A bit of departure from my normal blog posts… I spent a lot of today reading/listening to the news, or my version of ‘the news’ (not all of it new, not all of it newsy). I do this most days, but today, for some reason, a lot of what I read really struck me. Mostly in a bad way. Mostly because there’s been so much coverage of the war on terror lately, and that never makes me a very happy camper.
The terror stuff
Three links for you. First, Omar Khadr. The Current (CBC Radio One) played tapes of his CSIS interrogations at Guantanamo today (Video on The Star’s site. Not easy to watch/listen to). I won’t lie… Canada’s (and by that, I mean that government of Canada’s) treatment of the Omar Khadr file absolutely disgusts me. The fact that it’s often referred to as ‘a file’ disgusts me. He’s a human being. A very young one, who was even younger when he was arrested on allegations of being an enemy combatant. Our governments’ (both Liberal and Conservative, though the Liberals have now changed their stance) inability to do what’s right an bring this child soldier home to Canada is completely infuriating and embarrassing. I’m not particularly proud to be Canadian at the moment.
While PM Harper argues that he’s being treated humanely, Christopher Hitchens’ article “Believe Me, It’s Torture” (in the August issue of Vanity Fair, and recently interviewed on CBC Radio One’s As It Happens) makes me doubt that my definition of humane is quite the same as that of the government of the United States. A ‘favourite’ quote, after Mr. Hitchens first-hand experience with water-boarding: “You are being drowned, but very slowly and under controlled conditions. It’s not simulating the effects of drowning…”
And last but not least, the US’s terrorism watch list has grown to include a million names (courtesy BoingBoing). Not a million people, but a million names. Because if your name is on there, regardless of whether or not you’re the one to have done anything wrong, good luck with the whole hassle-free travel thing. Oh wait, no, it’s not about ACTUAL wrongdoing. The list is all about the suspected potential for wrongdoing, proof (or even public knowledge of the criteria that gets you on the list) be damned.
Back to the internet…
In good news… the Top Friends app on Facebook looks like it’s a goner! But not because people are mature enough to recognize that the kind of friendship gymnastics required by Top Friends are best left back in 2nd grade… it’s because Facebook has launched a simplified version of the app’s features (link: valleywag). That said, I understand the rationale–kind of. If I were spending as much time on Facebook as I used to (my use is largely limited to Scrabulous these days), I might spend a second or two caring about which friends show up on my profile when people view it, and that is something quite a bit different than labelling people my Top Friends… but that said, if I’ve added someone to my Facebook, why should I be worried about him/her showing up on my profile? Hmmm… could be grounds for a friends list cull.