The morning coffee and rejection

You know those shoes that claim that they tone your legs, butt, abs and/or pectoral muscles? Big surprise … it turns out that they do nothing of the kind.

The anguish felt when rejected (romantically) is similar to addiction. So you really can be addicted to love.

Finally, just as countries such as Canada and Britain are passing new draconian copyright/anti-piracy laws, in the United States — whose diplomats and corporations are the ones pushing for these laws — those very same laws are being watered down by the courts.

The morning coffee and your British freedom

Before we begin, you may be wondering what the English need to do in order to finally win the world cup. The answer is simple: buy more cats.

The European Court of Human Rights have held up a prior decision which found the stop and search powers granted under the Terrorist Act to be illegal.

Finally, the government in the UK is accepting nominations for laws to repeal in order to “restore civil liberties”. You can throw your support behind the repeal of the Digital Economy bill here.

The morning coffee steals your identity and watches batporn

Need your weekly fix of Batman porn parodies? You’re in luck — we’ve found you a trailer.

(Okunoin Graveyard by realbelgianwaffles)

Todd Davis is the CEO of a company called LifeLock. Their ads sport his Social Security Number, claiming that their service is so good that he can happily publish it without worrying about identity theft. The only problem is that the ads have been the source of multiple thefts of Mr. Davis’s identity. Oops.

Normally we stay away from current news here at the Morning Coffee — instead, we try to give you the stuff you might not see in your morning newspaper. But this announcement from Nick Clegg in the UK is too hard to resist. The British government is planning to repeal laws that restrict the freedoms of its citizens, and they are asking for your opinion regarding which laws should be scrapped. While we have no idea as to how you are expected to nominate laws to get rid of, we suggest that you begin with the Digital Economy Bill. Or is it now an act?

An open letter to David Cameron

Dear Mr. Cameron,

A few days before my move, you wrote to me — “personally”, if you don’t mind my quoting you — regarding the upcoming election. Your letter was meant to outline the reasons I should not vote for Labour should vote for your party. Part of said letter spoke of the erosion of rights that had occurred under Labour. I claimed that things would be different if you were Prime Minister.

And I believe you, to a certain extent. I believe that you intend to put an end to Stop-and-Search of photographers, who are people with a hobby you can understand.

But less than 48 hours after receiving your letter, there was a vote on the Digital Economy bill. With Parliament set to be dissolved, it was a perfect opportunity for a party that claims to stand up for citizens rights to make sure the bill was thoroughly scrutinized. In fact, you could have ensured that it was not passed before the dissolution of parliament. Then, with a (presumably) Tory government, you could have ensured that the bill respected the rights of the individual upon taking power.

Now that would be putting money where your mouth was.

Instead, the bill was pushed through. Ben Bradshaw said during debate that “if the Bill gets on to the statute book, it will be with the co-operation of the main Opposition party.” He goes on to say that without “a good level of cross-party support”, the bill would be doomed.

The implication is that the Conservative party could have elected to have this bill scrutinized, debated and voten upon after the election, rather than before. But you did not.

We have several rational conclusions.

The first is that you are not familiar with the content of the bill. This, to me would suggest that you ought to have given yourself and your party more time to scrutinize and debate the bill prior to a vote — so this option seems unlikely.

A second option is that you do not have much of a grip on how dependent people are on online services. Many companies charge for paper bills — and paperless is not an option if your internet is cut off. Companies also interact with their customers online, sometimes exclusively and sometimes for free (while phone interactions/service costs money).

Because of these things, cutting people off from the internet is not a mild penalty, akin to denying a family a form of entertainment. Instead, it cuts people off from information and services that are vital to their day-to-day lives. If you were considering the suspension of internet to be a light penalty, Mr. Cameron, you are showing yourself as incapable of grasping the average citizen’s daily interaction with today’s technology.

Third, you could think that a process in which the accused are assumed guilty and must prove themselves innocent is not an erosion of rights. You might think that those who have the most to gain from making accusations, because they have been waging a war in the press to make their customers afraid to share content online for over a decade, might be those best suited to enforce copyright. You may think that penalizing entire families and households for the deeds of one family member is reasonable.

Or, finally, you do not care about the erosion of rights, and your stated position on the subject does not reflect the way that you intend to govern.

I find none of the options above to be warming. Perhaps there is another reason why you have collaborated with Labour to push this bill through — if so, please share it.

No matter how I vote in the upcoming election, I know that those I vote for — should they win — will pass some bills that I will disagree with and dislike. My dislike for the Digital Economy bill is not at issue here. What is at issue is that your words and deeds do not match.

Why should I vote for you, if the day after you “personally” let me know that you will work to defend my rights you help to push through a bill that erodes them?

Mr. Topp