Why you don't park in front of a fire hydrant

This photo, which comes courtesy of the Hamilton Township Fire Department, shows a car parked in front of a fire hydrant. The car's windows were smashed by the firefighters and a large hose threaded through them, so that a nearby fire may be fought.

This is what happens when you park in front of a hydrant. This was taken last night at the fire on Norway Avenue in the Bromley section of Hamilton. Reminder, it is against the law to park in front of a fire hydrant.

Here's another angle of the Great Humiliation Snake of Hamilton:

Most cities will just push the offending vehicle out the way, but this is funnier and less likely to damage a fire truck's bumper. Read the rest

Canadian border authorities hold citizen without charge for eight months

Look, we’re not all maple syrup lollipops and free healthcare up here. According to the CBC, a naturalized Canadian citizen was held against his will, without charge, for 10 months while immigration officials attempted to verify his identity.

47-year old Nigerian-born Olajide Ogunye moved to Canada with his family in the 1990s and, in 1996, he became a Canadian Citizen. But that didn’t matter to the Canadian Border Services Agency. During a sweep of his neighborhood (which, I have to admit, I had no idea that the CBSA did), Ogunye was told to produce evidence of his citizenship. So he did: His Ontario Health card and Canadian Citizenship card.

But here’s the thing: despite his producing two pieces of government identification – the gold standard for get-out-of-my-face-I’m-a-citizen, the CBSA refused to believe that Ogunye was who he claimed to be. So, without charge, they took him into custody so that he could be properly identified.

From the CBC:

According to Ogunye's statement of claim, the officers ran his fingerprints, which they said matched the identity of a man named Oluwafemi Kayode Johnson, a failed refugee claimant who had been deported from Canada to Nigeria in the 1990s.

Ogunye says he was told the CBSA believed he was actually Johnson, who had returned to Canada illegally and assumed Ogunye's identity. Those fingerprints, according to court documents, were never produced by the CBSA to Ogunye.

This shit went on for EIGHT MONTHS. Despite having not committed any crime, Ogunye was remanded to two different mixed medium/maximum security prisons. Read the rest

Stormy sues again, Avenatti leaks secret Cohen texts of Trump sex affair quash plot

Brace yourself for abundant Avenatti on the telly. Read the rest

Judge to EPA: you are legally required to turn over Pruitt's documentary evidence for climate denial

Embattled EPA Director Scott Pruitt went on national TV to announce on behalf of the US government that "I would not agree [CO2 is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see... There’s a tremendous disagreement about the degree of the impact [of] human activity on the climate." Read the rest

Illinois votes to eliminate inmates' doctor visit co-pays, equivalent to one month's wages

Illinois lawmakers have want to end inmates' co-payments of $5 for each prison doctor visit -- the equivalent of a month's wages in the prison's $0.05/hour and under workshops; in Oregon, they're contemplating creating a $3-5/visit co-pay. Read the rest

Here's the Starbucks racial bias training video employees saw

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson created The Story of Access, the video shown to all Starbucks employees on the day the store closed for racial sensitivity training. Read the rest

Uganda enacts unenforceable, ridiculous anti-"gossip" internet tax

At the urging of Uganda's corrupt dictator Yoweri Museveni, the Ugandan parliament has enacted legislation imposing a daily tax on anyone using social media platforms; Museveni said the measure would curb "gossip," while Matia Kasaija claimed it would fund security and electrification efforts. Read the rest

Sweden's notorious copyright troll said they'd sue, but if you ignore them, they just go away

When the Danish copyright troll Njord Law started operating in Sweden, it went to court saying that it was planning on enforcing copyright, not engaging in "speculative invoicing" -- a kind of legal blackmail that involves sending out thousands of legal threats on the off chance that some people will pay you to go away. Read the rest

Ad brokers are selling the fact that you visited an emergency room to ambulance-chasing lawyers

Philadelphia's WHYY radio reports that visitors to the city's hospital emergency room are blitzed for weeks with ads for personal injury lawyers, thanks to "geofenced ad" brokerages. Read the rest

Court rules that Trump can't block people on Twitter

A New York federal judge has ruled that Donald Trump can't block people he doesn't like on Twitter, because he uses Twitter to communicate his edicts and policies as President of the United States, and the US government can't exclude communications based on viewpoint, as this violates the First Amendment. Read the rest

Toronto cops eat drugs, freak out, and charged with Attempting to Obstruct Justice

If you’re a cop who calls for backup to save you from drug-induced hallucinations, you’re going to have a bad year.

This past January, Toronto Police Service Constable Vittorio Dominelli and his partner, whose name has yet to be released, were on duty when, allegedly, they decided to chow down on some marijuana-laced edibles. Apparently, they snatched up the Scooby snacks during a raid on a pot dispensary.

It is here that Toronto radio station News Talk 1010 reported that shit began to get weird:

… after carrying out a warrant at a local dispensary Saturday night, two officers, still on the clock, ingested marijuana-infused goodies meant to be taken from the scene as evidence. When they didn't feel the effects of the drugs right away, the pair ate more. Then more.

And then the drugs kicked in.

Oh, and kick in they did: while sitting in their cruiser, the pair of police began tripping balls. Their high was so rough that they called an ambulance and, in a panic, their station house, saying that they needed assistance. For the uninitiated, an officer assistance call is taken very seriously. Any cop in the area that’s not on call, and sometimes, even if they are on a call, will drop what they’re doing and come a-running, full speed, as if the officer who made that call’s life depended on it – because it often does. When backup arrived, one of the dope-addled cops burst from his cruiser and took off running, with responding officers in tow. Read the rest

Giuliani helped to keep Oxycontin in the hands of addicts

If you or someone you care about is addicted to OxyContin, former New York City Mayor and current Worst Frigging Lawyer on the Whole Damn Planet, Rudolph Giuliani, is partially to blame.

300,000 Oxycontin-related deaths? He can have some props for those, too.

According to The Guardian, the United States government managed to slap a criminal charge on Purdue Pharma back in the mid-2000s for the way that Purdue was marketing Oxycontin, a powerful and, oft-times addictive, painkiller. In their advertising for the drug, Purdue buffed up how safe Oxycontin is to use: They claimed that the drug would be slowly released into the patient’s body, providing pain relief while ensuring that the possibility of addiction was kept to a minimum.

Which is why so many people inject and snort Oxycontin for a near-instant high.

Unfortunately, when it was first released back in the 1990s, doctors had no idea that the drug would prove to be as addictive as we now know it to be. It didn’t take long, however, for physicians who were prescribing the Oxycontin to their patients to discover that many became hooked on the painkiller – hard. The American government took exception to Purdue’s bullshit. A US Attorney began the work to take the drug company down. The matter went to trial.

Giuliani, fresh off his stint as Mayor of NYC, was hired by Purdue to help them escape prosecution. This was the same Giuliani, who announced a program to curb illegal drug use back in the late 1990s. Read the rest

Theranos's corporate culture was a nightmare

John Carreyrou broke the story of Theranos' epic medical fraud. At Wired he now takes a sharp look at its dysfunctional corporate culture, excerpted from his new book on the corrupt Silicon Valley unicorn's spectacular downfall, Bad Blood [Amazon].

Not all of it was Elizabeth Holmes, either. COO Sunny Balwani was a quietly stupid office tyrant:

[Theranos'] device remained very much a work in progress. The list of its problems was lengthy.

The biggest problem of all was the dysfunctional corporate culture in which it was being developed. Holmes and Balwani regarded anyone who raised a concern or an objection as a cynic and a nay-sayer. Employees who persisted in doing so were usually marginalized or fired, while sycophants were promoted.

Employees were Balwani’s minions. He expected them to be at his disposal at all hours of the day or night and on weekends. He checked the security logs every morning to see when they badged in and out. Every evening, around 7:30, he made a flyby of the engineering department to make sure people were still at their desks working. With time, some employees grew less afraid of him and devised ways to manage him, as it dawned on them that they were dealing with an erratic man-child of limited intellect and an even more limited attention span.

Holmes, by contrast, was savvy yet unreasonable. And it got worse after high-ranking staff quit rather than be party to Theranos going public with its unreliable tech...

The resignations infuriated Holmes and Balwani.

Read the rest

Supreme Court rules that employers can make signing away your right to sue them in a class a condition of employment

Supreme Court Justice Neal Gorsuch used his stolen Supreme Court seat to carry the day for corporations against workers in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, ruling that employers could force potential employees to sign away their legal right to participate in class action suits as a condition of employment. Read the rest

White supremacist Matthew Heimbach is headed to jail

Matthew Heimbach has been sent to jail.

You may remember him from such violent, bigoted hits such as physically assaulting a black protester at a Trump rally back in 2016 or his time leading the Traditionalist Worker Party--a delightful whack of scum described by the the Anti-Defamation League as a neo-Nazi group whose goal is to build a national socialist ethno-state for white people. All the cool bigots love the TWP: the hate group routinely plays footsies with Richard Spencer, skinheads and other white supremacists interests that are terrified of living in a world where their personal banality becomes apparent in the company of anyone who's skin's a shade or three darker than their own.

Anyway, over achiever that he is, Heimbach is on his was to spend some time in the clink for violating the terms of the probation he had hung around his neck for the 2016 Trump rally assault. According to the Associated Press, Heimbach was arrested, thus breaking the terms of his probation,"on battery charges for allegedly assaulting his wife’s stepfather, David Matthew Parrott." It seems that Heimbach and Parrot were mixing it up over an alleged affair that Heimbach had been having with Parrot's wife. And the hits, literally, just keep on coming.

From The Seattle Times:

A police report said Heimbach choked Parrott twice into unconsciousness. Heimbach was arrested at his home after police heard him arguing and scuffling with his wife, who was inside with him and their two children. Brooke Heimbach told police Heimbach had assaulted her.

Read the rest

Judge to Facebook: stop deliberately misinterpreting my privacy rulings

In a new ruling, US District Judge James Donato included extraordinary recriminations directly against Facebook and its lawyers, whom he upbraided for deliberately misinterpreting his earlier rulings about who can sue Facebook over privacy violations and what kinds of damages they can seek. Read the rest

How a 14-year-old Fortnite cheater may rewrite EULA law

A teenager livestreaming a demo of a Fortnite cheat he found online got sued by Epic Games, but the case raises questions about who, if anyone, is legally obligated after he clicked the user agreement required to play the game. Read the rest

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