Courtesy xkcd, via a friend:
Totally dropping this on people with tattoos from now on. Also, radiation shall henceforth be known as “flesh-searing relativistic particle cannon treatment.”
Despite a slight date snaffu on an affidavit, I have finally acquired the right to carry business cards and not get booted from DC Court proceedings.
The next word there is “executed,” but whatever. I win! Finally, it’s over. At long last. Ain’t nothin gonna break my stride! Nobody’s gonna slowwwwwwww meeeeeeeee down…
GAHHHHHHHHH DAMMIT ALL TO HELL!!!
But no big deal. I’m sure there’s an exemption for people who have already taken a “professionalism” course in another jurisdiction, right?
No I don’t know that child. I just googled “angry.” But hey, what’s another three hours sitting in a room…
Want a job? Gotta pay them tolls. But this might be the last “fee” I have to pay before I’m finally a fully functioning attorney. So, silver lining! And really, what’s another hundo when you’re already a hundo thousand deep, eh?
But how’s this for salt in the wound?
Certainly happy to no longer be dealing with “severe, prolonged illness,” but…I’M LOOKING AT YOU MARYLAND!
We’ll see if I get around to liveblogging this one. A six hour course on “ethics” and “professionalism” in Washington, DC?! This might be too good to pass up.
As many of you know, I am a lawyer. Whatever reaction you have to that is perfectly fine with me. But do you know why I became a lawyer? It’s because I liked DC, wanted to live here, and “attorney” is about the only occupation that isn’t illegal and won’t get you arrested or maimed in this damn town.
Enter the pedicab. What’s a pedicab? It’s this thing:
The folks that drive these things might look friendly. But in reality, they are terrorists. They must be. Or else why would we do things like this to them:
Tension came to a head on Friday evening when an officer arrested one of the pedicab drivers and allegedly tased him.
Witnesses claim it was unprovoked.
"The Park Police officer got on top of him, held him to the ground, and said get on your back as he held him face down, and then tased him a second time," said Clark.
Witnesses apparently say the attack was unprovoked. The Park Police say the pedicab driver assaulted them. In any event, pedicab drivers say that this is an example of the increasing tension between drivers and police on the National Mall.
The city's pedicabs have been running into trouble this summer near the place many of their riders want to visit: the National Mall. Drivers of the pedal-powered vehicles say they are now constantly getting harassed by the U.S. Park Police after operating for about five years without serious trouble. Some have gotten tickets for failing to secure their bikes, others have just been shooed away. One driver, Sarah Roberts, a 22-year-old student at Hampshire College, was arrested on June 14 when she said she declined to provide her ID when parked outside the Museum of American History.
That serves her right. You can’t be doing things like “giving people a ride in exchange for money” near our monuments to freedom. She’s lucky they didn’t break out the dogs. But still, what is the problem?
U.S. Park Police did not return multiple calls for comment. But Bill Line, a National Park Service spokesman, said the pedicabs are engaged in illegal activity when they come onto park service property because they aren't allowed to make commercial transactions on the National Mall or the park service property around it -- including the roads.
As proud as I am to live in a country (and city) where we can tase people twice, spit out a version of events that conflicts with eyewitnesses, and then “not return multiple calls for comment,” leave that aside for a moment. What on earth just happened in that second sentence? Slow-mo replay:
the pedicabs are engaged in illegal activity when they come onto park service property because they aren't allowed to make commercial transactions on the National Mall or the park service property around it
Those are…different things. “Coming onto park service property” is not the same as “making a commercial transaction.” This is like saying “Nick is engaged in illegal activity when he walks down the street because you aren’t allowed to rob a bank.” A is not B. Bill Line, your words no make sense. But Bill Line isn’t done. Bill Line has the answers. Bill Line…
The bikes aren't safe, he said. Furthermore, the Tourmobile bus service has an exclusive year-to-year contract to provide transportation services to the Mall. "We cannot allow these pedicabs to pick up and drop off because that would breach the contract with the Tourmobile," he said.
I read about seven articles on this thing, and aside from increasingly brutal accounts of the “incident,” I could not find anything to support the statement that “The bikes aren’t safe.” They’re unsafe when armed individuals attack the driver and electrocute him, yes. But as for the bikes themselves? Bill Line made that the up on the spot. And apparently nobody thought of asking him, “Well…how are they unsafe?” My cursory Google search of “Washington DC pedicab accident” turned up about 8 pieces reporting that pedicabs would be regulated because they were unsafe, but nothing in the way of, you know, an actual pedicab accident in DC.
And then the second line there! We can’t have people voluntarily exchanging money for rides in a popular tourist area in a city that doubles as an oven for three months a year because you…have a monopoly to protect?
But you gotta admit, there’s something beautifully American about federal agents beating and tasering some guy because he offered an environmentally-friendly, low-cost ride to tourists in order to protect a corporation who has a monopoly on running these lumbering creatures around the mall (only $32 for an adult!), and doing this halfway between the statute of freedom and the FTC. Run-on sentence ftw.
But have no fear: as with all things that move in this city, Mayor Vincent Gray (he respects the community!) will start regulating pedicabs.