How, exactly, does a cyclist endanger a motorist?

Aug 28, 2004 | | 0 comments |

Thousands of cyclists converged on Madison Square Garden last night in a huge protest against El Busho. So the police arrested 250 of them for "protesting". The most curious quote came from NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne, who said the riders had caused "massive disruptions" and endangered motorists trying to drive through the city.

Exactly how Mr Browne, do cyclists on small bicycles, endanger people in 2-ton metal cages?

Participants asserted that the ride was peaceful and said the arrests were an excessive show of force. Corporate MoFo has some great eyewitness accounts of the demonstration.

Yawn. Zzzzzzz.

Aug 27, 2004 | | 0 comments |

Damn I'm just having one of those "can't get going" days. ...

The deck is coming along. Most of the railing posts are up and half the balusters are done. Nearly there.....

Aug 26, 2004 | | 0 comments |



YESSSS!!!!! At last!
Because these sorts of stories vanish quickly, today's entry is a verbatim copy of the article in the New Scotsman:
(Here's a link to the same story on the BBC.)

AN AUDACIOUS bid to impeach Tony Blair for misleading Parliament over the reasons for the war in Iraq will be launched by MPs today.

The cross-party group say they have rock-solid academic backing for their attempt to invoke an ancient mechanism that could unseat the Prime Minister.

This latest assault on Mr Blair’s integrity is being led by the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, the Welsh nationalists together with a Conservative MP, but it is expected that other Tories and Liberal Democrats will sign up along with disaffected Labour backbenchers.

The power of impeachment has not been used in Britain for 150 years, but it remains on the statute book despite an attempt to erase it in 1999.

Alex Salmond, the SNP leader at Westminster and the favourite to succeed John Swinney as overall Nationalist leader, will spearhead the campaign, along with Tory MP Boris Johnson and Plaid Cymru MP Adam Price, at its public launch in London today.

Mr Price said: "The Prime Minister’s deliberate and repeated distortion of the truth has destroyed our reputation for honesty around the world.

"It has produced a war with no end in sight, it has damaged and discredited the intelligence services which are essential to the security of the state, it has undermined the constitution by weakening cabinet government to breaking point; and it has made a mockery of Parliament as representatives of the people.

"As the major report we publish today conclusively demonstrates, the Prime Minister’s statements about Iraq’s weapons in the run-up to the war simply were not true, and there was British intelligence and UN evidence available to the Prime Minister at the time he made these statements showing them to be false. In other words, we were duped.

"Faced with such compelling evidence of deliberate deception which is outlined in our report, it is simply unprecedented for a Minister to refuse to resign.

"This is why we are today announcing our intention to impeach the Prime Minister in relation to the invasion of Iraq."

Two academics have worked on the MPs’ behalf to explore if Mr Blair could be impeached.

Cambridge-based Glen Ranwala and Dan Plesch, who has also published damning accounts of how the government distorted its evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, have concluded the process is possible.

The academics have dissected the Hutton and Butler reports to expose what they claim are examples of the Prime Minister exaggerating or ignoring intelligence service advice.

The plan to impeach the Prime Minister appears, ostensibly, to be a party political stunt.

It will resurrect the issue of the Prime Minister’s integrity over Iraq during the quiet summer recess and keep the issue in the public eye.

Mr Salmond and Mr Johnson believe they have found an opportunity to use old parliamentary processes to keep the pressure on Mr Blair and they are determined to use it.

It is unlikely, however, to lead to Mr Blair’s impeachment - simply because of the large amount of official research and investigation which has already gone into the issue.

The MPs supporting the bid claim the public is weary after two inquiries, both sponsored by the government, found Mr Blair and other senior ministers not guilty of misleading them over Iraq. Both the Hutton and the Butler reports exonerated Mr Blair, but the evidence given to both inquiries has helped Mr Ranwala and Mr Plesch compile their dossier that could lead to an historic attempt to impeach Mr Blair.

Don't look at anything! The MPAA will sue you!

Aug 25, 2004 | | 0 comments |

The "Induce" Act is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Remember that's the act that would outlaw any technology which could induce the user to make illegal copies of copyrighted work. That includes cameras, VCRs, PCs, DVD recorders, pens and paper, your eyeballs......

The act's proponents have emphasized that they only want to target 'rogue' P2P companies while leaving the Sony Betamax decision intact. Great. So the technology associations have drafted a bill that takes them at their word. Of course, the RIAA and MPAA will predictably complain that the language is too narrow, which will then beg the question -- who else did they want to target with this legislation? How many legitimate technology companies do they want swept up in the web of legal uncertainty created by this bill?

Trip. Fall. Sue bridge owner.

Aug 24, 2004 | | 0 comments |

This is priceless:
Nadia Hama, who dropped her infant daughter from the Capilano Suspension Bridge nearly five years ago, is pressing ahead with a suit against the operators of the privately owned tourist attraction. She claims the company was negligent in failing to warn the public not to carry children across the narrow bridge, that the bridge is "inherently unstable and dangerous" and that signs should be posted warning visitors to watch their step while crossing the bridge, which sways at times. Lawyers for the company on Monday asked the court to have the case - due for jury trial starting Nov. 15 - dismissed on grounds bridge operators were not negligent. In fact, they argued, it was Hama who was solely responsible for the incident.

The interesting thing is that witnesses to the event said that Hama didn't slip, or trip, or fall. Instead they say they saw her baby fall "smoothly" from her mother's arms.

Hama is seeking general, special and punitive damages against the bridge operators for nervous shock, mental and emotional stress and costs. Apparently, because of the publicity involved in this ridiculous lawsuit, she feels constantly guilty and can't hold down a job, because as soon as people find out who she is, they fire her, or in the case of her friends, dump her like a sack of potatoes.

Hey Nadia. Blow me. You don't deserve a single cent. In fact, you should be locked up in an insane asylum for throwing your kid off the side of a bridge and then trying to sue the bridge owner because they didn't tell you not to throw your kid off the bridge. The story is here.

Paul Hamm is NOT the silver medallist.


Who'd have thought gymnastics could be so exciting. There was almost a riot at the horizontal bar finals last night in Athens. Everyone was doing so-so, and the judges were awarding some bizarre points. And then the Russian, Alexei Nemov did his routine, including no less than six releases, four of which were extremely complex somersault-twist combinations. He made a small step on landing, which could have knocked off a little, but when the scores flashed up, he was only awarded 9.725.
The crowd starting whistling and booing, and it went on from there. 5 minutes later, the crowd were on their feet, gesturing thumbs-down, booing, shouting, whistling, jeering and causing a hell of a racket. The chief Olympic scoring judge came out and had a huddle with the Canadian and Malaysian judges - the two who scored Nemov extremely low. They eventually revised the score, but only to 9.762. That made the situation worse. Those who weren't already standing in the crowd, stood up. Those who were got even more vocal. All the time, Paul Hamm was waiting to go and do his routine. In the end, Nemov had to step up to the aparatus again and signal the audience to calm down. They sort of did, but it wasn't until Paul Hamm started his routine that it went a bit quieter.
Hamm's routine was nothing special - certainly not on a par with Nemov's, and when he finished, the judges awarded him a 9.812! I thought the crowd were going to flood the stadium floor and lynch the judges. The jeering and booing started again, and shouting, and throwing of objects. It was unbelievable!
Eventually, the Italian Igor Cassina did his routine, which was also an order of magnitude better than Hamm's, but he also got scored a 9.812. The booing and jeering started again. In the tie-break, he came out on top, Hamm came second and Nemov got knocked off the podium.

Nemov was cheated. Everyone knows it, and he's since said as much in a post-event interview. Paul Hamm pissed away the chance to become an Olympian who would have had his name in the history books. If he'd given up his silver to Nemov on the podium, people would have been talking about it for the next 3 or 4 olympics, and he would have gone down in the history books as the medallist who knew he didn't deserve his position and gave it up to the actual winner. Instead, Hamm came across as a spoiled child.

The scoring and medal positions for that event have to be changed. Hamm is not the silver medallist - he shouldn't even have been on the podium. Nemov should have the gold, Cassina should have the silver, and the Japanese guy should have had the bronze.

I overheard someone talking about this in the gym this morning. He was quite enlightened when he said "the reason the judges keep scoring America so high is because they're afraid El Busho will invade their countries if they give a low mark."
Very good.

The Russians are going to protest to the Olympic committee, and in a quirk of fate, the Greek god Zeus is obviously also displeased with the result, because he sent a 4.5 richter scale earthquake to Athens today :-)