Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Is CSIS untrustworthy?

My personal and professional experience with them has been, let's say, uneven. Over the last few weeks especially, I have more than once declared that I was moving abroad out of lack of faith in the government, and especially the intelligence sector.

This story is therefore both validating and infuriating:

Judge orders recall of CSIS witnesses in Harkat case (

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Best TORCHWOOD quote?

Jack: That's weird. Because when I'm about to murder someone I'm really careful not to talk to myself about it while I'm in the street.

Tosh: No, sure. I mean, that's lesson one.


(from 1x07, "Greeks Bearing Gifts")

Sunday, May 17, 2009

What law owes to science fiction

Interesting item over at Whatever about the possibility that the Neanderthals died out because we ate them:

Technically It’s Not Cannibalism If They’re Not the Same Species

The comments are particularly tasty (ba-dum-dum)


I am particularly fond of the conclusion:

Even if it wasn’t cannibalism, I would still call it murder, since “murder” in my book (that book being a science fiction book) involves killing sentient creatures, whether they’re of the same intelligent species as you are or not. This is why one needs science fiction, incidentally: to model such legal conundrums. You’re welcome.

Which reminded me of a discussion (by which I mean argument) I once had with a post-colonial lit prof who insisted--INSISTED--that there was nothing wrong with cannibalism, that communion in Christian churches was cannibalism, and it was just another example of the intense and undeniable evil that is western society that we forced the South Pacific Islanders and other groups to stop being cannibals because of our own narrow-minded hang-ups.*

I of course pointed out that, while I agree that ritual cannibalism isn't particularly immoral (especially funerary cannibalism), it does cause prion disease and was probably a good idea to avoid it.



*Which was itself part of a longer argument over whether everything bad that has ever happened in or around a colonized society was entirely the fault of the colonizers, my point being that it's extremely racist to assume that any such society is so passive that they are incapable of screwing up without help.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

TDS best argument against DADT ever

Clip from May 14

Also, on the torture photo issue, I have to say that while I support transparency, I get that it may not be necessary to release everything, when you've released all the substantive/significant information, releasing more information which won't add to the information, but will add to the outrage, is unnecessary.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

In a perfect world, I’d be liveblogging my bus ride

Once again I am off to work on a Sunday morning, albeit relatively late morning, and I left work relatively early yesterday. None of this prevents me from being utterly handbagged. Sarah needs a huge coffee, or frankly, to break into my stash of wake-ups.

Because yes, I do have a stash. In fact, the past weeks in trial would not have been as smooth without them. You see, one cannot have coffee in the courtroom, which I find pointlessly cruel. We have water, which we spill with some frequency. But no coffee. It is perhaps the one thing the Respondents and us can agree on. I’m tempted to ask the boss to ask the judge for an exception to be made.

What we do instead is leave our cups on the table in our conference room (a misnomer, since it seats about four, but I refuse to call it a “breakout room”. It then gets cold, unless you (like me) think to bring a travel mug.