Casey Cain and Jose Betancourth are graffiti taggers "accused of causing more than $300,000 in damage around the city." The street name of the former is “Eager,” and the latter is “Satan.” They were captured by the police last week on Capitol Hill. They are, according to KIRO, members of "a group called 'Big Time Mob,' or “B-T-M”—a graffiti crew that tags in Seattle and Portland." But few practices in this world are more urban than graffiti. It's all over New York City. It defines Berlin. It can even be found in Beijing. But here we are arresting people for doing what exactly a city should do. But we are cursed with a class of people who have no idea or clear understanding of the fact that those above them, the rich, have constrained their only path to financial stability to the ownership of property. This is the middle class. They have transformed this constraint into a religion. This is why they, more than any other group in a city, even the rich, are obsessed with the otherwise normal business of tagging and what have you.

Get ready to be cold. And this cold is coming from the north. And, according to the Seattle Times, might make our area "a little more like [Santa Land] the North Pole." Temperatures might drop down to the 20s (so cold). There might even be snow (25 inches!). This season is rewarding the long and hot and horrible days of summer.

The new trains coming to the Amtrack Casades line in 2026 will not have the speed of bullets. They will run as fast as the ones we already have. However, Seattle Times is quick to point out that the trains, which "include two new locomotives and eight new trainsets" will have an "'evergreen and mocha' color scheme and graphics of Mount Hood and Mount Rainier..." I can see the real Hood and Rainier any day. What I can't see, what I long to see in the Pacific Northwest is a bullet train.

While our mayor is going after graffiti artists and taggers, his counterpart in New York City, Mayor Adams, is going after the rats (a more honorable pursuit, in my opinion):

 
 
 
 
 
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It's not hard to guess why a mall you probably never heard of, Northlake Mall, is in the news today.

OK, let's get to the biggest story of the day (mall shootings are old hat in the US). And, yes, it involves the former president. Yesterday, he announced on Truth Social that he was going to make a “major announcement” today. Speculations erupted. Was the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives in his sights? Would he name his VP, possibly Kari Lake, who is pulling a Trump at this very moment? Not at all. 

Forbes:

Former President Donald Trump unveiled Thursday a “limited edition collection” of NFT trading cards featuring cartoon-like images of himself depicted as a superhero, Hollywood actor and more...

If I said to you that I'm not impressed by this "major" revelation, I would be lying to you. I did not see it coming, this new low. I had no idea until today, how low the former president could go—as if the last low was not more than enough. And it is here we have to understand (even appreciate) the brilliance of this NFT move. Trump impresses the GOP's base not by doing something smart, but by the very opposite, doing something amazingly (even mindbogglingly) stupid. His is a power that's purely negative. It is a politics of the alternate universe; but, unlike antimatter, is not annihilated in the positive world. It grows in it. And the worse it gets, the more he grows. Why? Because anyone with a mind of their own would not buy into any of this nonsense. But those who are devoted to him will—in total awareness of how dumb the superhero NFT trading cards scam is, and, therefore aware of how much it will be mocked by the left and its imagined medium of mass communication, the FAKE NEWS—love these superhero NFTs to bits. The more he is mocked, the more NFTs they will buy. Trump is not unaware of this.

But the idea is that they should not be professional. They must look bad. Trumpers only trust what's bad.

As cold as Seattle next week:

Can I tell you a story? It involves trading cards, but real ones. As a boy, I collected Star Wars cards, which came with a stick of red gum whose taste was not memorable. I spent every penny I could get from my parents on these cards. My little life was consumed by the desire to own the rare cards (Han Solo firing a laser? Luke Skywalker in a floating car?). How I wanted the rare cards; and I wrapped the ones I collected in reddish rubber bands. But why am I telling you all this? Because the lesson this experience gave me is how scarcity is artificial in a capitalist society. The only thing that made one card more valuable than another was its rarity. The conceptual grasp of this imposed constraint logically led to the understanding of how the class system works in a society that has capital as its Subject.

Let's end PM with a classic by Freestyle Fellowship, "Innercity Bounderies," a track that realized Rakim's ambition to raise the rapping to the condition of jazz blowing.