$290,000 Speeding Ticket: Is this fair?

Ok, while we are on the subject of philosophising, consider some of the questions that arise from the following news article:

A millionaire motorist clocked up a record fine of 299,000 Swiss francs ($290,000) after Swiss police caught him racing through a village at 100 km per hour in his red Ferrari Testarossa, Swiss media reported on Thursday. (Reuters Jan 7 2010)

Upon first reading this, I could not believe how a society might charge someone $290,000 for a speeding fine. After all, we always like to think that justice Continue reading

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America’s Going Green: Marijuana under Obama

pot

Big Green Bush

Here at Notes, we’re generally more interested in booze than any other mind- and mood-altering substances, but today I want to take a detailed look at drugs. More specifically, I want to look at what’s happening with cannabis in the U.S. My interest in this has been piqued by a couple of pieces of news/information that I stumbled across this week of which I was previously unaware.

The first of these was the number of U.S. states that now sell medical marijuana, and the second was the changes in law enforcement responses to cannabis  since Barack Obama took office.

And the only reason I started looking into these two aspects of weed was because of the following ad that was Continue reading

Berlusconi: Immunity Stripped

Having talked about Silvio Berlusconi occasionally (in these posts, Busted! and Dinosaur) he has become a source of constant fascination for me.

Call him a dinosaur (I did), a racist, a buffoon and an anachronistic old tool as much as you like but, you have to hand it to him, he’s a Continue reading

Toxic: A Trafigura update

As regular readers will recall, we took a look at the oil trading firm Trafigura a while ago, in the post – Toxic: A 21st Century Bhopal.

Comparing the dumping of toxic sludge in Abidjan, Ivory Coast (2006) with the deadly gas release in Bhopal (1984), we wondered whether Continue reading