About the Griner situation, sounds like I’m blaming the victim, but GIRL…what were you thinking? Taking a cannabis product into Russia? Now, maybe you didn’t know about it? Maybe someone packed for you? So, I guess the takeaway here is: Americans….unless you have diplomatic immunity or maybe even if you do, STAY THE FUCK OUT OF RUSSIA.
So sad that she’s having to go thorough this. Dragging her around by the nose ring and trotting her around for all the cameras. A nightmare to be sure, but as sad and horrific is the fact that we’re going to have to trade a ruthless, bloody monster to get her back.
My decades-long, one-sided love affair with Jon Stewart continues.
If we're going to define down the term "Rich" to "anyone who can afford to buy a house" don't be shocked when the middle/upper middle classes end up siding with the actual rich. As you've seen in the past two backlash elections, and the wipeout in SF.
It's totally worth letting an international gun runner complicit in multiple war crimes go free in exchange for an idiot athlete
Also Jon Stewart's speech was awesome. I wish every Democrat in office spoke like that. Theyd never lose another election. But of course that wouldn't be civil.
How fucking stupid do you have to be to cross any international border with pot or hash.?
What the fuck did she think was going to happen?
And now we are expected to trade a fucking illegal arms dealer/merchant of death for a dumb as a rock jock who thought they were to cool and important to get arrested for smuggling.
She’s lucky she wasn’t playing a WNBA game in Singapore.
@5 Wow Brent once again we agree with each other.
I know it's a popular hipster term, Will, but when I see a subhead about a new class action dropped, I assumed it had been filed, and then they thought it through and voluntarily dismissed it. Just leave it as "new class action filed." People will still get it. Lawsuits aren't Beyonce tracks.
Yawn, more lazy narrative from the “progressive” and “conservative” blocks of the press. What’s happening in Seattle is happening across the country due to social and financial systems that are bigger than anything nine City Councilmembers have the tools to fix. Sure the City could throw everything it has at housing - to the detriment of every other service it offers - but absent some mechanism to keep newcomers out (news flash: this does not exist) its efforts would never keep up with what is a national housing shortage. And what other social capital can we tap to lift up our houseless neighbors? Multigenerational living is the norm in most countries, why not here? Can we please get more creative?
@8 happy Friday strange bedfellow!
Talton spooged a bunch of words regarding the demise of Seattle without mentioning the cost of housing. Fucking hack.
that WVA Coal Baron* (cum
great Hero!) oughtta get himself
some Statuary maybe ridng one of
his Coal Trains into the Abyss only in-
stead of Coal it's Children and all of Earths's
animals going two-by-two to their utter Demise
*even sans Soul
he'd Still look good
@12 Except, "no". In this region and in SF the backlash has had bupkus to do with culture war issues. Maybe in flyover, sure, but not here. NTK and the gang got shived because of their positions on homelessness, drugs, and law enforcement. SF's school board got whacked primarily by Asian American voters who got pissed all of the advanced learning programs were being whacked in the name of equity, putting their kids at a disadvantage to rich private school kids. If you note SPS hemorrhaging middle-class kids presently, you'll see it rhymes here.
Which goes back to how we have redefined "rich" to people who can buy a house or have any tech job. I'm sure some strapped parents who stretched to afford a mortgage and are barely covering the nut would be amused to hear how rich they are.
I can remember a time when the space in front of Westlake Center was among the most expensive rent in the city on a per sq fr basis so when one of the major retailers in the city decides it just isn’t worth it anymore we should probably pay attention.
The Seattle is Dying narrative is sensationalistic and click baity however I find it 100x more productive than the continued gaslighting by Will, Matt, Hannah and Rich insisting that’s there hasn’t been a decline in public safety in the city. It is complete bullshit to continue to repeat the sheet lunacy that Public safety hasn’t declined in the last few years.
As for defunding the police the council defacto defunded the police by creating a hostile and toxic environment and buying into and amplifying the anti police rhetoric from the actvists in the city. There is only one question to be asked. Do we have less police officers today than we did in 2020. Yes, we uniquivacately do. Why? Because the councils words and actions created a hostile work environment that led many officers to go elsewhere.
There is some good news today. Nikkita Oliver tweeted out that they had accepted a role with an advocacy group in Detroit. They will be leaving Seattle and the rest of us will be spared having to reject their candidicy for office a third time. Hopefully some of the other shitheads in their orbit take the same path so we can actually begin to address the real issues facing Seattle.
@17 Interesting. So now, along with redefining the middle class into the "rich" we are redefining economic and public safety issues into "culture war" along with the previous social issues.
If you wanna move the goal posts to support your views, that's fine. But don't kid yourself that isn't what you are doing.
The “ international gun runner” is more of a relic of the bygone Cold War than anything else. And yes, it’s God-awful that Griner has to be paraded around by the Russians. The more they can jerk us around, the happier they are.
@19 I also find it interesting you also assert someone who's lived here going on six years isn't from here because I disagree with you.
And you can also assert that any concerns regarding schools, etc...are "trumpism". Doesn't make it so. But I'm sure it's a pleasing internal narrative to have. Like it or not, the middle class is bailing on SPS. You can shout at them about being selfish and trumpian, or you can recognize that like folks in San Fran they care more about keeping their kids competitive to the ones In Evergreen, Lakeside, Northwest etc... All the self-satisfying narratives won't change that, and the resulting hollowed out public school system.
Like it, don't like it...redefining the middle class as rich, then dumping on them will result in them siding with the actual rich.
@14 I actually thought that Manchin had a pretty good week for the home team. Earlier, McConnell promised to hold up the Chip Bill if the Dems moved forward with the remnants of BBB. So Manchin walked away from negotiations with Schumer and implied that BBB was dead. This week, the Chip Bill passes the Senate with bipartisan support. (This is a good thing.) One hour later(!), Manchin announces that Schumer and he have a deal for the "Inflation Reduction Act of 2022" (lol). And there is some pretty good climate and medical stuff in that bill. It's not nearly what the original BBB would have been, and there's some not so good stuff as well, but it's much better than what we were looking at last week. McConnell and Company got played and they know it. Who knows if Schumer can keep all 50 cats in the bag and get the legislation over to the House (pharmaceutical companies and big corporations hate the bill) but it's got a fighting chance. Manchin is a pain but he's far better than anything else that we'd get from West Virginia.
You mean like the yahoos who “forgot” they had a gun before going through TSA?
Whether she forgot or not it was a stupid mistake.
Let’s not add to the stupidity by freeing Victor Bout.
Professional athletes are a dime a dozen.
Next time do what everyone else does, double and triple check your luggage before boarding an International flight.
"for once in our lives can America do something proactive to solve a problem...?"
hate to break it to you, Will, but HUMANITY has difficulty doing anything proactive. banning CFCs and plugging the ozone hole is an exception, but you can argue it was AFTER it became a disaster.
I've never seen 3rd ave that bad ever, when I took the bus through downtown. I'm in south seattle and started taking the 8 instead of going through the city.
@27 So you are from San Fran, and now live here? Also, what was the cause of the bloodbath on the School Board recall then if articles from every major news source including the Chronicle are wrong?
@28: you must not have seen 3rd ave that much. it's been junkietown for literal decades. after that kid got shot, they cops have spread the scene out rather than just pike to pine.
is 3rd "worse"? meh. if you're not a junkie, then odds are you're safe on 3rd. get off the 8; help seattle survive. fight the squalor!
"the City's failure to build a sufficient amount of affordable housing"
It's not the City's job to make housing.
"Shakey's made deal with the bank. We don't cash checks. The bank doesn't make pizza."
@24 -- my 'faith'
in Sen. Manchin's
ability to Do what
he Says he's gonna
do has long evapor-
ated. (does my Lack of
faith mean now he Won't
follow thru -- as per usual?
have I pushed Joe past the Brink?)
does he even Read tS?
@32: it could be the City's job. there is an Office of Housing now, and it funds affordable projects with MHA $.
this might be a good model for Seattle: https://www.huduser.gov/portal/pdredge/pdr_edge_featd_article_011314.html
@18 "As for defunding the police the council defacto defunded the police by creating a hostile and toxic environment"
hahahahah good lord man.
yeah it sounds super hostile and toxic to have awesome pay, next to no oversight, and no real legal obligation to prevent crime or do much of anything.
they left because they are fucking crybabies who thought it was outrageous the people paying their salaries asked for a modicum of accountability and their collective persecution complex should be its own entry in the DSM
I lived on 3rd ave over 20 years ago. Sucked then, sucks now, will suck forever! The psychotics usually leave you alone. The drug dealers only get mildly annoyed at pedestrians.
Now 2nd ave and S Washington at 2am - yikes!
@28 I feel bad because I had my thirteen year old transfer busses there a couple of weeks ago (he was off to the Pokemon thing). I asked him how the bus was - fine except 3rd he said, and proceeded to describe a litany of freaky behavior to me. I don't worry, as he looks practically 18 and has savvy, but still, when my ten year old daughter easily points out drug deals from the car, why the fuck can't the SPD see them? Or The Stranger?
How about instead of we 'criminalize the homeless,' we criminalize the criminals for doing criminal things, who happen to be homeless because they prefer criminal behavior? Even if that means a bus ticket out of town in a plea deal. We've had enough: Seattle can't save the entire world of destitution, especially when the destitute are freaking high as kites, butt naked in the corner of the Columbia City ball field (no pun intended) looking like Flea on a really bad day, itching away at all the imaginary fent itches.... (as my son and I observed the other day at 4:00 on a Sunday afternoon, baseball game in play).
The mistake she made was not packing pot, but packing a cartridge with a pen. That’s just stupid (she says she “accidentally” packed it “in haste,” but of course she has to say that). Edibles are almost undetectable as long as you don’t bring the kind that have a pot leaf emblem or whatever. I’d fly through a gulag in Siberia with that shit and not even blink. But a cartridge? She may as well have checked a trash bag full of flower.
'I just can't deal with this "Seattle is Dying" bullshit: I shouldn't be surprised that this column from Jon Talton...'
Talton's column says nothing about "Seattle Is Dying," just that it is changing for the worse, and he identifies some causes. The Stranger happens to think the far-left activists on the CIty Council should have more power; Talton and Seattle's voters actually think far-left activists on the CIty Council should have less power. As the Stranger still cannot come to terms with voters' crushing rejection of the Stranger's political vision for Seattle, the Stranger simply yells "'Seattle is Dying' bullshit!" instead of addressing the real problems the Stranger's political advocacy has caused or exacerbated.
As far as Seattle's politics goes, yelling at critics is pretty much all the Stranger has left. If you want clean parks for everyone to enjoy, then the Stranger yells you "lack compassion." If you want children's playgrounds not to have dirty needles, then the Stranger yells you "hate the homeless." If you want illegal encampments removed, thefts and assaults punished, then the Stranger yells you want to "criminalize homelessness." Even wanting a City Attorney who will actually prosecute domestic violence (!) is now intolerable to the Stranger. Dialog is not possible if one party simply will not listen, and the Stranger has now spent many years making clear it is exactly that party.
Such extremist absolutism always ends the same way, in the same dismal place; the only question is, how many innocent victims it will claim along its ever-downward path?
@9 -- How fucking stupid do you have to be to assume that Griner actually did this? Holy shit, dude, Russia is corrupt. They are run by an ex-KGB agent. They are known to poison dissenters. Not only to make it hard to trace, but also to drive home the fact that if oppose their regime, you could die a horrible, long death. Bad cops routinely place drugs on people, and yet you don't think Russia is capable of targeting a major American sports star? Holy fuck, dude, pay attention.
We capture spies, they go after ordinary (or in this case extraordinary) Americans. Then they trade. This has been going on since the Cold War. The sad part is, the more we demand her release, the more Russia asks in return.
@35 -- Nailed it.
Also: "I can remember a time when the space in front of Westlake Center was among the most expensive rent in the city on a per sq fr basis so when one of the major retailers in the city decides it just isn’t worth it anymore we should probably pay attention."
Are you saying this place is suddenly cheap? Get real dude. I have no idea what that place rents for, but you can bet your ass that it is expensive.
This is nothing more than union busting under the guise of safety. Holy shit, they are closing the station at 65th and Roosevelt. Does that mean that the Roosevelt neighborhood is dying? Fucking ridiculous.
@37 -- The problem is not easy to solve. https://www.seattletimes.com/pacific-nw-magazine/crime-and-community-define-one-of-downtown-seattles-most-complex-areas/. This is a really well written article. People routinely bash the Seattle Times editorial board as well as some columnists, but it is important to remember that they still have outstanding reporters. One of the better sections of that article:
Reported crime statistics in the area tell an inconsistent story: Theft is actually down, while aggravated assault is up and homicide fluctuates. The SPD beats referred to as M1, M2 and M3 don’t precisely match The Blade’s geography, but they’re close. In 2008, those beats saw one reported homicide, 88 aggravated assaults and 2,241 thefts. In 2014: Four homicides, 134 aggravated assaults and 3,169 thefts. In 2021: One homicide, 210 aggravated assaults and 1,450 thefts.
Umporowicz, who has worked near-uncountable sex-work and drugs operations around the city (in one year, he says, his team served over 450 narcotics search warrants) saw the cycle many, many times in his 30-year career. Collectively, we ignore; then grumble; and then, after some spectacular violence, yell at the mayor. The mayor barks at the police chief, who barks down the chain of command, and the cavalry rides in, often arresting sex workers and subsistence-level user-dealers.
“We’d show off our arrests, all the dope and guns we’d recovered,” Umporowicz says. “We’d all high-five; the media would get the story; people would say, ‘Good job!’ But it’s performative, not substantive. We’re not dialing in: ‘Where is this coming from? What’s the solution?’ ” Most voters and elected officials, he thinks, lack the political will and attention span to find and fund long-term answers.
@39 -- Talton's column says nothing about "Seattle Is Dying," just that it is changing for the worse, and he identifies some causes.
I guess, but he parrots the "Seattle is dying" crowd. The causes are fairly simple, but he makes passing reference to them, or ignores them. For example:
1) Homelessness. Homelessness is caused by the high cost of housing. There are numerous studies that show this to be true -- this is a book about it: https://www.washington.edu/news/2022/03/15/uw-professors-new-book-presents-opportunity-to-rethink-housing/. This begs the question though: Why is housing so expensive here? The simple answer is zoning. Employment demand skyrocketed as Amazon (and a few other companies) added so many jobs here. Yet housing couldn't keep up, because market-rate housing was artificially limited, due to outdated zoning restrictions. Again, there are studies that show this to be true, but it is also just obvious when you consider how zoning effects the market. Put a limit on the number of smart phones that can be built every year and watch the cost of new and used phones go sky high.
2) Downtown drug and crime problems. This is nothing new. If he fucking read his own paper he would know it is nothing new (see @42).
3) Downtown shops closing. This sucks and is new. There have been booms and busts, but this is a big bust. The cause is obvious: the pandemic. Nothing more, nothing less. About a month ago I walked from the Central Area to downtown, via Chinatown. It was surreal. The Central Area was booming. Lots of new developments everywhere. It is ludicrous to suggest this city is dying. Areas that used to considered slums or ghettos were never better -- they we were thriving. Keep walking though, and things got messier. Yes, there were homeless under the freeway, but again, that is nothing new. Homeless congregate under freeways. The locals have been putting up with them for decades. What was weird was the shops that were closed. If you had a time-travel machine, it would make no sense. How can one part of town -- that has historically struggled -- be booming, while retail struggles in an adjacent neighborhood? WTF? Then, of course, someone would walk by with a mask and you would figure it out. We had a fucking pandemic. The worst in a century.
This has nothing to do with the police, or the city council. The council, by the way, has been rather conservative (in the classic sense of the word) when it comes to dealing with the problems this city faces (we ain't Sweden). This has everything to do with outdated zoning, a pandemic, and a neighborhood that has had similar problems for almost as long as Seattle has been a city.
I like a lot of what Talton writes about. He understands a lot of things, especially at the macro level. It would be nice if Talton understood this.
You make a good point.
This strategy is not fresh news. Which further supports my thought that it is stooooopid to go to Russia in the first place. Oh, the money. Well I wonder how much she’d pay to get a do-over and not go?
When you put yourself in harm’s way, for personal advantage, you assume the risk!
How is she that different than wealthy weekend mountaineers, with families and serious responsibilities, that get their butts in trouble on some Mt Hood glacier and demand dangerous very expensive rescues?
She made the call to go over there, knowing full well that she could become a political pawn at any moment! Like those hikers in Iran: how dumb do you need to be? Magical Thinking?
First & so right.
The cops have assumed the rights of the judiciary. They treat everyone like guilty criminals before any legal review, often doling out the death penalty on the spot. Why aren’t the actual judges more mad about this usurping of their purview?
Even If you are falsely arrested, your ‘punishment’ begins immediately. No water/food for hours and hours? Forcing people to pee and crap their pants? Degrees of torture. And pulling this heinous behavior on kids? Sick SICK shit!! Perverts!
When we demand accountability, and they can’t get their vile thrills from humiliation any more, they quit! Remember the new recruit wanting to be assigned to an area (CD) where he thought he could “see some action” (shoot someone)? He kept his job!
Years ago I was falsely accused of being a shoplifter. The thief had on a denim jacket. So did I. Probably others. There ya go! Enough for them.
They started publicly accusing me right in the store. “You did this, you did that.” I threw a very articulate fit, flashed my cash (was there for pet food…) and they realized I wasn’t too intimidated to sue them personally! I ended up demanding an apology letter and actually got one from the SPD! Nowdays, they probably would have just killed me.
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