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Massacre of the Innocents November 29, 2010

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Some updates

– My blinds are officially finished. Next up: furniture.

– I’m almost done my class after which I’ll have much more time to do lots of stuff I’ve been neglecting, like eat ice cream.

– This week’s problem set is very hard. I’m not even half done, and it’s past 2am. I certainly won’t get it done in time. sigh

– I miss riding my bike :(

– also, someone stole my bike’s rear wheel, which serves me right for leaving it so neglected for over a month.

– The answer to your question is: No.

– Have I ever told you how much I hate hearing christmas carols in November, or even, early December? way to ruin xmas carols, society

– I’ve got a new look! It looks exactly like the page you’re looking at, unless you’re viewing this through RSS or I’ve changed it since this post, in which case it looks like this. It’s so beautiful, I can’t stop staring at it.

UPDATE (29/Nov/2010 4:06am): I actually finished it!!!

More from Britain November 26, 2010

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What happens when students in London protest higher tuition fees? Why, the police detain them in the cold streets, of course, without arrest, access to lawyers, toilets, food or water.

It’s called kettling:

It’s the coldest day of the year, and I’ve just spent seven hours being kettled in Westminster. That sounds jolly, doesn’t it? It sounds a bit like I went and had a lovely cup of tea with the Queen, rather than being trapped into a freezing pen of frightened teenagers and watching baton-wielding police kidney-punching children, six months into a government that ran an election campaign on a platform of fairness. So before we go any further, let’s remind ourselves precisely what kettling is, and what it’s for.

I didn’t understand quite how bad things had become in this country until I saw armoured cops being deployed against schoolchildren in the middle of Whitehall. These young people joined the protest to defend their right to learn, but in the kettle they are quickly coming to realise that their civil liberties are of less consequence to this government than they had ever imagined. The term ‘kettle’ is rather apt, given that penning already-outraged people into a small space tends to make tempers boil and give the police an excuse to turn up the heat, and it doesn’t take long for that to happen. When they understand that are being prevented from marching to parliament by three lines of cops and a wall of riot vans, the kids at the front of the protest begin to moan. “It’s ridiculous that they won’t let us march,” says Melissa, 15, who has never been in trouble before. “We can’t even vote yet, we should be allowed to have our say.”

I suppose that’s what happens when you place a higher priority on maintaining an obsolete monarchy instead of drafting a constitutionally protected charter of rights. Just sayin.

Favourite Shipra Quotes November 24, 2010

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I shoulda listened to my brain.

Britain needs a Bill of Rights, ASAP November 18, 2010

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What’s going on in Britain? Every day it’s something new, and it just gets creepier and creepier. This week’s crazy new episode? Police get to stop and search citizens based on race.

Wait, what?

But I guess this isn’t too suprising. Afterall, the UK doesn’t even have a constitutionally protected bill of rights.

Ottawa woman illegally arrested, then beaten and stripped searched November 18, 2010

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Still don’t believe the police ever abuse their powers?

Ont. judge slams Ottawa police strip search

[Justice Richard] Lajoie ruled that while the accused had been drinking when she was arrested, there was “no evidence that Ms Bonds was a threat to herself or anyone else” and so there was no grounds to detain her.

Bonds’s detention and subsequent strip-search was a “clear violation” of her rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Lajoie ruled.

Lajoie said the video shows Bonds — who is “not being one hundred per cent compliant” — receive “two extremely violent knee hits in the back.”

Bonds is then forced to the ground, where a police officer cuts off her shirt and bra with scissors “with the assistance of at least three male officers,” Lajoie said.

There was “no reasonable explanation” for the strip-search, Lajoie said. “It is more than evident that the search at 474 Elgin [Street] was an extremely serious breach of Ms. Bonds’ rights.”

Where is the outrage? Come on, everyone!

Of course there’s an internal police investigation going on now, but who is that really accountable to? Does anyone still not think there needs to be some oversight that is independent of the police force? To protect both the public as well as the honourably serving police officers that don’t do this kind of stuff but end up getting painted with the same brush anyway.

UPDATE: And here’s the video.

The proof is obvious and left to the reader November 10, 2010

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I have another test on Friday. This time I’m learning this stuff using this stuff, and applying it to this same old stuff.

I honestly don’t understand how anyone can say math ain’t interesting. Sure it’s hard. But it’s soooo cool!

The hospital of the future November 6, 2010

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Women’s College Hospital, across the street from my building, is expanding and building a new state-of-the-art facility.

Though I’m more than happy to have a state-of-the-art hospital being built so close to home, what I wanna know is…who was in charge of deciding on the demolition times?! I can’t sleep!

From their Construction Updates:

Work on the foundation of the new building continues. For the next two weeks, demolition causing noise and vibrations will be isolated during the following times:

  • Monday – Thursday 6 a.m. – 8 a.m., and after 3:30 p.m.
  • Friday 6 a.m. – 9 a.m., and after 3:30 p.m.

Seriously? 6-8am??

Coffee Party Manifesto November 1, 2010

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Via Bill Easterly:

  1. The Coffee Party has had the privilege to meet people from many different creeds and races, and despises fear-mongering towards any one group.
  2. The Coffee Party also hates xenophobia towards immigrants. We don’t plan to vote for any candidate who first exploited an immigrant for nine years and now wants to deport her.
  3. And ixnay on Yet Another Xenophobia aimed at particular trading partners, falsely blamed for our economic woes. The Coffee Party likes free trade — how else are we going to get our Coffee?
  4. While we’re at it, we don’t want Homophobia or Misogyny either.
  5. The Coffee Party wishes the tax debate would also discuss whether we are getting our money’s worth. We have a tax-bloated government here at Coffee Party HQ, so why did they cut the one government activity we actually find useful – subways!?#!
  6. Suppose you had to make an agonizing decision whether to endanger the mother of your child by going through with a pregnancy. Pick one: (1) you and the mother should decide yourselves, (2) some Old Fart on a Bench or Legislature should decide for you.  The Coffee Party does not consider this a difficult pick.
  7. The Coffee Party wonders why all candidates from all parties have forgotten to mention that we are still waging war for reasons no longer clear, not to mention still violating civil liberties of both citizens and foreigners?
  8. Speaking of wars, how about ending the War on Drugs, which is so destructive  to our inner cities and to the source countries? (link to Nick Kristof){Wait a minute, we could even tax pot and restore subway service! (see 5) }
  9. Oh yes, Development. Frankly, the candidates are doing so badly on our issues 1 through 8, the Coffee Party is not expecting much from them on Global Development. At this point, we would just ask them not to destroy industries in poor countries with some arbitrary trade policy decision.
  10. Our country is based on the ideals that ALL “are by nature equally free and independent,” and have “inalienable rights, among them life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” men and women, blacks and whites, gays and straights, immigrants and natives, Christians and Muslims, citizens and foreigners, rich and poor. The Coffee Party wants our country back.