The Pope's Multistrada

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As a Multistrada owner, I was amused to read that Ducati had recently given a pair of new Multistradas to Pope Benedict XVI, for use in the papal escort. The yellow and white livery doesn't really work for me, though.


Where were YOU during the 60s, Senator? Oh, right. Sorry.

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U.S. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl led a group of Republican officials Wednesday in denouncing a ballot measure that permit the use of medical marijuana in Arizona.

Arizona's Proposition 203 would allow those with qualifying medical conditions to receive 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks from licensed dispensaries. Those living too far from a dispensary could grow up to 12 plants.

Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in 1996, but the measure never took effect because it required a doctor's prescription, which is illegal under federal law.

Full story here from The Tucson Sentinel.


Open Seating

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The Tokyo Metro has been running a 'manners campaign' for several years, and each month publishes a new poster in stations. Over the months, the campaign has pretty much covered every bit of proscribed activity (don't throw up on your fellow passengers, don't practice your golf swing on the platform with a wet umbrella, etc.) imaginable, and several months ago moved on to behavior that is apparently encouraged.

The above images are 'repurposed' from a campaign poster that urges passengers be considerate of their fellow travelers and not occupy more than one seat. This cartoon follows from the truism that the last two empty seats on virtually any Japanese train will be the ones on either side of a foreigner. "Sit? Next to him/her? I'd rather stand."

This obvious racism really gets up the nose of some resident foreigners, but I consider it one of the better perks of gaijinhood (right up there with being able to reach stuff on high shelves).

[And yes, Javanese comprise the largest Indonesian ethnic group, and are easily differentiated from Japanese, but the country is also home to millions of ethnic Chinese, who are indistinguishable from Japanese.]

[To see other cartoons and comics in the Tokyo Metro series, click here or on "Tokyo Metro" in the labels below.]


Business is Business

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When NPR fired correspondent Juan Williams for remarks about Muslims, Fox News was quick to offer him a $2 million contract to dispense fear and loathing. A major shareholder (seven percent, worth roughly $3 billion) in Fox News parent News Corporation, though, is Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, who has on occasion been known to wear a towel on his head.

He's Baaack!!!

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Wayne Rooney ... if you haven't been following along, here's the short version: he's leaving, he's staying, he's leaving, he's staying ...


Pedro, Mi Amor

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I wish I could take credit for this idea, but the joke came to me in an e-mail. From Clive.


At the coal face

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China produces 45 per cent of the world’s coal, but accounts for 70 per cent of global coal mining deaths. The Chinese government reported 2,631 coal mine fatalities in 2008. In 2003 the official (always suspect) number was over 7,000.

“We will never see something like [the Chilean rescue of 33 miners] in China,” said a commentator on the Sina blogging site. One Internet user, commenting on a news report that Wen Jiabao, the premier, had ordered immediate rescue operations following a coal mine accident in Henan, wrote: “Without his order, they wouldn’t even have tried a rescue.”


Witchy Woman

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Republican Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell has made her first television advertisement, and the main message is that she's not a witch.

O'Donnell is walking back the (black) cat following the appearance of video of her in a 1990s appearance on Bill Maher's "Politically Incorrect" in which she said she had "dabbled in witchcraft."

Fortunately, O'Donnell's Democratic opponent Chris Coons has a comfortable lead in polls.

European Vacation

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Looking out the window at the U.N. Climate Change Conference

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Following the runaway success of climate change talks in Copenhagen last December, representatives of more than 200 nations are in Tianjin, China this week to save the world. [laughter]
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Politicomix by Roberto De Vido is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License