fuck the police

Joe and I had just left Donnelly's--immersed in the ped-mall and all of its St. Patrick's day glory. Bound for the Mill, we rolled the 15 yards to the street. He intercepted our path like a troll guarding a bridge; one of Iowa City's "finest" was incensed that we were rolling on his sidewalk (his words, not mine).

"Now, do you know why I stopped you?"

No, but I have a feeling you're going to tell us...

"Look, I really don't care that you're on the sidewalk--that doesn't bother me, but look, there are all these drunk people around, and if you're not careful, BAM! you just ran over some meathead's girlfriend's toe, and then there's gonna be a fight. I just don't want you guys to get your ass kicked."

Thanks asshole, for looking out for us poor, weak cyclists. Thank you for protecting us skinny effeminate nancies from the hordes of drunken Todds. I feel so stupid; here I was, thinking you were breaking our balls because we somehow transgressed your turf or inadvertantly challenged your authority. Here you are, protecting us!



the you tube

Unlike many of the recently disappointed, my personal honeymoon with president Obama ended quite a bit sooner; my dreamy vision of him melted away with his support for FISA legislation. Of course, he really didn't have much of a choice in the matter; it was--politically speaking--his only option. Regardless, it was a disappointing day.

My hope had just a bit of its shine restored after reading about the Obama presidency's decision (after much criticism) to ditch Youtube as Obama's online vehicle of choice. Admittedly, this was an issue that probably would never have occurred to me, but I was fortunate to stumble upon this great article from Chris Soghoian. Mr. Soghoian lays out an excellent argument detailing the privacy concerns implicit in the president using Youtube to deliver his addresses. I got really worked up about the article for a while, telling all my friends about it. This was usually met with blank stares that landed somewhere between "what the fuck are you talking about" and "do something better with your time". Then I would log in to my Google Analytics account and give them a crash course in all the spooky shit you can learn about a person that visits your webpage. If I was lucky, their initial apathy changed (if at least a little) to concern.

The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me. Of course, I've never had a helicopter before. - President Obama

What excites me about this move is that it is the first time in my life that the president listened to his constituency. Holy. Shit. People complained about something the president did, and he rectified the situation. Of course, in a perfect world, this would go without saying. But, my friends, we do not live in a perfect world; we live in a world where cops beat 15 year old girls and Nickelback sells tickets. So, in lieu of utopia, I'll take this as a start. Just last week, under fire from John McCain, it seemed as if Obama was willing to consider canceling the upgrades to the White House helicopter fleet. Political posturing or not, it seems that this presidency is willing to admit (or at least quietly accept) that it isn't, as a matter of course, always right. That decisions can be changed in light of new information. If previous administrations had been willing to admit their own fallibility, we might not still be sacrificing our soldiers to the god of war in Iraq.