Slog AM: A Billionaire and His Crew Returns from Space, COVID Spikes Worldwide, and Have You Heard of Pyrocumulonimbuses?



Happy trails Nathalie! You're a compelling writer, and have an amazing smile.


Nathalie NOOOOOOO! :(
You will be so missed, but onward and upward for you, and I wish you nothing but success in all future endeavors. <3


“Regardless, a momentous day for the richest man on the planet. The company he founded employs thousands of workers reliant on food stamps.”

are the Food Stamps
the Citizenry provides

or is OUR Subsidizing his
poorly-paid Employees
Billionaire Socialism

in The Known Universe*
got there by the Citizenry
subsidizing their poorly-paid

And then there’s the Crime fambly
that Engineered our Opiate Pandemic

shall we let them
keep their Ill-Gotten
BILLIONS? having a rather
Hard time with this particular one…

*the Waltons
of Walmart infamy


damn Natty
you hung in there
thru thick and thin

if only they'd given you
more Time to recuperate

gonna Miss
you Grrl.


it's just



Just do not say you are going to work for the Seattle Times with Heidi and Sydney... oh Nathalie no....


«[M]odest police reform bills [is leading] to some hand-wringing by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs...The bills include a ban on chokeholds, limits on chases and tear gas, and a prohibition on weapons that fire .50 caliber rounds or larger.»

Police become confused and angry when told their ability to murder citizens has been curtailed. Need any more proof of their intentions than this?


@6. A non-lethal beanbag round is over 50 caliber. So is a solid shotgun slug which is used for blowing a deadbolt apart when they have to breach a door to get to the DV vic that is facing murder-suicide by their abuser. The Legislature wrote exemptions for neither (and other legit uses).


@7 What part of 'Lawmakers say they're working with the state AG "to offer law enforcement agencies clarity on that and other laws." ' did you not understand? And incidentally, if law enforcement agencies had been willing to provide constructive feedback during the lawmaking process, they probably could have gotten those issues fixed before the law was even passed.



If you've ever seen anyone hit by a "non-lethal" bean bag, as I have (do a Google Image search for "injuries from police bean bags" if you want to see some pretty gruesome images), then you'd understand the bill was rather intentional on not making an exception for them.

As for unlocking deadbolts, any competent locksmith can do that in just a few seconds using a small screwdriver. If they can do it, it should be very easy to train LEO's to do it as well - unless you want to argue about the relative intelligence or manual dexterity skills of your typical "officer friendly".


@12 How often do paramedics call in LEOs to detain/wrestle/control patients who "need treatment" but don't consent? Feel free to provide monthly or yearly counts by city, county, or state. It seems like a ... remote possibility that exists mainly in fever dreams. Please correct me with data if I'm wrong, though.


If robbers don't hang around after the robbery then it's actually a good thing that the police can't just randomly detain people for being in the vicinity after a robbery occurred. Lots of innocent people have had their lives destroyed by simply matching a general description of an assailant while being in the wrong place at the wrong time.



They don't have any data, just lore.


@9, They can work all they want with the State AG. The State AG can offer a legal opinion, but until the language is tested in court by a litigant or prosecutor, that quotation means nothing. The Legislature often writes language that sweeps up things they did not intend to capture, or omits things they did. Welcome to democracy and rule of law.


@13, The police weren't doing what you allege, "The police just can't randomly violate the constitutional rights of suspects based on third hand and usually incomplete descriptions!"

The 4th Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure (detaining), not all search and seizure, without probable cause or a warrant. So when they detained three people wearing white t-shirts, that were (insert skin color), (insert gender), wearing shorts, where a victim reported being robbed at gunpoint, and gave that general description, police complied with the 4th Amendment. It's reasonable that one of the three may be the suspect.

SCOTUS, under very liberal courts, have said that's a reasonable seizure. It's reasonable to hold them where they are detained, bring the victim by to either say that one of them is the dude (so they can be arrested), or that none of them are (or that they aren't sure), at which point they are released. That's a floor, not a ceiling. So the Legislature raised the bar. Now that robber will never be apprehended. They can't seize the person fleeing the scene to see if the victim will I.D. them.

Have you actually read the Constitution? "Unreasonable" is a modifier of "search" and "seizure". Why put it in if the Constitution intended to prevent all searches and seizures without probable cause or a warrant?


@20 The thing is that the various executive departments usually write implementing regulations for any new law that clarify the legal language written by the Legislature into something a little more user-friendly. The regulations also can amplify or define things that were not defined in the law. Addressing an example above, they could say that a crowd-control beanbag is not considered a "round" under the law, so it doesn't fall under the "rounds >= 0.50 caliber" rule. The shotgun slug mentioned above probably would still be banned though. Of course, if the law defines a round, the AG has a lot less flexibility in writing the implementing regulations. If anyone wants to post the bill number, I can look at the legislative language.

The Legislature is made of human beings and they sometimes make mistakes that get all the way through the process. The solution is to either lobby constructively through the process or to ask for technical clarifications in the next session. Either way, histrionics aren't the way to get that done.


@10 - Beanbag rounds are an invaluable less-lethal device and should be more widely available, in my pro opinion. If they were, there would be lot less deaths, a lot less.

As to door breaches, sometimes "dynamic" entry is best and sometimes stealth is best. There is not a one-size-fits-all response here.

But this is all a lot of fuss over not much of anything. It's not unusual for new laws regarding anything to have an oversight or three. They'll fix these issues as they would with any other bill. I fail to see the big deal or why this is even news.

I'm gonna miss Nat, my favorite slogger. Sigh....


See you space cowgirl...


Nothing triggers the Sloggers like Bezos. He’s living rent free in your heads.


On a number of occasions, I thought to comment that Nathalie should leave The Stranger for her own good.

She’s surrounded by a righteous asshole writing staff that is warping her brain - the peer pressure must be head-spinning, and she genuinely seems better than that.

Nathalie, I know you would never publicly admit it (nor should you - don’t burn your bridges), but good for you for leaving this downward-spiraling intellectually-bankrupt propaganda hate-read of a “publication". I’m sure you had some fun, learned a lot, made some friends, but I hope you find something more worthy. You go girl!

What the fuck happened to The Stranger? I had friends back in the day that wrote for TS. Good or bad, it certainly wasn’t about being a righteous asshole back then.


@14 Requests for law enforcement to help with “medical restraint” are more common than you’d think. No, I don’t have data and don’t care whether or not you believe me. Ask your local firefighters who work downtown.


Part of me wished Bezos would erect a full-scale mockup of a New Shepard at AMZN HQ in Seattle - right next to his three big ole' balls...



I see what you did there...


Also, for those of you too young to remember - which probably accounts for 80% of SLOGGERS - today is the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.


And if you want to watch footage of the EVA:

BTW, it's no accident Bezos picked this day to make his puny little suborbital hop...


Reassuring to see the trade unions making a comeback, all the more so with Amazon phasing out warehouse COVID testing and Jeff Bezos using surplus capital from underpaying his employees to fund a trip to outer space, which is where he and his fellow capitalist Royal Scammers belong.

Please take Rep. Marilyn Strickland and Rep. Marilyn Strickland along for the ride on your next trip in the Amazonian phallic symbol and release them into hyper-space.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s call for a wealth tax is now more imperative than ever before.

Once again we are reminded that automobiles are instruments of death, and the devastated understatement from the victim’s spouse “…I need to yell at that person a little bit at least because we had plans…" is chilling testament to the lethality that surrounds us from the hazards of inebriated drivers and these fossil-fuel burning metal monsters.

Police are confused and trigger-happy enough already without further “Geneva Convention” guidelines for them to ignore and attack people of color. Let’s defund the gestapo and redirect those resources to health and human service issues like homelessness and poverty.

So sorry to lose Nathalie Graham, whose reports on cryogenics and mall ghosts were real eye-openers and explained many uneasy moments at vacant Macy’s and Sears stores, with zombie-like sales staff and mysterious cold spots with phantom fanny pinches, especially down in the basement appliance department.

Will Jeff Bezos have his hairy physical manifestation flash-frozen and preserved for future generations to ponder? Another Stranger reporter will have to tackle this thought-provoking idea.

Yes, yes, a thousand time yes, Medicare should be permitted to negotiate drug prices, and those lawmakers who threw a wrench in the works on this bill should be drawn and quartered.

With certainty, money talks and Big Pharma is running the show and self-advocating for insupportable, outrageous drug pricing.

Vote for representative with big hairy balls or ballettes who are not intimidated by these inhumane corporate exploiters.


Good luck to Nathalie! Wherever she goes, at least the comments sections are likely to be kinder.

@28: "What the fuck happened to The Stranger? I had friends back in the day that wrote for TS. Good or bad, it certainly wasn’t about being a righteous asshole back then."

Pfft. I don't believe you were ever a regular reader if that's your opinion of this paper. Guess you don't know the history behind Santorum's Google problem, or their relationship with Mars Hill Church, or their stance on "pregnancy resource centers," or the entire tenure of Ansel Herz, just to name a few.

The majority of the paper's staff - and many of its regular readers/commenters, certainly including myself - have always been righteous assholes.


Bezos' rocket launcher returns to earth and lands in one piece. Why not just ride it back down? Why separate the capsule and have it land under parachutes? I don't get it.


Nathalie------agreed and seconded with Lissa @2 and others---NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! :(
I can't imagine The Stranger or SLOG AM/ PM without you. Thank you for all your wonderful articles. You will be highly missed. Wishing you all the very best in your next life chapter.

Leave it to Jeff Bezos to launch an over-glorified rocket in the shape of a giant dildo into space on taxpayers' money. Too bad Bezos and his .000000000000000000001% ilk can't be blasted off into outer space, never to return.

@32 COMTE: I do remember Apollo 11---I was just shy of my fifth birthday. I remember being pissed that Saturday morning cartoons had been cancelled so that the three networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS---yes, younger commenters--we had only three channels back then!) could air the live coverage of the NASA astronauts, commanded by Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldin, et al. Well, I was only five back then. The only space action I was into involved Marvin Martin and his dog, K-9 in the Warner Bros cartoons.
52 years ago we got excited about putting the first man on the moon. Only since January 20, 2021 we finally have Vice President Kamala Harris as the only woman coming close to the U.S. Presidency.

@36 pollysexual & @37 Knat: +1 & 2 for the WIN! Agreed, seconded, and thirded..


@39: Arrrrgggghhh, the unintentional typos! Correction: make that: "The only space action I was into back then involved Marvin Martian and his dog, K-9."
Good thing I just stocked up on red wine.


Best regards, Nathalie, and thank you for the many wonderful articles you have written!


All I know is that I saw two very annoyed police trying to diffuse a situation where a dude was refusing to pay a cabby and thought to myself, "hey, isn't there supposed to be some community action team replacement for the police so they aren't the be-all, end-all in everyone's petty, bullshit arguments? Whatever happened to that?"; and then I kept walking.


Nathalie, best wishes for you.
I'll be looking for your byline...

Knat @37. Spot on with that last paragraph.... Been there. Nice to see your avatar looking normal again.



It's a matter of simple physics. New Shepard's BE-3 engine isn't powerful enough to propel the entire stack into space, or even get a payload into orbit, so it's been designed to separate and allow the much lighter capsule to use the momentum generated by the launch to take a ballistic trajectory that will take it up to the edge of space, while at the same time the booster stage reserves enough fuel to allow it to return to earth and make a controlled landing, like Musk's Falcon 9. Once the capsule reaches the top of its parabolic arc (like when you throw a ball into the air) its inertia is depleted and it drops back down towards the surface, deploying parachutes to slow the fall to a velocity that is safe for landing.

Also, there's a matter of safety. With reserve fuel onboard, the booster is basically a giant bomb. Rocket propulsion is simply a long, controlled explosive detonation, so if something goes wrong with the landing - ka-boom! - there goes your capsule, consumed in a massive fireball. Really, bad for business.

The concept of a 1950's sci-fi movie style, full-up single-stage-to-orbit vehicle currently is simply too impractical of a design, until we have engines powerful enough (movies like George Pal's "Destination Moon" assumed this kind of rocket would require a nuclear powered engine, a design that's been tested, but never put into production because of the obvious environmental risk should one explode) to be able to launch a one-piece rocket, along with all its fuel, crew, consumables, and cargo into space and return it to the ground.



You must be mis-remembering; Eagle touched down on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, which was a Sunday, not a Saturday.


@45 COMTE: Thanks for further clarification on the Eagle landing. Well, after all, I was only just turning 5 way back then, and with a typically short attention span for a soon-to-be kindergartner. So my fifth birthday in 1969 fell on a Wednesday (ten days after "The Eagle has landed"). Good FYI to know. While my memory is admittedly vague regarding the exact day and time of the Moon landing, there did seem to be a tremendous lot of Apollo 11 / NASA TV coverage on the news at the time, rivaling ongoing updates on the Vietnam War.
For the record, it's nice (for me, anyway) to know that Saturday morning cartoon air time slots actually weren't effected by the moon landing. As per usual, I still got my weekly fill of Bugs Bunny's wascally wabbit antics. I guess what skewed my long term memory was something my maternal grandmother's third husband had said to me, in surprise and amazement:
"Cartoons won't be on TV because that's when all the space ships come down. Don't you want to see the space ships?."
Nope. Grizelda wanted to find out if Marvin Martian really did have an elaborate plan to blow up the Earth that weekend.