The Afghanistan War is the longest war in U.S. history.
The Afghanistan War is the longest war in U.S. history. Scott Olson/Getty
OK it was sunny as fuck today: But our lil' blog's been busy indoors* cooking up stories for you from AM 'til PM. In case you missed it:
  • Rich Smith tells you why you should call state Sen. Bob Hasegawa and other senators and ask them wtf they're doing sabotaging the clean fuels bill.
  • Matt Baume wrote about Rain on Your Parade, a video game that will "fulfill your fiendish fantasies."
  • Nathalie Graham on who's raised the most money in the 2021 election so far.
  • Mudede revels in director Dieudo Hamadi's "aesthetic elaboration of black skin" in the film Downstream to Kinshasa, which is screening virtually at SIFF 2021.
  • An Art Mailbox round-up from Yours Truly
  • And a Reader Survey! Please take a couple of moments to fill 'er out, we want to know more about you :)

  • *Actually, I'm getting word that Mudede wrote his film review in a park.

    We can't let Idaho get this big: Yesterday, the Idaho state Legislature heard from representatives of Move Oregon's Borders (MOB, lol), a group pushing for Idaho to move its borders to encompass the more conservative parts of rural Oregon. Under this plan, Greater Idaho would EXTEND TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN, its population would grow by 50%, and it'd become the third-largest state. According to KTVB7, Oregonian Mike McCarter, president of MOB, said some Oregonians would be willing to give up some of their Oregon-granted freedoms if the movement is successful. This is all a bunch of nonsensical bullshit, but we will be watching.

    The man killed in last week's house fire was identified: 70-year-old Michael Gross died in an accidental house fire last Wednesday caused by "a portable space heater placed too close to combustible materials." The nearby Polish Home will hold a gathering to remember Gross and plan to name a special drink in his honor. Read more about Gross's life on CHS Blog.

    The Washington state Legislature passed a bill banning the use of Indigenous names, symbols, and images as school mascots, logos, or team names at most public schools in Washington, reports KNKX. The rule goes into effect on Jan. 1 of next year. Offending schools will have some time to phase out any current inappropriate use of Indigenous representation and culture, but are "required to select a new mascot by Dec. 31 to take effect by the end of the 2021-22 school year."

    A quick update from Stranger writer Matt Baume:

    Nearly a year later, the Seattle Police Department provided footage of the explosion at the East Precinct. Last July, we put in a public records request for any materials related to the firecracker (or whatever it was) that blew a small hole in the wall of the East Precinct and was used as justification for erecting a fortress around the station. Well, it's a year later, and they finally got around to it. Here's the footage in question. Thank GOD the Tesla wasn't damaged.

    The moment in question.
    The moment in question. Seattle Police Department

    Thanks Matt!

    On Wednesday, Biden will announce that he's pulling troops out of Afghanistan by September 11: Symbolically, just before the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that kicked off this imperialistic, fearmongering, and horrifically violent war, reports CNN. This move will actually extend American troop presence in the country for another four months as the Trump administration had made a deal with the Taliban to pull U.S. forces out by May 1. There are around 2,500 troops currently in Afghanistan, and there are plans to have "some" remain "to provide diplomatic security."

    OK, I know murder hornets have the potential to devastate our ecosystem, but now I'm kind of sympathizing with them: The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) is pushing the gas pedal on eradicating these fuckers. According to KING 5, they have proposed a new rule that would "impose a quarantine on all live hornets (genus Vespa), which would outlaw the sale, distribution or knowing movement of hornets in Washington." The rule is up for public comment and a virtual meeting about it is set for May 11. If passed, it could go into effect this summer.

    Audits of Washington's unemployment agency find it was "wholly unprepared" to stop the swindling of more than $640 million last year: According to the Seattle Times, a state employee is also under investigation for a "potential misappropriation" of an "undisclosed" amount of unemployment funds. More from Paul Roberts and Jim Brunner at the Times:

    The Auditor also said the state Employment Security Department’s (ESD) may have understated the total losses due to fraud, which the audit suggested could run as high as $1.1 billion once all claims flagged for investigation are reviewed. But in a statement Tuesday, the ESD sharply disputed that finding as “a gross mischaracterization of possible fraud loss.”

    A quick break for the weather:

    As Rich mentioned in AM: Federal health officials have recommended suspending the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six out of the 6.8 million people (!!!) who received the vax developed a rare blood clotting disorder. Politico reports that federal officials are prepping for a "potentially lengthy disruption in use of the J&J vaccine, particularly for certain groups — such as women ages 18-48, who make up all of the known clotting cases."

    Biden wants us to chill out though: Before meeting with Congressional Black Caucus members today, the president told reporters that he "made sure we have 600 million doses" of Pfizer and Moderna, which have so far not been any cause for concern. In fact, Pfizer ramped up production of their COVID vaccine and "can deliver 10% more doses to the U.S. by the end of May than previously agreed." But global vaccination rates reveal a shocking imbalance between rich and poor nations—maybe we can seriously start diverting doses to countries that need it? Just a thought!

    The white police officer who killed Daunte Wright and her white chief of police have resigned: Former officer Kim Potter and former police chief Tim Gannon's resignations come after two days of protest in the Minneapolis area following the killing of Wright on Sunday. Brooklyn Center mayor Mike Elliott said he was "appreciative" of Potter stepping down but that we "have to make sure that justice is served, justice is done."

    Meanwhile: Derek Chauvin's trial for killing George Floyd continues with the defense calling their first witnesses today, dredging up Floyd's arrest in 2019. No doubt, they are trying to murder Floyd's character in the court of law—despicable. Today, Daunte Wright's aunt also revealed that Floyd's girlfriend was her nephew's former teacher. Police violence destroys communites:

    Also of note: The Kenosha, WI cop who shot Jacob Blake in the back SEVEN TIMES? He's back on active duty. According to Kenosha police chief Daniel Miskinis, that white cop—Rusten Sheskey—was "found to have been acting within policy and will not be subjected to discipline." I want to cry.

    Gov. Inslee is communting the sentences of 15 people convicted of drug possession charges: The commutations come after the drug possession law was declared unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court in February. According to the Times, the 15 formerly incarcerated people will get released from prison.

    4Culture recently announced their 2021 Arc Artist Fellows: Diego Binuya, Monyee Chau, Joyee Runninghawk, Kaya Stokes, Mikhail Calliste, and Saiyana Suzumura are the six BIPOC artists and activists selected for this fellowship that came with an unrestricted $12,000 grant. Mark Van Streefkerk has more on each artist over at the South Seattle Emerald.

    A suggestion: Mugler Spring/Summer 2021.