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Saturday, April 09, 2005

Dean in Seattle 

The Rainier Institute has the details:

Gov. Howard Dean is coming to Seattle!
Join the Rainier Institute at our
3rd Annual Health Care Conference

April 13, 2005
Qwest Field/Seahawks Exhibition Center, Seattle
Creating a Healthy Washington:
Saving lives, saving families and saving tax dollars
It ain't cheap, but if you can afford it, it isn't the worst thing in the world to see.



Who Said? 

I've been thinking about linking to other bloggers. When I make a mention of them, I'm not at all consistent in how I name them. Sometimes it's their name or pen name. So for instance Atrios and Goldy usually get linked to as Atrios or Goldy. Sometimes it's by the blog name. So it's DFV has the details, or Kitsap Pundit says this or that. Sometimes it's also a title, but I think only when I'm referring to the General. Anyway, should there be some correct usage? Should there be some hard and fast rule for if we say we're linking to a person's work, or the name of the blog?



James Jiambalvo 

He's the new dean of the UW Business School.

"Jim Jiambalvo is in many respects a home-grown talent and was right there under our noses," said university president Mark Emmert, in a statement. "He is well-known to many in the business community, very well respected by his colleagues both here and around the country, clearly admired by his students, and most of all, has all the requisite attributes to be an exceptional and dynamic leader of our wonderful business school."



More Stem Cell Research is the Same as the Holocaust 

Senator Alex Deccio, last seen calling white people n****r, can't tell the difference between research on discarded embryos and murdering 6 million Jews. I don't know why the people of Yakima keep him around. Anyway, as you recall, after some in the house made the same silly assed comparisons, Jewish leaders slapped them down. Also, Stilwell comments on another aspect of the comparison.

Two important points about this issue: number one, the stem cells for research would come from embryos created by in-vitro fertilization, so the GOP is essentially comparing in-vitro fertilization to genocide. I’m sure the thousands of couples trying to conceive via in-vitro enjoy hearing themselves compared to Hitler. Unless Republicans (Pam Roach?) start offering their uteri to save all these frozen embryos, they are full of it.



Death Threats 

I know it's a bit old now, but I'm reading American Brutus now. It's about John Wilkes Booth, but it delves into plenty of other aspects of the time. One interesting thing, that I knew but hadn't thought of for a while was when Lincoln was first elected, he had to sneak into DC because there were death threats. As the book says on pages 113 and 114:

Hostile newspapers made the most of the story, showing cartoons of the terrified president-elect sneaking out of a railroad car in a ridiculous Scotch cap. Lincoln regretted the course he had taken, but felt he had little choice. He knew the threat was real, even if some were denying it, and he was just acting prudently in hurrying past the danger. But to the public he looked scared and undignified. He had been publicly embarrassed.
Anyway, it made me think of the bizaro world mockery of death threats to governor Gregoire a few months ago. Oh you changed your schedule to avoid being murdered. How horrible of you.



Wild Fires 

It may be tough to get the guard to fight fires this season.

Rose Davis, a spokeswoman for the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho, said she's fielded many questions regarding the availability of the National Guard, but it's too soon to say if and where they'll be needed.[...]

Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire in early March declared a drought emergency and ordered the National Guard to prepare for wildfire duty this summer. At her request, the Legislature passed a measure allowing the governor to activate the Guard so soldiers can be trained prior to deployment for emergencies such as wildfires.

When responding to wildfires, the Department of Natural Resource relies first on its own employees, seasonal firefighters and contract crews, as well as inmates from the Corrections Department, said Janet Pearce, a spokeswoman with the department in Washington.
They'll figure something out. I may be called out if stuff gets real hairy. So hopefully it won't come to that.



Friday, April 08, 2005

Creed 

Orcinus points out that people who think that we shouldn't extend protection against discriminaiton to gays because they are chosing to engage in their homosexuality are missing a big assed point. That you chose your creed and that is protected by the state law that wasn't extended to homosexuals.

It's the same reason given by many evangelicals -- and particularly black and minority evangelicals, and people who claim they support civil rights -- for not supporting gays and lesbians in hate-crime protections: "You can't compare being gay to being black. One's immutable, one's chosen."

Well, yes, this is true when it comes to race. And even ethnicity. These are, after all, two of the three main legs of anti-discrimination and hate-crimes laws.

But it's not true of the third leg of these laws: religion. Last I checked, this too was a "chosen behavior."

In RCW 49.60, the matter of faith is defined more broadly as "creed." This thus includes atheism, agnosticism, and other belief systems.

Now, it's true that many people are born into faiths and don't really choose their creed, but it's also a fact that everyone is free to change their creed at any time of their choosing. It's truly a chosen behavior.



Hey Southies! Run for Office 

Progressive Majority Washington is doing campaign training in Vancouver. At the ILWU Local 4, 1205 Ingalls Street.



Greene 

I'm not a huge physics guy. I'm pretty sure I got a D in it in high school. But I love Brian Greene. And any Friday without Krugman is at least made much better with most of the editorial page taken up by one of the smartest people alive. You may have seen his NOVA specials. But his book The Elegant Universe makes physics interesting. So I'm just saying, read the article.



Farmers Market 

Hell yeah! I love the Oly farmers market, and if you believe the writers of this article (and you can see I do) they apparently won't be having apostrophes there. Anyway, it kicked off yesterday, and should be in full swing now.



Dear Slade Gorton, 

First off, and I'm about to make fun of you, but this is from the heart: good job with the 9/11 commission. Ok, that felt strange, back to how you're an idiot:

You think "that King County has the worst election administration in any county in the United States of America." The worst? I mean no Jewish surge for Buchanan. No Catherine Harris shutting down the election because she doesn't like how it was going. An actual paper record.

I know you don't like King County because they didn't vote for you. But given error rates well below the national standard. Given that compared to many Eastern Washington counties they have a tiny percentage of improperly verified provisional ballots. But I guess error rates over 4% don't make you the worst; .07% that's why we need the Feds to investigate.

Love,

Carl Ballard

Sent



Thursday, April 07, 2005

Monorail 

The Seattle Monorail Project has itself a bond. The only downside is there will be fewer stations than they originally thought.



Wednesday, April 06, 2005

House Budget 

Here's a great rundown of the budget the house just passed from the Democratic Caucus. Kick ass charts. More money for education; More money for healthcare; 9950 more slots for students at state colleges. Like the Governor's budget, the estate tax and the tobacco tax are the only new taxes.




One Less Blue Law 

The senate allows liquor sales on Sundays. If it passes the house we'll be right up to the 1940's in our state liquor laws.



Welcome Home 

To the men and women of the 81st Brigade. They've been home for a while (a relation of mine was back on Easter). But now it's official.



Labor 

Lynn Allen over at Evergreen Politics has an interview with David Rolf, the President of SEIU Local 775.



Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Drinking Liberally 

I don't drink, but how the hell can you miss the chance to see two of the state's best bloggers (and now me) in the same room. David Neiwert will be there. As will Goldy.

Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Ave. E. 8:00 tonight.

...It was fun wish you were there, except if you were, then I'm glad you were there. Niewert of course talked about the line between rightwing extremism and their mainstream. How it's blurred over the years. It was good to see Goldy there. He thinks bloggers need to shame the press into doing a good job. He also likes ye' olde Political Report. I'm not too serious. I live so far out that I have to go early from those sort of things.



Discrimination on Sexual Preference Still Legal 

Smarter people who aren't rushed are already commenting on the loss of HB1515 in the state senate. OlyScoop has Rep Murray's statement. On the Road to 2008 has some good analysis.



Gary K. Weeks 

He'll be the new director at L&I. Here's what a press release from the governor's office has to say about him.

Weeks currently is director of the Oregon Department of Human Services, the largest state agency in Oregon with 9,500 employees and a budget of $9.5 billion. Before that, he was director of Government Operations, a position that serves as the operations manager for all of state government.

Weeks also worked with the Casey Strategic Consulting Group, which assists states, counties and cities with the reform of public human services systems. The group’s consultants often are called in when there are significant management challenges, particularly in child welfare and juvenile justice.



Dear Steve Hammond and Reagan Dunn, 

I can understand how you're both concerned with our elections as one of you has never won a vote of the people and the other suggested that not jerry mandering districts to produce a Republican County Council in overwhelmingly Democratic king county was as bad as segregation. But perhaps instead of calling on Dean Logan to resign you could actually listen to him. He's saying that the election division needs more money. Since you control the purse strings directly, but don't have the ability to fire Logan, maybe you should you know, focus on that.

Happy Martyrs of Lesbos Day,

Carl Ballard

...Edited a bit and sent



Monday, April 04, 2005

March Rain 

This article deals with Walla Walla, but it's also true in Western Washington that this recent bout of rainfall has been welcome. But rainfall in the month of March is still below the average for the region. And it will only get worse when summer hits.



Open Thread 

Possible topics:

Is there some other free blogging service that breaks down a little less than Blogger?
Candidates for local office.
Your favorite law passed so far this session.
Whatever's on your mind.



liEFF 

OlyScoop comments on the latest dust up between the state unions and the EFF.

I'm not the least bit sorry to say today that the Evergreen Freedom Foundation has been dealt another setback. The Washington state neo-con incubator has failed to convince thousands of state employees that they'd be better off without representation to bargain for worker rights and benefits. In fact, more state employees are vying for and likely to get union represenatation.

Whatever EFF folks may say, it's going to ring hollow unless it's provably true. Not this time. Seldom ever.



Estate Tax 

Goldy has the winning arguments.



Sunday, April 03, 2005

Clean Cars 

Passed the house. Holly Forest of the Cascade Chapeter of the Sierra Club has the word on DFW.

The state House passed the Clean Car Bill (HB1397) This would set standards to help reduce global warming pollution and toxic air emissions that cause cancer, asthma and other respiratory ailments. Automobiles are the #1 source of Washington's air pollution. Now it is up to the state Senate - where thanks to the efforts of many environmentalists in this last election - the Democrats hold the majority. While clean air shouldn't be a partisan issue, the truth is that many anti-government Republicans vote against regulatory standards which would protect the public health. So we now have a good chance to clean up our air...if enough lawmakers support this bill. Please CALL YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY! Call 1-800-562-6000.



Lefty Locals Radio 

Blather Watch thinks we should have more local talent on 1090. I'd go for a weekend show if they're hiring. There is some awful music show after Laura Flanders. A few hours of lefty local radio would be much better. Other than that, the 1090 lineup is pretty good.



Streetcar 

As much as I want to keep the waterfront streetcar Page Miller's plan has some serious problems. First off, thanks for the land but the new track and shed don't build themselves. Second running a trolley line through the park isn't exactly the way to keep the park serene (yes I know, trains run by it, but not through it and not as frequently). So there's still quite a bit of contention around it.



Local Businesses: Coffee Shops 

At the risk of exposing the fact that I'm a Western Washington boy, I love coffee shops. I love the smells, the atmosphere of a good coffee shop. I love a place where you can either rush in in the morning for a quick jolt of caffeine or stay for hours sipping your drink and reading the paper.

I've written several posts from Hotwire. I prefer the spacious one in Shoreline. It hosts performances from time to time, and you never feel rushed. It's a wonderful place to spend part of a lazy weekend. I really like the chocolate chip muffins. The one in West Seattle is a fine little place, but it just isn't the same. My favorite memory of the place is reading this comic while someone was performing an incredibly sad song and laughing totally inappropriately.

When I was growing up, I couldn't get enough of Bauhaus. I haven't been there in a good long time, but I still have fond memories of sitting at the upper level looking down at the city.

Downtown Seattle is littered with coffee shops, but the best is Zeitgeist. The art on the wall is always amazing. The drinks are good.

I don't know if it counts as a coffee shop or not but I have to give props to Cyber Dogs. Any description makes it seem awful but it totally works. It's owned by a Russian immigrant who's insane; She'll tell you the tea you just ordered that's a Starbucks brand is "very good but from the evil" as if she isn't stocking it. They serve vegetarian hot dogs as well as being an internet cafe type place. Try the Coney Island or the Dogalisa.



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