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Opinion

Holy crap! I have opinions! Lots and lots of opinions! You want to read my opinions NOW!

mugabe is finally dead!

Epitomising the adage, “Only the good die young,” robert mugabe has finally kicked off at 95 … in a foreign hospital, of course, since he had almost completely destroyed the medical system (along with just about everything else) in his own country. It’s nauseating to read some of the crap about him now, after being an international pariah for the better part of three decades and a domestic terrorist for many years longer than that … both before and after independence in 1980. Yes, I can see how some people benefited from his existence for a relatively short period of his life, but he was a walking, talking piece of shit. I hope he and joshua nkomo are burning fiercely in hell at this moment.

It’s a bit of an anticlimax though, after waiting all this time. And nothing will improve on the ground for ordinary Zimbabweans, as the country is still in the iron grip of a dictatorship run by mugabe’s crony and protégé, Mnangagwa. The country desperately needs younger leadership not mired in the “struggle” and old mentalities of the last century. Zimbabwe has existed for almost three times as long as Rhodesia existed, for fuck’s sake! It has the same natural wealth with which Rhodesia was blessed, and newer technology to exploit that wealth, and yet the country became the basket case of the region instead of the breadbasket of Africa it once was!

It’s time to move on.

Jody Wilson-Raybould for prime minister of Canada!

Jody Wilson-Raybould,

Jody Wilson-Raybould

I sent the following email to Jody Wilson-Raybould on Wednesday after her testimony to the justice committee:

Subject: Commendation on your testimony
Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2019 22:16:58 -0800

Dear Mrs. Wilson-Raybould:

For the first time in my life, today I watched live proceedings from Parliament. I thought I’d switch off after your opening statement and get on with my day, but six hours later I was still riveted to the CBC video feed and then TV news broadcasts.

In the forty years since I came to Canada at the age of twelve I have never been so impressed at the integrity shown by a politician as I was today. Well done. And except for the repetitiveness of the lines of questioning, I was mostly (but not completely) impressed with the civility of the discourse and our parliamentary system.

When will Canadians have the opportunity to vote for a party with you at the helm? And where can I get my “JWR for PM” bumper sticker?

Craig

It’s ironic that Mr. Feminist himself doesn’t realise that “no means no“. The “grinning legatee” clearly has something to hide, even judging only by his own behaviour. I’m not a fan of the Conservative party, and Andrew Scheer in particular, but I do agree with his call for Trudeau’s resignation. Never thought he’d be a one-term wonder, but I’m hopeful now. Hypocrisy and arrogance are vile.

What is “white fragility”?

I posted the following as a comment on the “What is ‘white fragility’?” article on the Oxford Dictionaries blog, but that was a week or so ago and the moderators have not approved it, so I’ll post it here instead.


TL;DR: You’re damned it you do and damned if you don’t.

The problem with inventing a pejorative, racist phrase like “white fragility” and then defining it as any possible reaction a white person can have to being presented with information that casts his or her race in a negative light in a discussion he or she knows she or he cannot win — including silence and the simple act of “leaving” or not participating in the discussion — is that it’s a blatant attempt at actively marginalising a definable group in a “damned if you do and damned it you don’t” way. So then, you might ask, what’s the point of inventing the phrase and defining it? It’s to be “reverse” racist! So yeah, since I’m white my reaction is yet another “textbook example” of my “white fragility” because any reaction, including clicking the back button and choosing not to engage, is (by definition) “white fragility”! There’s nowhere to hide in this maddening circular argument in which there is no possible way for a white person to save face or even ameliorate the position presented, and it’s designed to pre-emptively cut the legs out from any possible position a white person might take by allowing every non-white person to dismiss their position, no matter how valid, as just another “textbook example” of “white fragility”.

In the “textbook example” given, Captain Scott Arndt is simply ignorant of the statistics and a denier of (I can only assume) valid statistics collected using valid scientific methods. That just makes him an idiot, and idiots come in all hues. He then responded in a typically American fashion, which is to whine and file a complaint over something that could have been resolved in minutes if more mature and intelligent people were involved, and the American media responded in typically American fashion by making a mountain out of a molehill. If the statistics he couldn’t stomach only involved transgender people and not “transgender people (of color)” (one wonders why the author bracketed those words, when they aren’t bracketed anywhere in the media release [not “scholarly data”] to which she links) then this whole “textbook example” of “white fragility” would fall apart! It is not, in fact, a “textbook example” of “white fragility”; it’s a “textbook example” of two police officers who have poor interpersonal skills (and probably other undocumented issues between them) and as much an example of “cisgender fragility” as it is “white fragility”! But the latter doesn’t conveniently feed into the author’s racist narrative.

And let’s not even get into how it should be “politically correct” for people to issue “trigger warnings” to their fragile, white friends to whom they might be about to say something that will trigger “white fragility”! On the one hand political correctness demands that we be super-sensitive to others’ feelings, and on the other just blatantly and gleefully tramples all over my feelings of “white fragility”! Oh the irony!

Zimbabwe orgasms: Independence 5.0

"The Herald" front page, 22 November 2017.

“The Herald” front page, 22 November 2017

Although not in quite the same morbid manner as described in The last days of robert mugabe (which is actually based on an interview with Emmerson Mnangagwa last year), his portrait has indeed finally “fallen off the wall” in Zimbabwe! The country has come to its senses, and Zimbabweans collectively have finally grown a pair, even if the developments do not guarantee that there will be any change in the way that ZANU-PF will continue governing the country. More cojones may still be needed by the populace in the short term, not to mention patience.

The title of this brief, celebratory post makes two references: first, to the release today of emotion that has been pent up in Zim for 37 years. The scenes on the streets of Harare and Bulawayo (and I’m sure many other places in the country) were nothing short of orgasmic. Having left Rhodesia 38 years ago, I was surprised at my own emotional reaction to the news.

Secondly, some are referring to this as a new independence day, so let’s take stock of how many Zimbabwe (and Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia before it) has had:

  • 1.0 (1923): Southern Rhodesia attains “responsible government”.
  • 2.0 (1963): Southern Rhodesia attains independence from the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.
  • 3.0 (1965): The Unilateral Declaration of Independence from the United Kingdom made by Ian Smith.
  • 4.0 (1980): In an act of theatre, a bureaucrat named Soames shows up from the UK and ushers Rhodesia (via Zimbabwe Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia once again) to the latest version of independence as Zimbabwe.
  • 5.0 (2017): Within days (ironically) of the 52nd anniversary of Independence 3.0, Zimbabwe casts off robert mugabe and a “#NewEra” is declared, many referring to it as a new “Independence Day”.

I shall optimistically keep my fingers crossed for Zim.


Updated, 24 November 2017: Pointed out that the article linked to is actually based on an interview with Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Feedback sent to Staples

Staples makes my head square and my face red! Art by SumiTomohiko: https://openclipart.org/user-detail/SumiTomohiko

Staples makes my head square and my face red!

I’ve been using Staples more than usual for about the last year for various reasons, and one of the things I’ve been doing is making signs for a noticeboard. For this I generally want something printed in black ink on coloured paper; nothing fancy, but not plain, white paper. However, unsurprisingly (I suppose) Staples doesn’t offer coloured paper on their self-service machines, so of course I go to the desk … for which I do expect to pay a bit more, considering I’m dealing with a paid employee.

However, what I don’t expect is a bureaucratic nightmare! Below is what I’ve just submitted to their survey system, although (to rub salt into the wound) I don’t qualify for their freebie draw because my order total was less than $20. (However, I had to scan the fine print to catch that.)

In order to get three copies on coloured paper your employee had to do four pages of paperwork that took more time than it would have taken to do the job. I realise you can’t have as many employees as you have customers, but the bureaucracy involved in your typical “quick” job would make a government bureaucrat blush with envy.

On top of that my “express” job couldn’t be done right away, and I was told it would take an hour and a half! However, within five minutes of my arriving back home a few minutes later I got a call saying my job was ready. If I had known it would only take that long I’d have returned after doing my other errand in the area.

And further, your employee told me that the express charge was an additional 30%, but when I showed up to collect my order it turned out the express charge was 2825% — yes, two thousand eight hundred and twenty-five per cent — of the base charge!

This is not my first experience like this. It’s always like this with simple orders, but I’ve had enough and decided it’s about time I said something.

SIMPLY PUT, you need a better way of dealing with orders that take less time than it takes to do the paperwork. This is just bloody stupid.

Bloody ridiculous indeed! I did time the process on a previous occasion and I think it literally took two minutes — 120 seconds — from the time the employee started talking to me to the time I walked away with my paid-for copies. But if they screw around with four pages(!) of paperwork it of course takes much longer, and so it’s no wonder they can’t do small jobs right away and have to charge an “express” fee. I went into Staples late one evening a few months ago, interrupted the kid checking her social media, and still had to pay an “express” fee! (I believe that was the occasion on which I timed the whole process.)

Staples, train your employees to differentiate between small jobs that can be done in a matter of seconds and stuff that will actually take longer to do than it takes to do the paperwork. It’s not that hard. People with small, quick jobs like me will be happy to be out of your hair in minutes, and the guy over there waiting for his thousand copies won’t have any reason to complain if the employee is off at another machine doing my three copies while his are still printing.

The last days of robert mugabe

Interesting article by Martin Fletcher, yet another about the “coming cataclysm” that will happen when mugabe’s “portrait falls off the wall” — a rather amusing euphemism I’ve just learnt that Zimbabweans use to refer to mugabe’s oft-predicted “imminent” death.

I’m in no position these days to agree or disagree with much of what he predicts, although it’s certainly interesting. As he points out, muggers is only 93, while his mother lived “beyond 100” so we could be in for another decade of his misrule, murder and mayhem, not to mention ongoing predictions of his death. If only there was someone in Zimbabwe with a complete set of testicles.

Anyway, being the picky bastard that I am I feel it’s my job to point out contradictions. Evoking images of Dresden, Fletcher inaccurately states that by 1980 Rhodesia “had been destroyed by 15 years of war and sanctions”, and then later in the same article states, “[m]ugabe inherited a country that, for all its faults, was blessed with fine infrastructure [and] functioning institutions …. Today it is a failed state in all but name”. When I boarded a plane leaving Salisbury on 6 June 1979, the country (Zimbabwe Rhodesia) I left behind was in no way “destroyed”. Yes, the West and the Communist World had banded together to destroy any hope of Rhodesia managing its own affairs and an orderly transition to majority rule, but my airliner did not overfly the barren, bombed out, smoking wasteland evoked by Fletcher’s first statement.

He also states that in 1980 mugabe “built schools and hospitals for black Zimbabweans and encouraged agriculture.” I have to laugh at that last part, as if people interested in self-preservation need to be “encouraged” by a dictator to grow food to feed themselves. But it is ironic that Rhodesia’s detractors in one breath accuse us of apartheid and building separate educational and medical facilities for blacks and whites, are then accuse us in the next breath of not building schools and hospitals for black people at all! Such is the nature of hyperbole.

After pointing out what fine infrastructure and institutions mugabe inherited, Fletcher goes on to give a decent — but of course woefully incomplete — summary of how mugabe has fucked Zimbabwe:

“Today it is a failed state in all but name: a nation of hawkers, foragers and scavengers. A quarter of the population has left; in other words, more Zimbabweans now work overseas than at home. The average monthly household income is $62. Life expectancy is 55 years, one of the lowest in the world. Four million of Zimbabwe’s 14 million people [30%] survive on food aid, and a quarter of its children are stunted by malnutrition.

“The country’s hospitals can no longer afford painkillers for major operations. Its embassies cannot pay their rent and utility bills. Its national airline can no longer fly to Heathrow, because of outstanding debts. It sells its elephants, giraffes and other wildlife to China. Beyond its urban centres, the country has reverted from tractors to ox-drawn ploughs, light bulbs to candles, the wheel to foot, cash to barter.

“It is also corrupt from top to bottom, ranking 150th out of 168 in Transparency International’s global corruption index. By [m]ugabe’s own admission, its leaders have siphoned $15bn from the Marange diamond fields in the east since 2008 — four times Zimbabwe’s annual budget. Several times I was stopped at police checkpoints whose purpose was not to enforce law and order but to fleece motorists. I was fined once for not having honeycomb reflectors on the front of my rental car, and a second time for not coming to a complete stop at a junction. ‘The whole system is infested with leeches sucking the remaining blood from the rotten corpse of Zimbabwe,’ a white businessman told me.”

And the West wonders why it is being inundated by refugees from Africa! I’d want to leave too. But Zimbabweans got what they wanted when they voted mugabe into power in 1980 … thirty-seven years ago! Any arriving these days on the coasts of Italy and Greece should be sent back to fix the mess that they got themselves into, not take up residence in a country ruled by the people they kicked out of theirs! And if you think it’s a mess now, wait until mugabe finally kicks off. It won’t just be a “cataclysm”; it will be a bloodbath.

“Shedule” versus “Skedule”

Having been challenged about this yet again recently and still not having much more to offer than the stunning revelation than that the English language is full of exceptions to rules — because, really, it’s not a surprise or a big deal to me that different people in or from different parts of the world pronounce things differently — I decided to do some research.

The tired old comparison is to the word “school”. “Why don’t you pronounce it ‘shool’?” goes the typical witty refrain. Really? That’s your best argument for why I’m supposedly pronouncing the word “schedule” incorrectly? Why are there two pronunciations and three meanings of the word “desert”? Why ask me? Who died and left me in charge of making the rules of the English language and ensuring that every word conforms without exception?!

Sometimes it amuses me the number of Canadians who simply don’t realise the extent to which they are influenced by American English, even when the closest thing we have to an official guide north of the border — the Gage Canadian Dictionary — goes against American wisdom and sides with British norms. It’s a sad result of our proximity to the States, Hollywood, and American dominance in certain other areas — such as the default settings for spellcheckers in software created by American companies, not the least of which is Microsoft. (Although, maddeningly, my copy of Mozilla Firefox keeps reverting to United States English unbidden!) But distance does not save even the British themselves — and others like South African, Indian and south Pacific speakers of English — from the grubby hands of “Pax Americana”.

You may or may not be aware that the English language contains a vast number of loanwords. According to a couple of impeccable sources (one an answer on the collaborative English Language & Usage “Stack Exchange” addressing a bizarre question about class in the UK, and the other a British blogger living in the US), the British “shed” pronunciation is influenced by either French or German, while the American “sked” pronunciation is influenced by the Greek origin of the word. A slightly more impeccable source is the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, which lists both pronunciations with a preference for “shedule”, and indicates that the word comes to us from Greek via Latin and French. (No mention of German.) There you have it; foreign influences in our pristine, flawless, rule-bound English language! Who would have thunk it?! (Don’t tell the morons responsible for this nonsense!)

OK, now that you’ve taken in the enormity of the difficulties involved in adopting foreign words into “our” language, learn to accept that there are understandable regional differences in spelling and pronunciation. My background means that I often pronounce and spell words the British way and pepper my speech with Afrikaans loanwords, but put me in the company of people who are from the places where I grew up and they’ll tell me that I have an “American” accent and use “weird” terminology. I can’t win. And actually, I like that. I’m not one who wants to be like the rest of the crowd. I’m almost tempted to use “skedule” in their company!

Speaking of which, in my dim and distant past when I briefly worked towards a career in the aviation industry, I did actually occasionally refer to a “sked”, aviation argot (another loanword pronounced as the original French) for a “scheduled flight”. Referring to one as a “shed” would have just been weird.

Anyway, getting back to the aforementioned Gage Canadian Dictionary, it offers both “skedule” and “shedule” as correct pronunciations of the word, in that order. And in case you’re so unimaginative that “school” is the only comparable word that you can come up with, my Concise Oxford Dictionary lists 86 words that start with “sch”. Some of those are compound words and phrases, but here are a few that are unquestionably pronounced using “sh”: schist, schlep, schlock, schlub, schlump, schmaltz, schmear, schmo, schmooze, schmuck, schnapps (yum!), schnauzer (woof!), schorl and schuss.

Now, how did you learn to pronounce those in shool?

Charlie Hebdo se souvenait

"Charia Hebdo" cover defaced with a "Keep Calm and Carry On" pencil.

Charia Hebdo: Keep Calm and Carry On

It’s one year on (from 7 January 2015), and I’m remembering the attack on the offices of, and the cold-blooded murder of members of the staff at, Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Also of note is the concurrent murder of the protection officers that were detailed to protect certain Charlie Hebdo staff members after a previous terror attack in 2011 and two bystanders, as well as others who were murdered — another police officer and shoppers at a grocery store in Porte de Vincennes (a suburb of Paris) — in associated attacks in the days following.

I read somewhere recently that Charlie Hebdo was on the verge of closing down when the attacks happened, and that they have experienced a renaissance since. Perhaps that is the point behind their rather graphic tank cartoon, of which I heartily approve. If you believe in a higher power — Allah, God, whatever — I would call the recovery divine intervention. Take note: Your god does not approve of you killing people, certainly not in his name, and he’s not so fucking vain and insecure as to have issues with being drawn.

Vive la presse libre!

Android issues

Google+ has stopped, which is very unfortunate.

Google+ has crashed, burned and died, which is terribly unfortunate

As I’ve alluded to before, my disappointment with the Android operating system created by Google is mighty. However, it reached a new low last week.

Suddenly I kept being presented with “Unfortunately, Google+ has stopped” errors that prevented me from doing anything until I tapped either “Report” or “OK”. I tapped “OK” the first few times, but then I thought, “Well, maybe I should be a good user and report this problem.” At first my reports were polite, but after being presented with this error every few seconds, sometimes one on top of the other while I was still trying to report the previous instance, I started to use four-letter words, usually two per report. Then I just gave up, and hit a few random letters before sending my report. I figured that after a few dozen reports something might be done. I am so naive!

Anyway, after a day or two of not being able to do anything on my tablet without constant interruption by the Google Plus app apparently crashing, I decided to take matters into my own hands. First of all, I don’t use Google Plus in any shape or form, but (of course) it’s a “system app” that you are forced to keep, so I rolled back the updates and disabled it. Then I went and disabled every single Google app I could identify except the six that I’m actually using:

  • Chrome,
  • Gmail,
  • Google Play service,
  • Google Play Store,
  • (Google) Maps, and
  • Youtube.

I have no doubt that there are more Google services on my tablet “phoning home” at every opportunity, but I probably can’t do much about those. As for the six that are left, short of “rooting” my device I probably can’t operate without the two “Play” apps, Gmail is on my list of things that I won’t need in the near future (and will disable) as I work diligently to stop using all Google services (I’ll be writing about that when I have some time), Chrome I’m keeping for now as I think it’s a good idea to have a second web browser on any machine (even if one of them is Google crap), Google Maps I will replace if or when I find something as good (in the meantime I’m fine using it with location services turned off), and Youtube … well, since it’s the world’s video sharing service, I won’t be disabling that any time soon, I suppose.

Speaking of rooting, I’m now way more inclined to do that than I was a couple of years ago when I bought this tablet. The only issue is that I don’t have the time to spend managing all of my computing resources. Technology was supposed to save us time, allowing us to frolic in fields of green with our friends and families while the computers did all the work. Instead we’re chained to them like slaves. How bloody ironic! Anyway, my tablet doesn’t seem to be on a list of supported devices for which there are instructions and software for rooting. Further digging reveals that I could probably work on it but … here we are back at the time excuse in this circular argument.

But here’s some further irony in this story: Once I had disabled all of the Google apps I could get my hands on, suddenly I could multitask again! Well, as well as you can on a tablet, I suppose. Where once I couldn’t switch to another app without it completely reloading from scratch, now I can get back to where I was mid-session with some of them. Firefox is the exception, which annoyingly reloads tabs from scratch every single time they’re re-selected.


Update, 29 November 2015: Having got on a roll and removed or (if it’s a “system app”) disabled any app that I’m not using, I was left with Samsung WatchON, which (after rolling back all of the updates) I can neither disable nor remove nor even stop. And yet, according to its Wikipedia article (as much research as I am willing to waste my time with), “App is discontinued on December 31, 2014 worldwide except US and Korea, and June 15, 2015 in those remaining two countries.” (The wording of that is not the only problem with the Wikipedia article.) When I try to run the app I’m told that it won’t run because the time on my device is wrong. Well, actually Samsung, it’s not. And so, having rolled back all of the updates so that I could disable this “system (cr)app”, I’m now running an out-of-date and possibly vulnerable app that I can neither stop, disable nor remove, and I keep being prompted to update it. Well, I guess I’d better update it then to stop the annoyance! Now when I try to run it I get an error message about not being able “to retrieve data from the server.” It helpfully suggest that I “Try again later. (1) [sic]

Thanks, Samsung, you useless bastards.

Killer Cops: Surrey RCMP

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015

As I write this — 01:30 on Friday 24 July — a Surrey RCMP vehicle is sitting outside my house with its red-and-blue lights flashing. The street is quiet now, but earlier it looked like they were having someone’s vehicle taken away on a flat-bed tow truck, “they” being the occupants of at least three police cars.

Fresh in my mind is the shooting and killing of Hudson Daryl Willis Brooks — virtually a neighbour to me, I would assume, the same age as (and a student of the same university attended by) a friend of mine — on 18 July 2015, only six days ago and only six blocks from my home, right outside the RCMP office there. The media is, strangely, quite quiet on this story. I don’t know why this is.

I wasn’t there the night (about this time of the day) Hudson was shot and killed by members of the Surrey RCMP. But as someone who watches this play out in the news far too often and who sees the police on the streets of my community, I come to my own conclusions.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015: “In God’s Name WHY??? RCMP.”

We’re all familiar with the “cop type”, be they male or female: the puffed out chest, accentuated by the bullet-proof vests they feel the need to wear to protect themselves from people who don’t like cops … hard to imagine why. Whether they’re swaggering into a doughnut shop or into the middle of a “situation”, their swagger is accentuated by their utility belt bristling and jingling with equipment, and the speed with which they implement their unofficial “comply or die” policy. (Said equipment includes not just their side arm, taser, handcuffs, etc., but also all of the other stuff that gets marketed to cops by various businesses that thrive off of their desire to be kitted out with all the latest cool shit: two-way radios, flashlights that double as a weapon to beat someone down, and the ever-present cool sunglasses that mean they don’t have to make eye contact with whomever they’re beating or shooting or intimidating.) And let’s not ignore the trend in recent years to adopt American-style black-based colour schemes in uniforms and car paint jobs (with the notable exception of the RCMP, I should note); clearly nobody cared to conduct anything like a poll or a focus group among ordinary citizens, who find the adoption of such a colour to be vaguely intimidating. But, of course, the cops know this, and anything that makes them more intimidating is perfectly fine with them.

Now, I’m not suggesting the cops don’t need equipment at hand or that they shouldn’t wear bullet-proof vests, but the biggest thing that comes strutting down the street, generally speaking, is not the cop, his or her utility belt or vest, or the black race cars they think they’re driving, but their inflated fucking egos! This is what is demonstrated just about every single time you see a video of a cop behaving badly these days, whether beating an individual or trying to intimidate the crowd that gathers that, one of these days, is going to lynch a cop. This is what was on display the night that Robert Dziekanski was killed by the police at Vancouver International Airport, when “comply or die” was implemented within — what? — about 26 seconds of arrival by the four massive, 747 Jumbo-sized egos that swaggered into the airport terminal and unnecessarily vaulted over barriers they could have walked around. This was what was on display by the Vancouver Police Department when they shot and killed a mentally-challenged guy swinging what some witnesses described as a “stick”. And although it seems that there were no independent witnesses to the lonely death of Hudson Brooks that night, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that he died within seconds of the cops swaggering onto the scene with their “comply or die” attitude.

No fucking doubt in my mind.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015

And just like the character assassination the RCMP implemented in the media against Robert Dziekanski in 2007, it was quickly revealed that one of the cops was shot. Days later it was revealed that no weapons other than cop weapons were found at the scene, so Hudson wasn’t armed, it would seem. Hmm, another unarmed and probably innocent citizen — apparently calling out for help, just like Dziekanski was — gunned down by police, this time in the dead of the night (pun not intended) with nobody around to see. What lies will the cops tell about that night? No doubt they’ll say that Hudson went for a gun, or that he was resisting arrest and so had to suffer the consequences of the overarching “comply or die” directive. What kind of testosterone-laden morons (and I use that term to apply equally to all genders of the RCMP and other police forces) are we hiring these days?

Speaking of which, some of the employers of these cops — that would be the tax-paying public — expressed their disgust at their employees by spray-painting graffiti on and around the police station a couple of days later. Of course, the police are actively investigating that heinous crime, something far more serious than the killing of citizens who are more likely in need of help than a bullet.

Anyway, back to the cop who was parked in the road outside my house for anywhere between thirty and sixty minutes in a no-stopping zone this morning. Sure, it’s the middle of the night, there is another lane for traffic to go around, and traffic wasn’t exactly backing up behind him (or her). With the other cops having left the scene it looked to me like this cop was doing paperwork in his car, his bright lights flashing into the windows of all of the surrounding houses where people are trying to sleep. He certainly didn’t seem to be doing any sort of investigative work on the road itself — there was no accident — and he could easily have pulled into the side street (the corner of which he was also dangerously partially blocking) or the shopping centre across the street and turned off his flashing lights. But he didn’t.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015.

Hudson Brooks memorial, Surrey, BC, 7 August 2015

There wasn’t any actual swaggering going on, but quite clearly this cop thinks he is more goddamned important than anyone else, and it doesn’t matter to him that he is projecting his massive ego into the houses around him and blocking half the street with it. It’s this kind of attitude that he (or she) and his ilk drag into any interaction with the general public, and which results in tasers or guns being quickly drawn and used. If that was me sitting in my car blocking half the street, perhaps I’d have been on the wrong end of a Surrey RCMP member’s loaded gun tonight.