Last time I checked, Bill's Off Broadway wasn't a "Big Business Corp, Inc." They're gonna have to sell a whole lotta Bill's Hangover Tacos to pay for that window glass...
SEE ALSO: Walgreen's: Official Seller of Big Evil Bouncy Balls...
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
The media has been obsessing over the idea that anarchists might wreak havoc (read: break some windows) on May Day. Conversely, I have yet to see substantial reporting of the actual demands being made by the vast majority of people who took to the streets today. Puget Sound Business Journal was typical, noting that a colorful, family-friendly immigrant and workers' rights march took place only as background for the more important point: "no shattered glass."
"I think it's a huge shame," Rahwa Habte, an organizer with the immigrant rights group One America, told me as the march descended down King Street in the International District. "[The property damage] happened for a short amount of time and was pretty contained, but it cast a huge cloud over all of May Day last year. And that cloud has now extended into this year."
In 2012, the downtown smashup happened early in the day and attracted a lot of police attention, deterring a lot of immigrants from marching, Habte said. But not this year. The afternoon march began at Judkins Park and wove its way downtown, taking up two to three city blocks and probably about 2,000 strong.
Make no mistake: Anarchists have no monopoly on passionate calls for transformative change. Judging by the signs, banners, and chants, key demands include an immediate halt to deportations and family separations, and a legalization process for the 12 million undocumented people who've emigrated here.
These demands date back to the historic marches for comprehensive immigration reform that swept across the country in 2006—some of the largest demonstrations ever, in many cities. In Seattle, about 5,000 people were expected that year. At least 15,000 people turned out.
"This seems like it is the year for comprehensive immigration reform to happen," Habte explained. "So this is a glimmer of hope for the folks that I work with and know, who are being impacted right now by our broken immigration system. Not only the faster it happens, but the better the bill is, it's really going to make a huge difference in people's lives and communities."
There's something different about this rally, taking place right now outside Seattle Central, says Brendan Kiley, who's been covering May Day protests all day. He just called Stranger HQ from the scene at Central and says: "It seems that if something were to pop off this May Day, it will be happening shortly. And if anyone wants to see that, they should come to Seattle Central right now."
The scene, he reports, is around 150 to 200 people, "lots of cops, lots of people in masks," and people making speeches, with claims like "all government is an act of genocide" (that's a quote), some general down-with-capitalism rhetoric, and other "themes that sound anarchist." It "looks like they’re getting ready for black bloc action," he says. "It's definitely taking a sharp and hard left turn from the march earlier today."
UPDATE 7:23PM (Goldy): The situation is "getting tense," Brendan reports from 8th & Pike as a loud and rowdy crowd was heading west. His sense is that is something is going to happen it's going to happen soon. More as (if) it develops.
While I've been poking fun all day at the over-hyped anarchist May Day mayhem that has yet to materialize, the peaceful and well organize pro-immigration reform march and rally is no joke. Brendan confirms that hundreds of people (at least) have joined the march, while reporting from atop Seattle's downtown public library Eli says that the marchers stretch down 4th Avenue for "three city blocks easily."
God knows our local media was geared up for a day of black-clad anarchist window smashing. Since the news cameras are already on the scene, it'll be interesting to see if they lavish the same sort of intense coverage on this large but peaceful demonstration as the would have on a handful vandals?
Intrepid Stranger news intern Ansel Herz has spent the day behind enemy lines at Westlake Park, risking his life to cover the violent anarchy of May Day, 2013. Following is his pictorial war diary:
Much to the horror of TV news producers primed for a scene of May Day mayhem, downtown Seattle streets are so far peaceful. Calling in from the local offices of investment bank Goldman Sachs—a major focus of anarchist rage—Stranger news intern Ansel Herz reports: "No police, no protesters, and the security guard refused to give any comments."
If the 2 Year Old Had Been Armed, This Never Would Have Happened: "Authorities in southern Kentucky say a 2-year-old girl has been accidentally shot and killed by her 5-year-old brother, who was playing with a .22-caliber rifle he received as a gift," reports the Associated Press. The shooting will reportedly be filed as accidental, even though anyone with half a clue believes the parents should be tried for murder for giving a gun to a 5 year old.
Abortion Clinics: They're suing the state to block the release of patient reports:
Abortion providers in the Seattle area have sued to stop the state from releasing patient reports to an anti-abortion activist seeking detailed information on the region’s clinics. Filing a lawsuit in King County, the Northwest chapter of Planned Parenthood and four clinics have asked for an order preventing the state Department of Health from releasing some patient information to an anti-abortion activist who they contend has harassed abortion providers in the past.
Customer Outraged! Starbucks misspelled a name on a cup. Granted, they did spell it "Vagina."
Cyclist Killed: The Seattle Times reports that a cyclist was killed in a collision with a semi this morning. The cyclist was reportedly wearing a helmet. We need protected biked lanes on commuter routes, obviously, and hopefully the Seattle Times will support that.
Even Without a Team: Goldy explains why the Sodo arena deal is still alive.
Weather Above Ground: Holy fagsticks, this forecast is making me gay!
The New Republican: Gabriel Gomez won the GOP primary in Massachusetts last night. He's a Navy SEAL, a Harvard Business School graduate, and a bilingual first-generation immigrant.
Business-Minded Nightclub Owners: They argue for extending the beat of private security cops—those guys in the yellow jackets—up through Belltown to combat graffiti, drugs, and crime.
It's Wet, Rimmed, and Bigger Than Pretty Much Everything Else: What is it?
Barack Obama Hates Journalists: And Alex Pareene can see why:
Obama’s perception of the elite political press is that they’re a bunch of shallow whiny babies. When they are given a chance to directly question him they ask if he has “juice” left... Obama’s sarcastic dismissal of the Beltway press is basically entirely justified. They jump at every idiotic pseudo-controversy and they always hold both sides responsible for “dysfunction” in Washington. No one at yesterday’s press conference asked about jobs or labor.
Two Brothers Love Money: They allegedly stole a winning lottery ticket worth $5 million—from a maintenance worker—and one of them has been convicted of possessing stolen property.
Sure, Give 'em Another Martyr: Seventy percent of Americans support sentencing the surviving Boston bombing suspect to death if he's convicted. Nearly three-quarters of Americans agree that he should be tried in civilian, not military, court.
An Elderly Swedish Couple: Charged with harassment after allegedly blasting Iron Maiden at their neighbors.
Today Is May Day: Seattle police aren't expecting much, they say, but they're prepared for just about anything. Meanwhile, television news is hyping May Day anarchist actions so much, it seems like they want the smashy-smashy. It's like they're egging people on. Because it's good TV. For our part, we'll have fixies on the ground, reporting here on Slog.
Here's the full story...
And this is the subhead of the day:
The story—minus the awesome subhead—is here. (Thanks to Slog tipper Fusspot.)
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
Updated with comments from the Bruce Harrell and Mike McGinn mayoral campaigns.
Mayor Mike McGinn joined leaders from Seattle Central Community College today to announce a "major new education initiative" to fully fund tuition costs for 225 financially needy students next year.
"That's 225 families whose lives will be changed forever when these students graduate and step into high paying jobs in Seattle's knowledge based economy," said Adam Nance, Seattle Central Foundation's executive director.
Called Seattle Promise, the fund consists of private donations from Safeco Insurance Foundation and Boeing to an endowment. Each company donated $300,000. Nance said he expects more sponsors to get on board and grow the endowment into the millions to cover many more students in the next few years. "If you want to go to college and can't afford to, we've got your back," McGinn declared.
Every Person in Seattle Officially Happy Telling the NBA to Go Fuck Itself: More than 90 percent of Slog readers said so in yesterday's poll. But Chris Hansen says he has "absolutely no plans to give up. Impossible is nothing but a state of mind.'' Seattle's state of mind, again, is that the NBA can go fuck itself.
Gay Conversion Death Camps: A 15-year-old boy is dead after allegedly being taken into a gay-conversions camp, chained to his bed, and beaten to make him more of a man.
Question in the Newsroom: How many of you would stop reading The Stranger if it were bought by the Koch brothers?
The GOP's Unwanted Mascot: This is the year that Alex Jones becomes a household name. Not just by spouting conspiracy theories at Infowars, but by making second-guessing the government a full-scale religion.
Obamacare Is More Accessible: The application is now 75 percent shorter.
But Fewer People Like It: Democrats are increasingly sour to Obamacare.
Several Cars: Caught fire at the Sea-Tac Airport parking garage.
Second-Hand High? A woman claims she was fired from her job after testing positive for marijuana—but she'd only consumed pot smoke second hand from her husband. So KOMO hot-boxed a reporter in a trailer and in a car to see if she tested positive for marijuana and if she exceeded the state's limits for driving high.
A Man Accuses His Roommate of Killing Pet Rabbit: The roommate has a different account:
Police say the two men had gotten into an argument earlier. While Irons was still angry, the brown-and-gray rabbit wandered into his room. Police say Irons told them he was tired of the rabbit roaming the house, so "tossed the rabbit out of his room."
Stop Him if You've Heard This One Before: Obama says he will push to close Guantanamo, adding that the facility "is not necessary to keep America safe."
Last Night's Mayoral Debate: The challengers mostly say they'll be just like Mayor Mike McGinn on policy, but they'll be nicer, like Seattle politicians are supposed to be. Jim Brunner also had a good set of live tweets from the event.
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
Are you bracing for mayhem during the upcoming May Day protests?
The press certainly seems to be. At Seattle police headquarters this afternoon, Captain Chris Fowler answered questions from the media about May Day—historically a day of protest by labor organizers, anarchists, and more recently, immigrants—which is this Wednesday.
Seems like last year there was an effort to not line the streets with officers, to not do a show of force... Has that changed? Will we see officers lining the streets?
So what's the line? When do you move in? When do you use force?
Why don't you just say, permitted marches only. Anyone starts to block the street, you're done. Throw down the gauntlet right now and say you're not going to tolerate this. Is there any discussion about that, about not being as tolerant as we've been in the past?
Are you ready?
I felt like I was watching a scene from an action movie.
Fowler refused to give into the hype. He said SPD is taking a "wait and see" approach to allow everyone to peaceably exercise their free speech rights. SPD will facilitate unpermitted marches as long as they're not harming anyone, he said, and officers will "only use force when it's necessary to effect an arrest."
He seemed mildly concerned with property damage. Asked what he anticipates, Fowler referred ominously to the "use of devices to cause damage" during last year's smashup.
Sergeant Sean Whitcomb, SPD's top media guy, told me he doesn't expect major disruptions on the scale of last year's. He said police expected "orchestrated violence" based on "open source" public information in 2012. "Those signs haven't been present this year," he said.
Rioters could be "organizing in fashion that's more sophisticated and under the radar," Whitcomb continued. "Or, maybe just nothing's going to happen. Which is actually typical, for what we see. There's years of nothing, and then, something extraordinary."
There was a hint of the us-versus-them mentality in his final comment, though: "I personally think they're just biding their time."
Under Washington State law, marijuana is defined as cannabis with a THC concentration greater than 0.3 percent. Anything with less THC is not marijuana under state law; it is simply unregulated cannabis. Thanks to Initiative 502, we no longer prohibit this unregulated cannabis, which includes such commodities as industrial hemp, edible pot sprouts, and seeds.
But THC, the molecule primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects of pot, is just one of at least 85 known cannabinoids in the plant, and it turns out some people aren't looking for THC. Many dispensaries report that patients often want pot that is high in other medicinal compounds—like cannabidiol (CBD), which is thought to have a greater effect on pain.
One such strain found locally is called M'Otto, and with 0.23 percent THC and nearly 11 percent CBD, it is not technically marijuana under state law. It certainly looks like marijuana, smells like marijuana, and smokes like marijuana. But around here, it is only unregulated cannabis. "Since we've had it in for about a year, I would say it's the fifth or sixth fastest-moving strain we carry," says Muraco Kyashna-tocha from the Green Buddha Patient Co-op.
This Morning, Washington Wizards Center Jason Collins Became the First Openly Gay Player in American Pro Sports: Charles linked to it already, but Collins' op-ed in Sports Illustrated is beautiful. It's a part of history:
I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand...
No one wants to live in fear. I've always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don't sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I've endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back.
Collins's Twin Brother on the News: "I won't lie. I had no idea."
Sandra Day O'Connor: Maybe the Supreme Court made a mistake with Bush v. Gore.
Sarah Palin: She's working hard—and so credibly—while a bunch of "DC assclowns" are making a mockery out of politics.
Poor, Ridiculous Grover Norquist: The GOP is divided over internet sales tax legislation, which means some of the GOP supports it. A tax! They will vote for a tax, breaking their anti-tax pledge to Norquist, thereby demonstrating what a gimmicky joke Grover Norquist is.
Washington State's Obstructionist Legislature: Couldn't pass a budget; soon they go into special session.
Meanwhile in Pro Sports: Super-Christian NFL guy Tim Tebow's career is circling the drain. The NYT's piece on him this morning explains "Jets Dump Tebow," adding managers made no mention "of Tebow’s statistics with the team, perhaps in part because there were none worth mentioning."
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
The Wonders of GMO: (Mad) scientists in Uruguay have created nine glow-in-the-dark sheep. Because, science.
Iraq Is Flourishing: Actually, no. The government is suspending the licenses of ten TV channels, including Al Jazeera, after five days of violence killed 125 people.
Seattle Is So Post-Racial: An alleged douchebag was arrested at Seattle Center on Saturday for "taking a fighting stance" towards a group of Arab-Americans and threatening to "obtain a gun and shoot them all," according to SPD. They called 911 and the 52-year-old man was booked into King County Jail.
Life On the Tar Sands: Fights, testosterone, booze, cocaine, failed marriages - and lots of money. A pipeline builder reports for Rolling Stone on how the oil boom driving the Keystone XL project has transformed the frozen reaches of Alberta.
CISPA Is Dead! Long Live CISPA! The "cybersecurity" bill backed by big tech firms that would have increased surveillance and data-sharing with the government is dead, for now.
Cause of Death - iPhone 5: China Labor Watch reports that two more workers, a 23-year-old female and a 24-year-old male, jumped to their deaths off the buildings at a Foxconn factory in Zhengzhou, China.
What's a Legislature To Do? Around a thousand teachers rallied in Olympia to call for a robust education budget that minimizes class sizes and gives them a raise. But "glacially slow" budget negotiations are making a drawn-out overtime legislative session seem inevitable.
Hope For The New Pope: Liberation theologians and progressive priests in Latin America say Pope Francis is one of their own and not a conservative, close-minded reactionary hack.
And with that, please enjoy this cockatoo rocking out to Daft Punk:
Posted by news intern Ben Steiner
Let's Start With the Good News: Baby sloths love to cuddle.
Owners of Bangladeshi Factory Behind Bars: Three of them have already been thrown in jail after Bangladesh's government ordered their arrest. The death toll stemming from the building's collapse is assumed to be over 300 workers.
Boston Updates: The Boston Globe reported the incredible story of the man who was allegedly carjacked by the Boston bombing suspects. Meanwhile, authorities are looking for the suspected bomber's laptop in a landfill.
9/11 Update: A five-foot-tall piece of one of the 9/11 plane's landing gear was found wedged between two buildings near the World Trade Center.
Washington State Gun Control Take Two: This time, it's an initiative. The last time a gun-control initiative was attempted in Washington the NRA spent $5 million and "shot it down."
In Other Washington Gun News: A gunfight broke out, at 1:30 p.m., in a crowded gas station parking lot in Elma.
FOILED: Four men have been jailed for plotting a suicide attack in the UK.
World's Second Oldest Animal Dies in Cairo: He was 270-years-old, he was a turtle, and he lived in Egypt's Giza Zoo. The ancient turtle—who lived through all of Egypt's modern presidencies and the colonial era preceding it—did not live to see an end to the violent protests plaguing Egypt right now.
Elsewhere in the Middle East: Sectarian violence is rapidly escalating in Iraq. 200 are believed to be dead so far.
While We're on the Topic of Things the US Doesn't Want to Talk About: There is mounting suspicion that Syria used chemical weapons in its ongoing civil war. President Barack Obama doesn't know what to do about it.
APodments: Will no longer be exempt from the design-review process in Seattle.
Posted by news intern Ben Steiner
Mayor McGinn did not directly address the criticisms of Olson's work in the OPA, but he did acknowledge that "there had been a lot of concerns about our complaint process," and that the OPA is "absolutely critical" to reforming the Seattle Police Department.
Mayor McGinn said he believed that Murphy was the perfect man to fulfill the role of leading the OPA. Before welcoming him to the stage, McGinn added that Murphy was "top notch," a "strong leader," and "that he's his own man and willing to take the heat."
Pierce Murphy began his short speech by explaining that "Seattle must be free to live and recreate in peace, free from fear. The police must trust and respect those people that they serve. Essential to public trust in police is accountability. We expect them to act in fairness and compassion. Civilian oversight of the police is a sure way of promoting accountability and insuring trust in the community. I will apply all the experience, knowledge, and skill I have to this very important task.
I know that four things govern the effectiveness of oversight: Independence, objectivity, transparency and compassion. These are essential to police reform and accountability. These will be my focus while I work with seattle and the police department."
Before Murphy can start working he must be confirmed by the Seattle City Council, a process that could be completed by the end of May.
This guest post is by Jeff Reifman, a Seattle-based technology consultant, writer, and activist. He’s also an eight-year Microsoft employee.
Generally, the Seattle Times’ new paywall provides good protection from bad premises and flawed reporting, but, unfortunately, non-subscribers may still unwittingly encounter troubling free content such as Sharon Pian Chan’s recent editorial, “What Happens When You Put Microsoft Managers in Charge of the State Budget?”
“For the first time in state history, the Washington state budget is being written by Microsofties,” writes Chan. Representative Ross Hunter has “tamed his Microsoft-style head-butting with a politician’s trust-building.” While Senator Andy Hill is “the first Senate budget chair ever to request Excel files instead of paper spreadsheets.”
“After the Supreme Court’s McCleary ruling, the two must find $1 billion in new money for the state’s K-12 system," Chan continues. "The two are up for the challenge.”
But her editorial left out critical facts:
Firstly, the McCleary ruling was necessitated by Hunter and the legislature’s $4 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education since 2008. This isn’t “new money,” the Court is actually ordering the legislature to restore $1 billion in funding.
Secondly, from 1997 to 2010, Microsoft’s Nevada-based tax avoidance operation deprived the state of an estimated $1.51 billion in taxes, interest and penalties. In 2010, Hunter led legislation that granted the company amnesty and redefined the state’s royalty tax to exclude Microsoft’s worldwide licensing revenue. If you include the company’s 1997 lobbying to reduce the royalty tax from 1.5 percent to 0.5 percent, Microsoft’s Nevada operations have saved the company $4.37 billion. (Here’s Microsoft Executive Vice President Brad Smith talking with me about it in a 2004 interview for Seattle Weekly.)
Chan neglected that Hunter and Microsoft have been running the revenue side of Washington’s budget for years—capped off by former governor Chris Gregoire’s appointment of now-Congresswoman Suzan Delbene to run the Department of Revenue.
A State Bill to Legalize Discrimination: KOMO reports that the Republican bill would give businesses the right to deny services to gays if it was contrary to their "sincerely held religious beliefs, philosophical beliefs, or matters of conscience."
Horror of Horrors: Authorities say cult members in Chile strapped an infant girl to a board late last year, threw her into a bonfire, and burned her alive because they believed her to be the Antichrist.
Censorship Gains Popularity Among Governments: Brazil and the United States took home top prizes for censorship requests to Google in the second half of last year.
At Least 38 People Burned Alive: In a fire at a Russian psychiatric hospital outside of Moscow last night.
What Happens to Violent Criminals Who Flee Washington State? Nothing, if there's no money to bring them back to the state, reports KIRO: "Nearly 50,000 Washington State criminals and suspects are on the run, hiding either in-state or somewhere around the world. All of them have warrants for their arrest, but a vast majority will never see the inside of a prison cell, even when police know where they are, because the cost of justice is simply too high."
Death Toll Passes 300: In Bangladesh where a factory building collapsed Wednesday.
Under the Viaduct: In a bold move yesterday afternoon, interim Seattle Police Chief Jim Pugel released and apologized for an internal police video mocking the homeless. Here's what Lisa Daugaard of the progressive nonprofit Defender Association has to say about it:
"We want someone leading the department who would find this reprehensible. According to Chief Pugel's statement, he does. Many effective police reformers have come to view with regret things they did early in their career that seemed just part of police culture at the time. In sharp contrast to the video, Chief Pugel is now recognized nationally and internationally as a champion of 'harm reduction' approaches to addiction that humanize people living on the street struggling with addiction. The road he's traveled over the past 27 years is the same road the department needs to travel, and he's personified those changes."
Bringing Gun Control Back from the Dead: Senators are quietly working to sway senators into changing their votes to support a background check system while building a national campaign to harness the power of overwhelming public support for the measure.
And finally, here's an interview with comedian Tig Notaro in which she discusses smoking coffee and having cancer, among other things. Go read it and try to forget about that poor baby Antichrist if you can.
There's just something about this photograph by A.M. Ahad of the Associated Press that I can't stop thinking about this morning. It ran with the New York Times piece about the building collapse in Dhaka, Bangladesh, yesterday afternoon, when more than a hundred people were killed even though inspectors had already warned that the place was unsound. Bosses told workers to come to their stations anyway.
The way the people look so tiny, the way they file out and balance on that ridge of rubble, something about the angling—it all feels like a trick of Photoshop or a staged image with figurines, like it can't be real. It captures perfectly the dread of getting any closer.
The next mayor of Seattle will earn a seat on the Sound Transit Board just as critical light rail expansion plans are being determined. How effectively that mayor works with colleagues and communities to deliver needed services in Seattle will be a critical benchmark for effectiveness in office.
Given the high stakes of this process, I believe we need both a new style of leadership, and reform of divisive internal policy barriers, to assure Seattle gets a fair share of new service. Delivering on real transit improvements, including light rail expansion, will require a mayor who can bring all sides together, diffuse opposition, build a coalition and move the issue forward. Our current mayor has not done this. I can do this. I have done this.
Let me take you back a decade. In 2003 I was appointed chair of the House Transportation Committee at a dark period for the state’s transportation system. Republicans were in control of the state senate, and Tim Eyman’s Initiative 695 had effectively repealed state funding for public transportation programs and local transit agencies. Over the next three sessions, I worked to win over conservative Democrats and Republicans to rebuild state support for transit, restoring tens of millions of dollars into transit and transportation alternatives.
While others in Olympia were willing to throw in the towel and narrowly focus transportation spending on freeway expansion to serve the suburbs, I successfully fought to make significant investments in several key areas that benefit Seattle today:
• I reestablished the state’s responsibility to provide funding support for public transportation;
• I leveraged and extended private sector partnerships to reduce employee commute trips;
• I provided much-needed funding flexibility for transit agencies to serve special needs populations;
• I provided funding for innovative programs to encourage transportation efficiency, such as car-share programs;
• I made key investments in “feet first” transportation modes, including enhanced funding for Safe Routes to Schools, bicycle and pedestrian safety programs;
• And I create the highly successful Regional Mobility grant program, which is focused on projects that maximize the movement people –not just cars — through congested corridors and provides regional connectivity.
By contrast, when the mayor first ran in 2009 he promised that a Seattle-only light rail expansion measure would be on the ballot within a year, yet it never happened.
Mostly Sunny with Highs Near Seventy: The sun is apparently vacationing in Seattle this week. Won't you join me for a bowl of breakfast ice cream?
Don't Leave Pets Locked in Your Goddamn Cars, Goddammit: Especially not for six days without food and water, like some West Seattle assholes. Thankfully, this dog is fine.
Won't JESUS + MARY Be Proud: Waving his dick at the First Amendment, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback just signed a new bill that he personally labeled the "JESUS + MARY" measure, proclaiming that life begins at conception and forcing abortion providers to read scripted lies to women seeking their services.
“There’s a dead man. I think there’s a dead man out there.” Federal Way Police have released the 911 calls from Sunday's domestic-violence related shooting. Domestic violence is the #1 cause of injury to American women, by the way.
Search Continues for Bangladesh Factory Survivors: More than 1,000 people have been injured. The details are horrific.
Some 2,000 people were in the Rana Plaza building in Savar, some 30km (20 miles) outside Dhaka, when it collapsed suddenly on Wednesday morning... Trapped workers can be heard inside the rubble, screaming for help. Food and water is being passed to survivors through gaps in the the rubble... Police said the factory owners had ignored warnings not to allow their workers into the building after cracks were noticed on Tuesday.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Falls Silent: The 19-year-old suspect stopped speaking with authorities after he was read his Miranda rights. However, he did tell police that his older brother had only recently recruited him to help detonate pressure-cooker bombs at the Boston marathon finish line. Meanwhile, Tsarnaev's mother regrets ever emigrating to the US.
Three Adults Arrested for Allegedly Selling Marijuana to Ballard Kids: Police recovered 1,200 grams of marijuana, 99 joints, seven pot plants, eight trays of laced brownies, four shotguns, one .22-caliber rifle, six handguns, two pellet guns, and $4,755 from the residence.
Women as Leftovers: A growing number of career-driven women in China can't find partners because they make too much money. This is not a problem I can relate to.
Women as a Subcategory: A woman notices that Wikipedia editors have been quietly removing American female novelists like Harper Lee from its main category page to make room for more real American novelists.
And finally, Ask a Mortician tackles ghosts while in Savannah, Georgia:
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
Last year freedom-loving people rejoiced when SOPA/PIPA died, smote by the combined powers of internet activists, the White House, tech companies, and Paul Constant, who railed against it on Slog.
While Google, Wikipedia, Reddit, and countless other sites blacked out their pages to protest SOPA, a similar effort called for by Anonymous against CISPA went largely unnoticed on Monday. CISPA, the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, allows companies to obtain "threat information" by looking at private data and handing it over to the government, bypassing standard privacy laws and warrants, in the name of "cyber security," according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
In short, it's the surveillance creep Dominic wrote about last week—on the web. So if CISPA threatens privacy and freedom on the internet, why aren't we seeing the same level of outrage and resistance that we saw against SOPA last year?
The biggest difference is that while tech giants like Google and Facebook opposed SOPA, they support CISPA. As The Verge explained:
By allowing companies to share user data with each other or the government to combat vaguely defined "cyber threats," CISPA has raised major questions about online privacy.
Unlike SOPA, however, the provisions of CISPA largely absolve companies from responsibility if something goes wrong. This means that Google, Facebook, and others stand much less to lose (and in many cases, a good deal to gain) if it passes.
Or, as a member of Anonymous put it, "CISPA mostly effects the users of these services, and doesn't cut into profits of these big companies." In fact, companies supporting CISPA have spent some $605 million on lobbying since 2011.
The disparity between opposition to SOPA and CISPA comes down to capitalism. Media critic and UW alum Robert McChesney says it's the "elephant in the digital room," in his new book Digital Disconnect: How Capitalism is Turning the Internet Against Democracy. He calls those who extoll the revolutionary powers of the internet (think Arab Spring, social media, and whoever dubbed last year's anti-SOPA blackout "Internet Freedom Day"), the celebrants. On the other end are the skeptics, who say the internet is just another addictive mass-communication technology. But they're missing the point.
Shooting in Manchester, Illinois, Leaves Five Dead: One other person is injured and a suspect is in custody. It happened this morning inside a public housing complex. There's not a lot of info out yet.
Building Collapse in Bangladeshi capital Dhaka Kills 80 or More: "Building collapses are common in Bangladesh where many multi-storey blocks are built in violation of rules," says the BBC. This one collapsed at rush hour, and rescue workers are frantically trying to get to everyone still inside. NPR has excellent pictures here.
Grief Continues in Federal Way: After what started as a domestic violence shooting spilled out into the rest of an apartment complex, leaving five dead—the shooter, his girlfriend, and three witnesses—and the building riddled with bullets.
People on Terror Watch Lists Can Still Buy Guns and Explosives: Data shows it's happened about 1,300 times in the last few years, and politicians on the right say that's a-okay with them.
Here Is a Picture of a Giant Egg: Christie's just auctioned off a "sub-fossilized pre-17th century Elephant Bird egg" for more than $100,000. Look at it! I want to frame this picture.
Marysville Woman Gets Free Tattoo to Cover Mastectomy Scars: Denise Gallardo couldn't afford reconstructive surgery; she says, "Now I feel like a girl again."
No, I'm Just a Terrorist Impersonator: As Goldy reported yesterday, the original suspect in the case of the ricin-laced letters, a Mississippi-based Elvis impersonator, was released from jail yesterday and charges were dropped. Now the FBI is investigating a second man.
A Fast Food Strike: In New York and Chicago. Why can't they all be like Dick's and treat their workers right?
From Slog Tipper Ambien Crumbs: Comes the ridiculous music video for Reba McEntire's "Fancy" (any country music video where you tear off Mama's heart-shaped locket is a good one, right?)...
Posted by news intern Ansel Herz
Seattle's annual 4th of July fireworks show on Lake Union is back from the dead, thanks to the support of Microsoft, Amazon, and an online casino game company called Doubledown Interactive, announced Mayor Mike McGinn at a press conference today.
Starbucks, Wells Fargo, and Toms Douglas Restaurants are also major sponsors.
Looming like a spectre over the announcement was "The Great Recession," which McGinn referred to several times as the cause of the show's cancellation. One Reel announced on April 1 that it was discontinuing the 4th of July show following a failed fundraising drive. The nonprofit struggled to pay for the program after Washington Mutual, previously the title sponsor of the show, filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
"We had a situation where traditionally there was one corporate sponsor underwriting the whole thing," McGinn explained. "When that sponsorship went away with the Great Recession, they were put into the position of fundraising and that wasn't a good fit." One Reel also organizes our annual Bumbershoot festival.
At this point, it's unclear how the change in management will affect the day's events. SeaFair has stepped in as the show's new producer and committed to hosting a beer garden, music, and food at Gasworks Park, but no one mentioned if there will still be kids' games and activities before the show. Reporters pressed Maud Daudon, President of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, to reveal the event's budget. "I don't think that's relevant at this point," she said, but she admitted a new fireworks company is contracted to put on the 20-minute show at lower cost.
"We haven't cut back things," she insisted. "We're using new partners committed to making this work."
Mayor McGinn said he's waiving parks and barricading fees. Security will also be stepped up, he added, in light of the Boston bombings.
The show will combine "the patriotic element with the artistic element," Daudon explained, "so it will be a different show, but will be just as good." Whatever that means.
Still: Fireworks! Take that, America haters!
The Mississippi man charged with sending poisoned letters to President Barack Obama, a U.S. senator and a state judge was released from jail on Tuesday, federal official said, though the reason for the release wasn’t immediately clear.
Jeff Woodfin, chief deputy with the U.S. Marshals Service in Oxford, Miss., said Paul Kevin Curtis has been released from custody.
A search of Curtis's belongings reportedly turned up no trace of ricin or ricin processing. Curtis, an Elvis impersonator, claims that he was framed.
UPDATE: The AP now reports that charges have been dropped against Curtis.
The Boston Suspects Were Likely Working on Their Own: Says NPR, reporting that "the information [authorities have] gotten from Dzhokhar leads them to suspect—so far—that Tamerlan was the 'driving force' behind the bombings."
Where's Rahm Emmanuel When You Need Him? The New York Times frames Obama's inability to get the gun bill passed as part of a larger problem: He can't play hardball.
“There have been very few consequences for those that defeat the legislation, and that’s what allows the legislation to be defeated,” said former Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, who retired in 2011.
Seattle City Council Hammers Out Affordable Housing in SLU: As I said yesterday, they stood up to Vulcan to some degree, but they have a lot more work ahead of them.
New Violence in Iraq: "Clashes between security forces and anti-government protesters in northern Iraq have left at least 20 people dead and dozens injured," reports Al-Jazeera.
I Did Not Know That Area Elementary Schools Had "Isolation Booths": Also known as "padded safe rooms" and/or a "cool down room." One Marysville mom is pissed.
But What About Being Drunk on Power? After multiple DUI investigations of officers in the last year, retiring police chief Diaz decides to remind the cops not to drink and drive. "A memo sent to the entire police department reminded officers that the community's tolerance level for SPD employees driving drunk is 'very low,'" reports KOMO News.
Gender-Neutral Language in Washington's Laws: State senator Jeannie Kohl-Welles's bill to revise gendered language out of the state code is signed into law. "Dairymen, freshmen and even penmanship also will soon be things of the past," says the AP.
Tattoo Your Child for Safety: Okay, so they're temporary. I recommend microchipping your kids, anyway.
Have you seen this yet? Watch Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield wring out a wet towel in space! Or just watch his mustache be a great mustache.
He doesn't say much. In fact, he only says one word—"No"—and even then, the magistrate judge isn't sure she heard him right.
THE COURT: Can you afford a lawyer?
THE DEFENDANT: No.
THE COURT: Let the record reflect that I believe the defendant has said, "No."
(Completely unrelated thought: A theater company should stage this. Or a dance company? Satori Group? The Ensemble? New City Theater? It's so tense, and yet it's all subtext—almost nothing is said. Plus, imagine the all the beeping, wheezing, gurgling machinery he's hooked up to...)
A reporter in China stops her wedding to report on this past weekend's massive earthquake in the region—while still in her wedding dress. That's adorable! (Or is it? Stand by for the movie version, Runaway Reporter Bride!)
As more details are emerging about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's five-and-a-half month trip to Dagestan in 2011—a trip the FBI is being faulted for not following up on—Senator Lindsey Graham is saying that what tripped up the FBI was that Tsarnaev's name was misspelled on flight records. Graham says his source is an assistant director at the FBI, although the FBI's version of events doesn't mention the name with a typo in it.