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October 12, 2012

Lance Armstrong’s 1999 Tour de France Triumph Takes a Dark Turn

Lance Armstrong’s 1999 Tour de France Triumph Takes a Dark Turn - NYTimes.com
The evidence that Armstrong used EPO in the 1999 race was overwhelming, the report said, adding, “No other conclusion is even plausible.” The tale behind Armstrong’s first Tour triumph, an achievement that made him an instant celebrity, is laid out in the investigative report in almost novelistic fashion. It involves a man on a motorcycle who delivered drugs to Armstrong’s team, an Italian doctor who was famous for helping riders dope, a training regimen designed to avoid drug testing, and the active complicity of the team masseuse. The 1999 racing season began, the report said, with an unlikely goal for Armstrong, a cancer survivor: to win the Tour de France. He would skip many of the buildup races to concentrate on his sport’s major event. And for fuel, the report said, he would rely on banned substances. A new team director, Johan Bruyneel, and team doctor, Luis Garcia del Moral, were hired that year for the Postal Service team. Armstrong called the team the Bad News Bears. He wanted a new team, according to the affidavit by Vaughters, his teammate, because the outgoing doctor, Pedro Celaya, “had not been aggressive enough for Armstrong in providing banned products.” Bruyneel and del Moral, on the other hand, had formerly been associated with a racing team widely known, the report said, for “its organized team doping.”

October 11, 2012

Oakland residents fighting prostitution by sending license plate numbers to the cops

Dear John: Oakland residents are sending your license plate number to the cops | Oakland North
Armed with green forms listing license plate numbers, car models and driver descriptions, residents of the San Antonio neighborhood aim to do what billboards and tow trucks could not—reduce prostitution in their community. The forms are the nucleus of the Dear John letter campaign, a community initiative supported by the City of Oakland, the Oakland Police Department and a variety of community organizations. The premise is simple: residents are taught to identify and report the license plate numbers and state of origin of cars driven by people who appear to be soliciting prostitutes, either in the San Antonio neighborhood or in other parts of the city where prostitution is an issue. This information is then sent anonymously to the OPD, whether directly to the police or with the help of community groups like the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC) or Oakland Community Organizations, a coalition of churches, schools and neighborhood groups that relies on religion as a community organizing strategy. After checking that the car’s license plate matches the reported make and model, the OPD next sends an official form letter to the owner of the vehicle, informing the recipient that they were seen in an area of high prostitution and that such activity is illegal and unacceptable to local residents. “Prostitution is not a victimless crime and is associated with kidnapping, human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children,” each letter states. “These are grave concerns to the City and city residents.” Letters will be sent out within a week after verifying that the car matches an existing registration record, said Captain Johnny Davis, head of OPD’s criminal investigation division. “This is the first time something this innovative and groundbreaking has been done,” Davis said during a license plate reporting training session for San Antonio residents in late September. “I think we’re going to be a formidable force.”

October 02, 2012

Racist Moments of 2012, Pt.1 ~The Workplace

Or, on what it's like to be a black man working in the tech industry. Racist Moments of 2012, Pt.1 ~The Workplace~ - Qu33riousity
There is another co-worker, Mike, who was also hired through the same contractor and is black also. One day this large, lumbering white guy walks by our work station and Mike says “watch out for that guy, he’s trouble, he talks a lot of shit” in a half affectionate half sarcastic tone, like you would about a friend. However, when I see the white guy’s sneering red face looking back at us I knew there was more than ring of truth to that statement… The next day Steve, that same white guy, hears that Jose needs to learn to tell better jokes. “Better jokes like what? Like ‘you’re a mexican whore’ or like ‘your mother’s a Mexican whore?” 0.0 Steve says he’s going to get office supplies. He comes back a half hour later and throws a dictionary at Mike. “I got this for you cause I know you speak ebonics.” ! ! ! ! Steve looks over at Jose “I would have gotten you one too but they didn’t have wetback to english.” � ! � ! Steve points at me “Hey he’s dressed like Run DMC, does he know how to rap?” I try to pretend I don’t hear him, but then everyone around me is looking at me… “Hey he’s talking to you man” I look him in his eyes that are blue steel, cold and violent, and inform him that “no, I don’t rap.” He grunts a laugh to himself, says a few more things to the white male project leads, and walks away. There is a ring of fire around my heart and it tightens. It is burning and suffocating simultaneously. I want take this lasso from around my organ and tie it around his neck, but I also want to pay the rent for the new room I have just moved into, so I swallow that bitter taste of powerlessness.