News for Youse: Who will surveil the surveillers?
As anyone who's lived here can (and will) (loudly) attest, Vancouver is a cold shell of a city. At least, that's the prevailing feeling whenever anyone talks about dating, friendships, or basic social interactions that most human-type people take for granted. Well, Vancouverites: it's not just you.
A survey by the Vancouver Foundation has found that 31 percent of people in our fair-weather city believe it's difficult to make friends here. A quarter of respondents said they're too damn lonely most of the time, and a stunning 70 percent haven't even bothered to have a neighbour over for dinner. (We know we sure haven't, but in our defence, most of our neighbours are not-so-friendly four-legged vermin.)
According to the report, people aged 24 to 34 find it harder to make friends and tend to feel more alone than people younger or older than them. Of course, if this particular cohort spent more time talking to each other and less time whining about how mean everybody in Vancouver is, perhaps the problem would solve itself.
Sadly, you can't legislate kindness and respect. As adults, it's our government-ensured right that we can basically be as shitty to each other in a social context as we want. Way to exercise your freedom, snot-bag Vancouverites! Keep being assholes; it's what your parents always hoped you'd grow up to be.
U.S. senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall have a simple question for the American government: just how many people are you spying on within the country's borders? The members of the Senate's intelligence oversight committee put that request in to the NSA last month, and yesterday (June 18), they received the answer: it's none of your damn business who we're spying on. And, in fact, giving you that information would be a violation of your privacy.
At least that was one of the justifications for the refusal given by I. Charles McCullough, the Inspector General of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which basically oversees operations for 16 different intelligence agencies in the U.S.
But it wasn't the only justification McCullough gave for refusing to release the information. The other? We simply don't have the resources to count how many people 16 different shadowy agencies are creeping on. It's good to know that being lazy is now a justification for not doing your job. Our shambles of a school system isn't going too easy on students; it's merely prepping them for work in the bureaucracy. What a relief!
While the NSA is giving responsible oversight the middle finger, the Canadian government is busy flipping off travellers by announcing it will start recording private conversations in all airports and at border crossings. Most airports have already been outfitted with high-definition cameras and recorders, which will start logging our personal, private, intimate conversations "at a later date", according to the Canada Border Services Agency.
There's no official word as to whether the CBSA will also be monitoring conversations between airport workers, but we here at News for Youse know that that's a foregone conclusion. Man, if only the government had been wiretapping Quebec's postsecondary institutions four months ago, there might not be so many pesky students in the streets right now, advocating for their "right" to "affordable education".
We suppose all of this surveillance doesn't really matter in the long term, however. With brain tapeworms becoming more and more prevalent in North America, we figure our brains will soon be eaten into a gooey paste, thus rendering anything we say in airports—or anywhere else, for that matter—completely unintelligible anyway.
Follow future brain parasite victim Miranda Nelson on Twitter.