Saints and imbeciles

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A miscellany of links to entertain over the weekend.

Maybe this shouldn’t amuse me but it does: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/the_boors_of_summer_1tKu1H53ViVaBSDqgiMMkM

And no, it isn’t cyberbullying, it’s a reasonable and entertaining way to poke fun at the ridiculous and shame jerks. In the spirit of fair play, though, I hope “victims” and their supporters are allowed to post comments.

The deceased pope will be a saint: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23198312

Did you read the description of the miracles? Someone prayed to him and recovered from their illness, so he’s a saint? I realize some of our readers are devout, but I think I’ve been upfront about my own lack of faith. This sainthood thing, because it’s happening now, in the modern world, just perfectly shows the horrendous train wreck that is modern knowledge clashing with ancient superstition.

“I was sick and I got better when the docs said I wouldn’t, and the dead pope I prayed to is the reason.”

Sure he is.

When my wife and I were considering a replacement barbecue, we opted for another gas one. Good choice, says this guy: http://www.wired.com/opinion/2013/07/gas-grilling-is-objectively-scientifically-better-than-charcoal/

Check this out, campers: http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/camping-hacks-that-are-borderline-genius

An idiot – sorry, imbecile – running for mayor of a large city in Quebec? Surely not! http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/new-montreal-mayoral-hopeful-feels-americans-are-obese-imbecilic-ignorant/article13002086/

(That’s not a slam against Quebeckers, by the way, or francophones. It is, however, a comment on the difficulty that province has run into with mayors recently – and a comment on this particular candidate who is, apparently, a total buffoon.)

Here’s what Canadians think of each other’s provinces: http://abacusinsider.com/abacusinsider/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Canada_BestWorst_CanadaDay2013FINAL.pdf

Some disturbing law enforcement stories from south of the border: http://www.timesdispatch.com/opinion/our-opinion/columnists-blogs/bart-hinkle/hinkle-commit-any-felonies-lately/article_58344fc1-7d4f-584a-8d16-36a1b1f2cdc0.html

I hope these allegations are false: https://www.courthousenews.com/2013/07/03/59061.htm

Scary. Not that we know it’s true. Frankly, it sounds so over the top it’s a little hard to believe events went down as described. But if they did?

And you may have seen this: http://news.nationalpost.com/2013/07/04/california-police-get-threats-after-video-shows-officer-shooting-dog-in-front-of-horrified-bystanders/

The bystander was clearly being provocative, and the audio isn’t clear to me, at least – he may have been adding insult to injury verbally. But here’s the thing: bystanders are allowed to be provocative in the way this one appears to be. They’re allowed to take pictures. They’re allowed to stare. They’re allowed to watch what cops are doing, and to watch with a critical eye. It’s called a free society, and that kind of civilian oversight is a piece of the puzzle that keeps every one of us, including police, safe. It isn’t at all evident this man was interfering in any way with police activities. The impression one gets from this video is that they didn’t like that he didn’t pay them the respect they thought they deserved, so they decided to arrest him.

The shooting of the dog is a terrible result. It is a big dog, and it was being aggressive, albeit not in full attack mood. It’s not utterly far-fetched the police who shot thought that was their best/only option, although pepper spray would strike me as an effective non-lethal choice, or, nutty idea, give the detainee more of a chance to calm his animal.

But the dog never would have been shot if  (and I say this based solely on a brief viewing of some of this video, so I know I don’t have all the facts) the cops had been professional and kept their egos in check.

The dog was defending its owner. Dogs are supposed to do that. These officers should face serious questions with serious consequences if the facts are as they appear to be. If their behavior is as unprofessional as it seems, they should lose their jobs and lose the civil suit the owner should launch. They exercised their authority when it was seemingly wrong to do so, and it resulted in the death of a civilian’s canine loved one (too bad courts will only assess the dog as property).

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