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Posted March 7, 2008 in News • Tags:

Björk has gotten into a spot of trouble in China:

… singer Bjork caused controversy by shouting “Tibet, Tibet” at a Shanghai concert. … China’s culture ministry said the outburst “broke Chinese law and hurt Chinese people’s feelings” and pledged to “further tighten controls”.

“Hurt Chinese people’s feelings”? Hold on while I vomit…. There, back now. One would think Chinese people’s “feelings” are hurt more by their illegitimate government’s detainment and torture of their countrymen who do things like… advocate freedom for Tibet. Foreigners get off with a warning and perhaps banishment; natives disappear.

Vice cops apparently don’t have any real crime to fight, as they continue–with admirable reluctance–to take on the dreadful burden of asking hot babes for sex in stripper bars.

The State Liquor Authority lifted the jiggle joint’s liquor license Wednesday for allowing prostitution to flourish on the premises. … Undercover Manhattan South vice cops found women selling sex to customers in back rooms, VIP lounges and even bathrooms in the W. 28th St. club.

One has to wonder, from where does the liquor board derive its authority to combat sex “crimes”? And since the charge seems to be prostitution, isn’t the usual punishment a short jail term for the “criminals”? None of this makes any sense. Nevertheless, the government will continue to pat itself on the back for fighting these “crimes”, thinking there is any relationship whatsoever between vice and real crime. In case they intend to bring up the “broken windows” theory where stopping smaller crimes leads to a decrease in larger crimes (about which topic and whether this theory is actually responsible for NYC’s dramatic drop in crime during the late nineties and early aughts one could fill an entire book), I offer the following memo to the NYPD, or the liquor board, or whoever the fuck they’re getting to fight crime these days: stopping vice does not have any effect on real crime, unlike other petty crimes such as vandalism or trespassing. The people who seek expensive stripper sex and the strippers who service them are not the same people who go on to commit larger crimes.

The real crime is that victimless crimes are crimes in the first place™.

Posted February 13, 2008 in News • Tags: ,

Uh… what?

Rights groups on Wednesday praised Hollywood director Steven Spielberg’s decision to shun involvement with the Beijing Olympics opening and closing ceremonies because China was not doing enough to help end the crisis in Darfur.

I can think of a lot of reasons to condemn China’s corrupt, murderous regime without dragging the Sudan into it. [more]

Posted January 25, 2008 in News • Tags: ,

Finally, some radical thinking on bus and subway fares:

It might sound like pie in the sky– but a new plan unveiled today would not only keep bus and subway fares down, it would eliminate them altogether. It’s an extreme congestion pricing plan that makes Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s look tame.

Not mentioned in the article–or anywhere that I’ve seen–is the cost savings that could be realized by eliminating the massive fare-collection apparatus required by the current system: token booth clerks, the computerized metro card system, card readers. One wonders whether the idea of eliminating fares might actually pay for itself, without the need for the draconian congestion pricing mentioned in the article (which doesn’t have a hope in hell of passing). Which leads to:

However worthy an idea, it seems unlikely New Yorkers will see free subways and buses anytime soon. It’s not even being considered by the Congestion Pricing Commission, which votes next week on a proposal to forward to lawmakers.

Of course no one will take the idea seriously. The Transit Workers Union would become apoplectic. They know that their salaries–like in almost any business–are the largest cost of running the system. And since the city sings to its tune, there’s no eliminating those jobs, let alone getting even modest cuts on the table.

Posted January 17, 2008 in News • Tags:

“Can we simply abandon an enterprise because it is a problem for a particular individual?” Chertoff told CNN. “I don’t think I can accept that.”

A perfect expression of this administration’s contemptible loathsomeness.

Posted January 11, 2008 in News • Tags:

A real act of bravery:

“This is a real act of political courage and statesmanship by the governor. He is taking what I think was a good bill and making it even better,” said James Reilly, chairman of the RTA.

What’s so brave? Why, pandering to seniors with free transit in order to divert attention from a sales-tax increase, of course! What other solution is there when your transit system is out of money? Duh.

Posted December 8, 2007 in News • Tags:

Listen to this praise for New York’s Governor Eliot Spitzer:

Spitzer called on the MTA [Metropolitan Transportation Authority] to throw away a proposal that would have raised the price of those individual rides [from $2] to $2.25, and the MTA went along with him. It sounds like a small thing and is the opposite of that. It is a big thing Spitzer did, a big story of the city. This was the governor of the state acting like a true advocate for the city that grew him and grew his ambitions.

This flapdoodle goes on for about a dozen more paragraphs in the same vein. The problem? Almost nobody pays $2 to ride the subway or bus in New York City.

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Posted December 5, 2007 in News • Tags:

The recent fetish of blaming schools for teachers’ and administrators’ incompetence shuffles kids around for no particular reason.

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Posted October 29, 2007 in News • Tags:

This is essentially our illustrious governor Spitzer’s position on his recent initiative to give “special” driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. I just heard him utter words to that effect on the news. (I think his exact words were “it’s not a privilege”–ludicrously comparing the securing of a driver’s license to buying a NYC subway MetroCard!)

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Posted October 23, 2007 in News • Tags:

What a waste.

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