Bryan Safi is my new favourite human

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Current TV’s Bryan Safi on the advertising obsession that is ponce. I could watch his show all day.

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I Write Like Ray Bradbury

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I played around with I Write Like today. Plugging in the first page of my blog connected me to David Foster Wallace; separate blog entries gave me Ray Bradbury (win!), Dan Brown (ew), Stephen King, Margaret Atwood and David Foster Wallace (again).

Here’s how it works.

UPDATE, June 22nd: I wrote a fake short story for a fake newspaper a little while ago that was divided into two chunks by separate writing styles, so I thought I’d play around with those, too. The first chunk (an attempt at writing the most turgid, pretentious text I could) was most similar to Arthur C. Clarke, and the second (an ode to HP Lovecraft) was apparently like Douglas Adams. Put them together, and they’re Daniel Defoe. Why? Bayes, it’s all about Bayes. And his algorithms.

Anyhoo, if an internet tells me I’m like Ray Bradbury, Arthur C. Clarke and Douglas Adams, I’ll take the compliment.

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Sexual Assault and Human Rights Violations at the G20

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This past weekend was a disaster. Numerous reports from many different sources (both mainstream and alternative media) suggest the following:

  • Violent protesters were allowed to protest violently, destroying police cars and setting them on fire, and vandalizing storefronts. Many believe that this violence was allowed to go on to justify the massive G20 security expenditures.
  • Peaceful protesters were surrounded and intimidated, were told that they were not allowed their Charter right to peaceful assembly, and numerous non-violent protesters and journalists were beaten by police with no provocation. Smoke bombs and rubber bullets were fired directly into crowds.
  • Both protesters and bystanders were detained for no reason, and forced into inhumane conditions with little food or water.
  • Women were ordered to strip in front of male police officers and at least one woman was physically, sexually assaulted by an officer. These women were either intimidated into giving up their rights to privacy, or did not know that they had them.
  • Photographers had their cameras seized and then “lost.”
  • A person who asked to be released from detention after his 24th hour was told that “sometimes your rights just don’t apply here.” The same person was segregated from the rest of the group because he was gay.
  • The Miami model was definitely fulfilled.

Some of this may have resulted from confusion about emergency bylaws put in place in secret a few days before the G20:

G&M, CP24: Civil libertarians were fuming after hearing Friday that the Ontario cabinet gave police the power to stop and search anyone coming within five metres of the G20 fences in Toronto for a one week period.

However, the Ministry of Community Safety says all the cabinet did was update the law that governs entry to such things as court houses to include specific areas inside the G20 fences — not outside.

When asked today if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry’s clarification, Blair smiled and said, “No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out.”

This is deeply, deeply saddening. I sincerely hope that the people responsible for this lie, and the violence that ensued this weekend, are held accountable. I am writing a letter to Bill Blair and to the mayor’s office, and if you feel strongly about this as well, I encourage you to do the same.

UPDATE: A Sun article reports that cops were ordered not to interfere with violence.

Here are a few videos of note:

Amy Miller on the sexual assault of detainees:

Steve Paikin on attacks on protesters and the beating of a journalist:

A ten-minute video with shocking evidence of violent police tactics:

Joe Wenkoff on the permissiveness of police to violence:

Police rush a crowd singing the national anthem:

Police fire smoke bombs into a crowd:

I’d like to end with some commentary by Laura K:

…Vandals broke windows and burned a car. The police fired rubber bullets into humans. The police hit human beings with bicycles, batons and fists. The police trapped and held human beings for hours without shelter, food or water. The police threatened human beings with rape. The police stripped-searched (and worse) human beings.

Even given our society’s obsession with property rights, most people agree that human beings are more important than property. Supposed Black Bloc protesters destroyed property. The police assaulted human beings.

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Belt. Made from a Cat.

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Cat Belt

Cat Belt.

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Traction fail, cuteness win

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There are two kinds of conversations I have with my boyfriend

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The Beau: australia have tied it
The Beau: but are over on wickets
The Beau: Australia win by 3 wickets!!!!
The Beau: in the last over
The Beau: i feel sorry for pakistan
Eve: sorry, I went to get some soup
The Beau: england better beat australia now
Eve: ya
Eve: also I have no idea what you just said
Eve: about overs and wickets
The Beau: that’s ok
Eve: ETHICS APPROVED!
The Beau: yay
The Beau: now you can go to the cemetery and start digging up graves
Eve: I’ll go get my shovel

There are two kinds of conversations I have with my boyfriend. One of them involves sports that I believe people play to avoid paying taxes to the British, and the other involves university-sanctioned necromancy.

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Why we should give Glenn Beck a break

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I was listening to some classic anti-Canadian vitriol from Glenn Beck today, and I had to turn it off because it made me so frustrated with the way he seems to so perfectly manipulate his listeners/viewers, and how this tirade must have brought a few more folks into his canuck-hating flock. But after thinking about it for a bit, I think I am going to let this particular argument slide, and I will tell you why.

Beck was reacting to a recent discussion of Bill C-384, which proposes to make assisted suicide legal. From the summary of the bill itself:

“This enactment amends the Criminal Code to allow a medical practitioner, subject to certain conditions, to aid a person who is experiencing severe physical or mental pain without any prospect of relief or is suffering from a terminal illness to die with dignity once the person has expressed his or her free and informed consent to die.”

Of course, Glenn Beck immediately made the claim that Canada was trying to murder Sarah Palin’s baby. Of course.

But let’s pull back here a moment and try to figure him out. I’ve always been suspicious that he’s a schizophrenic, and thinking about that again reminded me of what’s probably the real reason why he reacted so strongly to the bill: on May 15, 1979, his mother drowned in Puget Sound, and while Tacoma police reported that she “appeared to be a classic drowning victim,” the report added that Coast Guard officials suspected she may have committed suicide. Glenn Beck has gone on record saying that he believes his mother did commit suicide. Shortly thereafter, his brother also committed suicide.

So while I’m probably one of the last people who would ever consider defending Glenn Beck on any other issue, I will defend him on this. You can’t expect someone to be reasonable about issues of suicide if he has lost two close family members under such terrible circumstances. So, Glenn, you get a pass from me today.

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