Monday, September 22, 2014
Law enforcement history is rife with documented cases of corrupt and/or bullying cops. From torture to rape to murdering for the mafia, police officers sworn to serve and protect the public have been convicted of some of the most heinous misdeeds in the annals of crimes.
Making an illegal left turn is not one of them.
Imagine, then, the absurdity of a 69 year old civilian crusader chasing a police car down the street, flashing his lights and honking his horn until they pull over for him.
Michael Reilly says he had just seen a Montreal police cruiser make an illegal left turn, so he took it upon himself to hold them to account. His pursuit of equal justice for all didn't turn out so well. Reilly was handed a $162 ticket for being a public nuisance, and effectively told to mind his own business when it comes to police matters.
Like it or not, that's good advice. It doesn't matter how informed, intelligent or righteous you are - you will never win an argument with a cop. If the two officers who ticketed Reilly were making an illegal turn out of sheer laziness (Reilly says they didn't use their flashing lights or turn signal despite telling him they were on a call), they deserve to be called out, but directly challenging their authority is poking the bear with a sharp stick. Ask Brian O'Carroll, who similarly confronted a police officer for double parking outside a St. Laurent depanneur in 1985. Well, actually, you can't ask him. He's dead, but the video speaks for itself.
There's a process for police complaints. It's arduous, monotonous and often to no avail, but it is what it is, as the kids today are wont to say, Taking down the time, date, location and squad car number and reporting it through the proper channels might not have been as emotionally gratifying for Michael Reilly as confronting the officers directly, but at the very least, it would have saved him 162 dollars.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
If there's a more outrageous example of victim-blaming than the case of the dingbat, the ducks and the two dead motorcyclists, it doesn't spring immediately to mind.
Andre Roy and his 16 year old daughter, Jessie, were killed in June of 2010 when their motorcycle slammed into the back of Emma Czonobaj's car, which Czonobaj had parked in the passing lane of Autoroute 30 in Candiac to help a family of ducks cross the road. She'll be sentenced in December after being convicted this past June on two counts of criminal negligence causing death and two counts of dangerous driving causing death. The Crown is asking for a nine month jail term, along with community service and probation.
That there's a significant public outcry against sending Czonobaj to jail is not surprising. She, too, is a victim of sorts, albeit of circumstance and her own stupidity. But there's a dark underbelly to public sentiment in the form of a recurring theme that Roy is to blame for the accident because he was speeding (see comment section here). Evidence suggests his motorcycle was travelling anywhere between 113 and 129 kilometers per hour, which is over the speed limit but not unusual on an open highway like Autoroute 30, and certainly not anywhere near as reckless as parking your car in the passing lane of a major highway.
Of course, it's all about the ducks. If Czonobaj had left her car in the middle of the highway to relieve herself, pick flowers or collect empty beer cans to cash in at the grocery store, she'd be public enemy number one. But have you seen how cute baby ducklings are? Yes, they're living things, but common sense and the food chain dictate that compassion for hapless water fowl doesn't equate to the sanctity of human life.
However honorable her motives, two people died because Emma Czonobaj was criminally negligent. That makes her a criminal. In a just, right-thinking society, criminals who cause the deaths of others go to jail, usually for a lot longer than nine months.
She's getting off easy.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
THE DAILY SPEW
ISLAMIC STATE ROLLS OUT FALL TV SKED
by Spew Middle East entertainment critic Asheed Mahpans
Eastern Caliphate - Emboldened by the western intelligence community's grudgingly positive reviews of the production values in Islamic State internet propaganda videos, IS has announced an escalation of their global media campaign of fear and hatred in the form of a fall prime time television schedule, with a decidedly fundamentalist Muslim slant.
In an attempt to show that they're rampaging homicidal maniacs with a lighter side, ISTV programmers have unveiled a laugh-heavy lineup, anchored by the comedy series How I Met Your Martyr, Curb Your Infidelity, Corner Nerve Gas, Mad About Jews and Men Beheading Badly. Throwback Thursdays will cater to nostalgia buffs with offerings including Allah in the Family, Chico and the Imam, Get Smartbombed, Jake and the Fatwa and Welcome Back, Khadr.
Prime time weeknights kick off with the game shows Wheel of Torture and Let's Mecca Deal, in which infidels and apostates plead for their lives to be spared, to no avail.
Media-savvy ISTV show developers also hope to capitalize on the popular reality genre with shows like Death to America Idol and The Amazing Racist.
Late night and weekend programming will consist primarily of Islamic State-produced movies. According to network sources, Dude, Where's My Car Bomb and the Apostate Only Rings Twice are already in the can for this Sunday's launch.
Ian Rosen, Michael Gerard, Geoffrey Lang and @PollaMallia contributed to this report.
Friday, September 19, 2014
THE DAILY SPEW
Sox Slugger Honors Past Pisstanks
by Spew staff
Kansas City. Mo. - In a stirring tribute to some of baseball's most notorious alcoholics and reprobrates, Chicago White Sox slugger Paul Konerko carried a half-full magnum of champagne around the bases after hitting a home run in Kansas City Wednesday.
"Thish ish for the Mick!" slurred Konerko as he was called out while inadvertently careening around the basepaths in the wrong direction in honor of New York Yankees legend Mickey Mantle.
Mantle's prowess on the diamond was almost as legendary as his prodigious appetite for liquor and whores. To this day, Mantle remains the only player to drink for the cycle, downing a single, double, triple and quadruple boilermaker in the same game. A prototype five tool player and two-way drinker, Mantle was also the master of making diving catches without spilling a drop of the martinis he routinely nursed in center field.
Konerko's blew .283 at a random police spot check outside the Kauffman Stadium after the game, ushering him into the exclusive ranks of players with a minimum of 1000 career plate appearances and a blood alcohol level higher than his career batting average.
"It's a goddam honor," Konerko retched between dry heaves when the Daily Spew reached him at a Kansas City Police Department holding cell Thursday morning.
"I just wish I could remember what happened."
Thursday, September 18, 2014
The Puritans would be proud.
More than three centuries after the Salem witch trials, ill-conceived hysteria is de rigueur once again, with literally millions of judges presiding over an internet kangaroo courtroom, and summarily condemning modern day heretics who don't adhere to a strict code of "progressive" thinking.
Accessibility to a public forum is so readily available to the sanctimonious pissers and moaners that their cultural influence is entirely out of proportion. This week, the Vancouver Whitecaps of Major League Soccer deleted a promotional video showing three female fans cheering at a game after receiving complaints that the video was sexist and misogynist. It didn't matter than the women in the video weren't offended or that most people didn't give it a second thought. The Whitecaps folded like a cheap tent rather than face a potential backlash, on the basis of a handful of complaints.
The Devil is anywhere the self-appointed high priests of holier-than-thou imagine him to be. He is especially present in any discussion of same-sex relationships, where no amount of empathy is protection against being exposed as an agent of the dark side. That kindly little old lady who works at the pharmacy and made the mistake of admitting to the wrong customer that while she bears them no malice, she doesn't understand "the gays"? She's a hateful bigot. We need a social media campaign to boycott the pharmacy until they fire her homophobic ass and put her on the street where she belongs.
We live in a time and place where anyone who condemns Muslim extremists for beheading innocent people runs the risk of being labelled an Islamophobe. Think about that. In the ivory tower of unctuous ignorance, it's less offensive to saw someone's head off than it is to question the religious motivations of murderers (unless the murderers are Christians, in which case Christianity is to blame, although to my knowledge even the most fundamentalist Christian groups haven't been staging mass executions and posting them on You Tube). Anti-Semitism is making a frightening comeback on a global scale because of the crisis in Gaza, but the pro-Palestinean apologists stand by the flimsy premise that you can oppose Israel without hating the Jews. Of course you can, but Jew-hating pre-dates Israel by several blood-soaked centuries.
Like all forms of totalitarianism, enforced groupthink will eventually run its course, and history will hold its most vocal and active proponents in the contempt they so richly deserve. In the meantime, we can at least take solace that the backwards march to puritanism hasn't (yet) resulted in the morally unchaste being burned at the stake, boiled in oil or pressed to death. The holy crusade of political correctness aims only to destroy lives by ruining reputations and careers.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
If star players beating their wives and children doesn't force the National Football League to get serious, this might: the Radisson hotel chain has terminated its relationship with the Minnesota Vikings after the team reinstated All Pro running back Adrian Peterson, who's facing child abuse charges.
Money talks, and in the upper echelons of corporate culture, it's the only voice. The NFL cares about domestic violence only in the context of how it potentially affects the bottom line, and when a major corporate sponsor pulls the pin, the alert status moves to DEFCON 1.
The challenge for league commissioner Roger Goodell and his minions is to come up with a public relations game plan that doesn't come across as disingenuous or contrived. Between routine criminal arrests of players, sexual assault allegations against Dallas owner Jerry Jones, Bountygate in New Orleans and the callous mishandling of the concussion epidemic, there's such a wide swath of damaging PR in the NFL's recent history that changing public perception of the pro football culture is like turning an aircraft carrier around in a phone booth. It doesn't help when a player of the stature of New England quarterback Tom Brady refuses to get involved in the process, saying social activism isn't what he signed up for.
Sadly, the NFL's best hope is fan apathy - not apathy about football itself, but about the peripheral scandals that have damaged the league's image. As long as television ratings remain high, fans continue to buy tickets and merchandise, and profits don't suffer, the league's corporate partners will ride the gravy train to hell and back, and principled stands like Radisson's will be the exception rather than the rule.
Update: At least eight NFL advertising partners have now acted in the wake of the Adrian Peterson/Ray Rice domestic violence incidents. Drug maker Mylan has cancelled an endorsement deal with Peterson, Nike is pulling Peterson jerseys from select outlets, and Anaheuser Busch, McDonald's, Visa, Campbell Soup and Cover Girl have all issued statements putting the NFL on watch. Of the eight, only Radisson and Mylan are taking a credible moral stand, and their action is at the local level. Without putting their money where their mouth is, Anheuser Busch, McDonald's, Visa, Campbell Soup and Cover Girl are offering nothing more than cynical, self-serving corporate platitudes, while Nike's half measures and long history of profiting off Third World child labor and substandard working conditions preclude it from the moral high ground.
Monday, September 15, 2014
There's got to be something that we don't know about P.K. Subban - something so damning that it's guarded with a commitment to secrecy and security that makes Area 51 look like a backyard tree fort. Why else would the Canadiens be so consistently loathe to acknowledge and reward their first legitimate (non-goaltender) superstar since Guy Lafleur?
The decision to pass over Subban for the vacant captaincy and make him one of four alternates is only the latest inexplicable slight. Despite a Norris Trophy in 2013 and a Conn Smythe-calibre performance in last spring's run to the Stanley Cup semifinals, the Canadiens only grudgingly and belatedly agreed to pay Subban market value in his last two contract negotiations. Coach Michel Therrien's thinly-disguised disdain for Subban has been a regular feature over the first two seasons of Therrien's second coming, whether expressed verbally or through suspect management of Subban's ice time. Now, the Canadiens braintrust is not only making Subban audition for the captaincy, but they've effectively pitted him against Max Pacioretty in a potentially unhealthy competition that could split the dressing room.
Through it all, Subban has stuck invariably to the high road, his personal and professional maturity establishing him as the leading brand ambassador for the CH on and off the ice. He is the prototype captain in every way.
Clearly, there's a graveyard full of skeletons in P.K. Subban's closet. I can't think of any other possible reason the Canadiens would be so reluctant to make their best and most popular player the undisputed face of the franchise.