senses: A majority of people now believe that these horrific events that keep happening, are happening because of something really really wrong with our society. The jump has been in the double digits.
Taylor Bridge Wildfire Allegedly Sparked By Construction Workers: And now the fight over money begins.
Thieves Use Forklifts and Steal 7000 Wiis: "Could it have been Wario?"
Giant Dock Floating Toward Washington, Missing Still: The debris is suspected to originate in Japan and probably started its long float after the March 11, 2011 earthquake and ensuing tsunami.
I'm on hiatus while working on a manuscript for a new book. In the meantime, please enjoy these classic Savage Love letters pulled from previous columns. I will be back when the book is finished. —Dan
Originally published January 3, 2008:
I'm 19, female, bi, and have been with the same guy for a year. Things are great. I came home for Christmas and he went to his parents' house, and I'll see him in a few weeks. For Christmas, my mom got me some typical "mom" gifts—socks and underwear—but the panties had Disney princesses on them. I feel like a pedophile just owning them! I get it: She doesn't like the idea that I might be having sex, especially with the alarming rate that babies are popping out of teenage girls—but, come on.
My response after the jump...
Confidential to the passive-aggressive middle-aged woman standing behind me at the Post Office at 3rd and Union this morning—the one that was hurling hate and insults (while wildly smiling) at the postal worker who was trying to help people with the automated postage machine—YOU ARE EVERYTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD.
Perhaps, a note to self: The world isn't revolving around just you, and you're not the only one living in it, either. [un]Happy Holidays!
Within hours, other people on the web pointed out the woman loved Reagan, made her son hike up mountains, and even wrote about fantasizing about throttling him.
I want to murder my son all the time. I probably want to murder him right now, and he just cheerfully fetched me a cup of coffee. That, however, is not the point. The point is that now, if you say someone must have been insane to shoot up a school full of children without a state-sanctioned purpose, you are saying people with mental illnesses are all mass murderers.
This is—how to say—not a rational response. Which is more dehumanizing: saying someone who would shoot up a school must have something wrong in their brain (an “illness,” “mentally,” as it were) or saying the person is an evil monster?
I got it for hours on Twitter yesterday from people who said I was slurring the mentally ill by saying anyone who would do that kind of violence must be, by definition, mentally ill. I got dozens of haranguing, aggressive tweets from a man who claimed he’d just logically shown there was more of a correlation between rape and mass murder than mental illness and mass murder. (He hadn’t.) He asserted the problem was the “changing narrative” in our culture—so “violent video games” I guess. People said I was an ignorant hack, tarring all mentally ill people with the violence brush. It didn’t matter how often I explained that nobody was saying all mentally ill people are violent, or even more likely to commit violence. There is a difference between depression, bipolar disorder, paranoid schizophrenia, and whatever it is that causes someone to go on a spree killing. I am a big fat asshole.
The picture above is my big brother Jesse. Jesse was the handsomest, funniest guy in the world. Where the rest of us were awkward poorly socialized nerds, he was popular, golden, built like two brick walls. Once he wore girls’ boots to high school, thinking they were unisex. Nobody said a word.
Then he called my mom, from New York, where he’d gone to live after high school. He’d gotten beaten up by a guy for staring at him too long. He didn’t sound right. He came home. He was 19, and believed he was the reincarnation of Brian Jones. He was textbook, classic, immediate diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
Look at more great shoes—fuzz, ribbon laces, saddle shoes, and more—here!
Did anyone go to the Friends of Woodland Park Zoo Elephants protest on Saturday that Cienna wrote about?
This video, by artist Sarah Jane Lapp, was posted in comments there, but I wanted to pull it up. In addition to being affecting, Lapp herself is worth mentioning. Here's a bit of love to her, written by her friend Mike Curato, who surely has the right last name for a friend to artists.
Thanks for the tip, Erik.
For those in North Seattle who have never seen anything like it, this is architecture...
That's an ad for the gun that Adam Lanza used to murder all those kids.
Gun marketers don't kill people, toxic visions of masculinity that are bulwarks against existential fear of impotence, mortality kill people— Brian Cook (@bcook1132) December 17, 2012
More from Amanda Marcotte Slate.