Daily archives: December 11, 2002

…….And I Feel Fine

The US announces its intentions to use nuclear weapons in retaliatory and pre-emptive attacks where WMDs are concerned. Scuds are on their way to Yemen. The glorious missile defence system has fluffed another test. And the piece of news that worries me the most? Tucked away in a BBC report about Total Information Awareness [thanks Mike], a comment by Frank Gaffney-

He says that it would only take one more terrorist attack and public support is assured.

“At that point there will not only be a willingness to submit to those sorts of infringement but a demand that they be infringed upon in the hope of trying to protect us.

“If there were no war on terror, this is not something that we would want to do.”

Somebody somewhere is planning that attack, and they may just be in the pay of the US government.

Four Wheels Bad

The �2bn on roads is actually part of a bigger scheme, but the Government have still caved to the car lobby. They really need to take a wider view.

The problem with the jamming motorways isn’t really at the point of the jam, but rather upstream and downstream. Multi lane roads are supposed to ease the flow from A to B, but if there’s nowhere to go when you get to B the traffic starts to back up. The battle against congestion starts on the local roads. Set up Safe Routes To School schemes and decimate the school run. Increase the rates out of town shopping centres pay for their expanses of parking space and get trams and buses running into city centres. Set up schemes that reward companies for encouraging bike and public transport use. Introduce use charges instead of road tax and have it scaled to penalise shorter journeys and reward not using the car at all (I haven’t a clue how this would work to be honest, but if they can flag every car entering the zone for London’s scheme I’m sure it’s possible). Anything, just so long as it gets us out of our cars.

Permanent Damage

Steven Grant’s weekly column is an interesting read, whether you’re a comic fan or not. This week- ‘Homage’ as insult, Dubya’s lack of a domestic policy, Bond’s dual nature and season four of The Sopranos-

“But is Anthony Jr. not the dumbest male on television? I have this fantasy that he somehow hooks up with TV�s dumbest female, 24�s Kim Bauer. And all their children get careers as doorstops.”

Edinburgh Blazes

As one of the fools listening to Bill McHenry’s band last Saturday night at Henry’s Jazz Celler in Edinburgh, and although Bill McHenry deserves his title as the best sax player in New York City right now, the Edinburgh blaze was amazing. At about 10:30pm after piling out of Henry’s, you could actually see the sky alight in flames from the buildings on fire. A couple of hundred people stood outside and watched for hours and there where a lot of hugs and tears as well.

The bad news: the area has been sealed off as a possible crime scene. The Good News: An international relief fund to rebuild the eleven buildings will start next week. In addition the council has decided to retain the fronts of the buildings for rebuilding and it looks as though Old Town will rule yet again. I must say that overall it is a pretty horrific site, and today, what’s left of the buildings will be torn down. The fire trucks and police still have the area cordoned off, but shops and people are starting to open around the area again. I will truly miss the Bridge Jazz Bar, a favourite haunt for festival goers and residents alike, as it is completely destroyed.

Breakfast News

The Klan is going to America’s Supreme Court to contest that cross burning isn’t illegal. In the spirit of free speech, this is true, it’s the ideology and hatred behind the desire to burn crosses at a political rally or on a black neighbour’s lawn that should be illegal.

Terrorists could get biological weapons from University research labs. Hell, they could get some pretty nasty stuff from most student kitchens.

Historic buildings face demolition after the fire in Edinburgh. Hopefully what goes up in their place will retain some of the character of the old town.