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Archives for 09/16/2007 - 09/22/2007

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mike Albo

posted by on September 22 at 10:41 PM

Nice tits—and funny too.

The Stranger News Hour. Today 710 KIRO

posted by on September 22 at 4:43 PM

This evening at 7pm, I’ll be on David Goldstein’s show to talk about some of the stories in this week’s Stranger, including Jonah’s story on johns; Erica’s story on fixed-gear bikes; and my story on the nightclub license.

Goldy will want to bash dumb Republicans, so we’ll also talk about floundering King County Council Member, Jane Hague.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 22 at 11:00 AM


Fremont Oktoberfest

The foolish go to Fremont Oktoberfest to drink beer; the wise head to Fremont Oktoberfest to drink beer and listen to music. Saturday’s aural offerings are strong enough to froth your head, with the Lonely H serving pull-tab classic rock, Thee Emergency tapping into sweaty garage soul, and the Saturday Knights pouring 40s of funk. Drink up. (N Canal St, 11 am–midnight, $20 for admission and four drink tokens, 21+.)


RIP Walt Crowley

posted by on September 22 at 9:30 AM

Local historian, activist, great guy extraordinaire, Walt Crowley has died.

Blatherwatch has written the perfect obituary.

Mad (Metaphor) George

posted by on September 22 at 7:24 AM

People, this is a serious situation:

In a speech defending his administration’s Iraq policy, Mr Bush said former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s brutality had made it impossible to find a leader who could unite the country.

“I heard somebody say, ‘Where’s Mandela?’,” he said.

“Well, Mandela’s dead because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandelas.”

The president is not out of touch, he is out to lunch.

Friday, September 21, 2007


posted by on September 21 at 8:21 PM

You should be when you watch this video.

Human space invaders. Via BlogBlog.

Violet Blue vs. Tyra Banks

posted by on September 21 at 5:25 PM

There’s a must-read post up on Violet Blue’s blog, Tiny Nibbles. Violet writes about a recent taping of the Tyra Banks show—it didn’t go well, it seems. Go, read, watch. Now.

Slog Poll Re-Do: Results

posted by on September 21 at 5:03 PM

We asked:

Given the potentially history-making candidacies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, there’s a lot of talk in Democratic circles these days about what type of leader this country is “ready for.” Do you think America is more ready for a white female president or a black male president?

The results:

(Critics take note: These results are strikingly similar to the results of our earlier, more controversial poll.)

* * *

NEW BLOG: Obsessed with the presidential race? Now you can follow all of our presidential Slogging at our new blog, Slogging Toward 2008, which comes complete with its own RSS feed, collections of our past presidential race coverage from the paper, and a handy calendar of upcoming events.

Did Jane Hague Dupe the County for 7 Years?

posted by on September 21 at 4:26 PM

The Seattle Times busts Republican King County Council Member Jane Hague today.

Hague, who it turns out never had a bachelor’s degree, says she’s never misled anyone about that. Whoooops. The Seattle Times found that she misled the municipal league on her 1993 candidate questionnaire when she was first running for her spot on the Council. Goldy’s on the story too.

But there’s something else people should start looking into to see if Hague has been truthful on this matter.

Hague was the manager of KC Elections from 1986-1993 (right before she got elected to the Council and when she filled out the Municipal League questionnaire.)

I don’t know what the requirement for that job was in 1986, but today, you’ve got to have a bachelor’s degree.

I just looked at the “minimum qualifications” on the current posting for the job and it says: “He/She must possess a Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration or in a related field, and a history of continuing education…”

Perhaps Hague didn’t correct the record in 93 because she didn’t want KC Elections to know the truth.

Her bio started changing in recent years (since being on Council where there’s no requirement about a college degree) to simply say she attended a four-year institution of higher learning.

Veto Proof?

posted by on September 21 at 4:20 PM

After the City Council passed night club license legislation earlier this week (without a night club license as part of the legislation), Council Member Nick Licata told me he was happy to get 6 votes because quote: “Six votes sends a strong message to the mayor that the council is united,” Licata says. “He can’t veto this ordinance.”

Word from the second floor (council offices) is that Nickels is, in fact, thinking of vetoing the legislation. Nickels spokesperson Marianne Bichsel confirmed that Nickels is weighing that option, and we will know on Monday what his decision is.

And Licata may be wrong that the votes are there to override. The veto-proof 6-vote bloc that passed the license included Sally Clark, Jan Drago, and David Della. Those Council Members really weren’t happy with the final outcome, but voted for it anyway to pass something. Bichsel said that Nickels staffers, such as council liason Emily East and Deputy Mayor Tim Ceis have been talking to Council Members this week.

I can certainly see Clark or Della or Drago (or all three) refusing to override the veto.

Although, that’ll still mean there’s no license.

However, it will torpedo the nightlife commission that the legislation empowered to call the shots on nightclub licensing.

The Week in Geek

posted by on September 21 at 4:12 PM


Only one thing really happened this week in geek, and that was when I found this. Everything else is kind of a blur.

Oh, and I hear there’s some kind of big game coming out for the Xbox next week, “Halo” or something like that. Sounds like a Bible game, so I don’t really get why everyone’s so excited.

Okay, here’s a couple more things:

Go Team Dork! - U.S. Segway Polo team (!) wins gold in 2007 Woz Challenge Cup. Everybody celebrated with a round of whatever rich Silicon Valley nerds drink. Beer, I think. Video!.

New Business Plan! - Hot or Not has announced that they’re doing away with whatever they were doing and replacing it with something else they may or may not have been doing before. The real news here, of course, is that Hot or Not still exists and is, like, an actual company of some kind. I’m stalled at 75% hot, with 111 votes in the past 4 years. And yes, I dress like that all the time.

NBC to Go it Alone, Fail - In a huge blow to Apple’s iTunes, NBC will offer downloads of some of their shows through their own system, which will suck more than anyone can imagine and will cease to exist quite soon after it begins to exist.

Free for All! - Jason Kottke digs through the New York Times’ newly opened archves and discovers some gems. What have you found? I found this story from 1912 about a $3M lawsuit over a Costa Rican banana plantation. I also found a typo in that article.

Gore Wins! - Winning the presidency is hard (especially against cheaters), but winning entertainment awards, he’s got that shit down.

Now, let me get back to my Scrabble game.

One More HUMP

posted by on September 21 at 3:32 PM

Someone’s scalping tickets to HUMP over at Craigslist. The scalpers are moving in because the four shows we originally announced sold out, and the two added shows we announced on Thursday sold out in 24 hours. We’ve added one more show—Saturday October 6 at 2 PM. Tickets—at regular, non-scalper prices—are on sale here.

Tabella Being Sold?

posted by on September 21 at 3:28 PM

Originally posted at noon

According to a source, Mars Hill Church is buying…TABELLA. Yes, Tabella, recently caught up in Mayor Nickel’s nightlife holocaust, could end up as a new Mars Hill venue—much like the old Paradox—or as a new Belltown rock-a-church.

According to the King County assessor’s website, there hasn’t been a sale. We’ve got calls out to Mars Hill and Tabella and we’ll update soon.


The evasive response from Mars Hill:

Hi Jonah,

Thanks for your email. Mars Hill Church is a multi-campus church that currently meets in several locations around the Seattle area. We are continually evaluating new opportunities for further expansion in and around Seattle.


Tim Gaydos

Update x2:

Tabella’s owner, Kauser Pasha, says Tabella hasn’t been sold yet, but he’s is in talks with Mars Hill Church and several other potential buyers.

Today in Line Out

posted by on September 21 at 3:24 PM

Speechless: Decibel’s opening night blows Eric Grandy’s mind.

Tonight: More Decibel, Imperial Teen, and No Age.

Pizza Party: The Lashes new video starring pizza, Kato Kaelin, and Hollywood.

Starbucks’ Jukebox: The store will play the new Joni Mitchell all day on Sept 25.

Now With Words: After some sleep, Grandy gives Decibel a real review.

Potty Party: Trent Moorman misses the Flaming Lips show and locks himself in the bathroom.

Flaming Lips Photos: And yes, that’s JZ dressed as a Santa.

It’s as Good as It Sounds: When Joan Rivers met Husker Du.

Black Metal’s Dark Side: Mayhem’s totally fucked.

Terry Miller Regrets: Missing Diplo and SMD but not the Flaming Lips.

Boarder Patrol: Motor might not make it to Decibel.

Speaking of Motoring: …What’s your price for flight?

Disco Warriors: TJ Gorton on Faze Action.


From the Savage Love Archives: Kids Are Funny

posted by on September 21 at 2:53 PM

In August of 2004, this column sparked a slew of letters on childhood missconceptions about sex. Those letters were lost to time… until now: tales from the childhoods of women and men.

What’s Your Cause?

posted by on September 21 at 2:49 PM

Every winter, The Stranger has a charity auction called Strangercrombie, where we auction off great things (like a Vespa), weird things (like 16 boxes of porn), and things of dubious value (like, uh, ourselves) and throw the earnings at a local charity. For the past five years, the charity has been been Northwest Harvest, which has been giving food to the poor and hungry since 1967.

Last year, we raised (or, rather, you bid) $40,000. Which was great. We love Northwest Harvest. But is it possible we’re being a bit myopic? Are there other local causes we should consider?

What do you think, citizens of Slog? Which are your favorite causes?

Sonics Want Out of Key Arena Lease

posted by on September 21 at 2:13 PM

Sonics owner Clay Bennett announced today that he’s taking the city to arbitration so the Sonics can get out of their lease at Key Arena.

The lease runs until 2010. Bennett has said the Sonics and Storm will play the 2008 season in Seattle, but if he doesn’t have a new arena deal in place by October 31, he’s going to ask the NBA to allow him to move.

The mayor’s office says they will have a statement later this afternoon.

In the meantime, City Council President Nick Licata released this statement:
“We strongly feel that the Sonics should meet their obligation to stay and play in Seattle at KeyArena. In regard to any legal action, the Seattle City Attorney will be advising us and handling the details.”

What’s kind of funny about this is: Licata has been the lead critic of the lease for years now. (The city has been losing nearly $3 million a year on the bum deal.)

Update, Update:
Mayor Nickels just released this strong statement:

“Seattle and KeyArena have been home to the Sonics — and more recently the Storm — for 40 years. I want that tradition to continue. I am outraged at today’s actions by Sonics’ owner Clay Bennett.

There have always been sensible options available to Mr. Bennett if he wanted to keep the Sonics and Storm at KeyArena. Today’s actions make it clear that has never been his intention.

My door has been open, is open and remains open to Mr. Bennett but he has refused to meet. Typically, people acting in good faith engage in a conversation before seeking arbitration.

My position remains the same: I will do everything in my power to enforce the contract keeping the Sonics and Storm where they belong —in Seattle and in KeyArena.”

It’s Raining Horny Teenagers!

posted by on September 21 at 1:29 PM

It appears that THIS frisky fifteen-year-old isn’t the only jailbait harboring a s-e-x-u-a-l issue or twelve. From the improbable website

Hi, name is Jason Morgan, I’m 15 and I live in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. I was diagnosed with leukemia when I was 11 years old, and since it’s spread to my lymph nodes and spine, there is no chance that I will be cured. Before I die, I want to know the touch of a woman. I don’t want to die a virgin and I can’t do it without your help.

Are you pedophile enough to help Jason? Send YOUR 250 word response to Hurry!

Operation Sloppy Police Work

posted by on September 21 at 1:18 PM

Judging from the arraignments that are going on right now in the aftermath of “Operation Sobering Thought,” the cases against the bartenders and doormen from the SPD’s big sting seem to be falling apart at the seams.

Here’s how the sting worked: The undercover officers—pretending to have a “Girls Night Out”—had an underage woman use an ID of a slightly older woman (who looked very similar) to get into the club. Once inside the club, the group would order a round of drinks and take pictures of the doormen and bartenders they had fooled.

A few days later, having studied the pictures, the police would show up and get the names and addresses of the doormen and bartenders (under the ruse they needed help on a sex predator case). With that info, the police sent out warrants.

The first problem: The set up led cops to arrest the wrong people. For example, one doorman who got arrested, David Romano, is a 5’8” Hispanic guy. However, the account from the undercover officer in Romano’s incident report describes the doorman as a 6’2” blonde guy with a safety pin piercing in his left eyebrow. Whoops. The judge has already told Romano’s attorney to file a request for dismissal.

More important, it’s not clear that these charges will stick. Defense attorneys think the fact that the door men were fooled is significant. Being fooled with a look-a-like ID isn’t too convincing as a crime. Most crimes involve “intent”; ie, the criminal has to “knowingly” do something.

The police—defense attorneys for the club workers are likely to argue—need to show that doormen actually knew the minor was a minor. And they have to prove this “beyond a reasonable” doubt.

Given that the SPD used a young woman who looked like the slightly older woman on the ID, it’s going to be hard to prove doormen were up to no good.

Although, defense attorney Kirk Davis, who is working for some of the club folks, does acknowledge that the specific law about letting a minor into a place that serves booze does not address “intent.”

Meanwhile, the standard for issuing a liquor board violation (which is the way to bust bars) is lower. Liquor Board agents have to show that the doorman should have known the patron was underage: they didn’t look old enough; they didn’t look like the person on the ID. And they only have to show this with a lower legal standard—”preponderance of the evidence.”

So, we’re back where we’ve been all along: There are laws on the books to hold bars accountable. Let the liquor board do its job. And let the police focus on real problems rather than spending $52,000 in police hours duping local bars.

David Blomstrom Probably Thinks You’re a Whore

posted by on September 21 at 1:16 PM

Yesterday, I fell a little bit in love with school board candidate David Blomstrom, who seems to have some hefty anger management issues. Blomstrom refers to nearly all of his opponents as “whores,” and has all kinds of wild conspiracy theories. He’s basically the school board version of Stan Lippman.

I tried to get Blomstrom to come in for candidate interview (because I love crazy) but he emailed to let me know he doesn’t do interviews with “corporate media.”

I emailed back “Have you ever read our paper?”

This was his response:

Sure have. I loved the issue where your staff called me “the requisite loony” (apparently because I hate Bill Gates) and endorsed an ESTABLISHMENT heavyweight named Judith Billings, mostly because she has AIDS (“We love HIV!”)…*

They also noted that Billings was “racking up endorsements.” That’s kind of like endorsing candidates who are racking up money. I mean, we all know what kind of candidate gets all the money, corrupt endorsements and media publicity in this town.

Then there’s this page, where The Stranger endorsed four assholes in one fell swoop, Theresa Cardamone, Darlene Flynn, Brita Butler- Wall, and Irene Stewart…

Hello, does anyone at The Stranger do any RESEARCH? Irene Stewart is a member of Mayor Greg Nickels’ administration. That means she’s an INSIDER. She’s corrupt. Or, as I like to call ‘em, she’s a WHORE.

Of course, we’ve all seen how wonderful Darlene Flynn and Brita Butler-Wall turned out to be. Ah, Brita. For years, I tried to get her to join me in campaigning for an independent audit of the school district, but all she cared about was fighting Coca Cola - until she decided to run for office. Then she immediately transformed into Seattle’s premier fiscal hawk. Until after she got appointed…er, elected. Then she changed back to the Coca Cola Queen. I could go on and on, but I think you get my drift. All the evidence suggests The Stranger is indeed an establishment lap dog, no matter how passionately you and your cronies protest to the contrary.

Frankly, I think it would be most appropriate for The Stranger to endorse my opponent, “Whorium.” He apparently has no issues - just like The Stranger.

I can’t help but love this guy.

*By the way, we endorsed Billings—who wanted to kill the WASL—over Bergeson, the established incumbent.]

The Pina Colada Song…

posted by on September 21 at 1:12 PM

…comes to life—except that this time the couple is getting divorced, not rediscovering their love.

A married couple who didn’t realise they were chatting each other up on the internet are divorcing. Sana Klaric and husband Adnan, who used the names “Sweetie” and “Prince of Joy” in an online chatroom, spent hours telling each other about their marriage troubles, reported.

The truth emerged when the two turned up for a date. Now the pair, from Zenica in central Bosnia, are divorcing after accusing each other of being unfaithful.

“I was suddenly in love. It was amazing. We seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriage. How right that turned out to be,” Sana, 27, said.

This Week on Drugs

posted by on September 21 at 1:08 PM


Sniffed: Yakima opens school for drug dogs.

Laced: Dept. of Justice spends $13,000 on brownies for “Weed and Seed” conference.

Hired: Pentagon contracts $15 billion with five private companies for international “counter-narcoterrorism.”

Probed: Pot crusaders call for AG to investigate Yakima County law enforcement for ignoring medical-pot law.

Popped: NORML founder caught puffin’ at Boston Hempfest.

Freed: “We aim to right a wrong, and to exercise compassion, and to do it with grace,” said Florida Gov. Charlie Crist after pardoning a wheelchair-bound man who served three years of a 25-year sentence for Oxycontin.

Robbed: $25,000 in primo medicine stolen from South Seattle medical marijuana clinic.

Challenged: ACLU will sue Hawaii to stop random teacher drug testing.

Sealed and Delivered: Bush says he’ll sign FDA “Drug Safety Bill.”

Buzzed: Seattle is mocha Mecca for this sappy cocktwat.

Used: I hear Lowe’s needs tools, Federal Way Mirror.

Pissed: Pray tell, what clumsy national appearance would make someone think Ms. Spears would test positive for drugs?

Spun: A report released this week by the Government Accountability Office provides a clue why the White House rolled out a glitzy anti-meth media campaign last week. “Despite $397 million to support Mexican counternarcotics efforts… more than fivefold increase [in drug seizures] indicated a dramatic rise in supply. In addition, corruption persists within the Mexican government and challenges Mexico’s efforts to curb drug production and trafficking. Moreover, Mexican drug trafficking organizations operate with relative impunity along the U.S. border and in other parts of Mexico, and have expanded their illicit business to almost every region of the United States.” The Republican Sen. Charles E. Grassley who called for the report ads insult to injury: “The Office of National Drug Control Policy has to stop dropping the ball and doing sloppy work. They had plenty of time to forge a working relationship with the Mexican government, but it appears that nothing has been accomplished.” But meth, people!! Meth!!!

Since He Done Fucked Up Mexico, Colombia, and Afghanistan: Bush shifts gaze to Burma and Venezuela. For the love of God, Meth!!!!

Okay, Meth: So what do kids think about the new meth campaign?

Pie: Even once turns you into… Golum? Here’s the original version, called “Bathroom.”

The Only Cute Thing I’ve Ever Seen on the Sidewalk Outside the 11th Ave Value Village

posted by on September 21 at 1:05 PM

Spotted yesterday:


What the HELL is Craig’s List TALKING ABOUT?

posted by on September 21 at 12:46 PM

Attention all writers! A darling notion from a Craig’s Lister or whatever…

To All the People Looking for Writers

It’s great that you have decided to start a blog, or a new webzine, or to publish your latest book, however it is damn nervy to ask writers to commit to writing articles (such as the gaming people who want FIVE articles per week) for free. A professional writer doesn’t need “exposure”, they need money. Professional writers don’t waste time working on spec for startups, they only work on spec for established publications. Would you ask a hairdresser to style your hair for free because you couldn’t pay them but offer them the “exposure” of telling everyone who did your hair?

If you want professional writers - PAY THEM.

What? Writers get PAID? Why didn’t anyone mention this before? I write for abuse and occasional free cheese. I don’t know where the cheese comes from, it just appears on my doorstep.

I cut my own hair.


The Joy of Eating

posted by on September 21 at 12:30 PM

Maybe it’s my fatphobia—although this woman isn’t fat—or my issues with food in general or what appears to be the food pushing out of both corners of this woman’s mouth, but I was horrified by this ad…


It was on the side of a cardboard shelf full of Sara Lee hotdog buns. Does this ad actually make people want to eat? Anything? Ever again?

Overheard in the Office

posted by on September 21 at 12:15 PM

By the staff member with the most impressive mustache: “Randy Quaid, hubba hubba.”



More Important Than the NRA: Judith

posted by on September 21 at 11:30 AM

As I posted earlier, the Republican presidential candidates are at a big NRA meeting today. So what does Rudy Giuliani do while he’s giving his speech? He pauses to answer his cell phone:

It’s unclear whether Republican presidential candidate Rudolph W. Giuliani, whose previous positions on gun control are likely to make his presidential candidacy a tougher sell to members of the influential National Rifle Association, scored points or lost a few today when he decided to take a cell phone call from his wife in the middle of a speech to the group.

“Hello dear. I’m talking to the members of the N.R.A. right now. Would you like to say hello?” he said, apparently speaking to his wife, Judith. “I’ll give you a call as soon as I’m done. Have a safe trip. Bye bye.”

Though there was some scattered laughter, the audience was mostly quiet as Mr. Giuliani ended the call and added: “This is one of the great blessings of the modern age – to always be available.”

Slightly Used Wedding Dresses

posted by on September 21 at 11:09 AM

Also majorette jackets, sailor hats, plastic armor, scythes, dusty feathers, embroidered mantles—all for cheap at Brocklind’s garage sale today and tomorrow (9 am-5 pm), in case you’re like me and already obsessing about your Halloween costume.

Revelations from Seattle Mag (No, Really)

posted by on September 21 at 11:07 AM

I picked up a copy of Seattle Magazine on the way to the gym the other day because, well, I can’t do something as boring as working out without something, anything, to read. The choice was made out of desperation as much as anything. But I’ve gotta say, I was surprised and impressed by the quality of the writing and the choice of stories: A piece on a goat-rental service for contractors called Rent-A-Ruminant; a feature on urban fishing spots; a story about humane mobile slaughter facilities for sustainably grown beef and pork in Washington; a piece by my former coworker Philip Dawdy about the prevalence of domestic violence in Washington. Pretty impressive stuff for a magazine I’d always assumed was little more than fluffy filler surrounding the inevitable monthly list of advertisers (“Seattle’s 101 Best Realtors/Doctors/Organic Small-Batch Cheesemakers”).

Then I flipped to page 92, and found an ad for three condo projects in South Lake Union: the Rollin Street Flats, Enso Lofts, and the Veer. (Fair warning: Each web site features an incredibly obnoxious theme song.) Condo ads aren’t uncommon in high-end consumer magazines; what caught my eye was the way they were being sold. Under a satellite photo of the earth was a headline that read, “Your mother called. And once again she has an opinion about where you should live.” The rest of the ad is a pitch for “green” living: “pedestrian friendly,” “everything within easy walking distance,” “healthy, green living,” etc. It’s something we’ve been saying all along—living densely is better for the city and the environment—but it’s nice to see the environmental benefits of density go so mainstream that even developers are using them as part of their sales pitch.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 21 at 11:00 AM

Performance Art

Mike Albo at Re-bar

If Sandra Bernhard and Tim Miller had a performance-art baby, it would look freakishly like Mike Albo, the acclaimed NYC writer/performer—he has performed at PS 122 and writes the Underminer column for Gawker—making his Seattle debut. Like Bernhard, Albo is hilariously obsessed with pop culture; like Miller, he’s an eloquent gay who’s not averse to taking his clothes off. If you love deep, intelligent snark, don’t miss Albo. (Re-bar, 1114 Howell St, 8 pm, $15 adv/$18 DOS, 21+.)


Re: Black Male President or White Female President?

posted by on September 21 at 10:59 AM

Chris Rock on whether America is more ready for a white female president or a black male president—and the last line’s the best, so watch the whole thing:

Tonight & Tomorrow: Mike Albo at Re-Bar

posted by on September 21 at 10:56 AM


As I Slogged the day before yesterday (and suggest above), if you are a fan of Kathy Griffin, Sandra Bernhard, and/or arguing with intelligent friends about the contents of glossy supermarket tabloids, you really should go see Mike Albo, the acclaimed NYC performance artist making his Seattle debut tonight and tomorrow at Re-bar.

Today’s Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a good profile of Albo, complete with illuminating work excerpts. Read it here.

And find out virtually all you need to know about Albo’s work on his trash-glam website.

Re: KUOW Ransom Note

posted by on September 21 at 10:49 AM

I’m blogging this from the bowels of KUOW, where I’m taping a segment for Weekend America. Shhhh. Don’t tell anyone…

I have a question about this keep-the-pledge-drive-short note—this ransom note—that Dave received in the mail. I’ve heard similar announcements on the air for the last week or two, so it’s not just ransom notes—they’re making on-air threats.

And here’s what I’m wondering: Has KUOW announced their goal for their upcoming pledge drive? $500K? $750K? MoreK? They should tell us the goal, if they haven’t already. And it seems to me that KUOW is obligated to announce exactly how much they took in during the run-up to the pledge drive when the pledge drive actually starts. And then KUOW should tell us exactly how much shorter the pledge drive is going to be thanks to the folks that sent money early in response to those “send money now and shorten the pledge drive!” postcards and announcements.

KUOW is telling us that early pledges shorten the pledge drive—okay, but by how much? I never hear about how much shorter the pledge drive is going to be thanks to early pledgers once it starts. You never hear anything about early pledges once the pledge drive starts—no thank you, no acknowledgment, nothing. For all we know KUOW is extorting early pledges out of listeners and then sticking us with the same ol’ lengthy pledge drive.

In other KUOW news: Despite Ken Vincent’s very public departure from the station, his picture is still on the wall here…


That’s Ken on the far right, Derek “Too Cute for Radio” Wong in the middle, and KUOW alum Bill Radke (host of Weekend America) on the far left. Let me know if you want your picture, Ken, and I’ll liberate it for you.

Last Night at the 36th

posted by on September 21 at 10:44 AM

Despite a fairly predictable outcome, last night’s meeting of the “Thundering 36th” District Democrats—representing Ballard, Greenwood, Magnolia, Queen Anne, and parts of Belltown—did feature a few surprising fireworks.

But first, there were announcements—a P-Patch opening in Ballard, an inexplicable event involving state Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles—and, of course, sniping. Seated at tables completely covered with all manner of campaign literature (“Every candidate here is leaving a brontosaurus-size carbon foot print if they don’t take them ALL home!” bellowed diminutive, bespectacled former district chair Judith Hine) the Dems yelled, guffawed, delivered impassioned speeches, and trashed the opponents of their favorite candidate or cause.

Tim Burgess was first on the agenda. After a brief introduction, Burgess had exactly one minute to speak. He chose to address concerns that he didn’t hew to the planks of the Dems’ platform supporting abortion choice and gay marriage. (As I’ve reported, Burgess’s PR firm did work for anti-choice, anti-gay group Concerned Women for America; and he wrote an editorial in 2005 that expressed ambivalence on gay marriage and abortion. He now says he is 100-percent pro-choice and pro-marriage equality, and he was the only candidate in any local race to receive a rating of “outstanding” from the Seattle Municipal League.) “Don’t be distracted by issues that really don’t apply to the Seattle City Council,” Burgess said. “Look at my record of service.” District vice chair Janis Traven shot back: “Not only has he made significant contributions to Republicans [state Attorney General Rob McKenna and 2000 presidential candidate John McCain]… he professionally promulgated the anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-woman agenda of Concerned Women for America for many years during the Bush election and reelection.” Despite a substantial pro-Burgess contingent (“I’ve never seen any of these people before!” one disgruntled Della supporter guffawed repeatedly) the vote to endorse Burgess, which would have required the support of two-thirds of the room, failed.

It was pretty clear that there weren’t enough Della supporters in the room to make it worth a separate vote. But that didn’t stop Della backers from forcing one, and so the 36th Dems had a debate on that, too. On the pro side: State Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, who said Della “embodies… political courage.” Her examples: He stood up in favor of rebuilding the viaduct, and he opposed subsidizing a new stadium for the Sonics. (As Josh muttered during Dickerson’s speech: “You mean, like 75 percent of the voters? How courageous.”) On the con side: 36th member Shanna Sawatzki, who said, “Mary Lou talked about political courage. No one likes to talk about political gall. David Della had the political gall to challenge Heidi Wills, who he named ‘Rate Hike Heidi,’ on the public utility issue, and then he had the political gall to turn down the [City Light] committee appointment after he was elected.”

After all that was over (final vote: 44 to 38), the group voted to give no endorsement on the roads and transit package, making it the third local legislative district to not take a position on the proposal.

Everyone Agrees: Piroshky = Delicious

posted by on September 21 at 10:39 AM

Sage Van Wing praised their goods (and recognized the stern brilliance of their proprietress) in the premiere installment of <10 (Good Grub Under Ten Bucks). Now Piroshky on Broadway is earning further props in the Stranger Reader Reviews:

FOUR STARS. The best part about my first trip was when I didn’t finish my borscht (due to being stuffed silly with borscht and two piroshkies) the matriarchal Russian proprietor came by my table and demanded to know “What is wrong with borscht juice?” so I sat up straight and ate it like a good little boy. Posted on August 21, 2007.

I love a forceful waitperson. (A moment’s silence for Cafe Septieme’s Stephanie, the most brutally efficient waitress Seattle’s ever known.) Share your memories and judge your servers in the Stranger Restaurant Guide.

Slog Poll Re-Do: Black Male President or White Female President?

posted by on September 21 at 10:33 AM

There was no end to the criticism of this poll last month, in which I asked whether you all thought America was more ready for a woman president or a black president.

Commenters pounced:

black male? A black president could mean a black female which would skew the results (I think) of your question.

Posted by clarify, please | August 22, 2007 11:03 AM


Sheesh! I’m with clarify, please… We are talking about a black MAN president and a WHITE woman president, right. The question assumes that all Black people are men and all women are white. I am so fucking over that shit!!! Yes, the media is filled with “are we ready for a black or a woman.” NEWSFLASH: I am a BLACK WOMAN. Yeah, we do exist.

Posted by Papayas | August 22, 2007 11:11 AM

Point well taken. Today we’re re-doing that poll, posing the question this way:

Given the potentially history-making candidacies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, there’s a lot of talk in Democratic circles these days about what type of leader this country is “ready for.” Do you think America is more ready for a white female president or a black male president?

Poll closes at 5 p.m.

* * *

NEW BLOG: Obsessed with the presidential race? Now you can follow all of our presidential Slogging at our new blog, Slogging Toward 2008, which comes complete with its own RSS feed, collections of our past presidential race coverage from the paper, and a handy calendar of upcoming events.

Best Art Show. Ever. (Part V)

posted by on September 21 at 10:30 AM

This is the second-to-last zone of the magical sphere of Artempo. (Zone I: Palace, Zone II: Bodies in the Basement, Zone III: Veils, Zone IV: Teeming.)

You’ve just come through the fire of the first floor, which culminates in a Turrell red room, and suddenly something completely different happens. The rooms are white.

The first guide is a 13th-century Chinese Lohan figure seated on the floor, a figure who, in Theravada Buddhism, has crossed over to the other side, and is saved forever. Lining the walls of the room are Roman Opalka’s paintings of numbers in light, light gray, so that the canvases appear to be all white until you get close and can see the streams of simple counting. You can also hear the light drone of the artist’s voice, counting. It’s much like the Kimsooja video of a laundry woman standing still in front of the moving river on the first floor. The room is a spiritual lesson in multiple aesthetic and cultural languages, sure, and it’s also pure pleasure to be in.


The next two rooms bring the same rush of pleasure, in completely different syntax. A 17th-century Japanese scroll hangs near a Piero Manzoni calendar collage from 1959 and Enrico Castellani’s 1970 white canvas shaped into diamond points. From the ceiling hang two sculptures by Markus Raetz, from 2006, made of metal filaments shaped into simple boxes but continuously changing shape (from one type of box to another) as they turn and twist in silence. You can easily miss them up there, flying quiet. On the floor are four large stones in a row, progressing from round to oblong, by Dominique Stroobant.


Above all that, the palazzo’s interior ceiling is ornate, like a series of red diamonds that play with the installation on yet another level.

Through one last door are Thomas Ruff’s photograph of stars, an On Kawara date painting, Duchamp’s two facing mirrors, and Shozo Shimamoto’s gun-shot, two-sided metal panel—in a space with tall, arched windows, like a chapel.

Praising the NRA

posted by on September 21 at 9:56 AM

It’s that time again… The Republican presidential candidates are at a big NRA conference today, trying out-gun each other.

A look John McCain’s turn at the mic:

The first of six presidential candidates to address the group, Mr. McCain highlighted his opposition to the ban on “so-called assault weapons” and his efforts to shield gun manufacturers from lawsuits accusing them of being liable for violent crimes.

“My friends, gun owners are not extremists. You’re the core of modern America,” he said to several hundred N.R.A. members at a Washington hotel today. “The Second Amendment is unique in the world and at the core of our constitutional freedoms.”

As Mr. McCain shifted his speech to the war in Iraq, he was briefly interrupted by anti-war protesters who were rapidly escorted out of the ballroom after one of them was doused with water by one audience member.

After the protesters were removed, Mr. McCain said: “We beat you yesterday. We beat you the day before. We’ll beat you today … We won’t choose to lose this conflict.” He was met with loud applause.

Diamond in the Scruff

posted by on September 21 at 9:52 AM

This sounds like bullshit: Some guy had 10 strands of Beethoven’s brown hair. Some other guy thought it would be a good idea to turn Beethoven’s hair into diamonds and sell them on eBay.

David Hampson, chief executive of LifeGem UK®, said: “This diamond is the first ever created from the carbon of a celebrity or historical figure.”

Here is the site for LifeGem®, where you can learn how it’s done (extract carbon, heat and compress) and enjoy testimonials like these:

Dear Rusty,

Well, we all got to look at our LifeGems last night as a family. My Mom was speechless (which is a big feat for her) and my brother, sisters, as well the rest of the gang (grandkids, sister and brother-in-law), were very impressed with the diamonds! It’s hard to explain the thoughts (the good thoughts, of course) that go through ones mind when examining a “diamond” that is created from the remains of our father. The timing could not have been any better, Rusty. The few times a year (which is usually only once!) that we get together as family and we were able to receive the Gems – it could not have happened any better.

Jack French, Jr. (Son )


LifeGem® [actual slogan]: “A diamond that takes millions of years to occur naturally can now be created from the carbon of your loved one in about twenty-four weeks.”

KUOW Ransom Note

posted by on September 21 at 9:12 AM

Yesterday brought the following to my mailbox, printed on a benign white postcard:

Dear Listener:

You recently received our newsletter asking you to send in your gift of support to help make the KUOW Fall On-Air Pledge Drive a success.

Make your gift today. There is still time to keep the drive short.

KUOW is committed to being your trusted source of news and information.

Programming is funded by members that value accurate and relevant reporting—your support keeps KUOW strong.

Members control the length of the drive—make it short with your gift by October 5th!

Marcia Scholl

“Send us money now or we’ll torture you with a super-long drive.” Does this qualify as a legally actionable threat?


posted by on September 21 at 9:08 AM

Also out this week is the DVD of Zoo, a movie that is set in this beautiful part of the world:

One unimpressed critic has this to say:

It’s an extremely creepy film that shows a deranged, dark underbelly of society. Although the participants in these acts will beg to differ, I found the whole thing quite nutty.

Required Viewing

posted by on September 21 at 9:01 AM

Slate’s campaign commercial for Mitt Romney: “Five Brothers.”

Chris Crock—Wait, Maury Povich is Still on the Air?

posted by on September 21 at 8:46 AM

Another Day, Another Couple of Horrifying Pit Bull Stories

posted by on September 21 at 8:44 AM

KIRO 7 reports on the pit bull that charged into a home near Ethel, Washington, where it attacked a teenage girl and slaughtered a shih tzu.

ABC reports on the Georgia man accused of capturing neighborhood cats and feeding them—live—to his pit bulls.

(To be fair, the second story is about a horrifying pit-bull owner, but so are all horrifying pit-bull stories, in a way.)

First They Came For Jesus Christ, and I Did Not Speak Out Because I Actually Thought that Joke Was Kind of Funny

posted by on September 21 at 8:41 AM

That was a close call! The omniscient creator of the Universe, the Ruler of Heaven and Earth, our Lord and Savior—He was under assault, being attacked, on the ropes! I really thought this was it for Jesus, that He was going down. And then a Christian theater bravely took a stand: The Miracle Theater of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, paid $90,440 to run a full-page ad in USA Today attacking Kathy “Suck it, Jesus” Griffin. Says the ad…

“We at The Miracle Theater consider it an honor to stand for Jesus today. We may never win a national award. We may never be household names. We may never be seen in Hollywood. Although others may choose to use their national platform to slander our God, we are honored as professional entertainers to stand for Christ.”

Well, thank God someone was willing to stand for Christ. How often does that happen in America? This gives me hope that one day our national government will be dominated by born-again and evangelical Christians, and that a time may yet come when prominent preachers have an effective veto of nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court and the federal government directs billions of dollars to religious organizations. Then the whole country will stand for Jesus!

The anti-Jesus crowd Towleroad says

Of course the Miracle Theater is welcome to waste their money in whatever way they choose, but imagine how much prouder Jesus would have been had they spent that $90,440 to feed the homeless or help needy children. Instead they spent in on a self-aggrandizing ad condemning free speech.

They just don’t get it, do they?

I Demand a Recount!

posted by on September 21 at 8:28 AM

I thought “Savage Lovecast” was the most socially destructive podcast available on the Interwebs—but no, apparently that honor falls to “Polyamory Weekly.” Alexander Cornswalled—dig that name!—is a “Conservative Christian, writing and podcasting about religion, morals and the fight to halt the decay of American society and civilization.” He slams Violet Blue’s podcast (“unapologetic pornography… the only podcast for which I did not listen to an entire episode”), This American Life (“the Lifetime Channel for Liberals”), and some podcasts I haven’t heard of but will definitely be checking out (“Nobody Likes Onions,” “Dawn and Drew,” “A Prairie Home Companion”), but “Polyamory Weekly” takes home the “most socially destructive” gold. Here’s Cornswalled…

This is easily the most dangerous and socially destructive podcast I’ve ever heard. The program is about Polyamory, the practice of having multiple sexual partners, provided everyone consents and knows what’s going on. It advocates just about every form of perversion you can imagine…. The program is not the most sexually explicit, nor is it the most offensive. It’s dangerous because the program seeks to normalize Homosexuality, Bisexuality, wife swapping, bondage and a host of other unChristian behaviors. They side AGAINST the Mormons who want to legalize underage brides, but if all those Mormon brides are 18 or older, they’re all for it.

If your child is listening to Polyamory Weekly, then I recommend you respond as if you’d found deviant magazines in their possession. Do not react with anger, as that will only make matters worse, but respond with Christian love and understanding. Your child has been exposed to dangerous and radical ideas, and needs help with the confusion of ideas that such exposure can create.

Cornswalled—he he he, that name!—promises to post more podcast reviews, the better to assist American parents in their efforts to monitor what their children are downloading and listening to. So watch out, “Polyamory Weekly”! I’m sending Cornswalled a link to “Savage Lovecast.”

NOTE: I’m having hard time figuring out if Cornswalled is for real—he condemns “A Prairie Home Companion,” for crying out loud. Is he a conservative Christian? Or parodying conservative Christians? He says he’s from the midwest… but he sure doesn’t sound like he’s from the midwest in this video posted to his website.

And Now Her Communications Director is Out

posted by on September 21 at 7:55 AM

Gov. Gregoire’s Communications Director, Holly Armstrong, announced this morning that she’s leaving.

Gov. Gregoire’s Chief of Staff, Tom Fitzsimmons, announced on Monday that he was leaving.

Armstrong says she’s moving back to Denver, Colorado to be closer to friends and family.

I’d heard the Armstrong rumor from some GOP folks on Tuesday when I was calling around about the Fitzsimmons story—right down to the Colorado line. Watch your back Gregoire. The GOP has a mole.

The Morning News

posted by on September 21 at 7:00 AM

Snarky Headline About the War: Iraqi government says Blackwater shooting was unjustified. Bush dodges the issue. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Robert Gates says he doesn’t know if Iraq was worth it. Oh, and now there’s cholera in Baghdad.

It’s the Thought That Counts: Dems try, fail to cut off war funds.

Poor Kids Don’t Need Healthcare: Bush threatens veto for children’s health insurance program. Plans to kick more puppies.

Circling the Drain:
Our economy.

The Jena 6: Protest draws thousands in Louisiana.

Full of Lead: 50,000 lunch boxes handed out by California Dept. of Health.

Fuck, Yeah: New York rejects abstinence-only sex ed funds.

Sisleyville is Burning: more fires in Roosevelt.


Lockdown: 2 students shot at Delaware State University.

And now, your final O.J. clip of the week:

Thursday, September 20, 2007

“Condos Don’t Force People to Live in Them.”

posted by on September 20 at 5:12 PM

Eric de Place over at Sightline calls attention to an annoying trend in writing about density: The tendency reporters have to treat dense developments, like condos and apartments, as if they, by their mere existence, force people to live in tiny, crowded spaces. One such example, he writes,

comes from today’s Seattle P-I: “Now, condominiums are building upward, packing people into to what used to be inexpensive property.

Now this is weird. Admittedly, I don’t get out a lot, but I’ve never seen condos roaming the streets, rounding up suburban residents, and stuffing the poor saps into boxes. I’ve always been under the impression that developers build condos in urban neighborhoods because there are lots of people who want to live in them.

A similar usage, de Place writes, is the tendency to as if some outside force is “packing” people together (e.g., “Packing people together creates problems…”). Both usages show contempt for the choice to live in a dense community—as if the people who choose to buy condos instead of single-family houses are subject to some outside force they can’t control. A similar usage, de Place notes, does not exist for those who choose to live in single-family homes.

You rarely hear about ramblers or cape cods “pushing people apart.” Quite the contrary, it’s just assumed that people like me with house-and-yard setups are exercising free will.

Now in fairness to common parlance, let’s also admit that public policies affect housing choice. … But those policies — zoning, lending standards, freeway building, tax policy, and much more — have strongly favored single-family uses that are segregated from businesses and jobs. Still, it is always people who make choices; buildings don’t do that, not even when policies play favorites.

Well put, Eric.

“Mackris v. O’Reilly” on YouTube!

posted by on September 20 at 4:57 PM

Remember the Loofahtorio I wrote about back in January?

Well, Seattle composer Igor Keller’s baroque oratorio based on the sexual-harassment suit that Andrea Mackris brought against Bill O’Reilly has hit YouTube, which will never be quite the same.

God bless baritone Charles Robert Stephens, who really goes for it in declaring Mackris’s “boobs” “spectacular.”

Stop by the Mackris v. O’Reilly online store, where a recording of the entire oratorio is for sale, as well as several T-shirts, including these:



(Thank you, as ever, Artdish.)

One Buck = One Loonie

posted by on September 20 at 4:56 PM

Headline of the day…

Canadian Dollar Trades Equal to U.S. for First Time Since 1976

From the Savage Love Archives: Advice to a 15-Year Old

posted by on September 20 at 4:44 PM

Some of you may remember this letter to Savage Love from “Fifteen and Gay” back in 2003:

I’m a gay high school sophomore, and I’ve had no luck finding other guys. I turned to the Internet and met a really nice guy who wants to help me live out my dreams of being another dude’s sex slave. He offered to pick me up after school and take me to his house. The only problem is, he’s 38 and I’m 15. My parents don’t know about any of this. Should I say sure to this plan, or should I go to the cops?

Fifteen and Gay

This newly resurrected page contains a pile of letters bearing advice for the kid. The original column is here.

How High on Cocaine Do You Have to Be to Call the Feds About Your Lost Cocaine?

posted by on September 20 at 3:38 PM

Leroy Carr of Federal Way, YOU ‘DA NEW MAYOR OF CRAZYTOWN!


Re: Perverted Justice Strikes Close to Home

posted by on September 20 at 3:38 PM

Offered without comment:

Some therapists have warned that Savage’s approach is not the best for everyone. Malcolm McKay of the Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy praised Savage for making sex a topic that could be discussed openly and for providing accurate information, but commented, “What really fascinates me about Dan is how incredibly moralistic he is. If you’re really confused and looking for a place to turn for help, Dan’s not the place to go.”

Yeah, because morals are the last thing you need—particularly if your sex life is built around exploiting really confused young people.

Oh, sorry. Commented there, didn’t I?

Dept. of Corrections

posted by on September 20 at 3:33 PM

In the print edition of last week’s Bar Exam, a grave (and troubling to the Examiner—hello, mind?) error was committed. Let it be known, over at the Alki Tavern, Thursday is $1 taco night (Tuesday is $1 burger night). One dollar, people—less than the water taxi (which is the best thing in Seattle, if not the world) to get you there from Pier 55 on the waterfront (last boat back on Thursday is at 7:10).

The column in question has met with mixed reviews from Alki Tavern regulars—to wit:

you know what you need to come there more often the patrons at the alki are like a family . i am certain that you are one of those capitol hill messabe bag carrying yuppies who is living off mom and dads money so you need to realize that you need a change from the comet,sattelite or in your case neighbors get off capitol hill explore seattle and quit being a stuck up cunt


Butch Fields

long time patron of the alki tavern

P.S. thursday is taco night

Hello Bethany,

I wanted to thank you for yet another great review of the Alki Tavern in The Stranger. That “one-man welcoming committee” behind the bar is my son Gill and you hit it dead on with the reference to “the Dude”. Your article caught the true essence of the Alki. My husband, Gill Sr, especially liked your remark that the Alki “doesn’t give a damn and never will”. After 31 years, why start now.

Just for the record; it’s Taco Thursday. On Tuesday we have Wimpy burgers, same deal—$1 build your own with the same guy in the kitchen and Gill behind the bar. Not as many bikes but that may change with the article in The Stranger. So come on down Tuesday. The burgers and beers are on me. Thanks again for keeping the Alki alive and well.

Cathy McLynne

P.S. Did you notice Santa has two left feet?

Perverted Justice Strikes Close to Home

posted by on September 20 at 3:25 PM

Malcolm McKay, a prominent gay counselor who worked with Northwest AIDS Foundation and counseled troubled youths at the Ruth Dykeman Children’s Center, has surrendered his health-care credentials after being snared in an internet sex sting conducted by the notorious

The Seattle Times breaks the story:

[McKay] told the Department of Health he engaged in a sexually explicit online chat with an adult posing as a teen three years ago. DOH documents say that over two days in September 2004, McKay chatted online with an adult posing as a 14-year-old boy. The adult worked with, a group that targets online child predators. McKay transmitted “naked, graphic photos” of himself and appeared “to be grooming his chat-mate for a sexual relationship,” the DOH statement of charges said….McKay told the Department of Health in a December 2005 letter that he had a “sexual addiction” that was “out of control.

Full story here.

Today in Line Out

posted by on September 20 at 3:11 PM

Pizza, Beer, & Juice: With Peter, Bjorn, and John.

Don’t Fucking Fight: Appreciation for the Hoods.

One More Beirut Video: For the song “Forks & Knives (La fête)”.

Tonight in Music: The Flaming Lips, Decibel Festival, Peter Bjorn & John, and Low.

Soundcheck: Trent Moorman says you do what Dr. Heavy tells you to do.

Well, Someone’s on Acid: Jonathan Zwickel explains this week’s Flaming Lips orgy.


1,000 Words: Kelly O’s photos from Tuesday’s Big Business/Melvins double date.

Old World Vs. New World Pt. 4: ABBA vs. Bach.

Catfish Noodling: And Flaming Lips… I can’t think of a word that rhymes with noodling.

Better Than the Flaming Lips?: Terry Miller says the new Rex the Dog single absolutely is.

Hello, Handsome: Kim Hayden’s old country crushes.

If You Love Disco: You love Bunny Sigler.

Sound Off! Season: Hey kids! EMP puts out the call for entries.

The Seattle Mafia

posted by on September 20 at 2:55 PM

I’ve been busy trying to set up endorsement interviews, but I wanted to pause for a moment and share my intense love for my new favorite school board candidate, David Blomstrom.

Blomstrom, who operates (!!!) and looks a bit like Frankenstein, will—I hope—make for one of the liveliest campaign interviews yet. Here’s why:


From his bio, on his “mature adults only” (No, there’s no porn. I looked.) website:

Welcome! My name is David Blomstrom, and I’m running for a seat on the Seattle School Board. Specifically, I’m gunning for the seat currently occupied by a lying, conniving whore named Brita Butler-Wall, representing District III.

As you may have guessed, this site is for MATURE ADULTS ONLY. If you’re hung up on that freakish Seattle civility, you’ll probably want to vote for my opponent, Harium “No Issues” Martin-Morris (or, as I’ve dubbed him, Whorium).

This is my fifth campaign for public office, having run for school board twice before (1999 and 2003) and twice for State Superintendent of Public Instruction (2000 and 2004). My campaign is both very similar to and very different from my first campaign.

I really want to get in touch with David to set up an interview, but when I called him earlier today, all I got was “the PCS telephone number you have dialed is temporarily not in service.”

David! Call me!


Terry Bergeson Superintendent of Public Instruction

Says uber-hippie ECB: “At least it’s a green swastika.”

Double Update: Blomstrom will not be attending The Stranger’s endorsement interview cattle call. “Sorry, I don’t do endorsements with the corporate media,” he says.

Where Am I Today?

posted by on September 20 at 2:37 PM


I do not recommend oral surgery, but I do recommend a chocolate Vicodin milkshake.


Sorry for the blurry picture. Thursday is the new Andromeda star flower day.

A Clarification

posted by on September 20 at 2:34 PM

On this week’s story about the tragic death of Bryce Lewis, a 19-year-old cyclist who was struck and killed at the intersection of Eastlake and Fuhrman, just south of the University Bridge. As I reported, Lewis was riding a fixed-gear bike when he was hit; however, the fact that his bike had a brake (reported earlier on Slog) was deleted from the story during the editing process. Since it’s unclear how fast Lewis was going when he was hit, it’s hard to tell whether a brake could have slowed him significantly or not (and front-wheel brakes have their own shortcomings, the largest being the tendency to flip the bike if you’re moving quickly and you brake abruptly). Ultimately, wearing a helmet (which Lewis was not) is far more important than what kind of bike you’re riding.

Edwards in Seattle: The Reviews

posted by on September 20 at 1:10 PM

I couldn’t get in to the Edwards fundraiser at the Westin last night, but a few of our commenters could. Their reviews are here, and, in part, here:

I went. There were about 300 people in the Westin’s 5th Ave room. There was some diversity but mostly it looked like a crowd who could afford $100 to see the stump speech in person.

Edwards covered all of his bases. Universal Healthcare (including mental health), confronting Global Warming by cutting carbon emmissions by 80% by 2040 and asking Americans to be patriotic about something other than war. On the War in Iraq, he said Congress should stop funding it and respond to every veto with another budget that does not fund the War in Iraq. He also said he would close Gitmo on his first day in office and was amazed that presidential candidates actually had to declare they were against torture. (The point being it should never have become the norm.

All and all it was a good speech. More people should take a closer look at him. He is the only Democratic candidate that can really bring the South into play. All the polls show him winning against any Republican.

Jenny Durkan introduced Edwards with some insightful commentary of her own. She said Jeb would be here next week to raise money for Romney. But, this is actually cover for testing the waters for himself. “They say he is more like his Dad…”

Posted by Zander | September 19, 2007 7:47 PM


I checked it out and was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t think he was as “smarmy” as he appears in the debates and stump speeches on tv.

At this point Edwards seems our best shot to challenge some aspects of the corporate/establishment machine. He’s a fighter and he’s been burned once by the bad guys and he won’t underestimate them again.

But unfortunately I’m not sure he can catch Hillary. Actually, it will be more about Hillary tripping, or being tripped, that would allow Edwards to have a shot…

Posted by Merkle | September 19, 2007 10:08 PM

Mustache “Facts” of Dubious Provenance

posted by on September 20 at 1:05 PM


In honor of the 826 mustache-a-thon (briefly—bunches of people, like me, are growing mustaches so other people, like maybe you, will give money to 826 Seattle, the writing and tutoring center for kids), I’d hoped to find a bunch of great mustache facts to post.

Guess what? There aren’t any. Not any a person could trust.

There’s this outrageous claim:

Scientific research, commissioned by the Guinness Brewing Company, found that the average mustachioed Guinness drinker traps a pint and a half of the creamy nectar every year. Now that Guinness is £2.10 a pint, this is the equivalent of an annual moustache tax of £4.58.

And this one:

In August 2007, following a widely publicized case in which the Supreme Court upheld a trial lawyers right to veto a juror on upper-lip hair alone, The American Moustache Institute, a U.S. pressure group launched a campaign to counter prejudice against their members.

But they sound like lies.

Anyway: donate!

War on Children

posted by on September 20 at 12:33 PM

How I hate the president:

WASHINGTON (CNN) — President Bush on Thursday vowed to veto a reported deal in Congress to expand a children’s health-care insurance program, accusing Democrats of wanting to send him the legislation to score “political points in Washington.”
There is no moral bottom to this man, this symbol of “compassionate conservatism.”

Like a Pig in Shit on Parade

posted by on September 20 at 12:28 PM


I spotted “Santorum Pig” on Pine Street yesterday. Kinda gross. More fiber in your diet, pig, more fiber. That’ll do.

Constant Advice

posted by on September 20 at 12:15 PM

Someone in the office—named Amy Kate Horn—just declared Paul Constant’s thing about dressing oneself “the best paragraph in the Back to School guide.” Here tis:

Guess what? People don’t wear clothing to be comfortable. People wear clothing to be attractive. If comfort was our only goal as a species, we’d all be wandering around in velour sacks, idly masturbating, and eating fistfuls of pudding. So don’t wear your pajamas around campus. Sweatpants suggest that you have a load in your drawers. Crocs are for special-ed students who can’t lace their goddamned shoes. And if your clothes have holes in them, either learn to sew or throw them away. It’s a basic sign of respect for the species that you not dress like a sexless hobo.

That’s pretty good advice for college students. (More one-paragraph pieces of advice here.) But not as good as Constant’s advice—about not letting books turn you into an asshole—over here:

Jesus fucking Christ. Are you reading Atlas Shrugged? Don’t you know it’ll turn you into an asshole for at least two years? When you’re college-age and your parents are paying for everything, you’re likely to be a big believer in people pulling themselves up by their bootstraps. Ayn Rand appeals to your age group for that reason, but the problem is, once you actually have to pay your own way, bootstrap-pulling gets a whole fuck of a lot harder, and Rand sounds more and more like a creepy Republican. If you’re over 25 and you still think her books are great, you’re (a) white and (b) an asshole.

“I’m Charles Baker Harris. I can read. I can read anything you’ve got. Folks call me Dill.”

posted by on September 20 at 11:42 AM

Went to see the opening of To Kill a Mockingbird at Intiman last night. It was okay.

(Good things: Recalling the story; a big cast; Lori Larson as a town floozy. Bad things: Jem, Scout, and Dill were almost impossible to understand, their little-kid voices at a shouty monotone; some guy wandering around playing bar harmonica in a portentous way; the whole production was a little slow, a little flat.)

More importantly—I didn’t know the character of Dill was based on Truman Capote. Dill, the neglected, clever, wimpy one. Dill, the messenger between kidland and adultland, the one who is made most sick by the ignorance and bullshit of the grownups, who leaves the courtroom to cry after watching the prosecuting attorney sneers as he cross-examines Tom Robinson. Dill, the kid who introduces himself to Jem and Scout by bragging about how well he can read and saying: “I’m little but I’m old.”

Of course it’s Truman Capote. How could I have missed that for so many years?

The New Yorker has a new poetry editor…

posted by on September 20 at 11:37 AM

…and it’s Paul Muldoon. Reading the news this morning reminded me of a piece by Jonathan Safran Foer in LA Weekly in 2002, a year before Muldoon won the Pulitzer and the last thing I can remember enjoying in LA Weekly (don’t read it much, granted):

I SPENT TWO MONTHS LAST SUMMER IN A SMALL, seaside town in Spain, hoping to make an unrealistic amount of headway into my second novel. Because of a postage snafu, the two dozen books that were supposed to meet me there were never heard from again, leaving me with the following English reading material: my passport, about 30 U.S. dollars, the label on my family-size bottle of multivitamins, the face of my Casio watch, my last name (sewn, by my mother, into my oldest socks) and Paul Muldoon’s Poems: 1968 -1998, a book I had stuffed into my carry-on at the last minute, in no small part because of my love of the dust jacket…

It’s a swell little piece. Whole thing’s here.

No Other Day Like Today!

posted by on September 20 at 11:35 AM

Ladies and gentelmen, a lessong (yes, lessong) in Temporal Quantum Theory from recently re-dressed spangler, Miss Carol Channing

Science, indeed.

Re: Who’s Who in Darth Cheney Land?

posted by on September 20 at 11:15 AM

Seeing the comment thread below, Andy from Towleroad writes to say:

Actually, the Pope is Senator Palpatine


Ron Paul Girl

posted by on September 20 at 11:05 AM

Every male presidential candidate has to have a hot woman stumping for him in a web video this election, it seems. Here’s Ron Paul’s version of Obama Girl. I now await Giuliani Girl, Richardson Girl, and Gravel Girl…

Ron Paul Girl - Awesome video clips here

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 20 at 11:00 AM


Decibel Festival at Neumo’s

Seattle’s fourth annual Decibel Festival offers four days of world-class electronic music at various venues, but tonight’s Death of the Party showcase is a definite highlight, featuring Diplo’s polyglot party jams, Switch’s twitchy house, Simian Mobile Disco’s raucous electro, and the DJ skills of Seattle’s Fourcolorzack and Pretty Titty. It’s going to be a hell of a party, but it’s also going to be an ecstatic and exhausting weekend, so try to pace yourself. (Neumo’s, 925 E Pike St, 8 pm, $15 adv/$17 DOS, 21+.)


Henderson Marxism

posted by on September 20 at 10:35 AM

It began with this TV show:
789757.jpg The Henderson Kids occupies no place in America’s popular culture. Its place is not even that high in the realm of the popular culture that it owes its existence, Australia’s. And when I watched the program in the mid 80s in Zimbabwe, none of my close or distant friends noticed it at all. The only show from Australia that made a mark on the culture of Zimbabweans who could afford a TV was the Paul Hogan Show.

Despite its obscurity, The Henderson Kids had a profound and revolutionary effect on my young mind. I can say that before seeing the show, I was this type of person; after seeing the show, I was another type of person. The person before the show appeared on ZBC: apolitical; the person after its appearance: political.

Wikipeadia has a surprisingly good description of the first season of the The Henderson Kids:

The series centres around a teenage brother and sister, Steve ( Paul Smith) and Tamara (Nadine Garner) forced to leave the city and move to the country to live with their uncle Mike ( Nicholas Eadie), a police officer in the fictional town of Haven Bay, after their mother Alice (Diane Craig) is suddenly killed in a motoring accident (run over by a cement truck!).

The remainder of the series deals with the Henderson kids making a new life in Haven Bay (Birregurra, Victoria) and making friends with the local gang - Ted Morgan (Ben Mendelsohn), “Cowboy” Clarke ( Mark Hennessy), Char Kernow (Kylie Minogue) and Brian “Brains” Buchanan ( Bradley Kilpatrick). Finally, they must defend the family land, Hendersons’ Point, against the schemes of ruthless businessman Ashley Wheeler ( Peter Whitford). Steve falls in love with Wheeler’s gorgeous daughter Sylvia (Annie Jones), to compound matters.

The impact on me is not the death of the mother (existential, Heidegger, the absolute mystery), nor the close relationship between the teenage brother and sister (psychological, Hegel, the fairytale), nor the move from the city to the rural (cosmopolitanism, Baudelaire, Proust), but the fact that the bad guy of the show was a “ruthless businessman,” a capitalist. What impressed me was the very idea that a man could be bad simply because he wanted to make more money, to make more money at any cost, to make money at the expense of the happiness and well being of others. This had never occurred to me. Before the realization, a person was bad because of Satan, or because he was a racist, or because he/she had a poor education. Indeed, most people were bad because of the third reason, because they did not read the right (or enough) books, had very little culture, learning, letters in them—in this sense (or view), a rich person could bad because he or she lacked culture, not because he or she had (or wanted) too much money.

The Henderson Kids made it clear that money was the source of all problems. That the history of human struggles was based in class and not in culture or religion. This realization was a ray of truth that beamed from the TV screen to the neurons of my brain, completely rearranging their networks, their associations, the pattern of my memories. The Henderson Kids made me see the world for the first time.

Important Business Afoot

posted by on September 20 at 10:28 AM

Congress has voted to condemn MoveOn’s oh-so-controversial Gen. Petraeus ad in the New York Times. Unfortunately—but not surprisingly—there were a lot of Ds who voted yea.


David Kurtz of Talking Points Memo has this to say about the vote:

Correct me if I’m wrong here. But by my calculation, more U.S. senators (72) voted today to condemn a newspaper ad attacking Gen. Petraeus than voted yesterday (56) to lengthen the time off troops get from the frontlines in Iraq, thereby reducing individual soldiers exposure to actual attacks.

Who’s Who in Darth Cheney Land?

posted by on September 20 at 9:55 AM

I seem to recall more than a few Star Wars geeks lurking in our comments. You guys want to try your hands at this?

Yesterday Hillary Clinton referred to Dick Cheney as Darth Vader. That immediately raised questions among what Ben Smith calls “a small subset of political junkies who are also Star Wars geeks.” They tell him that if Cheney is Darth Vader then…

…a couple of things are clear:

George Bush is Emperor Palpatine.

Before he became evil, Dick Cheney was a great and good Jedi. (Possibly during the Gerald Ford administration. Was this reported at the time?) And in his final act, he redeems himself by taking down the Emperor. (Still time?)

And who’s Hillary? Bill is obviously Han Solo, and so I guess you have to say Leia, though I’m struggling to make that work.

Sound right to you guys?

The Messenger…

posted by on September 20 at 9:39 AM

…has crossed over.

The Best Art Show. Ever. (Part IV)

posted by on September 20 at 9:30 AM

When you get up to what the Italians call the first floor of this palazzo, Artempo explodes. (Lower floors here, here, and here.)


This photo actually doesn’t come close to illustrating the heated, crowded, radical weirdness of this floor. Here’s another image from the show’s PR that tries, but again, fails (also featuring the five curators, with collector Axel Vervoordt second from right).


(The best images I’ve seen online of the show are in a slide show that ran with Roberta Smith’s review—“Among the most strange and powerful exhibitions I have seen”—in the NYT.)

There are several hundred objects on display on this floor, and one James Turrell installation. Placards that act as legends for various corners of the room are splayed on tables and snatched up by visitors (when I was there, visitors were stalking each other for their placards).

The room is long horizontally laid out in front of you as you enter. To the left is a plaster cast of a classical male nude reclining (collection of Mariano Fortuny), and hanging next to it above a desk of drawers with ornate wood inlays, is a large, glowing-green Lucio Fontana slash painting.


Behind that is an installation including a cloud of neon-blue LED lights by a contemporary Japanese artist, a 1611 baroque painting of writhing bodies, and a 1675 ivory carving of Poseidon across from a 10th-century table with elephant skin as its top, the leg bones of a giraffe as its support, and the horns of an antelope as its feet.

That may sound sprawling, but on closer inspection, it’s thematically tight. Consider that nearby—the walls are covered in Fortuny’s Eastern-Western tapestries, by the way—a Marlene Dumas painting titled Supermodel


faces off with a photograph of the plastic surgery artist, Orlan, and between them hangs Louise Bourgeois’s classic bronze double penis-cum-winged creature, Janus in Leather Jacket, from 1968.

(See why Bourgeois’s fountain at OSP is so … slight?)

Also in this same fray is an antique anatomical cast of a woman’s body with a baby in the belly but an empty heart cavity, and behind it is a female torso locked into a chastity corset covered by a fig leaf. Not far off is a taxidermied python, and the charred existential-disaster paintings of Alberto Burri.

In a wunderkammern (or wonder cabinet), works of art (including Man Ray’s classic The Object to Be Destroyed) do not get pride of place. They’re nestled right in with shrunken heads, ancient phallus sculptures, Buddhas, chunks of rock, scientific devices, and oddities like this 19th-century creature:


Mariano Fortuny’s own paintings (seen behind the curators in the photo above) lead the way into a side room containing a perfectly installed wall piece called Red Shift (1995) by James Turrell. It’s a cut in the wall with a zone of seemingly infinite red light behind it, and visitors were slowly, as if being initiated into something slightly occult, thrusting their arms into the murky red area. I’ve never seen a Turrell work its magic so thoroughly. It’s not a void but a magnetic pole that draws all of the other room’s fullness into it while at the same time clearing the way for the ascetic rooms to come.

Fred Thompson is lazy and stupid…

posted by on September 20 at 8:41 AM

…and James Dobson doesn’t like him.

“Isn’t Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won’t talk at all about what he believes, and can’t speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail? He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent ‘want to.’ And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!”

Via Sullivan.

Earth Not Flat After All

posted by on September 20 at 8:41 AM

The newest idiot on the view clarifies her remarks…

Well, that’s a relief. I’m supposed to go to Argentina in January and I was starting to worry about, you know, falling off the edge of the earth.

Via Towleroad.

The Experts Agree … With Me

posted by on September 20 at 8:25 AM

To no effect, I’ve been writing sentences like these in The Stranger for ten jazillion years:

Nickels’ downtown-centric plan will spike the cost of housing even more. By focusing on the city core in isolation—that is, without connecting a downtown density strategy to an overhaul of codes citywide—Nickels is failing to address the biggest choke on Seattle: the supremacy of single-family zoning. Of the available land for residential development in the city, an out-of-whack 75 percent is set aside exclusively for single-family houses. No wonder Seattle built an average of just 40 percent of the new units needed to meet its citywide density goals over the last 10 years. (With that sort of dearth, it’s also no wonder housing costs remain so high in Seattle; median price $328,000.)

According the PI, somebody (well, somebody from Atlanta anyway) agrees with me.

Under the headline, “Zoning the ‘enemy’ of affordable homes. Seattle code needs updating, says housing expert,” the much-welcomed article begins:

Cities can spur development of homes affordable to typical workers by changing rules that distinguish among home types and that separate housing from other uses, one of the nation’s most prominent experts on work-force housing told a Seattle audience Tuesday.

“Local zoning is the No. 1 enemy of work-force housing,” Ron Terwilliger, chairman and chief executive of Atlanta-based developer Trammell Crow Residential, said at a talk hosted by the Seattle chapter of the Urban Land Institute, a national land-use think tank.

Seattle created urban nodes that mix apartments and condos with stores, services and transit. But, with the exception of a recent decision to allow backyard apartments in southeast Seattle, elected officials are reluctant to increase the number of homes allowed in single-family zones, which take up 65 percent of the city’s land.

“It would seem to me like at least your single-family zoning ought to have some flexibility,” Terwilliger said in response to a question on the matter from Seattle Planning and Development Director Diane Sugimura. “It seems like an overallocation of single-family.

The cost of urban housing leads many workers to live farther from cities, adding to commutes that cost workers money and time, Terwilliger said. This also is becoming an economic-development issue, he said, as companies move to places where their employees can afford homes.”

Who woulda thunk?

Sigh. Again, to no effect:

And by clinging to the neighborhood movement’s legacy of exclusive single-family neighborhoods (which compose an astonishing 75 percent of Seattle’s residential landscape), neighborhood groups like the Seattle Community Council Federation are defying the law of supply and demand. Increase the supply of housing (by building more multi-family buildings) and you decrease its average cost. Let the supply of housing stagnate (by preserving the single-family status quo) and demand will outpace supply. Which could help explain why Seattle’s median housing price, at $359,000, is so high.

Joe Lieberman

posted by on September 20 at 8:02 AM

From this morning’s NYT:

A proposal that Democrats put forward as their best chance of changing the course of the Iraq war died on the Senate floor on Wednesday, as Republicans stood firmly with President Bush. With other war initiatives seemingly headed for the same fate, Senate Democrats, who only two weeks ago proclaimed September to be the month for shifting course in Iraq, conceded that they had little chance of success….

Supporters of Mr. Bush’s war strategy declared victory, saying they had firmly beaten back legislative efforts to change course.

“It means that Congress will not intervene in the foreseeable future,” said Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, the Independent who has voted with the Republicans on war issues. “The fact that it didn’t get enough votes says that Congress doesn’t have the votes to stop this strategy of success from going forward.”

Good fucking God. Is there a bigger asshole than Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate? I fucking hate Joe Lieberman—as do a majority of voters in Connecticut, it seems. New polling shows that, if a vote were held today, netroots-backed insurgent Ned Lamont would easily beat Lieberman. I raised money for Lamont in 2006 selling ITMFA buttons, which I saw as penance for my initial support of the Iraq invasion. (ITMFA checks also went to the ACLU and to help defeat Rick Santorum.) But Lieberman, selling himself as a critic of the war (!), managed to beat back Lamont.

Like a lot of folks—like the whole freakin’ world—I’m looking forward to January, 2009, when George W. Bush leaves office. But we’re going to be stuck with Joe Lieberman until 2012. Unless there’s some sort of recall or redo provision in Connecticut’s state constitution—and if there is, and someone launches a campaign to recall the bastard, I’ll raise as much money as I can that effort.

The More Things Change

posted by on September 20 at 8:00 AM

Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere on the World Wide Internets, the king ain’t dead and no one has been “replaced.” I’m not leaving The Stranger, and I’m still in charge of The Stranger’s editorial content.

But Christopher Frizzelle, our arts editor lo these many years, has been promoted. His new title? Editor—and, yes, that is my old title. Which is why I’ve got a new title too: Editorial Director.

What do these new titles mean?

You’re reading this online, so you’re probably aware that The Stranger isn’t just a newspaper anymore: In addition to our weekly print edition, we’ve got blogs, podcasts, video, tons of expanded web content, and the occasional amateur porn contest. In order to manage the growth of our editorial content—in order to keep putting out Seattle’s only newspaper while at the same time running the best alt-weekly website in the country—we’ve had to change our editorial department’s structure.

So Frizzelle is taking over the day-to-day management of the editorial department as well as overseeing more to most of The Stranger’s features. I am still going to be sitting in my coveted corner office, watching helmetless hipsters ride by on their brand-new fixies, posting obsessively to Slog, working with Christopher—and the rest of the editorial staff—to create, shape, and direct our editorial content online and in print.

Christopher’s primary areas of focus will be features and the back of the book, aka arts, while my primary areas of focus will be front of the book and the web. This isn’t a massive change. The Stranger has always been a group effort, and editors and associate editors and the odd intern have all contributed to the direction of the paper in ways that only editors-in-chief might at other publications. Our shiny new titles and Chris’s promotion do, however, recognize Chris’s contributions to the shape and direction of Seattle’s only newspaper.

So congrats to Chris and we now return you to your regularly scheduled Slog, already in progress.

This was originally posted yesterday in the early evening.

Marriage Equality

posted by on September 20 at 7:15 AM

He’s a conservative ex-cop turned politician—and until very recently he backed civil unions for same-sex couples over full marriage equality. Tim Burgess? No, the Republican mayor of San Diego.

Yesterday Jerry Sanders announced that he would sign a resolution approved by the San Diego city council calling on the California Supreme Court to lift the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Sanders had been expected to veto the resolution. What accounts for the mayor’s reversal? Sanders’ says he thought of staff members and friends who are gay—and he was thinking of his daughter, Lisa, who is a lesbian.

“Two years ago, I believed that civil unions were a fair alternative,” he said at a news conference. “Those beliefs, in my case, have since changed. The concept of a ‘separate but equal’ institution is not something that I can support.”

He fought back tears as he said that he wanted his adult daughter, Lisa, and other gay people he knows to have their relationships protected equally under state laws. His daughter was not at the news conference.

“In the end, I could not look any of them in the face and tell them that their relationships—their very lives—were any less meaningful than the marriage that I share with my wife, Rana,” Sanders said.

Sanders is up for reelection next year and this move may cost him votes in conservative San Diego. You can watch Sanders’ very moving press conference here. This just proves, once again, that living with integrity—coming out—is the most important political action that any individual gay or lesbian can take.

With his voice breaking, Sanders said this at press conference:

“I want for them the same thing that we all want for our loved ones. For each of them to find a mate, whom they love deeply, and who loves them back. Someone with whom they can grow old together and share life’s experiences. And I want their relationships to be protected equally under the law.”

Don’t let anyone tell you that coming out is meaningless—and don’t let anyone tell you, I suppose, that a conservative ex-cop’s evolving position on marriage equality can’t possibly be sincere.

We’ll Always Never Have Paris

posted by on September 20 at 7:12 AM

And its unclear how much longer we’ll have Vancouver, B.C.

The dollar fell its lowest-ever level against the euro on Thursday as the european currency traded above $1.40 for the first time since it was introduced in 1999. The U.S. currency also moved closer to parity with the Canadian dollar.

The Morning News

posted by on September 20 at 7:00 AM

Mission Acomplished: Two MILLION Iraqis have become refugees.

If We’re Left With Any Civil Liberties, the Terrorists Win: Bush wants us to get used to invasive eavesdropping laws.

GOP’s Greatest Hits:
Senate Republicans block detainee rights bill AND plan to give soldiers more home leave

Diplomacy Part 1:
Israel may cut power, fuel to Gaza.

Diplomacy Part 2: Ahmadinejad’s request to visit Ground Zero is rebuffed.

More Parks, Fewer Houses:
City Council votes to demolish homes in Discovery Park.

The Juice Is Loose: O.J. out on bail, I finally get to use that headline.

On that note:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Drying Out

posted by on September 19 at 6:51 PM

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal has one of those great stories you find in The Wall Street Journal.

Here’s a snippet:

The clothesline ban gave Ms. Taylor pause when she moved here, she says, but she and her husband decided they could live with it. Then, in May, she heard an environmental lawyer on the radio who “talked about this narrow window of opportunity for us to respond to global warming,” Ms. Taylor recalls. “I said, ‘Dang it, that’s it. My clothesline is going up.’ ”

Then the trouble started. One neighbor asked if it was temporary. Next came a phone call — and then a series of letters — from Brooks Resources. The first letter, dated June 12, warned that “laundry lines are not permitted in the Awbrey Butte Subdivision,” adding that “many owners in Awbrey Butte take great pride in their home and surrounding areas.”

Ms. Taylor responded two days later with a letter asserting that the rule is “outdated.” She requested a change in the rules to “reflect our urgent need and responsibility to help global warming by encouraging energy conservation.”

The Awbrey Butte Architectural Review Committee “appreciates your desire to make a difference for the cause of global warming,” responded Brooks Resources Owner-Relations Manager Carol Haworth. But she pointed out that homeowners agree to the rules before they buy their homes, “and therefore the ARC is required to uphold those guidelines as they now exist.”

The letter more sternly asked “that you discontinue this practice by July 9, 2007, to avoid legal action which will be taken after that date.”

This Week’s Paper

posted by on September 19 at 5:01 PM

I’m glad the new issue is on-line because I’ve been waiting all day to throw a bouquet Jonah Spangenthal-Lee’s way.

Jonah has an important must-read story in this week’s news section.

Jonah found a list of johns and their phone numbers in the case file of an underage prostitute. It followed that these johns could be guilty of sexual exploitation of a minor and child rape.

Jonah discovered that the SPD hadn’t pursued these guys. Meanwhile, the County sought serious time for the 15-year-old. Jonah reports that the SPD’s excuse for not going after potential child rapists is that they didn’t have the time or resources.

It took Jonah two seconds to pick up the phone and call “Blue Van Man” and the other 10 names on the list (Jonah reached one guy at work) to determine that some of them had, in fact, had sex with the 15-year-old.

Jonah also has a hot story this week on a woman who was fired from Nintendo for her personal blog.

Also: Be sure to check out Erica Barnett’s thoughtful and excellent news feature this week about fixed-gear bikes (fixies) and the fatal bike crash at Eastlake and Fuhrman.

No Edwards for Me

posted by on September 19 at 4:33 PM

As you can see from my earlier post, I had assumed the Edwards fundraiser at the Westin tonight would be open to the press. Turns out it’s not, so no reports from the Edwards event from me. If you’re going, and you see anything interesting, send me an email and let me know what happened.

Newsstand News

posted by on September 19 at 4:28 PM

J&S Broadway News is leaving their location, at least according to a sign I saw on the window last night.


I just called to find out the details. Larry answered.

You’re moving?
We just lost our lease and we’re moving four blocks north, just past the Taco Bell and the Greek restaurant and the tobacco shop. We’re moving into the old frame shop, across from the Jade Pagoda. Or, across from where the Jade Pagoda used to be.

You guys have been there a long time, right? I feel sort of sentimental about you in that location.
We’ve been here for 23 years. It’s been a while. But with all the construction starting down here in January [new buildings, a Sound Transit station], we figure it’s a good time. There are a few businesses going in that direction, plus the Brix condos are going in, and there’ll be more businesses in that building too. It seems like there’ll be more things popping up at that end of Broadway.

Who’s going to move all the magazines?
That’ss going to be all the employees. We’ll be shutting down here on Sunday [the last day of September] and we’ll have doors open most likely on the following Thursday or Friday. All the employees here are banding together to get it taken care of. It shouldn’t be too difficult.

How come you lost your lease?
To the best of my knowledge, I think the owner wants to get less independent people in the building and more businesses like American Apparel and things along that line.

Huh. Do you wear American Apparel underwear?
I do not.

This Week’s Cover Art

posted by on September 19 at 4:21 PM


…is an original colored-marker drawing by a struggling artist from Oklahoma named Wayne Coyne.

Twilight’s Exit

posted by on September 19 at 4:15 PM


20th & E Madison

The Twilight Exit, the garishly painted karaoke dive-bar on Madison, will be replaced by a six-story, 105 unit apartment building with ground level retail.

A staff member at Twilight said the bar will probably relocate, but she doesn’t expect the move to happen any time soon.

There will be a design review meeting at 6 PM tonight at the Yesler Community Center.

An Attentive Reader

posted by on September 19 at 3:57 PM

Down the street at Guaymas I was just eating a taco and noticed someone at another table reading the new issue of The Stranger very intently. Whatever he was reading, he was really into it. Couldn’t help but wonder. Figured it wasn’t the book section because, well, doesn’t everyone just flip right past the book section? After a while I decided it must be Savage Love—this week: porn addicts and swim-cap fetishists—because it was toward the back of the book and, well, I’m not licking anyone’s ass to say that when you come across someone reading The Stranger, they’re usually reading Savage Love.

Although it could have been something else, too… Drunk of the Week? (He could just be a very slow reader.) Free Will Astrology? (Lots of people wanna know what’s going to happen to them.) Party Crasher? (Who doesn’t love Party Crasher?)

Finally I got up to refill my soda. Here’s what he was reading:


Yes! The book section!

Re: Sims Takes No Position on Roads/Transit Initiative

posted by on September 19 at 3:33 PM

(UPDATE: My math was off in the initial post. I’ve changed it.)

I ran into Mike McGinn at city hall the other day, and he asked me where I was on the $17.8 billion roads/transit initiative.

McGinn, a leader of the Seattle chapter of the Sierra Club (ie, far left of the national chapter), is—just like the local Sierra Club—adamantly against the initiative.

Looking at the $7 billion that’s going to roads, which includes good things like repairs and bad things like pure expansion, the Sierra Club says that about 75 percent of that money is for the “bad” kind.

However, other environmental groups, like Transportation Choices Coalition, says only 37 percent of the roads money is for “bad” roads. TCC has endorsed the package because they think 37 percent is not too much of a bad thing in exchange for 50 new miles of light rail. And they argue that if the measure goes down, there’s no way a transit package on its own can come back next year.

McGinn and the Sierra Club are pushing for just that, arguing that Sound Transit should come back on its own in 2008. (Recent polling shows that voters oppose roads taxes more than they oppose transit taxes.)

Anyway, when McGinn asked me where I was on the package, I said this: While I don’t think it was initially the case that transit couldn’t come back in 2008 on its own, I think that has become the political reality because—for reasons I don’t quite get—Governor Gregoire does not want it on the ballot in 2008. (Maybe she’s worried that a transit initiative will bring out too many King County liberals? I’m only half joking.)

But since she’s reportedly dead against it: It’s not going to happen.

That’s what I told McGinn anyway. The political reality is that it won’t be on the ballot in 2008.

Here’s what McGinn said (very sarcastically): “Yeah, and the political reality was that there were only two solutions for the viaduct: A rebuild or a tunnel.”

Point well taken Mr. McGinn.

From the Savage Love Archives: Bird Sex

posted by on September 19 at 3:28 PM

We’re reinstating some lost Savage Love favorites that were absent from our website for one reason or another.

The first is a collection of reader letters concerning fowl sex, related to this column from 2004 about a grandma with a habit of pleasing her parakeet.


Re: Chris Crocker

posted by on September 19 at 3:15 PM

This may relieve some of our more vocal Crocker-haters in the comments: That Variety article that Dan just linked to isn’t actually telling you anything new.

In my profile of Chris Crocker back in May, I wrote about the development deal that Variety (and DListed) are now making sound new.

Over on YouTube, where Chris also posts, the total number of views for his videos long ago passed the one million mark. Among the people far away from Real Bitch Island who are tuning in: Cassie, the R&B star, who has a subscription to the Chris Crocker video stream on her YouTube page; Glenn Meehan, a Los Angeles producer who recently inked a deal with Chris to develop ideas for a TV show; and Matt Sunbulli, MTV’s “web correspondent,” who has requested a Chris Crocker video for the MTV website.

I’m not posting this to be huffy about Variety and DListed not having noticed my story, or not having noticed that particular line in my story—I don’t care, no big deal in the end, it’s just showbusiness. But I do want to clarify: There is some distance between having a development deal and actually having a TV show, and Crocker only has a development deal right now.

I just spoke to Meehan again, and he confirmed that nothing new has happened. “We’ve had him under a deal since you were up there with him,” Meehan told me. “It’s the same one.”

But, he added:

There could be news soon.

Today in Line Out

posted by on September 19 at 3:00 PM

Tonight in Music: Two Gallants, Low, and D’vonne Lewis.

Holy Shit!: Roy Ayers is coming to Seattle.

Government Warning: Kim Hayden’s love letter to a new band doing the old sound right.

Get Over It: Seattle is more than coffee, flannel, and grunge. Right?

2007 Cabana Mix: TJ Gorton’s Essential Disco Mix.

Kane Hodder’s Comeback: The band releases new material. For free.

A Post About Barry Manilow: Barry Manilow? Yes, Barry Manilow.

Kanye Beats 50: But they both sold a lot of records for the first week.

So You’d Think…: The RIAA would stop fining music fans.

Feels Like Fall: Daniel G. Harmann’s new album is Trent Moorman’s autumn soundtrack.

I Loved Face to Face When I Was 15: And I love them still.

Steal This Record: Trent Reznor wants you to.


Meanwhile in Bellevue

posted by on September 19 at 2:42 PM

I’m not saying that hitting on 14 year-olds is cool or right or anything other than fucked up and pathetic and creepy. And offering 14 year-olds booze and pot for any reason is definitely not okay. All I’m saying is that sleeping with fourteen year-olds isn’t a crime in Canada. Which means a three-hour drive could’ve saved this guy a lot of prison time. So he’s creepy and dumb—and going to jail.

Chris Crocker

posted by on September 19 at 2:11 PM

It’s on, bitches.

The “Leave Britney Alone” guy could be getting his own TV show. Reality shingle 44 Blue Prods. has inked a development deal with Chris Crocker, the Internet superstar whose tear-filled defense of Britney Spears has generated nearly 8 million hits on YouTube in just one week.

Plan is to develop a docusoap built around Crocker, a 19-year-old who lives with his grandparents in Tennessee. Even before the Britney clip, Crocker had developed a large Net audience via numerous video performances posted on

The Stranger saw the Crocker phenom coming—including the irony that success might force Chris Crocker to stay on “Real Bitch Island,” a.k.a. the small town that was making him miserable.

Sims Takes No Position on Roads/Transit

posted by on September 19 at 2:00 PM

King County executive Ron Sims said yesterday that he will neither support nor oppose the joint roads/transit ballot measure on the ballot in November. The proposal includes $7 billion for new roads in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties, and $10.8 billion to build 50 new miles of light rail. Sims’s decision to stay neutral on the measure is somewhat surprising given that he sits on the Sound Transit board (and was once its chair), and strikes a blow for roads/transit opponents who want to see light rail come back in 2008 or 2009 unshackled from the massive roads expansion package.

Sims has recently transformed himself into an environmental leader. He was one of the first public officials to support the surface/transit option for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, and his leadership led King County to become the first county in the nation to join the Chicago Climate Exchange, the only national carbon exchange in the country. Seen through that lens, it’s hardly surprising Sims opted not to support the new roads package; the only surprising thing is that he didn’t endorse a “no” vote on the whole package.

Obama: Acting White or Transcending Race?

posted by on September 19 at 1:50 PM

Apparently it’s both, according to Jesse Jackson, who said yesterday, in a critique of how Obama has been responding to the Jena controversy in Louisiana, that Obama has been “acting like he’s white.”

Today Jackson offered a different public comment:

“I reaffirm my commitment to vote for Sen. Barack Obama,” Jackson says in the statement. “He has remarkably transcended race, however the impact of Katrina and Jena makes America’s unresolved moral dilemma of race unavoidable. I think Jena is another defining moment of the issue of race and the criminal justice system. This issue requires direct and bold leadership. I commend Sen. Obama for speaking out and demanding fairness on this defining issue. Any attempt to dilute my support for Sen. Obama will not succeed.”

In other Jena politics: Hillary Clinton was on Al Sharpton’s radio show today to discuss the case and John Edwards issued a statement saying, “As someone who grew up in the segregated South, I feel a special responsibility to speak out on racial intolerance.”

* * *

NEW BLOG: Obsessed with the presidential race? Now you can follow all of our presidential Slogging at our new blog, Slogging Toward 2008, which comes complete with its own RSS feed, collections of our past presidential race coverage from the paper, and a handy calendar of upcoming events.

What It Feels Like for a Girl

posted by on September 19 at 1:48 PM

Jezebel has their own version of the Stranger’s public intern, with one key difference: Instead of washing buses and recycling phone books, their (multiple, male) volunteers will go through some of the many agonizing experiences women put themselves through every day. For his first assignment, Benny the cute young intern got a full bikini wax, including his balls and ass crack. (Yes, there’s video.) Jezebel’s taking reader suggestions; so far, the more creative ones include having a shoe-fetishist wear stilettos for a day; sending a hot straight guy to a gay bar to show him how awesome unwanted attention is; and simulating menstruation (too complicated to explain). Contribute suggestions in the comments here.

They Should Appeal this Ruling

posted by on September 19 at 12:58 PM

But Alan and Stephne Roos might be unable to afford it. The couple already drained their savings paying lawyers, and the court upheld the forfeiture of their two cars. Excerpts from today’s lead story in the Seattle Times

Drug investigators in Snohomish County believed [Thomas Roos’] parents should have yanked the keys to their cars. When the parents didn’t, the officers seized the vehicles under drug-forfeiture laws.

That action led to an unusual question for the state Court of Appeals: Should parents be punished for the actions of a wayward son?

The three-judge panel this week said yes, rejecting Alan and Stephne Roos’ argument that they were unwitting victims, and all but chastised them for not exercising more tough love.

The cars sit in the Snohomish County sheriff’s impound yard pending any further appeals. If auctioned, the cars could fetch about $18,000 for the task force, which uses forfeited property to fund its work.

Mazzone [the Roos’ attorney] said the case should be appealed further, but is unsure if his clients can afford it.

Okay, these parents are naïve at best. But according to the “innocent owners” clause in Washington’s forfeiture law, prosecutors have to prove that the parents knew the cars were used to acquire drugs. The prosecutors didn’t do that. Instead, the judges’ ruling stated that the parents merely “knew or should have known that the vehicle was being used to acquire possession of controlled substances.” By this logic, we are all liable for what other people do with our possessions, whether we know or not. That’s a chilling precedent that the Roos family may be unable to challenge.

Even if the parents were complicit, turning the car’s auction proceeds over to the drug task force presents a conflict of interest. Conspiracy drug laws already cast a wide net over people who are only tangentially involved in a crime—or not involved at all. And this sort of financial reward – and ruling to affirm it – essentially encourages drug task forces to target working class people, who have enough money to own property but are too poor to defend themselves in extended court battles.

Great Balls of Health

posted by on September 19 at 12:57 PM

It’s for your own good

A man’s testicles might be a source of stem cells to help him fight serious diseases, US scientists have shown.

They extracted early-stage sperm cells from mice, then turned them into cells capable of becoming different tissues.

Writing in Nature, the Weill Cornell Medical College team said their work might lead to treatments for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and diabetes.

However, some doubt has been expressed on the willingness of men to undergo the procedure to extract the cells.

Do You Love Kathy Griffin, Sandra Bernhard, and/or Arguing with Intelligent Friends About the Contents of Glossy Supermarket Tabloids?

posted by on September 19 at 12:55 PM


If so, you must go see NYC performance artist Mike Albo, who’s making his Seattle debut this weekend with a pair of shows at Re-bar.

Albo’s performed his pop culture-obsessed, butchly gender-bending performance art at New York’s venerable PS 122, London’s Soho Theater, the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, and many other places. (He’s also the author of the acclaimed Hornito.) But this is his first time in the NW, and anyone who answered yes to any of the options in the subject line should definitely check him out.

Here’s a video taste.

And you can get tickets here.

Edwards on the Attack (and En Route to Seattle)

posted by on September 19 at 12:30 PM


Attacking Hillary Clinton: It’s not just for women anymore.

As Maureen Dowd noted on Sunday (in a column that this very day was liberated from its TimesSelect chains) the conventional wisdom has long been that male candidates take a big risk when they forcefully attack Clinton.

The poster-boy for the perils of being a man who gets in Clinton’s face, as Dowd notes, is Rick Lazio, whose somewhat aggressive antics at a 2000 Senate race debate with Clinton helped him lose that contest. Despites its fame in political circles, it’s hard to find online video of this Lazio-Clinton encounter, as some Slog readers discovered yesterday. But with the right applications you can watch it here. (Thanks, pbaitch!)

The clip shows Lazio leaving his podium during the debate and entering Clinton’s space, forcefully demanding that she sign a pledge related to campaign contributions that he was holding in his hand. The Clinton camp successfully spun Lazio’s gambit as hostile and somewhat frightening behavior, definitely ungentlemanly and possibly revealing of a man who generally behaves poorly toward women—and the spin worked. Lesson: Don’t get in Clinton’s face, especially on TV, unless you want to seriously alienate female voters.


Thus, you haven’t seen much aggressive Clinton bashing from Obama or Edwards. Just from their wives. Until now. From Dowd:

Obama and Edwards probably figured the criticism would sound less Lazio coming from their wives. But it just made them seem as though they were hiding behind their wives’ skirts.

Giuliani has recently been showing that he’s not afraid to hit a female politician, and now, so is Edwards, harshly attacking Clinton (via his senior adviser, Joe Trippi) for meeting with D.C. lobbyists.

Today’s Clinton fundraising event is a “poster child” for what is wrong with Washington and what should never happen again with a candidate running for the highest office in the land.

That’s basically what Lazio was doing: Aggressively trying to get Clinton to promise not to take certain types of campaign contributions. How risky is it for Edwards to snarl at Clinton over campaign contributions? As Ben Smith wrote yesterday:

Hillary has made a political career from pivoting off attacks from “angry men.”

This evening, Edwards arrives in Seattle for a fundraiser at the downtown Westin. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles his Clinton criticisms today.

* * *

NEW BLOG: Obsessed with the presidential race? Now you can follow all of our presidential Slogging at our new blog, Slogging Toward 2008, which comes complete with its own RSS feed, collections of our past presidential race coverage from the paper, and a handy calendar of upcoming events.

Question from a Reader

posted by on September 19 at 11:50 AM

Hello, I am looking for information on how to nominate someone for a genius award. (If that is how it works…) ~Kris Barker

That’s a good question, Kris. Over on the Genius Awards homepage, it says: “There is no application process. A panel of Stranger editors and critics descends into a cave and conducts their deliberations by candlelight. Winners are notified via cake. The $5,000 comes with no strings attached.”

That’s not exactly true, that part about the cave, although we did have a couple meetings this year on that fake grass field at Cal Anderson Park. The Genius Awards committee is made up of the people who write about film, theater, visual art, and literature every week in The Stranger. So, for example, we did a series of really enthusiastic reviews of Strawberry Theatre Workshop’s stuff over the course of about two years (starting with Accidental Death of an Anarchist in 2005)—and anyone who’s been reading the theater section over the last couple years knows how rare the positive reviews in that section are—and the committee agreed that they deserved the attention and the money. Plus, they’d just been turned down for a residency at Hugo House, which none of us could understand, so the timing seemed perfect. That said, there were other organizations we talked about giving the award to this year, too.

There are a bunch of considerations that go into the awards, and it’s different every year: whereas Strawberry Theatre Workshop, a very small and relatively new organization, won the Genius Award for organization this year, On the Boards, a well-established and not-small organization, won the Genius Award for organization last year. (The evolution of the awards—and the idea that we give it to people and organizations at various stages in their careers—was explained in more detail in the introduction to last year’s Genius Awards issue.)

The first year of the awards, there was a way to nominate people, an email address, but that’s not in use anymore. (Although I still get spam in that folder.) The Genius Awards arise directly out of the arts coverage in The Strangerif you read the paper close enough, you can usually pretty well guess who’s gonna get one. That said, if there is someone we should know about that, for whatever reason, we don’t, you can always send an email to We’d love to hear from you.

The Ortolan: Still Tiny, Still Delicious, Still Illegal

posted by on September 19 at 11:45 AM


The tiny ortolan—which I can’t stop writing about—remains endangered and illegal to catch, fatten, drown in liquor, roast whole, and eat in one bite.

But that isn’t stopping French poachers, who are catching and selling the birds for hundreds of dollars. And the “junior minister in charge of the environment,” one Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, is upset about it:

“The more you inspect, the more violations you find,” Kosciusko-Morizet told The Associated Press. Four hunters were caught red-handed and two seizures were made over the past two weeks, she said.
At one hunter’s house, inspectors found about 30 live birds being fattened in cages and another dozen frozen ones in the freezer, Kosciusko-Morizet said. The man had set over 100 traps in a nearby forest, she said.

Fremont Oktoberfest, Brought to You by Hooters

posted by on September 19 at 11:38 AM

Under the “DRINK” category at this weekend’s Fremont Oktoberfest:

The Stranger Microbrew Tasting Garden: “Over 70 beers”
Beck’s By the Glass Beer Garden: “Life Beckons…a taste of Oktoberfest for those on a time crunch. Located next to the Carter Volkswagen Stage an array of entertainment takes place before your eyes”
The Tap House Grill Buxom Beer Garden: “Buxom means big in the Tap House Grill Beer Garden located within the Stranger Microbrew Tasting Garden…. Decorated in traditional German style you will be transported to Munich in a blink of an eye.”

The P-I quotes a press release about the Buxom Beer Garden: “16-ounce mugs of beer and comely gals in Bavarian garb,” as well as a festival organizer: “Anyone who might be offended by some of the traditional elements of Oktoberfest doesn’t have to go to the Buxom Beer Garden.”

I do not like the Tap House Grill. This is bullshit. If they’re going to install all manner of cleavage within the Stranger Microbrew Tasting Garden, there must also be hot guys (shirtless? Dan, what say you?) in lederhosen.

Star Sickness

posted by on September 19 at 11:26 AM

From outer space:


Local media have reported eyewitness accounts of a fiery ball falling from the sky and smashing into the desolate Andean plain near the Bolivian border Saturday morning. Officials have said it was a meteorite.

Jorge Lopez, director of the health department in the southern state of Puno, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that 200 people have suffered headaches, nausea and respiratory problems caused by “toxic” fumes emanating from the resulting crater, which is some 66 feet wide and 16 feet deep.

But meteor expert Ursula Marvin, cast doubt on that theory, saying, “It wouldn’t be the meteorite itself, but the dust it raises.”

A meteorite “wouldn’t get much gas out of the earth,” said Marvin, who has studied the objects since 1961 at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Massachusetts.

To say that I do not envy these sick Peruvians is to say something that is far from the truth. To be made sick by an alien object that fell from space is to experience a higher (otherworldy) order of sickness. It puts to shame the earthy cough, the public sneeze, the domestic headache. What I would do to have a headache that has its cause in the mysterious materials of a meteorite. Or to have lungs that burn because of strange stuff from the stars. You lucky Peruvians, how I so envy your galactic stomach aches, nausea, and vomiting.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 19 at 11:00 AM


Two Gallants at Crocodile

Two Gallants’ devastating punk-folk-blues is like a nail gun: It rivets you to where you stand. It’s viciously cathartic, and better with a friend and a beer to tear in. Adam Stephens writes lyrics like a Dust Bowl gutter poet and fingerpicks guitar like John Fahey; Tyson Vogel drums like a springtime rain shower, steady but unpredictable. The pair is one of the sharpest songwriting duos around. (Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave, 441-5611. 9 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+.)


Hell School

posted by on September 19 at 10:53 AM

The Judge Rotenberg Educational Center is a “special needs” school. It has 900 employees, takes in $56 million per year, and tuition is $220,000 per year. And it sounds like one pretty fucked up place.

Of the 234 current residents, about half are wired to receive shocks, including some as young as nine or ten…. Last year, New York state investigators filed a blistering report that made the place sound like a high school version of Abu Ghraib. Yet the program continues to thrive.

…Employees shocked him for aggressive behavior, he says, but also for minor misdeeds, like yelling or cursing. Each shock lasts two seconds. “It hurts like hell,” Rob says. (The school’s staff claim it is no more painful than a bee sting; when I tried the shock, it felt like a horde of wasps attacking me all at once. Two seconds never felt so long.) On several occasions, Rob was tied facedown to a four-point restraint board and shocked over and over again by a person he couldn’t see.


posted by on September 19 at 10:02 AM

The October issue of Radar has a cover story called “The Overrated 100: A Scientific Survey of the World’s Most Overhyped People, Places & Things.” What’s on the list? Number two is cupcakes, number seven is sex with virgins, number eighteen is China as an economic threat, and number thirty four is, uh, the word “genius.” Not everything on the list is on the website. From the print edition: “The term genius was once reserved for the likes of Einstein and Mozart. But never has an accolade been so casually thrown around…”

Conservative Religious Group Comes Out for “Right to Self-Determination”

posted by on September 19 at 9:57 AM

But only if you’ve determined that you don’t want to be gay anymore.

Focus on the Family, the Colorado Springs-based Christian media ministry, on Monday endorsed a recent study finding that it is possible, through religious mediation, to change one’s sexual orientation.

“This study bolsters our position of advocating for people’s right to self-determination,” said Melissa Fryrear, director of Focus’ Gender Issues Department, in a statement.

Since when do anti-gay religious bigots “advocate” the right to self-determination? What if someone determines that she wants to terminate a pregnancy? Or someone determines that God made him gay and that he doesn’t want to defy the will of God—or nature law—be enrolling his gay ass is come quack religious pray-the-gay-away program?

I’m thinking FOTF only backs a “right to self-determination” for people determined to live the way FOTF would like us all to live.

“This is YouTube Material”

posted by on September 19 at 9:33 AM

From the BBC:

A Hartlepool man is facing jail after he urinated on a disabled woman who lay dying in the street.

The 27-year-old shouted “this is YouTube material” as he degraded Christine Lakinski, 50, who had fallen ill, magistrates heard.

Hartlepool magistrates heard how, on 27 July, Miss Lakinski was making her way home with a box of laminate flooring when she fell ill and stumbled into a doorway.

Anderson had smoked a cannabis joint and been drinking when he and two friends spotted her.

He tried to rouse her by throwing a bucket of water over her, before urinating on her and covering her with shaving foam. The incident was filmed on a mobile phone.

The medical inquest determined Miss Lakinski died of natural causes, and Anthony Anderson has pleaded guilty to “outraging public decency.” Full story here.

(Thanks to Slog tipper Ben.)

The Best Art Show. Ever. (Part III)

posted by on September 19 at 9:30 AM

Antonio Corradini’s La Puritá, 1720-1725, made of Carrera marble

We’re now on the first floor of the famous Artempo. The ground floor display, including this Hans Bellmer (for you self-confessed Bellmer fans)


was an introduction to the overt themes of the show (body, architecture) and to the mysterious and broken-down vibe of the venue, once the palace of eclectic designer-artist-collector-entrepreneur Mariano Fortuny.

This first floor above the ground floor has only a small exhibition area, limited to only a few works, and the first one you see coming up the stairs is a video projected onto the variegated brick wall by Yael Davids called Face. In it, a young, dark-haired woman sits still while her hair rotates 360 degrees on her head, in a simple action that’s nonetheless fully eerie.

One turn to your right from there is the veiled virgin. And one turn to your right from there (after you’ve finished marveling at the transformation of marble into silk) is this delicate 1906 head by Medardo Rosso emerging from bronze,


set next to a series of digital photographs by Jorge Molder, from 2005, of faces blurred by motion, and light and time.

But it’s not until the next floor up that the exhibition’s most exhilarating ideas start breaking out. Coming tomorrow …

Seattle Loves Obama

posted by on September 19 at 9:17 AM

But Obama is tanking in the national polls—he trails Hillary Clinton by 20 points. Slate offers the former phenom some advice. Go after Clinton, don’t panic, keep raising money. Uh… gee. I’m thinking Obama could’ve worked that out on his own.

Motel #2: In A New Location (And No Riff-Raff)

posted by on September 19 at 9:00 AM

But a location that’s still on “the dirtiest, smelliest, prostitutest, violentest strip in Seattle,” according to the press release sent late last night from Motel organizers D.K. Pan, Liza Keckler, and Mike Min.

Seems Motel #1 got a little too much media attention. More than 1,500 visitors (compared to the expected few hundred) showed up to make it a smashing success! … and to generate some serious nervousness on the part of the planned host of Motel #2, the Ambassador Inn.

At the last minute, the Ambassador backed out.

But all is not lost: Another motel has stepped in.

Motel organizers aren’t saying which one—to be cautious. Instead, here are the instructions to those interested in going to this for-now-anonymous functioning motel and standing outside the window of a single room to watch the solid weekful of performances happening inside (24/7 from September 22 to 28):

Phone 206-782-8872 on Friday 21 September for location details. You can peer through the motel room window from the outside looking in to view the performances at any time during this week. This is a working motel—do NOT bother other occupants. Too many people chit-chattin outside the room and they may decide to kick us out. No more than 5 viewers at any one time. As MOTEL #1 was a whirring maelstrom, MOTEL #2 is a lasered workhorse.

I don’t really know what a lasered workhorse is, but the new event sounds like a pain in the ass, and pleasantly illicit. Punishment by voyeurism, or something like that.

All the artists will perform for at least 8 hours—this is an endurance event. And for those who don’t want to fool with showing up, the pieces will be broadcast online. Check the Motel site for details.

Leave OJ Simpson ALONE! It’s Adrian’s Occasional Midweek Celebrity Thingy!

posted by on September 19 at 8:43 AM

In his newest book “If I Did It Again”, OJ Simpson explains precisely how he WOULD have hypothetically committed armed robbery in Las Vegas last week, had he actually DONE it, which, of course, he says he didn’t. Publisher’s are already raking in big figures on the 26-page, high-color pop-up, and have contracted the huge fucking liar (a filthy murderer who will sizzle like a sausage in hell’s deepest frying pan) to author three more books, “If I Did It Again, Again” and “If I Didn’t Do It, I Fucking Should Have”, and “Did I Do It? I Just Don’t Know Anymore!”, which will detail crimes OJ hasn’t denied committing so far to date, and, according to a random spokesperson, “perhaps even a few crimes that haven’t been invented yet.” These crimes may include, but are not limited to, felony mass date rape committed with a stolen vehicle, and impersonating an innocent man. Nicole Brown Simpson’s tortured shade was screaming, screaming, screaming for justice from the horrible limbo in which she lingers, and could not be reached for comment.

Amber Alert! In a completely cra-zazy! scheme to keep custody of her chilens and piss off her skanky ex-husband, Britney Spears suddenly stuffed her two young boys back up into her uterus and is currently holding them hostage there. “Y’all want ‘em? Y’all gonna haveta crawl up there and take ‘em, bitches!”, she said before crossing her legs for the first time in her life. Experts agree that those kids are gonenrs. Strangely, having two good-sized toddlers crammed up inside her body cavity has failed to make her body look any worse. Chris Crocker could not be reached for comment. Thank fucking God.

In an apparently successful attempt to retrieve her recently and mysteriously stolen “Diamond’s are a Girl’s Best Friend” dress, veteran mummy Carol Channing rose from the dead. According to a source: “She was covered in dirt…she was slurring ‘Myyyyyy drrrraaaaaayyyyyesssssssh….I waaaaaant myyyyyyyyyy DRAAAAYYYYYYYESSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH!’, and she just sort of slumped off into the night…” Other eyewitnesses report seeing Zombie Carol Channing again just before dawn, apparently returning to her grave and in possession of the missing rhinestone-spangled Bob Mackie gown. “The curse that caused her corpse to rise is clearly graven on her tombstone,” reports a graveside kook. “See these hieroglyphs here, and here? Translated, they say, ‘Screw with Carol Channing and Her Corpse Will Rise from Hell and Fuck You Up Good.’ It’s fairly standard—-there’s a similar curse on the grave of Ronald Reagan.” And the thieves? “We think she ate them.”

Finally: Madonna has turned into such a big honkin’ Jew that Iran is amassing its troops along her borders. “What do the Iranian people have to do with Madonna?”, asks the Iranian president or whatever. “Why must she be forced upon us? She is a threat to our way of life, and, uh, Evita never happened anyway! It is a lie concocted by the UN to destroy us!”

If only, Mr. Iranian president or whatever. If only.


The World is Flat

posted by on September 19 at 8:33 AM

Over at The View

…they’re not just debating whether or not evolution is, like, a real and true scientific fact, but whether or not the earth is round or flat. Because in the bible God said to his son, “Let’s create a earth.” And if He wanted to create a flat earth then, by God, He could damn well create a flat earth.

We’re doomed.

Via Towleroad.

The Morning News

posted by on September 19 at 7:00 AM

Blackwater Backlash: Iraqi government probing mercenary groups after Blackwater shooting. Oh, and now there aren’t enough bodyguards to go around.

Hindsight: National Intelligence Director says 9/11 could have been prevented.

Overturned: Maryland high court reverses previous ruling, blocks same-sex marriage.

Payout: Fourteen 9/11 families settle suit against airlines.

Zapped but not charged: Officers who Tasered student at Kerry speech are put on leave.

Last Words: A language dies every 2 weeks.

The Thing From Another World: Meteorite crash sickens hundreds in Peru.

Winds of Change: Gov. Gregoire decides not to pass on wind power.

Hidden Danger of the Day:
Croc shoes.

Now, it’s O.J. time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dept. of Unsubstantiated Rumors

posted by on September 18 at 10:28 PM

Did you know the 43rd District Ds just decided to endorse neither Della nor Burgess, and defeated a motion to endorse both of them? Just passing it along…

Didn’t know that, know it now.

Overheard in the Office

posted by on September 18 at 5:56 PM

“I think it would be fun to give Nickels a blowjob!” —Josh Feit

Today in Line Out

posted by on September 18 at 3:21 PM

Tonight: Go on a date with Big Business and the Melvins.

Let’s Stay Friends: Eric Grandy reviews the new Les Savy Fav record.

Holy Rollers: Brendan Kiley hearts the pretty Familjen video.

Champagne Wishes, Tangerine Dreams: Terry Miller on Streethawk.

Schoolyard Heroes Unplugged: Videos from last night’s acoustic performance.

Shitty Sound Guy?: Trent Moorman wonders what to do when the sound man is a dick. Somehow, it involves sex with a blow up sheep…

Locally Speaking: Bronze Fawn’s new record, Lumber, is in stores today and it’s good.

Illegal Leak of the Week: Dethklok, The Dethalbum.

Disco for Dan Savage: Inner City Jam Band’s Bareback Records gem.

Beirut Love: Beirut posts videos for their new songs “Nantes” and “The Penalty” from the forthcoming album The Flying Club Cup.

In My (Living) Room: Where German DJs live.

A Weekend in Texas: Photographer Victoria Renard reports back from the Austin City Limits Festival.


The Best Art Show. Ever. (Part II)

posted by on September 18 at 2:58 PM

The claim that I first made Friday hasn’t faded with the jet lag. I’m referring to Artempo, an exhibition of objects and experiences, both art and otherwise, on display at the Palazzo Fortuny in Venice.

A little background: The Venetian government decided it would create a new modern museum at the Palazzo Fortuny, and Artempo starts things off with a serious bang. The palazzo is a relic best known for its most famous inhabitant, Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949), the fashion designer, painter, photographer, stage designer, and general man-about-the-world who lived in the crumbling-chic inland building for 50 years.

The mere list of artists in the show would make any venue blush—from memory alone, I can name Hans Bellmer, Francis Bacon, Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Gordon Matta-Clark, Lucio Fontana, Le Corbusier, Louise Bourgeois, Marisa Merz, Marcel Duchamp, Thomas Ruff, El Anatsui, Man Ray, Yves Klein, James Turrell, Fischli & Weiss, and Cai Guo-Qiang—but the building itself adds to the allure. It has been a place of majesty and of depredation, according to a description in the exhibition catalog, which helps to background the exhibition’s themes of excess, absence, and spirituality. You’re not imagining, when you look at the faded, pockmarked, and flaking walls, that this isn’t your typical historic palazzo. Mariano himself set up shop in the garret,

…as misshapen and wooded as the hold of a ship, as black as a witch’s cave, as high as the cupola of a Byzantine basilica. … Paradoxically, right under his feet, in the palazzo’s “noble rooms,” which were transformed into residences and hovels, swarmed an afflicted humanity: desperate beggars, the marginalized, the proletariat, and the under-proletariat of a devastated but nevertheless fascinating, indecipherable, hostile, ambiguous, and pandering city. Hundreds of people occupied every room, every inch under the stairs, every step and passageway, every chamber and vestibule …

(Can you not tell that this was written by an Italian? His name is Giandomenico Romanelli.)

This maybe helps in understanding why the ground floor, where you enter, feels most of all like a dungeon. The exhibition begins fitfully here, with ancient nude fragments and antique anatomical dolls set in some vaguely appealing compare-and-contrast with a bright yellow Francis Bacon, a small photograph of a blubbery woman on a pole by Hans Bellmer, a video by Kimsooja of a washing woman standing perfectly still as the dirty river passes her by (did we see this at the Henry a while back?), and, finally, Anish Kapoor’s giant undulating gold reflective form, a piece that induces a pleasant sort of motion sickness conforming to its title, S-Curve. Kapoor’s piece seems out of place until you consider its insistence on an awareness of the architecture’s effect on the human body, or the architecture as a fellow body joining you on your way up through the show.


In the stairwell up to the next floor, you encounter something stabilizing again, but not too stabilizing: a second-century Zeus facing forward, and in front of it, also facing forward, a rusty and greenish bronze head by Thomas Schütte (from the collection of the artist!), on which only the eyes are shiny, alive, almost slickened by ducts. At this point, it feels like almost anything could be on the second floor. I’ll write about what’s up there tomorrow.

Bill Donahue’s Gonna Blow

posted by on September 18 at 1:38 PM

Dark Alley Media—a gay porn company—got a lot of press for their last release, Gaytanamo, “a gleeful mockery of the government’s war on terror and the Guantanamo prisons.” Now they’ve made a porn flick—starring Jesus.


Matthias Von Fistenberg’s Passio will surely make a few Fox News anchors explode—and not in a good way. In fact, it is safe to say that even those non-acolytes of the “fair and balanced” network will be disturbed by von Fistenberg’s Jesus. This savior could care less about clothing the naked or feeding the hungry, unless the meal’s cock.

Read all about it at Queerty.

Gay Marriages Loses a Couple

posted by on September 18 at 1:33 PM

California: Arnold Schwarzenegger says he plans to veto a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in California—for a second time. He added that he will continue vetoing the bill each and every time state lawmakers send it to him. Here’s hoping they keep sending it to him. (Slow and stupid Fred Thompson—who is not going to be our next president—claimed in Iowa earlier this month that “no state legislature in the nation” has ever legalized same-sex marriage.)

Maryland: The state supreme court rules against gay marriage, saying that the state has “a legitimate interest in promoting opposite-sex marriage.” Could someone please explain to me just how disallowing same-sex marriage promotes opposite-sex marriage?

Games Down The Block

posted by on September 18 at 1:28 PM

Nothing gets video game nuts riled up like untimeliness. If a game is early, the fans flip out about spoilers. If it comes out late, they’ve been betrayed. So which area company’s leak in the past 24 hours is worse?

Halo 3

Microsoft’s megaton Christmas title, Halo 3, comes out in seven days, but it appears the title has already had its Deathly Hallows moment, as the game’s ending is now up on YouTube (feel free to search if you’re so inclined). The six-minute clip comes courtesy of a cell phone camera—nothing like a blurry, shaky image to drive home just how illicit the video is, oooooh. I could tell you the ending, but we’re not talking about a Lost plot twist here…just straight-forward, good vs. evil sci-fi. I doubt our Redmond overlords are shaking in their elephant tusk-encrusted boots.

But just down the way, Bellevue’s Valve Software unleashed the wrath of gaming addicts by being 30 minutes late. The company has revolutionized online game sales with its streamlined Steam service, and to convince fans to buy their Orange Box games pack in October, Valve put up an offer—pre-order in advance through Steam, get a sneak preview of one of those games (online shooter Team Fortress 2) on September 17. Yesterday, at 12:01 a.m., the hardcore logged on to Steam—nothin’. 5 p.m.? Still not there. 11:30 p.m.?!? Nope. The promised sneak peek didn’t hit players’ hard drives until 12:34 a.m. PST this morning, the 18th, and during that wait, an angry fan racked up the lead popularity slot at Digg with his anti-Valve tirade.

Team Fortress 2

Seems dim at first to blast a games company for a one-day wait—we’re not talking about the months of delay that Grand Theft Auto 4 is facing, after all. But the ranter makes a relevant point, at least; some may also remember that Valve got into a PR disaster when they delayed their eventual blockbuster Half-Life 2 for over a year. When the company is trying to convince its fans to use Steam, rather than go to the store and get a trusted, physical copy, the smallest hiccup could scare the throngs off. People have plenty of other gaming options this holiday season, but neither of these issues will stop me from buying local—what can I say? I like to support the little neighborhood…multi-million game developers.

A Little Bad News

posted by on September 18 at 1:06 PM

If those children had been armed this crime could have been prevented.

A 74-year-old Whatcom County woman who shot a puppy that strayed into her yard at Lake Samish was cited for malicious mischief. The sheriff’s office says there were people—including children playing—in the line of fire.

The dog, a golden retriever, was euthanized by a veterinarian after Friday’s shooting.

A Little Good News

posted by on September 18 at 12:59 PM

Gov. Christine Gregoire today announced she will overrule local objections and allow a controversial plan to install 65 towering wind turbines in hills northwest of Ellensburg….

Environmentalists urged Gregoire to support the wind-power project, saying it provided vital renewable energy at a time of growing concern about the impact coal and gas-burning power plants can have on climate change.

But the Kittitas County Commission had earlier voted to deny the project, amid objections from neighboring landowners that massive, white towers as tall as old-growth Douglas firs were out of place in a rural area near homes.

Busy Day Crowd-Sourcing

posted by on September 18 at 12:12 PM

I’m currently in search of video of Republican Rick Lazio’s controversial walk over to Hillary Clinton’s podium during their 2000 debate in Buffalo.

I can’t find it easily online, I don’t have an intern, and I’m on deadline and multi-tasking and don’t have time to keep doing a huge web search myself. Anyone out there want to show off their internet-video-finding skills?

Here are some more key words for you, from a Sept. 20, 2000 New York Times article:

During the debate, Mr. Lazio walked over to Mrs. Clinton’s lectern, waving a sheet of paper, gesturing at her and demanding that she sign a pledge abstaining from using unregulated campaign contributions known as soft money. She declined. Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have portrayed his actions as bullying and likely to alienate women.

And Mrs. Clinton and her campaign have sought to encourage that reaction among women. In a speech Monday before supporters, the first lady portrayed Mr. Lazio as yelling, pointing his finger and invading her space. ”I knew I was going to share a stage,” Mrs. Clinton said, ”I didn’t think I was going to have to share a podium.”

Roads and Transit Update

posted by on September 18 at 11:48 AM

Last Friday (as I predicted a few weeks ago) the Cascade Chapter of the Sierra Club lost its challenge to have its anti-roads argument included in the voters’ guide for this November’s roads and transit ballot measure. Currently, the entire committee writing the “con” statement on the roads and transit package consists of anti-transit activists such as Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman.

In a statement Friday, the Sierra Club lamented the decision, which will result in a “con” statement that is entirely anti-transit—a message that won’t hurt and could even help the measure in pro-transit King County.

“It seems the pro-roads lobby that is attempting to ‘hide the highways’ behind Sound Transit will get their way,” said Cascade chair Mike O’Brien. “We’re disappointed – the entire voter guide on this issue will be slanted. The whole purpose of this resource is to give voters a fair representation, and this won’t happen.”

The Sierra Club and others who oppose Sound Transit/RTID must have been heartened, however, by a Survey USA poll released last Friday, which showed that a strong majority of voters in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties (which roughly follow the boundaries of the roads and transit package) oppose increasing sales taxes and license fees to build new roads and transit in the region. Tellingly, voters the roads part of the package by a much larger margin than they opposed building 50 new miles of light rail: 65 percent opposed raising taxes for roads, compared to 56 percent who opposed raising taxes for rail. Meanwhile, forty-five percent had a “favorable” opinion of Sound Transit generally, compared to 23 percent who were unfavorable, 22 percent who were neutral, and ten percent who were unfamiliar with the agency.

Youth Pastor Watch

posted by on September 18 at 11:22 AM

St. Louis, Missouri: Youth pastor charged with 107 felony counts of sexually molesting girls under the age of 14.

Battle Creek, Michigan: Youth pastor on trial for soliciting a child for sex online.

Jackson, California: Youth pastor pleads guilty to two felony counts of oral copulation with minors under the ages of 16 and 18

Bradenton, Florida: Youth pastor admits to molesting sleeping 15 year-old boy.

Grand Rapids, Michigan: In a poor choice of words, the new senior pastor—and former youth pastor—at Grand Rapids’ True Light Baptist Church pledges to “embrace young people in the area.”

Uh, the first definition for “slut” in my dictionary is “a slovenly woman.”

posted by on September 18 at 11:19 AM

Unfortunate nickname? What are you talking about, Jonah? That is the best nickname ever. To quote Carollani in the comments:

Aaaahahahhaha! I can’t wait to ride the SLUT!!! God I hope they don’t change that acronym—SLUT blows BART out of the water.

Carollani, it doesn’t matter what “they” change the acronym to. “They” changed the name of that stretch of First Avenue near the art museum “The West Edge” but has anyone ever said the words “The West Edge” with reference to any part of Seattle? No, no one has. Changing “South Lake Union” to “Cascade”? Not gonna happen. I’m heading to Kapow! to get one of those shirts—which you can see over at the PI—as soon as they get some more. (Let us know, guys?) And then I’m going to have a burger at Skillet, where I ate an ahhhwesome steak salad while sitting in the middle of the street last week. I’m beginning to like this South Lake Union neighborhood.

More Bad Behavior in Men’s Restrooms

posted by on September 18 at 11:14 AM

Just in time forNational Clean Hands Week, a surveillance project commissioned by the American Society for Microbiology and the Soap and Detergent Association reveals that only 66 percent of men wash their hands after using a public restroom, compared to 86 percent of women. Both men and women routinely lie about their behavior in public restrooms: 96 percent of women claimed to wash their hands, along with 89 percent of men. The surveillance, alas, did not include the men’s room at the Minneapolis airport.

Via AdWeek.

Slog Loves Voting

posted by on September 18 at 11:01 AM

So, go to this site and vote on what the guy who paid $752,467.00 for Barry Bonds’ 756th home run should do with it: donate it to the Hall of Fame as is, donate it to the Hall with an asterisk branded into it, or shoot it into space on a rocket.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 18 at 11:00 AM


Shoot ‘Em Up

The name tells all. Shoot ‘Em Up burrows so deeply into the shitty clichés of shitty action movies, it comes out the other end looking like parody. There’s the leering Bad Guy, eventually undone by his own hubris. There’s the mysterious and masculine Good Guy, who kills a dozen commandos while having sex with the prostitute with a heart of gold. There are the evil government plots and the car chases and the hilariously gruesome climax. Shoot ‘Em Up is the last word in shoot-‘em-ups. (See Movie Times for details.)


Science for the Masses

posted by on September 18 at 10:50 AM

For a little bit of this…

and this…

and this…
d1181-43-400.jpg go over here

Welcome to the very first Dear Science podcast. This week resident scientist Jonathan Golob and resident Marxist philosopher Charles Mudede discuss evolution, oranges, underwater iron-eating plants, the upside of nitrogen bombs, and so much more.

Only Users Lose Drugs

posted by on September 18 at 10:50 AM

Dumb-criminal stories are older than God. Still, I will never tire of reading the endless variations on this theme:

Man reports missing cocaine, gets arrested for drug smuggling.

He had a good reason.

Carr’s downfall came when he contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Aug. 7 to report that he had lost 31 kilograms of cocaine he hid in some brush near the border. Carr allegedly wanted the ICE agents to issue a statement that they had seized the drugs so the people he worked for would not think he stole the goods and retaliate against him.


What’s Next, Summary Executions?

posted by on September 18 at 10:45 AM

Slog readers pointed us to a better video of the arrest and tasering of a student at a John Kerry lecture…

Jesus Christ. The worst part—well, after the kid’s screams—is listening to John Kerry drone on and on while this is going on. Do we still have a right to protest? To ask impertinent questions of elected officials? The kid had a right to resist arrest because he had done nothing wrong. And now, in response to the uproar, John Kerry has condemning the arrest of this kid—now, when it’s too late for Kerry to actually do anything about it.

Scientifically Analyzing an Unscientific Poll

posted by on September 18 at 10:42 AM

Eli Asks:

Or, is the Slog tracking poll’s margin of error much, much greater than +/- 6 percentage points? (Paging all math and statistics brainiacs.)

Slog responds:

Computing the margin of error on this type of poll would be like computing the margin of error on reading chicken entrails.


Posted by elenchos | September 18, 2007 9:50 AM


Are people over Gore? Yes, about 8 years ago.

Is this due to growing satisfaction with current candidates? No.

Is the margin of error much greater than +/-6%? Certainly yes. First, sample size is significantly different (998 in August vs 620 in September). That alone will skew your results.

Who responded in the first poll because seeing Gore listed was funny? It wasn’t so funny the second time, so they didn’t bother to respond. In August, the “with Gore” poll had 86% the number of respondents as the “without Gore” poll. In September, that dropped to 81%, a difference of 5%!

As for the 39% who still picked Gore in the last poll? I’m guessing they also watch Seinfeld reruns and think they are every bit as funny as when they first aired.

Posted by Mahtli69 | September 18, 2007 10:10 AM

My turn.

First of all, the “margin of error” in any poll is a pretty meaningless value when deciding if a poll result is valid.

When the media print sentences such as “the margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points,” they strongly suggest that the results are accurate to within the percentage stated. That is completely untrue and grossly misleading. The media’s intentions are honorable. They want to warn people about sampling error. But they might be better off assuming — as most of the readers surely do — that all surveys, all opinion polls (and, indeed, all censuses) are estimates, which may be wrong.

As I’m fresh out of chicken entrails, let’s start with the reasonable assumption a slog poll is a decent sample of the slog-poll-responding population.

The standard deviation of any poll result is equal to 1 / sqrt (n), where n is the number of poll respondents.

The n for the first and second polls were 998 and 620 respectively. Therefore, the standard deviations of the two polls are 0.03 and 0.04. If we stretch out to three standard deviations, we’re still at a fairly narrow amount of error.

So, if we ignore the problems of double voting (with different web browsers or computers), unequal sample sizes, non-random selection, and accept this is a sample of slog poll respondents only, we can probably say the difference is statistically significant, and completely meaningless.

Consider this basic argument true for just about any poll you read in the lay press: statistically significant and utterly meaningless.

Gonzo Porn Douchebag Wanted on Attempted Rape Charges in Washington State

posted by on September 18 at 10:38 AM

Meet Jack Venice. He’s a straight porn star who also makes his own “gonzo” videos. Here’s a relatively safe taste of his work (only audio is NSFW):

This morning, KING 5 breaks the news that police in Pullman, WA have issued an arrest warrant for Jack Venice—a.k.a. 25-year-old Christopher Jack Reid of West Hills, CA—in the attempted rape of a female student at Washington State University.

Police believe Reid met WSU student Kyle M. Schott at a bar and together they broke into three sororities early Thursday. A woman staying at the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority says she awoke early Thursday to find two men in her room, attempting to rape her. They fled down a fire escape.

Full story here. Kyle Schott has been arrested, but Reid/Venice is still at large. Perhaps police should head north. Here’s a comment posted by a friend on Jack Venice’s MySpace page:

Sep 14 2007 11:13P

Sup bro?! Good to see you in Pullman the other night, thanks for the JD! Hope Canada was all it was promised. Be sure to rep Pullman in your next shoot. Hope you got to stick around long enough to see this town at its best and stick it to the best!

Ugh. Stay tuned.

Another Toilet Cruiser Busted

posted by on September 18 at 10:32 AM

This time in North Carolina.

The charge against a Boca Raton Episcopal priest who was arrested in a sex sting operation in a Waynesville, N.C. park restroom may violate his constitutional rights…. Fr. Michael Penland was charged on June 28 with “soliciting for a crime against nature” in Waynesville Recreation Park….

Who’s coming to the defense of the reverend? Not the Episcopal church, which suspended Fr. Penland from his duties at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton. It’s the gays that are coming to his defense—“Bathroom sting violates priest’s rights, lawyers say,” reads the headline in Florida’s Express Gay News—and the American Civil Liberties Union. Yesterday the ACLU submitted a “friend of the court” brief backing Sen. Larry Craig, arguing that the “secret sting operation used by the police to arrest Senator Craig was not ‘carefully crafted’ to avoid ensnaring innocent speech.”

Returning to Father Penland: the disgraced priest, like the disgraced senator, is not gay identified. He’s been married for 17 years. As I pointed out when the Larry Craig scandal broke, most of the men out there cruising public toilets are straight—or straight-identified—and not openly gay. (Although some openly gay men do, of course, cruise toilets.) Yet it’s openly gay people and publications that rush to the defense of these men when they get into trouble.

But there’s an important distinction to be made between Penland’s case and Craig’s, a distinction that puts Penland’s arrest for—hardy har har—soliciting “a crime against nature” in an entirely different light. The priest didn’t intend to have sex in a public place. Returning to Express Gay News

According to the arrest report, Penland followed Det. Tyler Trantham into a public restroom around 11:30 a.m. and asked Trantham to go home with him to have sex. Penland allegedly got into his car and followed the officer to another location. He was pulled over by a second officer, Crystal Shuler, who issued a citation, took his picture and released him. Penland did not go to jail.

Says the Express Gay News:

The report does not depict any sexual behavior taking place in the bathroom, public park or in Penland’s vehicle. It only states that Penland propositioned the undercover detective to engage in anal sex at a private location.

Says the ACLU:

“What [Penland] did was not a crime,” the ACLU’s Rosenwald said. “It’s not wrong to proposition someone and then go home.”

Look, I sympathize with people that have been arrested in public sex stings. It’s gotta suck. But as I said in “Savage Love” last week, part of the thrill of public sex is the risk. You might get caught, you might get into trouble. But Penland wasn’t engaging in public sex, and didn’t intend to engage in public sex. It’s clear—beyond all reasonable doubt—that Larry Craig did intend to get it on in that toilet at the Minneapolis Airport. As gay journalist and one-time toilet cruiser Rex Wockner proved, Craig’s actions meant one thing and one thing only. Craig didn’t invite that undercover to accompany him to Idaho. He intended to get it on in that airport toilet.

Now do I think paying cops to sit in cruisy toilets at aiports is a wise use of police resources? No, I don’t. But getting it on in public restrooms is illegal, and I’m not going to rush to the barricades to defend closet cases, straight men with a taste for cock, or the odd openly gay sexual adventurer. I agree with the ACLU: if a public restroom becomes a cruising spot, “[the police] should put up a sign banning sex in the restroom and send in a uniformed officer to patrol periodically.”

But I will man the barricades to defend Father Penland. It is not illegal for for one man to hit on another; a pass may be unwelcome, and it may be ill-advised (Waynesville, N.C.?), but it is not a crime—against nature or anything else.

This case, unlike Craig’s, is all about criminalizing the brand male piggishness that women are forced to endure every day. It’s about protecting straight men from the treatment they meat out to straight women.

Penland should sue. But, alas, it’s unlikely that Penland will challenge his arrest. Says the Express Gay News

Penland could sue the Waynesville Police Department for false arrest or for violating his constitutional rights. [But] Penland and others who are caught in similar stings frequently choose not to challenge the charges because of the stigma associated with such an arrest.

Fighting public sex stings is nearly impossible because the kind of men arrested in bathrooms—straight-identified messes, cowardly closet cases—are the least likely to stand up for their rights to adult, private, consensual sexual conduct. And that’s all Penland was looking for: sex in private, between consenting adults. Which is legal in all 50 states, including North Carolina.

Re: Those Slog Tracking Poll Results

posted by on September 18 at 9:40 AM

Last week I promised to Slog about a difference I noticed between our September and August presidential race tracking polls. It’s taken me a bit longer than promised, but here goes.

First, the usual caveats. I know these polls are unscientific. I know I’m only getting a sense of the opinions of a self-selected group of people (poll clicker-oners) within a larger self-selected group of people (Slog readers). Still, I’m interested in what the Slogosphere thinks about the Democratic presidential candidates (or what it tells me it thinks about them) and how what it thinks about them changes over time.

So, let’s look at the August poll results, the ones from the poll that included Gore in the list of choices:

In August, as you can see, Gore was getting 45-percent of the Slog reader vote. Now, let’s look at the results from early September when Gore was included:

In early September, Gore received only 39-percent of the vote, down 6 percentage points. And it seems to me there are more comments like this attached to the September poll posts:

Can you guys get over Gore running? You might as well list Santa Claus and Ghandi in the poll along side Gore.

Posted by John | September 10, 2007 10:57 AM

Is the Gore bubble bursting among Slog readers? Are people over the hope that he’ll swoop into the race at the last minute and provide another alternative to Clinton, Edwards, and Obama (and Dodd, Gravel, Kucinich, and Richardson)? Is this due to a growing satisfaction with the current slate of Democratic candidates or just the end of a flirtation with an interesting rescue narrative?

Or, is the Slog tracking poll’s margin of error much, much greater than +/- 6 percentage points? (Paging all math and statistics brainiacs.)

Something to think about as we wait for next month’s tracking poll. Meanwhile, some additional analysis of September vs. October from our commenters.


posted by on September 18 at 9:17 AM

It’ll be light slogging from me today. I’m swamped getting the paper out.

So, here’s my contribution to Slog for the day:

When I was a kid, I thought the lyrics to the Knack hit Good Girls Don’t, when they actually sang:

“Good girls don’t/Good Girls don’t/she’ll be telling you/Good girls don’t/But I do”

was “Good girls don’t/Good girls don’t/she’ll be telling you/Good girls don’t/So I had to.”

Poor John Kerry

posted by on September 18 at 8:50 AM

And poor Andrew Meyer, who definitely made a nuisance of himself at John Kerry’s recent speech at the University of Florida—but then paid a pretty steep price. After a long and loud struggle with police who were trying to hustle him out of the university auditorium, young Mr. Meyer was Tasered live on camera, all while Kerry tried to awkwardly move past the interruption. Is there a YouTube video of all this? Of course there is:

Is there now a FREE ANDREW MEYER movement? Yep, there’s that, too.

The Morning News

posted by on September 18 at 7:00 AM

The Boot: Blackwater USA mercenaries expelled from Iraq.

The Banana Republic: Chiquita fined $25 million for giving money to Colombian “narcoterrorists.”

The Iron Curtain Strikes Back: Wiretapping’s protecting us from more than just terrorists. Really.

The Decent Proposal: Hillary Clinton unveils her health care plan.

The Fuck?
Larry “Wide Stance” Craig finds an unexpected ally in the ACLU.

The Mayor’s Budget: Nickels wants more cops, community centers and park rangers.

The SLUT: Vulcan’s trolley has an unfortunate nickname.

Here it is again, O.J.’s greatest hits:

Monday, September 17, 2007

What’s That Smell?

posted by on September 17 at 6:30 PM

That was what I kept asking a friend who’d gone with me to the Bridge Motel Saturday night, where the soon-to-be-demolished landmark was full of artists and performers and audiences there to see off the building in style.

Rarely does an art or theater event have such powerful smells. There’s nothing abstract or indirect about a smell.

In the rotting rooms of the low-budget paradise that was erected in 1954 for traveling salesmen and this week will be razed to make way for spendy townhouses, I detected: mildew, cherries, spraypaint, sandalwood and nag champa incense, sweat, semen, Elmer’s glue, gunpowder, and much, much more, including a mysterious metallic-sweet smell coming, reportedly, from a series of microwaves “cooking a bunch of shit” behind the scenes of the Implied Violence performance.

It was a spectacle of evocation, every untouchably dirty inch of the place not blank, like a hotel wants to be, but unspeakably full of people and events and moments and touches and smells already. The whole installation, organized by D.K. Pan, was an artwork of excessive redolence, and a sense of bulging overfullness powered the night.

I don’t mean it was crowded, which I gather was a problem for plenty of people. To me, it seemed appropriate to have to stand in sweaty lines and crush up next to people in order to take in all of this too-muchness. (Note: I’m not particularly practical-minded, and I was there before dark, before things got outrageously overrun.)

For all the painful proximity of the dirty stuff itself—stained carpets, brown pillows, cracked mirrors—the one artwork that was totally distant was C. Davida Ingram’s cooking performance, the one I most wanted to see/smell/taste/touch/talk about.

I could only look through the window of the room to see a set table with wine bottles and a bowl of cut cucumbers on it, and behind that, the occasional glimpse of Ingram cooking in the kitchen. A sign on the door said “Private,” because Ingram was cooking for groups of pre-assigned people (I’d have signed up, but I was out of town), and they decided whether they wanted their meals private or public. The whole thing was based on an ad Ingram put out that said, “Black woman willing to make your favorite meal. You share the recipe. I prepare. Come hungry.” The text of that last sentence splayed on the window expanded the racial implications of the premise into startingly sexual territory, as did the “private” sign on the motel room door. Even without getting in, I loved the piece. (Does anyone care to share what went on inside?)

C. Davida Ingram’s cooking performance at Motel 1 (all photos by Alice Wheeler)

I’ve never seen so many people taking photographs at an art event as I saw at the Bridge Motel (and I just returned from the Venice Photogenic Biennale). What was that about? The best things about the Bridge Motel experience, called Motel 1 because there will be a Motel 2 this week at another location, were not visual.

Sarah Kavage’s Ghost Stumps, sculptures of white tree stumps embedded into the carpet in an homage to the site’s long past, were lovely but swallowed whole by the jostling event. Much more at home was Kaleb Hagan-Kerr and Erin Spencer’s The Darkened Chamber, a dark room that functioned as a camera obscura. It was hot in that camera, and stuffy and smelly, and a man performing behind the wall upside-down so he was projected onto the wall right-side up (and occasionally vice versa) was knocking himself around, in a slapstick and morbid dance. Voices kept saying, “There better not be drugs in there,” and “My wife is sick.”

Most at home of all the performances was Implied Violence’s Come to My Center You Enter the Winter. While I was there, a man and a woman dressed all in gold in a gold room performed episodes written in a list on the wall. The list said things like, “It’s very late on the plain in this desolate mountain state,” which presumably would trigger something in the performers, something both programmed and improvised, I imagine. During the course of the performance, they appeared to get drunk. At one point, he was spitting thick red blood-looking stuff on her, and then she was on the floor and he was pouring it on her and she was slightly choking and then he wedged his foot into her crotch and pushed her gurgling bloody self around on the disgusting carpet. There were several gunshots around this time, and the wall was stabbed, as were a few golden bags hanging from the ceiling. Oh, and by coincidence, a balding collie walked into the room, checked things out, and walked back out. It was a high point.

A low point was the endless performance of two modern-dance mimeish types wearing crepe-paper hats and looking, as my friend said, like Dexy’s Midnight Runners in slow motion as they scaled the facade and slunk around touching people with their crepe paper.

In the parking lot, people were jumping on dusty mattresses, and a white van was parked, rocking a little, and with smoke and the off-center rhythms of Tool coming out of it. It was, of course, called Don’t Come A Knockin, by Seattle School, and I heard it involved fried chicken, but I didn’t see that for myself. Neither did I see the campfire built by Jack Daws and Faith Ramos, who tore the roof of their room open to the sky and played country music along with the fire. I wish I had.

It was all there: the psychotic (Implied Violence), the nostalgic (the campfire), the cheap and playful (Seattle School), the political (Come Hungry), the creepy (a black-lit room outfitted in webs to crawl around in by Studio IoUP), and the slightly mad (the camera obscura performer). Adding to that was Pan’s own installation in Room #7 at the top of the stairs in the corner, a room painted a painfully bright color red and turned into a beach of salt. Clothing and notes were buried in the salt, including a letter to an inmate at King County Jail and a note to a drug addict. Where did these come from? I didn’t know, but since Pan has been manager at the hotel for a year, I didn’t think it was far-fetched to conclude they might be documents of the real past. “What was yours about? Mine was about pills,” one woman asked another, both holding notes they’d pulled from within the salt. “Really? Mine was, like, somebody lost.”

It all made me wish they were going to burn it down rather than tear it down.




Motel 2: I’ll be there.

And tomorrow: the previously scheduled programming of Part 2 of “Artempo” from Venice.

Friends of Seattle…

posted by on September 17 at 4:54 PM

…just released their endorsements for city council. They’re backing Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, Tom Rasmussen, Tim Burgess, and Sally Clark.

Says FoS…

We sought candidates with enough past successes to indicate they would be capable elected representatives. More than that, we sought candidates who supported (1) development of a surface/transit replacement for the Alaskan Way Viaduct, (2) robust affordable housing policies, (3) zoning for more density downtown and in areas served by transit, (4) more mass transit, (5) better infrastructure for biking and walking, (6) vibrant parks and more open space, and (7) other policies necessary for sustaining urban life. No candidate is perfect on our issues. Indeed, we were prepared to withhold our endorsement in any race, if necessary. But we are confident that our five selections will be effective councilmembers whose positions are sufficiently aligned with our objectives for the next four years.

HUMP! Screenings Added

posted by on September 17 at 4:51 PM

Tickets are now available for additional shows.

HUMP! goes down at On the Boards Friday, October 5, and Saturday, October 6. Tickets are on sale now for added a 10 pm Friday show and a 4 pm on Saturday show. Get ‘em while they’re, uh, gettable.

No License

posted by on September 17 at 4:45 PM

I’ll give a much more detailed report in the paper, but the bottom line is this: “There’s no license right now.” Those were the words of Tim Hatley, lobbyist for the music industry after the 6-3 vote for a seriously amended license package.

Hatley’s last minute coup was the result of a late amendment by Jean Godden.

Godden’s amendment, opposed by the diehard supporters of the license—Sally Clark, David Della, and Jan Drago—puts off the license requirement until next year while simultaneously getting a nightlife commission up and running. The commission will collect data and come back with recommendations on things like: Is a license even necessary?

The amendment was supported by Tom Rasmussen, Peter Steinbrueck, Richard Conlin, Godden, and surprisingly Nick Licata—who was a license supporter.

Richard McIver (as promised) voted no on all amendments out of principle for his disapproval of the whole thing.

Godden’s amendment was a tough pill for Clark to swallow, but ultimately she and the diehards were forced to vote for a radically amended package.

Of course, the real meaning is this: Now the nightlife community—alarmed and obviously energized by the recent heavy handed sting by the city— is going to work extra hard to get pro-license council members like David Della (who is up this year) off the council.

Della’s opponent is Tim Burgess who just told me he does not support the license.

He says his views are best summed up in today’s comments by Council Member Peter Steinbrueck.

Steinbrueck provided Godden’s amendment with a majority—torpedoing the license—and then righteously, like McIver, voted against the final package. The other No vote was Rasmussen.

Steinbrueck belittled the license saying the problem with violence isn’t in clubs but in the streets—and more policing is the answer. “Should we make Macy’s or McDonald’s get a license?” he asked to raucous applause—referring to the problems at 3rd and Pine.

HUMP! Is Sold Out—For the Moment

posted by on September 17 at 4:26 PM

We thought we could get away with fewer screenings this year — since this year’s venue, On the Boards, has almost three times as many seats. But the four announced shows have sold out already… so we’re adding more. Times to be announced shortly.

Speaking of Chris Crocker

posted by on September 17 at 3:54 PM

Here he is back when he was named Jonathan Caouette. From the movie, Tarnation, interviewed/reviewed here (by me) a few years back.

(Sorry if this has been covered before.)

Today in Line Out

posted by on September 17 at 3:00 PM

M.I.A. Scheduled to Play Seattle: Will it actually happen this time?

Schoolyard Heroes Tonight: The band ushers in their new record with a free, late-night performance.

Truckasauras in Pictures: And in a parking lot.

I finally saw the VMAs: Even the Foo Fighters and Cee-Lo blew it.


Les Savy Fav is Coming to Town Too: And Eric Grandy wants everyone to get stoked.

Terrible: Grandy on New Order’s documentary New Order Story.

Atom & His Package: A good cure for Mondays.

Donte’s Decibel Download of the Day: Derek Plaslaiko.

The Popular People’s Front: TJ Gorton on the PPF’s great disco edits.

The Now

posted by on September 17 at 2:58 PM

One track on Jeff Mill’s score to Lang’s Metropolis is called “Somewhere Near Now.” The composition (a work of space jazz) is not what I want to discuss at this moment. What holds my interest and has me thinking is the title of the music: “Somewhere Near Now.” The now is, of course, constant. The now is what you leave when you die and what you enter when you are born. The now is that in which all things happen. To experience the now you must be some body. A body goes through the now, the point of eternity. The body either grows into or departs from this one point of eternity. The body must see this eternity as a point, as a moment in time. Health is close to the now; sickness is at a distance from it. Being has everything to do with the body, and so with the body it goes under. Because the now is independent of the body, it does not go under with it. The body is nothing but the beat, breathing, becoming of time. Because the mind transforms what’s happening into what happened (existence into experience, reality into short and long term neural patterns and networks), and also looks ahead to see what might happen in the now, its location in the beam of being alive is often somewhere around now. Posthumanism ends the being and time unit and thinks of things as now and being.

Preview of Coming Attractions

posted by on September 17 at 2:57 PM


Attention adventure-craving local diners: If you need a reason to look forward to the gray and soggy autumn, head directly to Bethany Jean Clement’s Chow lead previewing The Corson Building, the new venture being undertaken by MattSitka & SpruceDillon.

Gregoire Chief of Staff Resigns

posted by on September 17 at 2:55 PM

Tom Fitzsimmons, Governor Gregoire’s chief of staff, announced this morning that he’s resigning.

Don’t Do It for the Children

posted by on September 17 at 2:42 PM

About 125 Laurelhurst residents couldn’t have given a rat’s ass about the nearby Husky game on Saturday evening. Instead the Children’s Action Coalition and neighbors rallied in their quiet enclave to protest a massive proposed expansion of Children’s Hospital. If built, the hospital’s highest point would increase from 90 feet to 240 feet (to about 20 stories) and expand the campus’s area by 1.5 million square feet. Construction would last for 13 years.

A drawing from Children’s proposed Master Plan. Numbers refer to the buildings’ height.

Above the crowd, a helicopter hovered at the height of two proposed towers – a media stunt if there ever was one – to demonstrate the facility’s potential visibility from surrounding locations. These pictures were taken from the chopper.

The view South, toward Husky Stadium and Downtown.

All these houses to the North would have views of the towers.

Despite providing awesome views for sick tots, the proposed expansion presents two major problems, according to coalition member Elizabeth Nelson. First, construction would ensure an ear-splitting nightmare. Second, it would tangle traffic. Access to Children’s is already limited, via SR-520 and Montlake Boulevard, and the transportation infrastructure won’t support the projected traffic flow, she says. But more to the neighbors’ concerns, the high volume of traffic would increase the risk of neighborhood children getting struck—presumably by cars full of sick children. “They are planning two entrances on a residential street and it wouldn’t be safe for kids,” speculates Nelson, who lives a block and a half from the hospital. She blogged “a map of kid-filled locations (schools, parks and churches) within 2 blocks of the new hospital entrances.”

Founded in 1907 and relocated to the wealthy lakeside neighborhood in 1953, Children’s Hospital claims that it needs to “expand its inpatient facilities to a total of 500 to 600 beds over the next 15 to 20 years” in its “Major Institution Master Plan” submitted to the city this July. Children’s serves the four-state area of Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho.

But Nelson doesn’t oppose the hospital’s growth. She says that the hospital can consider a range of alternatives, including a “second facility or moving the hospital entirely.”

David Perry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for Children’s Hospital, explains it would “cost close to 1.5 billion to move.” Plans won’t be firm for another 18-24 months. “Right now,” he says, “it’s important [for neighbors] to contact the Citizens Advisory Committee,” which is run by the hospital. Today marks the end of the proposal’s public comment period with the City.

For a Ranting, Raving, Anti-Gay Religious Conservative…

posted by on September 17 at 2:41 PM

…Mitt Romney spent a lot of time with his tongue wedged into the butts of gay voters in Massachusetts when he was running for governor in 2002.


Says John Aravosis

In all fairness to Mitt Romney, he was only 55 years old in 2002 when he was a flaming pro-gay politician hell-bent on sucking up to gay activists on pretty much every issue, and thus was distributing these fliers all over Boston. But hey, that was five years ago and Mitt was a younger man. We really shouldn’t hold people’s youthful indiscretions against them.

But who will break the the news to Tagg?

Slog on Slog

posted by on September 17 at 2:08 PM

Given that this Slog post about the differences between our print edition and the Slog generated a lively comment thread, you may want to attend this:

This evening at 6:30pm, The Washington News Council is hosting a public forum at the downtown Seattle Library titled: “Today’s News: A ‘Webolution’ in Progress” where members of the news media and the blogosphere will be discussing the way blogs are impacting news coverage and the news industry.

It’s being moderated by Merrill Brown, former editor-in-chief at MSNBC. The panelists include: Cory Bergman, digital media director at KING 5; Robert Hernandez, senior producer at The Seattle Times, Alex Johnson, senior producer MSNBC; Joan McCarter, blogger dailykos; Ambra Nykol, blogger; Chuck Taylor, editor at Crosscut; and me.

I’ll be talking specifically about Slog and how we approach our on-line news coverage.

Done It Plenty

posted by on September 17 at 1:58 PM

Meet one of the federal prosecutors the Bush administration didn’t fire…

A federal prosecutor from Florida was ordered held in custody Monday after he appeared in U.S. District Court in Detroit on a charge that he flew to Detroit intending to have sex with a 5-year-old girl.

John David R. Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, Fla., an assistant U.S. Attorney in Florida’s northern district, is expected to appear again in court for a detention hearing on Tuesday….

According to the complaint, Atchison reassured the sheriff’s deputy who was posing as the child’s mother that he would not hurt the 5-year-old because he goes “slow and easy,” and “I’ve done it plenty.”

(Continuing) Adventures in Right-Wing Wocka Wocka Wocka!

posted by on September 17 at 1:31 PM

Now that Fox News’ 1/2 Hour News Hour has been taken behind the studio and shot, which right-wing group will step up to the plate and provide the world with the conservative political comedy it so obviously needs?

Ladies and gentleman, I present you with Newsbusters:

(Via Oliver Willis.)

Where Are the Police?

posted by on September 17 at 1:25 PM

From one neighborhood blog

A bank robbery on 15th; an armed robbery on 19th; a mugging in broad daylight on 11th. And where are the police? Fighting Greg Nickels’ imaginary crime wave in the clubs.

The police couldn’t even be bothered to break up this public disturbance.

MoveOn’s Latest: “Giuliani AWOL”

posted by on September 17 at 12:57 PM

Via The Caucus, which also chronicles MoveOn’s moves up to this point (the print ad in the NYT about Petraeus, the spot on CNN, etc).

Some Giuliani vs. MoveOn (and Clinton) action can be found here, and seen here:

ESL Typos Funny Ha Ha

posted by on September 17 at 12:54 PM

On Saturday night, some of my favorite people on earth and I sang some karaoke at a bar in the International District. Typos in karaoke song books crack my shit up. My former all-time favorite, “Time after Time” by Cyanide Lauper (found at the venerable China Gate), has officially been dethroned. Now it’s a toss-up between:

“Can’t Keep It Up” by Cat Stevens


“Fuckytown” by Lipps Inc.

I’m leaning towards Cat Stevens.

Chris Crocker

posted by on September 17 at 12:53 PM

Chris Crocker takes on his haters…

…but who will take on mine?

Alphabetizing DJ Riz’s Records

posted by on September 17 at 12:37 PM

DJ Riz, KEXP DJ and a Stranger columnist back in the day, wanted help alphabetizing the records in his Central District apartment, so contacted me to do the heavy lifting.


Riz alphabetized his records once upon a time, but by the time I got there, they were in a state of disarray. There were LPs everywhere; in cardboard boxes, lying on the floor, and lining the walls on creaky shelves.

Riz apologized for the clutter and offered to move some boxes so that I could have easier access to the records on the wall. I told him I was fine. Riz wanted me to start by alphabetizing his electronica records, which lay on the highest shelf. I reached up to grab a chunk and the shelving trembled. A couple records slipped through the crack between the shelf and the wall. I worried the wooden planks would break and Riz’s entire electronica section would fall on my head. Killing me.

I sat down on the ground and began to alphabetize the records. I separated them into two arbitrary piles; A-J, and K-Z.

It was hard to concentrate on the albums. I wanted to talk with DJ Riz about his work at KEXP. I wanted to get to know him. I resented his records. Was Vic Acid the title of the song or the artist? I strained to read the creative fonts.

After about 20 minutes of alphabetizing, Riz invited me to take break and watch Judge Judy with him. Riz argued with the plaintiffs and shouted “WHY?!” at the television.

Riz asked me what it was like growing up in Seattle. He told me about the column he used to write for The Stranger, back when the paper’s headquarters were located in the University District. Riz didn’t seem to care that I’d completed less than half a shelf.

Riz went back to the kitchen to cut bok choy, and I looked at the records on the floor. It was going to take forever to organize them all. I tried to stay positive. “Look how much you’re learning about music!” I spent about two more hours alphabetizing and alphabetized maybe 1/18 of Riz’s record collection. It was impossible to concentrate with Riz talking to me! I wondered; did he want an intern to alphabetize his records or did he want a companion? I couldn’t be both.

Then I ate fried chicken, mashed potatoes and bok choy with Riz and his boyfriend Rob, a nurse.


During dinner, I wondered if Riz was disappointed in me because I’d only managed to alphabetize a tiny fraction of his record collection. I offered to come back and alphabetize again next week. Riz didn’t seem very excited. I think he secretly likes having his records in no particular order.

Before I drove Riz to KEXP to host his show “Expansions”, I taught him how to make prank phone calls using the Judge Judy soundboard on EBaums World. I think he appreciated it.

Steven Blum
Public Intern

A Weekend on the Coast (Posted Without Comment)

posted by on September 17 at 12:09 PM


(more photos after the jump)

Continue reading "A Weekend on the Coast (Posted Without Comment)" »

City Hall at 2pm

posted by on September 17 at 12:07 PM

The night life license isn’t coming up until after the mayor gives his budget speech at 2pm. But it’s first thing on the legislative agenda after that.

My guess is the license will be taken up around 3pm.

However, you should show up at 2pm anyway so the mayor can get a good look at the music community that helped get him elected and is now taking it in the teeth.

Some things the Seattle Nightlife and Music Association wants to see amended in the pending legislation:

1) Clubs with current liquor licenses shouldn’t have to reapply for the new “nightclub license.” In other words, they should be grandfathered in.

2) The “summary suspension” section of the ordinance (6.280.160) should be amended so that the executive department can’t just shut down clubs without real cause. Indeed the language reads: “Determinations regarding license applications, suspensions, revocations, and Notices of Violation may be established by a preponderance of the evidence….” May be? How about must be.

3) A commission of neighbors, nightclub owners, and SPD should have more power in the process of granting and revoking licenses.

4) You shouldn’t have to re-apply every year.


Licata has amendments that aren’t satisfactory to the nightlife association—”they’re window dressing” says music scene promoter Dave Meinert—and the current strategy for opponents of the license is to kill the amendments because if the amendments don’t pass, it’s likely the whole thing won’t pass. Without the amendments there are only two diehard supporters—Sally Clark and Jan Drago. However, If Licata’s amendments pass (the director should get input from the commission … whoop dee doo…*) then there will be enough votes to pass the whole thing.

Unfortunately, two of the swing votes on the license, that is the key people that will be swayed to vote for the license if the amendments pass, are the sponsors of the amendments themselves: Nick Licata and Richard Conlin. They, obviously, aren’t going to vote against their own amendments. Another swing vote riding on the amendments is David Della.

Cool footnote: Richard McIver, the one African American on the council (ie, he gets how this license will be used in Seattle) says he’s voting no on everything.

Yeah, yeah. Call me trite on that last point, but you know it’s true.

* Amendments are below the jump.

Continue reading "City Hall at 2pm" »

Re: Who’s That Woman?

posted by on September 17 at 12:06 PM

I just got off the phone with “that woman” and here’s her side of the story.

“I went to the Genius Awards and it was pretty great for a while, but by the end my self-esteem had been strangely crushed. I blame this guy:”


Her blow-by-blow of her Savage interaction:

• She was waiting patiently in line for a drink.
• Someone apparently closely associated with Dan and wearing a “really tight t-shirt” cut in line.
• She was playfully all, “Hey man, no cutsies!”
• Savage walked up to talk to the person from point #2.
• She looked at him because he’s “just so darned cute and famous.”
• He perceived a stink-eye and made a HUGE dramatic scene about it, despite her protestations that it was just her regular eye.
• He glared at her all night like she had killed his poodle.
• She has since lost her once-reknowned ability to wake up early.

Her summary: “He’s full of shit.

She vows revenge.

Nice Work If You Can Get It

posted by on September 17 at 11:55 AM

Meet Alabama’s spankin’ judge—and get a load of his secret playroom.

Authorities are investigating allegations that now-suspended Mobile County Circuit Judge Herman Thomas periodically removed prisoners from Mobile County Metro Jail and spanked them in a room at the courthouse, according to courthouse sources involved in the inquiry….

According to sources, between a half-dozen and a dozen young men have shared their accounts with officials…. At least one young man has alleged that as a prelude to the paddling, Thomas told him that if he had been spanked when he was a child, he would not have found himself in jail later, according to one of the newspaper’s sources.

Not all of the young men making the allegations were in jail when they had their encounters with Thomas, according to the sources. At least one of Thomas’ accusers told authorities he was out of Metro Jail when the judge summoned him to the courthouse on a Sunday night.

In August, according to sources, a room matching descriptions provided by some of the young men was located just off a corridor that leads to the jury room connected to Thomas’ courtroom. Thomas’ official chambers and offices can be reached through a door behind his courtroom bench.

The Press-Register was shown the small room in late August. When asked about it Tuesday by a reporter, Thomas had no comment.

The room is about 6 feet by 8 feet, appearing better suited for storage than for use as an office.

Some sections of the courthouse’s sixth and eighth floors in the north tower of Mobile Government Plaza were built in a layout similar to Thomas’ section. And some of the corresponding small rooms in those other sections are used for storage, while others sit empty.

Some judges on the circuit bench have said they were not aware of these small rooms, and none said that the rooms in their own sections, or anywhere else at the courthouse, were used as extra offices.

But the small room in Thomas’ section appeared to be an office.

The walls were covered with framed pictures, awards and certificates received by the judge. Family pictures also sat in a tall, narrow bookcase that held law books and other documents.

A huge desk dominated the room, and behind it was a well-worn leather chair with a high back. Just to the right was an adjustable secretary’s chair, its seat cranked down low, about a foot from the floor.

According to sources, sometime after Thomas came aboard as a circuit judge, he changed the locks and occupied the room. It was unclear how many others on Thomas’ staff may have known about it.

Hope and Glory

posted by on September 17 at 11:51 AM


I got to go out for drinks late last week—my son was away on a camping trip, Ecce, so no children were harmed during my drinking binge—and snapped this picture of Pony’s completely infamous, thoroughly nonfunctional glory hole at Pony, the temporary gay bar/vintage porn installation in the Cha Cha’s old space. The number in the clown’s mouth is scrawled on the wall of the bathroom on the other side of the glory hole. As we’ve pointed out before on Slog, the glory hole at Pony is really more of a peep hole—you would need a very thin, very long dick to actually get a glory-hole blowjob at Pony. (If you were using the glory hole, I should say.) The glory hole at Pony is more of an homage to glory holes than an actual glory hole.

What Marcus and his crew have created with Pony—and here’s hoping they find a space to move to when that block comes down later this year—is an homage to sleazy late 70s/early ’80s gay bars, the kind of dark, sleazy gay bars that were tucked up away in corners, in falling down buildings, with blacked out windows, spaced-out go-go boys, beat-up video games, and the odd glory hole. The only thing Pony lacks, if you ask me, are a couple of first-generation AIDS-before-it-was-called-AIDS awareness posters tacked up in the bathrooms, posters that were dismissed as panicky and alarmist when they went up. It turned out, of course, that those posters weren’t nearly panicky or alarmist enough.

Most of the bars Pony resembles went out of business in the mid-’80s, ‘round about the time that gay bars with windows that faced the street—windows that weren’t blacked out! bars you could be seen drinking in!—started opening. As more people lived full out lives, there was less of a need for walk-in drinking closets. At the time a lot of stories were written about these “open” gay bars, and how the growing acceptance of gays and lesbians made older, sleazier, more discreet gay bars obsolete.

Well, now a lot of those bars—the open bars, the bars that put the original Pony-ish bars out of business—are closing. Because the forces of openness and integration that put the Ponies out of business are undermining the need for gay bars, period. At least that’s the message of this piece in the Orlando Sentinal. Gay bars are closing left and right in Orlando, a city with a large gay population. Why?

To some, the loss of Full Moon, Faces, Lava and Southern Nights signals the end of an era in which bars served as the hub of social life in the gay community. They offered sanctuary, anonymity and intimacy in a world that was largely hostile toward gays and lesbians.

“It was the community center. There were no other social places to gravitate to,” said Steve Tuhy, 54, a gay bar owner who moved to Orlando three years ago from Minneapolis.

But that changed as gays gained greater acceptance in society, older gays became more monogamous, and younger gays gravitated toward nightclubs that cater to a mixed crowd. “The larger percentage are in relationships, taking care of things at home. A lot have kids,” Tuhy said. “If you’re under 30, you don’t care. You just go wherever it’s a cool, hot bar.”


Orlando follows a national trend of long-established bars shutting down. In New York, it was the Roxy, where Madonna and Bette Midler performed. In Nashville, The Chute closed after 23 years. Four bars in Minneapolis shut down in the past year. The Suncoast Resort—St. Petersburg’s version of the Parliament House, an Orlando institution—closed to make room for a Home Depot.

“A gay nightclub is obsolete,” said Tuhy, who runs the Beer Bar, a gay neighborhood bar on Edgewater Drive. “It’s something that has served its purpose.”

Are gay bars obsolete? Maybe in some places, maybe not in others. But I remember what it was like to walk into the Bushes, a bar in Chicago, in 1982 when I was 17. There was a big, hostile world outside, but when the bar’s door shut behind you—when you were in a space where everyone was gay—you were free to relax, you could drop your guard. Can you get that feeling in regular clubs and bars in a city like Chicago or Orlando or Seattle today?

Seems that way—there’s still a demand for gay bars, of course. Orlando has seen a lot of its gay bars close, but not all of them. Despite the fact that you can be as gay as you like at “straight” bars like Smith or Linda’s or Re-bar or Cha Cha or West 5, etc., Seattle still has R-Place, the Cuff, Madison Pub, the Eagle, the Wildrose, etc. But all attempts to open second lesbian bar in Seattle have failed, and Sugar couldn’t make it as gay bar. Despite the success of Purr, it seems that demand for new gay bars in Seattle has been flat for a while—it’ll be interesting to see if Manray reopens somewhere after its building comes down.

But the success of Pony proves that a bar that offers up something different can succeed. And what does Pony offer? Well, basically the same thing the Crescent still does—a gay bar in the sleazy, pre-floor-to-ceiling windows, pre-sexually-integrated nightlife tradition. Pony, as a recreation and an homage, is self-aware in a way that the Crescent is not. Which is why the former is full of young people (except when I drop by and raise the average age by ten years) that want to live in the past for a few hours, and the latter is full of men that have been living in the past for decades.

The Betrayal

posted by on September 17 at 11:43 AM

Let’s begin with this image:
To properly decode Lando Calrissian—to read the American reality from his fictional position in the Star Wars universe—we must first decode Han Solo. Who in reality is Solo? In reality he has his social substance in a figure Norman Mailer classified as “the white negro.” Solo is in essence a black man—this reading is supported by the fact that Billy Dee Williams actually auditioned for the role of Han Solo in 1976. Williams did not audition for Luke Skywalker because Skywalker, like John Denver, is a white country boy (Solo is black and urban).

Now that we know Solo is actually a black man, we can understand the real function of the fictional friendship he has with Lando, another black man.

But first a quote from IMDB: “There’s always been a lot of misunderstanding about Lando’s character. I used to pick up my daughter from elementary school and get into arguments with little children who would accuse me of betraying Han Solo” (Billy Dee Williams).

If we understand that Han and Lando are black, then we understand the nature of the betrayal, and also the source of Williams’ denial of that betrayal. The ground is this: Lando represents the black American middle class that emerged in the 60s. The black American middle class not only emerged but also broke with its past—the hood, the inner city, the streets, the underworld of crime and poverty concentrated in places like South Chicago, Watts, and the Bronx. The black American break with the black underclass is the real meaning of Lando’s betrayal. Lando is a manager; Han is a criminal. Lando was once a criminal but he climbed out of that bleak hole. His betrayal of Solo is inevitable because the two no longer share the same class. Solo fails to see this, fails to see that Lando is no longer a brother, and he pays dearly for the mistake.

Lando’s betrayal is not only that he turns Solo over to The Evil Empire, but he deliberately broke his present from his past as a hustler, a gambler, a member of the underworld, the black market economy. In short, he is no longer black. Han Solo, of course, has not lost his blackness. He knows where he is from, he knows his enemies, he is still for real. Look at Han’s partner: a brown creature that speaks a funky language; Look at Lando’s partner: a white and robotic administrator.

With this reading in mind, we can see that the function of Han is to make Lando black again, to remind him of his roots, his past. But it’s too late. There is no going back/black. What Billy Dee Williams himself failed to understand (and what the kids at his daughter’s school knew for sure—read the IMDB quote above), is nothing can reverse the betrayal. Once you have changed your class status, you can never be trusted, never be down, never be anything but a black backstabber.

The sense of Calrissian guilt, and the internal conflict caused by the betrayal and its irreversibility, is resolved in the 80s by The Cosby Show.

Eat a Lot of Hamburgers?

posted by on September 17 at 11:16 AM

Well, then you ought to smoke a lot of pot.

Scientists at the National Centre for Scientific Research in France, have found that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, may prevent the development of prion diseases, the most well-known being “mad cow disease” or BSE (bovine spongiforme enzephalopathy).

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 17 at 11:00 AM


Schoolyard Heroes at Sonic Boom Records (Ballard)

Tonight, Schoolyard Heroes celebrate the release of Abominations, their fantastically morbid and exciting third full-length record. The usually raucous Heroes will perform their songs acoustically, and they sound shockingly good that way. The record will be for sale ($8.99—cheap!) immediately following the set. When they did this for 2005’s Fantastic Wounds, there was barely room left in the store, so show up early. (Sonic Boom Records, 2209 NW Market St, 297-2666. 11 pm, free, all ages.)


Greenspan “Clarifies”

posted by on September 17 at 10:50 AM

In his new book, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan says:

I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.

That sentence is now getting a lot of attention, including from Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, but today Greenspan “clarified” the sentence in an interview with The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward.

In the interview, he clarified that sentence in his 531-page book, saying that while securing global oil supplies was “not the administration’s motive,” he had presented the White House with the case for why removing Hussein was important for the global economy.

“I was not saying that that’s the administration’s motive,” Greenspan said in an interview Saturday, “I’m just saying that if somebody asked me, ‘Are we fortunate in taking out Saddam?’ I would say it was essential.”

He said that in his discussions with President Bush and Vice President Cheney, “I have never heard them basically say, ‘We’ve got to protect the oil supplies of the world,’ but that would have been my motive.” Greenspan said that he made his economic argument to White House officials and that one lower-level official, whom he declined to identify, told him, “Well, unfortunately, we can’t talk about oil.” Asked if he had made his point to Cheney specifically, Greenspan said yes, then added, “I talked to everybody about that.”

Tourist Entrapment

posted by on September 17 at 10:47 AM

The toilet where Larry Craig got busted for soliciting sex is now a tourist attraction. The BBC today says

The Minneapolis airport toilet where US senator Larry Craig was arrested for allegedly soliciting gay sex is now attracting tourists, say airport staff. “People are taking pictures,” Karen Evans, an information officer at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport, told Associated Press.

Mr Craig was arrested on 11 June by an undercover airport police officer.

Now it seems that tourists passing through the airport cannot resist the temptation to have a look at the scene.

But regular Slog readers already knew that the toilet was a tourist attraction.

Live Slogging the Mandy!

posted by on September 17 at 10:35 AM

Mandy Moore, my bestest new friend in the whole wide fucking world, is right now on The View, and Barbara Walters is trying to make her talk about the alleged “depression” she allegedly has/had that I totally ignored in THIS interview…

Favorite quote so far, “I’m a total hussy, everyone breaks my heart.”

Hurry! LOOK NOW!!!

(Did you miss it? You probably missed it. If so, don’t wory too much, she’s singing after the break.)

Fifth Annual Stranger Genius Awards: The Night in Photos

posted by on September 17 at 10:33 AM

Photos by Peter Kearns.


The 2007 geniuses meeting each other before the partyHeather McHugh, mid-joke; Greg Carter; Linas Phillips, hatching some kind of evil plan; Amy Thone, shoving Alex for some reason; and Alex Schweder.


Librarians are sexy.


A snapshot of the VIP pre-party. Everyone’s gathered around the bar.


Linas Phillips accepting his award. Before he went onstage, he told me the last time he was in the library he was looking for homeless people to star in his latest project, Great Speeches from a Dying World.


Alex Schweder accepts his award from Jen Graves.


Brendan Kiley explains what he loves about Amy Thone, then goes for it. Thone’s husband is in the crowd.


The crowd would not stop cheering for Amy Thone. It was a while before she could speak.


Greg Carter looking not unlike a preacher—wearing all black, waving a golden book around…


Heather McHugh, seconds before going onstage to accept the first ever Genius Award summa cum laude. I was onstage with her, nervous as hell, so it’s all a blur, but I remember her—how she got to this point no one recalls—saying, “Some of my friends will fuck anything that moves. But I don’t see any reason to limit yourself.”


The entrance to the party. That’s John Sutton at the back.


Partiers on three levels. Meanwhile, outside, there’s a line around the block. You can’t really tell in this photo, but those vinyl blow-ups of the profiles of Alex Schweder and Heather McHugh hanging on the wall there are 11 feet wide by 15 feet tall.


Corianton Hale looking cuter than the posters he designed.


Velella Velella, rocking out.


The Blow at the beginning of her set. By the end—she closed with “True Affection”—the crowd was begging for more. “One more! One more!” they kept chanting. All good parties come to an end.

Emailed Haikus Presented Without Comment

posted by on September 17 at 10:28 AM

From: Jonah Spangenthal-Lee
Subject: the twitch
Date: September 17, 2007 10:22:56 AM PDT
To: Ari Spool

Mmm energy drinks
I’m a giant hummingbird
It’s cheaper than meth

Genius Party 2007: Scotch and Light Stalking

posted by on September 17 at 10:24 AM


On Friday night, a whole bunch of artsy Seattle types learned something that homeless Seattle types have known for years: Getting drunk at the library is fun.

Other things I learned at the 2007 Genius Awards Party at the Seattle Central Library:

*Being in a room with someone you’ve seen get into really embarassing fights with his boyfriend on television—specifically, Brandon from Bravo’s Showdogs Moms & Dads—is odd. (You know so much about them, they know nothing about you, and you can’t stop lightly stalking them.)

*Professional librarians can do impressive things with rolling book carts.

*Theater Genius Amy Thone must play Eva Peron. (And Brendan Kiley looks nice with a moustache.)

*Scotch is a one-way ticket to Drunkistan.

(All photos by Peter Kearns.)

Who’s That Woman?

posted by on September 17 at 9:56 AM

I thoroughly enjoyed this year’s Stranger Genius Awards party, even if I screwed up my bit. I was supposed to go up with Tim Keck and say that each genius gets a $5,000 check, a swank party in their honor, and a cheap sheet cake from QFC, but I botched it. I don’t remember what I said, but it wasn’t what I was supposed to say.

I blame this woman:


The photo’s a little blurry, I know, but she kept ducking and turning away when I tried to take her picture—probably because she was ashamed of herself. This woman cut in front of me in line for drinks. And then she had the nerve to turn around and give me the stink eye when someone else told her that there was a line—someone else, not me, someone else. She kept glaring at me for the rest of the night, like I had killed her cat or something.

Despite the best efforts of this awful, terrible, no good, really bad person, I enjoyed myself at the Genius Awards Party. But if you recognize this woman please send us her name. We want to make sure she’s 86’d from all future Stranger events and parties.

In Case You Missed It

posted by on September 17 at 9:55 AM

Over the weekend, a darling of the liberal netroots, retired General Wesley Clark, endorsed Hillary Clinton for president.

The Moment Dennis Kucinich Has Been Waiting For

posted by on September 17 at 9:37 AM

This came yesterday from the Kucinich campaign:

LAS VEGAS, NV - Democratic Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, whose long-ignored claims that oil was the principal reason for the invasion of Iraq, has scheduled a news conference here tomorrow (Monday) to address the stunning admission by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan that “the Iraq War is largely about oil.”

In his memoir to be released today, “The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World,” Greenspan disclosed, “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

I’ve been saying that for five years,” said Kucinich, the only Democratic Presidential candidate who voted against the Iraq war in 2002 and every subsequent supplemental funding appropriation since. “Everyone from the President to my colleagues in the House and Senate who voted for this war have been denying it and scoffing at the notion. Now, the former Fed Chairman corroborates that I’ve been right all along.”

Re: Sonics Stay. Slog Gets it Wrong …

posted by on September 17 at 8:29 AM

or at least the website story Charles linked got it wrong.

Details to come, but there is no deal between the Sonics and the Muckleshoot tribe to build an arena in Auburn.

Seattle Times Gets Club Story Wrong … Again

posted by on September 17 at 8:25 AM

Originally posted yesterday. The vote on the nightclub license legislation is today, after the mayor’s 2:00 budget speech, at city hall.

The Seattle Times has a story on the front-page of its local section today on the city’s nightclub crackdown.

Their article corrects the record on the big mistake they made last week when they took the city’s word for it and printed that a gun made it into Tommy’s. (I did the basic reporting last week and challenged The Seattle Times misleading account.)

Unfortunately, in this latest report, The Seattle Times botches another key issue

They quote City Council Member Sally Clark—who supports a nightclub license—saying the license is necessary to rein in violence at clubs. Taking Clark’s spin as fact, The Seattle Times reports:

Clark also noted that while serving underage or inebriated patrons is wrong, preventing that is mainly the state Liquor Control Board’s job. The council’s proposed nightclub ordinance … would hold clubs accountable for violence.

Clark’s point is: Yeah, the Liquor Board can already stop clubs from serving minors (as critics of the new license idea have pointed out to her), but we need a special tool at the city level to deal with violence. The Seattle Times article simply lets that point stand.

But Clark’s argument is off base. The Seattle Times should have done the basic fact checking on that.

Working with the state’s liquor board, the City already can shut down clubs for violence—and has. Most recently, Mr. Lucky and Larry’s.

How’d the city shut down clubs for violence without the prized nightclub license? Simple. With laws that are already on the books. Indeed, thanks to existing state law, cities like Seattle have “substantial weight” in making the decision to shut down clubs for violence.

Here’s the summary of the state law:

Requires that, in determining whether to grant or deny a license or renewal of any license, the board shall give substantial weight to objections from an incorporated city or town or county legislative authority based upon chronic illegal activity associated with the applicant’s operations of the premises proposed to be licensed or the applicant’s operation of any other licensed premises, or the conduct of the applicant’s patrons inside or outside the licensed premises. “Chronic illegal activity” means: (1) A pervasive pattern of activity that threatens the public health, safety, and welfare of the city, town, or county including, but not limited to, open container violations, assaults, disturbances, disorderly conduct, or other criminal law violations, or as documented in crime statistics, police reports, emergency medical response data, calls for service, field data, or similar records of a law enforcement agency for the city, town, county, or any other municipal corporation or any state agency; or

(2) An unreasonably high number of citations for violations of RCW 46.61.502 associated with the applicant’s or licensee’s operation of any licensed premises as indicated by the reported statements of patrons to the Washington state

It think it’s great that The Seattle Times corrected the record on Tommy’s.

Hopefully they’ll get sharper about challenging the city’s spin on the license as this story continues to unfold.

Previous coverage of this story:

The cost.

The club reaction.

The raids.

The police report.

The politics.

The follow-up stings.

The implications.

The nightclub owner.

And here’s Erica’s feature story from July 2006 when Mayor Nickels began his clampdown.

The Morning News

posted by on September 17 at 7:00 AM

Coughing Up Mukasey: Bush to nominate former judge as new attorney general.

Maybe If You Ignore Him, He’ll Go Away:
Ahmadinejad still wants to debate Bush.

French Fright: Cheese-eating surrender monkeys warn war with Iran is imminent.

In Case You Were Still on the Fence:
Alan Greenspan says Iraq war was for oil.

Duck! Birds vaccinated against avian flu still catch it.

Rossi Rundown: The PI thinks Dino’s getting back in the governor game too.

The Casino Will Win the Civil Case: O.J. arrested, held without bail in Las Vegas heist.

I Didn’t Vote For Her: Madonna declares herself an “ambassador for Judaism.”

And now, O.J. Simpson’s greatest hits:

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sonics Stay

posted by on September 16 at 9:21 PM

This is the word on the [web] street:

Sonics Make Deal With Muckleshoot Tribe to Build Arena in Auburn

Inside sources reveal that the Seattle SuperSonics and the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe have reached an agreement to build a new basketball arena in Auburn next to the existing Emerald Downs Race Track. This agreement will keep the Sonics in King County, though not in the City of Seattle.

The Muckleshoot Tribe owns the land the track sits on, but not the racing facility itself. The Tribe also owns adjacent property, which will house the new arena.

A news conference will be held at Emerald Downs at 10AM Monday, September 17, to announce the deal.

Thanks Rob Devor for the tip.

In Austin

posted by on September 16 at 2:30 PM


File this one under things you won’t find in Seattle: Flip Happy Crepes, a creperie operated out of a repurposed Airstream trailer in an shady overgrown lot in South Austin. The dining area consists of a few picnic tables, some plastic folding tables, and a children’s school desk, all scattered under a modest plastic awning. The crepes (most of them savory—yay!) are incredible (mine had pulled pork, Gruyere, and caramelized onions) but the setting is the real draw: Informal, charmingly ramshackle, and cool despite the 90-degree weather thanks to the awning and a couple of massive old live oak trees. When I visited, a bunch of people seemed to have been there for quite a while, as evidenced by the empty bottles of Red Stripe that were piling up on their table.

This is exactly the sort of business model that would work in Seattle—if it was allowed here. As I’ve reported before, however, it’s nearly impossible to open a street restaurant in Seattle, thanks to convoluted regulations that require all mobile food businesses to either limit themselves to “non-potentially hazardous” foods (pretzels, popcorn, lemonade) or be equipped with a large, three-compartment sink with hot and cold running water, on-site refrigeration, and a separate, on-site hand-washing sink. If you can pay for all that, you still have to pay licensing fees and get written permission to set up shop from nearby businesses. Imagine trying to start up a similar business—say, a sandwich shop on wheels—behind a business district in Ravenna, or Wallingford, or even Columbia City. One business protests, and you’re looking for a new location. And that’s assuming you don’t serve want to serve alcohol—forget about letting people bring it themselves. (That’s illegal in Seattle—unlike Texas, where bringing your beer with you to the taco stand is not considered a threat to public safety.)

I’ve written before about how hard it is to get city approval for a permit to sell alcohol outdoors; even a tiny pizza shop in West Seattle called Slices couldn’t get city approval to sell beer and wine on its outdoor patio, because the city (read: Mayor Greg Nickels and City Attorney Tom Carr) believed people would pass beers to underage kids over the fence between Slices and the sidewalk. (A: What a fucking stupid theory; B: Heaven forfend that a 20-year-old should get his hands on alcohol!) Which is really too bad: It shouldn’t be so hard for people to open patios where people can eat and drink outside. They’re all over the place in Austin—I’m writing from, and drinking at, one now, corrupting the underage college kids sitting right next to me!—and they could be in Seattle, if our state and city leaders would get their heads out of their asses and realize there are more pressing problems than the availability of alcohol.

Side note, not really related: A few days ago, I visited the “new” flagship Whole Foods (it’s a few years old, but I haven’t been yet). This Mecca of faux-green consumerism (fun fact: Leaving the huge front doors open to the 95-degree heat while blasting the A/C wastes electricity!) includes this bit of ingenuity:


It’s essentially a refrigerated corridor—you walk up to one side, the doors slide open, you get your beer (and goosebumps) and you walk out the other side. Definitely not green, but a welcome escape from a blistering day.

Fred Thompson is lazy and stupid…

posted by on September 16 at 1:51 PM

…and no one is going to vote for him.

At his second campaign stop of the day on Friday, just after 2 p.m., Fred D. Thompson was deep into a riff on the benefits of high-quality American health care. “It’s allowing us to live healthier lives and to live longer,” Mr. Thompson, a former Republican senator from Tennessee, said at a Jaycee park here. “That’s good news. But we have more retired folks. I hope to become one of them one of these days.”

Nervous laughter from the audience.

“Not too soon,” he added hastily.

So much for dispelling the idea that he is too lazy to run for president…. His critics, already pointing to what they call Mr. Thompson’s skimpy Senate record, might find even more ammunition in his campaign schedule. In his second week as an officially declared candidate for the Republican nomination, Mr. Thompson has made a languid three-day swing through Florida ending Saturday with the candidate watching a football game in Gainesville. The pace has kept him on a jumbo air-conditioned bus far more often than he is actually campaigning.

Since Thursday morning, when the tour began, Mr. Thompson has made no more than three campaign stops a day, with long stretches in between. In recent spins through Iowa, he kept a similarly relaxed schedule. Mitt Romney, by comparison, often does six town-hall-style forums a day when in Iowa.

White Out

posted by on September 16 at 1:22 PM

Remember how George W. Bush and Karl Rove were going to make the GOP our ruling party for decades to come by, amongst other things, embracing minority voters? Hugging black schoolchildren and reaching out to the worst instincts—excuse me, the traditional social conservatism—of Hispanics?

Well, so much for that.

Three of the four leading Republican presidential candidates turned down invitations to a PBS debate this month at a historically black college in Baltimore, leading moderator Tavis Smiley on Thursday to accuse them of ignoring minority voters.

Smiley told USA TODAY the rejections are part of a pattern, noting most GOP candidates declined invitations to address several black and Hispanic groups, including a Univision debate for a Latino audience.

Democrats need to hammer way at this.

Via Sullivan.


posted by on September 16 at 1:18 PM


Las Vegas police arrested former football star O.J. Simpson on Sunday in connection with last week’s alleged armed robbery at a hotel room in the U.S. gambling haven, CNN said.

A source with the Las Vegas Police Department told CNN Simpson was taken into custody at the Palms hotel.

Today The Stranger Suggests

posted by on September 16 at 11:00 AM


Ten Tiny Dances at Capitol Hill Arts Center

“An experiment in confined space,” this edition of Ten Tiny Dances is co-curated by local dance treasure Crispin Spaeth, who invites fellow choreographers to create short works for a four-by-four-foot stage. The latest installment features the cream of the Seattle dance crop, including Paige Barnes, Dayna Hanson, locust, Wade Madsen, Juliet Waller Pruzan, and of course, Crispin Spaeth Dance Group. (Capitol Hill Arts Center, 1621 12th Ave, 800-838-3006. 7:30 pm, $12 adv/$15 DOS, all ages w/21+ bar.)