Busy year…

Foggy-Sunrise_-Seattle-Skyline-_-Mt_-Rainier8197075467337321062Infrequent posting due to work, family (just had our 4th!), and life. Twitter is tempting, but I miss the long form.

I know a lot of folks feel on edge based on current events and our administration’s various agendas. But please hang in there; the fight for our 2nd Amendment (and other) rights won’t be going away any time soon.

No matter who is in power, individual liberty will always stand athwart big government.

[Incidentally, I’ve published some older posts from last year, and even January, that I just didn’t feel up to throwing out there during and after a revolting election season. I re-evaluated them and felt they should be there. Obvioiusly, these issues have been long sorted out, or are still in the process.]

I am the target audience

There has been endless blabber going on about Audi’s “Green Police” super bowl commercial designed to attract attention to its new A3 2.0 TDI.

I usually would consider fellow Northwest resident, columnist, and left-wing greenie, David Roberts, to be of the same worldview on, well, anything.  However, in his latest Grist column, I agree with his closing paragraph…

Anyway, not to overthink it (ahem), but the ad is not just another pot shot at greens. It’s an appeal to a new and growing demographic that isn’t hard-core environmentalist—and doesn’t particularly like hard-core environmentalists—but that basically wants to do the right thing. Audi’s effort to reach them, however clumsy, is actually a bit ahead of the curve.

Yes, I am the target audience of this ad (if that’s an accurate translation); and I would hardly call it clumsy.  It made me laugh out loud!  And, unlike many other ads (US Census Bureau, I’m looking at you), I remembered who was selling what.  The riff on Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” was brilliant, too.

Look, I’m in favor of conservation, I recycle to keep the regular “garbage” output to a minimum, and I try to simply use less of anything that I must.  Not because of some moral authority; mostly because it’s practical.  And I want my kids to have the same shot at fishing and hunting that I had growing up.  I want them to have the same or similar air and water quality I enjoyed.  I want logging companies to keep up the great work they’ve been doing with one of our many great, renewable and sustainable resources here in the Northwest.  And, I would really like to get out of my old 90s Ford clunker into a new 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid!

Audi is a bit rich for my blood, and I would much rather buy an award-winning American vehicle that is not only a hybrid, but is also more survivable than a hatchback.

Still, the torque those diesel engines put out are amazing, and, well, Audi makes some amazing vehicles, period, but I digress.

Anyway, I part company with David on his insistence in calling those of us limited-government types, “teabaggers.”  Which is rather ironic — though not surprising — considering his opening whine line…

Is it me or were the Super Bowl commercials this year unusually ugly, misogynistic, and, worst of all, unfunny?

Meh, some were, but mostly just you, David.

Hot for Rapist?

This is too much

SEATTLE – The odyssey of Mary Kay Letourneau, which began years ago when she was a 34-year-old teacher who raped a sixth-grade student, has now evolved into “Hot for Teacher” night at a Pioneer Square bar.

But the bar’s owner says the event is all in fun, and he hopes people take it in the right spirit.

Letourneau, who eventually served time for raping her former student then later married him after her release from prison, will be hosting the event Saturday at Fuel Sports Eats & Beats on Washington Street.

With all the high-profile cases of teachers preying  sexually on students, how can anyone possibly, “take it in the right spirit?”

[Fuel’s owner, Mike] Morris said this is actually the third time that Letourneau and Fualaau have hosted a “Hot for Teachers” night at the nightclub. The first two events were low-key, and he said patrons really warmed up to the couple.

“We get lots of people who want to come meet them. And once they do meet them, they’re like, ‘Oh my God, she’s so down-to-earth and so nice, and he’s such a good DJ,’ that it’s creating like a stir or a buzz, and its bringing people back,” Morris says.

Letourneau’s role is to make people feel welcome and comfortable, he says.

“She meets people, she greets people, she dances to music, she hosts the party,” Morris says. “And she’s an absolute sweetheart. And everyone who meets her realizes that and is kind of flabbergasted by how nice she is.”

Yeah, especially her children that she callously left behind as she pursued her relationship with her grade-school-aged sweetheart.

Yes, yes, yes, I understand that there were marital issues and that things were not at all well in the Letourneau household (Steve was cheating).  But what kind mother does that?  If you have children and your spouse cuts out on you like Steve did, don’t you focus on your children and take care of them?

And it doesn’t matter if her sex with Vili was consensual or not in this case because she was his teacher.  She betrayed and abused the trust that exists between teacher and student.

I really wish these two would dip back below the radar and stop making such a joke about such a descructive relationship.  Teachers everywhere, especially here in the Northwest, will be better off for it.

Councilman Mike Cooper is a Jerk

Too busy looking for work lately; just a little local local politics today.

Snohomish County Councilman, and current Chairman, Democrat Mike Cooper comes off as a complete jerk to a representative of the Master Builders Association.

I believe he had a follow-up question later along the lines of, “when did you stop beating your wife?”

See, what Mike wants to do is mandate all new residental homes be installed with sprinkler systems.  The Master Builders argues that this should be a consumer’s choice.  Provocative and shocking, right?  The real shock is what it would add to a new home’s bottom line: between $5,000 – $10,000 dollars.

I’m sure you can make all sorts great arguments FOR mandating this, and I may even like the cut of your jib.  However, like all other government regulations, it’s just one more damn thing! Did you know that homes in Seattle alone cost $200,000 MORE than the national average because of excessive regulatory costs?  Now, Mike is in Snohomish County and Seattle is King County… but, trust me, a lot of regulation spills over into neighboring counties (Snohomish, Pierce, Kitsap, etc).

Anyway, I didn’t vote for you Mike, and I am sure as hell going to encourage other to toss your ass out during the next cycle.

One advantage of unemployment

I get to avoid crap like this in downtown Seattle…

I have the greatest sympathy for people who come here in order to find work, work hard, and desire the liberty America offers.  However, I do not tolerate it of those who are here illegally.  There has to be order to the system and respect given to those who have followed our laws and are now naturalized citizens.  And there has to be better enforcement on the border… not nationalized health care and government bailouts for private companies.  What we have now is not only chaos, it is anarchy.  And it is being tolerated by many citizens and the state.

As for the anti-war protesters… meh. I’ve developed some differing opinions about the war, but I am unsure of the effectiveness of this demonstration of yours… except that, like the May Day march, it’s going to piss off thousands of commuters.  Although, having observed downtown work patterns for years, most people will either work from home, take the day off, or simply get out of town early.  This means the number of eyeballs on the demonstrations will be further reduced.  Brilliant, eh?

Seattle PI up for sale soon? UPDATED

Sounds like confirmations are few and far between

Quoting an unnamed source, KING TV reported Thursday night that the newspaper’s owner, The Hearst Corp., planned to put the P-I up for sale soon, setting the stage for its closure in the next few months.

P-I Managing Editor David McCumber said Thursday night he was surprised by KING’s report “in the sense that I have no idea if it’s true or not.”

He also said “rumors of our demise have been exaggerated in the past.”

Here’s the original KING TV report.

Now I realize that economics and the meteoric rise of internet-based news probably has more to do with this than anything.  Internet-based new has been especially brutal because now folks can easily get all different stripes of reporting if they’re not happy with their local coverage.  And believe me, many of us in Washington are not happy.

So, in light of that, I was just curious, Mr. McCumber, how does that position as “decider-in-chief-of-the-news” feel right about now?  (Best backstory and context I could find from my past feeds on the issue are from Michelle: HERE and HERE).

Long-time Seattle natives know that Seattle PI used to be the morning paper, and the Seattle Times was the evening paper, and had been that way for a century until the spring of 2000. At that point they started competing head-to-head.  And, I’m sorry, we are just not a two-paper town anymore.

I’m guessing the PI will likely continue online.  Shame, really… it made such good fish-wrap and bird-cage liner.

UPDATED (2:10 PM PST): Confirmed, it’s for sale:

Seattle: my city is nucking futs

I work (for living) in downtown Seattle (near the waterfront).  I have not BEEN to Seattle since December 18th because it a compact-snow-and-ice-bound nightmare.  In fact, my local roads have been a nightmare.  Why?  Because the Seattle Department of Transportation leadership are a bunch of  prime-rib nutbergers:

To hear the city’s spin, Seattle’s road crews are making “great progress” in clearing the ice-caked streets.

But it turns out “plowed streets” in Seattle actually means “snow-packed,” as in there’s snow and ice left on major arterials by design.

“We’re trying to create a hard-packed surface,” said Alex Wiggins, chief of staff for the Seattle Department of Transportation. “It doesn’t look like anything you’d find in Chicago or New York.”

The city’s approach means crews clear the roads enough for all-wheel and four-wheel-drive vehicles, or those with front-wheel drive cars as long as they are using chains, Wiggins said.

The icy streets are the result of Seattle’s refusal to use salt, an effective ice-buster used by the state Department of Transportation and cities accustomed to dealing with heavy winter snows.

“If we were using salt, you’d see patches of bare road because salt is very effective,” Wiggins said. “We decided not to utilize salt because it’s not a healthy addition to Puget Sound.”

Never mind all of the actual harmful stuff going into the Sound, we’ve got to stop adding all that salt!  God forbid during a once-every-ten-years storm we ACTUALLY PUT SOME DAMNED SALT ON THE FRICKING ROAD!  Never mind the sand that will just, naturally, muck up the sound far more than SALT!

The liquid de-icer they use here and there works to some degree, but it is still far less effective than rock salt, which the Washington State DOT does use.  Worried about your precious car?  Given the infrequency that we typically need to resort to salt, I think your precious will be all right… the rust issue is a bit overblown.  Besides, you sprung for that undercoating when you purchased it, right? Heh.

Fortunately, I can connect via VPN to work.  Not many people can do that, though.  And believe-you-me, there are lots of people either burning up vacation, sick or taking time unpaid over the last 5 work days.

The city, Sea-Tac, and many outlying areas have been at a standstill, and yet the brain-trust in Seattle refuses to change its hive-mind.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the City of Seattle leadership has done what few others are capable of: pissing off every last person of every stripe.  I am dearly hoping that voters send them all packing next election.  Not just because of this issue, but because this is a big one among SO MANY.