Workers Strike Back, a group organized by Seattle City Council Member Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative, rallied at Bezos's balls on Saturday along with Amazon air hub workers from Kentucky. At the demonstration, one worker, Edward Clarke, said the company fired him for organizing. "In Kentucky," the Seattle Times wrote, "Amazon workers said the company tried to shut down a rally the union held earlier this month by telling them a 2-foot-by-2-foot table was a safety hazard."
Washington is #4 in the nation! ...When it comes to states with the highest jail death rates. Those rates have "steadily risen since the early 2000s" and currently sit about 9 points higher than the national rate, according to Sydney Brownstone over at the Seattle Times. A state law passed last year aimed to start tackling the problem by making counties report "unexpected deaths in custody" within 120 days, but only four of WA's 39 counties have done so. Since jail is the only thing that works, I guess we'll just have to throw the jailers in jail until they comply.
Already need a weather break: It's partly cloudy and chilly this morning, with highs in the mid-50s. Expect gusts tonight through tomorrow afternoon.
A weather system well offshore will bring gusty easterly winds to the Cascade gaps & to portions of the east Puget Sound lowlands late tonight - Tuesday afternoon. Wind gusts to 40-50 mph will be possible at times. #wawx pic.twitter.com/yLjOAhdQSo— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 27, 2023
Fucking over transit riders forever: Last Thursday evening, Sound Transit's board looked at a handful of proposed light rail routes from Ballard to West Seattle. Some plans aimed to preserve one of the last active Chinatowns in the country by axing a station serving First Hill and building other stations to the north and south of the International District. Another plan would have included a station serving First Hill residents and located a major transit hub just outside the ID, creating smoother transfers for all riders. The board chose the former option, but they'll continue to study the latter option. The Urbanist has more.
Parking rates rise: Afternoon/evening parking meter costs "in most business districts" around town rise $1 starting today, according to KIRO 7. The Seattle Department of Transportation adjusts prices seasonally, and 'tis the season.
Daffodil time: Thousands of daffodils are screaming their little heads off in Skagit Valley right now, each one a little yellow trumpet heralding spring. KOMO took some photos. That means it's time to read Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," which is a medium-good poem about the flower but a classic example of a truncated greater Romantic lyric as described by M.H. Abrams.
This flower festival in La Conner provides bright fields of flowers and waterside restaurants, breweries and activities. https://t.co/fnNA9OTXOj— Bellingham Herald (@BhamHerald) March 23, 2023
May you live to be 1,000 years old, Cuff: The leather bar celebrated its 30th birthday with a party that lasted from 3 pm to 3 am on Saturday, Capitol Hill Seattle Blawg reports. They partnered with Tom of Finland to offer a photobooth, "free buzz cuts... flash tattoos, a boot black station, dildo cornhole, and 'free wieners and salacious drink specials.'"
At least they got to see the big slide: Los Angeles police detained a person who opened the emergency exit door on a flight to Seattle as the plane "was pushing away from the gate," according to KIRO 7. The inflatable emergency slide deployed, and airport police say authorities took the passenger to "a local hospital for mental evaluation."
"A colony of Somalis": That's how Kent School Board President Tim Clark referred to living human beings when discussing district boundaries at a meeting last week. After public criticism, Clark resigned from his post as president but not from the board, KING 5 reports. Meanwhile, a little further south in Bonney Lake, school board member Richard Hendricks is launching into anti-LGBTQ rants.
Chris Rufo needs to work harder: It's looking like the crusade to ban books and trans people isn't exactly popular, according to a poll from the Wall Street Journal conducted earlier this month:
A few findings from the new WSJ poll that should scare Republicans relying on "woke" attacks— Josh Schwerin (@JoshSchwerin) March 27, 2023
1) Tolerance is as important as money
2) Book banning is far worse than offensive content
3) Majorities think society has been about right or not gone far enough on range of DEI issues pic.twitter.com/fwHd6IeXpS
Welp, I'll be appealing every health insurance rejection from now on: A blood-boiling investigation from Propublica reveals that Cigna, an insurance company that "covers" 18 million people, uses an algorithm that "flags mismatches between diagnoses and what the company considers acceptable tests and procedures for those ailments," and then passes along those flagged claims to company doctors, who immediately sign-off on the coverage denials without first reviewing them. From one of the doctors the outlet interviewed: "We literally click and submit. It takes all of 10 seconds to do 50 at a time.” The most innovative health care system in the world, everybody!
Trump's first rally: As a Manhattan prosecutor prepares to indict the former president possibly for allegedly falsifying business documents, Trump held his first election rally in Waco, TX. According to Politico, he took the stage in front of thousands as "a rendition of the 'Star Spangled Banner' sung by the 'J6 Choir' played, set to a video of protesters storming the U.S. Capitol."
The "J6 Choir?" Yes, the J6 Prison Choir. A choir of people who saw jail time for storming the Capitol. They sell their single, which is just them singing the "Star Spangled Banner," on colored vinyl at a price range I can only describe as felonious.
Twitter's bones were showing: At Twitter's request, GitHub took down a bunch of the company's leaked source code that had been sitting out in the open "for at least several months," according to the New York Times. A tech "threat analyst" told the Times the exposed code would make it "a little bit easier and speedier" for hackers "to probe for vulnerabilities.”
RIP to the Texas Observer: A big liberal donor fell off, and now one of the major investigative outlets in the state is dead.
Holy shit.— Emily Ramshaw (@eramshaw) March 27, 2023
Texas Observer, legendary crusading liberal magazine, is closing and laying off its staff https://t.co/4KpqJjrEgT via @TexasTribune
Tornado rips through the south: Reuters reports 25 dead in Mississippi and one dead in Alabama after storms hit the region this weekend. One tornado touched down and "cut a path of destruction some 170 miles (274 km) long." Whole towns just look deleted. Biden described the images as "heartbreaking" and released funding to supplement local efforts.
Putin says he plans to store some tactical nukes in Belarus: U.S. officials called Putin's rhetoric “dangerous” but then said they "saw no immediate danger or reasons to change their own strategic nuclear positions," reports the Washington Post.
Protests in Tel Aviv kicked off as Israel's parliament prepares to hand over the country's court to extremists. People rushed into the street this weekend after right-wing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canned a right-wing defense minister who suggested maybe pressing the pause button on a plan to "give the extreme-right governing coalition the final say over all judicial appointments," Al Jazeera reports. The reforms would also allow parliament to overturn Court decisions with a simple majority and limit judicial review, which would honestly sound great if the knesset wasn't full of absolutely insane people.
Over the weekend I watched, James Szalapski's Heartworn Highways, a genius observational documentary about the rise of 1970s outlaw country in Austin, TX. Couldn't recommend it highly enough. I would have posted Guy Clark singing "That Old Time Feeling," but it's too sad for the morning, so here's him singing "L.A. Freeway."