July 25, 2007

"Tie Down Your Load" an occasional series

Just about every day, the traffic report mentions a ladder blocking a highway dropped off a truck. I'm going to start reporting what crap people drop on the roads.

Today was a ladder and some hay, presumably from the same load. I guess sometimes you need to store hay high up?

July 06, 2007

Affordable housing DOES exist in Oakland!

Right here! Just think, you won't be throwing that money down the drain on rent. What a beaut!


First, Peter Hartlaub writes a brain dead column about how bad it is that we've banned fireworks.

Then, a girl gets her hand blown off by an M-60. I'm sure the guy didn't mean to. That's why their illegal, idiot.

Bush, the secret European?

According to Dan Froomkin, President Bush has spent 1 out of every 3 days in office either at Camp David or his Texas ranch. The only other people to get that much vacation are the French. George W. Bush, Le Président!

Two reasons I'm happy to live in Berkeley:

1. 125 degrees in Baker, over 100 even in some nearer Bay Area places (Fairfield, Livermore). Maybe 80 in Berkeley? No contest, Berkeley wins!

2. Waste Management, Inc. locks out their workers, jeapardizing trash collection throughout the East Bay. Except Berkeley, because the city does trash collection itself. So Oakland will stew in their own stench, but Berkeley will wave to the friendly trashman! Hopefully!

July 03, 2007

Stupid saying alert

The saying "It's not the crime, it's the cover-up" has always gnawed at me. It's pretty inaccurate in a couple ways. First and most obviously, if there is no crime, there's no need for a cover-up. The crime is the basis, and the cover-up is a symptom. The other, and more sinister issue, is that the cover-up is what keeps the crime from being the "it" that caused the problems. If Nixon hadn't covered up Watergate, the crimes of Watergate most likely would have had the same effects as the cover-up.

July 02, 2007

The difference between being white and not:

In the Duke Lacrosse case, the prosecutor had an eyewitness claim to a crime, but had DNA evidence that contradicted his theory. He withheld the DNA evidence, but the lawyers for the defense were able to bring all evidence to light and get the charges dropped prior to trial. The prosecutor has since been stripped of his law license.

James Ochoa was accused of committing a carjacking in Orange County, California. The victims identified Mr. Ochoa as the man who carjacked them. The prosecutor had an easy case. Unfortunately, the DNA evidence came back pointing towards a different man, not in the DNA database as the attacker. So, the prosecutors did not disclose the evidence to Mr. Ochoa, and took the case to trial. The judge gave Mr. Ochoa a choice: Face trial, and up to 25 years to life maximum sentence or plead guilty to a crime he did not commit, and agree to two years in jail. Mr. Ochoa pled guilty. Ten months into his two year sentence, a man in Los Angeles County was arrested on an unrelated crime. When his DNA was tested, it showed a positive match to the DNA collected in the Ochoa case. Confronted with the evidence, this man quickly confessed to the crime.

It was only at that time that Ochoa was freed from jail. The white, affluent men accused in the Duke lacrosse case served no time in jail and saw their prosecutor fall from grace. James Ochoa spent nearly a year in jail for a crime he did not commit, and his prosecutor was not reprimanded.