by Goldy, 11/30/2009, 2:17 PM

Oy…

Officers on the police scanner say that a would-be vigilante flagged down a cop near Cowen Park. The man was carrying a handgun and wearing body armor. He apparently wanted help flush out the suspect from the park.

There’s a part of me that wishes the police had put his armor to the test.

by Goldy, 11/30/2009, 10:46 AM

Since I spend an awful lot of time critiquing the press, I think it only fair to point out that the coverage thus far of the tragic murder of four Lakewood police officers, and the ensuing manhunt for the suspect has been pretty damn good. Both the Tacoma News Tribune and the Seattle Times have been on top of the story since shortly after it broke, doing what newspapers do best.

In fact, in this age of instantly updated websites, the newspapers have provided much better coverage than they ever could in the days of their mere print existence.

SeattleCrime.com also deserves a shout-out for its ongoing coverage, and particularly its on the ground reporting from the Leschi police action last night. Kudos all around.

by Goldy, 11/30/2009, 9:44 AM

Hey Erica… I have it from a very reliable source that you can add the name of my ex-wife, Maureen Judge, to the list of candidates jockeying to replace state Sen. Fred Jarrett in the 41st Legislative District after he steps down to take the number two position in the King County Executive’s office.

“Mo” is a King County Conservation Voters board member and the executive director of the Washington Toxics Coalition, environmental credentials that never hurt in Puget Sound area elections, and as a former manager at Real Networks and Expedia (as well as our own, lesser known, mom & pop software startup), she’s got high-tech/business bona fides to boot. And as my loyal readers might remember, she’s well known to 41st LD regulars from her hotly contested 2007 race for Mercer Island City Council… a race, by the way, in which she earned a rare double endorsement from both HA and the Seattle Times (although I at least managed to get her first name right).

The inside line is that once Jarrett officially steps down, freshman Rep. Marcie Maxwell will seek the appointment to his seat, leaving her House seat open to Mo and the other contenders. 41st LD Democratic PCO’s will nominate three candidates, ranked by preference, from which the King County Council will appoint a successor.

If I had to wager, I’d guess Mo, Vicky Oricco and Randy Gordon have the inside track right now, if in no particular order.

by Goldy, 11/29/2009, 7:29 PM

Yikes

Maurice Clemmons, the 37-year-old Tacoma man being sought for questioning in the killing this morning of four Lakewood police officers, has a long criminal record punctuated by violence, erratic behavior and concerns about his mental health.

Nine years ago, then-Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee granted clemency to Clemmons, commuting his lengthy prison sentence over the protests of prosecutors.

“This is the day I’ve been dreading for a long time,” Larry Jegley, prosecuting attorney for Arkansas’ Pulaski County said tonight when informed that Clemmons was being sought for questioning in connection with the killings.

Perhaps Susan Hutchison should ask for her contribution back?

And the Washington angle doesn’t look much better:

Clemmons’ criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. The record also stands out for the number of times he has been released from custody despite questions about the danger he posed.

Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child. He was released from custody just six days ago, even though he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Arkansas and was staring at seven additional felony charges in Washington state.

If this is the killer, there’s gonna be an awful lot of explaining to do.

by Goldy, 11/29/2009, 1:15 PM

A question for the several disgruntled HA subjects and their attorneys who have threatened me with defamation suits over the past year alone… is this the sort of shameless, disregard for free speech you’d prefer become the norm here in the United States?

Italian authorities have served the parents of Amanda Knox with legal papers notifying them they are under investigation for defamation, an accusation related to their allegations that police brutalized their daughter.

Still jetlagged from their long trip from Seattle, Edda Mellas and Curt Knox were served the papers Friday evening by Italian Caribinieri police officers while at the law offices of their Perugian lawyer, Luciano Ghirga. Both are in Perugia to hear closing arguments in their daughter’s murder trial, which is expected to conclude next week with a jury decision on whether Amanda Knox had a role in the November 2007 slaying of her roommate, Meredith Kercher.

The developments came as a surprise to the family.

“It’s ridiculous,” Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas told the seattlepi.com.

“And the timing is very curious,” added Curt Knox. “With this coming five days before a high-profile case is going to come to a close, for an article written 18 months ago.”

I haven’t really followed the Knox drama, and I have no opinion one way or another as to her guilt or innocence. But this defamation investigation is harassment, pure and simple, and a vindictive, anti-democratic effort to crush dissent. The prosecutors have the full weight and resources of the state behind their efforts to convict Knox, and now they’re threatening her parents for daring to criticize their actions? That’s the sort of overreaching exercise of state power that most Americans rightly find repugnant.

Fortunately, here in the U.S., we not only enjoy the protections of the First Amendment, but also perhaps the most restrictive defamation laws in the world. One can still harass critics by threatening to bring suit, and in fact, one can still harass critics by bringing suit, however unfounded. But the kind of free speech the Knox’s exercised (and the kind of free speech I exercise here on HA) is exceedingly difficult to prosecute.

Ain’t it great to be an American?

by Carl, 11/29/2009, 12:24 PM

UPDATE [Lee]: Bumping up to the top.

4 Pierce County police officers shot dead outside Parkland:

The officers were sitting in the coffee shop with their computers out when the shooter came in. The officers were targeted, and it was not a robbery, investigators believe.

[...]

“It looks like a flat-out ambush,” Troyer said. “Some one came in and opened fire.

The baristas who were inside the shop are “stunned and shocked, traumatized,” Troyer said.

A $10,000 reward has been offered for information in the killings. The amount is expected rise, Troyer said.

“The first one to call with information gets it,” he said.

Sorry to use so much of the Trib’s post without adding much but I thought there ought to be a thread.

… The tip line if anyone reading has any information: (253) 591-5959

by Lee, 11/29/2009, 12:00 PM

Last week’s contest was won by milwhcky. The correct answer was St. Paul, MN. As always, you can click the picture to go directly to the Bing maps site. They’ve hidden the Bird’s Eye View link a bit, but you can get to it by clicking the ‘Aerial’ flyout menu.

Here’s this week’s, good luck!

by Goldy, 11/28/2009, 10:40 AM

I guess value can be rather subjective, but if Mike McGinn’s recent mayoral campaign is any indication, it looks like Seattle may have snagged itself a deal that would put any Black Friday shopper to shame.

McGinn spent only $224,241 to win 105,492 votes in this year’s general election, about $2.13 per vote. Compare that to New York’s Michael Bloomberg — the only mayoral candidate in the nation to receive more votes than McGinn — who spent at least $102 million of his own money to win 557,059 votes, an astounding $183.10 per vote.

Such a bargain.

by Lee, 11/27/2009, 9:57 PM

[via Pete Guither]

by Jon DeVore, 11/27/2009, 12:01 PM

Who will die for a color TV?

by Goldy, 11/27/2009, 9:01 AM

Bold leadership

Gov. Chris Gregoire is “seriously considering” legislation that would allow four-minute Keno games as a way to help deal with a projected $2.6 billion budget shortfall.

The games could bring in an estimated $30 million a year. That’s not much money compared with the budget gap, but lawmakers are hunting for any cash they can find.

Or, you know, we could try a high-earners income tax, or even a temporary, broad-based tax increase, rather than raising revenue primarily on the backs of the poor and the gambling addicted.

Senate Ways and Means Chairwoman Margarita Prentice, D-Renton, said she may sponsor the Keno legislation. “We wouldn’t be doing this if it weren’t an absolute necessity,” she said.

Absolutely necessary? I’m sure Sen. Prentice could find other creative ways to raise an additional $30 million. Just taxing the contributions of payday lenders to her own campaign could get us a significant portion of the way there.

Another idea: eliminate the discriminatory tax break granted last session to print newspapers.

Oh, and a tip to the broad based coalition of bizarrely allied activists and interests groups opposed to expanding gambling in Washington state… as much as I sympathize with their needs and concerns, perhaps tribal leaders are not our most effective spokespeople?

Ron Allen, chairman of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, opposes the move. Allowing the expanded Keno game would take away money from casinos run by the tribes, he said. “The market is only so deep, and we’re close to saturation now,” he said.

Such a proposal also would lead to a large increase in gambling in the state, he said, noting that’s something Washington residents have indicated they don’t support.

Uh-huh.

Gee, I dunno, now that Norm Maleng is no longer with us to coherently make the anti-gambling argument from the respectable middle, maybe it would be more effective to have a religious conservative like Jeff Kemp publicly speak against the moral and social harm of gambling rather than having the chair of the Washington Indian Gaming Association pontificate about how much Washington voters oppose its expansion?

Just a suggestion from an ally who has spent much time and though effectively framing this issue.

by Geov, 11/26/2009, 10:57 PM

This won’t be as polished a response as I’d like, because, frankly, it’s a holiday, I’ve got better things to do, and Joel Connelly’s column yesterday — Seattle’s WTO riots were loud — and ineffective — is so inaccurate, idiotic, and simply factually wrong that it demands some sort of response. Not because anybody much reads seattlepi.com these days, but because, with a series of local events over the next several days commemorating the 10th anniversary of the anti-WTO protests (full disclosure: I’m one of the many organizers), we’re going to be hearing this meme a lot in the next week from local civic opinion leaders whose only real takeaway from the protests was that they gave Seattle a bad name for a while at certain cocktail parties they favored.

Technically, of course, Joel is correct — the “riots” were loud and ineffective. Except that the only people who “rioted,” in the sense of inciting violence, were a few dozen self-proclaimed “anarchists” (really, nihilists) who broke some windows, and law enforcement that spent four days trying to clear the streets by indiscriminately attacking protesters and bystanders alike — everyone, really, except the vandals. That was loud. But the 40,000 peaceful labor marchers (which Connelly acknowledges) and the separately organized, 20,000 or so peaceful people blockading downtown streets (which Connelly ignores) on November 30, 1999 made their point and changed history. The police riot was also ineffective; it didn’t stop the 1999 protests from being the most effective US street protest in at least a generation. Instead, it amplified the protesters’ message, by astonishing people around the world that American citizens would be so willing to take a stand against a neoliberal agenda that they’d provoke, and withstand, that kind of a state response.

You want an ineffective protest? Fifty thousand people marched in Seattle on February 15, 2003, against an imminent US invasion of Iraq. That was ineffective. As are most such marches. But WTO was different, and Connelly couldn’t be more wrong when he writes:

Left activists have scheduled panels to celebrate the 10th anniversary. They will doubtless dance around a basic question: What, if anything, did all the chaos accomplish?

Those panels — at a conference this weekend at Seattle University — will be more focused on the future than the past. But, no dancing:

Fact: Economic elites were looking to the 1999 WTO Seattle ministerial to vastly expand the neoliberal agenda of removal of trade barriers, labor and environmental protections, and global financial regulation (a plank called the “Multilateral Agreement on Investments). Local poobahs like Pat Davis dreamed that the whole package would be known worldwide as the “Seattle Round.”

Fact: Those negotiations failed because African and other global South delegates walked out toward the end of the week, angered that the proposals represented another attempt by the global haves to steal from the have-nots, and, they said, inspired by the actions of the people on Seattle’s streets.

Fact: The global reputation of the WTO, and the facade that such organizations had any sort of broad public support, was shattered by the Seattle demonstrations, which in turn helped catalyze an already existing, vibrant opposition worldwide. The WTO never recovered. Throughout subsequent ministerials in Qatar, Cancun, and Hong Kong — three militarized islands beseiged by demonstrators — the WTO has become a ghost of its former self. The proposals brought to Seattle, and subsequent attempts to expand multilateral neoliberal instruments, have never been enacted.

Fact: If those Seattle proposals had been enacted, the past year’s global economic meltdown, triggered mostly by the unilateral deregulation of US (and to a lesser extent European) markets, would have been far, far, far worse — a global economic catastrophe that would have particularly hammered the world’s poor. As it was, because most global South markets weren’t deregulated as the “Seattle Round” would have had it, those economies were mostly spared the brunt of the meltdown (excepting a spike in food prices caused by commodities deregulation in the North).

[As a side note, in the wake of Seattle, popularly elected governments in Latin America have largely rejected the neoliberal "Washington consensus" in the last decade -- South America now represents only one percent of IMF debt, whereas it was once the bulk of it.]

In other words, there’s a fairly straight line between what Connelly sneers at as “chaos” of Seattle in 1999 and the prevention of a global depression in 2009. That chaos helped save thousands, if not millions, of lives.

It’s not bad for a week’s work. But not for Joel:

Seattle voters did unseat Mayor Schell. But WTO organizing committee co-chair, Seattle Port Commissioner-for-life Pat Davis, was twice reelected before (mercifully) retiring this year….

But nothing has stopped or really slowed conditions that the protesters were protesting.

The United States has continued to bleed manufacturing jobs. Some of those jobs go over the border to Mexico, where unchecked pollution — heavy metals, PCBs, etc. –in the New River flows back over the border into California.

Human trafficking for child labor continues. Annual reports submitted by former Seattle Rep. John Miller, who became State Department ambassador under President Bush, are harrowing.
China, Indonesia and Brazil have demonstrated the ugly side of economic development.

China has doubled its emissions and recently passed the U.S. as the world’s greatest emitter of greenhouse gases. Indonesia and Brazil have risen to third and fourth place respectively. The two countries account for more than 60 percent of today’s world deforestation, clearing and burning tropical forests that are the earth’s lungs.

Well, shit, all that is true. And the Seattle protests didn’t cure cancer, either. Economic policy is only now, and only fitfully, catching up to the notion that unchecked corporate greed is not an inherent good, and in fact could kill us all (c.f. climate change).

But no protest organizers were planning, or even dreaming, of solving all those problems. The goal was to flag these policies, then (but not now) broadly supported by elected Democrats and Republicans alike, as contested terrain. The organizers actually accomplished far more – and far more than any other similar US protest I’m aware of in the last 40 years (at least). And in the wake of what we’ve seen in the last ten years, and especially the last year, it’s pretty hard any more to argue the basic point of the protesters, that radical deregulation was dangerous and wrong.

But since some teenagers were rowdy, and a few windows got broken (to be replaced three days later), and Seattle’s reputation as a World Class City ™ was besmirched, don’t expect any local civic or media leaders to give credit where rightfully due this week, just as they didn’t in 1999. They were wrong. We were right, and a lot of people (mostly in other countries) are alive today because we took to the streets in 1999.

Connelly has one thing right:

Someday, a band of moderates should march from Seattle Central Community College down to Westlake Mall, chanting as they go: “Hey, hey, Ho, ho, futile protest has to go.”

I don’t share Joel’s lifelong fetish for political “moderates” (whatever the hell that means), but I am really tired of futile protests. He just picked the worst possible example.

by Darryl, 11/26/2009, 10:19 PM

by Goldy, 11/26/2009, 9:10 AM

The Seattle Times’ Bruce Ramsey is thankful that he doesn’t have to suffer through that damned, Canadian socialized health care system.

An American friend lives in British Columbia with his wife, who just had hip-replacement surgery, paid by the Canadian taxpayer.

My mother just had hip-replacement surgery, paid by the U.S. taxpayer. (You know, Medicare.)

In Canada there is universal coverage, though the care itself is limited by squeezes on provincial budgets.

In the U.S. we have universal coverage for old people, but for the rest of us, our care is limited by squeezes on insurance company and/or household budgets. So what’s the point?

Says my friend, “You should hear the Canadians talk. They say, ‘We’ve got an OK system. If it’s really serious, they take care of you.’ “

And the last thing we’d want would be a system that takes care of us.

And it’s free, too, though don’t expect always to have the newest technology. You pay in taxes, of course.

Compare “tax-freedom days” — the day of the year in which, if you had to pay all your taxes first, you would be done with them. For Washington, the Tax Foundation calculates that day at April 16; for British Columbia, according to the Fraser Institute, it is June 8.

True, taxes are higher in Canada, but as Bruce points out, they cover health care as well. According to the Tax Foundation, Washington’s “tax-freedom day” is calculated on total local, state and federal taxes of about $14,100 a year per capita. Yet according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, Washington state also spends an additional $6,700 per capita annually on health care costs.

Roll Washington’s per capita health care costs into our per capita taxes, and you get a “tax-freedom day” of June 5. Not all that different from British Columbia, huh? Plus they get all those other socialist goodies too.

Of Canada’s economic output, 11.9 percent goes to medical care, compared with 17.6 percent in the United States. Canada may be more efficient. It also saves money by making its people wait for things like hip replacements.

Osteoarthritis destroys the hip joint over time. The symptom is pain. My friend’s wife appealed to her primary-care doctor in April. He gave her pain pills.

See, that’s what happens when consumers are denied choice, whereas here in our free market American system, Bruce’s friend’s wife could have just sought out a new doctor.

In August she sought out a new doctor.

Oh. But still, a government bureaucrat is a government bureaucrat, so what difference would that make, right?

He said she needed a hip replacement right away and referred her to a specialist.

Oh.

She was told the specialist might see her in three months.

Bingo! Damn socialists!

She was lucky: He had a cancellation.

Oh. But still, a government bureaucrat is a government bureaucrat, so what difference would that make, right?

He approved her for surgery.

Oh.

She was told it would be three months, and to wait for a call from the scheduler.

Bingo! Damn socialists!

[...] She was about to sign up for New Zealand when the scheduler called. Luck, again. The specialist did the surgery earlier this month, and it went well.

Oh.

The patient’s room, however, was a four-bed ward, common in Canada. Two of her roommates were men — she was not happy about that — mixed-gender rooms being cheaper to administer.

Yeah… but… um… she got her hip replaced, essentially for free, as opposed to the $29,000 it would have cost her to go to New Zealand.

The price was right: only $2,100, all of it for an upgrade to a new ceramic hip, which probably will last her lifetime. The older metal-on-plastic technology, which ran a much higher risk of wearing out and causing her trouble, would have been free, courtesy of the government.

So let me get this straight… Bruce’s friend’s wife had a choice of doctors, and was referred to a specialist who replaced her hip promptly. Furthermore, the procedure went well and “the price was right.”

And the problem is?

Well, you know what the real problem is with Bruce’s column? It’s a red herring.

Despite the fact that his anecdote shows the Canadian system working quite well in comparison to the American system (or lack thereof) his whole column is entirely beside the point.  Neither house of Congress even came close to seriously considering the kind of single-payer system Canadians enjoy.

So Bruce’s wife’s friend’s experience has absolutely no relevance to our current debate. Which I guess, considering the quality the debate thus far, is really par for the course.

by Darryl, 11/25/2009, 3:03 PM

by Goldy, 11/25/2009, 7:24 AM

Few would dispute that one of the keys to the Seattle Times’ Darwinian triumph over the rival P-I was its success in altering the terms of their Joint Operating Agreement to allow the Blethens to shift publication from the afternoon to the morning. Afternoon papers had been declining for decades, and the Times was intent on avoiding what former Executive Editor Michael Fancher dubbed “death in the afternoon.”

Ironically, now that the dead-tree version of the P-I is dead, and the omnipresent Internet has compressed the news cycle to the point where it has disappeared entirely, I can’t help but wonder if a shift back to the afternoon slot might not be the Times’ best strategy for long-term print survival?

Conventional wisdom states that the rise of TV news conspired with changing demographics and commuting patterns to condemn most afternoon newspapers to a slow but inevitable death. While print and TV newsrooms both faced similar deadlines for their evening editions, the live format of the latter made their reports fresher in appearance if not in actually substance, and certainly took less effort to consume. The once-dominant afternoon papers still outnumbered their morning cousins as late as 1999, but they were gradually losing the battle against their 1950′s-era new media competition: TV. Nationally, paid daily afternoon newspaper circulation peaked in 1968 at about 37 million; by 2008 it was under 6 million. And falling.

The morning newspaper’s heyday was much more recent, with circulation peaking at 47 million as recently as 2003, but those numbers have declined nearly 9 percent over the past five years, and even that anemic performance is inflated by the continuing shift from afternoon to morning publication. Overall, daily newspaper circulation has declined 12 percent over past half decade to its lowest numbers since 1945. Afternoon paper circulation is now a little more than an afterthought, but the future of the morning paper looks just as dim.

The culprit today is of course the Internet, which makes the process of reporting, delivering and consuming news virtually instantaneous. For example, today at 5:43 AM PST, the AP buzzed a breaking news notification to my iPhone: “Weekly claims for jobless benefits plunge to 466,000, lowest level in more than a year.” That same “news” won’t be reported in the print edition of the Seattle Times until tomorrow morning, to be read by subscribers more than 24-hours after it broke. And the rest of tomorrow’s Times will be at least half a day old by the time subscribers extract it from its protective armor of rubber bands and plastic bags.

So really… why even bother?

It’s easy to imagine a not too distant future in which Seattle becomes a no-newspaper town, at least if you consider “paper” an integral part of the definition. That doesn’t mean the Times (or even the P-I) will necessarily cease to exist, just their print publication. But perhaps it doesn’t have to be that way?

With their modern typesetting and printing facilities, the Times could easily publish an afternoon edition filled with same-day news only a couple hours old… nearly, if not quite as up-to-date as their website. Newsprint may be an anachronistic medium for delivering news in the digital age, but it would be a little less so if the news it delivered wasn’t so damn old. Perhaps that’s not enough to compete with coming age of Kindles, Nooks, eReaders and iPads (or whatever Apple’s much anticipated tablet is called).

But perhaps it’s worth a try?

by Lee, 11/24/2009, 9:31 PM

The recent execution-style murder of Officer Timothy Brenton has justifiably shaken the residents of Seattle. The suspect, Christopher Monfort, is most certainly the culprit. His car was seen at the crime scene, and when discovered at his apartment a few days later, police claim to have found DNA and ballistics evidence that links him to the crime. Monfort openly talked of waging war against the police, having previously sent threatening letters and is likely also responsible for firebombing several police cruisers. He’s expected to stand trial for these crimes, but I must strongly disagree with that decision. He should be permanently held as a war criminal and not given a trial at all.

There are a number of reasons why I’ve come to this conclusion. For one, a trial is exactly what Monfort wants. He wants to be given a stage to air his views and be seen as a Che Guevara-type figure. He’ll be able to speak freely and criticize the police. And this will fulfill his desire to go down as a martyr for his cause. In addition, the independent media, who are generally anti-police in their perspective, will never present his trial in the proper light. And finally, the city of Seattle simply shouldn’t be subjected to the painful sight of watching a defense attorney try to downplay the seriousness of Monfort’s crimes.

Obviously, I’m being facetious with this argument. It seems odd to consider not trying Monfort in a criminal court, even for crimes that we’re fairly certain he committed. But each of the reasons that former 9/11 co-commissioner Tom Kean gave in the links above are just as true for Christopher Monfort as they are for Khalid Shiekh Mohammed. The distinctions we make in order to separate the two are purely technical – he’s not an American citizen, we’re “at war” with the terrorists. Neither excuse changes the overall logic of having trials for people who’ve committed even the most heinous of crimes. And the excuses for not giving Mohammed a trial for his crimes are just as invalid and absurd as they are when applied to Monfort.

I’d still imagine that there are some who’ve thought (or maybe even still think) that whenever a crime like the murder of Officer Brenton is committed, that we can just do away with our centuries old system of due process and just hang the accused in the public square. But that impulse is usually blunted by the reality that we have a system here that works, and has worked for hundreds of years. Yet when the accused is from another part of the world or when the circumstances feel like a “war”, it gives people an excuse to follow that impulse, regardless of how illogical the rationale becomes. That’s how we end up with someone who was once considered your typical “moderate” Republican making extremist arguments like the ones Kean makes in that interview.

Trying Khalid Sheik Mohammed in an American court for his crimes is no more a danger than trying Monfort for his. We don’t fear the possibility that Monfort will have a trial in which he’ll have the right to representation and can speak only in court. Even people like me, who write about the kinds of police abuses that Monfort became agitated over, have no interest in listening to what that jackass has to say about it. The belief that this dynamic is somehow different in the Muslim world, in that a coward like Mohammad has the ear of large numbers of people, is rooted solely in prejudices about the Muslim world. There are certainly large numbers of people in the world who are agitated by some of the same things that Mohammed was agitated about (the plight of the Palestinians, brutal dictators propped up by the U.S.), but the vast majority of them know that killing 3000 civilians in New York is not the right way to respond to it.

The foundations of our justice system work for a reason. They don’t just work because America is great. America is great because those foundations work. They establish a basic set of rights that allow people to feel a basic sense of security that their liberty is protected – that we won’t wake up one day being tortured in a secret prison, accused of a crime that we didn’t commit and have no platform for refuting. And as some recent pieces of good reporting have shown, the fact that we don’t make assurances like that to the rest of the world is precisely what feeds the extremism against us. The idea that denying trials for the Khalid Sheik Mohammeds of the world is what will make us safer has it exactly backwards. If our struggle against terrorism is a battle of ideals, then abandoning our ideals is how we lose that struggle.

by Darryl, 11/24/2009, 6:14 PM

DLBottle

It is a special pre-Thanksgiving edition of Drinking Liberally for the Seattle chapter tonight. Festivities take place at the Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Avenue E. beginning about 8:00 pm. A few of us will show up earlier than that for dinner.

As you might imagine…we’ll be talking us some turkey….



Not in Seattle? There is a good chance you live near one of the 341 other chapters of Drinking Liberally.

by Darryl, 11/24/2009, 5:57 PM

When did liberals become such prudes? Isn’t it odd that Seattle, unquestionably a liberal city, had an 18 year moratorium on strip clubs that was only recently lifted? And that lap dance proximity became a ballot measure just a few years ago?

Now it seems some of Seattle’s priggishness has sloughed off on Bellevue:

The sign for Knotty Bodies Espresso went up last Thursday at the intersection of Northeast Eighth Street and 164th Avenue Northeast, said resident Nick Bean, who took pictures of the bright-red hut and emailed them to other residents.

“I was incredulous,” he said.

The stand, in the Crossroads/ Lake Hills area, opened Saturday, and sure enough, the baristas were scantily clad, he said.

Apparently, baristas in bikinis aren’t Mr. Bean’s cup of tea. (Personally, I find the name “Knotty Bodies” pretty unappealing….)

But…scantily clad? Like…the way everyone is dressed at the beach, or at the pool? Okay…so beaches are not so much of a thing in this region. Good point. But still, scantily clad women adorn the cover of magazines in the family grocery store, seduce us into buying books in the most corporate of book stores, and are plastered all over the freaking TeeVee!

One concerned Bellevue resident (Bellevutian?), the mother of two children, points out:

There’s a bus stop near the espresso stand and several bus routes pass through the intersection, she said.

She is concerned that five bikini-clad baristas in Everett were charged with prostitution earlier this year.

“I really don’t think that’s an appropriate activity for children to witness,” she said.

I seriously doubt children are going to “witness prostitution,” per se, even under the dubious assumption that the coffee kiosk is a front for a prostitution ring. Yeah…they’re selling something wet and warm…it’s called Joe.

My advice for this woman and the other neo-puritans who are outraged: “go Amish.” Seriously, get a buggy and get off the grid.

If a bikini-clad barista is too much, then general proximity to American culture is simply not going to work for you.

by Goldy, 11/24/2009, 12:50 PM

I need to bake cookies, so in the meanwhile, here’s the video from last week’s roast of Geov Parrish.