Monthly Archive for May, 2008

Fox News goes all out fair and balanced on Barack Obama

A Fox News contributor, Liz Trotta, apparently thinks we would all be better off if both Osama Bin Laden and Barack Obama were dead. She wished “both of them” were dead on live TV on May 25th.

This is, of course, a somewhat expected escalation of the “fair and balanced” reporting from Fox News. Day in and day out they demonize their “opponents” with nastiness not seen in network TV before.

You gotta wonder what happens to individuals advocating assassinating presidential candidates. At Fox News…probably a promotion and a raise.


Stepneygate 101

Wired has published an excellent article about the Stepnegate Formula One spy scandal from last summer. The article is written by writer Mark Seal.

The article describes what transpired, why Nigel Stepney did it, how he was caught, and many reactions from stakeholders. It’s an excellent and quite in depth look into one of the most bizarre and, yes, interesting events to ever have happened to Formula One.


Judge recommends Jack Thompson to be found guilty of 27 charges of misconduct

Mr., and I use the term loosely, Jack Thompson has been facing misconduct charges from his antics in fighting the evils of video games in several jurisdictions for quite some time.

The judge presiding over the hearings that took place last fall has issued a preliminary report on her findings. She is recommending the Florida Supreme Court find Jack Thompson guilty of 27 out of 31 misconduct charges, incl.:

  • Knowingly making a false statement of material fact or law to a tribunal
  • Knowingly disobeying an obligation under the rules of a tribunal
  • Communicating the merits of the case with a judge before whom the proceeding is pending
  • Using means that have no purpose other than to embarrass, delay or burden a third person
  • Engaging in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation
  • Engaging in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly or through callous indifference disparage or humiliate litigants or other lawyers
  • Making statements that the lawyer knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity concerning the qualifications or integrity of a judge

I don’t really see any room to wiggle here. The charges sound serious enough to warrant disbarment.

The final ruling by the Florida Supreme Court is due out later in the year.


Jammie Thomas is possibly getting a new trial

The judge, who presided over Capitol vs. Thomas suit filed by RIAA against Jammie Thomas, is considering granting Jammie Thomas a new trial, because an “error in law” might’ve resulted in the wrong verdict.

Specifically the issue is with one of the instructions the judge gave to the jury in the case. He instructed the jury that making files available for download is the same as actually distributing the files in the eyes of the law. The judge is now reversing his direction based on other cases where the “making available” theory has been debunked.

Jammie Thomas is the person who was found guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay $222,000 (over 10,000 times the times of the cost of the music she was allegedly sharing) in damages.


Torture on US soil, pt II

I wrote last year about two lawsuits filed against the US Government by two immigrants deported from the country. The deportees claimed the US immigration officials escorting them out of the country drugged them with powerful antipsychotic drugs against their will and with no medical reason to pacify them while they were in custody and en route back to their home countries. Both those cases have since been settled out of court in favor of the deportees.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) changed its rules regarding Involuntary chemical restraint of detainees (i.e. torture) after the lawsuits so that any such actions requires a court order, but a Washington Post article investigating the issue says ICE has continued to ignore its rules.

Haldol, one of the drugs routinely administered to deportees, has been in used in Soviet Union, where it was often given to political dissidents imprisoned in psychiatric hospitals. It is good to know “cultural” exchange with the Soviet Union is still bearing fruit.


Power to the babies!

Power to the babies, no delay
To make everybody see
In order to fight the powers that be

Listen, Ava, when you grow up, I’m sure you’ll have plenty of opportunities to embarrass your dad. But for now, it’s my turn.

The excellent t-shirt acquired from Revo Baby – Revolutionary Baby Attire.


Finns are mad for ice hockey

The Ice Hockey World Championships are in progress again and Finland’s been doing quite well so far. They’re undefeated.

A New York Times blog about ice hockey featured the personification of Finnish ice hockey madness, TV sports commentator Antero Mertaranta. He may be mad, but he’s mad in exactly the right sort of way to be the perfect ice hockey commentator.

Se on siinä!


Russian opposition leaders to be arrested

The Other Russia opposition leaders, Garry Kasparov and Eduard Limonov, have found out the Russian authorities are planning on arresting them to prevent them from attending the Other Russia coalition’s National Assembly in two weeks.

These “tactical” arrests are nothing new in the neo-Soviet Russia, of course, but what’s new is going after these high profile leaders in such a manner. Garry Kasparov, of course, is well known around the world for being the grand master chess player.


New York City air quality is horrible

The American Lung Association released their State of the Air 2008 report this week.

New York City receives a failing grade for particle pollution and rises to 8th place in the list of cities most polluted by ozone. Furthermore respiratory diseases are on the rise in the city.

Louise Vetter, president and ceo of American Lung Association of New York City, says New York City’s air problems are the result of high traffic and the density of traffic.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the wisdom of our State legislators in Albany. They recently decided to floor New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal for congestion traffic pricing in New York City. I thank them for their contribution in increasing pediatric asthma cases in New York City. I hope your children living in upstate New York continue to enjoy fresh air. Just be careful when coming over to visit us city folks here in New York City. As you may know the air quality here will just keep worsening. Thanks to you.