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Friday, December 11, 2009

Random News For 12/11/09 (Peter Watts, Interviews, and Randomness)

Some interesting things have happened today. First, there is an interview with me up on the Outer Alliance blog that you all might want to check out. They asked me some questions about dealing with anti-gay hatred and Survival By Storytelling Magazine, among other things. It's fairly brief, but well worth checking out.

Probably the biggest news for today, though, is the story of the apparent beating and abuse of Peter Watts by U.S. Border Patrol on Tuesday. He has since been released and is back in Canada, but he has to return to Michigan to face trial for what seems to be a trumped up charge that could not only land him in prison for two years, but get him banned from the U.S. for life (he's charged with assaulting a federal officer, which is apparently adequate reason to beat people with clubs and pepperspray them these days; here I thought these folks were supposed to be protecting us...Watts was on his way OUT of the country, not into it).

In any case, Cory Doctorow over at BoingBoing has posted a lot more detail about this here, but what is most pressing right now is that Mr. Watts needs money. He has acquired a good criminal lawyer, but because such trials can often run for extended periods of time and he isn't exactly Stephen King, he needs a burst of financial aid to pull him through. So, if you can help out by donating a little bit of money, I'm sure Mr. Watts, his family, and his fans would be grateful. Donations can be sent to

Update: Peter Watts has broken his short-lived silence here.
Update 2: The Toronto Star has a more detailed explanation of everything, which further shows that the border patrol folks are total assholes.

That's all I have for today.

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  1. There are obviously issues with the way the U.S. border is policed, i.e. with no common sense sometimes; but much of this story seems suspicious, like, why would he get out of his car in the first place? Isn't it common sense that you should not get out of your car if the police ever pull you over?

  2. It's border patrol, which is a little different than the regular police. Generally speaking, when you get pulled over by the regular police, you know you were speeding or something along those lines, and it's standard practice not to get out.

    I don't know if it's the same common sense for the border patrol. I've never been in that kind of situation. The last time I went across the border to Canada was in the late 90s, and we weren't so insane as we are now. So, maybe all Watts did was get out and ask what was going on. Maybe he was upset about it. I don't know. There are details we need to know, but people who know Watts personally suggest that he wouldn't do the things he's being charged with, and I'm inclined to believe people who know him personally on that front.