What the city could look like by tomorrow morning iStock / Getty Images Plus



“The only time we applaud prosecutors”

Oh grow the fuck up…


"Leave it to the Silicon Valley bros to embrace Robocop [with Explosives!] instead of finding a way to use their massive hoards of wealth to alleviate poverty."

just blow up the Opposition?
NO ONE couldda seen
this one coming.

take Note
bad guys.


if you just blow 'em up
ya don't gotta pay for
a stinkin' social safety
Net. Ta-DUH!


Here's a gut wrenching post on Nextdoor from I saw from someone homeless:

"Help! I need HELP! I have such a hard time asking I live by the QFC on 145 st I need gas to charge up my generator I need propane for my heat I need food to eat oh my I'm in a bad spot at the moment. I try to keep that I'm homeless out of conversations I have always been able to get my necessities bit not at the moment I'm really not OK. With the Lil snow we got its breaking tree branches left and right I'm scared my tent will be smashed by morning not sure if anyone can help but I'm desperate and will be so grateful to any help I can get"


The potential railroad strike is a tough one. Shutting down the trains for any length of time would cause misery across the country and, as always, the poor would suffer the most. On the other hand, the main sticking point seems to be the union's demand for paid sick leave - not exactly an unreasonable request. I suppose that Congress will have to stop the strike but hopefully will add a sick leave provision to the legislation. It's worth mentioning that negotiations between the railroads and the unions continue and often agreements are reached as time is running out.


The railroad strike issue is so complicated: On the one hand, the railroads have always been bastards and have in recent years consolidated into just a few roads that are run by people with no knowledge of, or interest in, railroading. OTOH, a lot of these unions were just fine with things like no sick days because it meant more money for the members. But then when Covid hit, the railroads for no good reason axed a lot of their employees and started working the remaining ones to death. Add to that the 1900's - era work rules and the introduction of freights that are literally miles long, and you have a completely dysfunctional industry.

In the economic sense, a railroad strike would be an absolute disaster for the country, so I reluctantly support the congress stepping in, but the whole industry and their unions are in drastic need of reform.


our poor Billionaires'd
have it so much Easier
if people were Robots

how long till
they Fix that?

stupid question:
but whattabout
the Humans?


"The only time we applaud prosecutors"

I guess I'll break with the SLOG conventional wisdom here, and suggest prosecution of rape, sexual assault, murder, hate crimes, employer wage and hour violations, workplace safety violations, and so on are generally desirable.


If you weed out the mentally unstable people who are prone to quick anger and irrationality, you won't have many cops.


if you literally take them
literally every single
Time your mind'll
be figuratively
Blown time
after time.


“At a time of record profits in the rail industry, it’s unacceptable that rail workers have ZERO guaranteed paid sick days,” Sanders tweeted. “It’s my intention to block consideration of the rail legislation until a roll call vote occurs on guaranteeing 7 paid sick days to rail workers in America.”


@5, 6 thats the genius of hypercapitalism. we are all so deeply entrenched in this fucked up economic system that any sort of effort to make long-term, pro-labor progress is usually inhibited by pretty severe short-term damage for which no one wants to take the political hit


Glad to see the feds nailed #1 Proud Boy on a charge of Seditious Conspiracy for Jan. 6th. That’s the one Trump should face as well. Give ‘em each twenty years in a windowless cell to think about how seriously we here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. take threats to our Constitutional democracy.


According to Will and TS anything that doesn’t completely accede to the demands of a union is “union busting”. It is possible to be pro union yet recognize the harm done by shutting down the railways far exceeds the marginal benefits of a strike for the workers. It’s called pragmatism.


I forgot to mention that move by Senator Sanders, oldwhiteguy dear. I suspect (and hope) that he's working with the Biden administration on this, and that they will use that to leverage it against the railroads, who will lose billions if the strike goes through.


@11 -- most typical is centrist
Dems beginning 'negotiations'
from What they'll Settle for and
coming away empty-handed yet
Again. gosh! how's that working?


Looks like the bill passed by Congress and signed by Sleepy Joe is working to help cut carbon emissions. Instead of treating this as a win and praising effective climate solutions let's just make some sarcastic comments about how it's not enough or too late.


I had forgotten, until Mr. Vel-DuRay - a retired forty year veteran of Amtrak - reminded me, that the railroads have an absolutely ancient process for sick leave: You have to be sick for six days before you get anything, and after that you get $25 a day (yes, twenty-five dollars) from the Railroad Retirement Board, which is the railroad version of Social Security.

It depends on the contract of course - clerical workers have something more akin to what the rest of us are used to - but most Engineers and Conductors are bound by that policy.


@9, How do you do that "weeding out" consistent with the 5th, 13th, and 14th Amendment?

To deny a citizen a government benefit or a government job, the government has to show they don't meet some specified qualification in an objectively quantifiable way. Quick to anger is subjective and in the eye of the beholder. Mentally unstable? Define that in a legally enforceable way that isn't subjective in they eye of the beholder.

They can, and do, give police applicants batteries of mental health tests. Get a score on one of those written tests that is under a certain number, and your out of consideration. That's a metric the government can point to when they are challenged for violating the applicants Constitutional rights under the 13th or 14th Amendment.

WSP also used to have their staff psychiatrist do in-person mental health assessments. Guess what, he weeded out black and brown people, more than white people. WSP lost a case of dismissing a black applicant when challenged. They stopped doing those in-person assessments.

Having worked in Mental Health, I can tell you they are subjective, and three different psychiatrists, or psychologists will come up with differing assessments of any single individual. Mental health is still much more of an art than a science. There aren't blood tests, or imaging diagnostic tools that will identify someone as being a megalomaniac, narcissist, bi-polar, sociopath, or fill in _ mental health diagnosis from the Diagnostic Service Manual (which is developed and updated by the Mental Health Community to describe and classify individual mental health conditions).

All the diagnosis are subjective and based on what the patient self-reports and long observation of the patient. The longer the better. The longer the observations, the more the diagnosis by multiple psychiatrists, of the same patient, will begin to align.


@13, That is the most joyous news that has emerged since January 6. I hope for more such prosecutions to come.

I hope they prosecute the orange turd, but only after they have air-tight evidence. That will take time to work up the food chain to his internal circle. Politicians, and those who work for them, are very adept at understanding the will of the person they work for and getting others to do it, without express, unambiguous words and directives to get them to do that will.


NOW you're worried about how cutting housing prices will hurt the middle class? There's been nothing but relentless complaining about high house prices, and insinuations that middle-class homeowners are conspiring to keep the working class living on the streets, from this paper as long as I can remember.

Which is it?


'Enough Is Enough!' Rail
Workers Decry Biden's Push to
Impose Strike-Breaking Labor Deal

President Biden is pushing Congress to block a pending nationwide rail strike and push through a contract deal that includes no sick days and is opposed by four of the 12 rail unions.

Biden’s latest request is an attempt to “legislate us basically back to work, before we’ve even had a chance to strike,” says locomotive engineer and Railroad Workers United organizer Ron Kaminkow.

“Workers should have the right to take off work for a reasonable amount for whatever reason they need it,” says labor professor Nelson Lichtenstein, who urges the rail workers to strike anyway.


Are We the peeps willing to Sacrifice
for Decency in the Workplace? our
Holiday Shopping Experience may
be adversely affected -- who's
Side is Santa on? how 'bout
baby Jesus? does He get
to Vote? what do the
Fundies say?


Young white woke Seattle "journalist" tries to explain to the public what black people want/need without researching what black people want. Hint: it's GREATER POLICE PRESENCE IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS!


Unholy SHIT look at I-405 (I-5 and I-90, too, for that matter)! I feel really sorry for anyone having to drive in this weather.

Robocops programmed to use lethal force?? You've gotta be shitting me!! What next---shape shifting laser-eyed Terminator T-1000s annihilating everything in sight? WTF is the SFPD thinking??
The former Governator of California was right: "Hasta la vista, baby!"

@6, @14, and @18 Catalina Vel-DuRay: I thank both you and Mr. Vel-DuRay (congratulations on your Amtrak retirement!) for enlightening us--especially me--on the current situation with the pending railroad strike. I knew working conditions were draconian but this really is inexcusable. I blame a lot of this on Warren Buffett, owner of Burlington Northern Sante Fe, and his fellow billionaire ilk for their insatiable greed and relentless tax-free profiteering.

@22 kristofarian: Holiday shopping? For food and household supplies if we're lucky in our household. January 2023 is going to be a longer stretch than recycled bubblegum.


Obviously the solution to a potential railway strike is to build nationwide high speed passenger and freight (autoload containers) rail and nationalize it.

And then have a public sector union.


Big Rail
did a lot of
Stock Buy-backing
and paid Dividends up
the Kazoo or wherever so
the Workers gotta take the Hit

but @ Will
an Exceptional Idea!
Pragmatic even for those
Supply-Chain Businessfolk types.

@Auntie gee:
Damn! Best of Luck!
food banks can be Life Savers


All the hand-wringing over the "killer robot" is really wasted energy. Any police robot, like the bomb disposal kind can be used as a "killer" robot with minimal modification. Dallas PD did just that to finally take out the sniper that killed 5 cops a few years ago. So, nothing to see here really.

@9 - That's how I got hired, it was my high "irrationality" score that put me over the top and into a blue suit!

In all seriousness, this is a perfect example of what I've said several times in these comments; mid-level supervisors and trainers attempt to rid department of the unfit, and upper management (Chief-level personnel) routinely ignores such recommendations and keeps the unfit cop anyway. This often leads to millions in payouts to victims of the unfit cops later. It happens over and over and over and...


i hate to agree with @21, but if the Seattle housing market was "overheated" (and it was), then cooling it down isn't a bad thing. fuck realtors and speculators.


Auntie dear, I actually would cut the BNSF some slack on this one. They are pretty progressive for a railroad. To me, the villain is the Union Pacific, which is controlled by Philip Anshutz (of the Anschutz Entertainment Group). He’s sort of the Mr Burns of Railroading.

Although really, I think what Congress should have done is said that Railroad Retirement will reform their leave policy so that you get a set number of sick days paid out at your salary, and then turned around and billed the railroads for those claims.


@27, Exactly.

But we need to examine why upper management responds that way. That's on us. The reasonable belief by supervisors and trainers gets over-ruled by upper management, precisely because upper management is aware of, and constrained by, the body of arbitration and court rulings that determine the basis on which discipline can be imposed.

"In my opinion, trainee X, or officer Y, isn't a good cop because ...." is a subjective statement. It might be something that could be substantiated with a long documentation of pattern and practice by the employee. It's far from an open and shut case.

"Trainee X, or officer Y, got a 68 on a test, that required a 70, to be employed, by our policy," is an objective statement. It's objectively quantifiable. "Officer Y, failed to keep his hands physically on the suspect, until they were put in the police car, or other place of secure temporary confinement, as required by policy," is also objective. The video, or witness statements, will show Y did, or did not do that.

"Employee Y gets more complaints from the public than anyone else in the office for being rude and abusing his authority." The first question an arbitrator or court process is going to ask is, "Is it necessary to be polite to the public to do the job the employee was hired for?" The next question, "Did the employee still issue the proper permit, license, or make the arrest, in compliance with the law and purposes for which the position was created?" (I.e. is politeness necessary in the job description). Next they are going to ask, "By who's definition of 'rude', and/or what does 'abuse of power mean'?" Then the government employer will need to demonstrate a policy requiring not being rude, that they made the employee aware of the policy, retrained on the policy to give the employee a chance to improve, have similarly disciplined other rude employees, and progressively disciplined.

Welcome to the world of government employment.


Cars bad! Cars bad!


"Housing costs are too expensive!!! and that's causing homelessness!!!!!!!" - Slog

Housing costs fall... "won't someone think of the marginalized people!!!!!" - Also Slog.

As I've noted so many times, y'all have twisted yourselves into a pretzel with all the things you're OUTRAGED about that you don't even know what you stand for. Add in the fact that you only look at every issue in simplistic extremes without understanding nuance, and your positions become laughable. In short, to repeat @1, "grow the fuck up."


Maybe it's time for Will to take his own advice and organize a workers' union.

(Said the proud Union member since 2001)


30 - Bullshit. For one, I've done it. It took a 35-page recommendation explaining the reasons for the officer being unfit, but it worked...barely. It took additional lobbying by several of us in the chain-of-command below Deputy Chief level. He was fired, and it was upheld, and the cause was for simply being psychologically and temperamentally unfit for the position of police officer.

Most of these cases are for probationary officers, who lack job rights in most places. But even that doesn't matter, most upper management is irrationally afraid of litigation most of the time, despite the fact that in the 20 years I was supervising, not one probationary officer with Dallas PD was able to successfully litigate their reinstatement...not one. It turns out juries don't want unfit officers on the force; what a shock. Chief-level officers are simply ball-less and would rather kick the liability payouts down the road...to when someone else is Chief. I've had one all but as admit as much to me.

They're afraid of dreamed-up visions of wrongful termination suits when the very real prospects of excessive force payouts are jumping up and down in front of them. Again, on one level, they know that, but the vast majority gamble that bill won't come due until after they've moved on.


@32, You make my point. Cop senior managers, and other public agency managers, have to weigh those offsetting risks and costs. In private employment, the risk is much less.

Also, even when the government employer goes to trial and wins, they still have to eat $500k to $600k in legal fees, plus the staff time for someone writing up 35 pages, multiplied by all the people you talked to, the production of the documents you consulted and cited, etc. So it's f*king expensive. For those reasons, they will often offer a payout of high five, or low six figures, even though they are very confident they will win.

The Plaintiff will often have an attorney on contingency that is rolling the dice on a payout to get themselves a generous fee.

The private sector doesn't face those constraints and costs. Their employees are at will, with no claims under the 5th, 13th, or 14th Amendment. They don't have to show cause, they just have to show it wasn't because of the employee's membership in a protected class enumerated in a civil rights law. It's a much lower bar, and much harder for the employee to prevail.

Management has to ask, will we pay more to fire the employee and defend against their claim, or pay more because the cop violated someone's civil rights? Firing the employee is tangibly in the right here and now, and the civil rights payout is speculative, at some possible point in the future, cost unknown. How do you measure the cost of one against the other in dollars and cents? No actuary can create a model to quantify the options and compare them for the public employer.

It's also a problem that is not unique to cops. It's a problem in public schools, and every sector of public employment.


King County Metro pays out more per year in wrongful death and injury claims to the public for accidents their investigations show were preventable and caused by driver's not following training and/or policy, than the King County Sheriff's Office and Seattle Police, combined, pay for excessive use of force suits. What those cops do with a bullet or hands on, a Metro driver does with a 37 ton bus. Metro, like cops, rarely fires the driver, and the driver's union, like the cops union, gets the employee their job back at arbitration, well over 50% of the time. Nobody hollers when some Metro driver, acting outside of policy or training, takes someone's civil rights by killing them. Unless you live in Chicago, your right to vote, to name one civil right, dies with you. When a cop does it, everyone hollers.

Please wait...

Comments are closed.

Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.

Add a comment

By posting this comment, you are agreeing to our Terms of Use.