Good morning. It is June 13, 2022, and for reasons nobody can explain Seattle has still not banned gas-powered leaf blowers.
Insurrection hearing continues, with or without all the witnesses. The January 6 hearing resumed this morning, minus one of the expected stars: Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien is stepping away due to his wife going into labor. When that kid finds out who its dad is it's going to wish it stayed in.
WC Pride looked real cute. A delightful prelude to Seattle’s great big behemoth Pride on June 26, this weekend White Center welcomed folks for a festival of street food, drag performances, and adorable outfits.
Alright White Center #Pride: y'all know how to party 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈🎉#whitecenter #PrideMonth #gaylife #instagay #gayscruff #gayfollow @whitecenternow @whitecenternews #gayboy #gaymen #gaypride pic.twitter.com/rkNMaZv05n— Zac Baker (he/him) (@zacandcheese) June 12, 2022
Gun control is happening, kind of. A bipartisan deal is actually moving along, which is encouraging, but the fact that the gun industry isn't coming out strongly against it probably means that it isn't going to do enough. The proposal framework includes stronger background checks for buyers, but only if they're under 21. It also limits gun access for people convicted of domestic violence, and it increases money for mental health services. Mental health is great and all, but its obviously not the root of the problem, which is, my God, all the guns.
Things almost got ugly in Idaho. Police arrested a group of 31 men in a U-Haul who, cops say, planned to riot at Coeur d’Alene Pride (which otherwise went on without major incident). Five of them were from Washington (not the good parts). Police were tipped off by a citizen, who saw a bunch of guys getting into a truck. Those guys were said to be members of the white supremacist group Patriot Front. Personally, I can’t believe they would try to weaponize a U-Haul, the international symbol of lesbianism.
Meanwhile, in California … A group of local terrorists tried to shut down a story hour event at a public library, storming the building and shouting threats. Performer Panda Dulce (who has a background in youth social work) and the library’s security guard kept their cool and helped keep the kids stay safe and comfortable while the right-wingers were escorted out. Police are investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Why is this happening? There’s always a surge in homophobic and transphobic rhetoric around Pride month, but this year it’s been particularly bad. I’ve been reading Michael Bronski’s excellent A Queer History of the United States, which provides some clues as to why – even in the centuries before the United States existed, colonizers in what would become the Americas created false narratives that minority groups were hypersexual and deserving of subjugation, punishment, and abuse. A motivating factor back then: Racist attempts to justify slavery and the genocide of indigenous people. The one constant is that those in power seek to dehumanize a minority group so that they can oppress without guilt.
Arianna DeBose is incandescent. The Tonys were this weekend, and they were great, but Arianna — Arianna! Here's how she opened the ceremonies. Some performers are so impossible to look away from that you don't even want to blink, and that's the power she's got.
Get out of town. Germany is offering unlimited rail travel for just 9 euros a month throughout the summer – an excellent response to rising fuel costs.
Congrats, kids. The University of Washington held its largest-ever commencement ceremony this weekend – around 7,000 people – with an address by Tony-winning producer Ron Simons, who also plays Strieber on the Marvel shows. You can watch the whole thing here.
Nine old people who dress up in robes, and they say we're peculiar. The Supreme Court issued a handful of rulings today. SCOTUSblog has the most immediate reporting and analysis — nothing about abortion today. When that ruling does eventually come (it'll be sometime this month) nationwide rallies are planned regardless of the content of the ruling.
It’s really coming down out there. If you squint really carefully you can see Tommy Lee Jones holding Harrison Ford at gunpoint.
Snoqualmie Falls after a few days of record rainfall pic.twitter.com/gJXkkWvFHJ— David Cole AIA (@DavidColeAIA) June 12, 2022
An unbearable and utterly preventable tragedy in Chicago: A truck driver struck a woman riding a bike with her 3-year-old daughter last week, killing the little girl – the second child to be killed by reckless drivers in the neighborhood in a week. In this most recent incident, a ComEd truck was illegally parked in the bike lane, and the mother was in the process of going around it when the truck hit her. Chicago transportation advocates are understandably furious, and this weekend there was a tense standoff between them and a delivery driver who wanted to use the bike lane as his own little parking spot. The most heartless response to the deaths appears to have come from Alderman James Cappleman, who couldn’t even be bothered to attend a memorial for the victims – and in fact tweeted incorrect information about the service. The whole thing is just so terribly awful. I’m reminded of Seattle mom Sher Kung, who was killed by a truck driver – and Seattle’s under-protected bike lanes – in 2014.
She was a close friend of mine. She was literally the coolest kid I’ve ever met. This has been the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. I’m sick with grief. Here’s my daughter braiding her hair a week before the collision. pic.twitter.com/qDUNt384jT— Christopher™ (@ChrisBrandt8) June 11, 2022
Not a great day for capitalism. The stock market is doing whatever it is that causes the line to go down, with a big drop this morning — a sign that people who know about money are not feeling great about the future. So are we about to enter a recession now, or what? Well, chances are that if you are capable of understanding that question and taking any meaningful action based on the answer, then you have already done so and you don't need some two-bit local blog to explain anything to you. Best of luck, everyone!
These felines would like to get all up in your businesses. Hal, it’s about cats.
Elsa and Anna are throwing a cuddle party, and everyone is invited! These bonded boos have serious boundary issues, but we are not complaining. These young ladies came in together and plan to go home together, so prepurr for cuddly chaos! https://t.co/TEyvqlFN1A pic.twitter.com/45kSdb8Fyg— Seattle Humane (@SeattleHumane) June 10, 2022