Sunday, May 29, 2005

I needed a post

And since the Journal seems to have decided not to run it, I'll just show y'all my most recent letter to the editor (a little stale now, since it was written about a week and a half ago):

This fear of Conservative governments has gone quite far enough.

Insofar as the cliched old political spectrum is useful, I am well left of centre. I like my taxes high, my gay marriages legal, my international environmental accords implemented, and my foreign policies ethical. On national unity, I consider myself a Trudeauiste. In short, the Conservatives' beliefs are anathema to me. However, if
the next government's to be another minority one (and it is) I would far prefer a Conservative minority to a Liberal one.

Will a Conservative minority government gut our social safety net? Will it run roughshod over gay rights? Not without the cooperation of another party in the Commons, it won't. The Bloc, being as it is full of socialists and led by a former Marxist-Leninist, won't provide that cooperation. Neither will the New Democrats. Several Liberals – your Tom Wappels and your Pat O'Briens – might do so on gay marriage (and what does this indicate about Liberals who hold up their party as the
defender of gay rights?). The Conservatives kowtow to provincial governments and flirt with separatists, but no more that Paul Martin has done with his succession of federal-provincial deals and appointment of Jean Lapierre as his Québec lieutenant, respectively; if the Conservatives' plan on national unity is a recipe for disaster,
so is the Liberals' (and the New Democrats', for that matter).

What a Conservative government will accomplish in its undoubtedly brief tenure will be the infusion of some new energy in our governing process, a (temporary) end to the sort of cynical politics practiced by any party that's been in power for more than a decade uninterrupted (hello, Ralph Klein), an abandonment of the embarrassing flip-floppery perfected by Paul Martin, and the eradication of a few totally
unnecessary spending programs.

I likely won't be voting either Liberal or Conservative during the next election, but it seems to me that if one or the other has to form a government, the Conservatives are a much better bet.


Wednesday, May 25, 2005

In the land of the blind, the man with one eye is king. And in the land of the horny, the trouser snake with one eye is king.

Yes, that title was totally tasteless. This should come as a surprise to nobody.

What should also come as a surprise to nobody is that "One Eyed Kings" by Ron Graham is an excellent book on Canadian politics. This should come as a surprise to nobody because it's been recognized as such a book for about twenty years. I'm only getting around to blogging about it now because I picked up a copy on the weekend from a museum in Alberta Beach (this has nothing to do with anything, but said museum also included, in its taxidermy section, what appeared to be a recently dead magpye just sitting upside down on a shelf).

I'm not even all the way through the book, but I'm already in love. It's billed as "a savage but brilliant attack on the weaknesses of our contemporary politicians" but, among the four Prime Ministers he critiques, Graham is generally sympathetic towards Trudeau and Clark, ambivalent towards Turner, and unsympathetic towards Mulroney. The fact that this nearly matches my own feelings for those men goes some distance towards assuring my affections for the book. But brilliant (where brilliance is measured by closeness of fit with my own views) analysis of political figures of the 1980s is not all this book has. Consider, for example, this nugget on the merits of labels (are you reading this, Anand?):

Part of the confusion that many Canadians have about their politics can be blamed on the confusion surrounding such basic terms as liberal, conservative, and socialist. These terms are labels that are supposed to conjure up definite attributes - much as green, orange, and red do - but wear and tear have made them practically useless. If green were sometimes called orange and sometimes called red, there would be pandemonium at every intersection; yet Trudeau is called a socialist, Turner is called a conservative, and Mulroney is called a liberal with a cavalier randomness.

Take that, political scientists! Do you see why we don't trust you now? You can't tell us in one breath that "conservative" and "liberal" are antonyms and then tell us in the next that "neo-conservative" and "neo-liberal" are synonyms. Well, actually, you can and do. But it costs you some credibility.

Anyway, consider also this nugget on partisanship:

Politicians tend to weaken their sight even further by becoming partisan. Often they turn a blind eye to the other sides of an issue, or to the long-term consequences of their short-term ambitions, or to any truth that might stand in the way of the power, respect, and spoils they seek. Sometimes they've been known to twist facts, hide data, misrepresent situations, and even lie as a result.

Well said, Ron!

Anyway, go read this book.


Friday, May 20, 2005

More non-Belinda news, with a slight Belinda allusion at the end. Nothing about the budget vote, though.

So I'm sitting here in the St. Albert Public Library, where I was to meet a tutoring victim who doesn't seem to have shown up. This being the case, I decide to browse their DVD section where what should I find but Mike Nichols' Catch-22, based on Joseph Heller's novel of the same name which, as those of you who have talked literature with me for more than two and a half seconds already know, is one of the finest books ever written.

This find is exciting partly because I, for reasons unexplained, still haven't seen the movie. It's also exciting, though, because it reminds me that I've been meaning to post about the back-story to Simon & Garfunkel's "The Only Living Boy in New York" which was, until recently, one of the duo's most underrated songs (its inclusion on the Garden State soundtrack has helped it get its due).

Off the 1970 "Bridge Over Troubled Water" album (whose title track remains, by far, the most overrated Simon & Garfunkel song of all time), the pair's 1970 studio finale, "The Only Living Boy in New York" is, like all S&G songs, written by Paul Simon. You can learn this from reading the album notes. What you cannot learn from reading the album notes is that it was written to Art Garfunkel.

See, before Simon & Garfunkel were Simon & Garfunkel they were Tom & Jerry, a name they adopted because they feared anti-Semitism would hurt record sales. Simon was "Jerry Landis" (Landis was his then-girlfriend's last name) while Garfunkel was "Tom Graph" (Garfunkel had a propensity for employing graphs to analyze music charts). Together they achieved modest success despite not being, you know, very good (sample lyric, from "Hey Schoolgirl", Tom and Jerry's biggest hit: "Hey schoolgirl in the second row/The teacher's looking over so I got to whisper way down low/to say "Hoo-watcha-looka-cha, let's meet/after school at three."").

After they became Simon & Garfunkel (in 1964), one of their greatest accomplishments was being selected to do the soundtrack for Mike Nichols' The Graduate (there's a mildly amusing story there about how the working title of "Mrs. Robinson" was "Mrs. Roosevelt" until Mike Nichols found out, but I won't go into it here) (for something much more amusing click here). Nichols became relatively good friends with the two men, and when he was making Catch-22 he casted both of them in it - Simon as Dunbar and Garfunkel as Nately.

Unfortunately, the part of Dunbar was cut, meaning that when shooting began (in Mexico) it was without Simon who stayed behind in New York. Simon came to feel that Garfunkel was more interested in being a movie star than a musician, and this was one of many (many many) factors in their break up.

"The Only Living Boy in New York" was a song of reconciliation:

Tom, get your plane right on time
I know your part'll go fine
Fly down to Mexico
Da-n-da-da-n-da-n-da and here I am
The only living boy in New York


Tom, get your plane right on time
I know that you've been eager to fly now
Hey let your honesty shine, shine, shine now
Like it shines on me
The only living boy in New York

(Two more tracks off of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" - "Song for the Asking" and "So Long Frank Lloyd Wright" - are also blatantly about the disintegration of Simon & Garfunkel. In the latter, on which Garfunkel was the lead singer, Simon addresses the former architect wannabe Garfunkel as Frank Lloyd Wright. In the end, as Garfunkel repeats "So long. . . so long. . . so long" Simon can be heard chiming in with "So long already, Artie!")

Okay, that's it for my slavish fan posting for now. As promised in the title:

So I was persuing the Edmonton Journal today, and what headline should I find? "Stronach, McKay avoid eye contact". And this, I hasten to add, is Edmonton's *higher* quality daily.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In non-Belinda news. . .

1. Remember how, when Paul Martin was meeting David Kilgour about Sudan a few days ago, it was because Kilgour's expertise was invaluable and not because his vote was? Well, it turns out that he's actually a dangerous maniac whose strategy on Sudan would result in unecessary bloodshed.

2. Ian McLelland had a letter in today's Journal that he signed as "former Conservative MP". You'd think that this would constitute a blow to the arguments of those who claim that the Conservatives are not the same thing as the Alliance and Reform parties were.

3. Tom Cochrane's coming to St. Albert May 28. Anybody want to come with me to see him?


Saturday, May 14, 2005

My last entry on the Parliamentary situation for the foreseeable future - I promise. Though I reserve the right to break that promise.

First of all, anybody who was, inexplicably, *saddened* by this entry's headline should head over to POI, where the debate between Mustafa and me continues apace.

That being said, I'm about to cease my recent practise of defending Paul Martin and return to my more time-honoured practise of not defending him. In the context of the present Parliantary situation, his recent inaction has been inexcusable. The Conservatives and Bloc having abandoned their obligation to attempt to make Parliament work, it is now incumbent on the Prime Minister to either declare Parliament non-functional and ask the Governor-General for its dissolution, or move a motion of confidence in his government, to clear the air. Either action would likely result in a Spring election, which is - sadly - now largely inevitable. It would be my hope that Canadians would punish Conservative and Bloc incumbents for their irresponsible gamesmanship, but that's ultimately up to the voters.

The present crisis is not of Paul Martin's making, but it needs resolution, and the Prime Minister is in a position to resolve it. He should do so.


Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why doesn't. . .

. . . Martin pay an immediate visit to the Governor-General and ask her to dissolve Parliament, not because the government has lost the support of Parliament but because Parliament has ceased to function? That way, he could go into an election campaign with the budget unpassed, the ability to blame the fact that the budget's unpassed on the Conservatives and Bloc, and something approximating the moral highground. Of course, I can't see the NDs being too happy with him in that case.

Just asking.


Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The government is falling! The government is falling!

Paul Martin, who isn't often correct on much, was entirely correct to refuse to resign in the aftermath of yesterday's Commons vote.

Before we go any further, let's examine the text of the motion that the Commons passed last night (thanks be, as usual, unto Paul Wells for, on an internet whose Canadian bits are positively abuzz over this motion, being one of the very very few people to actually post its text): "That the First Report of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, presented on Thursday, October 28, 2004, be not now concurred in, but that it be recommitted to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts with instruction that it amend the same so as to recommend that the government resign because of its failure to address the deficiencies in governance of the public service addressed in the report."

The House of Commons did not call on the government to resign; it merely called on a committee to recommend that the government resign, said recommendation to then be subject to debate, and ultimately a vote, in the Commons. Voting in favour of such a motion is not at all the same thing as saying that the government has lost your confidence - it's possible, for example, that an MP would vote in favour of this motion merely to force the non-confidence motion that the Liberals are so contemptably dodging with their manipulation of the Commons orders, but that the same MP would vote against the non-confidence motion itself. For this reason, the motion that the House of Commons passed cannot be considered the equivalent of "That the government be called upon to resign". As such, there does not exist any law or convention requiring the government to resign (incidentally, on this point I stand in agreement with a large majority of genuine constitutional scholars).

Legalities aside, does there exist a moral obligation of the government to resign? After all, you and I both know (hell, Paul Martin himself probably knows, what with his extensive research staff and all) that the MP to whom I alluded above is fictitious, and that the 153 MPs who voted in favour of last night's motion did so because they wanted the government to fall.

I will be the first to agree that, if the House of Commons has clearly lost confidence in the government, the government should resign even if no formal non-confidence motion has been passed. However, if last night's vote showed us anything, it's that the House of Commons - by the slimmest of majorities - actually retains confidence in the government, since it's now clear that all three independents are with the government on this point (132 Liberals + 19 New Democrats + 3 Independents = 154 > half of the House's present membership).

So, to sum up
1. The House of Commons has not formally indicated a lack of confidence in the government, therefore the government is not legally obligated to resign.
2. There is no evidence that the House of Commons as a whole has lost confidence in the government, therefore there is no moral obligation for the government to resign (at least not on the basis of having lost the confidence of the House).

Mustafa's uncharacteristic histrionics aside, Paul Martin has taken the correct course of action.

Blunder on, Paul.


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sticks in my Craw

Before I go off about how unfortunate it will be for Canadians of Paul Martin sticks to his threat of making the next election about national unity, I would like to point out how profoundly stupid the poll question on the Maclean's website is this week. It asks: "Does enlisting name candidates, such as Peter Kent, to run for political
office influence your decision at the ballot box?" The trouble, of course, is that it isn't riding specific. If you live in Edmonton-St. Albert and let the fact that Peter Kent is running for the Conservatives in St. Paul's influence how you vote, you're an idiot. If you live in St. Paul's and *don't* care that Kent's running, you're an even bigger idiot. There are a lot of idiots out there.

And (cue segue) a lot of these idiots apprently have jobs writing policy on federalism for major federal parties. I mean, if Paul Martin follows through on the above-mentioned threat, we'll be in bad shape. Personally, in an election that was about nothing more than national unity, I'd have to spoil my ballot (living as I do in Edmonton-St. Albert - if I lived in, say, St. Laurent-Cartierville the choice would be somewhat easier.

Let's review: Paul Martin has built a political career on being all things to all people, which inevitably makes him a piss-poor defender of the federation (witness, among other things, his support for Meech and Charlottetown), Stephen Harper wants to prevent Québec from becoming an independent country by giving it powers equivalent to those enjoyed by independent countries, while Jack Layton's now murmering about "asymmetrical federalism". I mean, credit to the Bloc: at least when it comes up policies that will result in the disintegration of Canada, said policies are consistent with the Bloc's state goal of disintegrating Canada. With the others, no such intellectual coherence.

How come none of our federalist leaders are prepared to challenge the assumption that national identity, which Québec undoubtedly has more of than does Canada, ought to bear any relation to political power? Or let's go further - how come nobody's challenging the notion that the Québecois government is the natural voice of the French Canadian nation? How come the New Democrats, who love the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, are so prepared to sacrifice the individual rights enshrined therein for the collective rights implied by asymmetrical federalism? And finally, how come nobody's pointing out that our existing federal arrangement gives Québec pretty well all the power it could ever want - even including, to a point, the right to accept only the kind of immigrants it wants, those being francophone immigrants intending to educate their children in French?

If Canadians are asked to choose not just a government, but a federal model, next election, I fear for this country.


Monday, May 09, 2005

That's me in the corner
That's me in the spotlight
Questioning my sexuality

So my girlfriend's been away a little over two weeks, and I miss her. Does this mean I'm gay?

Kniselygate-inspired disclaimer: I'm only kidding with the above, and recognize that the sterotype about all gay men being sensitive is false, that there exists every bit as much diversity among homosexuals as there is among heterosexuals, and that a lot of gay men are more manly than I am. Mind you, so are a lot of heterosexual women. And toddlers.


Friday, May 06, 2005

The Way Politics Should Be

As regular readers of this space know, I'm always prattling on about non-partisan politics - about how, in an ideal world, MPs would not sit in formal caucuses, and would be beholden only to their beliefs and their constituents.

I am generally accused, when I espouse such views, of blinding myself to reality and ignoring the fact that "politics is a team sport" (whatever the hell that means). Apparently, the people doing the accusing haven't me Dr. Richard Taylor.

Dr. Taylor is the British Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest, having been elected in 2001 and re-elected yesterday. He is only the second independent MP elected since 1945. Unlike independent MPs elected in Canada (hello John Nunziata and Chuck Cadman), he wasn't first elected under a party banner only to defect or be kicked out before the next election; he is a genuine independent, having been elected on a wave of anger over the downgrading of the local hospital.

Difficult to pigeonhole - against the war in Iraq and tuition fees, but equally against gay marriage and the recent ban on fox hunting - he prides himself on being "unfettered by major political party influence" and voting only when he fully understands the matter under debate ("I don't vote if I don't understand the issues and if I don't have time to sort them out."). According to Public Whip (which is, in passing, my new favourite website - we need something equivalent here) and They Work for You, he also has a strong record on constituency work, is extremely frugal with public money, and is roughly average in terms of his activity in Parliament (he speaks more than most MPs, but is also absent more often).

With anger over the single issue on which he was elected having generally subsided, both the Tories and Labour hoped to unseat him, calling him, predictably enough, a "single-issue candidate" (the Liberal Democrats did not run a candidate in his riding). Dr. Taylor responds that "it is absolutely utterly impossible if you are an MP to be a single issue MP", likening it to being a surgeon and having to take whatever comes through the door. Voters in Wyre Forest responded by giving him a subtantial, albeit reduced, plurality.

Dr. Taylor is clearly rather unsophisticated as a politician, and the temptation is to dismiss him as a sweet old bungler, out of his depth in Westminster. I prefer to see him as evidence that residents of at least one riding are happier with one of their own making decisions on their behalf than with faceless and unprincipled party leadership doing it for them.


Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Diary of a Factory Worker


Mike: How's your availability this weekend?
Steve: Depends whether or not I'm working. They gave me a job last Thursday, but have yet to give me any shifts. Here, I'll call them again.

Which I do, and get an answering machine. This may or may not be progress, since in previous attempts I have, rather than getting the lady in charge of scheduling (we'll call her "Dionne"), I've gotten some guy ("Dale") who isn't in charge of shift scheduling, but who has always dutifully agreed to pass my message along. This has never resulted in any actual calls back, mind you, while the message I leave on Dionne's answering machine *does* result in a call back. . . from Dale.

Dale: When are you available to start work?

(I had answered this question last Thursday at the new employee orientation session, the answer being "immediately".)

Steve: Um, any time. I can start at three, if you want me to.
Dale: Could you?


Exit shower.


Having eaten breakfast and packed lunch (two bananas and four cheddar, barbecue sauce, and red pepper - in response to the impassioned please of my sister, who periodically feels the need to save me from myself, I omit my other planned ingredient, garlic powder - sandwiches), I depart for work, which is conveniently located across the street.


Arriving at work, I enter the lunchroom.

"Hairnet!" yells the woman sitting at the table, who I soon learn is the one they call "Karen". The yelling is in reference, obviously, to hairnets, or rather the lack of them on my head. I am holding one in my hand, but I hadn't yet put it on, since I'm told that the use of hairnets is mandatory to avoid contaminating product, and there is relatively little production that occurs in the lunchroom. Apparently this is one of those policies that has broken its shackles and overpowered its creator, like that guy with the bolts sticking out of his neck.

I put on the hairnet and am assigned to a machine, along with a gentleman named Tyler. A woman named Mandy is assigned to train me. This is, obviously, very unfortunate for her, though she has no way of knowing this at the time.


Tyler, Mandy, and I approach our assigned machine. The machine spits out bucket lids (this factory deals primarily in buckets) into which one of the people on the machine - this turns out to be Tyler - inserts rubber gaskets. My role is to take the lids from Tyler, examine them for flaws, and, when enough are accumulated, box them.

Mandy explains all of this to me. Because I am both hard of hearing and wearing earplugs, I do not hear what she is saying. It actually takes me a while to even realize that she is talking to me. As it turns out, this does not matter.


Steve: What sort of flaws should I be looking for?
Tyler: It really doesn't matter. Just go through the motions so the supervisors think you're doing your job.


The first box is complete, and it falls to me to tape it up. Unfortunately, this involves the use of a tape gun.

Pop quiz:

(a) tape
(b) canola
(c) Steve
(d) the Great Barrier Reef.

As always, the correct answer is (c). I have an inexplicable amount of trouble with tape guns, and tonight is no exception. At one point, I tape my sleeve to the box. I am not making this up.

"It takes a while to get the hang of it," says Karen helpfully as she walks by.


I have "Don't Let it Get You Down", by Neil Young, stuck in my head.


Tyler has spent the last four years working at this factory. I have spent the last five in University. Over the course of our conversation, it becomes clear that he has a better handle on his life than I have on mine. This would be a sobering thought if I allowed it to become one, so I change the subject.


Now stuck in my head: "Bad Moon Rising", by Creedence Clearwater Revival.


Excitement! Time to switch machines. Tyler goes off to parts unknown, while I go off to be trained, by the long-suffering (well, at least two hours) Mandy, in the art of putting metal handles on five gallon buckets.


What an excellent machine!


Now stuck in my head: "Let it Ride", by Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Except not the BTO version - the Guess Who's version, from their "Running Back Thru [sic] Canada" album.


Note to self: when you get home, change your MSN name to "I [heart] putting metal handles on five gallon buckets".


Note to self: you hate emoticons, remember?


Note to self: shit.


Now stuck in my head: "Patterns", by Simon & Garfunkel.


Time to change machines again. I bid an almost tearful farewell to this one as Mandy leads me off to learn how to put plastic handles on four litre buckets. This, as it turns out, is nowhere near as much fun.

I arrive at the machine - which basically shoots out buckets into a big tray, while another worker (whose name, I learn from reading the sign-in sheet, is Wes) and I fish them out and put handles on them. Wes and I do not exchange a single word our entire time together.


"Closing Time", Leonard Cohen (not to be confused with that utterly terrible song of the same name by Semisonic).


Revelation: you know that part at the beginning of Avril Lavigne's "Sk8tr [sic] Boi [sic]" where she whines "He was a boy / She was a girl / Can I make it any more obvious?"? Well, that's actually not a bad line. I mean, don't get me wrong: Avril Lavigne is still a talentless and obnoxious shit, but that line exhibits some level of humour, even self-deprecation.


Wes goes on his break, and is temporarily replaced by another gentleman. He and I also do not exchange a single word.


Going through my head: "If You're Happy and You Know It (Clap Your Hands)", by, I assume, some extremely depressed sadist.


I go on my second break (what do you mean "what happened to the first one?" I took it! Go back and check!). In the lunchroom, Karen asks me how I'm finding it. I answer with a platitude of some kind (something along the lines of "I can tolerate this on a temporary basis, but if I ever find myself in your position I shall doubtless slit my wrists", if memory serves, which it possibly doesn't). She asks me if I'll be back tomorrow. I advise that I have no idea, on account of nobody giving me a schedule.

"Well," she says, "according to my schedule you're working tomorrow."

Apparently I'm not privy to my schedule, but she is. This is still a step up from tree-planting, though, where they couldn't tell me with absolute certainty what *month* I'd be starting work in.


Time to switch machines again. This time, I'm operating two machines by myself, which sounds very impressive until you read the next couple of paragraphs. As she "trains" me, Mandy has the slightly embarrassed look of somebody asked to instruct on the ludicrously obvious, and expression I first encountered last summer when the elder dean of courtesy clerks was teaching me how to bring shopping carts from the parking lot into the store.

The first machine produces - very slowly - stacks of twenty-eight bucket lids (with gasketless kind), which I need to rearrange into stacks of fifty-five and put in boxes. The second machine produces plastic bucket handles, which it dumps into a tray. I need to take them out, place them on a table to cool, and then deposit them into a large box.


Going through my head: "Iris" by the Googoo Dolls. This is an improvement over "If You're Happy and You Know It" only insofar as no actions are required.


I come to the realization that I am doing my job extremely inefficiently. It would make much more sense to wait until the lid machine has spit out one hundred and eleven stacks of twenty-eight, combine the first hundred and ten into fifty-five stacks of fifty-six, and then remove one lid from the top of each stack to make a fifty-sixth stack of fifty-five. With the handle machine, it would make more sense to wait until the bin was full, and then remove all of the handles, instead of removing a dozen or so every few seconds.

I don't act on this realization, of course, since doing so would basically leave me with nothing to do for several hours on end. If there's one thing I've learned from successive Vice Presidents (Student Life) - and this is doubtful - it's how to disguise the fact that your job is stupid and should probably be eliminated.


Quitting time.

Stuck in my head: "Take this Job and Shove It", by Johnny Paycheck.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Fuck You, Vichy Pigs!

So Webboard in Exile is up.

Also, it's been brought to my attention that you can still read (and, if your computer logs you in automatically, post on) the old Board by following the links below

Tuition, Fees, and Loans
Academic Issues
Student Life
Student Groups
The Study Hall

Gripes and Grapes
SU Fees
SU Businesses, Services, and Events
Student Government
CRO Election News
General Election Discussion
Faculty Elections
Computer Lab Support

Fun and Games, Sports and Socializing
Angst and Anomie
Webboard FAQ and Help
Special: Hack Diplomacy

News and Politics


So there's been plenty to blog about during my two week or so absence: the amusing Saturday night I spent a couple of weeks ago, my response to Nick's response to this post, my updated sidebar (check out Crushed by Inertia for movie reviews and some excellent commentary on American politics), the updated "Everything You Could Ever Want to Know" link (in which it is now revealed that I'm an Irish Charmer at heart), Canadian politics, the discovery that Jeffrey Adams is a big Paul Simon fan. . . but what finally brought me back?

To: vp.studentlife@su.ualberta.ca
From: sarcasticidealist@gmail.com

I see that "Comments and suggestions for the new board can directed to
the VP Student Life", so I thought I'd share mine.

1. If it ain't broken, don't fix it.
2. If it is broken, be prepared to present some evidence to that effect.
3. If you intend to fix it, whether or not it's broken, involve the
people who use it in the discussion of the fix, maybe by setting up
some sort of online discussion forum to allow them to discuss it.
4. If part of the fix, inexplicably, involves killing it in advance
for a period of time, provide some advance warning of this.
5. Try to avoid being dinks about it.

I think that about sums it up.

Jones' approach, needless to say, is more legislatively militant:
Pursuant to SU Bylaw 500 ss. 2(1) and 3, I would like to request a copy of the public portions of the (former) SU webboard. For the purposes of this request, I mean the portions of the webboard that a guest would have been able to see, immediately before it having been shut down.

I believe that this is essentially the entire database, minus private messages and any non-public information (e.g. email addresses). My preferred format for this would be as a MySQL database dump. I'm happy to coordinate with Marc or the SU tech staff on the technical details of this request.

If this request will incur costs for retrieval and reproduction, please send me an estimate before retrieving and reproducing the data.



In conclusion, what a bunch of fascist pig-dogs.


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