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Friday, February 11, 2011

We have ways of making you talk

The Toronto Star reports that the officer involved here has pleaded guilty to uttering threats. How about armed assault? Abuse of authority? People swept up by the Toronto Police at the G8/G20 were charged with more serious crimes for a whole lot less. If soap bubbles can be considered assault, then how is this revolting threat of torture with a deadly weapon not aggravated assault?
We keep being told that Tasers are supposed to be a non-lethal alternative to guns, but again and again, we see stories of them being used as compliance weapons or torture tools.
As for the officer in question, he will be sentenced in June. Until then, he is on paid suspension and departmental disciplinary measures will not be decided until after the sentencing. As far as I'm concerned, the conviction should see him automatically dismissed from the police force and barred from doing any kind of security work.
The one bright spot I see in this case is that this gross misconduct came to light because another officer who was reviewing the in-car videos on another matter reported the offending officer to the department's professional standards branch, which handed the file over to the courts. Its about time the police started putting professional standards and proper respect for the law ahead of the unofficial thin-blue-line omerta that allows so much abuse to go on.


Wednesday, February 09, 2011

This week on Virtually Speaking

THURSDAY Feb 10 - 6pm pacific |9 pm eastern
Virtually Speaking w/ Jay Ackroyd: WILL BUNCH, Pulitzer Prize-winning senior writer at the Philadelphia Daily News, author of "Backlash: Right-Wing Radicals, High-Def Hucksters, and Paranoid Politics in the Age of Obama." Will comes by to talk with Jay about the state of the media and the nation. Listen here

SATURDAY Feb 12 - 2pm pacific |5pm eastern
Virtually Speaking Liberally: What We Believe: Jay Ackroyd,  Stuart Zechman host a program to discuss the nature of modern liberalism,featuring statements of purpose and principle, and conversations about liberalism. Listen here.

SUNDAY Feb 13 - 5pm pacific |8pm eastern
Virtually Speaking Science with Cosmic Log's Alan Boyle and Space Studies Institute's Robin Snelson, aka Rocket Sellers. Alan and Rocket explore the often-volatile landscape of science, politics and policy. This Sunday's guest is Tim Pickens, team leader of the Rocket City Space Pioneers, inventor, innovator and educator - with a successful track record as a space entrepreneur - they discusss the state of government and commercial space programs, as well as Picken's team's bid to win the $30 million Google Lunar X Prize. Listen here

SUNDAY Feb 13 - 6pm pacific |9pm eastern
Virtually Speaking Sundays | Daily Kos Senior Policy Editor Joan McCarter and Majority Report's Sam Seder discuss the news of the week and how it's reported - or not - by 'the village.' Listen here

MONDAY Feb 14 - 8pm pacific  11pm eastern
Virtually Speaking Susie | Host Susie Madrak, former award-winning journalist, musician and working-class warrior, writes at Suburban Guerrilla and Crooks and Liars. Her guest is Spocko: consumer activist and media analyst. Read him at spockosbrain.com and FireDogLake, where he comments extensively.

And don't forget, coming Sunday, February 20 the premiere of Virtually Speaking Sundays: Maple Syrup Edition.

"A progressive political podcast complete with pitchforks, torches and pancakes. Host journalist and blogger Kevin Wood and a stable of top Canadian bloggers, commentators, callers and other personalities smugly discuss UN peacekeeping, snow, hockey, universal health care and why Canadians are superior to Americans in general, eh, bringing a wider perspective to regional and global policy and politics. Live on the 1st & 3rd Sundays @ 5pm pacific|8pm eastern."