It's strike season, baby: The United Auto Workers began a strike on Friday. Workers walked out to protest "a contract dispute over pay, pensions and work hours," according to the New York Times. For the first time ever, workers at General Motors, Ford Motor and Stellantis, Detroit's Big Three, are striking at once. The walkout includes only around 12,700 of UAW's 150,000 workers to cause a “limited and targeted” work stoppage, but that stoppage could grow.
What are the workers asking for? They want a 40% wage increase over four years, an amount that "matches the raises the top executives at the three companies have received over the last four years," according to union officials. They want cost-of-living increases to compensate for inflation and a four-day work week. The outcome of this strike could shake up labor standards in the US. It could also really influence how pro-union, pro-wage-increase, pro-turn-the-auto-industry-electric Joe Biden does in sweet, sweet, pivotal Michigan in the 2024 election.
Rally for Jaahnavi Kandula: Organized by the Seattle Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, more than 200 people gathered for a rally at the intersection where a Seattle Police Department officer going 75 mph without using his siren hit and killed 23-year-old Kandula as she crossed the street in South Lake Union. Rally-goers called for the resignation of Officer Daniel Auderer, the vice president of the Seattle Police Officers Guild, who was caught on body camera speaking callously about Kandula after her death at the hands of his department. Auderer said Kandula “had limited value” and that the department should just write a check” for $11,000." Participants also called on the cop who killed Kandula, Kevin Dave, to be fired. You would think killing innocent people, or speaking ill of them, would violate some sort of code of conduct.
See ya, 80-degree days: Today might be the swan song of summer. It will be 80 degrees, and our local weather gods say this will likely be the last hot day before fall drops on us like a thick, knitted blanket.
Well, you made it to Friday. Congrats. It'll be another day around 80°. Statistically, Seattle's last day above 80 is Sept. 13th.— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) September 15, 2023
Could it be the last of 2023? The extended outlook suggests that may be the case.
Check back here tonight. I'm thinking it's playlist time.#wawx pic.twitter.com/6JFjzZElKF
Did you hear the sad tale of the lonely tech man? A recent tech transplant to Seattle bemoaned his loneliness in a new Business Insider piece. He claims he can't make friends because he's working too hard and too long, and the only things he knows how to talk about in conversations with prospective friends or partners is his boring job. It seems like this guy should find a hobby. Here's my favorite excerpt from the piece:
I also remember the time when I invited a date to visit the Google office after I started working there. I thought it'd be a fun and interesting experience because I could show her the company's perks, but she turned me down because she had already been there on other dates.
Okay, yikes: On Sep 3, a Tacoma woman was doused with accelerant and intentionally set on fire, according to police. Her exact cause of death is still being determined. Police are looking for any information on the matter.
Hunter Biden, indicted: Ugh, this fucking guy. A Trump-appointed special counsel in a Delaware federal court indicted the president's weird son for "lying about his drug use when he bought a firearm" back in 2018 when he was allegedly dealing with an addiction to crack cocaine. The legal battle could be a long one because there's this whole issue about a botched plea deal that granted Biden immunity for the gun charges if he stayed out of trouble for two years. Biden's attorney says that immunity remains intact.
Alex Jones, big spender: Whoa, there, Mr. Infowars, maybe you should cool it on the retail therapy! Jones owes the family members of the Sandy Hook shooting victims $1.5 billion for calling the massacre a hoax repeatedly, yet he hasn't given them a dime. Meanwhile, he's been racking up some hefty personal spending bills. In July, Jones spent $93,000. What did he spend it on? Well, according to the Associated Press, a monthly $15,000 payment to his wife, $7,900 on housekeeping, $6,300 for meals and entertainment, not including groceries, $6,700 in payments for his Texas lake house, $5,600 on vehicle and boat payments, and more.
We are so small: Take a minute to look at this picture of a new star forming. We are so insignificant in the grand scheme of things. What do our problems matter when there is dust and gas colliding out there in the universe creating bursts of incandescent colors that will make up starlight which will burn for a millennia?
Mushrooms make waves in Oregon: Last year, Oregon voted to legalize psilocybin, otherwise known as magic mushrooms. The first service center, Epic Healing Eugene, has a waitlist of more than 3,000 people. Clients must first "have a preparation session" with a licensed facilitator. That person will trip sit with them while they experience the drug in the service center. People can't take their mushrooms to go. Other locations are opening up across the state, too. Prices seem pretty steep so far, with 25 milligrams going for around $125 at one spot. Another place says clients could spend upwards of $2,000. Damn, I know an old lady in White Center who will give you 20 milligrams for $20. But, apparently the lab-tested psilocybin at some of these places is so pure, 35 milligrams caused one person to see "a kind of infinite-dimension fractal that just kept turning and twisting.”
Vape queen Boebert bucked from Beetlejuice: You heard about gun-totin' Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert causing a whole to-do at Beetlejuice the musical, right? At a Denver production, Boebert disturbed multiple theatergoers by vaping, singing along, taking flash photos of the performance, and generally just being a horrible audience member. After multiple complaints, security escorted her out of the show. Boebert claimed she was only guilty of "laughing and singing too loud,” but Denver's KUSA unearthed footage that proves otherwise:
NEW: GOP Rep Lauren Boebert denied vaping during a Denver Center for the Performing Arts musical before being kicked out Sunday. @Marshall9News got the video. Take a look. #copolitics pic.twitter.com/VtT67Vn4L9— Kyle Clark (@KyleClark) September 15, 2023
Washington health insurance premiums go up: Ah, the great American scam keeps on scamming. Health insurance premiums will go up for around 200,000 Washingtonians, thanks to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner, which raised prices an average 8.94% for 14 health insurers. To the commissioner's credit, companies requested a 9.11% hike. Still, plans such as "Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Premera Blue Cross and Bridgespan Health Co. will see double-digit increases." It is so expensive to be alive and healthy in this country.
That's a big fish: A giant white sturgeon that was over eight feet long and weighed approximately 300 to 400 pounds washed up on the Lake Washington shores of Kenmore last week. The fish was between 60 and 80 years old. Personally, I hate knowing there are fish this big in the lake.
Nightmare fuel: Poland has developed medical tests that can tell if a person has taken the abortion pills mifepristone and misoprostol—medications that have been previously undetectable—thus making medically-induced abortions distinguishable from natural miscarriages. This is fucked up in Poland, where the government created a "national pregnancy registry" last year and is prosecuting women left and right for suspicion of having an abortion. This bodes horribly, too, for our increasingly dystopian reality in the US. Suspicion is a real threat here. A report from August 22 found in "61 cases where adults were investigated for pregnancy outcomes, 45 percent were reported to law enforcement by care professionals, including doctors, nurses, and social workers." These tests, if they're adopted in the US, will mean more people are criminalized for their bodily autonomy.
What's she hiding? On Thursday, Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a law that will restrict the release of her travel and security records, limiting the openness of government records and the transparency of what she's doing with public money as a public official. Huckabee Sanders say she needs this privacy "to protect her and her family." This rolling back of the Freedom of Information Act is actually a pared down version of what she and other Arkansas Republicans wanted.
Mike Pence says a woman VP would be fine with him: Pence said he's open to considering a woman as his running mate, however he did not say whether he'd have lunch or dinner alone with her. As you may recall, Pence cannot be alone with a woman who is not his wife.
The rumors are true: I saw Beyoncé last night. She was transcendent. I was up in the nosebleediest nosebleeds. Here's what it was like on the floor from when the tour stopped in Hamburg, Germany.