Friday, September 02, 2011

My favorite constabulary is in the news again.

The first story relates to a tragic accident involving a TTC bus and a heavy duty tow truck. The accident, which killed a female passenger and sent most of the other passengers to hospital, occurred when a TTC bus attempted to get around the tow truck. In the process it struck the rear end of the truck, forcing it off the road. The TTC driver, a 52-year old, 10 year employee, was unhurt and, 'shaken up', took the rest of the day off. Police determined that there were no 'obvious signs of impairment' (aside from the bus, see above). The driver refused hospital treatment, or testing.  And there it might all have ended, had not some 'investigating officers' found a quantity of pot in the driver's  gym bag.  To-day he's being 'investigated' for possible drug use and needless to say he's called his union into the matter. Having dope at work, and smoking dope at work may well be totally unrelated events in this instant, but the time interval between the accident and finding the dope should have blown any proof that he was 'whacked' at the wheel. He probably 'blew' a relaxation reefer, at home, afterward, to cope with all the stress - that would explain any negative blood testing. Even if there were no obvious signs of impairment, would any other driver get such an empathetic police investigation after a fatal accident they walked away from, I doubt it.

The other story involves the Pleece Chief  William 'Linda' Blair. He was recommending his 'Chief's birthday honours list' of the 'deserving' for advancement in the ranks, to the Toronto Police Board, when one of the civilians noticed that nine of the 'meritorious' had been cited for removing their identification at the  G20 pacification and response to potential terroristic activity,  last year. The Board voted to reject the Chief's recommendation and withhold a salary increase and promotion for the officers in question. Well, right off the bat, the PR department at HQ swung into gear with charges of  pleecemen being punished two times for the one peckerdillo. It seems the fellows had already suffered a 'one-day stoppage' of the pay for trying to hide their identity from those who would seek to harm them and their families - or try to charge them with assault, illegal arrest,  or other misbehaviour. I'd be willing to bet the stoppage was deducted at 'regular' salary as opposed to G20 'overtime' and special, hazardous duty deployment rates. The Board's well-reasoned response was that promotion isn't a right, it's a privilege bestowed by the employer at the recommendation of the Chief. The Board now wants to know just how the Chief goes about making such recommendations. Watch out for a massive pout and deeply hurt feelings at HQ.

Ancillary to this is another dose of Blair who, talking to the media recently, declared that a proposed 10 percent reduction in the police budget was going to result in a twenty percent reduction in the number of pleecemen and women on the force. We must have been getting a bargain.

Now that Canada's armed intrusion onto the worlds' stages is theoretically winding-down, the Canadian Armed Forces are winding-down their wartime expenditure, too. Reductions in personnel are proposed. Who's going to get the axe? The officer corps? The civilian employees? Or the grunts, erks and swabbies who whom it all depends? I'm inclined to think it will be the second - as the former can 'golden handshake' into private enterprise, or a government job, and the latter remain at a premium in, at least,  the Naval arm.

While we're on the subject. The Prime Minister Steve Harper, setting the stage for his diplomatic master stroke in Paris at the Libya-freedom-recap meeting, stated his gratitude for all the sacrifices Canadian troops were making to bring freedom to the Libyans, and to serve up a warning that we wouldn't be leaving until the job was done up good and proper - despite an 'end of mandated deployment' coming up in a week and a half.  Not only that, he stated every Canadian's willingness to send our boys, and girls, after other nasty dictators. So Assad better get his head out of his azz and resign before he gets a 'beaver bashing', too. This is great, there's an outside chance of Canada actually doing something about Darfur, a situation that can be laid directly at the feet of Canadian Talisman Energy's Sudan oil dealings some two decades ago. But Harpo wasn't 'on watch' back then, so it don't count. Neither will the 'bad men' in Bahrain and Yemen, who, in those cases are the 'rebels', rather than the dictators. Of course the rebels in Afghanistan remain the gunsight targets for our new 'training mission' - we'll still be dropping our NATO/ISAF bombs on them.

The only people I can see getting any real jollies out of out new-found 'warrior ethos' are the same sort of extravagantly-paid investment managers and hedge fund honchos who would invest a couple of hundred thousand on some massive pick-up trucks to drive around the estate weekends and a pair of Harley's for the outlaw cruises to the local coffee bar. After all, for the wise, a war is always an investment opportunity.

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