The Week in Review
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 The week begins with the skinny on the shakedown at Aryan Nations. Last week, an Idaho jury approved a $6.3 million civil judgment against the Idaho-based white-supremacist group, awarding the staggering sum to a Native American mother and son assaulted by Aryan Nations security guards in 1998. Today, the Associated Press ruminated on the ruling, which puts the Pacific Northwest's most passionate hate group in a potentially perilous position. Aryan Nations' 82-year-old founder and leader Richard Butler has said repeatedly that he doesn't have the $960,000 bond required by Idaho law to file an appeal, but plans to ask the state for a new trial, citing the oppressive hoopla surrounding the first. Meanwhile, attorneys for plaintiffs Victoria and Jason Keenan have informed Richard Butler that they intend to move immediately to claim all of the neo-Nazi group's assets, from their name to their 20-acre compound to the silver bust of Hitler displayed in their church. Richard Butler has been ordered to testify about the group's assets at an October 13 hearing; the plaintiffs could then seek a court order to force the liquidation of said assets, a move Last Days heartily approves of, as few things could be more entertaining than an Aryan Nations yard sale.
··Speaking of contemporary fascists: Today brought the television debut of the hotly contested new talk show hosted by Dr. Laura Schlessinger, and by all accounts it was a grade-A snoozer. Taking as her topic the groundbreaking notion that drugs are bad for kids, America's favorite loudmouth shrew offered instructions for surreptitious in-home drug testing and warned the audience, "If a parent isn't careful, your bubbly young teen could turn into a hostile, moody drug user right behind your very back!" Far more interesting were the show's advertisers. Following the stampede-like desertion of nearly all of the show's original sponsors (who wisely realized that backing a program hosted by a woman who has repeatedly deemed gays and lesbians "biological errors" might not be the smartest business move), Dr. Laura was left with a motley crew of low-rent ads usually relegated to the late-night ghetto, including a heavy load of 1-800-number mail-order ads and spots for the Arby's of the sea, Long John Silver's. Even better, several of the show's commercials were aired without the sponsors' permission, leading to a humiliating loss of revenue for the show's producers and inspiring the desertion of 12 more advertisers, including Long John Silver's. Ouch.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 Today Last Days was going to join the rest of the Seattle media in reporting and decrying the terrifying proliferation of muggings, beatings, and rapes occurring in Seattle's downtown and Belltown neighborhoods. However, the big-brained Charles Mudede has graciously taken this task upon himself (see page 19), thereby freeing us up to resume our hiding place under the bed.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13 Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse: Today Last Days' on-again, off-again war on public grooming reached a previously unimaginable peak (or nadir) with this too-repulsive-to-be-ignored Hot Tip from Gabe and Daina. This afternoon, the pair were peacefully driving on Aurora near Georgetown when, in a car next to theirs, they saw what looked to be a man eating something. However, closer inspection revealed that the man was merely holding his dentures in his hand and sucking food out of them. (May we please have a moment of silence.) Thank you Gabe and Daina, for sharing what most certainly must have been a traumatic experience; you deserve Congressional Medals of Honor. Everybody else: Please consider the ban on public-grooming reports to be reactivated, as there is nothing that can top today's gut-churning example (and if there is, we beg you not to tell us about it).
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 After nine months and $190,000, today the final report of the WTO Accountability Review Committee was made public. Combining the work of three citizens' panels with a summary written by City Council Member Jim Compton, the report sought to make sense of the WTO fiasco by blaming everyone. Among the more specific targets were Paul Schell, whom the report excoriated for "advancing the interests of the business and international trade community with more energy than he protected the interests of the city and its taxpayers"; the Seattle City Council, for failing to seriously consider the risks and implications of inviting the controversial conference to Seattle; and the Seattle Police Department, for its lack of preparation and "troubling examples of seemingly gratuitous assaults on citizens." But as the violent idiocy of the WTO clashes was often a two-way street, the report also took aim at those protesters who confused "legitimate protest activity... with criminal acts of property destruction, vandalism, and assaults on police officers." With the report now public, next week the city council will begin formulating a plan based on the report's findings, which, according to The Seattle Times, will likely include changes in the mayor's emergency powers, a procedure for screening out controversial events, and changes in police policy regarding crowd management and the use of chemical weapons.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15 Tonight brought the broadcast of the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games, live (well, kinda) from Sydney, Australia. Celebrating 100 years of women in the Olympics, the ceremony featured a parade of Aussie women Olympians of years past, a zillion-dollar dream sequence, and impassioned singing by Olivia Newton-John and Australia's middle-aged answer to Michael Bolton, John Farnham. Then came the parade of athletes, marred by the camera's nearly exclusive focus on American pro sports stars (we can see those fuckers anytime) and the U.S. team's deeply unfortunate outfits, which made our greatest athletes look like a parade of Midwestern Republicans marching to the all-you-can-eat buffet at Shoney's.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 & SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17 This weekend featured the first days of Olympic competition, providing countless hours of thrilling television and inspiring the timeless question, "How did so many beautiful people get so good at so many things?" Saturday saw the smashing debut of big-footed Australian swim star Ian Thorpe; the heartbreaking bumbling of too-big-for-his-britches U.S. gymnast Blaine Wilson; and the disqualification of drugged-up Romanian weight lifters. Sunday brought the men's triathlon (what's up with those little running panties?); the prelim races of the adorable Ukraine-born American swimmer Lenny Krayzelburg; and the team preliminaries in women's gymnastics. Unfortunately, the U.S. women gymnasts largely sucked, faltering in a whirlwind of dislocated limbs, crunched muscles, and general klutziness. However, the brave ladies still managed to qualify for the team finals, and Last Days wishes them all the luck in the world--particularly as they'll be going up against the invincible Russians, led by the worship-worthy rock star gymnast goddess Svetlana Khorkina. (However, by the time you read this, the Americans will have lost.)
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