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Sohail Mirza
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While a U.S. court recently decided the NSA overstepped its bounds in violating the privacy of U.S. citizens [1], Canada's government has decided to move in the opposite direction by proposing a bill to expand government and police powers.  Bill C-51 expands the government's ability to use private data against you, expands the government's ability to act against vaguely defined "security threat", expands their ability to detain citizens without cause.

Canada's Privacy Commissioner has commented, “The scale of information sharing between government departments and agencies being proposed in this bill is unprecedented. The new powers that would be created are excessive and the privacy safeguards being
proposed are seriously deficient. All Canadians – not only terrorism suspects – will be caught in this web.”

It's important to understand how draconian these measures are, particularly when wielded by the Harper government, a government that has all too readily utilized its powers to advance its politics by shutting down climate science [2], promoting a double standard of free speech [3], sharply reduced independent media's ability to report [4], and making more Canadians criminals for longer [5] (during a very low-crime period in Canadian history).

Canadians need to take a stand and #StopC51 (https://stopc51.ca/).

[1] http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-32620742
[2] http://www.academicmatters.ca/2013/05/harpers-attack-on-science-no-science-no-evidence-no-truth-no-democracy/
[3] https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/05/11/canadian-covernment-exploiting-charlie-hebdo-attack-threatens-prosecute-advocates-israel-boycott/
[4] http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/cbc-budget-cut-by-115m-over-3-years-1.1147096
[5] http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2011/06/03/harper-government-omnibus_n_870368.html
Tell the Senate to Stop Reckless C-51 now. They are our last chance.
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+Alexander Wilhelmsen It's the definition of their job which I don't trust.  Yes, their job is to identify "security threats", but for a government which has shown no love for the aboriginal community, the science community, the environmental community, etc., it's tough to understand who they consider a "security threat" today, and who they might tomorrow.
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"It looks to me very much like a significant section of the public, having given up on attempting to understand the reality they are actually living in, have instead reasoned that they might at least be able to comprehend the sprawling, meaningless, but at-least-still-finite 'universes' presented by DC or Marvel Comics. I would also observe that it is, potentially, culturally catastrophic to have the ephemera of a previous century squatting possessively on the cultural stage and refusing to allow this surely unprecedented era to develop a culture of its own, relevant and sufficient to its times."
Watchmen author tells interviewer that they have become a dangerous distraction, and that he plans to withdraw from public life
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Probably didn't get out much before the announcement, even. Cliche look of a hermit, aye?
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The idea of a modern steam-powered car seems totally absurd, and yet fascinating.  This history of the steam car and its advantages over internal combustion engine automobiles talks about the family that attempted to keep the dream alive, and that also witnessed the failure of the steam car to gain a foothold in the auto market.
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Yeah throw a nuclear reactor in them.
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I'm thoroughly impressed by freeCodeCamp, a pragmatic, community-driven approach to teaching software development, and ensuring the learner gains some real-world programming experience that they can use towards getting a job in the industry.  It's the only software development learning regimen I've seen so far which isn't touting that you'll learn the art in a comically short time, but rather states up front that it will take 1600 hours of commitment to learn and gain the necessary experience.
Learn to code by helping nonprofits. Build your full stack web development portfolio today.
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Thanks for the update +Alexander Wilhelmsen!  Good luck!  :-)
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"Trump is the Frankenstein monster created by our campaign-finance system in which money trumps all. The Supreme Court has equated money with free speech (by letting first candidates and then contributors spend unlimited sums), which means the more money you have, the more speech you get. Trump may be preposterous, but there are 8,737,540,000 reasons we have to listen to him — the figure Trump claimed is his net worth."
If the American Dream weren’t already dead, it would kill itself listening to his greed-is-good speech.
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Playing cards from Iran, via Reddit.

#farsi   #iran  
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RIP, Mr. A. Tree ... this old apple tree in our front yard -- planted by my father over 50 years ago -- passed away yesterday. In a hot, still summer evening with no wind stirring, his trunk cracked loudly and its apple-laden branches sunk to the earth amid loud popping sounds. A rather spectacular demise.

The tree lived many fruitful years, and supplied the goodness for many pies and jars of jelly -- the last pie baked by me personally last year. His going was not unexpected, his trunk had exhibited large holes for years and was mostly hollow inside. In fact, I was surprised Mr. Tree lasted as long as he did.

An abundance of rain and a good growing season proved fatal. Mr. A. Tree soaked up the water, bloomed beautifully, and brought forth a great many apples, their weight finally overcoming his strength to hold them up to the sun.

Mr. A. Tree, we thank you for your long and faithful service. You will be missed. Rest in the pieces you are now in. Farewell.
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Can I share this story without mentioning Groundhog Day?  I cannot fathom the patience that this man's relatives and caretakers must show day after day.  In a sense, they are stuck in their own looping day, forever the day they must remind this man of who he is and what has happened.
For patient WO today is always Monday, March 14, 2005. He can remember everything up to that date. But since then the 38-year-old can only hold memories for 90 minutes. Then they are lost. But he...
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It's more a 50 First Dates than a Groundhog Day thing. And I can barely imagine how trying it must be.
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My good friend +Qasim Rashid is at it again. He's just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his new book, #TalkToMeTalk To Me looks like it will probe the minds of several thinkers to get their ideas on 5 extremely relevant topics:

- Race issues
- Parenting
- Faith
- Leadership
- Death

Honestly, you could write volumes about each one of those issues, so I have no idea how they can be addressed in a single book, but I'm eager to find out.  It's perhaps the intimate, conversational style of the book that appeals to me the most.

A couple of those issues, such as race and faith are issues that are sorely in need of more open dialogue, and my hope is that Qasim is able to spark some frank, positive discussion that will open minds and hearts to new perspectives.

I've known Qasim for several years now, and if there's one thing he was born to do, it's open minds, which is why I'm keeping this book on my radar.
Qasim Rashid is raising funds for #TalkToMe on Kickstarter! A non-fiction memoir with some of our nation's greatest minds on overcoming racism, ignorance, and intolerance. So come on, #TalkToMe.
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Wow,you chose some great topics,have great knowledge about last four.really 😄
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Bill C-51 is effectively Canada's Patriot Act.  It seeks to grant the government and law enforcement more powers at the cost of civil liberty, all in the name of security.  The same fear mongering that led the U.S. in such a direction holds the same sway here in Canada.

Canada's Liberal party support the bill as part of a political play meant to enhance their position heading into a fall election (or at least not erode it), but the plan has backfired on them with liberal Canadians incensed at their support for this questionable legislation.  The Liberal party's position was basically to reform the bill provided they win the election this fall.  It was a poorly thought out, circumstantial promise to make.

+Michael Geist -- Canada's digital rights hero -- presents a great write-up on why the Liberal party's defence of Bill C-51 is wrong.
 
Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism bill, became law yesterday as it received royal assent. As polls continue to suggest that the Liberal support for the bill is shifting potential voters to the NDP, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has conducted several…
Bill C-51, the anti-terrorism bill, became law yesterday as it received royal assent. As polls continue to suggest that the Liberal support for the bill is shifting potential voters to the NDP, Liberal leader Justin Trudeau has conducted several interviews defending his position as the "right move for Canadians." Trudeau's arguments, which have been echoed by other Liberal MPs such as Marc Garneau, boils down to three key claims: he doesn't want ...
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If you're not familiar with terms like contubernium and equites legionis and the impact of the Roman military system on modern military organizations, this video should shed some light.

What is particularly fascinating is the explicit link between the military and politics. The legatus legionis -- head of the Roman legion -- is the direct representative of the entire legion in the Roman Senate.  Compare this to the contemporary, Western military that is beholden to the will of the political arm of government and does not have direct representation (leaving aside other channels of influence).  This may be because all the legionaries of a Roman legion were citizens of the empire, distinguished from auxiliary soldiers who were not citizens.
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+Alexander Wilhelmsen I wasn't able to watch the entire keynote, so not sure, but I have heard of Apple Music by now, so I know you've got that part right!
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