Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Security budget anger mis-directed

Much is being made about the upcoming international gabfest coming to Toronto later this month. The G8 and G20 conferences will cost around a billion dollars to secure according to media estimates. Which may or may not be true. As an example, every dollar in salary of every member of the Armed Forces or police officer seconded to the events is calculated in that cost. But since they were going to earn those dollars regardless of whether they were assigned to G8/G20 I'm not sure that's fair to account in with those costs. Equally, much has been made about the $2 million man-made lake designed to provide a rural Canadiana backdrop for international media. Turns out the lake will only cost $57,000. The balance is on time, materials and labour to build the media pavilion. But why let the facts get in the way of a good story? A $2 million dollar man-made lake sounds much better to the baying media hordes desperate to inflict damage on a "scary" Prime Minister. This is not to say this isn't a colossal waste of money. At a time when the deficit is running at $48 billion and the national debt is soaring at over half a trillion dollars, I question any public spending that is not absolutely necessary. But, for good or for bad, this country's government had committed to hosting the leaders of the free world and given the current geopolitical climate, we must ensure their well-being. But,the irony is that the bulk of...

Citizen journalism lacks context

By now we have all seen the video of the Victoria police breaking up a nasty fight in the downtown core and during the arrests one police officer is seen kicking two different men.  On the surface, the video looks damning of the officer who has since been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. But on closer inspection it is clear that in the first situation an officer is struggling with one man trying to get him secured and the officer wearing the yellow jacket kicks the individual to get him to stop struggling.  The second is similar in that you can see one officer trying to get handcuffs on the individual who, I should mention, is 6'5" and 250 lbs.  The kicks are delivered in the context of securing that individual with handcuffs.  As soon as the man puts his left hand behind his back, ostensibly in surrender, there are no further blows struck and the handcuffs are applied. And here is the problem in a nutshell.  The police are allowed, by law, to use as much force as is necessary to execute their duty.  When they do, they must be prepared to justify that use of force and they are criminally responsible  for any excessive force.  The police know this and accept it as part of their job.  The test in each and every case is the key. For the purposes of this test, it is impossible to judge simply based on the video.  Whether this officer was justified in...

Nothing new in Liberal hypocrisy

What’s with the Liberals these days? And no, I’m not just talking about those ridiculous, hypocritical radio ads saturating the airwaves.  You know, the ones that talk about cover-up by the Tories.  The hypocrisy and self-righteous horse hockey is beyond belief.  Well, assuming, of course you think the Liberal Party of Canada had a shred of decency that is.  They don’t. If they want to talk about cover-ups, have they forgotten about the Mother of all political cover-ups in Canada when they turned Project Sidewinder into a hollowed-out shadow of its former self and, in the process, referred allegations of interference by the PMO over to the CSIS oversight group, SIRC, with its lead member Bob Rae, brother of Jean Chretien’s campaign director John Rae? Cover-up?  The Liberals defined the word in Canada.  How they dare to even suggest such a thing about the current government, especially considering the detainee procedures were formulated by the Paul Martin government back in 2005. And then there’s the whole issue of the prorogation of Parliament.  What a red herring this has become.  Never mind the breathless headlines following the tepid protests on Saturday against the Prime Minister’s decision to prorogue Parliament. The Vancouver Province ran a story with this headline:  Thousands turn out for Vancouver rally to protest PM Harper's decision to prorogue Parliament. Thousands?  Surely the reporter and headline writer could count as well as the photographer who had the  following cutline under the photo of the protest:  Hundreds gather at Vancouver Art Gallery for...

The illusion of security guards our airports

The failed terrorist attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 shows just how bad our air security is and not a system that "worked" as Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano tried to spin on CNN's State of the Union show on Sunday morning. She back-tracked  the next day by saying what she said had been taken out of context.  Nonsense.  It showed just how broken the system is and how luck coupled with an incompetent would-be terrorist saved all those lives. I fly a lot.  An awful lot. Rare is the week that I am not on a plane somewhere.  And frankly I am sick of having to play the game knowing that security at our airports in North America is little more than an illusion designed to make the travelling public feel like the authorities are doing something to protect us from those who would attack our very way of life. In the aftermath of 9/11, the TSA in the US and CATSA in Canada began a series of ridiculous procedures that served no actual security result.  But they certainly inconvenience the travelling public.  And, I should probably say that at least the TSA has the veneer of competence.  Not so much for CATSA. I can't count how many times I have had my laptop randomly selected for and EDT (Explosive Detection Test) done with a swab or having been randomly selected for a physical search, a pat down head to toe after I had cleared the magnetometer screening. This picture says...

Killer asks Court to give society a lump of coal for Christmas

It is Christmas and I am filled with the joy of the season.  But only to a point. On the day before Christmas Eve, a 19 year old Manitoba man was in court asking to have his remaining two years in custody changed from "closed" custody to "open" custody.  The change in status would allow the corrections system to release the man on unescorted releases for days, weeks or months. The man is serving a six year jail sentence - the maximum allowed under the Youth Criminal Justice Act - for the inexplicable and brutal rape, murder and defilement of the body of his 79 year old grandmother. He was 14 at the time and is afforded all the protections of the YCJA.  Which of course means that he cannot be identified nor can his victim for fear that may identify him.  But more importantly, the police cannot warn the public as they can with an adult offender that Corrections Canada unleashes prematurely on the community. Despite the fact he is now an adult. Now, lest you think this poor miscreant was "just a boy" and has learned the error of his wayward youth through the generous treatment he has received in the youth prison system and has thus earned the right for early unescorted absences from prison, uh, no.  That would not seem to be the case despite the protestations to the contrary of workers in the broken corrections system. Elana Soloku who is the probation officer for the granny killer said, "I...

Climate of Doubt

In the wake of the costliest gabfest in the history of man that has just concluded in Copenhagen and  that achieved absolutely nothing but a $100 Billion shakedown of America and its allies, I found myself in plane from Toronto to Vancouver. Flying over the frozen prairie of the North American west,  I was staring down at a frigidity only known to those hearty enough to choose to reside there. I was also privileged enough to have borne witness to history last Sunday at the Edmonton Airport as I travelled to catch a flight and the temperature was a bone-rattling minus 46 with a wind chill that took it to minus 58. I thought I was developing Taurette’s Syndrome. When I went out I had an inadvertent reaction: F***, F***, F***! Now admittedly, I am not a scientist. I’m an old time cop, investigator and professional cynic.  In that role I know that there are always three sides to any story and people will always “guild the lily”  to achieve maximum personal benefit, whatever the circumstances in which they find themselves.  And, I have to also state that I neither stake a claim to being a Global Warming believer nor a ‘denier,’ to use a phrase coined by the  wild-eyed, foamy mouthed, true believers. Do I believe the climate is changing?  Yes, certainly.  Just as it always has.  Is it warming as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UN creation designed to fleece the wealthy western democracies, uh ,...

Tax grab offends

The theological place of eternal punishment must surely be nearing a temperature below 0 degrees Celsius for I find myself in agreement with BC NDP leader Carole James on the subject of the Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). On July 23 the Liberal government of Gordon Campbell announced they would bring in the HST next year.  There was no mention of this during the recent election and the minister responsible, Colin Hansen, has been all over the media denying that it was on their radar during the campaign.  Anyone who understands the glacial-like speed at which governments work will viscerally understand that the minister is being economical with the truth. Try as I might, I am trying to find something in what Hansen has been saying that rings true. Hansen's spinmeisters are having difficulty selling what is nothing more than a tax grab by the very government who used to claim that tax hikes were anathema. Any simple look at the HST will reveal that things that used to be tax free such as children's clothes and restaurant meals will cost 7% more with the HST.  The minister says, and with a straight face I might add, that the HST will be "revenue neutral" and he repeats it as though a mantra.  Well, it won't be anything of the sort.  The average household will pay $1,000 to $3,000 more in tax a year and the government coffers will grow by $1.2 billion in that same year. The spin also suggests that this will save business over...

Location Change

In order to keep up with traffic, I have moved from Blogspot to Wordpress. The move will allow much more ability to evolve from a post and rudimentary comment page to a more integrated and interactive blog.  I hope to integrate poll questions and twitter updates as we move forward. Thank you for stopping by and for all the support in the past and I hope you like the new look. Leo Knight [email protected]

Playing the race card shows own prejudice

Last week in Cambridge Mass., Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates was arrested for disorderly conduct and first Gates through the media, and then on Wednesday, President Barack Obama, turned it into an issue of race. Professor Gates is black you see and an articulate and well-respected intellectual. But claims that this is about race is a red herring at best and blatent character assassination of a professional, veteran police officer, Sgt. James Crowley, at worst. The facts don't seem to be in dispute only the interpretation regurgitated by the tongue-cluckers who seem unable to separate the wheat from the chaff in all of this. Professor Gates was returning from a trip and took a cab home. He had evidently forgotten his keys and together with the assistance of the also black cab driver, managed to force his way into the house. Unbeknownst to him, a woman observing the efforts to force entry into the home called 9-1-1 and said two black men were breaking into the house. Now, lest we get distracted too early, the complainant was white and the men were black, yes. But, when the witness is asked to describe the indviduals she believes is breaking into a residence she can only state the obvious. Any suggestion to the contrary is specious. Sgt. Crowley along with three other officers, one of whom was also black for the record,...

Plus ca change…

News items ran this week trumpeting that Canada was the methamphetimine production capital of the world and honorable mention was given to our position as the Ecstasy capital as well.  Many media outlets clucked their Holier-Than-Thou tongues about this as though it was something new.  Well, it isn't and not by a long shot. Warnings have been going out for at least 15 years that the media has written about or been otherwise informed about.  Yet, higher purpose papers like the Globe & Mail seem to have just discovered this nugget of information as evidenced by their main editorial on Friday. There is nothing  new or magical about this.  In the past 15-20 years Canada has become a major drug producing country on a parallel with Columbia.  We just don't have the sweaty jungles. But we certainly do have the violence that goes with that territory.  And we have seen the intimidation attempts on law enforcement and participants in the justice system.    How did we get here?   Well now, there's a question.  And the short answer is the lurch to the political left this country has taken in the past forty years.   In the '70s the rule of law was that evidence, no matter how gained, was admissible.  Now, a bloody murder weapon found in the hands of an accused can be excluded as evidence for a myriad of procedural issues that have nothing to do with justice and everything...

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