Friday, September 30, 2016

The Rain from Spain falls Mainly in Ukraine

It's getting wet again in Ukraine, the wet season that used to precede the mud season, and if the wreckage and remains of MH17, still ungathered in the fields around Hrabove,  are getting another washing, the fate of the jet has received another, unsurprising, laundering too.

The JIP announced its long awaited (since last year) finger-pointing report on not only the latest clarification of 'what happened', but the indication of  'who dunnit'.

What happened?  Nothing new there: "pro-Russian", not anti-Kyiv,  forces got a Buk system from Russia - drove it all around Donetsk and Lugansk regions for a day and, for want of something better to do with it, parked it in an obscure corner of east central Donetsk, and used one of the four missiles they had,  to down a Malaysian Airliner. Then they drove it back, to the flat bed truck they had used to drive it into the regions, packed it up without any attempts to hide the cargo and drove it around the two regions again, through a 'highly fluid battle zone' ( a government armored thrust the day after the crash, cut across the Buk's withdrawal route twice),  perilously close to Government "fortifications of dignity" at Debaltsevo and east to Lugansk, where, apparently it went 'poof'.  Or unobserved,  back into Russia.

One Russian response:

'Who dunnit'?  Aside from Putin, the 'Seps on the radio and telephone', and members of a Russian rocket regiment - 100 souls in all, who had something to do with the BUk, the truck, the escorts, command structure or all of the preceding,

And how do we know all this?  Well although there really isn't much proof by way of actual witnesses, or physical evidence of anything but the crashed plane, but great minds - or at last 6 of them -  have  mined the repositories of knowledge - Facebook and YouTube.  They found and connected a plethora of 'dots'.  Not the JIT - they've done little but interview experts and have free lunches - but the 'experts' they have interviewed have made all things clear. Or clear enough to make a cartoon movie to help us all 'get it'.

So who were the experts?  Well no Russians were needed. The info came from - the Ukrainians, who if they weren't possibly suspected, would have been the prime investigators. The Dutch were the lead, on-the-ground investigators, retrieving remains and  wreckage,  dealing with the dead and reconstructing the downed aircraft.  The EU waded-in, and as usual so did the Americans.  The Brits deciphered the flight recorders.  And most of the saga was unearthed through the army of a half-dozen "independent investigative journalists" associated with a website called Bellingcat and its whiz-bang unemployed blogger-proprietor. The Malaysians, who actually got to the site first - more than a week before anybody official appeared - got the bums' rush.  But at least now they're being assured that given some more time - 3 short years - and a little help from concerned citizens in Russia, they be able to sue Putin at the Hague, maybe.

Within an hour of the jet hitting the Ground Ukrainian sources were accusing their 'russian'  separatists of downing the aircraft, claiming to have phone intercepts of at least two rebel leaders discussing the crash and celebrating having downed another Ukrainian aircraft. Surprising insofar as either the Ukrainians were only starting to tap into the dissident area's 'national' cell phone grid, or that the separatists hadn't tweaked to the fact that their using a cell phone was probably going to be overheard in the State Security Office, too.   This is a unique eclat compared to the rest of Ukraine's ATO.  Even more so because the Seps weren't talking about the other military matters, (or stopped), and  that showed up in nasty military 'surprises' all over the east and Saur Moglia within three weeks,  and Ilovaisk, within a month of MH17. On those things the Seps were maintaining telephone silence?

Maybe MH 17 cost Kyiv it's 'victory'. After it the Seps dummied-up and the Ukrainian army of liberation was mauled in a series of 'sneak attacks'?

That notion of the Seps doing it and Russia being responsible became the 'lingua fanca' of anybody sensible - for it was as understandable an act for Russia,  as was annexing Crimea and invading the Donbass.  Putin was just being the total ass that President Obama was telling the world he was. He was on the 'outs' with goodness and civilization and downing a planeload of tourists would prove that to everybody.  Question was 'how sick is Putin?' The answer comes back, he's not.  For it wasn't a falling out of over Ukraine that iced Putin, it was a veto at the UN - of another of Obama's increasing number of humanitarian interventions, this time about Syria.  Ukraine 'just happened' and Putin wasn't cheering the US on to another victory.  In the absence of evidence forcing a change, the chorus just go better repeating the refrain. Putin did it.

In so many words - although the JIT was careful to say they weren't accusing Russia of actually ordering the shoot down, or nodding approval at the target acquisition radar, saying they gave the Seps a missile and the Seps used that missile  to do it,  is much like the same thing. Add to that, that at least 80 of the dirty rotten suspects are members of the Russian Armed Forces and you have a slam-dunk  closed case, chapter and verse.   Hell,  you could make an animated short subject film about it all. And they did.

But the greatest part of the saga, and the detail of the cinematographic reconstruction is straight from the on-line archives of Bellingcat.

Bellingcat is a web site registered in great Britain started by a 30-something blogger  called Elliot Higgins. In 2012,  Higgins - unemployed and playing stay at home Daddy to his daughter  - started blogging about the developing War in Syria.  He developed an 'expertise' identifying weapons depicted in YouTube postings, providing what he called 'proof' of Syrian government's use of 'barrel bomb's, cluster munitions and poison gas. Using a synthesis of Google Earth/Google Maps to fact-check posts made on Facebook and other social media, some of his 'revelations' involved locating the sites of ISIS beheading western and other hostages and identifying the situations around other outrages.  When the Ukrainian incident began Higgins became interested in that as well - looking for evidence of Russian involvement in the Donbass. After MH 17 he formed Bellingcat with 6 assistants to investigate the downing of that aircraft. He is credited with 'debunking' satellite imagery presented by the Russians , claiming it had been 'photoshopped'. His work has been largely accepted by investigators because they have very little of their own.

Bellingcat's singular failing - subjectivity

While Bellingcat's work comes off as  professional and decisive, it remains open to a number of challenges. First is the notion that anything can be taken from internet sources without being adapted in some way, or that things posted on the internet are pristine or uncorrupted. It is increasingly evident, that, aside,  from the obvious sensitive information, some can be 'staged' including manipulation of attached, metadata identification. One  of these, for instance, involves video footage of the Buk missile system being transported through eastern Donbass on the day of the aircraft downing. The videographer who filmed that claims he made the video 12 days before the incident. Something that doesn't jibe at all with the Bellingcat narrative presented by the JIT.   Bellingcat's reaction to this is that he's wrong and they're right - the video was shot according to their 'investigations'.

One of the other gaps in Bellingcat's narrative is in relation to the transport truck, which originated in Donetsk   but was apparently driven to Russia to fetch the Buk, and then driven all around both Donetsk and Lugansk regions, including those two cities, after being 'stolen' by separatist forces. After it reaches Lugansk, on the way back to Russia, it disappears completely from the story and Bellingcat's ambit, as does the  Buk unit itself.

The most notable aspect of the report? The extension of the 'investigation' for another three years.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Suppose They Gave an Election and Nobody Came?

Well nobody, or at least very few of them, cast their ballots in yesterday's Russian election. Consequentially, Putin's party will run the Duma for another term - and he'll still be the President.  What's special about any of this is that the election has totally made all the world's other cares go away - as we are directed to focus on what we can't do to help the poor, downtrodden non-voting Russians.

                                                   Walking it the doggie 'Putin  huylo!'
                                                 "Sic it nasty coppers Putin-huylo, sic it!"
 We could hope they'd hit the streets, fill a square or two with the detritus of protest and, hopefully, the blood of more martyrs for democracy, human rights and free markets ... and give us something to be gladder about.

What all this does do, is  take out minds off the need to respond to a couple of terror attacks in America. One of those targeted a Mall - the place where George Bush told the American public they were going to 'win the war on terror' by shopping.  Another thing they hate us for is Piggly Wiggly's open 24/7 and The Gap.  A jihad stabbed nine full-grown American men causing a panic in Minnesota until he was 'stopped' by an 'off-duty', ex-police chief who maybe shouldn't have been carrying a gun in a 'gun free' Mall.  Why would Americans need 'gun free' Malls, if the President declared them a war zone? 

But I diverge.

The Toronto Star, usually a font of wisdom, but of late just another member of somebody's publishing cartel, took the world outrage about 'Russian election cheating' to a  'higher level'. Along with the ballot stuffing and double voters and bad stuff busting out all over Russian polling places,  the Star accompanied the standard pap with visual proof that "disorders" had accompanied the polling.

Ukrainians celebrate the Russian election
by lynching a Jew (just pretending - that only happens to gypsies).

Striking a blow for democracy in Kyiv

                                                  Giving a kick for democracy in Kyiv

They were right,  disorders had accompanied the Russian election, but not in Russia.  Ukraine, the unfriendly neighbor to the west,  had announced, early last week, that it would not brook any Russian elections on EUkrainian territory. While they were understandably incensed that the vote went on, as planned, in "occupied" Crimea - which is 'de facto' a part of Russia - they also turned out the security forces to guard the Russian embassy in Kyiv from the 'protestors' who were scheduled to appear. The right-wing Volkstrurm Frontline Fighters Association   that doesn't exist in dignified Eukrainia, did appear with their EUkraino-doggies and 'slava EUkrinie!!' es and prevented any unpatriotic Russian expats from getting near the election booth inside. Not only that,  those 'security forces' actually arrested a 'Russian' for "voting irregularities" - a Ukrainian crime covering a Russian election. The forces of freedom in the democratic west should be so observant. 

                                            A Russian caught election-rigging in Kyiv

But what's funny in  all this is the fact that probably most people in the world and, from the amount of ink expended on the subject, very few members of the western media, were aware until this morning,  the Russians were having an election at all.  Like how could anybody,  threatening world peace in eastern Europe, holding massive military manoeuvres to threaten EUkrainia, backing-up the Chinese and Assad  in world trouble spots,  or making the poor, recently-discovered yet massively acclaimed  "White Helmets" of Aleppo  starve in the rubble of the city they helped destroy,  take time out for an election?

Everybody on earth - shy a bad dose of hydrocephalus - knows that a real election is taking place in America. It has been for almost a year now. And we also know, again from those media sources which we trust for the 'truthiness', that the evil 'Merlin of Moscow' has been 'hacking' into  the US electoral system to such an extent that he has, single-handedly, or with a division of militarized computer geeks,  successfully reduced the slate of candidates and left Americans with only two choices for 'Commander-in-Chief'.  We know as well, and perhaps more importantly, that there is the imminent likelihood that his 'hacking' will do to America what his election shenanigans have done in Russia, elect a 'mongoloid candidate ' to sit in the Oval Orifice.

Putin's apt to calling-up on November fourth to say, "Congratulations Mr. President on the big win."  And really meaning it.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The White Hats

Coming to an HBO/Netflix outlet near you, the saga of those who so willingly go into deadly places to rescue innocent victims.  This is waaay better than the 9/11 firefighters who survived - the white hats apparently never complain about being 'used' or developing and work-related illnesses. Aside from the white hard hats and sharp, da-glo rescue vests and perhaps the 'team' T-shirts these could be rescuers from anywhere, but they're not - they're ours.

If there is any particular skill that Syrians have developed over the past 4 years, aside from moving themselves away from danger and hopefully into the EU, it is digging the stay-behinds out of the rubble that four years of war fighting and aerial bombardment  have spread over much of the country. Whammo! Some humanitarian, or otherwise, drops some ordinance and faster than one can say 'open sesame' they're hauling kids of every age out of the wreckage. The news and various 'reportages' (now there's a new word)  are filled with the stuff. It's the photo-op, human interest material that we don't get from dead babies or relaxing tank crews. But until the 'White Helmets', it was rarely done professionally, neither the rescue screws,  or the videographers who filmed them. But that's all changed thanks to a few bucks from western NGO's - there are 'professionals' - both in the rubble and recording them -  in Dolby and HD. Western organizations - usually affiliated with the distaff (ie non-Assad) side of the Syrian struggle -  sponsor these guys. And sometimes, it seems, they hold back until a video recorder is in place before they go to work. The photography, too, seems to bear the mark of a 'professional staging', sorely-lacking when the world was being 'sold on' Assad's poison gas offensives.  Hell,  we've now got a poster child for what Assad's done to the poor democratic jihadis.

And very soon we'll have an HBO/Netflix extravaganza to sell America on everything right and pure being done for America's interests in seeing Assad off.  Up close and personal we're gong to get to know those great guys who don't pick sides, who'll rescue a Christian or a Shiite, or a stray European.  But we won't see them 'back off' as they did when some 'rebels' were forced to saw the head off a 12-year-old 'government spy'.   But heck,  that happens, apparently,  on all sides,  except when the government is using barrel bombs. 

I was watching the trailer last night to the haunting strains of a tune all Syrians would no doubt recognize from American radio: 'When the Saints Go Marching In'.  Maybe they have saints in Islam, the Sufis do, but they aren't the 'stoic' kind of Moslems who want to turn Syria back into a theocracy.  But this subject isn't for Syria, it's for America and we'll see the kind of stuff a Nobel Prize was designed for.

 In a 'sop' to the bloodshed they didn't complain about,  the American glitterati universe is a-twinkle with 'the word' that the 'White Helmets' merit  what Obama got for nothing. A campaign is being organized to develop another international coalition to ensure the Nobel panel doesn't mistakenly award the gong to somebody else.  But I wouldn't bet that,  if successful, these 'concerned citizens of Terra' would want to  challenge the orthodoxy that this war doesn't need to stop until Assad goes.
 The White Hats will last as long as their funding,  and continue after the real money goes back home. For White Hats don't 'win' anything, even saving lives  - except perhaps a public outcry, in America, for more 'rescue' bombardment on other Syrians with no hard hats.

Ooopsie daisy!

Only yesterday, after mistakenly eradicating some 85 of Assad's soldiers in an airstrike on a town that had been besieged by ISIS for more than a year, America ambassatrix to the UN, and gender non-specific sorority sister,  Sam Power, spent 25 minutes railing about the evil that is Assad and comparing the Russians with terrorists. She forgot to mention the evil that is ISIS, the intended targets outside that bombed town and the other reason President Obama said he needed to start bombing Syria in the first place - other than mentioning that America was 'all over them'.

This stunning cu*nt is a cunning array of stunts herself.  Being serious about Syria?  Hah!

America isn't trying to save Syria from ISIS terror, that's a made-in-America 'prawduct', They're trying to change the Assad regime. That's been the truth all along.  Even though it took inventing ISIS it still hasn't happened. America needs another 'ground swell of opinion' calling for war, in order to go in and get that job done. The target has been 'prepped' for four long years, but you know what? America will still be fighting an 'insurgency' in Syria and Iraq, and Afghanistan  and Libya and Yemen as long as America exists.  There are more Moslems, living to-day, who hate what America 'stands for' than when Bushco announced they existed. The Long War is some really new shit and something Americans have never experienced, even thought about before or are prepared for. It will hit them someday,  at the Mall,  and prevent them from being the 'winners' Bushco II told them that shopping would make them .

Ain't none of this going to end well.

PS At the Mall?  I must have been getting the Raelian vibes again - Minnesota = stabbings

Monday, August 15, 2016

Yay for Our Side! We prevented a Jihadi!

A neighborhood in the small Ontario town of  Strathroy, Ontario got a rare treat when representatives of Canada's security services - except perhaps the armed forces - 'took down' a real, live terror threat. Terrorist  Aaron Driver aged 21 was shot and killed after one of two bombs he had made exploded in the taxi he planned to take to a Mall attack.

Driver had previously been charged with being interested in terror and was on a 'peace bond' to avoid doing things on the internet and  reading jihadist material. Police had requested that judicial order, I would imagine, because the judge couldn't convict him of something that would have required a jail sentence, or probation. So when the mandated period for wearing his "locator anklet" expired,  the jihadi-in-waiting left Winnipeg and moved in with a sister in Strathroy.  Obviously he was aware that he was being watched - which explains perhaps that the authorities were not aware that he was back on-line and doing things he wasn't supposed to be doing. It was the Islamic-style pre-suicide attack tape he made, and posted,  that got somebody's attention.

Thank goodness it only took less than a day to identify the masked man in the video, locate him in Canada, mobilize a force from three police organizations, stage for a raid and stop him before he killed himself and perhaps innocent people. The bomb that exploded will require having to replace the backseat of the cab he was taking to his 'attack'. He was uninjured enough to want to ignite the second bomb - that action got him shot. The cabby was 'shaken-up' as, no doubt, was the police sniper.

Security forces did their job.

 But they might not have been able to do that without some help from the 'FBI' or whatever body (probably the company of which  Snowden is an alumnus)  that keeps an eye on Canadians for our security forces, while our security forces, and the other 'five eyes' nations keep an eye on Americans. You see national laws protect citizens from national security snooping, but foreign spy agencies can act at will.  That's only bad if they're the kind of spy agencies that don't share what they find out.   If they do share, what they're spying on, they're called 'allies'.

I've mentioned before, a friend with 'connections' to US security being 'warned' that he was in contact with a possible 'subversive writer' .... moi?   But that was years ago when America was up  to its testicles in Iraq.  Things have gotten better.

So, if some 'representative' of US national security is browsing this screed (I tagged it with 'bomb' and ]jihad]), I still think you could have more useful employment.

But I digress.

Last year when terrorist  Michael Zehaf-Bibeau popped onto police scanners wearing a bandanna and holding an antique  - and what looked a hell of a lot like a .22 calibre - 'Winchester' in a photo taken by a tourist at the War Memorial in Ottawa, it didn't take much more than a hour for US 'authorities' to identify him from their 'records'. Later investigation revealed that Canadian police 'knew' him from some 'dust-ups' in homeless shelters ion the West Coast.  They certainly didn't know him while he was shooting-up the parliament buildings.  But America did.

Here again America was able to inform Canadian authorities that a video had been posted but, we are told, not much else for a nation wide effort ensued, as reported,  to identify the masked man. Police in Winnipeg, again reportedly, made the connection and he was tracked to his residence in Strathroy.  Concerning ere is apparently, the fact that a security agency that could identify a flop-house pugilist in less than an hour couldn't identify someone who, by virtue of the police charges alone,  should have been in the terrorist database in the USA.   Or don't self-radicalizing people get identified?

I'll bet the recently exonerated pressure cooker legislature bombers from BC are on the no-go list and  will always have a tough time 'going stateside' or, even, jaywalking in Canada.

As it is another 'terrorist' bites the dust. Chalk another one up to 'the fight for freedom, peace and justice'. And all the other things that make 'them' hate 'us' so much.

By the way, this story went 'poof' just as quickly as it appeared.  No post mortems, no exposes of the perp or how he got that way.  Important enough to serve as another part of the saga of why it's really important to kill 'them'  'over there'.  A typical false flag profile.

There are more 'victims' to-day than ever before.

Help Arthur Silbur?

Read Arthur's Story

 Some people have it worse but for Arthur Silber  this is  very bad.

 I don't know the guy from Adam but I'm imagining going around the block in his shoes.  Maybe, by giving a little we can help him see beyond next week with an easier mind?

Please give it your best consideration?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

How Crazy Can It Get?

An elderly couple in Rome , Italy, were reported to police, yesterday, who attended to them in a suspected case of domestic violence. It turns out all the shouting they were doing was a 'cri de coeur' from a pair of septuagenarians feeling very alone in an increasingly frightening world.  It seems the female half of the partnership was in the habit of 'keeping up with world news' and tried to keep her husband 'in the know'.  The police responded by reassuring the oldsters and cooking them some pasta.

The daily news would terrify anybody. Not simply for what happens, but for the increasing evidence that those 'in charge' may be profoundly negligent, malignant or just plain stupid.

As evidence of this is the latest result of Olympic doping scandal.

It has been two years since the last Olympics,  in Sochi, where it is now claimed, on the evidence, of a pair if defecting athletes, that Russia engaged in a "national program" of fudging lab tests and test results,  to cover-up the already wide-spread allegation that most of its competitors were 'doping'. As a result of this, and a Canadian lawyer's investigatory report,  a number of Russian athletes were banned from current Olympic competition. A substantial number of others - who were claimed to have tested positive for doping at other venues since -  have been admitted to competition.  That's not the stupid part. The banning of the complete Russian Para-Olympic team is the stupid part.

These athletes weren't involved in the Sochi doping - or at least no evidence has been offered of that - but the international organization seeing to 'para-olympics' took a 'brave (politically correct)  stand' that the IOOC couldn't,  or wouldn't,  and sanctioned the Russian team, as a whole,  for what, apparently, their dope-testing apparatchiks at the other Olympics did.  "Russia Lets the Disabled Down" said the headlines. And then the 'good guys'  'nailed' the cripples.

What's really stupid is that the IOOC would trust any host nation to be 'responsible' for dope testing  that's just asking for some shenanigans.  If it's important,  the IOOC should have its own, separate, drug-testing entity, funded out of the proceeds the IOOC already receives from all aspects of the Olympic games.

That, apparently, is too hard to do.  Or too expensive. Or something.  But not too  stupid. That continues.

But while they're passing out the imbecile awards, you get gob-smacked by the realization that cretins deserve awards too.

 In a Florida city of Punta Gorda , yesterday, a 'local initiative' to help  citizens  better understand how their city government works, resulted the the shooting death of a 79 year-old woman when a police 'live role-playing enactment' of a 'fire/no fire'  situation went amiss. The woman was one of two participants who volunteered to act out parts in a "Citizens Academy" demonstration.  The police officer who made 'a mistake'  (by bringing a loaded gun to a 'dramatic recreation' do ya think?) and fired the shot that killed her, is now suffering 'emotional stress' and is off work on administrative leave.  It goes beyond a mere loaded gun. What part of drawing it, pointing it at a civilian and pulling the trigger was deemed to be 'smart', or even 'better helping citizens to understand why police fire their weapons'? Was she threatening life and property? Was she holding a jihadi car bomb or beheadment sword?

I would imagine the other participating citizens, and police officers, might be feeling a little stressed too.  Not to mention the mayor, the city 'fathers' and the municipal legal team. One could only wonder how her family is taking the 'accident'.  I have a pretty good idea what the story might do to that Italian Grandmother.

Punta Gorda Citizens' Academy 

Friday, July 29, 2016

Forcillo's Fate

Another legal drama almost played out to-day in Toronto. Its 'star' was another of  'Tronna's finest' who felt enough fear doing that awesome job of defending, protecting and serving society, the one that we honor and reward cops for doing, to draw that pistol we provided to him and unload most of a  clip into a 'threat'.  If anything the drama proves that 'police lives matter'.

The  story in summer 2013 when a 17 year-old called Sammy Yateen got  load of dope into himself (or so toxicology reports)  and went for a tram car ride on his own, somewhere he normally didn't go, and something his folks said he normally didn't do.  Whatever was on his mind on that night,  something happened that made him expose himself and start threatening the others on that train with a pocket knife  ( it had a 3 inch blade which made it legal to carry, but not, perhaps, as impressive a the "10 centimetres" the defense team described) he happened to have with him. The result was that, while nobody was hurt, many were frightened, including the driver who, after seeing his tram evacuated tried to reason with Sammy but left as well when police arrived.  The first police to arrive   realized that Yateen was in a state that was not conducive to reason, and that he had that knife. They waited for back-up, which, as usual duly arrived - Officer Forcillo was one of tthem. By the time the incident ended there were 23 police officers on the scene including at least one ranking officer.

Yateen refused to surrender and while police maneuvered and decided on a best approach to ending the situation - which was by now the focus of a number of  bystanders, one of whom deployed his cell phone camera.  The videoed part of the interaction lasted 3 or 4 minutes out of the 12-15 that the whole saga lasted. There were to be 4 such video sources entered in evidence including on on the tram itself.

But it wasn't so much the saga as the finale that involved officer Forcillo. He was to be the 'subject officer' charged with shooting Yateen - at total of 8 times (one shot missed).  The other 22 police officers present were designated  the 'witnessing officers'  for the subsequent  SIU investigation.  For while  the world very quickly became witnesses to the 55 seconds of Officer Forcillo's part in the drama, and saw what happened, what he was seen to do was to remain 'alleged' until a court found him guilty - and that part of the saga has taken three years.   What the world saw, and that the court heard, was that Yateen threatened Forcillo from a streetcar. That resulted in Forcillo being one of three officers to draw their weapons and to be the only only to be threatened enough to open fire. Forcillo did that. A first volley of four shots dropped Yateen - possibly inflicting one of the fatal wounds. The second volley of five shots - fired seconds later finished him off. Other officers standing near or beside Forcillo, including another one pointing his/her weapon did not fire.  Another officer then deployed a taser to 'render Yateen receptive to medical intervention'.  After which officers stormed the tram, Yateen was removed to be pronounced dead at a hospital.

Then it was officer Forcillo's turn.

Unlike ordinary people in such situations,  Forcillo wasn't jailed during the investigation or before, or after,  charges against him were laid.  He was suspended from work as a policeman - a harsh sort of necessity - but he received normal pay and emoluments until he was sentenced to jail yesterday after which the Chief of Police 'suspended him from duty (in accordance with the Police Act) without pay'. (something that should have happened 'in accordance with the Police Act' on his conviction?).  His Police Association hired, and paid for, a team of 'specialist' lawyers who did their best to convince the court that Yateen had, essentially, signed his own death warrant and coerced an innocent policeman into executing it.  The court didn't buy that. The public, or the greater part of them, didn't either. Perhaps some of the 22 witness officers didn't, either, the court heard from very few (none?) of them.

In passing a sentence of 6 years, one year more than the mandatory sentence for the crime charged (attempted murder), the judge hauled out the old saws about violated trusts and duties and the needs to be held 'accountable'. But Officer Forcillo literally got away with murder. He was charged with trying to kill Yateen, not actually doing it as attempted. In the best of all possible worlds manslaughter might have been conceivable  ... but even a crack defense team couldn't rationalize  that second volley and the pause before it. Forcillo said he saw the dead man move to  "threaten him",  the tape sadly didn't agree.

Never having shot someone, or having been in any sort of position where I might have shot someone,  or even having life the stressful life ascribed to policemen, I know  disqualifies me from sharing the ideation that let Officer Forcillo to off-load.  But I have felt threatened, and stressed, in my work and  I  have fired a gun, in fun.  I know from personal experience, that one good shot very often deserves another - just because. To diverge to another case recently in the news of a handicapped man and his care-giver confronted by police in Florida, after the caregiver was shot while lying on the ground with his arms extended, he asked the policeman who shot him why he'd done that. The answer was "I  don't know."  Possibly that might have been Officer Forcillo's honest answer, but he was otherwise advised and they almost got him off  'scot free'.

What they did get him was treated differently from any other felon - until yesterday. For he is no longer 'on the force', and not protected by 'the brotherhood'. Other than never, perhaps, having to spend a day in jail 'general population'.  Maybe he never will, police are rarely punished for things they do 'on duty' except theft, drinking and sex - which again required almost boilerplate proof or dissing a superior or breaking the brotherhood bond which don't.

The sentence is supposed to send some sort of message to police. But Forcillo is the first policeman to have been convicted of something that happens all too regularly are 'part of a hard job'. To many people he's a scapegoat. To some who believe he did go too far they wonder of 6 years isn't too much - it won't bring back the dead kid and Focillo has already had an ordeal in court.  But that was his choice and his right and it was designed to prevent a harsher sentence - or exonerate him completely. And that's all something that wouldn't happen to a security guard or licensed gun owner who did the same thing

As he was being taken to 'protective custody' in cells below the courthouse, his lawyers were announcing there was to be an appeal launched in another court this morning that might see him freed to celebrate the long week-end and to put his finances in order, if he hadn't already done that.  He's now, almost officially, another 'bad' cop. 

Hopefully a 'bad'  cop with a partial pension.

Monday, July 04, 2016

My Two (almost) Favorite Topics: Again

Gays and the Gardai - or Tronna's rebutylhydrated version of an  'Ulster constabulary' - (no feckin' pl'eece services in Hogtown) and the annual paean to promiscuity - the Gay Pride parades.

Was a time in 'Toronto the good' when the one would regularly  rough-up gatherings of the other.  Hallowe'en was a good night to catch somebody 'in flagrante delicto', dressed-up a like a bombshell, and if you couldn't throw the book at em for some kind of turpitude , at least you could make sure they 'tripped' over their crinolines.  Toronto gays still commemorate the 'bathhouse raids' and the heavy-handed police 'presents' that turned the tide on outright harassment.

Over the years the Toronto police have come a long, long way. From the Chief participating in the parade a few years back, when the Mayor wouldn't,  to the LGBTSMFP members of Toronto's finest prancing and capering down Church Street, as their granddaddies might have done  behind King Billy's horse in  Julys of yesteryear. Not only prancing and capering - but smooching, holding hands and - unless it was another police force - popping the question (diamond and all) to that significant same-gendered  other,  in front of an admiring crowd.  Wonder if they would qualify for a 'police wedding'  like the RCMP jobbie - with 'orses,  and  the riot baton, honour-guard salute?

The gay thing is, again, as much traditionally 'proud'  as it has been ,  an exposee of pulsating,  ambidextrousity,  pulchritude, kitsch and too much make-up  - only now extending to a whole week of 'celebrating'.  It will be interesting to see where this goes when more 'mainstream ' gays get involved with 'their families'. I imagine that, even for the cause, there are some things their offspring shouldn't be seeing.  And what happens as time goes by and age takes it's toll?  The octogenarian gays might need their own less-exciting celebration, they would be more frightening in gold lame short-shorts  than a legion colour party - much like the gradually-changing veterans day parades that once graced the CNE on Warrior's Day -  today the handful of wheelchair-bound stalwarts and the cadet corps to push them.   Mind you,  there are a couple of newer generations of peacekeepers - now carrying the torch of sacrifice - while the current lot of real combat vets don't want much to do with the BIG show.

It was one of those growing number of 'mainstream groups' that caused the uproar and offended Toronto's finest,  at this year's gala.

Black Lives Matter 'activists' participated in this years' doings to publicize their 'agenda', which has something to do with the undiminished frequency with which some of Toronto's finest deal with some 'malefactors' - usually black or psychologically-troubled ones - and  with what used to be called 'extreme prejudice'.  The Toronto force has had a couple of 'bad incidents' this year where somebody videoed what looked, to the untrained eye - and, in one cause, a supposedly unbiased court - for all the world like unwarranted overreactions in which citizens found themselves shot dead by police.   Those Black Activists actually brought the Pride parade to a standstill briefly on a couple of marching days and, in the last instant, had the organizers sign a commitment to remove the 'official' police presence from the parade. No more float from the Metro cops - and that hurt.

 Not the gay cops marching, no, the pain was felt by the 'Nellies;' in the Police Union who took it all to heart and let the media know about them 'shocks' and 'dismays' - hurt feelings and all. That some guttersnipers could rise up and bust a perfectly good community-building exercise, was just almost as much as seeing a member get sentenced to a term in jail rather than just being allowed to retire to an early pension.  But such, as some people say,  is life.

Now the ple'ece SERVICE (catch the change?)  are demanding an apology - or two.  

Somebody should be asking,  "For what?"

I'm pretty sure the gay community could get along very well without 'Jock' ( my daddy was pl'eece chief so this is genetic, eh?) McCormick  and the  cops who 'hang out' at HQ.  Maybe if they hadn't 'tapped the goodness' out of  all that extra funding they were given to stop  the gun violence - which is back again - in spades - annual budget increases and all - they might have more respect, or pride.

They still have  the same old bunker mentality. Somebody IS out to get them.

 The Black Lives Matter - 'activists'.