Quote of the Day - Technological progress is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.
Let's Pave Over Paradise, TooI am, among other things, an environmental lawyer. Both sides, actually, but typically defense. So, you may be a bit surprised about this one: I'm for the tree.
Let me explain.
Seems that there's a drug problem down in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. While that's not too surprising, the proposed solution is.
Cut down the tree.
Apparently, drug dealers gather under a big, shady tree. So rather than police those under the tree, the police want to cut it down.
My grandmother would say that's like throwing the baby out with the bath water. The tree had nothing to do with the crime, but those in Fort Walton Beach want the tree to do the time. Let's arrest the criminals, and leave the tree for the next generation to enjoy.
Otherwise, my guess is that the drug deals will simply move to another tree, and pretty soon, well ... Florida will really worry about hurricanes.
Investing with Fred FlintstoneThis one was too fun to pass up. You've undoubtedly heard of identity theft. Although you may have heard of the fictional town of Bedrock, you may not know that there's a real-life version in Bedrock, Colorado, population 10.
It's the site of the latest internet scam, attempting to get you to deposit money and give up your personal information.
After all, who wouldn't want to invest? It seems as solid as a rock.
Rumpole Rolls Over In His GraveRight, old boy, who moved my woolsack?
Well, the high and mighty (no, that's not really his title) Lord Falconer has decided to put English courts on the telly. Well, not actually all of them, it's really just a pilot program at this point.
Lord Falconer said the filming will help to increase public confidence in the criminal justice system. However, detractors believe it will discourage witnesses from appearing in court, as well as lead to sensationalized coverage and ultimately undermine public confidence. My my, what a conundrum!
The Guardian, a UK staple, has a feature on the development. And of course, the BBC has a feature, too. Lord Falconer decries the OJ trial, and says the Brits are not trying to emulate the Americans, thank you very much, but they are trying to bring a light to the Court system.
It certainly won't measure up to Rumpole's standards, but then again, I'm sure Captain Peacock might have an opinion about it, too.
God Save The Queen, what will they think of next?
Firing, Not Prosecuting, The Crooked CopsBe careful parking your car in Albany, New York. More specifically, be careful about making enemies there, especially if they write parking tickets.
You might find your car towed away. The three parking officers in the last link wrote a lot of tickets, and targeted their enemies.
Well, that's one side of the story.
The other side is why they were only terminated, and not prosecuted.
Well, let's ask Police Chief Turley. According to him, the three ticket writers were not charged because "it appears that they had no criminal intent ... I felt termination was appropriate," Turley said.
Criminal intent. What does that mean? Does it mean these three parking officers didn't mean to write the tickets? They didn't mean to target their enemies?
It seems pretty clear that they did mean it. I mean after all, they wrote the tickets.
It also seems pretty clear that the City isn't telling us the whole story. According to the Albany Times Union, "City officials had initially refused to release any information about the scam. They turned over payroll records and an electronic list of all tickets written this year after the Times Union filed a Freedom of Information Law request. " But we still don't know why.
It took a FOIA request to even get basic information out of the City. What are they trying to hide?
P.S. Thanks to my friend David Giacalone for pointing out this story.
New & Improved Comment BoxOur Comment Box feature has received some attention of late.
We've received a number of comments (no pun intended) on our Comment Box because you couldn't post a very long comment in it, and you couldn't post a URL in it.
Now, both of those problems are fixed, plus we added emoticons for you to really express yourself.
So, have at it.
Is That Your Signature?Chase Manhattan Bank may not have been watching the store. A New York waiter saved and saved and saved. Over $70,000.
Then he went abroad, comfortable that his money was safer than under the mattress.
Then when he went to draw down on his account, it was empty, and it had been emptied while he was overseas over the previous two years.
He asked CMB where the money went, and they told him they cashed his checks. He said, "What checks?" When he checked, he didn't find his signature on the checks. He claims that someone had forged his name on checks and been paid all the money in his account.
The waiter sued. Then CMB got the case dismissed.
Now, a New York state appeals court has reinstated his suit against for cashing forged checks that emptied his account while he was abroad.
We'll find out soon who signed what.
Needed in Wales - Jobs and OpportunitiesMy great-grandparents came over from Wales in 1896. They came over on the boat. In steerage on the White Star Line.
I found the actual ticket among my dad's things when he died. It's now in a frame, with their photographs. It's a bit of a memorial.
Needless to say, I have an affinity for Wales. Recently, I ran into Chris Banning, with the Welsh Development Agency. They have grants and funding available to companies wishing to locate there.
The agency is also designed to bring jobs to Wales, and at the same time provide something more than the jobs bring to Wales. Loyalty, stability and productivity. You know, the kind of dedication that is usually only found in the Midwest. Yes, the Southeast, Northeast and West, too. They're not trying to take jobs out of the US, but enable companies that are looking for an international presence to find one in Wales.
As a third-generation immigrant, I know the work ethic that was instilled in me. Somehow, I believe that that ethic is still around, and available in Wales.
At least that what my grandparents and parents taught me.
Boy Drives Car, Corvette Ad Pulled From OlympicsWe've been watching the Olympics, which means we've been watching Olympic ads, too. TIVO apparently can't do everything. (Long sigh here).
Some advertisements are good, others are pretty dismal. On average, nowhere near as good as Superbowl ads.
But, Chevrolet had a good one. Filmed by Guy Ritchie, Madonna's current husband. But, it must have been too good.
Complaints have driven Chevy to pull the ad. It's the one with the kids driving (well, not really) two Corvettes, and winking at each other as they pass each other while "jumping" the cars.
Apparently after watching the ad, some five-year old took his Uncle's caddy for a stroll, and the ad is now gone. Well, your five-year old can view it here (unless Chevy replaces it there, too).
Where were the parents? Why was the car unlocked? Inquiring minds want to know.