Fuck Ron Paul

That’s all I have to say about that.

And fuck all you pseudo-Libertarian (hell, big L or little l) douchebags, too.

Not really having anything to do with Ron Paul, though, but…

Why is it that so many intelligent people that I respect for so many reasons happen to be dipshit libertarian asshats? Why?

Penn & Teller. Trey Parker & Matt Stone. Why? Seriously. What the fuck. They’re so smart, otherwise.

Is it just because as Americans, they’ve seen the government fuck up so badly that they can’t see any solution other than getting rid of the whole damned thing? Or what.

I dunno. I’m drunk. But I’m also Canadian, and a semihemidemi-socialist.

More taxes for everyone!

Yayyyyyy taxes!

dear internet, see you next month or so

I’m currently on a train, about halfway to Washington, DC (which means I have another 8 damn hours to go). I’m meeting Sean and the rest me Cyanotic there for the next few stops of their tour. All I have to access the internet is my crappy cellphone, and typing this is a pain, so I’m going to stop, and if I neglect the internet even more than usual, you’ll know why. I’ll be on AIM (Questular).

Wait, what?

“Canada’s New Government”? Blah blah blah, some shit about some scientist or whatever. This is too stupid to even comment on. I’m guessing that everyone else agrees, since there are only 300-some articles to be found about this on Google News, and most of them don’t seem to be related to the rebranding. But this needs more attention. Now I’m going to go vomit!

I was just going to throw my vote away, anyway

Guess who won’t be voting in the Canadian election today!? That would be me. Considering I’m currently in Chicago and all. I feel very irresponsible, and I’m going to feel like a sham when I complain for the next few years. But it’s not my fault. I don’t think. I never received my special ballot. I don’t know who to blame. Elections Canada? Canada Post? The United States Postal Service? There are just too many organizations that I don’t trust whose hands it would have had to pass through. I sent in my form over a month ago, but meh. I didn’t really follow up on it when it didn’t show up. Hardly noticed that the date was coming so quickly. Oh well. In my particular riding, I don’t think I was going to be the deciding vote. I guess there is some apathy involved here.

Canadian expats and interested Americans (if any — none of the Americans I know even seem aware that this election exists), C-SPAN will be showing CBC’s election coverage starting at 9:30 ET. If you feel that the results are likely to cause you to require alcohol (for celebration, or in despair, whichever the case may be), connect2canada.com has a list of fine establishments that will be showing the coverage tonight. I may or may not wind up at Elephant & Castle tonight, because there’s definitely no one in my apartment that cares about any of this. Either that, or I will surely be whining on ICQ. If you don’t want to hear some whining tonight, I suggest that you avoid me.

So what is it, kids?

Associated Press:

In a slap at President Bush, lawmakers voted Wednesday to block the Justice Department and the FBI from using the Patriot Act to peek at library records and bookstore sales slips.

The House voted 238-187 despite a veto threat from Bush to block the part of the anti-terrorism law that allows the government to investigate the reading habits of terror suspects.

United Press International:

The House voted Wednesday to let die a Patriot Act provision that allows the FBI and Justice Department to look at library records.

The vote to let the provision expire at the end of the year was 238-187, reversing last year’s decision.


The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday defied President Bush by approving a measure making it harder for federal agents to secretly gather information on people’s library reading habits and bookstore purchases.

The House voted 238-187 to scale back the government’s powers to conduct secret investigations that were authorized by the Patriot Act, a post-Sept. 11 anti-terrorism law.

Mutated versions of these three source stories are floating around the web. Reuters has its shit straight. I quoted the AP version in my post below, and it’s somewhat misleading at best. But UPI is just completely wrong… I find it all very amusing. Three different stories saying three different things… This is why I trust the media so much…

What’s wrong with the other 187 nitwits?

Wired News: House Votes to Limit Patriot Act

Despite a veto threat from President Bush, lawmakers voted 238-187 to block the part of the antiterrorism law that allows the government to investigate the reading habits of terror suspects.

So what were those other 187 thinking???

“If there are terrorists in libraries studying how to fly planes, how to put together biological weapons, how to put together chemical weapons, nuclear weapons … we have to have an avenue through the federal court system so that we can stop the attack before it occurs,” said Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Florida).

Yes, I’m so sure that they’d use their real names to check those books out, and that they wouldn’t use cash at the bookstore. Good point there, Tommy.

Of course, as John at Powerline points out:

Several things will immediately jump out at anyone patient enough to read section 215. First, it doesn’t mention libraries. It authorizes the FBI to seek an order permitting it to obtain “tangible things,” among which are records and documents of all types. There is no obvious reason why this section should have provoked hysteria about libraries and bookstores.

Second, the statute requires the FBI to obtain an order from the FISA court, following a procedure that was first established during the 1970s. So the FBI can’t unilaterally subpoena anything.

Third, the statute specifically provides that no such order can be based on activities that are protected by the First Amendment.

So, I don’t think the amendment is a big deal. Except that it’s open to interpretation what “solely protected by the First Amendment” means. Also, there’s the “in yer face, Bush” bit. Basically, that it was passed says to me “See? We’re all for civil liberties! Never mind that this amendment is essentially meaningless, or that we’re just trying to distract you from focusing on the bits that we’re keeping in.”

Such as…

No person shall disclose to any other person (other than those persons necessary to produce the tangible things under this section) that the Federal Bureau of Investigation has sought or obtained tangible things under this section.

Because that’s the jive I’m not hip with. Dunno about anyone else. That’s the bit that allows for abuse (oh well — at least we won’t know about the abuse). So, go celebrate, why don’tcha now. It’s a happy happy but purely symbolic act. That we haven’t even seen the text of, yet.

Anyway, I’m still laughing at the idea of terrorists hanging out at the library. Sitting around a table with their study group… Peering out shiftily from behind copies of “Nuclear Physics for Dummies”, “101 Creative New Ways to Slaughter the American Infidel” and “Chicken Soup for the Terrorist Soul”…