Slog AM: Northwest Carpenters Union Strikes, Anthony White Wins the Betty Bowen Award, Someone From Everett Is Orbiting Earth Right Now



«U.S. gymnasts harshly criticize the F.B.I. for their mishandling of the Larry Nassar investigation:»
FBI responded that they thought they were supposed to collect advice from Nassar.


Strange to follow that great post about the very talented young artist Anthony White winning the Seattle Art Museum Betty Bowen award, with that stupid saga over decolonize SAM which has as much merit and validity as Nicki Minaj.

That's why I love The Stranger!


Odd. I saw a gaming handle yesterday, "SmakNCheez" which made me think "Return of the Mack n' Cheese" could be a humorous album/song title - if you like stupid, silly names like I do, at least. So to have that song pop up in front me of so quickly is an entertaining coincidence.

Tangentially related question - has anyone else ever come across a word/phrase that's new to them, only to then have that same word or phrase pop up again and again in the next few days/weeks? This happened with me for the term "wheelhouse", is "this or that area of knowledge or skill is/isn't in my wheelhouse". I swear I'd never heard that term before, then within the next month I heard it around six more times. And it's not like it's new slang - that expression has been around for a bit (I think).


I scanned the Seattle Times article on carpenters and noticed the pay scales. Journey Carpenters are pulling in $1875/week currently, and asked for $2250/week in 4 years (plus a pretty fat pension and medical). Now call me crazy, but that is already pretty damn good money for jobs that don't require advanced education.

And if these Unions are so fucking progressive and for the people, drop the "JourneyMan" bull shit. Get some women in there you sexist pricks.


@3 - definitely notice the phenomenon of “new” phrases and words that suddenly are everywhere. Most recently for me was about seven months ago a coworker said “so and so is like, living their bast life right now”. I found it sort of an odd way to put it. Next thing I knew I was hearing it all over.

People are funny.


@3 That expression has been around since Hector was a pup.


4 "Now call me crazy, but that is already pretty damn good money for jobs that don't require advanced education."

The jobs do require skills which are only accrued through years of work experience. All the Shakespeare in the world does not improve their work skills. But field experience very much does.


@3 - Love that comment. The BEST part of traveling and interacting with people outside your circle (both good and bad) is being exposed to new slang, terms, food, opinions, traditions, cultures, etc.... When our social interactions are groomed online, it's sometimes harder to get that 'new perspective' on things. Anyway, stoked you ran across something new.

Although people have been steering ships for centuries, the term “wheelhouse” appeared for the first time in the early 1800s. In 1840, a traveler on a ship that burned and sank in Long Island Sound wrote a letter of complaint to Daniel Webster, then U.S. Secretary of State. The ship’s captain “seemed confused,” the traveler wrote. “He went into the wheel house, and that was the last I saw of him. I rather think he stayed there until he suffocated.”

For some reason, in the 1950s, this term was picked up by baseball announcers and reporters. They began to refer to a batter’s “wheelhouse,” by that meaning the area of the strike zone where a batter swings with the most power. (Reporters also called this area the “crush zone” and the “kill zone,” by the way.) Those phrases seem pretty obvious, but we don’t know how the “wheelhouse” analogy got started. But if you imagine a sea captain standing in front of the ship’s wheel, you can see how the wheel forms a sort of target in front of the midsection. Maybe that image inspired reporters.

Either way, in the 1980s, the meaning of this term extended once again. It came to mean, and still means, an area or field in which a person excels. You could say that “grammar is my wheelhouse,” for example. Or that teaching people to write is “in my wheelhouse.”

Notice that you can use this phrase in one of two ways. You can say something “is your wheelhouse” or that something “is in your wheelhouse.” Either version is correct, but “in your wheelhouse” may be a little more common.


@7 - Totally agree. It takes a multi-year apprenticeship and a few years of experience to qualify for that role. These folks are skilled. I could also say the same for a staff accountant. After an Accounting undergrad and a few years of work, they are only making $70K with no pension. The main difference ... No Union.


@9 So your takeaway from that discrepancy is somehow, "Carpenters make too much money!" and not, "Hmm, maybe accountants should unionize?"



Carpentry is physically demanding labor, requiring expertise that can only be gained through on-the-job, problem-solving experience.

People without college degrees who perform skilled manual labor deserve to be paid just as well as "educated" people who push papers around a desk all day. If your labor produces capital you deserve to be rewarded for it, no matter where or how you learned your trade.


My dad has chronic back pain & 3 missing fingers

The physical toll of carpentry & construction alone should be reason enough to compensate them well for it, but again they also have specialized knowledge that cannot be taught in a book or even a youtube tutorial. You are often required to identify & solve unanticipated problems on the fly and under a deadline. So fucking what if it doesn’t require advanced education.


blip - The advanced education element is only referencing the extra debt most folks would be carrying into their first job, not an insult. I should have been more clear. Regardless, I'll remember all these pro-union sentiments next time we discuss the SPD, Teacher performance, Long Shores, cost of building transit, etc....!


@11: Deserve to be rewarded or deserve to be paid the fairest wage the employer can do to meet payroll?


Every work force in the world should be unionized.

The fact that monied corporate interests are terrified of unionized labor tells you everything you need to know.


@4 “Now call me crazy, but that is already pretty damn good money for jobs that don't require advanced education.”

You are fucking crazy! And the worst kind of elitist.


A few years back at a big company, we had an HR blowup over comp time. We, as salaried engineers, thought that maybe if we got our work done working overtime, we should be able to peel out early sometime next month as long as we got our projects done. Crazy right? Management jumped through all kinds of hoops to not call it comp time, since calling it that might make us seem like we were hourly employees, and then the union might come and make us join. My co-worker was like "What, if the union comes for us, we'll get comp time and paid overtime? That would sure suck! "

I now work at another company and get paid hourly (and overtime, if it happens). Waaay better.


HTML autoformatting took out the [end sarcasm] tag on the end of my co-worker's quote above.


@18: Oh yeah? The employer is always the adversary even if everything is golden. Such a ridiculous generalization tells everyone how stupidly infatuated with unionized labor the extreme left has become.



Struck a nerve, did I?

I didn't know you were such a shill for big corporate interests. Noted for future reference.


@23: You're almost correct. I'm a shill for small corporate interests to just survive.



I've used exactly that same argument with my MAGAT loving relatives. The look of confusion that creeps over their faces as the words come out of my mouth is just hilarious, as it if never occurred to them that they might actually be able to do something to improve their shitty job situation besides the one line THEY always use: "if you don't like it, find something better," (which I've also thrown back at them to the same befuddled effect.)



If a company, small or large, can't afford to pay its workers a livable salary and benefits, then it SHOULD'T survive.

There are probably a ton of small businesses, lots of them restaurants I'd guess, that should not be solvent and can only survive because the politics and attitudes of this country are weighted far too much in favor of the owner side rather than the labor side. I don't want all business to fail, but I want those that can only survive by using slave labor to absolutely fail.

There need to be more laws and regulations in place to force businesses to play fair with labor, because it is painfully apparent that if you let them regulate themselves, you end up with exactly what we have now.

I've said it countless times: Unregulated capitalism is a snake eating its tail. It is ultimately self destructive if you don't impose rules. Left unregulated, the ultimate ending is a single entity that owns everything and owns everyone, the entire population working for The Company, paid in company scrip, living in a company town, and indebted for life. No competition at all... anti-capitalist.


Welcome, RepubliKKKan-induced Forever War-weary Afghans--especially Taliban shell-shocked women and girls. My heartfelt condolences for those arriving in the Texiban State of Confusion, however.

@12 Professor_Hiztory: Further proving how hard it is to lick those corporate RepubliKKKan boots, when the bootstraps once set in place for the working class to pull most of us up have been yanked away to coddle the 1%ers who don't need any more money, instead.
Meanwhile, overheard among wide-eyed MAGA rubes:
"Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!"
Gold Star for brilliance, Sir!

@15 Professor_Hiztory and @18 Urgutha Forka for the WIN!

@22 & @24: Forever the incoherently bubbling adhesive. How's your triglyceride level lately, Elmer?

@26 Urgutha Forka: +1 Get out the mustard and rye bread, Grandma---it's a Grand Salami!


Getting every workplace and industry unionized would absolutely be ideal. A total pipedream, but ideal nonetheless. Once that happened, you could THEN allow for the forces of supply and demand to work their magic. The workers would be able to negotiate themselves a reimbursement package that'd provide for a comfortable means of living, but would also need to be conscious that the business would need to remain viable so as to not cost themselves a job. The current supply/demand structure falls flat, as the profit distribution ratio just doesn't make any sort of logical sense to anyone but an entitled few.


@28: 139 mg/dL - what's yours?


@30: We're about the same. Congratulations on a healthy triglyceride level!


Nicki Minaj is a moron. And anyone who listens to people like her (or Jenny fucking McCarthy) rather than medical doctors and scientists is also a moron.

Fucking celebrity worship is part of what got the Orange Anus elected. It's going to destroy the country. Just because someone can sing or has big tits, or whatever, does NOT mean that they know anything about virology or medicine (or about anything at all, for that matter).


@32 dvs99: +1 Agreed and seconded (sigh). If the rabidly stupid (i.e.: batshit Trumpist anti-vaxxers ad nauseum) could just wipe each other out already.


@3, you've never searched for a Jamaican Erotic Backscratcher and then had it show up in every webpage ad you see for the next 5 days?

Welcome to the age of Google.


@4, next time you bid out a carpentry job, note the 50% markup the salesman & contractor put on the labor. And again, I have a story for everything.

About 40 years ago, when inflation was hitting about 20%, and actual, real, 30yr TBills were paying a 16% coupon rate, I was at a high school alumni banquet. One of the Executive types at my table asked if anyone had an in at AT&T because his family business was trying to sell hand tools to AT&T. (Obviously, this was when AT&T was an actual phone company rather than just marking up the labor of their 'independent contractors'.)

Later he asked me what I did, and when I told him I was a truck driver, he loudly exclaimed that it was me and my unions who were to blame for all the inflation.

I refrained from asking him if, when the price of tools goes up 20%, does he reduce his 5% (Now more like 50% on labor) commission to keep the price from going up.

When you learn how to hang a door plumb so it doesn't open or close by itself, you call me then.


And by the way, in the middle of taking a CPA review course, I came out of the closet and admitted to myself that I just couldn't stand to work in an office, and I started driving trucks & rehabbing (NOT flipping) houses.

To paraphrase the old John Housman commercial "I earned my money the old fashioned way:" (I inherited it. But not till my late 60s.)


@32, "...what got the Orange Anus elected."

Now THAT'S funny. Even more funny, I can't stop wondering if the orange carpet matches the orange drapes!!