Tuesday, January 01, 2008

And a Happy New Year

Because we don't know, or, more appropriately aren't sure about what's going to happen, new year's cogitations are usually focussed on the 'I'm gonna', rather than the 'wha' happened?'.

Resolving to do something about the 'glandular condition' that caused a massive weight gain, or intending to stop entertaining 'gennamum callers' after giving birth to your eighth bastard child, might be laudable aspirations, but a good hard look at preexisting conditions might be more sensible.

For organizations as well as people.

Police, the darlin' boys in blue, have no monopoly on foibles. The recent holiday and its spate of 'ride checks' has proved what the Liquor and Gaming commission already knew: people are drinking more. Concurrent with that, they're driving their cars. Alcohol sales and driving offenses are up!

So out of the swirling blizzard comes MADD, fresh from an embarrassing financial fiasco, their mandate again crystal clear. They're on the road to 'zero tolerance' - a wonderful old police catchphrase. A voice from the wilderness crying dulcet tones on the enforcement ear about increased policing to "prevent" drunk driving completely. That means money, and more cops and that could only be good. Why is that news so good?

Forgetting, for a mo, the plaintive cries of being short-staffed and not being able to catch all the boozed-up perps, the boys in blue now want to enforce a weather driving law! They have a law to stop drunks, a new law to stop street racers, along with all the other HTA malefactions and now they want one that will allow them to turn their throbbing corns and bunions into court proceedings.

Along with blood alcohol levels and quantum physics they're going to become expert at weather and driving conditions. Now, mind you. they're out there, or not - if they've closed the road. But trying to get a road condition report from police is no longer a provided 'service', and whatever information they might provide to the Department of Transport must be passing through some significant security clearances, considering its usual relevance to current conditions.

Julian 'they named a calendar after him' Fantino, Ontario's "top cop", may be soft-pedaling the stand-off at Caledonia (, or winding down his watch-on-the-park at Ipperwash, but he's out on the front lines with the seasonal RIDE checks. Not only that, he's crying the blues about how it takes two officers off the checkpoint to process a drunk, book him and dot those P's and Q's that shyster lawyers all too often get kicked out of court. The LAW needs some toughening IHHO.

He'd probably like something more akin to the 'automatic' 12 hour suspension the law provides for anybody drinking and driving, period - never mind being impaired. The car gets impounded - often involving towing and storage fees, you get a cab ride, or two - the second to retrieve your license from the station, on your way to the impound yard. All without any judicial hearing, charges, or a 'day in court'. Much akin to that old-time police 'kick-in-the-ass', instant payback for breaking the law. One could only imagine what Julian would like. Iraqi-style detention, anyone? PS those 'instant suspensions' were way up- more than DUI, probably to keep the manpower at the checkpoints. I wonder who did get 'charged'? The obviously drunk, or the guys with the 'bad' attitude - either way they're in for some 'serious' monetary expense.

As last year fades into the distance. The National police wish they were coming from a better place. They were chosen the most newsworthy of the past year and not for good stuff.

Two cartoons, among the many highlight their plight.

Harper and the blue ribbon boys next. 'Harpy' new year )*(!

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