Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jason Mraz

Take my Partner...Please!

Have the humorless twits who people the BC Human Rights Inquisition ever been anywhere?

How about a comedy club?

The idea of taking seriously a complaint from patrons at a comedy club that the comedian was rude to them is in itself a comedy routine.

Lesbians starting heckling a comic and challenging him that he hated lesbians. How they knew this is a mystery.

Of curse, he went on the charge. Of curse, he was rude, obscene and abrasive.



Somebody has to stop the Inquisition before we all bust a gut laughing.

The Fat is in the Report

Another hoax of a "study."

Phys-ed won't cut fat.


Read the full story.

The fine print gets around to adding "may have other beneficial heath benefits, like bone density, aerobic capacity, reduced blood pressure and increased flexibility."

Not to mention getting the hell out of that stuffy boring classroom and running around and being a goof and having a moment of childhood fun and maybe setting a pattern form life for enjoying running around, which is known as exercise.

Sky High?

A Million two for a 2 bedroom square box on Hamilton Street.

Nine seventy nine for a 2 bedroom square box on Mainland.

Yes, you might walk to work.

Yes, there are coffee shops aplenty.

But, a million bucks to live among concrete and traffic and drug addicts and homeless people sleeping in the front doorway of your luxury, exclusive pie-in-the-sky?

I really do quite regularly think people are entirely mad.

$100 Windfall


Within the next few days you will be receiving a $100 cheque in the mail from the Government of British Columbia.

I want your $100.

This cheque is the one-time “Climate Action Dividend” distributed to every British Columbian. The government hopes you will spend this money to help reduce our collective greenhouse gas emissions to help slow climate change.

How can you spend that $100 meaningfully?

Perhaps you can buy some compact fluorescent light bulbs to reduce your energy consumption or put the cash toward a new push lawn mower. If you don't even pause to think about the meaning behind the government's initiative, you might simply cash the cheque and go out for dinner or fill your car's gas tank.

I want to suggest that your $100 can be spent in a very meaningful way that will result in helping shape long-term beneficial change.

I want you to donate your $100 Climate Action Dividend to Smart Growth BC and join our “1,000 Friends of British Columbia campaign.

For the past few years, I have been a volunteer director on the Board of Smart Growth BC, the province's leading advocacy, education and research group

striving to raise awareness about the connection between land use, healthy, vibrant communities and a sustainable approach to protecting our natural ecosystems. We are making great progress in shaping positive change in this area, development by development, community by community.

Your tax-deductible contribution will support Smart Growth BC’s work linking our communities’ built form and land use patterns to the climate change impacts and adaptation scenarios that they elicit.

Research on urban form and climate change is just emerging, but the links are already clear. Communities that have integrated “smart growth” principles into their growth plans:

· are more walkable and better able to provide efficient transit -- an increasingly important consideration as fuel costs rises;

· are surrounded by productive and protected farmlands providing residents with increased food security;

· conserve carbon sinks such as forests, wetlands and other naturalized areas; and

· redirect and encourage a strong local economy by keeping small businesses in town centres alive and thriving.

Creating smart growth communities means planning for the long term. Smart Growth BC is helping community planners and decision-makers across the province incorporate smart growth principles to achieve the resiliency necessary to deal with climate change in the future. Smart growth communities are able to respond and adapt to both the direct and indirect effects of climate change.

Your donation will not only help Smart Growth BC fulfill our mission to create more livable communities in BC through education and outreach, research, policy and advocacy, and implementation – you’ll also help BC reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.

Please do your part by depositing your $100 Climate Action Dividend in your bank account and then writing a $100 cheque made payable to SMART GROWTH BC.

This is discretionary money you are receiving. You can spend it wisely by supporting our work today!


For more information, see:

Smart Growth BC

314-402 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 1T6

T 604.915.5234

F 604.915.5236

Smart Growth British Columbia is a registered charitable organization under the Income Tax Act (Canada).

Charitable Registration 89568-6616-RR000.

Judge Wallace Craig on Tasers


Better Oversight Vital

June 25, 2008

SHUT your eyes and visualize today’s Dirty Harry in action: Taser “deployed”, a sizzling emission of electricity strikes like a serpent and stings like an adder.

Another bad guy bites the dust. No fuss, no muss, on go the cuffs.

Oops, the bad guy stops breathing and dies. That’s life!

Today’s Dirty Harry is either pure Hollywood myth or, in many variations, may be dotted about in all municipal forces and RCMP detachments in British Columbia.

So be wary when a 21st century police officer stops your car or knocks on your door. He may be of the new breed, armed with a Taser and ready to use it if you become pugnacious.

Since 1999, when Canadian police began using Tasers, an ever-increasing and indiscriminate use of it has brought policing into disrepute and profaned the inviolability of the force continuum. Here are two recent B.C. incidents: a delirious 82-year-old patient in his hospital bed and an uncooperative 67-year-old seated in his car with his wife beside him.

In allowing this usage creep, Canadian law enforcement has drifted dangerously from its founding principles. Sir Robert Peel, the man behind the first-ever English standing police force founded in 1829, imposed nine principles that marked a giant step away from punitive quasi-military policing that had existed until that point. They form the basis of modern policing.

Two of his principles are at the heart of his admonition, “The police are the public and the public are the police”:

“The ability of the police to perform their duties is dependent upon public approval of their actions;

“The degree of cooperation of the public that can be secured diminishes proportionately to the necessity of the use of physical force.”

The force continuum introduced by Peel to minimize violence, lives on in modern guidelines for escalating intervention techniques: officer presence leading to verbal commands; empty-handed control techniques; use of pepper spray or batons; less-lethal force such as weapons that fire bean bags or rubber bullets; and finally deadly force. But the nasty Taser threatens to turn the force continuum into nothing more than a toolbox for quick-fix Taser cops.

It is chilling to consider that Taser cops may be the new face of policing, bringing an insidious element of borderline para-militarism. Officers who will unhesitatingly ignore the use-of-force continuum and cross professional and ethical boundaries in pursuit of a version of expedient power – the stunning and painful subjugation of a citizen using electric shocks as a prime corollary of arrest.

See if you remember this: A few days after the Deep Cove Daze outdoor festival on Sunday, August 28, 2005 the North Shore News reported allegations “by more than a dozen district residents that officers used excessive force by employing a Taser to deal with an intoxicated 21-year-old man Peter Giezen.”

After the Giezen incident Supt. Gord Tomlinson of the North Vancouver RCMP attempted to downplay the use of the Taser. According to the News, Tomlinson said “It’s like pepper spray or a baton, just another tool in our toolbox to control unruly persons. It’s not dangerous. That’s media scare.”

In an editorial on August 31, 2005 the News stated “… witnesses who have spoken to us are unanimous that the young man was already subdued by those four officers when he was Tasered. The act smacks of punishment, not control to us. And that is simply wrong.”

The storm of controversy and worldwide condemnation following the October 15, 2007 tasering death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport has had no effect on the RCMP’s E Division, B.C.’s notional provincial police, as it continues to lead the way, nationally, in the acquisition and use of Tasers.

Dziekanski’s death, a national cause celebre, has generated at least eight Canadian inquiries into Taser usage.

Two inquiries are crucial to the future of policing in British Columbia. The most important one is a B.C. inquiry by retired judge Tom Braidwood to be completed Nov. 30. The other, just completed, is by Paul Kennedy, Chairman of the Commission for Public Complaints Against RCMP Performance.

When Braidwood writes his report he ought to go beyond the narrow issue of the tasering of Dziekanski and tell the government to refuse to renew the provincial police contract with E Division unless it accepts civilian oversight by democratic police boards in all of its detachments and the authority of B.C.’s complaint and disciplinary process.

This would place E Division under the thumb of the B.C. Police Act and restore provincial control over all aspects of policing – including how and when Tasers may be used.

It is time to say to E Division: Sign up under our Police Act or we will recreate our own provincial police force.

Kennedy is scheduled to appear before the Braidwood inquiry later this month. No doubt they will engage in a colloquy over the sad state of affairs of the RCMP.

Kennedy should say more to Braidwood than he has written in his report about the realities facing the RCMP today: “a high number of new recruits, a high rate of turnover, a high number of baby boomers retiring, experienced members leaving the force for a variety of reasons, and a lack of resources (that) have resulted in the inadequate mentoring of new members, understaffing of detachments, and morale issues …”

Kennedy ought to expand on his most troubling finding: “A continued departure from (the principles of Sir Robert Peel) by the RCMP is not a minor matter. It is a harbinger of a new model of policing in Canada, one in which the police are a group distinct from the public and whose decisions are the preserve of public safety experts. It is a model in which officer safety takes precedence over that of the general public and where the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is significantly undervalued. The cumulative effect of these trends over time may reduce the degree of co-operation of the public that is essential to public safety in Canada.”

Regardless of inquiries and all the talk they involve, they do not represent the will of the people.

It is time to say to the North Shore Detachment of the RCMP: Sign up under our Police Act or we will create our own municipal police force.

It is time for all of us to rise up and demand that police behave as servants, not masters, of the public.

Contact Judicial Gadfly at or by posting your comment on the Writer’s Corner of

Published June 25, 2008 by the North Shore News

Bill Withers

Afghanistan Blues

A first-rate video by The Guardian on The Real News :

Yes, I am interested

To the Willingdon Revisited writer...yes, of course, I would like to hear your story.

Diana Krall