Aug 7, 2013
commented on Ed Murray: "I Am Not Running to Be a Progressive Mayor of Seattle"
Remember, this is the same Seattle that voted down the plastic bag ban and voted pretty consistently for people like Norm Maleng and Sam Reed (even before he refused to let the GOP block Gregoire's election). So, I think to argue that Seattle is now left-of-left is misguided. Seattle has a center-left core among Gen Xers and Boomers (the NPR tote bag crowd Paul referenced) that still makes up a solid chunk of the electorate.
That said, if Murray wants to tack right in an attempt to isolate McGinn on the left, he's walking the same path Mallahan and Sidran walked. And we know that didn't work.
If Murray wants to win, he needs to get an endorsement from Harrell and/or Steinbrueck. And tacking right is not going to appeal to them. (Honestly, he really should just lay out a freakin' plan for Seattle, politically risky as it is. His entire campaign seems to be "I'm the guy who brought you gay marriage and here's my agenda: OMG MCGINN IS SCCCCCCARRRRYYYY!!!!")
Feb 8, 2013
commented on Vote No on Seattle School Levy 2
As for the actual No piece... these aren't good arguments at all. They're easy to swat down.
650 seat schools? There are already multiple schools in the Northeast that are at 100% capacity or above, with kids strewn out in portables. The Northeast and Northwest are getting flooded with kids, and they will be for years to come.
Thornton Creek... quick, name me another plot of land in the Northeast that the district owns that they can drop a school on. Wilson-Pacific? Sorry, that's getting rebooted as middle school. Pinehurst? That's where Jane Addams K-8 is moving once the Jane Addams building gets revived as a middle school. Oaktree? Sure, if you have $50-100M just to cancel the lease, deal with the court actions, evict all the tenants, and level the shopping center. Maple Leaf? They sold that years ago.
Your options are a) Thornton Creek or b) expand everything in the Northeast. And remind me, how many overflow schools are there in the Northeast? One. Sandpoint. Which is getting rebooted after its remodel.
Thornton Creek isn't an ideal solution, but it's a workable one.
"It'll generate 840 additional car trips a day..." as opposed to what? Buses dumping those 840 kids into portables with no bathroom or running water? And all things considered, given how strewn out everything is, the trips will become a lot shorter, I would bet. Wilson-Pacific getting rebooted means the school run from home goes from 4 miles to 1 for me, just outside the range where they'd bus.
Lake City being lacking in schools is pretty close to utter hogwash. Yes, there's no school in the "heart" of the LC (125th/LCW), but it's way closer to a school than most of the Aurora corridor is.
Ditto the having to reopen schools red herring -- that was a shit decision by Goodloe-Johnson that wasn't based in the facts on the ground. Hell, they even admitted they didn't hire a demographer or even consult the city's, who himself was flabbergasted they'd close schools in the north when there was a clear baby boom. That has nothing to do with this bond issue.
Should SPS held onto their properties? Sure, but University Heights? Really? I mean, you going to scold them for not holding on to Phinney? Or Maple Leaf? Or hell, the original Bagley? We had a baby bust in the 70s and 80s. Property is inelastic -- it's either used or not -- and sitting on all that vacant, unused property for years would have been an immense cash drain. Hell, they had to put a roof on Viewlands while it was closed -- that's a few mil that could have gone into any number of other projects.
And yes, we need more open space, and we've done a terrible job as a city in holding on to open space. That's a civic problem. Rejecting a bond issue because playfields are getting wiped out for needed capacity isn't exactly smart, given those fields would likely get filled with portables (just as they were in the 1950s).
In short, the "no" campaign's argument is "don't build schools, because one day they may have to close them, then sell them, and then we'll have to build schools."
I say vote yes, expand capacity, get things moving the right way, then fire the crap out of the school board.
Feb 8, 2013
commented on Vote No on Seattle School Levy 2
The way to reform Seattle's schools would be to cut off their money, and then watch them scramble to get things in order as a result.
Right. So, while kids are getting bussed all over the place because the north end schools are all catterwampus in terms of size, while Eckstein is way over capacity and it's only going to get worse as this next pulse of kids from the northeast floods in, while the APP program gets shuffled from school to school because there's just not a building to put them permanently, the best answer is to SHOW THEM BURRYKRATS YOU KNOW WHAT GOOGLERONPAUL!!!!!!!11!!
And oh, kindly remove your mouth from the dick of vouchers or charters solving the capacity problem, because even if you tossed in the parochial school capacity AND threw in a few charters you STILL would not be able to solve the Eckstein capacity problem, not without unseating Jane Addams, moving a few hundred kids... where? Olympic View, Rogers, Sacajawea, they're all over capacity.
I mean, seriously, what is the problem with you anti-tax freakouts? Are you incapable of understanding that slapping duct tape on is NOT a viable long-term solution? OH LET'S NOT GIVE EM MONEY AND THEN THEY WILL HAVE TO MAKE THE RITE DECISIONS YESSIREE. Man, if anything, you are proof positive our school system cannot produce people who can think critically, only how to suck off some demagogue while giving the proper reacharound.
You have a problem with how SPS is run? FIRE THE SCHOOL BOARD. But stop fucking playing chicken with our schoolkids and go back to cashing your disability check for booze, you sad waste of precious oxygen.
Feb 2, 2013
commented on Seattle Saves Hiphop, Again
So. Much. Posing.
Look, rap in 1992 was roughly divided exactly as Charles divided them: The hippie-earnest-jazzy bucket that held ATCQ, Arrested Development, and much of the Tommy Boy stable; the gangbanging cinema verite of the LA crews; and their compadres on the East Coast who embraced their own form of militancy.
Meanwhile, the rap that was crossing over was, well, none of that. The first #1 rap single in the US? "Wild Thing" by Tone Loc. Vanilla Ice dominated 1990-91 radio. The media was more focused on 2 Live Crew than they were on NWA and Death Row Records. The hippie-earnest-jazzy guys would peek through with Digital Underground, Arrested Development, and (to a lesser extent) Naughty By Nature, but even then, hair metal still had more cache.
"Baby Got Back" did a number of things -- it finally crystallized a formula for making rap into pop; it finally got blacks and whites together around the idea that hip-hop and rap could transcend race (and seriously, as a college student in the summer of '92 there was nothing funnier than watching a bunch of white upper middle class kids going on about LA faces and Oakland booty); and it also was the final non-gangsta non-coastal hit rap song in this tripartite division of rap. The Chronic would come out that December, 39 Chambers the next year, and Arrested Development would be a TV show and an embarrassing #1 choice for the Pazz And Jop Poll.
But here's the other thing: Mix got absolutely pilloried by the rap community for the EXACT reasons the commenters above are ripping on Macklemore. He's too pop. He's not a good rapper. Anyone could sing about this. He's giving the Seattle scene a bad name. The only reason we look at him with pride now is because it's been 20 years.
I have no idea if Macklemore is going to be just a flash in the pan. I have no idea if he's going to finally get the hip-hop zeitgeist to look Northwest and see what a plethora of talent we have in the local scene. I hope for the best. But consider that 50 years ago, a flash in the pan band from the Northwest made a muddy recording of a Jamaican ballad that generated a huge amount of controversy... and also evangelized garage rock, the progenitor of American punk and the distant relative of the grunge that every other band in Seattle was pushing alongside Mix. And no one today would dare diss "Louie Louie," played into the ground as much as it has been.
I really hope this is the turning point in hip-hop. Charles is right -- it really has taken itself way too seriously. So maybe this is truly a bookend to "Baby Got Back" and we're going to see hip-hop try hard to be fun again, even though it's turned into an angry scold who wants it all to be real.
But it says something that Macklemore is absolutely killing in Australia right now. He sounds like the Hilltop Hoods' long-lost American cousin. Australian hip-hop sounds more like what that hippy-earnest-jazzy camp would sound like had they not fallen into obscurity with the coming of gangsta.
Feb 2, 2012
commented on Church or Cult?
Way back when I was in college we had an offshoot of the Boston Church of Christ running around that was using some of the identical tactics -- appeals to discipline, pressure, shunning -- under the name of "discipling." In fact, the story above sounded so similar I did a double-take.
I've been a member of several churches over the years, some of which people are familiar with for being "conservative" or "evangelical" or "EEVL EEVL HOMOPHOBES." At no point in any of these churches was there ever, ever anything like what happened above (or what I saw with the Church of Christ). No demands for authority over others, no 300-point plans for redemption, no shunning. And even in Reformed churches you never see this.
It's the Appeal To Authority that's all screwed up here. There's a lot of emphasis on Men being Lord Of The Household. There's a lot of emphasis on Pastors being Lord Of The Flock. There doesn't seem to be much on Jesus being Lord Of All. If anything, Jesus is being used as an excuse to bully and browbeat people into submission.
This isn't a healthy environment. This is sounding awfully cult-like. I really doubt Mark Driscoll has a rentboy or a bag of coke, but he drives on power -- absolute power -- and his hangers-on in leadership feed on weakness to stay in his good graces. And dictators, ultimately, fall the moment they prove to be weak. God have mercy on the flock then, because the rending of a 10K person church will be one miserable sight to behold.
Nov 1, 2010
commented on Sufjan Stevens at the Paramount Theater: Better Pinch Yourself
Nthing the "we were laughing at his inability to tell the damn story" line. And it was awkward as hell. Especially as you realized the only influence, really, was the visuals and the chorus of one song.
I'm really in between on this Sufjan phase, and I'm still in between 48 hours later, especially when "Impossible Soul" seemed to turn through 808s-Kanye toward Gary Numan via R. Kelly. It was a hot mess, that was, with the slat shades and the fly girls. And yet, "Impossible Soul" still has the intimacy and vulnerability that every 28 minute prog rock song doesn't have. "Supper's Ready" is also about 28 minutes long (or 29, I can't remember), and it's also a hot mess (Peter Gabriel dressed up as a flower), but doesn't have that emotional core.
I forgot to tell my wife about the Adz phase, and she was, um, non-plussed. But then the encore came and she was happy.
And I'm with Josh on the sound -- very well mixed, so the big sound he was going was sound, not the muddy cacophony you get with some people behind the board.
Sep 21, 2010
commented on Fuck Those Guys
Goddamn, I hate the stupidity of the "OH THE GUVMINT MIGHT START TAXING ME IF I VOTE FOR IT DOMINO THEORY FROG IN BOILING WATER GOOGLERONPAUL!!!!"
Here's an idea if you're scared the GUVMINT gonna come TAX YOU PO FOLK: It's called an INITIATIVE.
Set a tax floor! Index the $200K/$500K brackets to inflation! Require any income tax increase to be approved by a vote of the people!
INITIATIVE! AS ENDORSED BY TIMOTHY EYMAN, MILL CREEK'S #1 RATED MAIL ORDER WATCH SALESMAN!
But WAIT!! You say the Legislature can SET ASIDE AN INITIATIVE after TWO YEARS!!! OH HELL, WHAT TO DO NOW!!!!
Well, now you have TWO CHOICES!!! INITIATIVE -- AND REFERENDUM!!!
AS SEEN ON LAST'S FALL #1 NEW POLITICAL DOG AND PONY SHOW, R-71!
I mean, GODDAMN you all are STUPID. 1098 is going to CUT my taxes by $180, and here you are whining that OMG SOME DAY SOME WAY THE LEGISLATORS WE ALREADY ELECT IN OLYMPIA MIGHT DO SOMETHING THAT I CAN'T STOP BECAUSE THEY ARE IMMORTAL HIGHLANDERS AND I FOR SOME REASON FORGOT THERE'S THIS THING CALLED A BALLOT BOX!
Did I mention the $180 CUT I'm GETTING? Maybe you should LOOK UP HOW MUCH YOU'RE GETTING instead of being FRIKKIN SCARED ALL THE FRIKKIN TIME.
OMG IF WE LEAVE THESE TREES UP BEARS MIGHT HAVE SEX WITH OUR SIGNIFICANT OTHERS!!! WE MUST NEVER ALLOW TREES TO GROW!!!
And hell, A WHOLE BUNCH OF YOU THINK THAT 9% IS ON ALL INCOME, NOT INCOME OVER $500K.
No wonder this state is turning into the Alabama of the West. Right behind the Mississippi of the West, Oregon. I can't wait until you're all "oh hey, where did all the high-paying jobs go?" TO ANOTHER STATE THAT ACTUALLY SPENDS MONEY ON K-12 AND HIGHER EDUCATION.
May 28, 2010
commented on Swiping a Seat
our sources say no new seat for Washington:
That data is based on the 2008 US Census projections (which you swiped from Wikipedia and wrapped in the crappiest fake AP story in history; I mean, seriously, elementary school newspaper reporters know more about writing wire copy than you).
The 2009 Census estimates point to Washington being on the bubble for a 10th seat. See here
Washington is definitely on the bubble, but it's more than likely going to happen.
Interestingly, Washington might gain a seat while California loses one. All depends on whether the continual influx into the Bay Area and LA is enough to offset the flight out of the Central Valley.
Mar 10, 2010
commented on Milton In His Own Words
Actually, fnarf, Bradley will be an every day player, splitting time between LF and DH.
And as for the Chicago fans, they've been so quick to pile on Bradley when it was the Cubs management that signed him to a 3 year, $30M contract. They knew Bradley was having a career season in the second biggest hitter's park in baseball. They knew that Bradley was combative at times. They knew that the market for Bradley was more like 2 years/$15M than 3 years/$30M. And yet they went right on and signed him, because they needed a Big Splash in free agency to satisfy the drooling rabble.
Chicago fans are, in many ways, like Boston fans are with non-white players. If you're great, you're immortal, except when you blow it, and then you're a bum. If you're good, well, why aren't you great like (insert non-white player here)? If you're bad, well, it's all about the scrappy white kid they have stashed in Birmingham or Iowa, right? The one you're blocking by not being all that good?
Seattle has its racial problems, obviously, but at least with baseball it's far from the cannibalizing sports media circuses of Chicago/Boston/New York/LA. When the biggest dick is Steve Kelley, then you know this place is all about being a homer.
There are a lot of questions left about Bradley. Can he last a season without serious injury? How will he handle Safeco, an extreme pitcher's park that rewards left-handed line-drive hitters (like Griffey)? Will he tear Steve Kelley's head off and suck the blood spewing from Kelley's neck, and when's the parade in Bradley's honor going to be when he does it? But honestly, if he's just career average -- 20 HR on an .821 OPS with above average defense -- he's going to be the best LF the M's have had since they traded Julio Cruz Jr. And he'll probably still be in Seattle in 2011, too.
Meanwhile, Carlos Silva is going to make $12M this year to be a middle reliever for the Cubs. Silva's career ERA+ with the M's was 62. Given that that's a park adjusted 62, and that Safeco is now the most pitcher friendly ballpark in baseball, that's downright atrocious. The Cubs' mop-up guy last year, Aaron Heilman, had an ERA+ of 109. Acquiring Silva might save the Cubs a little money (since Silva's contract is one year shorter), but he's not going to help them nearly as much as even an angry, damaged Bradley would have.
The M's paid $6M for Bradley and dumped their vastly overpaid clubhouse problem on the Cubs, who promptly signed a declining Marlon Byrd, another guy who benefited for the Bandbox In Arlington inflating his numbers. And it's the Mariners who got the short end of the stick?
This isn't a Cubs team that's going to contend. The Cards may go wire-to-wire, the Brewers will be in the hunt, and the Reds look better than they've been in years. The Mariners, on the other hand, are actually predicted to win the AL West for the first time in years (though I don't think they will, not without making a deadline deal for a power-hitting 1B) despite the imminent explosion of Mt Bradley.
If you've ever wondered why the Cubs have failed to win the World Series since 1908... now you know. Poor management, racism, and a fanbase that can't tell a good hitter from their ass.
Jan 27, 2010
commented on Stranger Election Control Board School Levies Cheat Sheet!
Voting against the levies because you hate the redistricting plan is, well, stupid. It's like voting for Fred Phelps because you don't like what the gay guy down the road did with his lawn.
The redistricting plan isn't discriminatory. The old system sure as heck was -- upper middle class whites stampeding into overstuffed white enclave schools and then refusing to put their kids in their neighborhood school because "those people," you know, "those people," are at that school.
The new plan isn't perfect. Far from it. But at least it creates some normalcy. At least it's predictable. No more getting the letter finding out you can't go to your neighborhood school because you live more than six blocks from it.
There's no question there are some serious problem schools. But the fix requires that parents give a damn enough to join the PTA, run off bad principals (as the Greenwood PTA did), raise money, ride the school board's ass, and build a framework around which to pull the school's numbers up.
The fix cannot be done by some quixotic protest vote. It's like refusing to change the oil in your car because you don't like what's on the radio.
Am I biased? Hell yes I am. Prop 1 will finally rip the goddamn lead-ridden pipes out of my daughter's school. Prop 2 will ensure she'll still have music and art classes which she loves. But even if this weren't happening, I'd still vote for it, despite the idiocy of some of the school closures, despite the moronic attitude of the school board, because I am not about to stab my daughter -- or anyone's kids -- in the back in the name of tilting at this week's windmill.
Seriously, vote for the damn thing. The time for dealing with the redistricting is when the board comes back up for a vote. Voting against it isn't sending a "displeased message," it's sending a "GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY WAY YOU STUPID KIDS MAKE WAY FOR *MY* HOBBY HORSE message."