Police Crackdown: Lemonade stand shut down. The world is safer!

August 8th, 2011

Once again, my expectations have been trashed.

I expect that if I read the words “police” and “lemonade stand” in the same sentence, it will go something like this:

“Police enjoy a glass of lemonade served up by an aspiring 4 year old entrepreneur”.

I don’t expect to read this:

Police shut down little girl’s lemonade stand . . . ”

But that’s what I read in this associated press article and, once again, I’m left shaking my head.

It comes from Coralville, Iowa, where police closed down a lemonade stand, telling a 4 year old girl and her father that she didn’t have a permit.

Apparently Coralville has a bike ride, and this aspiring entrepreneur set up a lemonade stand to take advantage of the event.

But a city ordinance says that food vendors have to apply for a permit and get a health inspection. No permit . . . no stand.

Now I could understand the police getting involved if a lemonade stand was placed in the middle of the road (or somewhere else) where it was causing a danger to the public.

I’d expect they would explain that the stand would have to be moved to a safe spot, to prevent injury to a cyclist etc.

But I have a hard time understanding the police getting involved here. Closing a lemonade stand to enforce a city ordinance. Really?

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People have the right to assemble. Not Riot.

June 15th, 2011

The Vancouver Canucks just lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

I live close to Vancouver, and I was cheering for the Canucks. I’m not a Canucks fan, but I hoped they would win.

They didn’t, and …

For the past hour I’ve been watching the police disperse people in downtown Vancouver. Why?

Because some (a small percentage) of the crowd decided it would be a good idea to turn cars upside down, and set them on fire.

Idiots!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a proponent of lawful assembly and freedom of expression.

I want the police (and the government) to keep their big noses out of my life.

And I want to be able to freely express my opinion, even if some may disagree with it.

But when I watch scenes unfold, like the scene I just witnessed, I have to shake my head.

It has nothing to do with freedom of expression. It has nothing to do with “lawful” assembly.

And I understand why the police take some of the actions that they do.

Freedom doesn’t mean that you and I are free to do anything we want to do.

We aren’t free to do damage to other peoples property.

We can’t just set a police car on fire because our team lost the final game in the championship,

That’s an excuse, and not a good one.

And it’s a shame when something like this happens.

Because, believe it or not, it diminishes our ability to lawfully assemble.

Because many people start to associate “assembly” with trouble.

And if that happens, it can lead to rules that limit our right to assemble.

And that is very dangerous.

But what do you think?

Porn = suspension with no pay. Assault = suspension with pay.

March 30th, 2011


Last week, Kelowna RCMP constable Geoff Mantler was charged with two counts of assault.

One of the “alleged” assaults was caught on video, and you can decide for yourself how strong the case against him is.

Manter is presumed innocent until he’s proven guilty. In the meantime, the RCMP have suspended him . . . . with pay!

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Spurned grandma turned gunman shoots up house.

March 25th, 2011

You refuse the sexual advances of your neighbour. Your neighbor returns home, gets a gun and shoots up your house (while you’re in it). Should your neighbor go to jail?

The answer seems pretty obvious. At least it’s obvious to me. But what if your neighbour is a 92 year old woman?

Should that matter?

I found the story, which should be posted under the “to weird to be true” category, on “thesmokinggun.com.”

According to reports, 92 year old Helen Staudinger was denied a kiss by her 53 year old neighbor, Dwight Bettner.

Staudinger had gone to Bettner’s home to speak to him. He asked her to leave, which apparently upset her.

She went home, grabbed her gun (a very un-grandmotherly thing to do), and then shot up Bettner’s house.

Bettner wasn’t hit. But shooting up someones house is still . . . shooting up someones house.

What Staudinger is alleged to have done is a violent crime, and it could have had deadly consequences. She (and Bettner) are just lucky that she didn’t hit him.

What should happen to her now?

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Put down that gun, I mean knife . . . I mean, TAKE OFF THAT BRA!

March 13th, 2011

I used to believe that I had little to fear from woman’s lingerie. I just learned (indirectly from the York Regional police) that I’m mistaken. I’m glad I learned this information before I met a horrific fate.

Police constable Jennifer Martin, who was testifying in an impaired driving case, stated that she asked the suspect (Sang Eun Lee – pictured on the left) to remove her underwire bra over concerns that it could be used as a weapon.

Really?

It started with a pat down search of Lee, following her arrest. The search revealed an underwire bra (that must have been quite a surprise to Martin . Imagine, a woman wearing an underwire bra!).

Lee was asked to remove the bra, which she did after removing her coat and sweater and exposing her breasts. Martin turned the bra over to her supervisor, and it was returned to Lee later.

According to Martin’s un-named supervisor, it is standard practice to have female officers require all accused woman to remove their underwire bras. Why? Martin gave two reasons:

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Mel Gibson to enter plea deal on spousal assault allegations

March 10th, 2011

Oksana Grigorieva said that Mel Gibson assaulted her back in January 2010. Was that allegation true?

It’s just been reported that Gibson has reached a plea agreement, which should ensure that the actor will avoid going to jail.

You might be thinking that the allegation is obviously true. Otherwise, why would Gibson agree to a plea deal. Right?

Maybe. Maybe not.

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Bus driver yanks child to ground – to teach a lesson?

March 8th, 2011

A frustrated school bus driver yanked a girl to the ground because she wouldn’t listen to him and sit in her seat.

The surveillance video tells the tale of 63 year old bus driver, Dan Taylor, who had obviously had been pushed to the end of his rope.

The girl in question was seated in the front seat, across the isle from the bus driver. She stands up (in the aisle of the bus) and talks to other children who are seated behind her. When the bus driver notices this, he reaches behind him and grabs her by her backpack. He pulls her to the floor and says:

“That’s what’s going to happen if I hit the brakes. Now get in that seat and sit down.”

The girl goes back to her seat.

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Convicted rapist freed – because he didn’t do it.

March 3rd, 2011

George Rodrigues spent 17 years in jail for raping a girl. The problem was, he didn’t do it.

Rodrigues was convicted in 1987 on faulty scientific evidence. He was released in 2004 by a Texas appeals court.

He wasn’t re-tried for the crime. Why?

Because prosecutors cited concerns about having the victim, who had identified Rodrigues as one of the two men that attacked her, testify again. Sometimes that reason is valid. Being victimized is one thing. Having to go through a trial is another.

Criminal lawyers don’t make trials easy for victims. In fact, they often make it unpleasant.

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She must be MADD to be driving while she’s this drunk!

February 28th, 2011

How much alcohol do you have to drink to blow .234?  Ask Debra Oberlin, a 48 year old woman who was recently arrested for DUI in Gainesville Florida. Two things make Oberlin’s arrest worth commenting on.

The first is her blood alcohol level.

According to a report posted on Gainsville.com, Oberlin supplied breath samples of .234 and.239. The legal limit in Florida is driving under .o8. For those (like me) who sometimes have challenges with math, that means her blood alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit. Three times!

The second thing that makes Oberlin’s arrest interesting, is that she was the former president of a now defunct chapter of MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that MADD started out as a grass roots organization with the original goal of getting drunk drivers off of the road (in my opinion, a worthy goal – who doesn’t want safer roads?). Since then, MADD has become a behemoth with (I believe) the goal of raising as much money as possible to support corporate salaries and promote abstinence. But I digress.

The point of this article isn’t to slam MADD. I’l do that in another post. The point of this article is to show that anyone is capable of slipping up. And Debra Oblerlin REALLY slipped up.

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How does an ordinarily non-violent person get charged with domestic assault?

February 27th, 2011

Domestic violence allegations take many forms.

Let’s face it. There are some people who commit spousal assault (or other domestic violence crimes) as a means of controlling the other person.

But there are plenty of other allegations that take place because of unexpectedly heightened emotions.

And, believe it or not, they can happen to anyone. Even people who are not ordinarily violent.

Take the case of Arizona state senator Scott Bungaard.

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