Slog AM: 2021 Was the Deadliest Car-Crash Year in Over a Decade, A Leaf Blower Ban in the Other Washington, and What Would it Take to Get Bruce Harrell on a Train?



«It is absurd — and largely the fault of Disney — that it takes so long for works to enter the public domain.»

That infinitely cloying song, "Happy Birthday to You," is still under copyright.
Americans believe that insipid piece of consumerism is an actual form of shared culture.


RE Michelle Li TV.

That woman's comments are the voice of every over-privileged MAGA cracker in flyover Amurika, 2022.


Kinda surprised to not see any mention of this pretty genuinely great story about the Kraken fan who randomly spotted a dangerous looking mole on an opponent coach's neck. She's a med school student who managed to get a pic of it and told him to get it checked out. He did and it turned out to be cancerous, but he got it removed before it got ugly.


"What would it take to get Bruce Harrell on a train?"

Completion of the East Link project, obviously.


Dumplings are a lot more tasty than black eyed peas. Happy New Year!


Happy New Year. Normally I don't like to inject news into Slog comments but Betty White passed away over the weekend and I'm sad there was no mention. She was a pioneer for women in TV, a champion for animal welfare, and an exemplary sweet old lady.


They sell decent frozen dumplings at Costco that I can cook up in my air fryer on New Year's or any other time of year. It don't get more 'Murican than Costco and air fryers, hon. So STFU (meaning that lady that called in with the stupid comment).


@6 Something got posted over at Blogtown on the Portland Mercury site. Not only a mention of Betty but they also linked a clip from Golden Girls where Betty apparently improv'ed her way into making Bea and Rue lose their shit while taping. Good stuff.


@1 Happy Birthday is in the public domain

The folks in Halifax over a hundred years ago didn't have climate change but they did have to deal with the largest man-made explosion at the time then snow.


The main complaint of the caller wasn't that the tv person said "she was going to eat dumplings on New Year’s Day", it was that she also said "...that's what a lot of Korean people do."

You can watch the clip at


I would argue one cause of the increase in car crashes is a lack of law enforcement. Ever count the number of cars which run red lights? Making a full stop at a 4 way intersection or actually yielding at a yield sign are considered a sign of weakness by many. And don't get me started on right on red. It is allowed AFTER coming to a full stop and yielding, particularly to pedestrians. Enforce the law!!


9 I stand corrected. Still relatively recently in PD, 2013. Interesting how it finally made there!


11 - It's getting a lot more scary these days for pedestrians. Especially at intersections with angles like 5th Ave NE and Banner Way.


If he still lives in District 2 he might take light rail to work from Beacon Hill.

The problem is that to get to his office he’d need to get off at Pioneer Square and run the gauntlet of “our most vulnerable neighbors” between there and City Hall.

The shit show outside the Prefontaine Place entrance was bad enough pre-pandemic, I can’t blame anyone for wanting to avoid it.


I don't think you can argue that the increase in car-related fatalities was driven by a single contributing factor but one thing to keep in mind is that Seattle's population has increased dramatically since 2006.

Interestingly, the article mentions that "total crashes were lower in both 2020 and 2021 than they’d been in at least the previous 15 years" so the it's actually the deadliness of the crashes that's increasing.


@15 I realize that Corporations are people now but I did not know we were anthropomorphizing Parking Spaces too. I can't wait for the sequel to Brave Little Toaster: Murdered Parking Spaces.


@18 I, for one, enjoyed his grand leap from parking spaces to genocide, I guess. It was just the chuckle I needed to start my week.


@ FYI the police haven't been refunded.

Find a new theory.


@17 MrB, it’s pretty disingenuous of you to imply that it’s only the left that is screaming about Big Brother when it comes to traffic cameras, when it’s the Libertarian Right who have effectively neutered traffic cameras.

It’s the Libertarian Right that pushed to make citations issued by traffic cameras less onerous than citations issued by officers.

It’s the Libertarian Right that pushed to make it ridiculously easy to challenge camera tickets (“No I have no idea who was driving my vehicle, but it wasn’t me!”)

Sure left-leaning civil rights organizations like the ACLU joined the right leaning ones in making traffic cameras a meaningless tool, but the drive and impetus came from the right.


15 So Black People, Gay People, Jews are all on comparable scale with a parking space when you consider the mayor's thoughts.
Well that is MAGA reasoning at its most logical, we sigh.


I appreciate Patton Oswalt's long and thoughtful post about his friend Dave Chappelle. People are complicated, and comedians in particular regularly show and expose their flaws as part of their attempts to be authentic. For some, a contrary position on a strongly held social issue is enough to turn away from an entertainer and even vilify that person, while others take a broader view. Personally, I try to separate the craft from the performer wherever possible (e.g., Woody Allen) but sometimes just can't (e.g., O.J. Simpson)

Obviously, Oswalt's stance must be considered in light of his long, long history with Chappelle. Even if you disagree with Chappelle and his wrong-headed position on transgender issues, you should watch his piece "8:46" about George Floyd - powerful stuff.


@15, comparing parking spaces with human lives is the stupidest fucking thing I've read all year. May your record stand for the rest of the year, and may you regret your idiocy for the rest of your life.


" I support trans peoples’ rights — ANYONE’S rights — to live safely in the world as their fullest selves. "

I'm quite sure Chappelle feels the same way. Chappelle just likes to joke about it, in ways that some find offensive.


@25 Yes, but he said something that wasn't unquestioningly glowing admiration of the trans persons, so he should be vilified and cast out of society because we all know that's the highest form of compassion and dialogue. And nothing convinces someone they're wrong like taking what they said completely out of context and then arguing against that. For instance, in Matt Baum's blurb calling him Dave "Team Terf" Chappelle. Yes those were words he said, but they were part of a longer sentence which was part of a larger point. You can disagree or not with that point but taking things out of context to chastise someone is intellectually lazy at best and criminally slanderous at worst. But then again, most people criticizing him self-admit they haven't actually seen the special themselves. So context, accuracy, and compassion aren't values they hold dear.


@26 I have enjoyed Dave's standup and I am not a Trans advocate but his last special was a bit cringey. He basically says, I supported this one trans person and supported their kid after death so I can make joke about trans people. I paid for this slave so I can whip him now.
Bravado and shock is part of his schtick and helps keep his core audience but I don't think history will look that kindly on this special. He lacked the nuance that he normally brings to subject matter he talks about. The shock is designed to show hypocrisy that lies within all of us. Like the super hero that rapes for example. But he came across defensive, a bit of a bully, and someone who really does not understand Trans folk.(I don't either but I don't make jokes about them.)


@27 Wow, from talking about someone else's actual lived experience with a transwoman and her child to beating a hypothetical slave. Did you read @15's big leap and think 'hold my beer'?


Dumplings sound yummy. Happy 2022!

Rest in peace, Betty White. A true jewel--she made it to 99, bless her.

What frightening news about the sharp increase in car crashes in 2021! That the combination of unregulated building boom driving up housing costs, the surge in newcomers from all over (according to Google, Washington State's current population is ~ 7.17 million people), Washington's biggest population density is right on the Cascadian subduction zone, and rapid growth not showing any signs of slowing isn't helping either. And people wonder why my VW and I stay off I-5.


@11 KEK, & @13 Phoebe in Wallingford: I live outside Seattle and King County but share your concerns.


@28 I didn’t go Godwin. Also I was talking about humans not parking spaces.


@29, continued: How many SLOG commenters remember what happened in Cowlitz County at about 8:32 a.m. on Sunday, May 18, 1980? I-5 in both directions completely STOPPED. Motor vehicles couldn't run. Getting in and out of Centralia, Longview, and Vancouver was a nightmare. In Yakima, Eastern Washington, the sky was pitch black by 12 noon from all the volcanic ash heading east from the historic eruption of Mount Saint Helens. People in Castle Rock had to evacuate for their dear lives. The Toutle River was clogged with hot ash, mud, and volcanically blasted, char-burnt trees resembling toothpicks. Longtime Mount Saint Helens resident, Harry R. Truman (not to be confused with the 33rd U.S. President, Harry S. Truman) refused to leave and got blown to oblivion with his canoes and 30 cats, despite warnings from meteorologists and seismologists alike. As Washington State shook, making world news the eruption could be heard from over 200 miles away and as far north as Bellingham and British Columbia, Canada.
How soon peril was forgotten. Volcanic ash Christmas ball ornaments adorned souvenir gift and novelty shops statewide as budding opportunists capitalized on a natural disaster. T-shirts posed the question for tourists as well as survivors: "Where were you when the mountain blew?"
Ironically there was one benefit environmentally: farmers and gardeners learned after the historic eruption that mineral enriched volcanic ash from Mount Saint Helens, when added to topsoil produced healthy crops, lush flowerbeds, and shrubs. But otherwise, what a way to go!
Over four decades later we are just as clueless about being properly prepared for catastrophic events and shouldn't be. We're supposedly about 321 years overdue (since January 26, 1700) for a 9.0 earthquake and we have collapsing infrastructure.
With climate change, global warming is doing even more severe damage. Most recently as of the weekend of June 28, 2021 the Pacific Northwest experienced a record heat wave into the triple digits. On November 15, 2021 Washington State experienced heavy rainfall , producing record flooding in Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties as the Stillaguamish, Skagit, and Nooksack rivers overflowed, threatening livestock and people in rural areas.

I speak because as a Washington native I am concerned with how our environment is changing so rapidly into such unpredictable extremes, and I am concerned. How do we prepare for something that could happen at a moment's notice, like a tornado?


@31 That's a fair point.


I live in "the other Washington". Gas-powered leaf blowers have been the bane of my street-level, working-from-home existence for the past two years. I had no idea about the new law going into effect. Thank you for the wonderful news. Happy New Year!


Shorter @35 If you eat baby carrots, that means you'll eat baby humans.


@35 If you're this unintelligent about this thing, you're this unintelligent about everything.


@38 That's hilarious. You're really bad at this.