bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
Due to the anticipated chaos in downtown Seattle for May Day, I agreed to pick up Bob rather early for rehearsal, about 3:30 PM. (The usual routine is that I drive to the home Bob is sharing with Neil and Don, pick up Bob and continue to South Everett freeway station, where we board the 512 together and walk to the rehearsal space, then Bob goes in and I go off to grab dinner before returning to rehearsal.) When I arrived, Don informed me that on Friday nights, the Fireplace bar in Everett has a Bear Night which he wanted to check out. The place is normally considered a biker bar, but the owner is cool with it.

We arrived at the church about 4:30 PM, two hours early for rehearsal, so Bob suggested we enter the church through the main doors and take the elevator upstairs to the rehearsal hall as the doors at the top of the hill would be locked. That accomplished, I left through those doors and went in search of dinner. Since I needed to top up my ORCA card anyway, I walked the three blocks down the steep hill on Seneca Street to University Street Station and took care of business at the machine, then returned to Third Avenue. Since I didn't feel like climbing the hill, I walked down Third and, not seeing anything to my liking, descended to the other end of University Street Station and caught the train one stop to Westlake Center. Unfortunately, again due to the anticipated chaos, not only was the mall closed early for the day (except for Zara which has its own entrances), but also BWW where I intended to have dinner. Westlake Park was still pretty chill then, but dozens of bike cops in armor were just waiting for someone to start something.

So I decided to walk to the Pacific Place mall a couple of blocks away, reasoning that they were far enough away from the commotion that they were still functioning. In the food court on the fourth floor I selected Johnny Rockets hamburger joint, where I was served by a cute, twinkish dude with red plugs in his earlobes and a rather flirtatious manner about him, as well as a cubbier dude with a goatee behind the counter. I had a nice dinner of onion rings (served with a lion head drawn in ketchup on the bottom of a paper "monkey dish" for dipping) and a big burger. There weren't a whole lot of customers but I suppose you take what you can get under the circumstances.

Satisfied, I returned to the rehearsal space via Sixth Avenue, taking my time ascending the hill (which is longer and therefore less steep than Seneca). I suppose I could have used the escalators at the Convention Center but I didn't want to risk going out of my way and finding them closed, adding to my walk. Rehearsal went well if a bit sparsely attended. We rode home with Neil as usual.
bigmacbear: Me in a leather jacket and Hockey Night in Canada ball cap, on a ferry with Puget Sound in background (Default)
It's been an interesting 48 hours or so here in Western Washington -- in the sense of the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."

Sunday morning, a man walked into a coffee shop in Parkland, WA just south of Tacoma and shot and killed four Lakewood Police officers. After a two day manhunt the man, identified as Maurice Clemmons, was shot dead in Seattle by an officer of the Seattle Police Department.

From the first reports of the killings on Sunday I suspected the shooter would never stand trial. Killers of police officers have a way of turning up dead. It would be interesting to see if there are any statistics as to the percentage of cases of murder of police officers that are resolved at trial rather than by the death of the suspect.

And the comments on the news sites run very heavily to the opinion that this is exactly the course of action that should be taken in these cases, and that friends and family should be allowed no leniency when it comes to aiding and abetting charges. I think it has yet to be established which family members knew what he'd done and assisted him anyway, and which were simply unfortunate enough to find him on their doorstep in his quest for sanctuary that he would never obtain.

Taken as a whole, this sentiment is all about vengeance, and justice has nothing to do with it. But you know what? Vengeance still serves a purpose in human society, and you are not going to eliminate it by any amount of legal process or pious pronouncements, even if the majority happen to worship a God who reserves vengeance to himself (Romans 12:19).

In the end, Maurice Clemmons probably got exactly what he deserved. But we will never know why he did what he did, and that is the basic problem whenever vengeance takes the place of justice.

August 2017

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