Thursday, May 31, 2007


On average, a pedestrian is killed by a driver in New York City about every other day.

Unfortunately, too often the message from the city (from the Bloomberg administration) has been that it's a pedestrian problem -- that it's their own fault. While there are some times where that's the case, it isn't usually.

Bloomberg's announcement last week of a plan for stricter enforcement of traffic laws is a significant step forward. The existing "don't block the box" laws would be good -- if only they were enforced. They rarely are.

The new plan will allow all traffic enforcement agents (who are not police officers) to issue tickets by recording the license plates of drivers who break the law. The owner will then be sent a ticket in the mail.

Giving law enforcement the tools to enforce existing laws doesn't sound flashy but it will probably save lives.

haha, Yankees suck

haha, Aaron Hill stole home against the Yankees.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

no more Cindy Sheehan

Here's her essay announcing her departure from the antiwar movement.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What passes for mainstream media analysis these days

From our nation's most esteemed media critic:

"While several of the Democratic candidates have appeared on Fox, the top tier has been shying away, even as the Republicans have debated on MSNBC."

-Howard Kurtz, 5/21/07 column

Monday, May 21, 2007


Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, 4/28/07

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Global Warming vs. the Coal Industry

And Barack Obama has to pick sides... Oh no! Guess who he's going to side with? (er, with whom he is going to side). The coal industry! Wooo.

(link blatantly stolen from mattio.)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Let's get on that bus

That's gotta be a fun ride!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

A partial victory on Fidelity

Since it went public in January, the campaign to get Fidelity to divest from a subsidiary of Petro China has gotten a lot of attention. PetroChina does oil business in Sudan, and the campaigners successfully pushed the message that Fidelity was "funding genocide" by investing in the company. The campaign got extra steam when the Save Darfur Coalition jumped aboard, too.

This week, the campaign had a major victory: a filing by Fidelity showed that it had taken 91% of its ADR's in PetroChina (whatever that means) out of the company. Some initial articles implied this meant it had removed 91% of it's total investments in PetroChina, but soon the articles explained that in fact the ADR's represented less than half of Fidelity's investment in the company.

Eric Cohen, who leads the Massachusetts-based Fidelity Out of Sudan campaign, explained the detalis in an email to supporters:

When Fidelity files an updated 13G report revealing the extent of their overall global holdings of PetroChina, only then will we understand the impact on their total holdings of PetroChina. To illustrate this point, if Fidelity neither reduced nor increased their holdings of H shares, their reduction in ADR holdings means that their total holdings would have been reduced by approximately 38%.

Meanwhile, Fidelity says it's all a coincidence -- that this move has to do with financial reasons, not with Darfur reasons. Hah. Not surprising; it would be a terrible move for a company to admit that they can be pressured into changing policy.

The Boston Globe gets comment from a John Bonnanzio, editor of a newsletter for Fidelity shareholders: "It would certainly be an extraordinary coincidence for them to have sold these shares..."

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Salute to insanity

I went to the annual Salute to Israel parade here in New York on Sunday. Well, to the counter-protest at it, that is.

The parade has been around for years and is big; it seemed to be passing us at 58th street for an eternity. What's it advocating? Well, it seems to vary. Officially, it doesn't stand for anything too specific.

Some in the parade (not many) had signs for 'peace', which seemed nice, although who knows exactly what peace they were for. There was lots of blue, as one might expect, but there was also orange. That's right, the color that was used by the campaign against Israel's "withdrawl" from Gaza. woo settlers.

There weren't overly many t-shirts or signs that showed the shape of Israel, but of the ones that did, every single one I saw included the West Bank and Gaza. You'd think what essentially ammounts to an endorsement of ethnic clensing might draw news attention, but it didn't (see i.e. AP).

Most of the people marching in the parade were kids. Little kids, medium kids, big kids -- there with their Jewish day schools or their synagogues. Or, in at least one case, with the marching band of a public high school. (wtf???).

Indoctrination was in the air.

While we chanted "oy vey, oy vey, occupation's not the way", the kids in the parade varied between yelling and screaming at us and just looking at us with this curious, confused look.

Bring them home

A turning point, asks Howard Kurtz?

The LATimes editorial page came out against the Iraq war on Sunday, declaring "The time has come to leave."

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Panda Porn

Ok, so it's not new that pandas sometimes have to be shown panda porn to get them going. But this report from CNN is just funny.

International, Shminternational

Dude, did anyone else notice that today's METRO had no international news page(s)? They just, like, left it out.


The new Prez

Michael Roth, the incoming president of Wesleyan, introduced himself at a public address in the chapel on Friday. (You can even watch the video of the talk). See coverage in the Argus. It's pretty great:

When asked if he knew where the president's office was, Roth gave a tongue-in-cheek response. "Yeah, I slept there when we occupied it," Roth remembered, referring to a 1977 student protest against companies invested in South Africa during apartheid. "That wasn't an invitation."
The Argus also has an extensive accompanying interview. Roth elaborates a bit on the take-over, and while it's unclear what he'll do with chalk, he mentions that "Someone gave me a box of chalk yesterday and my daughter immediately grabbed it thinking it was for her."

Good to know someone is still fighting the good fight. Stay tuned.