An 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck southern Mexico last night. So far, at least 30 people have been killed, and destruction is widespread. There’s also a major tsunami risk.

Mexican authorities said at least 32 people were killed in the quake, all in the southern states. In Oaxaca, which lies along the Pacific coast, there have been at least 23 deaths, according to the state governor, Alejandro Murat. Some 17 of the dead were found in the town of Juchitan, where residents put out pleas on social media for help recovering people from the wreckage.

Mexican authorities said at least 32 people were confirmed dead, including many in the state of Oaxaca along the Pacific coast. In some towns, such as Juchitlan in Oaxaca, there were reports of people trapped under rubble.

I travelled through some of those parts of Oaxaca and Chiapas a few years ago, which just makes it even more devastating in my mind.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, floods… Mother Nature is angry this month.

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I’m almost hesitant to share this piece from The Atlantic because I don’t want to send the wrong message. Sexual assault is a huge problem on college and university campuses, and in general I’m strongly in favour of policies designed to believe victims when they come forward and to stamp out assault and toxic rape culture.

But… even an accusation of assault can ruin someone’s life. And sacrificing due process on an altar of doing the right thing isn’t the answer, either.

On too many campuses, a new attitude about due process—and the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty—has taken hold, one that echoes the infamous logic of Edwin Meese, who served in the Reagan administration as attorney general, in his argument against the Miranda warning. “The thing is,” Meese said, “you don’t have many suspects who are innocent of a crime. That’s contradictory. If a person is innocent of a crime, then he is not a suspect.”

Let me be clear: In the overwhelming majority of cases of campus sexual assault, the problem is that the victim is dismissed, disparaged or just plain not believed. Far, far, far too many assailants still get off scot-free or with a slap on the wrist. This is especially (though not exclusively) true when the assailant is a white male and/or the victim is a female person of colour.

Still, the Atlantic has done a good job with this series so far of delving into how complicated these cases can be. So I’m posting this, because I do think it’s a balanced, nuanced article that is worth a read. In our social media era, someone’s reputation can be thoroughly destroyed even before they are proven guilty of any crime, and that’s a big problem.

In an ideal world, the justice system would function much better for sexual assault victims, and there wouldn’t be any need for these sorts of campus policies. But we don’t live in that world. So some of these policies — separating a victim from their alleged assailant, not forcing them to attend classes or live in dorms or attend social events together, not allowing accused assailants to attack their victims’ sexual histories or reputations — exist for very good reasons.

Still, though, in a just and moral society, the idea that a few innocent people would be acceptable collateral damage of a policy designed for the greater good is a profoundly troubling one.

There aren’t any easy answers here. But there are some good questions that we should all be asking ourselves.

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Atwater needs a bike path. A real one.

09.06.2017

In the latest from the ridiculous Montréal sait faire files: These painted lines directing cyclists to ride down the underpass on Atwater… on the sidewalk: New paint on the sidewalk on both the northbound and southbound sides indicates that both cyclists and pedestrians are permitted to use it. [ . . . ] The southbound […]

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Obama on DREAM Act: It’s about basic decency

09.05.2017

Barack Obama broke his silence that he’s mostly maintained since Trump took office, by speaking out in defence of DACA, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals or “DREAM” act: Let’s be clear: the action taken today isn’t required legally. It’s a political decision, and a moral question. Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about […]

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Bill 62: Quebecois xenophobia at its worst

08.22.2017

As white supremacists march in the streets in the US, we can’t feel too smug here. Racism is, sadly, alive and well right in our home province, as the Liberal government chooses this moment to revive the debate about religious headgear. Bill 62, the so-called anti-niqab bill, is being touted by the Liberals as a […]

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On Charlottesville and Trump

08.14.2017

Godwin’s Law doesn’t apply when you’re talking about ACTUAL FUCKING NAZIS. I’ve tried to think of something coherent to say about Charlottesville, and my rage just keeps getting in the way. I’m a white person who benefits from structural racism every single day, and if I keep my mouth shut about it, I’m just perpetuating […]

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Markov leaves Habs, heads to KHL

07.27.2017

It’s the end of an era: After sixteen years and nearly 1000 regular-season games with the Habs, Andrei Markov won’t be back next season. He’s heading back to Russia to play for the KHL, it seems. Markov has spent his entire 16-year NHL career to date as a member of the Canadiens. Narrowly missing the […]

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Trump bans trans Americans from the military

07.26.2017

There are no words for how disgustingly angry this makes me. President Donald Trump said Wednesday morning that transgender people are not allowed to serve in the U.S. military. A Pentagon directive under the administration of former President Barack Obama was going to allow transgender men and women to start serving in the military over […]

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Payette named next Governor General

07.15.2017

Former astronaut Julie Payette has been named Canada’s next Governor General, taking over from David Johnston in September. And of course, the internet is all abuzz, because a woman is doing a job that has clearly was made for a man… even though Payette is exceptionally qualified, will be the fourth woman to hold the […]

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Trump’s lack of discipline: It’s not a good thing

07.01.2017

Nope, nope, nope. All due respect, Michelle Goldberg, but I disagree with you on 100% on this one. If there is the barest sliver of consolation, it’s that Trump appears almost as miserable and anxiety-ridden as we are. He’s losing the tiny bit of control he had. It’s better for Trump to show us all […]

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