MTBE banned, for sure. Based on what I’ve read, it’s nasty stuff – a gasoline additive that pollutes the water supply. But the story in the Environment News Service: Billion Dollar NAFTA Challenge To California MTBE Ban ignores a salient point. A US firm sued the Government of Canada two years ago on the exact same issue – a plan by Canada to ban another additive, MMT. The US firms used NAFTA to halt the new legislation in its tracks. They also threatened to sue the gov’t for billions on the same grounds as the Canadian firm is suing the Government of California. The story as it’s now being reported is smug and self-satisfied, painting Canadians as evil foreigners who aren’t quite as sensitive as enlightened Californians. Which is bullshit, just like it’s bullshit that the US is full of greedy opportunists who want to dispense with others’ national sovereignty while holding their own sacred and inviolate.
today was spectacular. I met up with my friend Richard, who writes the nationally syndicated queer column Three Dollar Bill, his lovely parents and a couple other friends. The best part were the Gay Line Dancers of Montreal, who line danced their way down the parade route to Shania Twain. The PFLAG groups got me choked up a bit, though everyone was very happy. I honestly don’t know what it would be like to be gay, but then I know what my relationships with my parents are like and how important they are to me. That many people (fewer, I hope?) lose the love of parents over something like this boggles my mind – at once making me quite indignantly angry and choking me up to know that there are reasonable adults out there who can really love their kids unconditionally. Anyhow.
to this story about British Telecom owning a patent on hyperlinks for a couple of days, but it was so ridiculous I never even followed the link. Anyhow, trust me, it is that ridiculous. I want Ted Nelson to sue BT now. Given the current penalties assessed hackers, he could sue them for 13.4 kajillion dollars, or pounds, or whatever.