07 July 2007

Only in France

The eagerly anticipated (chuckle) Tour de France kicks off today in, of all places, London. The scandal-plagued sport is trying to erase its image as the biggest collection of drug users outside of the Grateful Dead 1969 tour. I will not be watching this year's tour as I will be too busy watching paint dry to give the Tour the proper attention it deserves.

The Cincinnati challenge to warrantless wiretaps was thrown out of court. The mindbending legal doublespeak was that information was classified, so it would impossible to prove that the claimants were in fact directly being targeted by the top secret program. Only in a court of law could they demonstrate the perfect use of circular logic.

The legal system is getting a workout in New Orleans, with a shortage of public defenders creating a severe backup in the system. The city has been unable to recover from Hurricane Katrina. Defendants sometimes spend a year in jail before speaking with a lawyer. This should probably be the best possible encouragement for you NOT to streak and get in fights at next year's Mardi Gras.

The rumor wheels are turning, with The Business magazine reporting that Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal have been sold to evil media robber baron Rupert Murdoch. The NYTimes' blog Deal Book believes the story may be a leveraging stunt executed by Murdoch and that the deal may not be inked just yet. The countdown for Murdoch to turn the Wall Street Journal into the Fox News Journal has begun.

The Onion spoof on Bush diplomacy is perfect. The picture of Rumsfeld in front of a map of the world marked U.S. and Them may be the funniest thing I've seen in some time. The shoot-first mindset has gotten another ball rolling, with 14 members of Congress signed on in support of impeachment papers for Dick Cheney. Whatever bunker or lair Count Cheney is hiding out in, I hope he's starting to sweat a little bit.

Al Gore is on the road promoting his global warming consciousness music festival Live Earth today. Critics have attacked the event, calling it a ploy to get Gore publicity for a White House run, criticizing the musicians who participated in the event and identifying sponsors who may be part of the root cause of global warming in the first place. It seems to me that poor Al Gore can't really win anything, can he? He puts together a giant concert with every band on the planet and people are still complaining. Unbelievable!

Microsoft took a big hit when the announced an extension of Xbox warranties as part of a repair program for its Xbox 360 game console. The problem is described by owners as "the red ring of death." I don't know what causes it, but any phrase with the suffix "of death" is probably pretty bad.

In more tech news, iTunes is planning to offer special prices for selected new releases in order to drum up sales. This comes on the tail of a negotiation battle with major record label Universal. This news should keep the iPhone enthusiasts sated for the next little while.

The funniest article of the day brings us back to France, where the exercise routine of President Sarkozy has the French up in arms. People are upset by his regular habit of (gasp)...jogging. Only in a country whose national sport involves people riding bikes in the mountains would people get irate about their president running around.

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