30 December 2006

The Bill of Wrongs

Slate has published its "10 most outrageous civil liberties violations of 2006". It's a brilliant list, but surely the UK can do better?

Some criticised Andrew Lloyd Webber's
modern retelling of Jesus Christ Superstar

We're up against some pretty stiff competition though:
4. Extraordinary Rendition

So, when does it start to become ordinary rendition? This government program has us FedEx-ing unindicted terror suspects abroad for interrogation/torture. Khalid El-Masri, a German citizen, was shipped off to Afghanistan for such treatment and then released without charges, based on some government confusion about his name. Heh heh. Canadian citizen Maher Arar claims he was tortured in Syria for a year, released without charges, and cleared by a Canadian commission.
PS. I wrote a play this year where I called this practice "a foreign exchange programme for terrorists", but Slate hits the nail on the head with "FedEx-ing".

28 December 2006

Lapsing Membership

My membership of the Liberal Democrats lapses on 31st December and once again I have to make a decision whether to renew or become* a passive supporter.

For some reason I always take this decision seriously, and last year I had a good long think about whether, ideologically speaking, the Liberal Democrats are the right party for me. This time around, I know they are, which is why I almost certainly will renew my membership. But before I do, here are some thoughts on why I dither - which all boil down to a lack of competence.
  • I got involved with the Policy Committee earlier this year, but other commitments (all of which revolved around my degree) led to me dropping that.
  • I organised a campus debate - or rather I was trying to. Two speakers did turn up, unfortunately I couldn't quite get an audience. Absolute disaster there then.
The question I am faced with is if I am completely unable to make a valuable contribution to the party, should I just give it up?

On another note, I found this post from a couple of months ago. Considering what happened earlier this month, seems a bit naive now, although hopefully the courts will get around to looking at this issue through the prism of judicial review.

* Or should that be "entrench my position as".

18 December 2006

Scrubs Videos

Two extra special Scrubs videos, the first a Christmas card, the second a preview of an upcoming episode - enjoy!

13 December 2006

Sen. Obama

Over the pond, the race for the White House* has already started - two years before the general election vote itself.

And the man that's got a lot of people over there all excited is one Senator Barack Obama and if you want to hear the intentions of the big man himself, you'd do no better than here.

* Big place, very white (don't know how those 9/11 guys missed it) and it's where the U.S. President lives.