Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday News Roundup

The documentary film about the interrogation of Omar Khadr, You Don't Like The Truth, is being screened in Montreal from October 29th 2010 at the Cinéma Parallèle de Montréal, on November 1 2010, 7:30pm at the Ciné-Club de Laval (Salle André-Mathieu) and in Toronto from October 29th 2010, at the Royal Cinema, 608 College Street. The documentary will also be screened to Canadian MP's by the Bloc Québécois, and Luc Côté one of the directors of the film, says he has been told by Khadr's lawyers that some of the documentary will be used during closing arguments at his trial if it comes to that. There have been reports of a possible plea deal but it has yet to be confirmed.


 Here in La Belle Province, a loud and angry emergency debate is taking place in Quebec City over what else, a language bill. Remaining in character, Parti Québécois Leader Pauline Marois accused Quebec Premier Jean Charest of abandoning the defence of the French language. Charest replied that she was a wealthy, overstuffed sh** disturber who was living in the past trying to invoke old demons... Wait, that was me! Charest actually said, ...that he is the leader of a "great people" and accused Marois of promoting radical ideals.
 
It`s a raucous day in the federal Parliament building as well as the opposition is busily hammering away at the Tories for the failure to win a seat on the UN Security Council, blaming a long list of Conservative policies including inaction on global warming and blasting them for attempting to scapegoat Michael Ignatieff for their failure. And Deputy Liberal Leader Ralph Goodale tore into the governing Tories accusing Finance Minister Jim Flaherty of financial mismanagement noting that Canada has gone from a $13 billion surplus to an all-time record deficit. It`s hard to argue with the numbers but are Canadians paying attention?
 
It doesn't seem like it when you take a look at the latest polls and see that in spite of numerous missteps and being on the wrong side of issues that Canadians feel strongly about, PM Harper still leads in all the various political polls out there, albeit by the margin of error. Still, he and his party poll consistently between 32% and 35% while Ignatieff and the Liberals rarely break the 30% barrier. In this latest poll which also calculates estimated seats won if an election were held today, the Conservatives would win 129 seats, the Liberals 96, the Bloc 53 and the NDP 30.
 
And for the second time today a video courtesy of theRealnews.com people, a report and an interview with Alex Hundert the organizer of protests at the G-20 summit whose civil rights have been trampled upon by the authorities and how he has been coerced into signing on to unprecedented gag orders. I'm trying very hard not to venture into the realm of hyperbole here, but it's really hard not to be reminded of what used to take place behind the iron curtain in the bad old days before the Berlin Wall came down. We are surrendering our freedoms and not putting up much of a fight.
 

New Guidelines On Taser Use A Joke

Vic Toews and provincial and territorial justice ministers got together and agreed to new general guidelines on Taser use after many provinces had already enacted similar rules. What they agreed upon is revealing so far as what has essentially been the unregulated use of this weapon that has seen 26 Canadians die after they were employed.

 It's hard not to be puzzled by the following guidelines that include, ...police forces should establish a training policy and minimum training requirements for officers authorized to use a Taser. So previous to this agreement there was no training policy? That's criminal!

Justice ministers also agreed that better tracking of the devices was needed. The guidelines include a requirement that an accurate inventory of the weapons be maintained, including their location. There had been no inventory on who was taking these lethal weapons home from work? No accountability? How is this possible?

Officers should be required to check their conducted energy weapon before and after their shifts and they should be required to submit a report whenever they've discharged one. Treat Tasers like they were lethal weapons? Genius! That's why these guys get paid the big bucks.

On to my favourites, ...“where possible” Taser use should be “avoided” on the pregnant, frail and elderly, as well as on children. No zapping the elderly or kids? Then the terrorists win, don't they? Oh. "where possible."

The guidelines add Tasers generally shouldn't be used on people who are already restrained, or who are driving a vehicle, bicycle or snowmobile. Police officers are also urged to avoid zapping sensitive areas of the body such as the head, throat and genitals. Covering all their bases while the police take aim at ours.


Federal Public Safety Minister Vic Toews bragged, “The development of these new national guidelines is another significant step in strengthening public confidence in police use of this important tool,” after the meeting of his provincial and territorial counterparts in Vancouver.

There you have it. Taser International doesn't lose a client, no further studies on its use are urged or even suggested and Canadians who are famous the world over for being cautious had damned well better remain that way. Even in the confines of their own borders.

Caricature doesn't Like Being Caricatured

I somehow managed to miss the news and video featuring "Officer Bubbles," the bullying caricature of a police officer, who did what he could to intimidate citizens during the G-8, G-20 summits. Rob has posted the video of his revelatory behaviour in a post below. I don't really see how he can sue someone for cartoons as they fall under the category of satire and humour which makes it open season -- like this: How many soapy bubbles did it take Officer Bubbles to lose his mind and have an innocent citizen harassed and arrested? Answer: None. People with small penises don't need any excuses to throw their weight around.

 Here's a report from theRealnews.com people on some of the still unanswered questions as to the long list of civil rights abuses perpetrated by the police during the weekend of the G-20 summit.