Mounties Make Rampart Cops Look Professional

The Mounties took 10 hours to realize that Robert Dziekanski was in the Vancouver International Airport. Then in 24 seconds they decided that this guy, who in ten hours hadn’t caused any problems, was enough of a threat to need tasering.

And they managed to kill him in the process.

Dazed and confused after more than 15 hours of travel, unable to communicate in English and scared because he couldn’t find his mother, Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski was jolted by a taser just 24 seconds after being confronted by police in Vancouver International Airport.

So, apparently, the Mounties had never been trained how to handle someone with limited English skills in an international airport. In a bilingual country.

For all the propaganda about southern bigot cops, it seems like traveling south of the Mason-Dixon line is a whole lot safer than going to or through an airport north of Des Moines.


Questions hang over taser death

Obama's Embrace

The darling of the New New Left, Barak Obama, stepped in a pile while trying to embrace the mainstream of red state America. His “Embrace the Change” campaign tour, targeted at a Christian audience, includes “ex”-gay singer and recruiter Donnie McClurkin and Obama has refused to cancel the appearances.

This is reminiscent of the way Republicans were stuck with racist associations while pursuing the Southern Strategy in the 70s and 80s. It also looks a lot like the guilt by association that true conservatives are facing with the faux-conservative anti-immigration agenda. Republicans have largely learned the lesson when it comes to issues of race – be very careful what you say and who you associate with and be ready to eat your own if they aren’t. There is plenty of talk about how a split between the mature and long lasting alliance economic and social conservatives is going to destroy the Republican Party, meanwhile here’s the Great Black Hope of the Democratic Party embracing an anti-gay agenda.

Unfortunately for Obama, he doesn’t seem to have learned any lessons from Republican’s trips down the same path. In terms of the Democrat’s stance on gay rights, this pairing looks like Jesse Jackson inviting David Duke to a campaign rally and Obama’s folks don’t see that.

But it’s not entirely Obama’s fault. The New New Left model is a tent big enough for anyone who doesn’t like George Bush or Dick Cheney, a group so big at this point it might be easier to shut off the rain than to pitch that tent. The other half of that model is a good looking face and an empty suit that can parrot the anti-Bush pitch, with or without any ideas of substance. Obama’s Embrace is the logical result. It will be interesting to see how his supporters react when forced to look into the mirror Obama’s holding up for them.


Obama under fire for gospel tour with anti-gay singer

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday today to John Palmer, the mind behind EclectEcon. If you have not read his work yet, get on over there. There’s economics, of course, and plenty of “eclectic” – humor, pictures from his travels, commentary on student habits. Lately he’s been reviewing his trip to England, including Afternoon Tea (which, we learn, is not the same as “High Tea”) at a variety of venues and his walks across the English countryside, including up some pretty tall hills.

He’s the founder and chairman of the real PLO, the Philistine Liberation Organization, whose manifesto starts:

I have been subjected to the biases and special pleadings of the artsy culture vultures long enough. They sneer at anything which isn’t in their own mold (mould?) of avant-gardishness. They perpetuate stupid jokes by laughing at people who quite seriously say, “I may not know much about..______… but I know what I like.”

Brave of him to go behind enemy lines for Afternoon Tea!


Capitalism – Sustainable Agriculture's Best Friend

As I noted with the Greywater Guerillas, the Hawaiian mass transit situation and the ongoing efforts to close down the Renewable Environmental Solutions plant in Carthage, Missouri, it’s often government, not business, that is the cause of much environmental mischief. Here’s the latest example. The town council of Elkins, Arkansas was considering an ordinance to ban organic fertilizer until farmers protested that it would hurt their bottom line.

Lloyd Stith, a farmer in Elkins, told the council that it would be a bad idea to pass a law that would prohibit him and his farming colleagues from using animal litter as a fertilizer.

“ It smells bad to us, too, ” he said. “ When you start fooling with somebody’s livelihood, it gets pretty exciting pretty fast. ”

So, in this case of sustainable, organic agriculture versus unsustainable chemical agriculture, it was government to blame and profit riding to the rescue.

Spotted at Arkanssouri where John had an interesting and humorous take on it.


Elkins drops proposed ban on fertilizer