July 27, 2010

Short form: he’s treating them like civilians

Filed under: Cancon, Humour, Law — Tags: , — Nicholas @ 14:16

In the elevators of my clients’ office building, there are video displays with short news items, stock market performance, weather, and (of course) ads. The short form of this story was something like:

Top RCMP officers claim boss is verbally abusive, close-minded, arrogant and insulting

My immediate reaction was “so he’s acting like a cop dealing with a group of citizens?”

It must not be Favre-centric enough yet . . .

Filed under: Football, Media — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 12:41

. . . now instead of playing the “will I/won’t I” game, he’s tossing out the notion of playing for another decade:

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre figured he was “done” playing football at 40 years old immediately after the NFC Championship Game, but now isn’t ready to say whether he will return for 2010, retire — or maybe hang around for another decade.

In an interview published today in USA Today, Favre compared the latest left ankle surgery he underwent 10 weeks ago to “doin’ patchwork on a your truck or lawn mower.

“If you do enough patchwork, eventually you’ve got to a get a new one,” he joked. “Hell, you gotta quit sometime. Then again, maybe I will be doing this when I’m 50 years old, who knows?”

While I expect Favre to decide to play just after training camp breaks (as he’s on record as hating to attend, and arranged to sign with Minnesota at that point last year), I could do without the constant public indecision . . .

Photography is legal in Britain . . . unless they catch you at it

Filed under: Britain, Bureaucracy, Law — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 12:22

The continuing story of police harassment of peaceful photographers has still not come to a middle:

The Metropolitan Police Force cannot be guaranteed to abide by the law when it comes to allowing the public their right to take photographs.

That was the startling admission made last week by Met Police Commissioner John Stephenson under sharp questioning from Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member Dee Doocey during a Police Authority Meeting on 22 July in City Hall. Video footage of the exchange is available on the Metropolitan Police Authority site, with relevant footage from around the 68 minute mark.

[. . .]

He admitted that he was aware of a recent disturbing incident that took place in Romford, which according to Doocey represented “eight minutes of two of your officers intimidating somebody”.

She continued: “At one stage they say that they don’t need a law to stop them photographing, but much more worrying, they don’t need a law to take them away. It’s not a question in my view of . . . It’s so serious that it don’t think it should be somebody giving them words of advice and I don’t also agree with you that it is a question of officers using their discretion.

“This was very black and white: Two of your officers who, despite the fact that I know you have given them guidelines because I have a copy of it, who totally disregarded them and were either so completely ignorant of the law, or decided to ignore the law — they were just going to say they knew the law better than the person they were talking to — they were very seriously intimidating. I find it quite worrying that I don’t think you are taking this quite as seriously as I think you should be.”

In short, the powers-that-be have grudgingly acknowledged that photographers do indeed have the right to take photos unmolested by PC Plod, but admitted that it’s still not actually been properly communicated to Plod and the other coppers on the beat.

We asked the Met for official comment as to why, despite the numerous efforts made by Assistant Commissioner John Yates and other serving officers to get the message about photography across, such incidents kept occurring. They suggested that these incidents were a very small part of the whole story of London policing, that to expect zero incidents was unrealistic, and that when such incidents occurred, they tended to be blown up out of all proportion by the press.

An alternative explanation, suggested to us by current and recently serving police officers with whom we have spoken, is that such incidents represent a far more disturbing aspect of police culture. They suggest that a small minority of officers see the law as being “what they say it is”, and these officers are quite prepared to take their chances, on the basis that the number of times they will be caught out by being recorded is likely to be few and far between.

It’s almost as if the police are sublimating their frustrations with the out-of-control but politically favoured members of certain religious groups and instead victimizing members of the public who don’t have political favour.

Four weeks in Canadian history

Filed under: Cancon, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 07:59

Scott Feschuk has been out of the country for a while. He’s delighted to find that something actually happened in Canada while he was away, and provides a useful summary for those of us not paying attention:

I’ve been away from Canada for four of the past five weeks, and it’s always fun to return and see what’s been missed. A comprehensive review:

1. The dominant domestic news story of the past month hinges on the intricacies of statistical analysis.

2. Finally demonstrating a populist touch, Michael Ignatieff has started production on his own Speed sequel: If his party’s popularity in opinion polls falls below 25 per cent, the Liberal Express explodes! (Subplot: If the bus keeps stopping for Timbits, the occupants of the Liberal Express explode!)

3. Conrad Black has apparently tunneled out of prison and escaped.

4. Upon being informed of No. 3, David Radler has soiled himself.*

* Not reported, but a safe assumption.

Don’t ever change, Canada.

The Guild goes Bollywood

Filed under: Gaming, Humour — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 07:34

<a href="http://www.bing.com/videos/browse?mkt=en-us&#038;from=&#038;vid=8cb424dc-cbdb-40be-90c5-8fb450462d2f&#038;from=en-us" target="_new" title="Season 4 - Music Video - &quot;Game On&quot;">Video: Season 4 &#8211; Music Video &#8211; &quot;Game On&quot;</a>

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