Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Show-Your-Papers State

I liked this graphic posted by John Cole to illustrate a story about the new Arizona law making brown people guilty until they prove themselves innocent:

And the idea that "innocent" people never have anything to fear from police is just naive. As Matt Welch observes
When you have thousands upon thousands of criminal laws, chances are non-trivial that you're breaking one of them as we speak, or at least can be seen as possibly breaking one of them, in case you happen to cross paths with a motivated law enforcement officer.
Its a hallowed law enforcement tradition, to pull over cars full of young people and find something to charge them with.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Be careful who your friends are

I heard an interview with a US teabagger on yesterday's radio talk show, they were talking about the Canadian gun registry and so Roy Green talked to someone in the US who's all bent out of shape about Obama.
Green asked this fellow what he was concerned about. Of course he couldn't exactly say. He couldn't list one single thing or action or speech or proposal or anything at all that the Obama administration has done to control guns -- because they haven't done anything. (Actually, of course, it was Obama who signed off on allowing guns in national parks, but that definitely didn't fit his narrative so he didn't mention it.) But this guy is absolutely certain that they are all under terrible threat, looming danger, government is so awful that they just have to defend themselves from the horrible Obama administration that secretly wants to take away their right to bear arms.
And apparently abolishing Canada's long gun registry would be a step in the right direction and next lets tackle Canada's prohibitions about handguns and concealed carry laws and on and on. Oh, and did you know that the police associations whom these guys usually defend to the death particularly whenever they taser someone, are just a bunch of Liberal tools now?
Though I still believe that the Liberals won't be able to elect anyone out West until the registry is abolished, I must say that hearing this nonsense makes me rethink my own stance in favour of abolishing the long gun registry.
Is anyone else amused by the fact that the Conservatives were so skittish about abolishing the registry that they let one of their backbenchers do it as a private members bill and now they're doing fundraising around this "Conservative" bill?
Win or lose, they'll talk during the next election campaign about how "we" tried to abolish the registry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Papers! Now!

One of the things about Arizona is that lots of Canadians like to spend the winter there, particularly retirees from Saskatchewan and Alberta.
I wonder whether police will start demanding to see their papers?

Mrs. Grundy

So Conservative MP Steven Fletcher thinks poor people shouldn't be able to have a drink in the privacy of their new home.
That must be because he thinks homeless people are drunks. Or morons.
And I'll bet he also wants a "four on the floor" rule when they have company, too.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

What a jackass!

The civil service isn't very civil anymore:
[Government lawyer Alain] Prefontaine told the [Military Police Complaints] commission that the "documents will be given to the counsel when they are good and ready."
. . . Liberal defence critic Ujjal Dosanjh slammed Prefontaine's comments.
“It is reprehensible for anyone to make those kinds of arrogant and offensive remarks to a quasi-judicial body which is engaged in very important work,"
We pay this guy's salary! I feel more like Oscar every day.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

Cry for help

When I read this terrible story I said to myself, I'll bet that family was Aboriginal.
Yes, they were.
Maybe its unfair of me to generalize when I don't know the circumstances of this particular situation, but damn it all anyway -- why has it always been way too easy to ignore cries for help from Aboriginal women?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Regrets, he'll have a few

Stephen Harper will rue the day that he decided not to reappoit Michaelle Jean as Governor General.
She brough unique charm and grace to an austere and detached institution -- and yes, I'm speaking about both the PMO and the GGO.
Deciding he could do better will turn out to be another moment of hubris for our hubristic prime minister.

NAFTA and Acapulco Gold?

Yes, free trade between Canada, the United States and Mexico is just wonderful, isn't it, but I don't think this was really what Mulroney had in mind.

Nothing to see here, folks

So it was just clumsy police work that was to blame for prosecutors having to drop those serious drug and DUI charges against Rahim Jaffer.
And the plea bargain? Oh, that happens all the time too!
Funny, isn't it, that for some unknown and inexplicable reason, nobody could explain all this a month ago.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Canadian way

There is something quintessentially Canadian about this. Where else would the transit union organize public meetings so the public can bitch about the transit union? What a great idea.
It may not solve problems, but at least both sides will feel that somebody is listening.
And by the way, I could understand the complaints about the strollers on the buses -- I have never seen so many large strollers in my life as the ones we saw parents using in downtown Toronto. But Toronto parents really have no other choice -- you can't be dawdling along holding a three-year old's hand on those busy city streets. And a flimsy little umbrella stroller is just not safe, because some power-walking adult or crowd of texting teens won't see it and they'll trip over it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Is the world destroyed yet?

Noting the recent news about the success of the Large Haldron Collider, The Editors remind us of Greg Easterbrook's hysteria about this mega-science project:
Are we really sure it is history's greatest idea to be re-creating the conditions that existed when the universe exploded?
Luckily, there is now a website we can check anytime if we want to find out whether the Large Hadron Collider has destroyed the world yet.

Great line of the day

The Jurist points out that the Wall government is doing just a little too much wishful thinking:
Apparently the Wall government's hack-and-slash budget is based on the modest assumption that Saskatchewan will be home to "more than 20 per cent of the world supply of natural resources". No word yet what proportion of that estimate consists of projected exports of magic beans and unicorn meat.
Emphasis mine.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Death of the strip mall? We can only dream

Calculated Risk is concerned that the vacancy rate in US strip malls is almost 11 per cent.
Well, I know its not good for the economy, but wouldn't it be great if strip malls actually did bite the dust?
Taken as a group, they are the ugliest part of any city -- boring cindercrete shoeboxes, plastered with garish plastic signage, with cheap plate glass windows, fronted by barren asphalt parking lots, not a tree or a flower in sight.
Bulldoze them all and build some place that people want to go.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

It's all in how you look at it

LifeSite News says everyone should find a new perspective on the priest sexual abuse story -- after all, sexual abuse by teachers in the school system "is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests."
Well, that's OK then.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Great post of the day

Lance Mannion takes one of the most misogynistic David Brooks columns ever written (and that's saying a lot) as the jumping off point for a profound narration on finding happiness in life:
Life is a gamble. There are no such things as destiny and fate. Whatever the purpose of the life is, if there is a purpose, it is not the happiness of individual human beings. No matter what path you choose in life you are choosing pain and suffering. There is more along that path, wherever it’s leading, that will cause you unhappiness than will give you a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. There are paths that are less dangerous, that are smoother, that include fewer mountains to climb and fewer to fall off, and that will carry you past prettier scenery, but how are you to know you to know which path that is? Even if you could know, how are you to know that you will enjoy traveling along it? It might bore the life out of you. Falling off mountains may be what you need to make you happy.