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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Morning News: SPD Officers Are Suing the City, a Helicopter Was Shot Down in Ukraine, and "the Sriracha War Appears to Be Cooling Down"

Posted by on Thu, May 29, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Seattle Police Officers Sue the City, the Feds, the Mayor, the Police Chief, and Others: More than 100 SPD officers have filed suit in federal court claiming that new policies and regulations concerning SPD's use of force infringe on the officers' constitutional rights. The new rules, of course, were put in place due to a Department of Justice finding that, among other things, the SPD shows a pattern of using excessive force. The officers request an injunction that freezes the new rules along with punitive damages. Really, we can't even make this shit up. (The mayor's statement in response is right here.)

Ukraine Military Helicopter Shot Down by Rebels: The crash, outside Slovyansk, killed a Ukrainian general and 13 soldiers.

Two More Democratic Senators Tell Veterans Affairs Secretary to Resign: In the wake of a growing scandal at the VA over long wait times for medical care.

Did You Have Any Trouble Driving on I-5 This Morning? Around 6 a.m., a metal plate covering an expansion joint on the freeway buckled and broke, causing a 10-mile traffic backup on southbound I-5. WSDOT says it hopes to fix the thing and open up closed lanes, which are just south of the convention center, by around 8:30 this morning.

Today's the Day the City Council Debates Amendments to the Mayor's $15 Minimum Wage Bill: They might even vote on the whole damn thing today. I wrote about almost every blasted amendment over here last night, and I'll be live-tweeting the council meeting this morning starting around 9 a.m., if you nerd that hard.

The FBI Spied on Nelson Mandela: During his first trip to the States in 1990, according to newly released FBI files obtained by Al Jazeera.

Because Our Schools Are Danger Zones: All Bellingham schools will soon have panic buttons in the classroom.

Google Is Mostly White and Male: Yeah, yeah, shocking for a tech firm, right? What is shocking is that the company actually computed their demographics and then publicly released the data, which shows the Google workforce is about 2 percent black, 3 percent Hispanic, and 30 percent female. They say they'll work to diversify and that coming clean about the numbers is the first step. Meanwhile, Facebook signals that they may release their own diversity data in the future. No word yet from other big tech firms like Apple, Microsoft, and Twitter.

A Wildfire in Central Washington's Chelan County: Continues to spread.

Hachette Versus Amazon Battle Still Going Strong: The publisher and the online megastore are really going at it now, in what began as a fight over e-book reimbursement but has come to represent a large pushback against Amazon's dominance in the literary market. For one reason why many booksellers, librarians, and book lovers have fucking hated Amazon for years now, Amazon, in a dismissive statement, calls books "demand-weighted units."

Oh, and Speaking of Amazon: They've gone and patented what basically amounts to taking brightly lit photos against a white background. Seriously.

The Subtle Everyday Realities of a Racist Society: A small study in Portland shows cars stop less frequently for black pedestrians at crosswalks.

Lady Gaga Canceled Her KeyArena Show Last Night: Even though decked-out superfans had already been lining up for more than 24 hours to get in the door. She says she has bronchitis.

Somebody "Pranked" Brad Pitt: And everyone really gives a shit. Was Brad Pitt "ambushed"? Was he "attacked"? Was he—god, I'm sorry, I'm trying to care but I don't. There are much more important things to talk about, like...

"The Sriracha war appears to be cooling down." So says the LA Times. Woohoo! Everyone can chill out and stop hoarding hot sauce! (Now, if we could be sure Limepocalypse was really over, we could get back to enjoying pho stress-free.)


Comments (22) RSS

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Pope Peabrain 1
Two more Democrats tell Secretary Shinseki to resign? They should be demanding Republican senators resign instead. They're the one's that voted down funding and expansion of medicaid. Republicans are the people responsible for this sad affair. And the goddam Democrats should be screaming about it!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 29, 2014 at 8:22 AM · Report this
"Ukraine", not "the Ukraine".
Posted by DOUG. on May 29, 2014 at 8:26 AM · Report this
fletc3her 3
Nothing like this ever happened before Shinseki took office, right?

I wish hawks like McCain would own up to their role in all this.
Posted by fletc3her on May 29, 2014 at 8:49 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 4
@3 Good luck with that. That's why Democrats need to go on the offensive and stop wringing their hands.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 29, 2014 at 8:51 AM · Report this
@2: whoops and fixed, DOUG., thanks!
Posted by Anna Minard on May 29, 2014 at 8:59 AM · Report this
MrBaker 6
Somebody called the min wage ordinance a "charade".…
Posted by MrBaker on May 29, 2014 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Can we sue the Seattle Police for not doing their jobs?…
Posted by SPG on May 29, 2014 at 9:26 AM · Report this
"Demand-weighted units"? Screw Amazon. Considering that it started as a way to buy books online -- an on-line BOOK STORE -- Bezos is getting way ahead of himself. He did just fine selling books. He's rich enough now that he doesn't need to try to corner the market in every damn product there is to sell. He seems to be single-handedly trying to bring back the era of the Robber Baron, with ethics to match. He might never kick a stray dog, but he'll put a knife into the back of any corporation that tries to work around him. Between Bezos and the Waltons, this country is doomed.
Posted by Calpete on May 29, 2014 at 9:57 AM · Report this
raindrop 9
Why should a company focus on diversity? Just hire the best people for the job. The diversity takes care of itself. We all can be relieved that there is no "affirmative action" in private industry. The work someone does is reflective of their capabilities, not the color of their skin.
Posted by raindrop on May 29, 2014 at 10:05 AM · Report this
Two More Democratic Senators Tell Veterans Affairs Secretary to Resign: ...

Yes, this started long before the Obama administration, but yes, Obama vowed to clean up this situation.

More importantly, the IG, after ONLY several days investigation, has discovered systemic national problems which have been referred to the DOJ for criminality purposes --- so where the bloody hell was the Inspector General's office and Gen. Shinseki these past six years, and why the bloody hell were so many senior VA execs receiving effing bonuses???????????????????

Somehing more than criminal is going on here, and speaking of criminality, it is obvious investigators should be taking a long hard look at the IG.

Posted by sgt_doom on May 29, 2014 at 10:16 AM · Report this
@9, so you're saying that white people and men are better at doing the job than black people and women.
Posted by GermanSausage on May 29, 2014 at 10:25 AM · Report this

The gathering of the professional military comptrollers is taking place at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle over the next few days and it is an event to behold!

Such professionals --- such individuals --- and so many missing trillions of dollars of DoD funds --- what oh what became of them?

Then there's all that loose change --- $19 billion plus missing in Afghanistan --- $8.7 billion of missing Iraqi oil funds during the Iraqi war (although one suspects Timothy Geithner, Daniel Zelikow and Reuben Jeffery III might know something about that)?

Of course, there's that unaccounted for $2.3 trillion in DoD funds --- reported on 9/10/01 by the Pentagon's comptroller at a press conference --- which would be quickly forgotten with the deaths of the auditing team which uncovered it, the very next morning when Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon!

And trillions more would be reported missing --- or unacounted for --- over the next few years?

A trillion here, a trillion there --- then suddenly all these super-rich clowns are hiring astroturf/PR firms to advertise themselves as job creators?

I wonder if those military comptrollers at the Washington State Convention Center gathering would be the guys to inquire about all those missing trillions?

Those professional military comptrollers are meeting in Seattle, staying at nice local hotels, eating nice local meals --- while John Kiriakou resides in jail, Thomas Drake has had his career and life destroyed, Julian Assange remains trapped in an embassy in London, and Edward Snowden remains in exile in Russia.

Meanwhile, the American public is treated to John Kerry, our multi-billionaire secretary of state, channeling Dick Cheney?

Posted by sgt_doom on May 29, 2014 at 10:27 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 13
No mention of JZ Knight's latest???
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on May 29, 2014 at 11:08 AM · Report this
@9 Companies should "focus on diversity" because structural racism and sexism exist, which means that some groups of people (white, cis, middle- and upper-class men) have privileged access to the education, training, experience, and networks ... which makes those folks "the best people for the job." It's not a true meritocracy because the deck is so stacked in favor of some people over others. If people of color, women, and other underprivileged groups had equal access to those resources, then the private industry workplace would reflect the true (gender, racial, class, ability) diversity of the people living in this country.
Posted by green_fox on May 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 15
But Obama ran on fixing the mess (6 fucking years ago). And he has made his belief in the Government’s ability to IMPROVE medical care the corner stone of his administration. Did he lie when he ran (and said he would fix the VA) or is he just incompetent? If it’s the later, what does that say about the prospects of Obamacare? If it’s the former what does that say about him?
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on May 29, 2014 at 11:16 AM · Report this
After six years of Gen. Shinseki at the VA, perhaps the general's skills and experience could be put to better use somewhere else, for instance, searching for that missing Malaysian Airlines MH370 aircraft:…

And another shocking story below on why not to trust stuff on the Internet (unless it's a porn site, of course):…
Posted by sgt_doom on May 29, 2014 at 11:20 AM · Report this
keshmeshi 17

It's cute that you think Amazon was ever interested in the business of selling books.

Amazon started off selling books as a way to collect consumer data and to use that data to sell even more shit to its customers. Bezos has never given a shit about books beyond using them as a means to an end.
Posted by keshmeshi on May 29, 2014 at 11:32 AM · Report this
raindrop 18
@14: Racism and sexism exist, but to tie it structurally in the sense you are does not reflect the reality. For example the percentage of engineers from the third world at Microsoft is huge, the number of female executives in some areas exceeds that of males. Google, is still quite young compared to Microsoft and their natural diversity progression is only a matter of time.
Posted by raindrop on May 29, 2014 at 11:54 AM · Report this
If Benedict Cumberbatch were attacked The Stranger would be all over it with more posts than they had for sasquatch.
Posted by ChefJoe on May 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 20
The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced the Republicans have purposely sabotaged veterans care so the can raid the government by turning over care to their super rich friends who will cut everything to the bone. That's just what a bunch of crooks they are.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on May 29, 2014 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Anna why didn't you mentioned the Asians at Google they make up a third, and growing, percent of the company. You look on their executives pages and will see a number of them.

Tell the whole story.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on May 29, 2014 at 2:50 PM · Report this
raindrop 22
@20: Interesting, I believe that facts are true or not whether or not they are valid, not how much I try to convince myself that they should be either true or false.
Posted by raindrop on May 29, 2014 at 3:13 PM · Report this

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