Archive for June, 2010

From the Kitchen: End of An Era, Start of An Era

By • on June 25, 2010 at 2:16 pm

It’s all mixed up. We’re sad, we’re excited, we’re proud of what we’ve done but there’s a lot more to come.

This issue marks the end of a nearly 14-year run of regular print publication for Eat the State! as a free community newspaper. Between changing media readership (and advertising) habits and the worst economic times in generations, despite a last-minute infusion of cash in April we just couldn’t come up with an ongoing financial model which would enable us to continue printing every other week. And in an electronic media environment where news is now outdated within hours, we just couldn’t see going to a regular, but even less frequent, schedule.

So, while Eat the State! will continue to print for election endorsement issues (next up: July 29!) and our annual year-end issue, and will retain the capacity to print special issues when breaking news demands it, this is the end of our regular print era. We’ll miss it. All of us in the kitchen crew love print media, and we love the idea that–as Llyd Wells describes in his accompanying piece–people could find ETS! who didn’t know they were looking for it. That sort of serendipitous discovery is just harder to come by on the web.

At the same time, the April donation by Earth on the Air Independent Media was critical, because it enabled us to make a direct transition from our regular print schedule to our brand new web site! After what seems like (and was) years of effort, we’ve finally entered the age of modern electronic journalism, with a blog, interactive articles, much more frequently published material, and a bunch of new features coming on line as we work the logistics and wrinkles out. Big thanks to Lansing Scott (Catalytic Communications, and the layout person for all but two of all those ETS! print issues over the years) and Patrick Carr (PQHost.com) for their hard, hard work getting it up and going. Check us out at http://www.eatthestate.org! And, of course, our Saturday morning “Eat the Airwaves!” segment with Maria Tomchick, Geov Parrish, and host Mike McCormick continues, every Saturday at 8:30 AM on KEXP 90.3 FM in Seattle (and archived at http://www.kexp.org).

This issue marks more transition for us, too. At month’s end, co-editor Brandon Augsburg is moving to the Bay Area, and long-time Kitchen Crew member extraordinaire Eddie Tews is moving to Hawaii. They’ll still be involved—that’s the beauty of the Internet–but it’s hard to imagine an ETS! without Eddie at its core, and it’ll be a little lonelier here in the kitchen without each of them. Conversely, now’s a great time for new volunteers to get involved; we’re looking especially for writers and a co-editor or two who can help turn our new site into the amazing community resource it has the potential to be. (Contact us at editorial@eatthestate.org or 206-719-6947 if you’re interested.)

We want our site to be an oasis for people in the Puget Sound region who care about creating a better world. We also want it to reflect the spirit and passion of the literally hundreds and hundreds of people who’ve helped produce the print ETS! since its humble beginnings as a proto-bloggish, photocopied newsletter in 1996. Our humblest thanks, thanks, thanks to all of you, volunteers and readers and advertisers and donors and everyone else who gave a damn, all you who’ve made 14 years of ETS! possible. With your help, dear readers, we can turn this new era into something even bigger and better. The revolution continues! –the ETS! kitchen crew

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Fixing the Council

By • on June 23, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Who do members of the Seattle City Council represent? It’s tempting to say, “nobody,” but that’s not exactly true. If you would like to build a six-story, mixed-use cube (retail on the ground floor, market rate condos above, maybe a floor or two of offices if you’re creative) there are at least seven out of [...]

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“Soul Of A Citizen”: Want To Help? Ten Ways To Start Making Change

By • on June 23, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Effective activism’s a long-haul process, not “save the Earth in 30 days, ask me how.” But there are some principles that seem to reoccur for people addressing every kind of challenge from the Gulf Oil spill to inadequate funding for urban schools to how to deal with Afghanistan and Iraq. They give us clues on [...]

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Reclaim Our History June 24-July 7

By • on June 23, 2010 at 7:00 pm

June 24, 1970: US Senate votes overwhelmingly to repeal Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. Late by at least a million dead. June 25, 1950: In response to American threats to consolidate the south as a permanently separate state, North Korean forces invade South Korea. President Truman receives support from the UN to “repel the aggression” and [...]

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June 27, 1995: Operation Homestead Gets the SWAT Treatment

By • on June 23, 2010 at 6:56 pm

The garishly über-megalithic commercial complex in the heart of downtown Seattle that currently houses NikeTown, along with other similar corporate chain stores, has long been an object of this newspaper’s mockery. You might not think so from looking at it now, but not long ago that spot was the site of an affordable housing complex–one [...]

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Father, Can’t You See That I Am Burning?

By • on June 23, 2010 at 6:49 pm

As regular readers know, this will be the last print edition of ETS! apart from a few special issues each year. Henceforth, ETS! will be available almost exclusively on-line–not only its customary columns and features by contributors, but also a frequently updated blog. I am sure the transition from a regular paper edition to an [...]

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Nature & Politics: He Should Have Kept His Mouth Shut

By • on June 23, 2010 at 4:39 pm

The French have a phrase, “He missed an excellent opportunity to keep his mouth shut.” That was certainly true of Obama on June 15 when he rolled out a big gun from the arsenal of White House crisis management, an Oval Office address. Excluding FDR’s radio chats of the 1930s, there’s scant evidence across the [...]

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McChrystal’s not the problem

By • on June 22, 2010 at 10:54 pm

The Beltway pundiparazzi are all abuzz about a Rolling Stone article in which Gen. Stanley McChrystal, leader of the US effort to, uh, kill a lot of people for no apparent reason in Afghanistan, says impolitic things about most of the civilians he works with and for, up to and including his Commander-in-Chief.

A general has strong opinions? And voices them?

So. Fucking. What.

There actually is an important takeaway from the RS article, and it’s a lot more important than McChrystal’s Christmas card list. It’s that the US has no chance, none, nada, of a favorable outcome in Afghanistan, and even the top military leadership knows it.

One can argue that this isn’t getting the attention of McChrystal’s remarks because everyone who’s paying attention already knows this. And that’s certainly true. But then why isn’t anyone reporting it? Why is the sheer inanity (not to mention the criminal monstrousness) of America’s latest adventure in mass murder not a top-of-newscast, above-the-fold page one headline day after day after day? Granted, there are a lot of other crises competing for attention (miserable economy, roasting planet, water being spotted in a tiny corner of the Gulf of Mexico), but once upon a time the fact that the US was getting its ass kicked in a major land war in Asia was, you know, big news.

The fact that McChrystal’s middle school gossip is headlines, while the trillion-dollar criminal enterprise he oversees isn’t, says a lot about how inured this country has become to its own militarism. Very sad. And scary. And one general resigning, or not, isn’t what’s needed to change things.

Of course, not all media outlets are letting things like oil spills or joblessness distract them. This morning’s lead Seattle Times story was a cutting-edge investigative piece on the dangers of people feeding baby seals.

And we wonder why They hate our freedoms…

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Activist Calendar: June 23-July 12

By • on June 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23 Noon-1 PM. Memorial vigil for David Jensen. WHEEL/Church of Mary Magdalene Women in Black vigils each time a member of Seattle’s homeless community dies on the streets. Jensen, 51, was found dead in his storage unit at 115th & Aurora on Monday, June 14. The cause of his death is not yet [...]

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Icelandic exceptionalism: update

By • on June 19, 2010 at 7:31 am

The invaluable Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com raises some excellent questions about (among other odd aspects of the case) the Pentagon’s use of the Bradley Manning case as an anti-WikiLeaks disinformation campaign.

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