Man Who Once Ran One of the World's Largest Corporations: People Who Demand Living Wages Are Fascist

A revolution began here once.
A revolution began here once. Charles Mudede

According to the former McDonald’s CEO Ed Rensi, small businesses in Seattle are collapsing under the burden of the $15 an hour minimum wage. And it's not just restaurants that are closing their doors, but also beauty salons and dry cleaners. Seattle, the fastest growing city in the US, is, according to this view, in a recession. As for the protesters who were demanding $15 an hour at the McDonald's headquarters? They are being duped by union leaders, who are swimming cash and have lots of perks. On top of that, the protesters are "socialists and fascists." This is coming out of the mouth of a man who once ran one of the biggest corporations in the world. Fast food workers are in his eyes fascists and stupid for wanting a living wage. It's important to watch the bosses talk on Fox News. They hide nothing, they get right to it, they say it in your face, and they make it clear that class struggle is alive and kicking in the US.

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Guest Editorial: We Need to Get Real About Affordable Housing

City Council candidate Teresa Mosqueda says a 25% set-aside requirement for affordable housing is unrealistic.
City Council candidate Teresa Mosqueda says a 25% set-aside requirement for affordable housing is unrealistic. Courtesy of Teresa Mosqueda

On New Year’s Eve, our neighbor emailed to say she and her husband—a 91-year-old World War II veteran recently diagnosed with cancer—had to be out of their apartment by February. She worried about finding an affordable place in the neighborhood where they had lived for decades.

Last month at a women’s shelter in downtown, I spoke with a case manager who helps find affordable homes for unsheltered women. She said this is the first time in a decade of work she’s struggling to find affordable places along transit lines in the city for her clients, even with a federal Section 8 voucher.

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The musical comedy to die for must end on June 11!

Everyone is a suspect in Murder for Two—a drop-dead funny murder mystery musical with a twist. One actor investigates the crime, the other plays all the suspects—and they both play the piano! A zany blend of classic musical comedy and madcap mystery, this ninety-minute whodunit is a highly theatrical duet loaded with killer laughs. Called “Ingenious” by The New York Times, Murder for Two is the perfect blend of murder, music and mayhem!

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Unpacking the Razorblade Suitcase: 21 Years of Complicated Love for Bush

Bush play Tuesday May 30 at Showbox Sodo.
Bush play Tuesday May 30 at Showbox Sodo.

Unfortunately, Bush's Razorblade Suitcase is my all-time favorite record.

I'm not ashamed that I've listened to it dozens of times every spring since its release in 1996, but I've spent enough time DJing college radio and dating men that I know I'm supposed to be. I first heard Bush as a preteen, and I responded as I was meant to respond to that musical equivalent of a Monster energy drink—syrupy and chemical with rockin' badass packaging.

This spring, it occurred to me that Razorblade Suitcase was also likely my first and most profound literary influence. Lingering young love is one thing. Realizing the cataloging of grotesquerie that I thought sprang organically from some place deep in my emotional anatomy but instead was transferred from the mind of Gavin Rossdale—that's different. As my parents probably said when I was asked to leave Catholic school around the same time I first snapped that CD into my cherry-red Discman: I'm not mad. I'm just disappointed.

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The 28 Best Movies To See At SIFF Over Memorial Day Weekend: May 26-29, 2017

About Band Aid, playing on Sunday and Monday (and featuring Fred Armisen), Sean Nelson writes, It’s strange the way movies can make you like people who would annoy you in life.
About Band Aid, playing on Sunday and Monday (and featuring Fred Armisen), Sean Nelson writes, "It’s strange the way movies can make you like people who would annoy you in life."

The Seattle International Film Festival is now bearing down on its second weekend. See our complete SIFF guide for showtimes, trailers, and ticket links for each of the 400 films playing at the festival, as well as critics' picks and reviews. You can also find a short list of can't-miss films during the full festival here, but if you're just looking for the best movies to see this weekend, you're in the right place. Whether you're in the mood for the bloodsucker romance-comedy Vampire Cleanup Department, the surrealist genius of Alejandro Jodorowski's Endless Poetry, or a fascinating documentary about a Chinese woman who's not often mentioned in film history books (Finding KUKAN), we've got you covered. For non-SIFF options, check out our complete movie times calendar.

Chronicles of Hari
Hari is a member of a Yakshagana theater troupe, traveling around to small towns performing traditional stories from dusk to dawn. Hari is popular for his skill at playing female characters. But Hari seems less and less inclined to return to his male self: “I can’t play one self at night and another during the day.” He faces the attitudes that plague many gender-nonconforming people: Why can’t he just try to fit in? Be what they are comfortable with? But he can’t. The ideas the film looks at are interesting, but the story is slowed by lots of pouty musing. It is beautifully shot in rural India, and the performance scenes with the elaborate makeup and costumes are neat. (GILLIAN ANDERSON)
SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Police Reports Illustrated: Man Dances in the Street

The Morning News: Is It Really Surprising About Jeff Sessions?, and Two Men Were Shot in Gas Works Park

Jeff Sessions ate a lemon this week.
Jeff Sessions ate a lemon this week and it tasted like borscht. Alex Wong / Getty

Are We Really Surprised About Jeff Sessions?: The Attorney General is yet another person appointed by Trump who had meetings with Russian officials that he failed to disclose when he applied for his security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN this week. According to officials, he had at least two powwows with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and mentioned neither on the form that required him to list "any contact" he'd had with a "foreign government" or its "representatives" over the past seven years. This after criticism from Dems for not mentioning the same contacts with Kislyak during his Senate confirmation hearings earlier this year. (Sessions claims he was told by an FBI agent that he didn't need to list dozens of meetings with foreign ambassadors that happened in his capacity as a senator.)

After CNN issued the report, South Carolina Rep. Jeff Duncan (R) criticized the network, posting on his Facebook page that the "story was easily disproved within hours" and the network had “been forced to retract” the story. CNN responded to Duncan via Twitter:

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So, What Does Bob Hasegawa—Who Once Compared Light Rail to Dog Poop—Really Think About Transit?

State Sen. Bob Hasegawa with a visual aid.
State Sen. Bob Hasegawa with a visual aid. State of Washington (Illustration by Mike Force)

To Bob Hasegawa, everything is "rigged."

Seattleites are "feeling like the system is rigged," the state senator said, channeling Bernie Sanders as he launched his campaign for mayor earlier this month. Four minutes later, he repeated the line.

What causes gun violence? People "feel like the system is rigged or you feel powerless in a system," he told the South Seattle Emerald.

Remember back in November, when voters across the region, including 70 percent of Seattleites, voted to massively expand light rail over the next two decades?

"Rigged," Hasegawa told the Emerald in the same interview.

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A Bad Day for Sound Transit: Budget Hits in Both Washingtons

Trump in one Washington, Democrats joining Republicans in the other.
Trump's budget in one Washington, cuts to car tab taxes in the other. Sound Transit

Bad news for light rail in Washington, D.C. today, via the Seattle Times:

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Free Will Astrology: For the Week of May 24


GEMINI (May 21–June 20): Generation Kill is an HBO miniseries based on the experiences of a reporter embedded with US Marines fighting in Iraq. Early on, before the troops have been exposed to any serious combat, they're overflowing with trash talk. A commanding officer scolds them: "Gentlemen, from now on we're going to have to earn our stories." Although you are in a much less volatile situation right now, Gemini, my advice to you is the same: In the coming weeks, you'll have to earn your stories. You can't afford to talk big unless you're geared up to act big, too. You shouldn't make promises and entertain dares and issue challenges unless you're fully prepared to be a hero. Now here's my prophecy: I think you will be a hero.

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The Stranger Is Hiring A Social Media Engagement Editor!


Do you read Slog daily? Do you check Twitter, Facebook, Reddit compulsively? Then you should know: The Stranger is hiring a social-media engagement manager.

This is your chance to join a very exciting team and workplace. Hit us up!

SIFF Review: Bad Black Is a Wakaliwood Masterpiece


DON'T MISS: The genius of Wakaliwood films, which are made in the slums of Kampala, the capital of the English-speaking African country Uganda, is that they cannot be improved. The way they look is exactly how they were made: with almost no money. The raw action scenes and stunts, the super-cheap CGI special effects (the kind you find on an iPhone), the poor quality of the sound, the disorderly editing, the crazy mesh of English and Swahili, and the improbable plots are precisely what make these films so enjoyable. Because the poverty of the production is so proud of itself, so brazen, so lacking in shame, it directly mocks first-world production values. If, say, the special effects were upgraded, then these films would lose a lot of their political and comic power. Another aspect of Wakaliwood films is their benshi (a performer who provides narration) bringing the whole mess together. If the benshi does not make you laugh until it hurts, then he has not done his job. Bad Black is a Wakaliwood masterpiece.

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Savage Love: Breathless

Joe Newton

I have two female sex partners who want to be breath-play dominated. I know the practice is dangerous, and I employ the rules of consent and communication a pro-Dom escort friend taught me. But is there a legal release document we could sign that protects consenting adults in the event of an accident or death?

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Muckleshoot Shooting Inquest: Deputies Recall Fearing For Their Lives Before Fatally Shooting Renee Davis

Lawyers for the deputies, the Sheriffs Office, the Muckleshoot Tribe, and Renee Davis family approach Judge Susan Mahoneys bench.
Lawyers for the deputies, the Sheriff's Office, the Muckleshoot Tribe, and Renee Davis' family approach Judge Susan Mahoney's bench. SB

There are lots of questions that jurors will have to answer at the end of the inquest into the police shooting of Renee Davis, a pregnant, 23-year-old Muckleshoot woman, killed during a welfare check last October. Perhaps most important: Did the deputies who shot her believe their lives were in danger when they opened fire?

During three days of testimony in a Kent courtroom, both of the King County Sheriff's Office deputies who shot at Davis, Nicholas Pritchett and Timothy Lewis, said they did.

The deputies recounted the moments leading up to the fatal shooting, all of which took place in about twenty minutes: From a boyfriend reporting that Davis expressed suicidal ideation, to the deputies initiating a welfare check without backup, to Lewis deciding to send her two children on the front porch. The most critical moment, however, came when the deputies, worried Davis might be a danger to herself, entered her bedroom after kicking off a child's lock on the door, and Pritchett ripped off a comforter that covered Davis on the bed.

Davis was holding a gun underneath the comforter. The deputies testified that she pointed the firearm at both officers before they opened fire. "I was looking down the barrel of a gun and it was a terrifying minute," Pritchett said.

Attorney Jenny Durkan, who is representing Muckleshoot tribe (and running for mayor), and attorneys for the Davis family, raised questions about decisions made by Pritchett and Lewis in the events leading up to the shooting. Implicit in their questions was the suggestion that the officers could have done more to de-escalate the situation, protect the community, and move the children out of harm's way. (The Muckleshoot Tribe contracts with the King County Sheriff's Office to provide police service on the reservation, and does not have a tribal police force of its own.)

At the end of the hearing, jurors will be asked to answer questions from lawyers on both sides, County prosecutors will review the findings to help decide whether to file charges against the officers for Davis' death.

(What follows is a chronological telling, through Pritchett and Lewis' testimonies, of what happened that night. We're describing their statements in detail because jurors will be asked to rule on specific questions about the shooting based on these accounts):

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: Reader Advice Round-up


Things on my mind this week: doing something real about gentrification and displacement (TL;DR rapid transit); Trump might be in a FemDom relationship; terrorism; plus I explained a map. Things on letter-writers' minds: Grindr etiquette; breaking up abroad; douching without taking two hours; dealing with a narcissistic daddy.

Lots of responses to CLIF:

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With Netflix’s War Machine, David Michôd and Brad Pitt Take on Afghanistan


War is hell, except when it’s purgatory.

General Glen McMahon (Brad Pitt) is good at war. At the start of David Michôd’s War Machine, McMahon’s just been assigned to fix the one in Afghanistan, using his years of expertise to bring an end to a seemingly intractable conflict. But the types of war he’s dealt with in the past bear little resemblance to what’s going on in Afghanistan.

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