Friday, December 11, 2009

Presumption of Guilt

You know what, Mr. Harper? Mr McKay? Mr. O'Connor?

I'm going to go right ahead and assume you're guilty; that you're all war criminals. That's right. I'll say it. I'm going to right ahead and assume that you're lying, untrustworthy crooks guilty of heinous crimes and deserving of jail time.

I know what you're saying: innocent until proven guilty. That's the letter of the law, right? That's how things work in this country.

Well, apparently things have changed.

You see, there's this 15 year old kid that got arrested in Afghanistan. He's been in jail for most of a decade now without a trial. You haven't even tried to repatriate him. You just went and ahead and assumed he was guilty.

Then there was that lady, I think she was in Kenya, trying to get back to Canada. You assumed that she was an impostor and forced her to prove she was innocent. You didn't assume her innocence.

There was another guy that you let the Sudanese torture. He had to get holed up in our embassy in Sudan for months before you let him come home, even after the Sudanese had tortured him and determined - under torture - that he wasn't guilty of anything. What more could a guy do?

So you know what? If you're doing away with the presumption of innocence for other Canadians, I don't see why we should presume you're innocent.

Especially since you're hiding something. Absence of evidence is, after all, absence of evidence. I'm sure you'd agree if, say, the Liberals had tried to put black magic marker over all kinds of documents related to something like the sponsorship scandal.

And that brings me to my last point. Because the Liberals were crooked too. I won't even argue. The Liberals stole my nation's money, and that made me angry.

But you, you sons of bitches, you've stolen my nation's honour. And that makes me furious.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

You're Way Too Fat

Just thought I'd throw that out there.

Kind of offensive, isn't it?

What if I sat next to you in a cafeteria, presuming us to be previously acquainted, and told you that you were too fat, that you were eating too much unhealthy food? What if I told you that the sight of you was so revolting that you should immediately lay off the bacon and the salad dressing? What if I started counting the rolls of fat on your stomach or the number of your chins? What if wrinkled my nose at you and told you to get some exercise?

I think we could all agree that every one of those statements would be considered offensive in our society. For whatever reason, much like the 1970s era taboo against telling smokers to frak off, we’re supposed to dance around fat people as if there’s nothing wrong with them.

But not skinny people.

You can say whatever you want about skinny people, especially children, especially if you’re related to them. Try these out for size.

“You’re too skinny. Eat more food.”
“Oh my goodness! You poor thing. Do they feed you at home? You look sick. Eat some more.”
“Look at you! I can count your ribs.”
“He’s so tiny. Have you taken him to the doctor?”
“Someone should pour fertilizer in your shoes, little guy.”

Not nearly as taboo, are they? Why is it you can ‘count my ribs’ but not your own rolls of fat? Where do we get this assumption that fat people have fragile egos and we need to dance around them? Where do we get this idea that skinny kids are expected to suck up all of the insults and destruction of their self esteem? Oh, don’t let the fat, unhealthy people have negative self images, but let’s all go to town on the healthy, skinny kid. You can trash his emotions all you want. Drive him right in to the ground.

You know what? The next person who insults a skinny kid is getting an earful from me.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Yahoo Embarrassed

You would be embarrassed, too.

Yahoo has a list of services it provides to government agencies. (warning: that list may be taken down at some point). They'll provide your emails, account information, IP address you've logged in from etc. etc. And each service has a price.

This list was leaked from inside Yahoo and is now available online.

Yahoo has decided to use copyright law to make Cryptome take the document down.

This seems, to me, to be an unbearable stretch of copyright law. Copyright was intended to protect authors from having people copy their works and resell them without paying royalties. Copyright law was not intended to let corporations keep their businesses secret.

The telling point comes in part of the takedown notice as quoted at
“Therefore, release of Yahoo!’s information is reasonably likely to lead to impairment of its reputation for protection of user privacy and security, which is a competitive disadvantage for technology companies,” the company added.

Paraphrasing: Don't tell the truth about us. Our customers won't like it.

If the truth is going to impair your reputation, you really shouldn't be complaining about the messenger. But then, Yahoo is a corporation, so what else should one expect?

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