All hail Peoria, solvers of the Uber question

From the Christian Science Monitor:

French taxi drivers took to the streets Thursday, blocking roads to train stations and airports in Paris and other cities as part of a nationwide protest against the ride-hailing company, Reuters reported. The rallies, which have merited the presence of police in riot gear, are the latest in a series of battles that Uber is fighting worldwide over issues ranging from driver’s wages to sexual harassment to cabbie competition.

The last, as France is proving, has been the source of the most heated disputes, both in and out of court. But irate taxi drivers in Paris and elsewhere who are looking for protections in the face of low-cost, high-tech competitors might find a path forward in two different US models of compromise: One in New York City, and another in Peoria, Ill.

Yes, that’s right. Peoria.

Peoria. So recently mocked (justifiably so) as the stupid hick town where the mayor ordered the arrest of the dude who mocked him on Twitter. Peoria.

Rauner worse than Blagojevich?

The best quotes from politicians often come after you have put away your notebook and are fixing to leave the event. That happened while chatting with State Sen. Dave Koehler (an old friend) at yesterdays informational meeting on Gov. Rauner’s budget cuts.

“It’s worse than with Blagojevich,” he said about the level of frustration lawmakers are experiencing under no-budge-at-all Bruce Rauner as governor.

They ended up tossing Blago in prison.

Comments can cause ALL KINDS of legal trouble

From an article in The Daily Beast:

This all just happened to my colleagues and me at Reason.com, the libertarian website I edit. On May 31, I blogged about the life sentence given to Ross Ulbricht, the creator of the “dark web” site Silk Road, by Judge Katherine Forrest. In the comments section, a half-dozen commenters unloaded on Forrest, suggesting that, among other things, she should burn in hell, “be taken out back and shot,” and, in a well-worn Internet homage to the Coen Brothers movie Fargo, be fed “feet first” into a woodchipper.

The comments betrayed a naive belief in an afterlife and karma, were grammatically and spelling-challenged, hyperbolic, and… completely within the realm of acceptable Internet discourse, especially for an unmoderated comments section. (Like other websites, Reason is not legally responsible for what goes on in our comments section; we read the comments sometimes but don’t actively curate them.)

But the U.S. attorney for U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York thought differently and on June 2 issued a grand jury subpoena to Reason for all identifying information we had on the offending commenters—things such as IP addresses, names, emails, and other information. At first, the feds requested that we “voluntarily” refrain from disclosing the subpoena to anybody. Out of sense of fairness and principle, we notified the targeted commenters, who could have moved to quash the subpoena. Then came the gag order on June 4, barring us from talking about the whole business with anyone outside our organization besides our lawyers.

The writer suggests that threats and vulgarity posted amounted to nothing. There’s room to quibble on that point.

Which leads me to make two points:

1. ‘The Rules’ here at The Peoria Pundit require commenters be civil, but also advises folks to develop thick skins, as this is a Free Comment Zone.

2. I advise folks that will comply with all Federal warrants, so watch your ass.

Other than that, this blog is a common carrier. I just pass along the comments, I bear no moral or financial responsibility. Post your racist hate-crime crap in my comments section and I’ll gleefully mail your IP address to the Feds. I do the same thing with threatening comments.

Ch-ch-ch-changes are coming to PJS’s God-awful Websites

From Market Watch:

AUSTIN, Texas, Jun 24, 2015 (BUSINESS WIRE) — GateHouse Media, LLC (“GateHouse Media” or the “Company”) has selected García Media, led by internationally recognized CEO and founder Dr. Mario García, to redesign the Company’s more than 460 local media sites.

The cross-platform redesign is expected to deliver a more modern and interactive user experience to the millions of readers of GateHouse Media’s phone, tablet and desktop products.

García Media has consulted with more than 700 media firms in 121 countries on web and print design projects. The GateHouse Media project will be one of its largest to date.

A central focus will be on delivering news and other valuable content in formats more suited for GateHouse Media’s increasing mobile audience. The redesign also seeks to provide advertisers with new and more innovative and effective ways to present their brands to visitors.

PJStar.com is one of those Websites.

My advice: Avoid sliders. And avoid breaking articles into 2, 3 or more pages. And please remove all the dreck from the sidebars, header and footer.

Some free advertising ..

Normally I would make these guys pay for an ad, but I’ll run this just once as a favor …red_white_boom

It’s about damn time

From Ill. Sen. Mark Kirk:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), along with U.S. Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.), today announced the introduction of the Just Google It Act, which would eliminate the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), an outdated and duplicative government agency that prints and sells copies of government documents that can be found for free online through a simple Google search. The Department of Commerce estimates that NTIS will have an operating cost of $170 million this fiscal year.

“Instead of wasting millions of dollars to buy and sell printed documents, the federal government should join the 21st Century and just Google it,” Senator Kirk said. “Eliminating a wasteful, duplicative government agency that has been obsolete since the Internet was invented is the right thing to do for the taxpayers.”

“As we look for ways to address our $18 trillion debt and find cost savings across government, there’s no justification for continuing to fund an agency whose mission is no longer necessary. It is long past time to eliminate this obsolete agency, which wastes more than a million taxpayer dollars each year to disseminate government reports that are already free and readily available to the public,” said Senator Ayotte.

“The NTIS is a prime example of government waste. This bill is exactly the kind of efficiency we need more of in government,” Senator Cotton said.

“Georgians are frustrated by the federal government because it is plagued by wasteful spending and redundancy, and the National Technical Information Service is a perfect example of both,” said Senator Perdue. “Eliminating this obsolete program is an important step on the long but essential road of making the federal government more efficient, effective, and accountable.”

The NTIS, which was established in 1950, compiles federal reports and sells copies of these documents to other agencies and the public upon request. The original purpose of the NTIS – to increase government transparency and make documents available to federal agencies and the public – has been largely displaced by the Internet. A 2014 GAO study found that three-quarters of the documents added to the NTIS collection over the last two decades were available elsewhere, of which 95 percent could be found for free online through a search on Google or another search engine.

The Just Google It Act, S.1636, would repeal the National Technical Information Act and dismantle the NTIS over the course of a year. The Secretary of Commerce would work with other agencies to identify any critical functions of the NTIS and transfer them to other offices within the Commerce Department.

Yes. Finally.

Ever work in one of those offices where people communicated by electronic means, but insisted you do a paper back up because, you know, the Big Boss was a troglodyte Luddite who INSISTED there also be a paper trail, just in case?

Likewise, I would eliminate the practice of requiring governments to advertise bids by putting ads in newspapers. What? Contractors can’t afford Internet connected computers?

Today on Peoria.com

In case you missed the announcement, I’m doing the news over at Peoria.com.

I’m still accepting donations, albeit far less aggressively,

Grenita Lathan era may be ending

From Peoria Story:

Supt. Grenita Lathan has failed in controlling finances, in fact her P-card purchase policy and other policies have made the finances worse than necessary.

The Superintendent has also failed to raise the test scores, though it can be argued that they mean little in terms of educating children. But aside from grades there are few ways to measure whether the kids are learning anything. The ACT scores might do it for high school students, and they are low.

When these two facts — finances and test scores — are considered, it means Lathan must go, and soon.

All the rotating principals and administrators, all the expensive consultants and travel under Lathan’s regime have made no difference in student achievement, and likely made things worse.

The gist is that two new board members are joining up in July, and both were backed by the anti-Lathan group Change 150. And Current board members are finally beginning to ask questions. Look for a large expensive buyout of her contract.

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