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Jun 19 cressona commented on How Nick Kristof Gets People to Care About Victims Who Are Sometimes Liars.
I'm glad Nicholas Kristof has been out there for years giving voice to the voiceless. I can't think of any mainstream opinion writer who's come close to Kristof when it comes to exposing the plight of farm animals. And he's done so in a non-confrontational, pragmatic, solutions-oriented, i.e. effective, way.

He's also one of the few opinion writers out there who go out of their way to tackle partisan issues in a non-partisan way, but without resorting to the lazy CNN-think that attempts to show impartiality by trying to prove that both sides are equally wrong, which is itself as much an agenda as any partisan or ideological agenda.
Jun 4 cressona commented on In Defense of Maureen Dowd Getting Too High and Writing About It.
I kinda need to qualify my comment @2. I was chiding Maureen Dowd for not putting the policy prescription in her column, but then I thought about Dominic's take: It's the classic personal story, big picture, solutions column.

And I went back and re-read the column. And Dominic's right. I just didn't quite realize that Dowd's description of Colorado's policy response was itself an implicit endorsement. And her "endorsement" wouldn't have nearly the force without the sensational details that preceded it.
Jun 4 cressona commented on In Defense of Maureen Dowd Getting Too High and Writing About It.
I can't stand Maureen Dowd, so when I caught her column last night I had to step back from my disdain for her to seriously consider the hidden dangers of edible pot she raised. One passage I found especially troubling:
In April, a Denver man ate pot-infused Karma Kandy and began talking like it was the end of the world, scaring his wife and three kids. Then he retrieved a handgun from a safe and killed his wife while she was on the phone with an emergency dispatcher.

After I got over my initial horror and really thought about this incident for a few moments, I realized, "Didn't the handgun play some role in this incident too? Maybe now the NRA can say, 'Guns don't kill people. Edible pot kills people.'" Then again, even that thought is a bit trite. Delusional people have no shortage of means to do permanent damage.

Anyway, I appreciate Ms. Dowd's responding to Dominic's query, and her opinion expressed to Dominic as to the policy takeaway is just perfect. It's just a shame she didn't express that opinion in her opinion piece, rather than never rising out of to the sensational "Reefer Madness" tone.

I'm writing this as someone who, perhaps unlike Bill Clinton, actually didn't inhale and who has no interest in taking advantage of legalization, but who doesn't begrudge other folks doing so.

P.S. As to the question of whether weapons kill people or intoxicants kill people, today I stumbled across an interesting piece in the Atlantic's new City Lab site, What If the Best Way to End Drunk Drivin….
Jun 4 cressona commented on How Amazon Buys Seattle's Silence.
I have very mixed feelings about Amazon as a company and its business practices. Whenever they do what ostensibly are "bad things," I have to remind myself that it's not that they are evil; it's that they are an amoral corporation whose charter is to satisfy the shareholders.

I'm commenting here, though, to give Amazon credit for doing one "good thing," even if that "good thing" was motivated entirely by self-interest rather than good intentions. That is their decision to double down on their South Lake Union headquarters--in a transit-friendly, density-promoting location next to downtown.

Compare Amazon's decision to comparable companies. Microsoft threw a monkey wrench in this region's development and traffic patterns when they decided to build their corporate campus on a rabbit hutch out in far-flung Redmond. They've only recently begun to make partial amends by moving more of their corporate footprint to downtown Bellevue. And look at Apple building its retro-futuristic new campus in an auto-dependent part of Silicon Valley while so much of the Bay Area tech industry is revitalizing San Francisco, whether San Francisco likes it or not.
May 29 cressona commented on Misogyny Kills Men Too.
I just want to collectively applaud the commenters on this thread. You've just had a more serious and insightful discussion of the social context of those killings than any I've come across in the mainstream media. Special kudos to LML @2 and @3. And to seandr @12 for:
So many of our problems, whether it's homelessness, addiction, petty crime, gang violence, suicide, murder, or mass killings, come down to alienated and hopeless men, something of which the US seems to have in great abundance.

Big disclaimer: I'm not the best judge of the media's coverage of this story. I've shied away myself from following this story because the whole topic is just too depressing for me and because the media discussion (that I inevitably turn away from) always seems to to start with the misogyny angle, which (while it's there and it's real) seems just one of many valid angles; it's like it's the only social hook the media can latch on to without getting into the kind of unsafe territory which, to paraphrase Mitt Romney in another context, is only safe to enter into in "quiet rooms."

Maybe Slog comment threads count as "quiet rooms." And frankly, I feel terrible even about having such public discussions in the context of a mass murder, lest they be seen as justifying or forgiving the killer. But then, I'd just as well these stories get far less media coverage, i.e. media coverage in line with their statistical significance.

To which I say to myself:
A. Good luck seeing more people avoid clicking the link and change the channel like I do when one of these stories shows up.
B. Good luck seeing anything happen on the gun control front without sensational stories like this.
May 20 cressona commented on Who's Gonna Win the Stanley Cup?.
Sheryl @11: (Yeah, I know the reality is that he Penguins beat themselves. I'd rather blame the Rangers, though...)

I can't stand the Bruins in large part because of what they did to the Penguins last year. But it's almost impossible for me to hate the Rangers because... well, as you say, the Penguins beat themselves. (Kinda like with that first-round loss against the Flyers a couple years back.) And I can't help but admire Lundqvist. With the career he's had, I'd like to see him get to a Stanley Cup final.
May 16 cressona commented on In Ukraine, Miners and Steelworkers Rout Pro-Kremlin Agitators.
Anon1256 @10, I suppose this is as much a demonstration of labor power as the armed agitators who took over government offices in Eastern Ukraine are a true expression of the will of the Ukrainian people. Seriously, do you really think the steelworkers are more sympathetic to the insurgents than they are to their boss?
May 12 cressona commented on Did I Eat a Pizza or a Salad?.
Megan @3: Well, I didn't want to mention it because I got it from a place in Nashville, TN called Bella Pizza, which is so, so far away from Seattle.

My first thoughts on coming across this post, in order:
1. That's an awesome-looking pizza.
2. Strawberries on a pizza? I dunno.
3. That must be a Nashville pizza.
4. It's so wonderful that Megan Seling is still writing for Slog, even if she's now in Nashville.

Megan, no one will notice if the occasional Stanley Cup playoffs post comes from Nashville. It's not like a Seattle dateline makes a difference for NHL hockey. BTW, I have so little hope for the Penguins.
May 10 cressona commented on Three Seattle City Council Members Would Like to Remind You: They're Pro-Everything on Transit.
Mike McGinn was an anomaly. He was an activist mayor. Ed Murray is something more normal, a professional politician mayor. And if you want a professional politician to do something, you're going to have to pressure them. This is what activists normally do. (And I say this as someone who wishes we had more activists in elected office.)

The fact that Ed Murray hates Ben Sch's guts is only natural. You're not going to get Ed Murray to do something he's naturally disinclined to do by throwing roses at his feet.

I'm ambivalent about the initiative process. I'm not crazy about the use of property tax for transit operations. I'm not even so thrilled about how Metro spends money. And frankly, as a transit supporter, I loathe Ed Murray. My longstanding belief about Murray is, with friends like him, transit doesn't need enemies.

And yet, if the blunt instrument that is this "Plan C" initiative is the mechanism that forces this professional pol I loathe to come up with a better plan--and that plan succeeds--then I'll be happy with that result. I won't mind who delivered it or how.

Which gets me to the topic of this post. O'Brien, Rasmussen, and Bagshaw make a credible pro-transit coalition, and I think they're playing this just right. Instead of taking sides in the "pissing contest," see if something good might come out of it.
May 8 cressona commented on Mayor Murray Says He'll Fight Any Attempt to Save Metro by Using Property Taxes; Slams Founder of "Plan C".
He called universal pre-K the most important thing he can achieve as mayor,...

Did I miss something? I was kinda paying attention to the Seattle mayor's race last year. When did Ed Murray suddenly become Bill de Blasio?

But, Murray continued, it's disingenuous to question his transit bona fides, as some have been doing during this debate.

Ed Murray has been a "friend" of transit for a long time now. See:

BTW, I consider property tax a less than ideal way to fund transit. Worse even than the lousy Prop. 1 funding sources. And I still find Ed Murray's response to this initiative par for the course for him.

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