Opaque is an idiot.
Worse, he's irresponsible and dangerous.
Worse, he's the province's top cop.
The man says on the radio that the police make too many mistakes.
He says this, of course, in a knee-jerk defense of the courts.
It is no accident that most of the citizens of this sovereign state have lost all confidence in our courts.
Today, three cases illustrate.
In two of the, Hell's Angels have been acquitted of various criminal charges. Oops.
In another, a man fired eight shots at his mother, striking her with three, killed her, then buried her in the woods nearby.
Sentence? Four years.
So, in a time when the police need more support, not less, our top cop babbles shamelessly on the airwaves that the police make too many mistakes.
No doubt the police, like you and me, make their share of mistakes.
No doubt their mistakes are costlier than most of our failures to put the top back on the marmalade jar.
But their mistakes pale to insignificance compared to the atrocities doled out by our courts on a daily basis. Criminal justice is but a ghost in this town these days and most of us feel it viscerally.
Opaque is a shame.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Pharmacists will now be able to renew prescriptions without your visit to the family doctor.
Clearly this means the world is coming to an end.
At least, that's what it means if you are the BC Medical Association, to whit, a doctor.
Raise the drawbridge! Alert the crocs! The peasants are revolting!
An employee steals.
He is caught and he is fired.
Not if you are a member of the BCGEU, who have now involved the Human Rights Tribunal and several court systems in their defense of the indefensible.
It is true that we have come a long way to understanding and helping alcoholics.
Today, an addict will get opportunities from his or her employer to clean up long before the pink slip option emerges.
But what's that got to do with stealing?
Being a drunk has long since been removed from our court systems as an excuse for criminal behaviour.
The BCGEU needs find more worthy fights to fight.
The wedding pictures of actor George Takei and his partner that flashed around the world the other day got me thinking.
And not in the right direction.
Takei played Sulu on Star Trek for 947 light years, or thereabouts.
My first concern was all those Trekkies.
Many of them will be happy for their Sulu Man, of course.
But equally many will probably foresake their protein shakes for several days in mourning.
Willing and able to accept the most fanciful notions - people with pizza faces, William Shatner is a great actor, a guy with pointy ears and no emotions could be anything other than president of the United States for eight years - these same loyals will struggle with the idea that one of their favorites wants to snuggle with a similarly gendered humanoid.
Then my thoughts - if you can call these thoughts, more like LED blinks on a mottled wallboard - wandered to that lovely gal who has replaced Branjolina as The Headliner. You know, the one who knows everything about Russia because she can see it from her front porch.
Her defenders ( a nation unto itself, Palinistan) will be quick to tell you that she is not against gays. Or at least, not too close to them. That she thinks gays should have all the usual equal rights. Just that "marriage" is a word, apparently so holy, so suffused with godliness that it cannot be squandered on any other than a righteous man and a righteous woman.
First and last is the word, don't you know?
So I'm looking at these pics of George and Brad and I'm wondering once again how the marriage of these two souls can in one catclysmic moment upset all that has come before and all that will follow.
How many millions of men and women have married and will marry? But two guys in California dare to marry and the world is coming to an end.
The tolerance and acceptance and love that comes with these holy vows has gone where?
Closer to home, we learn today that abortion and gay marriage are still issues in the upcoming federal election.
We are on the precipice of a total world economic collapse and there are people still kvetching about abortion and gay marriage.
Mazel Tov, congrats, tanti auguri to Mr. Sulu.
Some aliens do come home.
Headlines like "International Students Take Priority," are not helpful.
The real story is that the West Vancouver school system is so hide-bound and frozen that it can't handle 2 more students who would like to walk to school.
The headline plays unnecessarily into the hands of anti-immigration folk, who wait, drooling, just for moments like this to emerge from their bunkers.
The Age ~~ Melbourne ~~ Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Welcome to this year's blockbuster
By Catherine Deveny
I'M OBSESSED with Sarah Palin. She's the first thing I think about
when I wake and the last thing I think of before I go to sleep. I
google her a dozen times a day and manage to bring her up in every
conversation I have.
"You have hair. Sarah Palin has hair. What a coincidence! She has big
hair and it's brown. Her kids have hair too. Their names are Track,
Bristol, Willow, Piper and Trig. Would you like to see a photo of
Sarah's hair? Or her kids' hair? Or her husband the First Dude's hair?
She's a great mother, she went back to work three days after giving
birth to a disabled child. Of course, she didn't have to. She chose
to. She and the First Dude had little Trig's best interests at heart.
Never too early to instil independence. It toughens 'em up. Next stop?
A bloody good war."
I found myself checking out Palin Facebook groups last night. The ones
that amused me included: Excuse Me, But Has Anyone Else Noticed That
Sarah Palin Is Insane? My Dog Is More Qualified To Be Vice-President
Than Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin Is A Bona Fide Whack Job. Librarians
Against Sarah Palin. I Would Have Sex With, But Not Vote For, Sarah
Palin. And: I Would Rather Have A Mentally Challenged Goat As VP Than
I'd been thinking the US election campaign was dragging on endlessly
until I read the headline "McCain chooses woman for running mate." I
loved that, "woman". Sums the whole thing up. She's the closest thing
Republican strategists could find to a man with a vagina. No political
party in the world would have had the genius to dream up Sarah Palin.
She's a social experiment with lipstick.
New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd likened the Sarah Palin story to
the chick flick Miss Congeniality. I think of it more as an in-flight
movie. Like Dumb and Dumber. If you're after a laugh, check out the
campaign poster for McCain and Palin. The slogan is "The Ticket For
America". The running mates look like an old rich bloke with erectile
dysfunction and his white trash trophy wife wearing glasses so she
looks intellectual and that.
McCain strikes me as "a bit of a fall" away from stewed prunes and
dribbling, and she looks as hungry and deranged as Anna Nicole Smith.
"Hey, Johnny, why don't y'all take up smoking! It's not too late. Have
another spoon of cholesterol. Where's that special button you done
talked about that blows up countries? Bristol's boyfriend's Xbox isn't
working and he's bored."
I'm not proud of it but to be honest, the comedy writer in me really,
really hopes Palin gets in. Shooting, hunting, God-fearing,
anti-abortion, book-banning, homophobic, white trash moron. I'd love
to see the White House lawn covered in cars up on blocks. Male,
female, goat or goldfish, Palin is a writer's dream. I wish I had the
imagination to invent her.
And the hits just keep on coming. Each day there's another titbit that
draws me in. "She what? Not only believes that abstinence should be
the only form of contraception taught in schools and she slashed
funding to a program for teenage mothers but she charged victims of
sexual assault for their own rape kits. I don't even know what rape
kits are but I sure as hell know you don't charge people for them."
And how does that whole guns and God thing work? "Say a prayer and the
merciful Lord will protect us. And if he doesn't, pass me the Uzi."
The only problem with Sarah Palin is that she's real. And, like it or
not, she'll be used as an example of a female politician. Regardless
of the fact she should be filed under dangerous white trash fuelled by
fear, propelled by power and supported by halfwits.
I have two long-held beliefs. First, people should have to pass an
intelligence test before they're allowed to vote and second, that the
rest of the world should be able to vote in the US elections because
the outcome affects us as much as them. If not more.
Like most people, I believe in democracy. As long as everybody else
votes the same way I do. The problems with democracy are that a) not
everyone makes an informed choice and b) if they do, what informs that
choice. We're at the mercy of the morons. People who vote for race,
gender, class and politicians who massage people's prejudices and
reinforce beliefs fertilised by fear.
Sarah Palin personifies the cockiness of ignorance. Bertrand Russell
said: "Fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but
wiser people so full of doubts." Pass me the popcorn, I can't wait to
see how this movie ends.