July 23, 2009 @ 16:08
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Neutering Our Police
July 23, 2009 @ 08:23
This story just leaves me shaking my head. This is the result of political correctness spinning terribly out of control and you just have to wonder where it will end.
It won't be long before police officers refuse to stop anyone for fear of repercussions.
I know we all want our cops to be super-human, and it's really cool and fashionable to be sympathetic towards anyone who cries rascism, but in this case, for the sake of debate, I'm going to take the other side.
Was stopping this man a mistake. Yes. Is it worth the shit storm it created. No.
Just think of the job police have to do and the split second decisions they have to make, and to jump all over them, and throw them in front of some bogus Human Rights Tribunal is disgusting.
The Ontario Human Rights Tribunal assumes rulings like this will lead to be better training of our police. In reality all it will do is chase good people away.
I think a very telling line is this. "Phipps, 44, is asking for a financial award in the case; he won't say how much."
After reading this piece I get the impression it's the police who are being profiled.
Mr. Phipps claims his life has come apart after being stopped for a few questions, I would ask what will become of Officer Shaw who's now been labled a racist for doing what he thought was right.
What exactly was Shaw supposed to do in this case? Let your mind run wild for a second and allow that maybe, just maybe he had legitimate concerns about Phipps identity. Was he supposed to forget about it because Phipps is black?
Letting him go because of his colour would be just as offensive as stopping him because of his colour.
We want our cops to be strong, passionate, level headed, clairvoyant social workers.
We don't pay them enough.
"Phipps, 44, is asking for a financial award in the case; he won't say how much."
Not My Scarborough
July 14, 2009 @ 12:32
I can't begin to tell you how pissed off I was to read about the swarming and beating death of a young man in Glamorgan Park on Saturday night.
It's another story about where I grew up and how much it has changed over the past couple of decades and I don't mean for the better.
Glamorgan Park is on Antrim Crescent, which is off Kennedy Rd. just south of the 401. Antrim Crescent is also where my wife's parents bought their first home way back in the mid 70's.
It was 19 Antrim Crescent to be exact, a nice townhouse in a nice location because of its proximity to the 401 and the park. The park came in handy because Delyse (my wife) got a dog named "Summer" and it was the perfect place to let it run.
I remember it vividly because I fell in love with the dog and would often take it over to the park and watch kids playing baseball or whatever else you do in parks.
Or should I say what you "did" in parks.
Back in the mid 70's you could no more conceive someone being beat to death in a park, than you could a kid being knifed or shot at a high school.
Back in the mid 70's if you wanted to play baseball and somebody else was using the diamond, you either waited till they were finished or you asked if you could join in. You didn't leave for a few minutes; gather up a bunch of thugs and return to beat someone to death.
I can't get my mind around this territorial stuff. Make no mistake about it, Kristian Thanapalan died on Saturday night not because he was playing volleyball where some other guys were playing cricket, he died on Saturday night because he had the audacity to step onto someone else's "turf."
Kristian's friends say there were was no build up to the swarming or no words exchanged. They say the guys playing cricket literally turned on them and "territory" was probably the issue.
I realize it's hard for those of us whose family history in Canada stretches back over several generations to get our heads around "territory" when it comes to public parks, but that's where we're at today.
A park that was built with taxpayers money back in the 70's, a park that was built for the pleasure of "all" has become the turf of a faction of a religious or political group from another country half-way around the world.
And you don't just get a "whippin" for using it, you actually die for it.
It's a huge tragedy that 22 year old Kristian Thanapalan died on Saturday night, but the reason he died is even more of a tragedy.
He died in a country that opens its doors to just about anyone who wants to escape conflict and pain in far away places. He died in a country that encourages, often naively, that people from all over the world come together to live in peace.
He died in a country that builds parks for entertainment and enjoyment not "turf wars."
He died for nothing. What a piss off.
Last Vegas - Days Two Three And Four
June 29, 2009 @ 11:47
We got back from Vegas at about 11:30 last night so I thought it only fitting that I deliver what I promised.
I said I would take my laptop along for the ride and post updates every day. That lasted just one day because the internet connection at New York New York cost 14.99 a day and it blows hogs.
It was slower that shit and management at the hotel must know because the minute I raised the issue they immediately took it off my bill. What they wouldn't remove was the three dollars a day for telephone service whether you use it or not.
Even if you take a cell phone, or even if you don't touch the goddamn phone for as long as you're there, they still charge your three bucks a day. It's really not a money issue, its more principle.
This is a money issue and shows how are times are changing. On Friday me and my son Danny bought half of a dozen Bud Lites in aluminum bottles only to find when we got back to the room that they don't have twist tops. You need a bottle opener.
No problem, we were in a hotel so I picked up the phone and called room service assuming that someone would have a bottle opener up to us in seconds.
No such luck. The woman on the other end told me they'd be glad to bring a bottle opener up to the room, but it would cost ten dollars and I still don't know if that meant I could keep it. I never got that far in the conversation.
First I asked her if she was serious and then I asked her if it was some kind of a joke and then I don't her that traditionally hotels usually supply things like bottle openers free of charge because it's a service to the people who are paying close to two hundred dollars a night for their hotel room.
Her response was a pregnant pause and then my response to that was to hang up.
Lucky for the hotel putting the bottle to the edge of the bathroom counter and banging down firmly did not leave a mark.
Anyway, on the good stuff, we saw The Beatles Love on Friday night at the Mirage and we all enjoyed this much more than "O". I won't go into the intricacies because it wouldn't be fair to those who haven't seen it.
What I will say is this. If you're going to Vegas and you get the chance and you have a few hundred bucks to blow, take it in. Do it. It's fabulous. The combination music, dancing and acrobatics could turn anyone into a Beatles fan.
As a matter of fact I know a few people who were indifferent to the Beatles before seeing the show and this turned them around big time.
On Saturday morning we rented a car and drove out the Hoover Dam and this was another fantastic experience. We took the power plant tour and they take you to the bottom of the dam and show you how and where the power is generated for most of Nevada and Southern California.
I won't get into the history of the Hoover Dam came about, but it's a fascinating story of taming the Colorado River which through the early part of the century was a cruel beast.
Saturday night we saw Bette Midler at Caesars and to be honest, this show rivaled the Cirque Du Soleil stuff. I don't know what to say, but in the early 70's both Delyse and I loved Midler and Delyse has always wanted to see her live.
Her show was a combination of song and old style Vegas jokes and dance that offered a bonus for our whole family.
My son Danny went to Mayfield High with a girl named Heather Graham who was a graduate of the dance program. She now dances in Midler's show and we saw her perform on Saturday night.
I should also mention that besides the "extra charges" at New York New York, it's a fabulous hotel. Situated in a good spot it has comfortable rooms and an extremely interesting casino and mall that mimics Manhatten.
We had a great time, and as good as "O" was, and as fabulous as "Love" was, and as fascinating as the Hoover Dam was and as fun as Bette Milder was, the best part of the trip was being together with my family.
It's good to get away with your kids no matter how old they are and yesterday was the supreme capper as Delyse and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary.
Las Vegas - Day One
June 26, 2009 @ 13:45
We got to Vegas without a hitch.
US Airways flight 160 left on time, arrived ten minutes early, our bags quickly came to the carousel and there was cab waiting for us we left the airport.
The weather is hot, although not much hotter than it was when we left Toronto, but the beer is cold and the company is great.
We immediately toured the strip yesterday afternoon checkin' out some of the big hotels while grabbing our show tickets.
Last night we saw "O" by Cirque Du Soleil and although I fully appreciate the technology involved, I've to say it didn't blow me away. After I got the point, I started to shift in my seat and fidget while constantly looking at my watch.
I don't know what to say, I'm not much of a live theatre guy and although isn't live theatre per say, it still didn't reach out and grab me like it has so many others.
Maybe it had something to do with the clowns. There are a couple of clowns in the show, and from what I can gather; they're there to allow for set changes behind the scene.
I hate clowns.
This is not to say that I wouldn't recommend it to people. Just realize that four tickets cost over 700 bucks Canadian, so make sure you're into this kind of stuff.
I expect "Love" to be a lot more entertaining tonight.
Other notes - We had lunch at "The Cheesecake Factory" which is a must-do when you're travelling with my wife in the States. It's a great place with a fabulous menu and you really can't go wrong when you concentrate of their Thai-style appetizers.
We had dinner at a place called Mon Ami Gabi which is at the front of the Paris Hotel across from the Bellagio. You can have dinner while watching the water fountain display in front of the Bellagio. It's pretty cool.
As for the food at Mon Ami Gabi; it was exceptional. Melanie and I had the seared sea scallops while Danny had the trout. Delyse had some thin steak dish that had his crazy good sauce all over it.
One other observation - the skin trade is still quite healthy down here so the streets are full of young Mexicans handing out cards that guarantee that they can have a woman in your room with 20 minutes.
It's bizarre because it's obvious there's a city by-law that says they can't speak to you, so as you walk by they smack the cards together to get your attention and then attempt to hand you one.
It's ridiculous for a couple of reasons. First of all, they all stand in a row and they can plainly see that you refused a card from the person in before them, but they still insist on offering you another one.
It gets to the point where some people just take the cards anyway and then immediately throw them away, which means the sidewalks are littered with cards that prominently display topless women in suggestive poses. It's pathetic really.
The whole concept is bizarre. As I said to Danny, "do these guys think that just because they hand me a card I'm going to all of a sudden decide to have a hooker come to my room?"
I think having a hooker come to your room is something that takes a little more contemplation and preparation. I mean really, if I want a hooker in my room I don't think the revelation is going to be made while walking down the street and having some teenager hand me a card.
If I'm going to have a hooker come to my room I'd ask Delyse first and then probably do it over the phone.
On The Road Again - Las Vegas
June 23, 2009 @ 22:43
Like I've done many times over the past couple of years since I've started this blog, I'm going to take you on the road with me again.
This time to Las Vegas, where me, my wife Delyse and my two kids Melanie and Danny will spend three nights and four days on the strip this weekend where we'll see three shows and maybe take a side trip to the Hoover Dam.
The main reason for making this trip is to see "LOVE" by Cirque du Soleil at the Mirage on Friday night, but we'll also see "O" by Cirque du Soleil on Thursday night at the Bellagio and Bette Midler at Caesars Palace on Saturday night.
Delyse and I have always loved the Beatles and the constant sound of the fab four in our house over the years turned the kids into huge fans as well.
Ask either one of my kids what the greatest song ever written is and chances are very good they'll say "Imagine", because it's been drilled into their heads since they were old enough to think.
However, if they say "In My Life" instead, then I'll cut them some slack.
Delyse and I have taken many trips "without" the kids, but going to Las Vegas to see "LOVE" was something that we always designated as a family trip..... and thanks to a fortunate series of events over the past few weeks it all came together.
And I know what some of you are thinking, Bette Midler?
Sorry, but Delyse and Melanie absolutely adore Bette, and I'm not far behind. Her 1970's album "The Devine Miss M" remains one of my favourites.
So Thursday morning we'll be hopping a US Airways flight out of Pearson to spend a very busy four days in a pretty cool place, but I don't mean cool literally because it supposed to be close to 40 degrees celcius while we're there.
I think me and Dan will have some beers while we're there.
I'll take my nifty little Nikon with me and send back a daily report.
Comments We Like
June 23, 2009 @ 22:07
June 22, 2009 @ 08:32
Not So Stainless
June 22, 2009 @ 08:31