Slog AM: SPD Kills Man "in Crisis," Mercer Island Hates the Homeless, Japan Appoints Minister of Loneliness



I've got quite a bit of student loan debt. I make a decent salary so I dutifully make my monthly payment. Since I have a decent salary, that monthly payment is pretty steep (I'm on income based repayment). With the current age of my debt, I'll hit the 25 year forgiveness rate well before I pay the thing off.

If I didn't have a student loan, you better believe I'd be spending that money. Buy a better house, better car, go out to eat more, more knick-knacks for my house, etc. Instead I flush that money down the student loan interest payment toilet.

There are millions just like me. Millions.

Do you want me to repay my loans, or do you want the economy to be strong? You can pick only one, you can't have both. Choose wisely.


»“The [Mercer Island] council passed the rule so that Mercer Island doesn't start looking like "the streets of Seattle.”
The homeless situation in Seattle is neither normal nor acceptable - an object lesson to avoid for sure. Sloggers will bash on Mercer Isle for this perceived slight, but they only point a mirror at us.


Oh, and in addition to my comment @1,

You can shriek and wail about "worthless art degree!" and "shouldn't have taken out so much!" and "should have gone to public instead of private school!" and "I paid my loans why shouldn't you have to too!"

When you're done, you have the exact same choice still in front of you. Complaining about it does nothing. There is a two trillion dollar problem that is only getting worse. Will we do something about it? Or will we just keep uselessly complaining?

(I'd bet good money that we'll just keep complaining. Well, I WOULD bet good money, but I have to make another interest payment on my student loans)


@ 1,

I owe gazzillions in student debt from grad school after dutifully paying off my undergrad loans, which took almost a decade. My worst crime has always been that I wasn't born to wealthy parents.

How're we ever going to learn our lesson that we should never have tried to educate ourselves and improve our job prospects and living standards if we're not punished by repayments at usurious rates for +20 years?


“Just last week SPD shot and killed a man suspected of killing a woman in the Central District.”

OK, stop. The response to that highly dangerous, armed individual on a murderous rampage in the Central District was a totally justifiable use of police force. Meanwhile, the death of a mentally disturbed guy with a knife on Alaskan is an example of needed police reform and resource allocation for trained health crisis workers.

Let’s not lump together legitimate police responses with illegitimate ones.


Cops have always had a "quota".

It used to be, cops were assigned a "quota" of how many tickets they were required to write each day, each shift, each week. That was their job. That was how they earned their promotions, and were rewarded with preferred shifts and overtime pay. That was how they kept score.

Or, their quota might be the number of arrests they were required to make. If they couldn't find enough really bad people to arrest, they'd just grab whoever was at hand, and make something up. It didn't matter if there was no prosecution, no conviction. Anybody put behind bars counted toward their "quota".

Now it seems, cops are assigned a "quota" of how many people they are expected to shoot. Minorities. Homeless people. Anyone the politicians deem to be "less desirable".

"A shift without shooting somebody, is like a day without sunshine".


Once surrounded, the only risk this man posed was that he was going to harm himself... so the response was to kill him. We should not train and expect our police to kill so many people. Not only does it result in many needless deaths, it is harmful to the officers, and it is harmful to the community.

SPD and most police officers in this country are trained that a knife is a deadly weapon, and therefore must be treated similar to a brandished gun. They are also trained if you ever fire your weapon, you fire toward the biggest target, the torso. If there is an investigation, they will find they did nothing wrong. Police in other countries are not trained to treat knives in the same way, and for that reason (among others) they kill far fewer people.


We should kindly thank the TexASSHOLE ex-mayor of Colorado City for reminding us that we live in Mad Max now and it's every man's responsibility to have our own coal fired power plant or nuke-yoular reactor to provide heat and radiation and cancer for the wimmins and childrins as we cook our pigeons and wild hogs. If not, there's always suicide-by-cop.


If being homeless is now a criminal offense on "Poverty Rock", how are they going to enforce the fines? It's pretty unlikely the homeless there have a grand burning a hole in their pockets, so it seems their "alternative" is to just ship them all across the bridge to Seattle, like so many other cities do, and then complain about how horrible our homeless problem is.

Maybe we should do a survey of the local unhoused population, and then send a bill for, oh, say, $10,000 per person to any municipality found to have forcibly transferred someone here.


I'm 100% in support of canceling student debt but if this is not paired with some cost-controlling measures for higher education this problem is not going away. At minimum student loans should be indexed to the inflation rate if not completely interest-free, and the government should subsidize colleges and universities to help contain costs. Over the last couple decades the cost of higher ed has ballooned and it's not fair to younger students to burden them with a mountain of debt before they even enter the job market.


Maybe if the crazy guy with a knife had stopped acting crazy the police wouldn't have needed to shoot him


Hey you guys, Limbaugh’s Dead!!!!



Oh, so we just need to cure mental illness! No police reform or gun control measures necessary. Why didn't anyone think of this sooner?!



Finally some good news!!!


@2 - let me be the first to bash on those bastards on Mercer Fucking Island. The reason that Seattle looks like it does is because the rest of the fucking county refuses to take part in addressing a society-wide problem, because they know that we are the receptacle of last resort. As long as the burbs continue to refuse to lift a finger to help. we're going to have a concentration of homeless here. Bellevue (note the no camping rules cited in the articles about MI) and Renton (passing a law to keep shelters out) are no better. Nothing in Seattle will improve until the rest of the area (and probably the state) start taking their share of the responsibility. The reason that we are seeing so many unserved people on the street is because there is no way we can keep up with demand when bus therapy is every other goddamned city's solution.

Whoever adjusted the Mercer Island wiki page went WAY too easy on them. Something like "Mercer Island is populated by the worst kind of suburban snobs and nouveau riche assholes" would have been more appropriate.


Burn in Hell, Rush.


Has anyone here ever had someone come at them with a knife?


@1 "If I didn't have a student loan, you better believe I'd be spending that money. Buy a better house, better car, go out to eat more, more knick-knacks for my house, etc."

If we're going to print more money to stimulate additional consumption, I'd prefer that it be directed toward people that are truly destitute. The first concern should be that everyone has a roof over their head and food in their belly.

If we're looking for long term solutions, start by making the first two years of community college free. Biden says that would cost $8 billion.


@10 - one simple cost-control measure is for people to attend public colleges. I have no trouble forgiving a reasonable amount of student debt but I have to admit that I'm not in a big hurry to forgive someone's $150,000 private college English degree tab.


Thought I would jump in this morning. A few random thoughts ...
Don't see an issue with Mercer Islands decision as long as they provide other resources to relocate. Every suburb in the US should not have to create homeless shelters. Consolidate, streamline, build efficiencies ... this should hopefully lead to helping people.

General Zod @ 5 - Could not agree more.
Agent Smith @ 6 - I hope this is sarcasm ... Silly statement.
Ugutha @ 1 and Space Invader @ 10 - I would rather see people repay their loans. However, I think the loans should be changed to interest free (current and future). Entities should not profit from education. If you borrow $20K, pay back $20K at a rate based on your income.
Vendetta @ 8 - The Colorado City mayor's statement has a SLIVER of truth, but he's still an Asshole. Folks can't sit around waiting to die, but it's governments job to HELP them. It's a two way street.

And finally, I'm not a fan of AOC and I think the Green New Deal has some holes in it, but blaming the Texas grid problems on renewable energy makes me want to scream. This asshole is brainwashing millions of people by cherry picking statements. I know slog will hate this, but it's why I'm a fan of a balanced grid which includes renewables, fossil and nuclear. I would prefer to see fossil used as a backup, with development centered on renewables and nuclear.

Extra cup of coffee ... Sorry for the rant.


@9 - that's a great idea. I don't know that $10k is a big enough bill though.


I can't say I'm happy Limbaugh is dead. I'm certainly not sad.

Death is an end to suffering. And Limbaugh deserved to suffer. I would've preferred for him to live long enough to see his legacy shattered.

But at least he lived long enough see Biden successfully elected. That must've hurt real bad. That makes me happy.


"I know slog will hate this"

Why would Slog hate that? That is literally the transition to renewables recommended by most proponents and energy experts who helped craft the GND.


@20 - Yes, every suburb SHOULD have to build fucking shelters. Or require affordable housing. Or all of the above. Sweeping all of the homeless into Seattle is no solution and it creates an intractable problem for the city to deal with. Under this scheme, every dollar spent on services here strengthens the argument that "well, the services are in Seattle, so let's send our homeless there."

So what happens? More homeless come, requiring more services and more $$, which leads Seattle to impose yet another tax increase for services, which in turn leads the rest of the county to send even more homeless people here. It's a treadmill that we fucking need to get off.

I've seen NO evidence that any of the suburbs are coughing up anywhere near what their policies are costing Seattle, and I doubt they ever will.

I move that our next year's homeless budget include several hundred thousand dollars for Uber rides to Mercer Island. Preferable to the mayor's house.


Obviously Seattle needs to check all cars using the HOV lanes from Mercer Island and strip search all the occupants, verifying that they pay property taxes in Seattle and looking for rich white guy drugs in their vehicles.

if they don't comply, we just recycle them on the spot.

Sounds fair.


@23 - this is especially appropo now that we're allowed to compost people.


Obviously Japan needs to consider vaccine priority for geishas.


@17 Yes. On three occasions. One at 15 was half hearted but I actually got stabbed in the foot climbing over a fence getting away of all things.

One was merely a drunk in Alaska and it took nothing to get the knife away.

And one wanted to kill me. Because he stabbed me from behind twice in the right side during a melee and I never even saw him — luckily through a thick motorcycle jacket and the blade was deflected by a pad lock in my coat pocket. I did not realize I had been stabbed for about twenty minutes until I realized what I thought was sweat was blood.

People who want to kill you with knife don't wave it around first.


Experts have been very clear that bird feeders are killing our backyard birds right now, and we should keep our feeders down until the end of March. Karl sucks. Don't be like Karl.


Mercer Island should ban destitution. And also mental illness and original sin.


I'm sad Rush died. Others feel differently and that's fine. He was a talented orator and catalyst, but profoundly misguided for sure on a whole host of things. Still, his parodies of the Clintons were priceless. Above all, he was an entertainer. Like Lenny Bruce.

Rest in Peace Rush Limbaugh


rot in Hell

you've finally
gone back Home.


Rusted Limpballs, Dotard Judas Tr666p, Moscow Mitch McCONjob, and Newt Gangrinch are the world's best arguments in favor of mandatory abortions. At least one of them has now gotten what he deserved, albeit far too late.


19 Only time you ever knew $150,000 in your life was in the bail bond shop.


I know everyone here wishes Rush Limbaugh a speedy recovery.


@31 Strawman.

Has anybody suggested that mental health experts directly confront armed suspects in crisis without police present? I don't think so. You've made a broad jump in logic and not stuck the landing, my friend.

The criticism here is why deadly force has to be the immediate response in so many cases.

The police forces of many other nations manage to deal with suspects armed with knives without shooting them with the same frequency as US police. Why is that? Have you never asked yourself why this is? Is there any other way? Clearly there must be.

You are implying that art and science of policing has been perfected in the US and the end result must necessarily be a killing a large percentage of the time. Which would be news to the police in a good part of the democratic developed world.

I myself in the 1990's witnessed a large angry young man in distress in Edinburgh, armed with a sizable kitchen knife, be pinned and tackled by three Scottish cops — ONE A LADY, A LADY, IMAGINE THAT —armed with nothing but batons and a thick padded mattress with handles.

But America is all about guns guns guns. Those are the hammers. And we, we are all nails.


Looks like God called in that loan.


@27 my thoughts exactly! Not the best time to be asking for backyard bird photos. I took my feeder down and am impatiently waiting until March when they're okay to be put back up. I miss the birds just like everyone else who is doing their part and taking down their feeders. We had a sick pine siskin in January, took down the feeder, put it back up two weeks later and had another sick siskin within 24 hours. TAKE DOWN YOUR FEEDERS. I know Slog knows what's up because they posted a story about this exact issue.


oh god facts2supporturfascistpolicestate is back

Apparently the mere suggestion that police departments should be supplemented with crisis workers is offensive to the blue lives crowd, to the point that they have to lie about it. If you support the police you should support providing them with resources to improve their working conditions. When you don't it seems like your objective is not supporting the cops but upholding police brutality.


@33 - Easy there.

Do you really maintain that students taking on debt have no obligation to consider whether the education they are getting is going to ever give them a chance of supporting themselves? I'm all for reasonable measures to help people get educated. Free community college for sure (they started that way, after all). Adequate funding for state schools so that tuition doesn't have to be outrageous. Loans at reasonable rates & conditions for those who need to borrow. And there are many people who ran up a lot of debt under some questionable older systems who need help now.

But if you need to borrow most of the cost of college, I think that it is on you to think a bit about the cost of the institution and why it is you are taking on that debt. I realize that a lot of people at 17 or 18 are not thinking about it with a whole lot of perspective. But who really thinks that borrowing the full cost of a degree that is very unlikely to get them a job makes any sense? If you have to do that, why would you do so at anything more than the minimal cost possible?

The universities bear some blame for this too. It's criminal that you don't have to sit down with an academic advisor at the front end and have a very frank talk about career prospects in whatever the major you are considering is, and the likelihood that you will have to get an advanced degree in order to work in the field. Way too many students don't have any real understanding of this. And if you are planning a career in academia, this goes quintuple. You need to be shown the statistics up front, including the number of applicants per tenure-track position and the percentage of PhDs in that field who are forced to work at multiple community colleges to make ends meet. Any school that does not do this is not serving its students well.

I have heard all the arguments about how society needs artists & writers along with doctors etc. But do we need to be training thousands of them at state expense? Artists have always had a tough time making it and always will. You want an art degree? fine. But consider double majoring in something that will let you support yourself. You want to be a writer? OK, but realize that the odds you'll make are roughly the same as the chances all of us fourth-graders had of actually becoming astronauts. Perhaps it would be wise to have some backup skills.


That'll do, pig.


I wonder if the combined pay for the cops guarding the food until it makes it safely to a landfill is greater than the cost of the discarded food...cuz if they lose all that money on the food...but then spend more taxpayer money on the cops to guard it...and nobody gets fed...then it's a net positive...right? Keep up the good work you braaaaave little boys in blue.


SPD shot and killed a man last year -- near the waterfront, apparently in some distress, brandishing knives, slashing a K-9 unit, but shot while running away -- and it never became a "story".

Never heard who he was, where he was from, what his history was (criminal or otherwise). Always thought that rather odd, especially in a court of public opinion inclined to declare cops guilty first and ask questions later.

Anybody know anything about that one?


Does anyone on the Slog live on Mercer Island? Unless you are a resident then you have no business telling them how to run their community anymore than they can tell Seattle how to manage their issues. The amount of hysterics over this decision is amusing though. There are 5-6 habitual "campers" on Mercer Island according to the reports and policy or not I seriously doubt there is going to be a widespread movement there because the services are in Seattle as is the drug market. They are complying with the Boise ruling and referring people to available shelter so they are doing what needs to be done. It's foolish to think there isn't a percentage of the houseless community who are going to resist treatment and services because it's hard to make change when you are in the throes of addiction. Until Seattle learns that lesson as well there is always going to a problem.


@39 "But do we need to be training thousands of them at state expense? Artists have always had a tough time making it and always will."

Ok. Wait a minute. Successful culture is made through failure. But failure requires freedom. Not starvation. That myth about starving artists producing greatness is a lie. The Renaissance happened due to wealth redistribution after the plagues and massive surge in art patronage. Not because artists starved. It wasn't just a meritocracy. It was a bubble of wealth being spent on art. And suddenly new voices sang up that otherwise would never afford apprenticeships and experimentation.

The reason why you saw a renaissance of American (and European) film and music in the 1940's, 50's 60's and 70's was because of one thing: US Government cultural programs, rent controls, arts foundations incentives, and the GI Bill. A flood of money was poured into cultural pursuits, cheap housing in big cultural centers starting with the New Deal and after the war GI's could go to university and spend a few years fucking around.

IOW for every Michael Angelo, Picasso, John Cassavetes, or a David Bowie you literally need THOUSANDS of different people from different backgrounds trying shit and failing all the time. But they need freedom to fail. That how new genres and movements happen. Not from starvation. But from CULTIVATION.

If you want Rock and Roll you need the bad 'ol government helping culture. You need cheap education that allows people experiment with crazy innovative shit you don't like to land on the shit you do like.

Unless what all you want moving forward is just trust fund babies out there making the same bland corporate rehashed shit forever. If that's what you like, then, congratulations. That's what you will get. But then another nation that funds it's innovators is going to come along and pull the cultural rug out from you.


@41 Sorry. I sort of blurred out over that stream of irrelevant nonsense and didn't finish readying it. So maybe you wrapped it up with some genius explanation for why the the first thee paragraphs were so dumb. Parody, maybe? I'll never know.

I laughed at the claim other nations do not have civil rights but I sort of stopped at "we are more violent."

Soooo... America is inherently more violent? This is your claim?

Is it a force field? Genetic? A wizard? What could it possible be? Hmmmm... I wonder. (But I bet you have some pet theories, right. Some that you'd be hesitant to express outloud unless there were a whole bunch of your white bro's around, right?)

America astonishingly high crime rates and killer police certainly couldn't have anything to do with the casual availability of firearms, the institutional idealization of violence that is absent in many other developed western nations. Or that they spend much more time developing social systems and de-escaltion methods. Or demand much higher training for police.

Nah. That's UN-possible!

No. It must stop with "Americans are violent psychopaths."

And we have perfected a law enforcement system to deal with that which necessitates killing American citizens at the 3X the rate of nearly every other major wealthy OEDC nation. And leave it at that.

Jesus Christ.


@45 - Did you mean Michelangelo? Or you you being funny?

His full name was Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni.



I understand your points, and I've heard them all before, over and over.
Unfortunately, none of them helps solve the problem we have right now. All it is is complaining about how we never should have got here. Well, we're here.

"Hey guys, car's outta gas."

"Well you should have filled it up sooner! You should have bought a more fuel efficient car! You should have had a gas can in the back for emergencies!"

"You're right. Car's still outta gas though."


It's criminal that you don't have to sit down with an academic advisor at the front end and have a very frank talk about career prospects in whatever the major you are considering is, and the likelihood that you will have to get an advanced degree in order to work in the field.

My sister is a sociology professor in CA. One day she proudly told me many of her students were the first in their families to go to college. "Oh they are taking sociology as an elective, right?" I said - thinking that most of them were doing the smart thing and getting engineering, nursing, or an accounting degree. "Oh no they are majoring in sociology."

SMH - finally a chance to change the whole low income thing for your family - and you pick sociology. The fact that my own sibling had to get a PhD and is in debt the rest of her life doesn't see to impact her thoughts on this... SMH.


@48 - Apparently you missed the part where I said that there were a lot of people who need help now. I don't disagree with your car out of gas analogy.

But perhaps its time to put future students on notice that we're not going to pay for the consequences of bad decisions in future. The student debt forgiveness people are talking about now is some serious coin. It's probably a good idea - I am not arguing against it within reason. Fixing the current problem is one thing; setting ourselves up to keep doing it forever is quite another.

@45 - I am not asking for people to starve. But there's a difference between saying we'll help fund a reasonable education at a public school and saying all students have carte blanche to run up giant debts on degrees that will never ever get them a job. I'd wager that most of those GIs who went to school and then spent a few years fucking around ultimately relied on their degrees to get a job after they realized they were not making it as artists.

And I am pretty sure that Rock and Roll came from the blues, which was created by a group of people who never got jack from the Feds.



Leave it to our resident king of spineless fence-sitters to heap praise on one of the most despicable, loathsome and hypocritical humans to have ever handled a microphone. He was a vile, hate-mongering bigot and misogynist who almost single-handedly created the "rage talk" AM radio format back in the late 1980's, thus ushering in the era, even before the advent of the Internet, where every bile-spewing right-wing nut-job felt entitled to bloviate their ignorant, diseased opinions to the masses. Collectively, we as a nation and as a society are all the worse for it, as the past five years culminating in the events of January 6th follow a direct line back to more than 30 years of spewing his insidious, abhorrent and paranoid rhetoric over the airwaves.

As Emily Alford posted on just a couple of hours ago: "Fuck Rush Limbaugh, fuck everyone who liked him, and good fucking riddance. The world is a better place for his death."


I know people with highly marketable degrees graduating with 6 figures of debt so i assure you we can’t fix the student debt crisis by forcing college freshmen to sit down with a career counselor


@52: I suggest you mature enough to respect other peoples' opinions as they are no threat to yours.


@12 - better late than never!


After reforms to the Fairness Doctrine made under Reagan, somebody was going to be Rush Limbaugh. And of course it would be a smug bloated oaf - he could be nothing else. This person who became Rush Limbaugh just happened to have been in the right place at the right time. There isn't much point in personalizing his influence.


@48 I'm more struck by the "everyone who doesn't choose the perfect college major must suffer poverty" thing.

Yeah. Like, that won't come back to bite you or anything. Not with so many once "perfect" college majors being automated out of existence.


Going to college to explore your interests, expand your education and grow as a person ceased to be a thing a long time ago unfortunately. College is now a business proposition and any student who doesn't understand that and treat it as one is going to to get taken to the cleaners like any other bad investment. I've told my kids their goal should be to get through college as quickly and with as little debt as possible. The sad part is I don't think most colleges are even there to help kids, they are more than happy to accept their funds and graduate kids with six figure debt loads with low career propositions.

As for loan forgiveness I could get on board with that for areas where we have a critical need; teachers, health care workers, tech but anyone who ultimately has their loan forgiven also needs to commit to stay in that role for a period of time. Many corporations will subsidize eduction in return for a commitment and this should be no different.

Professor, love the arts and totally agree we need to give people a chance to pursue them. I suspect though you don't need a $150K private liberal arts degree to do that.


@23 - I understand what you are saying, but a homeless shelter everywhere is not the answer. Cancer is a problem that impacts every community in the US, but we don't have cancer care centers in every suburb. Patients get diagnosed locally, and go to the big cities for advanced care. If you don't like the homeless problem in Seattle, move to the burbs. Does great live music and good food outweigh someone taking a crap and tossing needles in your front yard? That's your decision to make.


"saying all students have carte blanche to run up giant debts on degrees that will never ever get them a job."

The entire point is prevent college from necessitating giant debts! But we have to tackle existing debt first. Or this bubble WILL pop. And it will take everyone down with it.

I'm old. Like everyone of my age group we totally benefited from the post-war boost to education which subsidized colleges significantly. My undergrad tuition my first year in college was about $286 a quarter. I could easily work a summer AND PAY FOR AN AN ENTIRE YEAR. (When tuition started to rise I entered my ROTC scholarship, which paid for everything. Room and board.) A few years later and Grad school was still pretty cheap. I exited with ZERO debt.

A decade later those costs ballooned like 300%. For the same degree. I can assure you compensation out in the world did not likewise rise 300%.

Going to college without debt is only possible for the wealthy. This is the problem. It is not going away without some sort of debt forgiveness and restructuring of education.


@59 The problem is the poverty and addiction issues that give rise to homelessness are disproportionally generated in rural and suburban areas. Those regions must likewise bear the proportional social and financial burden.


@57 - I am not saying that they "must" suffer poverty. I don't want ANYONE to suffer poverty.

I AM saying that poverty is a highly predictable consequence of studying things that have very little hope of getting you into the job market. Like it or not, one of the functions of going to college is to improve your ability to earn a living. Do you disagree that an objective knowledge of how your chosen major is likely to affect that ability is a bad thing?

Not saying no one should study English or philosophy. But no one should do so without an understanding of the facts as they pertain to their likely future career or lack thereof. Again, I don't think that colleges are doing a very good job of helping students understand those things. And it is not limited to the humanities.

A lot of people I know (including me) got advanced degrees in the sciences near the end of a large period of expansion in research funding an opportunity. Guess what? The Ponzi scheme collapsed and many people are now radically under-employed or have switched fields. I don't know how predictable these events were, but had we understood what was happening a lot of people probably would have declined to sink multiple years of their lives (think 6 years of graduate school and 3-7 years as a postdoc) into preparing for careers that turned out not to be there. Were we stupid? In some ways yes. But nobody at the universities, who were in a better position to see trends, had any interest in looking into what was happening and imparting that to the younger people coming up. Colleges can do better at that kind of thing than they do now.

Unlike the perhaps-unpredictable collapse in research funding I am describing, it's pretty darned predictable that someone with an undergraduate humanities degree is going to have to do something else (as in get another degree) to become widely employable. All I am saying is that people should know what they are getting into, and the costs (time and $$) that will be incurred in taking those further steps ought to be something that you take into account when making your decision.

I don't know why you are upset by my hope that people will know what the hell they are getting themselves into.

@53 - at a minimum, those with highly marketable degrees have some hope of seeing a return on their investment of time and $$.


Oh Shit, Purdue Pharma's stock is going to take a dive with Oxy Rush out of the picture now.


@60 - I'm old too. Sounds like we were in school about the same time. And I remember that it used to be possible to work your way through college, which is surely impossible now. Yes, we need to make college much more affordable. You'll never hear me arguing against adequate funding for state schools. And yes, we need to do something about the debt bubble we now have. But going forward, I don't think it's unreasonable to take a policy stance that the public will not underwrite essentially unlimited expense for liberal arts degrees (or maybe any degrees) at private colleges. No one needs to go to a $40,000 (or more) private college rather than a state school.


@63, Purdue Pharma isn't publicly traded.


Allowing student loan debt to be dischargeable through bankruptcy might solve the problem... might... I haven't thought it through very much.

It would vaporize shitloads of debt, but also send an unprecedented number of people's credit scores tanking. How would that affect the economy?

It would also suddenly make banks far less likely to give student loans. The private student loan business would probably cease to exist. And good riddance too. They're a HUGE part of the problem we have now. High interest loans to unqualified and possibly uniformed people that can never be discharged? Loans for everyone! Those fuckers are predators. I'm sure the government loan business would be drastically affected as well.

I currently make a great income and have the highest credit score I've ever had (I think 851 last time I checked) but to get rid of my student loan that sucks up $1000 per month for the next 15-ish years? Yeah I'll take that bankruptcy hit.


@50 This is all very confusing and directly contradicts your previous statements.

So our more violent society IS a result of ineffective policies. Our so-called lack of "homogeneity" could be addressed with adequate policy.

My dude, I can tell you from first had lived experience that western Europe's so-called "homogenous" (a dog whistle way of saying "white") culture is not really why they have less murder. It is not so simple.

They have less murder because they did not have a legacy of emphasizing "individualism" over society. They never had societies awash in firearms like the US. They were never as market dominated.

They have less murder because they do not have as an intense relationship to slavery and resultant institutional racism which is where our policing evolved.

They have less murder because their entire societies were almost wiped out by the organized murder of WWII and they sat down and consciously restructured everything to deal with these wide scale society-wide traumas.

If what you claimed was true then Eastern Europe would be a utopia of low murder rates. But it is not. Slovakia has the highest murder rate in Europe. The Bulgaria. Then Romania and Serbia. If what you claim was true Sweden would have a lower homicide rate than Germany. But surprisingly it does not.

The younger nations in the EU that were NOT a part of that 20th century democratic restructuring process have higher homicide rates and those nations are even more "homogenous." Those nations had more historically radical racial and ethnic purges. Were historically more pure. And yet they are more blighted by poverty and murder. Though lower property crime rates for some reason.

These are complicated issues. And they can be addressed by a cold dispassionate analysis of reality and implementing the correct policies. Not some long debunked quasi-race theory bullshit used to justify the status quo which clearly does not work.


@62 for a dude who stubbornly clings to market myth justifications for every little thing you certainly don't appreciate the instant wage suppression effects of flooding the job market with the same degrees.


"No one needs to go to a $40,000 (or more) private college rather than a state school."

Sigh. I'm not sure you grasp that we have identified the grossly inflated cost of those educations as the root of the problem, dude.

THEY SHOULD NOT COST THAT MUCH. Period. In the mean time...


@17 - I have. Numerous times. Among those times were two separate occasions (in a weird coincidence) a man with a large meat carving knife in each hand charged at me in a dead run. On one other occasion, a dude with a fucking spear charged me at a run with a spear held over his head with both hands as if to plunge it into me. Very exciting!

Anyhoo, I had a gun on me in every instance of being attacked and/or threatened with a knife (or fucking spear) and not once was so much as one single shot fired.


Ten thousand is about the right amount. I won't repeat all of the arguments there, but will quote a few sections:

"$10,000 would benefit everyone, which in and of itself is a form of stimulus which would help in the current economic environment," he says. "And the pain of student loan payments are disproportionately felt by those who borrow a relatively small amount. Borrowers who owe $10,000 or less tend to be the ones who are closest to the point of default, who are struggling the most to make payments."

"When it comes to people who owe $50,000 or more, there are definitely some people in there who are struggling," says Walker. "But they often tend to be graduate and in particular, professional school graduates, who often have relatively good financial prospects."

"I definitely think some measure of student debt forgiveness is a good thing. I see it as basically recompense for a string of bad policy failures," says Josh Bivens, economist and director of research at the Economic Policy Institute. "Policymakers cut back funding for higher education, and these cutbacks were made up with huge increases in tuition costs, forcing people to take on more debt. Policymakers failed to police diploma-mills and the predatory for-profit sector. And finally, policymakers made decisions that prolonged the recovery from the Great Recession far, far longer than it had to be, making it super-hard for many debt-holders to earn enough reliably to pay off debts."

[End Quotes]

Thus there is a moral case for erasing the debt. It is nowhere near as strong as the case for reparations, but this being America, that isn't even being considered. $10,000 covers most of the needy, and a good chunk of those that were ripped off. Anything more and you have a tougher case both economically (way better ways to help the economy) as well as morally.


@13 We have been dealing with Mental Illnesses for thousands of years and evidently haven't made much progress.

We should however stop treating it as a Get Out of Jail Free Card. Often times Messers Holmes and Satterberg have released violent criminals back to the street claiming the criminals were not competent to stand trial.

Well if they aren't competent enough to stand trial they aren't competent enough to be allowed out on the streets. Institutionalize them until they are competent. Then put them on trial.


@72 then clearly you are for the subsequent increase in your taxes to pay for the massive swell in the incarceration of mentally ill people.



Your concern (trolling) is duly noted. Now, kindly go fuck yourself, you craven, boot-licking apologist for an absolutely abominable - and now dead - walking pile of shit.


Another quote (same article):

"Any debt forgiveness program puts a Band-Aid on a massive gaping wound. How do we fix the wound first? Many believe that the real problem is the actual overall cost of college," says Stacey MacPhetres, senior director of education finance at workplace education benefits company Bright Horizons. "Any proposals that lead us in that direction make a lot of sense."

I also think that government sponsored student counseling is a really good idea. There are a lot of bright young people that let themselves get ripped off. They will research the fuck out of buying a phone, but focus only on the promises of a school, not the cost. Easy loans make the problem worse. They focus on the payments, not the actual cost. They don't bargain shop.

Even in the public sphere there is a shitload of ignorance. If your parents are paying for your education, then sure, go to the UW (or WSU, or any other state school). But if you are footing the bill, you are way better off going to community college. With an associate degree, you are guaranteed a spot at the UW (or any other state school). A lot of people also don't understand that the trades tend to pay really well. I'm not saying it is for everyone, but there are a lot of people with associate degrees that make way more than those with a bachelor's.

But lots of people don't know this, and the colleges are in no hurry to tell them. The private schools feed off the impression that the better the school, the better the career. For that matter, so do high end public colleges (like the UW). That may be true for getting a doctorate, but it really doesn't matter that much for a bachelor's (and again, for a lot of jobs, an associate degree is fine). Besides, after a few years, nobody gives a fuck where you went to school. Oh, and those "connections" you thought you would make by going to the fancy school aren't worth shit, either. The rich fuckers hang out with rich fuckers.


@73 "then clearly you are for the subsequent increase in your taxes to pay for the massive swell in the incarceration of mentally ill people."

Of course. What possibly would leave you to believe otherwise?



Obviously allowing the mentally ill to refuse treatment and kicking them out onto the street is the least compassionate, least humane, choice we could ever make. Even putting them under the care of Nurse Ratched would be more compassionate than what we are doing now.

I'm fully in favor of funding Mental Health care in this country.

But I'm also in favor of making compulsory civil commitment much easier. As someone pointed out above the way imminent danger of harm clause has been interpreted means they have to actually have caused the harm before you can do anything.

Forcing the mentally ill to take their meds and housing them in institutions designed for them is far more compassionate then letting them camp on sidewalks and in city parks to be preyed on by other mentally ill individuals and by criminals.


"What possibly would leave you to believe otherwise?"

Oh. You know. Just everything you say nearly everyday.


@78 You mean like a couple of days ago when I agreed with you about Washington's regressive tax regime?


lol, why is it shocking that people wouldn't want homeless in their neighborhood?

and no, its not because evil NIMBY's "don't want to see poor people" - its because a huge % of the campers/whatever are criminals and fuck up neighborhoods by stealing everything in sight. not for food, not for rent, not for lil Debbies diapers - for drugs. add to tat total the people suffering from severe mental illness? who would want to live near that?


So, when cop apologists sneeringly ask, "have you ever been attacked by (fill in blank)," and I say, well, as a matter of fact, yeah...several times, then suddenly with you lot that first-hand experience is discounted or minimized? Huh, imagine that!

You're the same ones who love to yell, "Hey, you can't judge unless you've walked a mile in their shoes." Shit, dude, I've walked 1,000 miles in their shoes...their shoes are my shoes...but my decades of first-hand experience is suddenly trivialized anyway when it doesn't conform to your tightly-held pre-conceived notions...shocker.

Get this, one of my supervisory jobs as a sergeant and lieutenant was to review shooting investigations for compliance and areas to improve. I mean, that shit was my actual fucking job for nearly 20 of those 30 years.

Cops as a group are too quick to pull the trigger on those armed with weapons other than firearms. We trained our guys to retreat as much as safety to themselves and others allowed, to give them time to talk people down; trade space for time.

But many officers around the country are not.

Sure, sometimes it will be necessary to shoot someone with a knife...or fucking spear...or frying pan or whatever, but the fact is that US cops shoot people armed with such items far more often than they have to, far more.

Why people like you would be opposed to efforts to reduce such shootings, or even the desire to do so, is fucking beyond me. Unless you just get off on seeing vulnerable people in crisis getting blown away. I suspect that's actually the case.

Oh, one of the two dudes I encountered with a carving knife in each hand? A young off-duty firefighter wanting to suicide by cop. I didn't know that until afterward. But, that's who would have been buried had I stood my ground ...and my partner stood his, too... and filled him full of holes until he was down.

You and your fellow apologists would have cheered it on.


"As a legal matter, how do you say afted the fact, beyond a reasonable doubt, there was no reasonable way, in the moment, a cop, or non-cop, had no reasonable basis to conclude."

Yeah. It's always "after the fact", isn't it?

You've cultivated a culture and system where it's always justified to kill. Super convenient for you. And even when it obviously is justified there are rarely consequences for killing. Cool. Cool. Cool.

So you can't do so "after the fact." This is the problem. It allows you apologists for murder and brutality to constantly retreat behind unjust craven and laws. So we're always "after the fact."

So. You do so BEFORE THE FACT by:

Changing the rules of engagement and altering the dominant paradigm of "defensive firearms are paramount" like nearly every other civilized nation on earth.

By requiring stricter /better standards in hiring and training than the laughable training and low standards in hiring American law enforcement.

We need to restructure civilian payouts by moving them from taxpayer money to police department insurance policies. Force individual officers to carry liability insurance.
Officers terminated for misconduct must never be allowed to EVER work in law enforcement
ever again.
Discard shield laws and qualified immunity so abusive officers CAN be punished. Any officer involved in a fatal shooting is treated the same as any other homicide, excepting that investigation is done by firewalled authority .
By passing protection laws for whistleblowers

Lastly we hold police budgets hostage/reduce budgets until reforms are implemented —no more automatic budget increases.


This is the problem. It allows you apologists for murder and brutality to constantly retreat behind unjust craven and laws. So we're always "after the fact."

So. You do so BEFORE THE FACT by:

Changing the rules of engagement and altering the dominant paradigm of "defensive firearms are paramount" like nearly every other civilized nation on earth.

By requiring stricter /better standards in hiring and training than the laughable training and low standards in hiring American law enforcement.

We need to restructure civilian payouts by moving them from taxpayer money to police department insurance policies. Force individual officers to carry liability insurance.
Officers terminated for misconduct must never be allowed to EVER work in law enforcement
ever again.

Discard shield laws and qualified immunity so abusive officers CAN be punished. Any officer involved in a fatal shooting is treated the same as any other homicide, excepting that investigation is done by firewalled authority .

By passing protection laws for whistleblowers

Lastly we hold police budgets hostage/reduce budgets until reforms are implemented —no more automatic budget increases.




Prof. Hiz-

I think you may be misrepresenting my views a bit. I get that markets can't do everything. I'm all for universal healthcare (or at least expanding Medicare if that's what is politically possible). I'm all for public housing. And public schools. And public universities. And the taxes to pay for all of that. We need those things. And I very much appreciate that I got to attend public universities at a time when they were affordable.

The only issue where I have consistently claimed here that the market needs to be the solution is rent control. Why? Because IT DOESN'T FUCKING SOLVE THE PROBLEM. I went to school in a town with strict rent controls. Note that I did not say i lived there. I could not afford too, because getting an apartment there required bribing the landlords & I didn't have a spare $2000. Rent control creates a few winners (the ones who land the cheap apartments) and far more losers (those who did not get the cheap apartments, and the ones who never get to live in the apartments that no one wants to build because of the rent controls). So yes, in that instance I see a market solution (i.e., build a house for everyone who wants to live here) as pretty much the way out.

As far as your point about flooding the market with too many of the same degree, I totally understand that can be a problem. But I'd argue that sending out thousands of college grads who are essentially unemployable is not any better in terms of policy. And the salaries that are being paid to tech people just out of school suggests to me that we have not remotely approached "too many of the same degree."

Frankly, we ought to be encouraging more people to enter the trades instead of college. We need tradespeople and more people entering apprenticeship programs would create a lot of opportunities.

All I've been saying is that people need to give some thought to whether the amount they are spending on their educations, and whether it makes sense. I do think that, going forward, telling everyone that we'll erase as much debt as they want to take on is terrible policy. Helping thse who are caught in a vise now is another matter and appropriate to at least some degree. Finally, we need to hunt down those who ran the for-profit diploma mills based on encouraging excessive debt rather than educating people and cut their balls off.