Solicitor Expliciter
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Attorney and news junkie. Schmader groupie. Big fan of due process. Go Process Man!

Jan 16 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Wait, Why Did Washington Senators Vote Against Buying Cheaper Drugs from Canada?.
@8--it should of course be "It's UNusual for socialists and The Stranger to take such a libertarian position"
Jan 16 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Wait, Why Did Washington Senators Vote Against Buying Cheaper Drugs from Canada?.
Just because something is a good idea in the abstract does not mean that every possible way of doing it is a good idea in the real world. To cite an example from close to home, one might support tearing down the Viaduct but vote against a bill that does so in connection with building a deep-bore tunnel.

We as a nation have spent a ton of resources over the past few years to better track where pharmaceuticals come from and how they move around, under the Drug Supply Chain Security Act. That makes it easier to find and punish counterfeiters, to conduct recalls, to keep our drug supply as safe as possible, and to hold wrongdoers accountable. Maybe that was all a mistake, and what we really need is deregulation. Let Americans go online and order pills as cheaply as possible--caveat emptor. It's usual for socialists and The Stranger to take such a libertarian position on a question of public safety, but it does seem like we as a nation have been tending more toward a notion that it is part of our American freedoms to put what we want into our own bodies.

Deregulation does drive prices down, so there's no doubt this plan would be effective if that were our only goal. But lack of regulation of the drug supply chain is also how we ended up with widespread counterfeiting, and cut-rate compounding pharmacies giving people meningitis. It's a complex issue.

Unless we have an indication that Canada's regulatory system does as good a job as ours (and I think we have to begin from the assumption that it does not, considering that we have far greater resources), there will necessarily be a trade-off here between affordability and safety. Personally I think a knee-jerk reflex toward safety at any cost is misguided; and the aggregate benefits of better affordable access to drugs would far outweigh the harm to a relatively small number of people being duped or poisoned. But it's a reasonable position taken by reasonable people for honorable reasons. There's no need to malign our Senators by implying that they are in some drug company's pocket just because they voted against a (symbolic) measure that put affordability before safety.
Nov 17, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Why Putting the French Flag on the Space Needle Is Racist.
There are many reasons why Charles is wrong. But how about a pure issue of international law: Unlike the other places you mention, Charles, France is a member of NATO. Under that 66 year old treaty, we will treat an attack on France as an attack upon the United States of America. France has declared the attack an act of war, and has formally requested that the mutual defense clause be triggered. I reject the notion that it is somehow morally suspect for a U.S. citizen to feel more kinship with France than with Pakistan. But leaving aside the shared history and shared sacrifices and the many feelings of affection and familiarity and fraternity our nation and its citizens have with France--as a legal and political matter we are obligated to defend France with our guns, our treasure, and our lives.
Sep 7, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Box-Office Hit War Room Made Me Shake with Rage.
Oh no, Ijeoma, now you've gone and done it. Posting this over the Labor Day weekend, with all the normal commenters off on holiday, has turned the comment thread into one big "we'll be praying for you, atheist" convention. It's really something to see commenters on The Stranger defending the notion that wives must spiritually submit to their husbands. I wonder whose list you got on to drive this new traffic?

I have no need to come anywhere near this stinking mess of a movie; even these ridiculous comments are making me angry. Thank you for taking one for the team by watching this movie, and for finding the deeper truth of why this particular brand of Christianist culture is so deeply insidious.

At times like this I am tempted to feel like the people who live by this drivel are fully deserving of the miserable life they get. I am trying my best not to feel like that right now, and to direct my rage at the deserving folks who peddle the false narrative rather than the suckers who buy it. But I'll tell you, it doesn't come easy.
Aug 26, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Wine Tour Company Apologizes for Kicking a Book Club of Mostly Black Women Off Its Train.
The particulars of this episode aside (and I haven't read enough to form an opinion as to how over-reactive the tour staff were)--

Charles, while I seek and treasure your thoughts on many topics, I don't think you are in any position to tell folks when they should or should not call the cops. You have a history of terrible judgment and conflicted feelings about this particular topic.
Aug 9, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on What Happened After an Undercover Cop Elbowed Me at a Protest and Lied About It.
Oh Ansel, why can't you ever be content just to report the news? Are you worried that the facts themselves are not enough for people to get as angry as you are?
But the popular term is "undercover," so I'll keep using it here.

As explained @12, @24, @39, this is bull. There is a distinction between undercover and plainsclothes policing. That distinction is well understood by the public. The popular term is not "undercover"--the popular term is to use the proper term to distinguish between two different concepts.

This it is a distinction with a difference. Just look at the current scandal in the UK as the public and the government try to make sense of the overreach that resulted in undercover cop Bob Lambert infiltrating an environmental group and having a child with one of the activists. Or John Towery, the undercover military police who infiltrated an Olympia activist group back in 2007. THAT is undercover policing, and it is a far more serious charge than plainclothes policing of an event. It is reasonable for police to monitor an event held in a public place, where past experience tells us that the event has the potential to shift from a peaceful protest to a WTO-style riot. If Seattle isn't doing plainclothes right--fine, report on that. But call it what it is. Undercover policing represents a far greater threat to First Amendment rights, and is far more likely to chill expression, than plainclothes policing--it creates (and is at times intended to create) a 1984-style paranoia in which activists have a harder time organizing because they cannot trust one another.

Applying the more serious label to the less serious charge is pure propaganda. Which is par for your course, sadly. You just don't know how not to overplay a winning hand.
May 6, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Dashcam Footage Shows Seattle Police Officers Deriding Black People.
@19, if by "Reporting is an iterative process" you mean you make an unqualified, incendiary allegation based on a biased reading of shoddy evidence, and then remove it in the rare instance that your allegation is unambiguously proven to be wrong--then yes, your reporting is iterative in that way. But I don't think that's what your J-school profs meant by that phrase.
May 6, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on What Two Programmers Have Revealed So Far About Seattle Police Officers Who Are Still in Uniform.
@35, thanks for the repost. For the record, since apparently The Stranger's post-publication corrections policy does not require including a transparent statement of what was changed:
This article and the post I linked to have both been changed to remove the incendiary charge that cops "joked about beating [black people] up", after another commenter (on the other post) pointed out that the full sentence in the audio recording was "I got my flashlight on my hip, and it's just about the right angle to break a rib if we get into an accident."

Ansel's initial decision to print the unqualified assertion that the cops were joking about beating people up, based on less than careful review of the recording and a bizarre leap to judgment, does not lead me to trust that he is presenting other facts objectively. And Phil Mocek's immediate post (over here @2) defending that leap to judgment tells me all I need to know about whether the Center for Open Policing is concerned with uncovering the objective truth. Now I know to take COP's reports with full spoon of salt until someone (an unbiased observer, not a doe-eyed fanboy) does the hard work of separating truth from propaganda.
May 6, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter updated his or her bio.
May 6, 2015 Solicitor Expliciter commented on Dashcam Footage Shows Seattle Police Officers Deriding Black People.
Glad to see the inflammatory/libelous headline and text was removed.
@6: Thank you, and good listening. I wasn't in a place to turn the volume up loud enough to hear the tail end of the sentence but Ansel's original interpretation of it just didn't make any sense to me. Even without that, I just don't see how a reasonable journalist could take the first part of the sentence to be a joke about beating people up, without even noting any ambiguity or uncertainty. It further erodes Ansel's credibility in my mind. I don't think it's much to his credit that he changed the article and headline after being unambiguously proven wrong; my trust in a journalist comes from knowing that he or she is going to be straight with me when things are murky or open to interpretation. At this point I don't trust that Ansel would have backed down from his unsupported conclusion if the microphone hadn't picked up those last 6 words.

Moreover: shame on The Stranger's editorial staff for allowing the original long-form story to go to press without verifying such an incendiary claim. Y'all have come a long way down from that Pulitzer.

@2: Go in with an agenda, and you'll hear what you want to hear. As an activist I guess that's your right, but Ansel is supposedly aiming for a higher calling that has some connection to objective truth. It's gratifying to see your bias laid bare so quickly and completely.

@7, amen. Totally agreed that cops cracking jokes about race/class/drug abuse are not a good sign for the culture of our police department. Given the attitude of these guys we should not be surprised that they might go on to do shitty policing, and it calls their professionalism and reliability into question. This is absolutely a problem, and I didn't mean to minimize it by not mentioning it in my original comment. But it is a different problem than jokes about beating people up.