July 28, 2008
July 14, 2008
Reuters: Man Wins Damages Over Gay Driving Test Retake
ROME (Reuters) - An Italian court has ruled the government must pay 100,000 euros ($157,700) in damages to a man who was told to retake a driving test because he was homosexual.From the headline, I thought there was some kind of special test that involved emitting a cloud of glitter and flowers from the tailpipe of his motorino or something.
When 26 year-old Danilo Giuffrida told doctors he was gay at his medical examination for military service, they passed the information to the transport ministry, who told him he must repeat his driving test or have his license withdrawn due to his "sexual identity disturbance."
Giuffrida agreed to re-take his test, passed it for a second time, but the ministry renewed his license for just one year rather than the usual 10 years because of his homosexuality.
My favorite part is how the judge added to his damages the fact that the experience left him with "a grave sense of mistrust towards the state." Um. I have a grave mistrust toward the state and even moreso toward the Italian state. Someone get me a a few hundred thousand dollars!
Actually, the "sexual identity disturbance" part is my favorite. Like he's having some kind of paroxism behind the wheel and THAT'S causing the cloud of glitter and flowers. heh heh heh... I've been in the midst of such a fit for several years now and I have to say: it's really not bad at all!
July 12, 2008
WAIT. Stop the internets! Did you read that right?
Flibbert likes the cars? But Flibbert hates traffic. He doesn't like to drive. He rarely rides in cars because he's too stingy to pay for cabs.
But you did read that right. I like all the cars. I don't mind traffic when I'm not sitting in it. I like the option of being able to flag down a cab if the situation demands it and move speedily from one point in the city to the next.
But now the great minds behind the government of New York City have come up with the brilliant plan to narrow Broadway, which is one of the major avenues in Manhattan, from four lanes to two. They want to make room for a bike lane and space for cafe tables because apparently all the people (tourists) who walk Broadway between Times Square and Herald Square have demanded to be allowed to sit amid all that bustling foot traffic and inhale the fumes of stopped cars.
Oh, but there will be planters with flowers as well! No, really:
New York Times: Closing on Broadway: Two Traffic Lanes
In a surprising reshaping of the urban landscape, the city is creating a public esplanade along a portion of one of its most prominent streets, Broadway in Midtown, setting aside the east side of the roadway for a bicycle lane and a pedestrian walkway with cafe tables, chairs, umbrellas and flower-filled planters.This is part of Michael Bloomberg's multifaceted plans to reduce pollution in the city and encourage people to choose alternative modes of transportation to cars.
The esplanade, which the city is calling Broadway Boulevard, will run from 42nd Street to Herald Square. Scheduled to open in mid-August, it will change that section of Broadway from a four-lane to a two-lane street.
“I’m envisioning it as a public park on the street,” said Barbara Randall, the executive director of the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, which is working with the city’s Department of Transportation to create the boulevard.
He lost an earlier battle to start making people pay fees for driving south of 59th street in Manhattan and he has another plan to close Park Avenue on certain days in August so that people can roam around in the street.
I love the part of the NYT article where the lady describes making Broadway "a destination where you watch the world go by."
I didn't come to New York -- ever -- to watch the world go by. I came here because I am going by. The people who come here to watch the world go by -- let along those who want to sit on the street to do so -- are the idiots who are always getting in my way and being rude while doing so. And now they're to be given tables and chairs. These are people who do not appreciate the wonderfulness that is New York. They see New York as some kind of playground.
It's not a playground. It's a city. It's THE city. It's the place people come to in order to get things done.
But nooooo... Bloomberg and company want to turn this place into some great big lounge. Like, I don't know, Paris or something.
Who's going to keep homeless people from pooping on these tables and chairs?
The people associated with this horrible plan say that drivers will learn to adapt to the change. Adaptation here means driving elsewhere. That's already where people drive when they aren't tourists.
This is very, very annoying. I hate the plan. I hate the idea behind the plan. And I can't help but believe that the anti-industrialists are behind it.
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