This has been a moderately interesting week. As I write this on Oct. 8, Facebook has had four days to make up some plausible excuse for not functioning for eight hours the previous Monday. Not even that old standby, “The dog ate our server.”
Anitra “Won’t Sit Sideways” Freeman and I had our opening-day adventure riding the light rail to the new U District station. We wanted to get in on the $3 food walk deals, but we found out that we have become too old to stand in line for 45 minutes to buy a little bit of food. If we stand in line as long as that, we need a quantity of food at the end.
We’ll of course check out the Northgate and Roosevelt stations soon. Neither of us have explored Northgate since it became a ghost mall. Halloween might be an excellent time to go.
We’re also looking forward to the first-ever branching line, the number 2 light rail to Redmond. It will finally be possible to tell tourists which light rail to get on to go where. For years I’ve felt bad to have to tell tourists, “Yes, you’re on the right train. There’s only one going this direction. You don’t have to worry about changing to another one.”
Now I’ll be able to say, “Oh, you want to go to Bellevue? Be sure to switch to the number 2 at the ID Station, or you’ll end up in Tukwila! (Or Northgate!)”
As it is now, the only way I get to worry tourists is to warn them that we have three University stations. One University Street Station, one University of Washington station, and one University District station. “Don’t get them mixed up! Hahahaha!”
In the News You Can’t Use category, we had our Seattle City Council pass a resolution to the effect that various natural psychedelic substances, including magic mushrooms, should be legal. That’s all. Just a resolution. They didn’t risk rocking any boats by legalizing such stuff. They just aimed to tell us all that they think they should do so.
I know, it’s kind of scary to pass laws that contradict federal and state laws.
This is one of the few issues I’m not tempted to personalize. It is very unlikely that I’d do shrooms on account of being able to have visions all by myself, just by drinking coffee.
The biggest news of the week is the news that we can stop worrying about a national financial disaster that could destroy everyone’s life savings. At least until the first week in December when we’ll hit the debt ceiling again, and the Republicans again try to stop the Democrats from fixing the problem. Just on the lead up to the temporary resolution of the impasse in the senate, the financial markets saw losses of around 2 percent. Those losses were probably due to jitters. I’ll bet the markets will lose more like 50 percent if the debt ceiling isn’t raised in December.
I don’t really want the U.S. to join debtor nations. The US economy is too big to fail. The International Monetary Fund probably won’t bail the U.S. out.
The law will immediately force austerity on the nation. The Treasury department won’t be able to simultaneously pay out federal workers’ paychecks, tax refunds for late returns, social security checks and doctors’ and hospitals’ payments for services rendered according to the Affordable Care Act.
A substantial amount of those funds will have to be denied, meaning that the money involved will be taken out of circulation.
When doctors, federal workers, senior citizens and late taxpayers don’t get the money they usually get, that money won’t get spent the usual ways. That’s money that won’t get spent on businesses where it has been spent. It won’t just be doctors, federal workers, senior citizens losing money, every business in the country will lose income.
So the stock market would crash, probably worse than it did in 2008. There goes everyone’s pension.
But never mind all that now because thanks to Sen. Mitch McConnell flinching, the Republicans didn’t filibuster against this month’s needed extension of the debt ceiling, so the catastrophe I’ve been talking about will be postponed two months.
So let’s all dance and be carefree and smoke pot until then, and dream of a time when we can do psychedelics every day, all day long.
Dr. Wes is the Real Change Circulation Specialist, but, in addition to his skills with a spreadsheet, he writes this weekly column about whatever recent going-ons caught his attention. Dr. Wes has contributed to the paper since 1994. Curious about his process or have a response to one of his columns? Connect with him at [email protected].
Read more of the Oct. 13-19, 2021 issue.