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Archive for June, 2010

More Things to Think About

June 30, 2010 1 comment

A few days ago I questioned why the police stood by while the black bloc commited acts of vandalism. I have now seen a video that conclusivly shows that, in at least one incident, there is an undercover cop dressed as a black bloc member. Does this mean I think it was the police who commited acts of violence? No, but this video raises many questions.

One is if the police were undercover in the organization, then why could they have not done more to stop the violence?

If we are to believe the pictures shown in this video, it seems there may have been some undercover cops commiting acts of vandalism. Could this be true? And why would the police utilize such tactics?

Categories: Musings, Politics

Toronto G20: Kafka Style

June 30, 2010 2 comments

I am still in shell shock regarding the events of the weekend. I realize that in many parts of the world, widespread state violence is the norm, but I am of the privileged class and have never been subject to it before. Yes, when I was younger I was in some protests opposing the Iraq war, where things got pretty heated with the cops. I also accidentally got stuck in an anti-Bush protest in Rome where the crowd was tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets, but this pales in comparison to what Toronto turned into this weekend. I saw people indiscriminately arrested and beaten by the police, 500 (the detention at Queen and Spadina has now been estimated at 500 people) of my fellow citizens detained for three hours, citizens illegally searched and over 900 people arrested and put in cages.

Some of you may know that Canada was once subject to terrorist groups. One of the worst of these terrorist groups was the FLQ, which was a group consisting of French separatists. In the 70s the FLQ detonated 95 bombs in Quebec and even kidnapped and killed the Minister of Labour Pierre Laporte. The War Measures Act was enacted and 497 individuals were arrested, about half of the amount arrested in Toronto over the weekend. I don’t know about you, but I think the FLQ was a little worse than the 50 or so 16-year old vandals. It is crazy that police arrested more people during the G20 protests than the October Crisis. Also, the leaders of the FLQ ended up getting sent to Cuba to chill on the beach, and were never subject to the conditions of the Toronto detention centre.

More reports are coming out every hour regarding police abuses and how those arrested were treated. One of the most disturbing is Amy Miller, a journalist, who accuses police of threatening to rape her.

One of the most compelling accounts, I read, was a note on facebook by Tommy Taylor who got arrested. Like many Torontonians, Tommy wandered around the city during the G20 (our mayor, in fact, told people to go out). He happened upon the peaceful protest at the Novotel, where Steve Paiken valiantly tweeted from, on Saturday night. Tommy and his friends stayed to sing John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance when the riot police boxed the crowed in. Tommy stated that numerous people, who were not part of the protest, were boxed in, including a couple leaving dinner at the keg and people walking home from work. Tommy was subject to dehydration, starvation and abuse at the detention centre. He gives a very even handed account, and even states that many police officers were upset with their orders (though “I was just following orders” is not an excuse in my book)

Tommy and his girlfriend Kate about to be arrested

Please read his account here

I was crying when I read this and I do not know how anyone could support the measures taken by the police after reading Tommy’s account.

Many people have a hard time questioning the police because they are supposed to be there to protect us. Before the G20 debacle, I had great respect for the police (I even very briefly dated a cop).

I have now lost a lot of confidence in the police force, and as Naomi Kline said “Don’t play public relations, do your goddamned job!” There was no reason the police could not have stopped the black bloc (they were getting paid 1.2 billion dollars). It disturbs me that, according to Kline, they were sending out press releases while the black bloc was destroyed Toronto, stating that the violence demonstrated why the 1.2 billion dollars was necessary.

I don’t doubt that most cops are good people, but I have a big problem with spending so many of my tax dollars (1.2 billion) on overtime and weapons of destruction, only to have my city turned into a war zone.

I urge everyone to contact the Mayor of Toronto, David Miller (mayor_miller@toronto.ca), Your MP
and MPP
and insist there be an independent inquiry.

I would also urge people email Bill Blair a message calling for his resignation, as it has now come to light that the police lied to the population and did not have the right to search people without a warrant outside of the security fence. Here is his email (officeofthechief@torontopolice.on.ca)

Police State

June 28, 2010 6 comments

I used to be fairly involved in political issues, but decided against doing much for the recent G20 in Toronto. I had some bad experiences this past year at school, and now would rather communicate with people rather than take part in divisive events. For the G20, I actually wanted to hear what the leaders had to say. Don’t get me wrong, I was upset about the 1.2 billion dollars it cost to hold the G20, and I was concerned about holding it in downtown Toronto, but I had a “wait and see” attitude going into the event.

On Saturday I decided to go shoe shopping instead of risking the rain at Queens Park (yes I realize I am a very frivolous person), but I had numerous friends at different points in the downtown core, either taking part or watching the mayhem.

My family was actually at Queen and Peter eating lunch at where the so-called “black bloc” ran amuck. Apparently there really wasn’t very many of them, and they were mostly kids. The most disturbing aspect of the mayhem was the police stood by and watched it happen.

My beautiful sister eating lunch while riot police watch mayhem on Queen St.

This occurred at almost every point the destruction occurred:

James Ruehle, a 49-year-old contractor from Pickering, a half hour’s drive from Toronto, saw the burning of the three police cruisers.
Ruehle was stopped in his truck at the lights at the corner of King and Bay streets in the city’s financial district as the protesters approached.
Three police vehicles zipped past the line of traffic into the intersection, where they stopped with lights flashing. A group of about 20 to 30 police then began to congregate but an officer Ruehle thought was a police captain ordered them back.
“The cop was yelling at them ‘Back up!’ ‘Put your batons down!'” said Ruehle.
The police in the cars, he said, then amazed him by backing off, leaving the cruisers running in the middle of the intersection with their lights flashing and doors open.
“It was like an invitation G (to the protesters),” said Ruehle.

I have no proof that anything nefarious occurred, but as I tax payer I want an explanation as to why these cars were left unattended.

I was reminded how Quebec police were caught being agents provocateurs at the North American Leaders summit in Montebello, and I also want assurances that did not happen here:

While some police officers abandoned police vehicles to the “black bloc”, other began to violently suppress a rally in the so-called “free speech zone”.

At Queens Park they also indiscriminately arrested a CTV News producer Farzad Fatholahzadeh who was visibly wearing media credentials.

Farzad was held in abhorrent conditions (he stated he was not given water for hours), where he witnessed injured people not receive medical attention.

Farzad was not the only journalist targeted by police, Steve Paikin from TVO, witnessed fellow journalist Jesse Rosenfeld get punched and arrested by police.

There is also this video of another journalist Jesse Freeston punched by police.

The last straw, for me, was watching what occurred Sunday night at Queen and Spandina. Police corralled 250 people (some who were just waiting for the streetcar) and detained everyone for 3 hours in the rain without cause or explanation. This was a travesty and made me disgraced to be Canadian.

The Police have a lot of explaining to do!

Categories: Politics, Rants Tags: , ,

Animation: The New Source for News

Al Gore has been embroiled in numerous sex scandals since his divorce (yes I said Al Gore and sex scandal in the same sentence). He was first accused of having an affair with Larry David’s ex-wife and is now accused of sexually assaulting a masseuse.

NMA news has become famous for creating reenactments of pop-cultural events. They first came on the scene with a recreation of the Tiger Woods car accident earlier this year:

They then did a great video depicting the “late night wars” where all the hosts were strangely shown fighting in superhero costumes.

NMA has now created another viral video regarding the latest Al Gore sex scandal that utilized their characteristic style of utilizing “Sim” characters for the animation and tend to leave the viewers confused.

I was thinking that in order to get more people interested in opposing the G20, opponents should hire NMA to make them a video.

Categories: youtube Tags: , ,

Jersey Shore Does Twilight

Today the New York Times had a piece on their blog regarding a new parody video created by Jimmy Kimmel with the cast of Jersey Shore. Of course the NYT could not possibly admit to liking this example of “low culture”. The writer of the NYT’s blog states:

Yet, as we post this video out of a sense of national obligation, we’re not quite sure how we feel about the clip

On this blog, I have not problem stating my love for so-called “low culture”, and I find this video one of the most hilarious things I have seen in a long time. This is a version of Twilight I can finally get behind!

Gay Pride

June 25, 2010 1 comment

Last week Betty White outed Cary Grant on the Joy Behar Show. They were talking about how everyone in Hollywood knew Rock Hudson was gay and Betty White, seemly accidentally, remarked that there was a similar situation surrounding Cary Grant’s sexuality. Considering Betty is 88, it is conceivable she could have accidentally outed him and this was not a publicity stunt.

There has been speculation regarding Cary Grant’s sexuality for years, and he was connected to such heartthrobs as Randolph Scott, who lived with him for years.

Cary Grant was married five times to some beautiful and talented women including heiress Barbara Hutton and actress Betsy Drake.

Heiress Barbara Hutton

It seems he had an active sex life with all of his wives and even produced a daughter named Jennifer (who became a soap opera actress). Betsy Drake when asked about Cary’s sexuality stated:

Why would I believe that Cary was homosexual when we were busy fucking? Maybe he was bisexual. He lived 43 years before he met me. I don’t know what he did.

Of course she could be lying to protect him, but I am going to hold onto the bisexual story so I can still fantasize about getting it on with his ghost.

To put this in perspective for those of you who are not obsessive TCM viewers (as I am) Cary Grant was a gigantic star. His fame would be comparable to a Brad Pitt or George Clooney, but in my book, way more talented and handsome. He was the quintessential leading man and was the king of both screwball comedy and suspense. He was also the master of the double entendre.

In Bringing Up Baby looking for his bone:


One of the best double entendre’s in cinema history found in North By Northwest

I have been in love with Cary Grant for years and always say I will marry a man just like Cary Grant. He often had headstrong leading ladies and in His Girl Friday Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are partners in both their professional and personal lives, pretty revolutionary stuff for 1940.

It seems I am doomed to always fall for the homosexuals. I mean there were some definite warning signs.

Happy Pride everyone! Maybe I will find my Cary Grant this weekend, and at least become his hag.

Snoop Dogg True Blood Video

It seems Snoop is also a big fan of True Blood.

Here is his tribute video, “Oh Sookie”

I am going to have to say this video is slightly creepy, but I guess it is sort of camp so I like it.

Categories: True Blood Tags: ,