This rather crude statue at the epicenter of Seattles traffic nightmare, the corner of Boren and Denny, has seen a lot of distracted drivers.
This crude statue at the epicenter of Seattle's traffic nightmare, the corner of Boren and Denny, has seen a lot of distracted drivers. Charles Mudede

Washington's Distracted-Driving Law Is Now In Full Effect: The best part about the law is that it bans checking texts or video on your smartphone while stuck forever in traffic. This is the kind of suffering that makes people abandon cars. What are you supposed to do when you are going nowhere? If you happen to be near the corner of Boren and Denny, and inching toward I-5 at rush hour, you can look at the statue in front of the Recovery Cafe. The crude suffering on that statue's face will speak to you.

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What Darrin Grondel, director of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, said: "If you're on the road, you're off the phone." The first time you are caught holding a phone, you pay $136; the second time within five years, you pay about $234. Seattle Times has a break down of where the money generated by the anti-distraction law will go.

Other forms of distractions, such as "smoking, putting on makeup or eating will also now be a secondary offense"—meaning, you must be stopped for some other offence to be hit with one of those offences. A Republican, Ed Orcutt, tried to make holding a phone while driving a secondary offence. Ain't happening.


Seattle Should Not Ban Distracted Walking: Kipp Robertson at MyNorthwest is trying to make this argument. But it doesn't hold water for two reasons. One, walking is nothing like driving 4000 pounds of industrial materials. It's not even apples and oranges—it's more like ants and aardvarks. Two, the higher logic in the age of climate change is always this: reward those who walk and punish those who burn fossil fuels. While you are stuck in your car and looking at the suffering statue near the corner of Boren and Denny, I'm walking down the street, swiping right on Tinder.

Samsung Has App For Android Smartphones That Detects When Your Car Is Moving: And if you receive a text, it automatically responds with this message: “I’m driving, so I cannot answer at the moment.” It's called "In-Traffic Reply." Apple is soon to offer a similar app for iPhones.

A Bunch of New Laws for Washington State Went into Effect on Sunday: One expands education programs for prisoners. Another allows victims of sexual assault to obtain permanent protection orders—this is a major improvement on the law that only offered protection orders for two years and required victims to return to the court to get a protection order for two more years. Another new law permits prosecutors to file felony charges for a person who has received a fourth DUI within 10 years. Another protects dogs from bad owners—you can't just tie your hound to any old place and leave him/her there for as long as you like. The animal must have access to water and food. There are far more bad dog owners than bad dogs.

A Truck Crashed Into a Building: And the Lacey, Washington building exploded into flames. Police told KOMO that the driver fled the burning building and truck, but he was eventually found and arrested. A business that kills trees, Sunrise Landscaping and Tree Removal Service, operated in the building.

The Poor Hate Trump: Let's get that straight. Only 28 percent of people who earn under $2000 a month are pro-Trump. That is extremely low. There is not much love for the pussy grabber in the lower orders. It is in the middle and with whites that Trump has his fans. (Only 18 percent of non-whites are pro-Trump.)

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Mother of Philando Castile Attends Rally for the White Woman Allegedly Shot and Killed By Black Muslim Police Officer: Her name is Valerie Castile. Last year, her son, Philando Castile, was shot and killed by a police officer in a suburb of Minneapolis. This weekend, she attended a rally for Justine Ruszczyk, a white Australian woman who was shot and killed by a Minneapolis police officer on July 15. Valerie bonded with Justine's fiancee, Don Damond, and said at the rally that “this is not a black or white thing.” Another connection between Castile and Ruszczy was made when the family of the latter hired the Minneapolis attorney who represented the family of the former. CNN: "Although the St. Anthony police officer who shot Castile was acquitted of manslaughter, Bennett negotiated a $3 million settlement with the city of St. Anthony, a Minneapolis suburb."


Black Lives Matter Activists Not Happy About Minneapolis Chief Resigning After a Police Officer Killed a White Woman: Something that never happens in the US of A: A police chief resigning after a black person is shot and killed by a white cop. Something that happened when a white woman was shot and killed by a police officer: the police chief resigned.


Somali Community Leader Says There Has Been "Racist Blowback Against His Community": After it was revealed that Officer Mohamed Noor, an immigrant from Somalia, allegedly pulled the trigger and ended Justine Ruszczyk's life, the Somali community in Minneapolis has, according to City Councilmember Abdi Warsame, received at lot of hate from all quarters of racist America. "We have a tragedy at hand, and we have a community that's frightened. That's what I want to highlight and that's the reason we're here," the Councilmember said during a gathering. USA Today has this part of a very complicated story.

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