This blog, and my various other web projects, are all hosted on Koumbit.org, a Montreal-based nonprofit technology co-op. They cost about the same as similar hosting packages elsewhere, but they’re technologically savvy, incredibly Open Source/Free Software friendly, help with Drupal, LGM and other FLOSS projects, and do a whole bunch of hosting for socially-relevant groups not just from Canada but overseas.
Case in point – what’s down at the bottom of the OpenMedia.ca site? “Hosted by Koumbit”. Awesome.
(and on a closely-related note to the OpenMedia link: on May 2nd, my fellow Canucks, remember your ABCs when you head to the polls…)
“Since 2007 we have been deliberately placing some of our servers in jurisdictions that we suspected suffered a free speech deficit in order to separate rhetoric from reality. Amazon was one of these cases.” — Julian Assange
“The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.” — John Gilmore
“How many of you have broken no laws this month?” — John Gilmore
“So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” — John 8:7, King James Bible
We say we are “in” traffic, dramatising ourselves as a lone vehicle of noble and rational intent, with a sea of malevolent, deadweight antagonists stretching endlessly fore and aft. It was in a bid to highlight the flaws in this position that a German transport campaign erected roadside boards reading: “You are not stuck in traffic – you are traffic.”
An otherwise quite ordinary Guardian Comment is Free column on the latest Chinese super-traffic-jam points out something I’ve blogged before: the exceptionalism of insulated, protected, self-absorbed car drivers.
We’re all traffic. Traffic is never “them”, it’s “us”, and that bears repeating in the (faint) hope it might eventually stick.
Back in September of 2009, a cyclist was killed by a motorist in Toronto; I blogged about the beginning of the mess in Automotive Entitlement (Again).
Now the Guardian tells us Top Canadian lawyer told he will not face trial over Toronto cyclist’s death, while the CBC’s headline is Charges against Bryant in fatal crash withdrawn.
Even better, and even more flagrant, road-raging Bryant is considering a return to politics. Anyone running against Mr. Bryant would be well advised not to show up at political events on a bike.
So the moral of the story, folks: killing someone with your car doesn’t even need to be more than an eight-month interuption to your political career. It was only a bicyclist, after all. People who matter drive cars.
Because May 20th is not just another day, and this might not be just a stick figure.
And if this stick figure offends you, consider whether it’s the stick figure – or you.
Apparently the City of Vancouver and/or VANOC (the Vancouver Olympic Committee) are gunning for anti-Olympic graphics again. More links on that BoingBoing story, but the ongoing efforts of the BC Civil Liberties Association during this runup to the Olympics have been heroic.
This collection would cause VANOC to collectively crap themselves, especially the VANOC logo redone with drug paraphernilia.
Over on the other side of the country, the Mounties in yet another attempt to quash more anti-Olympic sentiment. Because we’re all supposed to be happy and joyful that we’re hosting this corporate greedfest disguised as a sports event, haven’t you heard?
Previous Olympic excitement here.
Erosion of civil liberties!
Oh, and some sport somewhere in there. Yay.
Bryant’s story shocking and sobering – but also far too common
Michael Bryant charged in cyclist’s death
Bike courier and car driver clash. Bike courier is killed, run over by the car. Car driver is charged with only “criminal negligence causing death” and “dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death”. Fuck that. If he’d met the guy on a sidewalk and shot him with a gun, the victim would have been just as dead, but the charge would have been manslaughter, 2nd degree murder, or similar.
Why the fuck are car drivers privileged above other homicidal fuckwits? How is it that “road rage” ending in homicide is treated differently than other sorts of more pedestrian rage ending in homicide?
Christie Blatchford in the first story I link to above talks about “The reaction was a bit of there-but-for-the-grace-of-God-go-I mixed with sheer terror.” and talks about the “bubble” that car drivers are able to surround themselves with. Why the hell does this protective, insulating bubble extend into the judicial realm, too?
If you wish to commit homicide (or found that you have done so in the heat of the moment), you’d better hope you used a motor vehicle as your murder weapon, as former Ontario attorney-general Michael Bryant has done. You’ve got an much better chance of getting away with it — and that fucking sucks.