Monthly Archives: April 2002

Tax time

As someone who pays taxes both in Canada and the US, I found this document on IRS civil rights violations quite interesting… To be honest, given their Constitution (and the way they were tricked into it during the war), I'm amazed Americans are even willing to pay taxes at all…

Evening

Just had a nice dinner at Cafe 668 with Derek… And later tonight my Corvette will be here! Woo woo! It's coming out of winter storage, at least that's one thing I like about summer. My sister on the other hand is not thrilled I'm sure — up until today she was the 18 year old girl driving an overpowered sidepiped 74 Vette.

Oh, I wanted to mention something else about tracking/userview logging. Iam.code is not the only way to do it. There are lots of online counters and javascript tricks that can track not just your username but your IP number and what users page you viewed before the current one, etc… So there are two ways that I could handle tracking:

  • Decide it's “against the rules” and add it to the TOS. Then I could write a filter that stopped people from using Javascript of ANY kind, as well as killing off iam.code, and removing custom layout (since you could make it generate an undetectable Javascript module). However, a clever person could easily bypass this… Which would mean that “honest” users couldn't do it, but any sneaky supervillian could.
  • Allow it, and make it so blatantly obvious, that because it's no secret, it's harder to abuse. By taking this route, it also allows people to have Javascript, Custom Layout, and iam.code.

So…. Do you still really want to live in boringland?

PS. I'm very sad that Julien aka Martin didn't make the final cut on Popstars. I was rooting for you! (OK, I know it wasn't really Julien, but it reallllly looked like him, especially if you've met Julien in person).


Finally, I know many of you know my friend and business partner Mr. E (no, not that kind of E)… Anyway, he's spending the next two or three months in Central and South America (and is considering buying land in Costa Rica)… He sent me the following pictures before getting on a boat to spend the next week diving in the Galapagos:

Morning

First of all, this heat is killing me — I think it's above 20oC (about 70oF for Americans). Way too hot. At this temperature, the stench of the city (and the dog) is unbearable, and I can't even sit in my back yard because it's so disgusting. Not only is it covered in dog dropping, but there are steaming garbage pails from it… It's a miracle the neighbors haven't sued. I wouldn't blame them if they did.

Anyway, I'm happiest and healthiest at about 15oC (brisk t-shirt weather).

Anyway, there were two news stories (both featured on Wired) today that caught my eye… The first one is only funny if you're familiar with the movie The Stuff though. The similarity is striking.

The second story (also reported in many local Canadian papers) is really interesting, especially if you're Canadian (since it's about Canadian law). Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms is sort of like the US Constitution, but it effectively defines privacy as a right and makes it quite clear that Canada should never become a police state.

As such, public security cameras that the police have access to may be “unconsitutional“, as they releates to unreasonable search and seizure laws. Justice La Forest just wrote,

This type of video surveillance is equivalent to having individual police officers closely follow, 24 hours a day, every person within a certain geographical space. That would be a police state, not a free society.

While public cameras don't particularly bother me, and I understand their protective element as well, I really like the fact that I can relatively freely smoke pot in public, and I'm not sure that the police have the right to monitor me 24/7 as long as I'm in a public space… While sparse cameras seem harmless enough, they certainly could lead to something else — I guess I'm glad they addressed it before if became an issue.


Anyway, I was given a few HTML tips yesterday on how I can make the forms edit more clearly, so I'm going to give that a try… Maybe I can make it so <textarea> boxes don't crash the forms any more!

News…

First of all today is the 13th anniversarry of one of my heros, Abbie Hoffman, being murdered (“suicide”) by the US government for his political views and actions.

Well, looks like the US is just a puppet to Israel after all… and before you want to make a lot of noise about terrorist-this and terrorist-that, just look at the numbers and realize which “side” is losing civilians like crazy? If you and your community were facing certain death and genocide, would you be willing to condone suicide attacks? It is standard practise in war to sacrifice soldiers. That's the horror of war. Oh, and as I've said before, I disagree with his conclusions, but Pat Buchanan's retelling on recent events is generally very to the point and dead-on

U.S. soldiers posed for 'souvenir photos' with Lindh – While doing this they'd scrawled obscenities on him, and so on… So basically what happened is that a bunch of jackass soldiers went a long way to making the case for invalidating any interrogation that happened during that period because of their unprofessional conduct. Good going… of course, Amnesty International has labelled the US as “a safe haven for torturers” in a recent press release. Not that anyone cares. Or how about when earlier this week US special forces allowed their Afghan trainees to severely beat a Boston Globe translator in front of them?

BTW, I found this article pointing out that if anyone invented modern terrorism, it was General William T. Sherman in his March to the Sea that started it all quite interesting… And then terrorism continued as a valid strategy, and still continues to be standard practise in war for everyone.

More details on how Israel currently outguns the US. I've already mentioned that Israel carries far less debt than the US per capita, and can fly double the fighter missions and can mobilize 50% more troops… This article also points out that the souped up F-15 and F-16s that the Israelis use can also outfly the American jets, and that Israel has a monstrous well-trained and experienced army that by many counts far outnumbers US troops… So even if the US wanted to stop Israel, there's not a whole lot they can do… Given this latest lesson learned from Israel, I think the US should be very careful about it's dealings with South Korea, who recently told North Korea that if it didn't capitulate, it would become a US nuclear target.

Not that it's a big secret, but Israel has been killing quite indiscriminately in Jenin, attempting to hide it from the media, and has been burying the bodies with bulldozers in mass graves… High courts told them to stop, but I doubt it'll make much difference… PS. After all those links, maybe I should link an alternate view as well.

More locally, adding to the list of reasons I can't enter the United States, Ashcroft has added his list of “suspected terrorists” to the major law enforcement databases… Involved with PETA? ELF? ALF? Various anti-globalization movements? Make sure you don't get pulled over or you may well find yourself in a world of pain.

“When national security is threatened, there are times when the United States cannot afford the luxury of adhering to the Constitution”

Florida Solicitor General Tom Warner
Thursday, April 11th, 2002 (more)

I was also wondering, now that MSNBC as branded itself as “America's NewsChannel“, how long will it be before Windows is branded “America's Operating System”? The open source movement was long ago tagged as unamerican, and I've seen that brought up a number of times, often with criminal prosecution threats, in the past six months.

The death of the Freedom of Information Act is pretty scary too, but what scares me even more is that now the FBI is going after reporters and lawyers as well, harassing them, intimidating them, and subpoenaing their records… Thank god I just live in the land of insane recording media taxes.

Old pix

I'm sort of guessing at these dates, but the progression is funny nonetheless. The 1990-era picture was taken in the old Yonge location of the Record Peddler by one of the owners — at that point it was still incredibly rare to see stretched ears of any kind. He gave me this photo six or seven years later when I passed through the store again!

1990

1993

1996