Slog AM: Trump's Lawyers Are in Trouble, Seattle Restaurants Are in Trouble, and Twitch Has a Swastika Problem

Comments

1

I'm certainly no expert on these matters, but - aren't those candy corn BUTT PLUGS?

2

While many restaurant owners are still pushing the “nobody wants to work” idea the reality is quite different.

Folks have just left the industry for something else, for a variety of reasons.

Restaurant owners are also crowing about the higher-than-before wages they are offering to lure in new hires - the truth is, especially in kitchens, while wages may be slightly higher they are for positions where instead of being one of a five person operation, you’ll be one of three, ie doing quite a bit more work for a little extra money. Owners are saving money even when paying more because they’ve used covid as an excuse to permanently cut staff/payroll.

Then there’s the fact that serving the public just isn’t a lot of fun even during the best of times - now expected to enforce state and the restaurant’s mandates and policies it’s even worse.

3

Why do we demand better behavior from our game show hosts than the people running our country?

4

jeopardy! host Pro-survival of the Fittest?
that makes her a Good "republican"!
and yet they still go to the Doctor.

Vaccines?
No!
Darwin Awards?
Si!

plus trumpf
Metals of Freedoms!
(only $99.99 plus S&H. so
figure about $400.oo* plusTax.)

*if you're a trumpfist
you'll 'understand.'

5

Bialik specifically wrote “I do not subscribe to this.” Are we now policing the explanations a person gives for other people’s opinions, even when they explicitly say they themselves do not hold those opinions?

6

@5 No "we" are not. Only a few loudmouthed insignificant blowhards are.

7

OK, the juxtaposition of the Kabul Airport and Seattle restaurants items was a little jarring for me this morning. Guesty @2, good comment. One of Seattle's great treasures is its restaurant scene, but it's clear we've been taking our restaurant staff for granted and the economics of trying to live in this city drive away workers.

You write: "where instead of being one of a five person operation, you’ll be one of three, ie doing quite a bit more work for a little extra money." The danger here is sort of a vicious cycle where:
1. Things are bad for workers.
2. Workers quit.
3. Things get worse for the workers who remain because the employers just don't get it.
Repeat until things spiral down the drain.

We're seeing this now with nurses and physicians with COVID. Goodness knows it's a situation that has become endemic to the software industry, although at least for programmers, unlike for nurses and doctors, it's (normally) not a matter of life and death.

The great irony is that these are all downsides of there being a STRONG labor market—it's like, be careful what you wish for when it comes to your job skills being in demand—within the context of weak government and cultural support for labor.

9

@1 I was thinking the same. where da candy corn flavor lube at, is what I want to know.

10

someone should see if Andy Richter is available to host jeopardy. he destroyed in his appearance on celebrity jeopardy and has TV personality chops. might be fun to bring a comedic flair to the show.

11

Good Lord. Taking the time to go through comment archives (@8) to hunt for a zinger "got ya" is pathetic. Paints a portrait of a unhappy and vengeful neurotic.

12

@8 - yes, and?

That really has nothing to do with my comments on the Seattle restaurant situation. Not only did I not suggest “the city” do anything about it, I made no mention of wages, cost of living other than to suggest that many restaurant owners are full of it in suggesting they are throwing money around and just can’t get any of these lazy workers to get on board.

You’re a weirdo, dude.

13

@5
That twitter tweeter can't 100% sure that "I do not subscribe to this" isn't some performative falsification that allows controversial ideas into polite society that might corrupt the youth. It's such a slippery slope if a child can be allowed to die during birth because that's the way the baby bounced, then the woman dieing in childbirth and the child surviving is allowing natural section to take its course as well. Death is so untenable to polite society they insist on souls surviving death.

Of course this twitterer and Matt did more to broadcast the idea than Bialik appears to have done or perhaps they are the ones doing the performative falsification or it could be me and I lack the self awareness to tell the difference.

14

the fundamental problem is a lack of respect for service workers in our society and the low pay is simply one reflection of that. When I go out to eat, it's not difficult to see which customers have had a customer service job at some point in the past and which haven't.

can totally see some restaurant owner giving their employees an extra buck or two and hour, then lording it over them and behaving like the greatest philanthropists that ever walked the earth. The low pay is a sign of a deeper problem that a strong economy can help remedy, but society would be better off if many of these people were simply driven out of business.

15

@6 No "we" are not. Only a few loudmouthed insignificant blowhards are.

In this case, Mr. schmacky was referring to Mr. Baume. He should have been more specific. But he does have a good point.

17

@13 Thanks for the laugh

18

@16 - nope, no contradiction - I’m not expecting anyone to step in and “fix” this, just commenting on the realities of the current situation in the industry, which I’m no longer a part of but still have many friends and acquaintances in. I made no suggestion or demand for higher wages, etc…Who is complaining about living in poverty? Not me. Who is complaining about their labor status? Not me.

The labor “crisis” will either fix itself and the industry will begin to change or it won’t and the restaurant experience will suffer for workers and customers alike.

You are reaching for straws here and constructing an argument for your own strange needs for some reason.

21

For the longest time it's been "get a better job" when people working in the service industry have lobbied for better wages. Way too many people complained $15 an hour was too much for people to ask for (how dare they)!

Now the restaurant industry is getting what it deserves. People have left to work elsewhere. (and lest we forget, service industry workers and health care workers make up most of the people who have died in the pandemic, after elderly people in long term care facilities).

Restaurants are not essential. They just aren't. And if the restaurant business can't pay people living wages and get people to pay the real cost of eating out, well guess what, then it's over. People will have to get over it. They will have to learn how to buy and cook their own goddamn food. In the history of the world and all of the problems we have going on right now, it's at the bottom of the list of problems we have in this country.

This country has set itself up as a service industry economy to serve the wealthy. Welp. Guess that's over now.

22

@ 2 Restaurants are short on labor due to the massive closure and shut down of the industry over the past year. Many hospitality workers found different jobs.... like construction, IT, retail etc.

So, wages will necessarily have to rise and are rising.. to attract workers to this industry. The free market will pretty much fix this problem in a very efficient and quick manner.... amazingly without the long flabby arm of nanny state's half ass, useless efforts of $15 Now to control the labor market. (Wasn't that a major failure and hot mess)

What you are now seeing is rising menu prices, smaller menus with limited options so a restaurant doesn't need as many line cooks, shorter hours or closing on slow days...and substitutions of cheaper ingredients, along with greater customer dissatisfaction.

Next up, will be another round of restaurants and owners who simply throw in the towel...fed up with high labor cost, food costs, government regulations....and a lawless landscape of vagrants, crime and an apathetic do nothing city council.

The restaurant industry will experience a nice recession, jobs will disappear and eventually market equilibrium will be reached. From there it will slowly recover and I say slowly because struggling with high built in labor costs (thank you $15 + now) and it will take time for anybody with brains to want to enter the Seattle market again.

23

I prefer to differentiate between restaurant/bar service workers and fast food service workers. I don't have a lot of sympathy for the restaurant/bar workers (based on my definition above). They make their wages plus tips based on pretty damn expensive menu / drink options.

Someone working at Starbuck's is dealing with a ton more shit than the hipster bartender in Ballard, but one is making 5x's more money.

24

@21: "Restaurants are not essential" - what kind of pompous malarky is that? Oh, I suppose in a philosophical sense in a very dismal world you might have point. Don't you feel for Truckers who would enjoy a meal out of their cab? Or even chefs who enjoy their profession?

But go ahead, think of the most outrageous pronouncements from your pouty perch to embellish your points. In the long run, it's amusing.

(but yesterday, I gave you an FTW, go figure)

25

People have such a weird conception of how evolution works. Like there are lots of reasons for complications during childbirth that have nothing to do with the “fitness” of the baby. Letting a newborn die because their birth was difficult is a really strange idea to entertain, even in a shruggy “people are saying” sort of way. She is clearly speaking on behalf of a community she belongs to, and those people believe this. Letting an infant die from a complicated childbirth is a cruel thing to do and an extremely abnormal to believe is good, just so we’re all clear.

The problem is that social media & the internet have given people too many opportunities to overshare. I don’t care if she has weird beliefs about modern medicine, but ffs have the good sense to keep it to yourself. I don’t care who hosts jeopardy but I understand why the show might not want to be associated with these people. It’s not that hard to find someone outwardly normal who can do that job.

26

if people are doing something simply because they enjoy it and not because they would otherwise die it is by definition a luxury

27

I still say Darrell Hammond should be the host of Jeopardy!, in character as Sean Connery.

28

@25 I don't care who hosts Jeopardy either. But somebody shouldn't get a job because someone that they knew said something cruel and abnormal ten years ago? Really?

29

Restaurants were not always ubiquitous in this country (especially not for people who were not wealthy). And fast food doesn't count (and will most likely survive until the end of the world, despite the garbage they sell and call food).

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/history-of-restaurants-part-3-2888657

If we as a society chose to do things right, World Central Kitchen would be the restaurant model of the future - as it has been keeping businesses afloat by partnering with them (to keep people employed and use the space they have) to feed the hungry - wherever they are, whatever they are going through, and for as long as they are able to do so.

Meanwhile there are plenty of articles on the demise of the restaurant industry. These are just a few.

An Extinction Event for America’s Restaurants
https://www.theatlantic.com/culture/archive/2020/06/what-will-happen-restaurants/613141/

I’m Afraid It’s Too Late to Save Restaurants
https://www.bonappetit.com/story/end-of-independent-restaurant-era-edward-lee

This Could Be the End of Restaurants as We Know Them.
Maybe That’s Not Such a Bad Thing.
https://www.phillymag.com/foobooz/2020/08/19/coronavirus-effect-on-restaurants-philadelphia/

Is the coronavirus the end for fancy restaurants — and the start of a new dining era?

When surveying the wreckage of the COVID-19 economy, let alone thinking about the thousands of people who now spend hours each week waiting in line at food banks, it’s hard to feel too badly about the existential threat facing the finest, most exclusive restaurants in the country. It’s hard to feel too sorry for the kind of places that can only exist in or near cities that have great wealth, and that have months-long waiting lists and dinners that costs as much as the average American worker earns in a week.
https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/coronavirus-end-fancy-restaurants-start-new-dining-era-ncna1212181

David Chang Isn’t Sure the Restaurant Industry Will Survive Covid-19
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/27/magazine/david-chang-restaurants-covid19.html

(and an article born out of a tirade of how toxic it was to work for David Chang)
From Toxic Chefs to Covid, Restaurant Workers Deserve Better
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/05/dining/restaurant-workers-ndas-david-chang.html

30

Why the hell is it so hard to find a half decent person to host such a widely popular and respected game show? I'm glad Alex isn't alive to see this disgrace.

32

You guys are missing a key part of the equation for restaurants and that is the lack of demand. Many of them are still operating on limited hours (no lunch for example) due to the fact that many workers are remote and people still aren't going out so they can't offer the hours to workers they need to make a living. You can pay someone $200 an hour but if you can only offer them 10 hours a week for their shifts that won't pencil out. Restaurants can't afford to have a full staff standing around waiting on 10 customers.

@22 has it right. The industry is going through a correction right now and will eventually reach a new equilibrium. The regulations and cost increases imposed by the city will certainly raise the barrier to entry for new establishments so there will be less options and the ones that do come in will either be pricier or need to boost productivity by requiring more of staff and automating some functions. It will happen though. Socializing over a meal is one of the most basic of human interactions so whether restaurants are essential or not they'll always be around in some form.

33

28 she was speaking on behalf of whatever woowoo hippy cult she hangs out with who are iffy on vaccines and think letting newborns die is good "evolutionarily." She didn't just say "some people believe this" -- these are her people, she was speaking on their behalf, and if jeopardy takes her on as a host they are co-signing on whatever other ridiculous and dangerous anti-science beliefs they hold.

Jeopardy can use whatever criteria they wish to screen for potential hosts, and if they're ok with this then hooray for them because they found their host, but I completely understand why they would decide this is not in their best interest when there are so many other people who can do the job without the baggage.

34

i honestly don't understand why people get upset over this shit. Jeopardy is a brand, and every brand on earth goes to great lengths to consider which celebrities and ideals they associate with. Typically they vet their candidates up front and behind the scenes so we don't see it. But if they fail to put in the work, you end up with a mess like this and the process spills out into the public. Had Jeopardy done this part correctly you would never have any idea it happened.

35

@30 It isn't. They chose not to give the job to LeVar Burton. Why? The most popular lie is that he is too old. The most popular belief is because he's Black. If they don't want to give the people what they want (and the people overwhelmingly wanted LeVar Burton to be the host of the show), they should end it. Alex is dead. Jeapardy can die, too.

36

A long time ago, there were only cafes and everyone brought their lunches to work (or school) in brown paper bags with wax paper wrappings (all of which biodegrades in compost). Some had lunch pails (usually to hold soup or coffee as well) or briefcases (the bag goes inside).

That was it.

We will adapt.

37

@ 21,

"And if the restaurant business can't pay people living wages and get people to pay the real cost of eating out, well guess what, then it's over."

You could write the same thing about the "Alt. Weekly" business and their readers.

38

@ 31 Normally I'd try and reason with you... but you understand nothing about economics. Your mind is like a rock soaking in water.... if you break the rock you'll see its dry inside ...nothing penetrates it.

If I may suggest.... You'd fit right in at any government office here is Seattle. They think just like you.

The Mayoral election is coming up.... I think you'd make an outstanding candidate.

39

@29: I suggest avoiding dwelling on how the world ought to be.

41

The twitter swastikas seem to overwhelmingly be for people with O9A prefixes.

If you're not familiar with the order of the nine angles, feel free to google them. They are horrible human beings we would all be better off without.

42

@33 Mr Blip. That is not correct. She specifically said that she disagreed with those that opposed C-sections. Apparently, at the time, she had reservations about vaccinations. You'll be happy to know that the links indicate that she has resolved those reservations and her kids are now fully vaccinated. (So is she.) We live in a pluralistic society and need to cut each other a little slack. Otherwise we splinter into bitter, impotent little tribes.

43

@33 blip, this is a great example of cancel culture at work - lazy "journalists", and lazy media consumers. I just googled to see what all the controversy is about, and "article" after "article" are just hit jobs, cherry picking quotes out of context, and "journalists" writing sensationalized words of their own that do not accurately reflect what was actually said by those they are cancelling. Then they're all tweeted as "sources" and rattle around in the outrage echo chamber of their own making.

Evolutionary speaking, that IS how evolution works - survival of the fittest. Pre modern medicine, if mother and/or baby died during childbirth, their genes were not passed along to the next generation. Women/babies who did not die in childbirth passed along their genes to the next generation.

Some people who believe home childbirth is the way, feel that what happens, happens - if the baby (or potentially mother) dies during birth, that's the way it goes, just like it did pre modern medicine. It's along the medical lines of "just because we can, doesn't mean we should". Fortunately, people still have that choice when it comes to where they want to deliver their baby. There are people who would like to take that choice away. I know what I think is the scarier proposition.

(what I find really weird is how obsessed The Stranger is and, I guess, its readers are, over a tv game show based on trivia that anyone can google in 5 seconds)

44

Bialik describes herself as a "staunch Zionist" which means she supports apartheid in the Holy Land. She was a child actor who apparently doesn't know shit about anything, so I'm not sure why anyone here is rushing to defend her. And she said herself that she didn't believe in vaccines.

Oh, but, hey, at least she's vegan and supports the "ethical treatment of animals". Palestinians or mothers who need c-sections? Not so much.

My mom had a c-section in order to have me. It was not her choice. If Ms. Bialik's sociopathic opinions were in play, I would not be alive right now. And my mom might not be either.

45

@43 Hey, way to out yourself as a sociopath! Apparently I should've died, and my mom should've died during childbirth because "survival of the fittest"! Is that the excuse they use in the Holy Land as they kick Palestinians off of their land, deny them basic human rights, and try to starve them to death?

You should take a long look in the mirror and ask yourself why you ended up with such terrible ideas. Your ideas are absolutely terrible.

46

@45 -- if they
were 'Fit' then
they'd be Rich.

47

@43 "There are people who would like to take that choice away. I know what I think is the scarier proposition."

I guess that I would be one of those scary people that want to take that choice away. I do understand your fear, but the life of the baby would take precedence over political or religious objections in my opinion. No reason not to have the baby at home but if things are going badly, no reason not to use the tools of modern medicine to try and save the child's life.

48

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYAA16J04BI

49

@47 oldwhiteguy, generally speaking, if you're belief is that soon-to-be mothers should be forced into medical intervention against their will, then I view you as a threat to my civil liberties.

Personally, I'll take all the benefits that modern medicine has to offer, but that's MY choice. If a soon-to-be mother doesn't want medical intervention, that's her choice.

Once the baby is born, alive, and kicking - things get much more complicated when it comes to parental beliefs affecting the welfare of their born child.

51

@50 Prof, "survival of the fittest" is a 4 word distillation of complicated science, but feel free to pontificate on why evolution is BS?

You run your mouth non-stop, and you become a bigger asshat with every passing comment. You're no better than the "sock puppets" you're obsessed with.

52

@49 We're talking a hypothetical situation where a home birth is going wrong. The woman has already decided to have the baby. Birth is imminent. Why does it matter if the baby, "alive and kicking," is in the womb or on the table? The question is does the woman have the right to "let nature take its course" or is that decision "cruel and abnormal?"

53

@49 old, I think we agree on the question. I just believe that a woman has the right to "let nature take its course". I don't think that should be your decision.

Are you pro-choice when it comes to abortion? If you're pro-choice, do you believe there's a cutoff line (during the pregnancy term) where under no circumstances should the pregnancy be aborted, even if the life of the mother is in danger?

54

Whoops, meant @52

55

@22:

Oh, right. The mythical "invisible hand of the free market" that periodically swoops down from the heavens, guided by the holy ghost of Saint Milton of Chicago, to "correct" whatever economic imbalance has been created by the big, bad, gubbamint. A Grimm's fairy tale told to scare the wits out of the credulous, slack-jawed masses; the stick whipped against their backs by Capitalists whose wealth would embarrass the pharaohs, in order to convince them that enduring the rotting, maggot-ridden carrot-husk of wage slavery is preferable to any sort of collective social good. Because, as everyone who pays any attention to this sort of thing understands - although clearly you don't - the so-called "free market" couldn't exist without intervention by governments exercising at least nominal control, lest the entire house of cards shatter into a dog-eat-dog state of rampant klepto-Capitalism.

I mean, seriously what the ever-loving FUCK do you THINK the restaurant/food service industry has been undergoing for the past 18 months? Everybody just went on holiday that whole time and now they've decided they like the Life Of Reilly so much they're just going to sit back in their Ikea Grönlids, sipping Mojitos and watching endless reruns of The Office on Hulu?

The reason there's a worker shortage in the industry is, as The Professor stated above, the people who previously worked those shitty restaurant jobs moved on to better paying, more stable, less stressful, and - hopefully - more fulfilling jobs that DON'T require them to pretend you and your ilk are the second coming of King Fucking Louis XIV every time you walk up to the reservation station. They're done with you, done with your insufferable sanctimony, with your sniveling sense of entitlement; they don't give a shit about you any more, because they don't have to. You think things are going to magically go back to the way they were before when you could wave your Master Card Black under their noses and order everything off-menu? Think again, bubbie. If you want to eat out in a restaurant you'll have to learn to treat the staff like actual, living, breathing human beings who deserve a modicum of respect, not as your temporary personal minions.

Or, you can STFU, go home and cook for yourself - your choice.

57

@53 I identify as pro-life. I think that a human fetus becomes a human being at around four or five months. But I don't think that there is any cut off line to abortion if the life of the mother is in peril. We all have the right to self defense.

59

@56 prof, uh, "nice try" yourself. I didn't use "survival of the fittest" in a social darwinism context. I very specifically used it in the context of evolution as a science. You're the one with the reading comprehension problem.

That you address me as "dumb" and "callous", and then disingenuously switch the context of what I said to a completely unrelated context is exactly what I pointed out in @43. Then you conjure up something about "Israel" in your reply to me - weird!

Prof, get help.

62

@1- they are clearly Candy Cornholers.

63

@29 xina and @55 COMTE: Agreed, seconded, and thirded. Well said and summarized.
The New York Times syndicated columnist Paul Krugman agrees with you, too:
[Take This Job and Shove it. Op. Ed. page A16, The Seattle Times, Wednesday, August 25, 2021.]
I also agree with Mr. Krugman. Since the COVID pandemic has sent a lot of underpaid workers (hotel & restaurant industries, especially) into forced unemployment the resulting home time has made a lot of people who were unhappy in the jobs they held pre-pandemic start thinking about what really matters. There isn't a lot of incentive to go back to the former jobs once held. Even with the economy on the rise, many service jobs are being left unfilled, and why not? The pandemic has proven to be a wake up call for many people tired of facing long commutes, shitty working hours, hazardous & unsafe conditions, tepid to hostile work environments among personnel, and heartless slave drivers for employers hiring on the cheap. What they were paid to do just wasn't (and still isn't) enough to warrant staying.
As long as the U.S. Department of Labor remains a sick joke to the average working class citizen, we can expect to see a lot of service jobs remaining vacant until cost-cutting, profit-lusting employers finally get a clue. They can start by taking better care of their employees through more sustainable wages, improved working conditions, and by offering more company benefits.
Meanwhile, I'm working on expanding my website, happy to enjoy my own cooking at home (the food and service at the last local upscale restaurant where I dined was terrible, and it used to be a highly rated dine-in eatery. Oh, the woes of any establishment suddenly being "Under New Management").
Self-employment and "cottage industry", anyone?

64

@62 dvs99 for the WIN!!

65

@19 "Why do you think the solution is just allow the market to continue apace with housing rising 300-400% in just 20 years?"

The market per se has less to do with why housing has gone up that much than the distortion of the market that is single-family zoning does. Where the supply of something is up against a hard limit, the price will surely rise. In a place like this one, where the City prevents an adequate amount of housing from being built, that means that only the wealthier fraction get to buy a house.

In a place with rent control (where the enforced low or negative return on investment discourages anyone from building more housing), it means that those who have been there forever, or those with connections, or those who are willing to pay a "finders' fee" to the landlords (this was a common ask when I was in Berkeley in the 90's) get the houses. Same cause (shortage of supply) in both scenarios, and same result (a lot of people get priced out of the market).

I can guarantee you that if the zoning laws allowed it, there'd be duplexes & triplexes all over this town. And think about the impact that even one or two extra rental units on each block (in my neighborhood, that would be a 5-10% increase in housing units) would have on housing availability. And more availability means that costs go down.

I'm not saying that the market will solve everything (or even most things) but FFS, the City Council should at least give it a fighting chance.

66

@63: YIkes!! Sorry folks, for the misquote!
Correction: [You Can Take This Job and Shove It, Paul Krugman, Op.Ed. page A16, The Seattle Times, Wednesday, August 25, 2021. ]