Force Majeure

In recent weeks, the news with the most dangerous implications for human liberty did not come from anywhere between the eastern Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush. Rather, it developed within the short distance between Big Business, USA and Washington, DC. The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and companion Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) introduced respectively in the House and Senate of the US Congress were on the verge of being pushed to a favourable vote when a public backlash temporarily arrested further progress. I draw attention to the use of the word “progress” to clarify that I am using it … Continue reading Force Majeure

Driving Distractions

During a recent drive through Alberta, Canada I was distracted by the ubiquitous highway regulatory signs warning, “DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW IN EFFECT”. On long drives (mine was 12 hours) one has opportunity to think about many things, although thinking and driving could be distracting—and possibly against Alberta law. I thought about the law itself. What does it really mean, and how will alleged breaches be prosecuted? The authorities have posted a FAQ page about the law which is both helpful and revealing. Perniciously enough, police officers are allowed considerable discretion in writing tickets for “distracted driving”. So, for example, one … Continue reading Driving Distractions