Sunday, February 27, 2011

Is It NOW Time For a Public Inquiry?

At a certain point, an inquiry will be called. As soon as someone looks at what Bill Blair has said, versus what the facts are, people will no longer be able to say no to an inquiry. This has to be done, no matter what the monetary cost. He has lied to a Parliamentary Committee. He lied to the public with the Public Works Protection Act. Sorry, he didn't lie…after he was told that what he said was untrue, he just FAILED TO CORRECT IT. And that is what permeated the entire weekend.

FORGET about the vandalism that resulted in zero charges at the time, zero charges that stuck during all the arrests (over 1100) after, and few in the months since.

FORGET about the 1100 that were mainly wrongly arrested in the aftermath. 709 were arrested for breach of the peace, a legitimate tool for police to use to quell well, a breach of the peace. Here, it was most definitely used immorally, if not illegally. Since there is no official charge, there is no official way to dispute it. If you are not afforded an exit when you are told to leave the area, then, that's entrapment. Literally.

REMEMBER that there are probably tens of thousands more people who DO NOT have a voice in the matter since they were only searched. THOSE people also have had their rights violated. THOSE are the majority of people who have a stake in this. Granted, their plight was much less than those wrongfully arrested. Some may not even realize that their rights were violated that day.

Personally, when I was searched, I was under the impression that I had to submit to the search. This was due to the fact that Bill Blair had talked about the “5m rule”. For the record, I was searched AFTER Blair had been told that his statement was incorrect. He did not make this public until 2 days later. I actually HAD read the PWPA at that point. That is, I had read the LEGISLATION. I was under the impression that I HAD to submit due to the language in the LEGISLATION. Don’t forget, there is also video of the PWPA being used all over the city. The training manual received from the Waterloo Regional Police also includes the PWPA. Unfortunately, like me, it only contained the LEGISLATION. Why is that important? It only spells out the POWERS of the police. NOT where they can use them. ONLY reading the legislation is only doing half the homework. It’s not good enough. They did NOT know where they could use it, hence seeing it used all over the city.

This is why a COMPREHENSIVE Public Inquiry must be called. There is no reason why any of this should have happened. They were improperly prepared after having ample time to know what to expect. They didn’t need traditional police intelligence to know what would happen. They needed YOUTUBE.

Monday, February 21, 2011

No Jail for Cop Who Beat His Kids

I don’t know what pisses me off more about this? That a Police Officer sworn to protect people and uphold the law was caught beating his own children, or that the Judge thinks that depriving the city of his services as a police officer is WORSE than the cop beating his child. That, my friends is the decision the judge made. YES, he beat his kids. BUT…we need him as a cop.

"I find that the refusal of a discharge in this instance would be contrary to the public interest by depriving the community of the skills and talents of (the accused) as a police officer," Renaud ruled.

It should make you sick. Do you think the same thing could be said from depriving a city of a sitting Mayor, or a paramedic, or maybe a firefighter? They’re all important people. Actually…they’re all important JOBS. The people make no difference. It the job that they perform that is the important thing. As a Judge, you do NOT send a Police Officer to jail, you send a CONVICTED CRIMINAL to jail. That is your job. What they do for a profession has no bearing on sentencing. What you do for work is not a mitigating factor, unless you are charged with something while on the job. Though I haven’t read a full job description for a Police Officer, I’m pretty certain “Beating your Children” is not listed.

How is it possible, in this day and age, that a Judge could even consider a sentence this lenient? Was he in the courtroom when it was stated that after he had kicked his daughter, he beat his young son so severely that he couldn’t walk up stairs? Or that he left large welts on his BABY who was still in diapers? If I had been the judge, I would be in jail now for beating this guy in my courtroom.

One thing I find puzzling is how the officer can justify beating his kids by claiming it’s okay in his homeland, while being an officer sworn to uphold the LAWS of this country. I mean, if he can’t correlate the two, he has NO reason to be a cop. None.

On top of ALL of this, what about the children? Are they still living at home with a now released child abuser and a wife who thinks he’s changed but didn’t think that calling the Police might result in criminal charges? AND…we don’t even know who this guy is! ANYONE else would have had his name plastered all over the place, AND would have gone to jail. This is just disgusting on all levels.

I have a feeling this isn’t over yet…

Here's a link to the Ottawa Citizen article: Police officer avoids jail for child abuse

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Yesterday, the veil was lifted.

I’m not sure what it was about yesterday, but it was one for my records. Being ‘new’ to this, I’m not really sure how the mechanisms work, or why it happens for one event and not another, but, it happens, and I’m cool with that. However, yesterday hit me like a ton of bricks. It was NOT what usually happens to me with events like what I’m about to describe later.

The pilot episode of The Listener on CTV featured a line at the end, a line that I’ve taken to heart. For me, it was basically a calling out, something that I SHOULD do, but had not yet done.

All my life I told myself: turn it off, shut it down, make it go away.
Today, I broke that rule. I stopped looking the other way and saw the truth.
This isn’t a curse, it’s a gift.”

I’ve never actually thought of this as a curse. There are times when it certainly feels like it, but never on a constant basis. As well, there are other times when it can become, well, annoying. So, I don’t really feel its curse, nor is it always a gift. For a while, I just ignored it. But, there were a few events that happened a while ago that basically said “I’m here for you, whether you ignore me or not”. So, when the show aired, I decided to stop ignoring it, and started to pay attention.

For a while yesterday it felt like a curse again. This passed after about 30 minutes of pretty intense cleansing and smudging. I was hit so hard I simply could not function properly. This is quite odd for me. I’m usually able to tell when something is going to hit, and am able to ‘lessen the blow’. I still get and retain the information, but it doesn’t invade my emotions. This time, it did. Big time.

The event that happened yesterday could have been tragic. As it stands, it’s only an unfortunate accident. A woman 5 months pregnant was hit along with her 5 year old by a taxi. I don’t normally pick up on these things unless they happen close to me, or to someone I know well; but yesterday was different. I started to hear and feel things before I knew anything about what was going on. Indeed, it may have happened after I started to hear and feel things. I was working, getting ready for next week, when all of a sudden I heard something crash on the floor above me. I moved back to a spot where I could see all of the floors above me. No one was there. The elevator was on my floor, so there wasn’t anyone who could have possibly made that crash. To be sure, I later checked to see if anything had simply fallen over, and the answer to that is also no. Nothing had fallen, no one was there, but there was a crash, and it was quite loud.

Here’s the other part of it. An acquaintance of mine who had not been feeling well that day had decided to go for a walk, after dealing with a DVD problem that delayed her exit by about 30 minutes. I passed on some information about how I do ‘head clearing’ walks. As always, I finished it off with “but watch out for cars!” She came across the accident shortly after, and tweeted it. I passed on the information I had just received from Toronto’s Traffic Services.

I’m assuming she was still close to the area when the massiveness of what happened hit me. I felt death. At least, at the time, that’s what I thought it was. At the time, there was no word on the condition of the two/three people who were hit. But all I felt was a sudden sense of overwhelming fear and death. This is what DOESN’T happen to me. This was all of a sudden, and massive. It hit almost like an earthquake. I could no longer even stand up. I sat, and cried. I don’t do that either. I’ve suffered a lot of loss in my life, and this was way more than all of that. As someone who is a bit empathic, I ‘absorb’ others emotions, but I’ve almost always been able to tell what is ‘me’ from what is ‘them’, and wash the ‘others’ off. This time it was so complex, I couldn’t tell. I mean, I KNEW it wasn’t me, but the feeling was much different.

After reading more about the accident, and the taxi driver, I think I know what it was. I think I picked up on the emotions of the taxi driver and bystanders, and NOT the victims. In the short interview I read, he apparently stayed in his cab and prayed for their safety and also feared for his job, and what he had done. I was possibly picking up on the emotions of everyone, and it combined into a shitstorm that I couldn’t completely understand. I’ve only been ‘allowing’ these things to happen to me for a few years, so I haven’t had nearly the experience of others out there, so my interpretations at this point are still quite ‘immature’. What I felt was very complex, and quite hard to understand. With time...

And…it was a full moon.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Egypt Freed -

Congratulations to the people of Egypt. You won your fight for freedom, and in only 2 weeks! The two rallies of support that I witnessed in Toronto were amazing. The police were great, smiling, and very helpful for the cause. Not once while I was out photographing this did I see any problem with either the protesters, or the general public.

There is one thing that disgusts me though, comments from people who call themselves “real Canadians”. Depending on the subject, I sometimes read/write comments on news stories. I got to about the bottom of page one of comments (about 5 comments in) and was shocked at the level of vitriol against the Egyptian people. I’m not sure if it’s just because they are uninformed, but this seems to be an on going hatred against ANYONE not “Canadian”. This is kind of funny. Funny in a sad sort of way. Funny in a …they don’t know history way. It MAY come as a shock to you, but we are almost ALL of some sort of Canadian of _______________ descent. Unless your family has ties to North America BEFORE 1492, were ALL immigrants!

I really don’t know what else to say. The level of hate is so high that it boggles the mind. “There are no Egyptian - Canadians, only Canadians, or Egyptians” … “Good, now you can go back to Egypt” … “Good, you’re in Canada now, go back to work” …

Where did we go wrong? When did Canada become full of bigots, and people who cannot grasp a simple concept? “Get back to Work” is so overused right now. I was at both protests, but missed the celebration at Yonge-Dundas Square due to work. Maybe a few people did skip work for this, however, I would suspect since both protests were on SATURDAYS, a good portion of those people DID NOT HAVE TO WORK that day. The celebration last night was after 6pm…again, most people not having to work. Personally, I think that the…what maybe 8 hours over the last 3 weeks that people were protesting is a good use of time. You likely weren’t there. I was. It was incredible. It was a show of support from people who were ABLE to flee the regime. Just because they are here does NOT mean that they give up everything from their homelands. Many have family who are STILL there. This week, the families are in a better position. There is still much hardship to continue. It will likely be ‘status quo’ for a while to come. Yes, there won’t be NEARLY as much tyranny, but people will still be impoverished.

I’m proud to be a Canadian. I’m proud of most of what my country does. It’s sometime my fellow Countrymen that I have a problem with. Some of them just don’t seem to understand that there is more to this world that just the little slice that they inhabit. Some don’t seem to understand that it’s not ALL ABOUT WORK. Take time for yourself. Do what YOU love. If it’s helping your family so be it, that after all, is what THE PEOPLE who were there were doing. And they were not all from Egypt either! Why is it that, we APPARENTLY sent our troops to Afghanistan to promote democracy (though it hasn’t REALLY worked) yet the same people who support them, spew such vitriol against people doing the SAME THING, but in a non-violent way. It’s mind-boggling to think that people can actually be such hypocrites, but, I guess that’s where we are now.

Do something good in your life, don’t just spew hatred for everyone NOT like you, people that may not have the same values as you. Find something that you ARE passionate about and pour yourself into it for a bit. Donate to charity, volunteer at a hospital or nursing home, do something productive. Now do yourself a favour - GET BACK TO WORK!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Park to be Named for Fallen Officer

A park in Toronto is going to be renamed for Sgt. Russell who was killed in the line of duty earlier this year.
Personally I don't feel this is right. Nothing against the fallen officer or his family, or the police in this instance, but I just do not believe that he had done enough in his shortened life to actually warrant this. I feel as though for a park to be named after someone, they have to have done something a lot more meaningful to the community than just being a Police Officer and dying in the line of duty. The same thing would be said if this was a Firefighter.

I believe this should be concerning to people. Why? Do innocent victims get the same treatment? No. What about fallen soldiers? No. What about other people who die while on the job? No. Have they given back more to society than a Police Officer, maybe, maybe not.

Cops don't get shot at on a daily basis, soldiers in combat often do. Their job is infinitely harder than an officers job, yet they each do not get a park named after them. Hell, they don't even have a 15,000 strong funeral.

Police should NEVER be thought of as a special group of people, ever. As soon as you do that, they are on a different level than everybody else. That is not true, and is certainly not right. Of course, I'm also not saying that a police officer should NEVER have a park (or anything else) named after them, but not for simply being killed in the line of duty.

Sgt. Russell's death was tragic and sad, many lives will never be the same. I'm not trying to minimize his contributions to the city, but this is not what the city should be doing at this time.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Free Egypt 2

I've really been photographing a lot since the G20 in Toronto last year. Protests, rallies, marches...they all make for great photos since there is so much variety, and so much going on. Last Saturday, I photographed the latest Free Egypt Rally and March in Toronto. Another great, well planned event. I got a chance to actually run through this protest a few times since there weren't many people on the sidewalks, and the police were very friendly this time. I got a chance to talk to a few of them while I was wiating for the protest to come up to us. Again, about photography, same as the week before!

I took this shot before I started to talk to them.

After talking to them, and basically without asking, they posed for a shot.

Of course, I took some other shots as well. Here are some of those:

Thursday, February 3, 2011

UFOs - And Why They Exist

This is something that has been nagging at me for many years now. Why do people claim UFOs do not exist. There is MORE than enough evidence to show that yes, UFO's do in fact exist. IN FACT, there is absolutely NO WAY that they cannot exist.

Why? The answer is very simple. A UFO is an Unidentified Flying Object. That's it. Thats the definition, that is the final answer. A UFO is not an alien spacecraft, or swamp gas, or any of the other explanations given. If a UFO was in fact an alien spacecraft...then it wouldn't be unidentified then would it?

Thanks to many movies, and TV shows, UFO is now synonymous with Flying Saucer. And that's just wrong. It means the words themselves have been corrupted by media and others (on both sides of the fence mind you). I don't know exactly why this is, but it's happened, so we have to deal with it now. Personally, I've been ridiculed for believing in UFOs, until I explain WHAT a UFO is. Most people have the wrong definition in their head. Though many know what UFO stands for, they don't seem to make the connection that if it IS a's really just a label for "I don't know". Again, if it WAS an alien spacecraft, that is an IDENTIFIED object. The SR-71 Blackbird was likely the cause of many UFO claims in the 60's before the US acknowledged it's existence. Now that we have more info, more cases can be put to rest. There is still at least 10% of sightings that go unexplained, be it from lack of information, or unrelieable witnesses.

There is a new term that has been floating around for a while, and people who are serious in this field should 'probably' start using this one. In reality, there isn't much difference between the two. As opposed to UFO, people are starting to use the term UAP. Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon. The only real change is taking the "flying" out. Phenomenon and Object are basically the same thing in this use of the word.

Using UAP instead of UFO would maybe lead to a better field of research in this area, since, your at least not starting off with "Flying" in the title, which is probably what puts most people off. Plus, Aerial Phenomenon is more broad ranging than Flying Object. AP's could be anything, cloud formations, swamp gas...basically, everything that has been explained as a debunked an IDENTIFIED aerial phenomenon. There is still so much we do not know of this world, new things are being discovered daily.

At a certain point, more people will come to realize that we are not alone in the Universe. I don't know what's out there...but I'd sure like to see it some day.

I currently have a UFO/UAP that I'm trying to identify. It's posted below with a link to the other photos in the set. Please see notes with the photos for sequence of events that day. If you have comments or questions, leave them!

(Click for larger)

Here's the link to the rest of the Set on Flickr

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

This Happens Everytime...

Every time the SIU re-opens a case, I look over my shots. Just in case I happen to have something, or something related. Well, the last time, I found a few more. These were from the Friday THROUGH the Canada Day Long Weekend. As a side note, I ALSO saw an Officer without his badge last Saturday at Yonge-Dundas Square. Unfortunately, I did not take a shot. So, without further ado, I announce my new game. Spot the Badgeless Cop. I blew the pictures up, so it's a REALLY easy game.

Win the game, and you get a job with the SIU!!!

Find only a few, and you win a job as a TPS Detective!

*Prizes may not be exactly as written*
*I am aware that there are two pictures of the same officer*

Without further ado...the pictures!

(Click for larger image)