RCMP Unlawfully Seized Firearms During 2013 Flood

“The RCMP watchdog says Mounties improperly took guns from flood-stricken homes in Alberta two years ago — seizures that angered High River residents and fostered mistrust of the national police force.
In a report released Thursday, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission blames the mistakes on poor leadership, lack of guidance and failure to communicate with the public.”

via CBC News – RCMP watchdog raps Mounties over High River gun seizures during 2013 flood.


Where do we go from here?

The Eiffel Tower after its lights were shut off in memory of the victims of the attack on Charlie Hebdo; January 8, 2015. CREDIT PHOTOGRAPH BY DURSUN AYDEMIR / ANADOLU / GETTY

How we react as a society to the recent attacks in Paris may well define us for a long time to come. I hope this will be a tipping point toward a more rational and peaceful future. Sadly, calls for violent retribution often drown out pleas for solidarity.

From The New Yorker – “Western societies are not, even now, the paradise of skepticism and rationalism that they believe themselves to be. The West is a variegated space, in which both freedom of thought and tightly regulated speech exist, and in which disavowals of deadly violence happen at the same time as clandestine torture.”

Continue Reading – Unmournable Bodies – The New Yorker.

Magic Bullet Links Teen Pregnancy to iPhone Location-Tracking

Obama sees no magic bullet to push down gas prices – via Reuters.com – Well, let’s see…It’s easy to TALK about energy independence, but where will the money come from?  Oh, I know!  Stop spending HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS fighting multiple wars and invest a bit into infrastructure, education, and research into domestic energy sources.

Washington teen fakes pregnancy as school project – via Yahoo! News – Not only is this a great prank, it also must have taken a lot of courage for this girl to voluntarily subject herself to the social stigma that goes along with teen pregnancy, all for a social experiment.  I hope she got an “A” on her project.

Why You Should Care About the iPhone Location-Tracking Issue – via Wired Gadget Lab – While this issue is being somewhat blown out of proportion, I still feel it’s necessary to call attention to it.  If you use a cell phone at all, you need to be aware that data about your location could be collected.  Whether or not you’re interesting enough for anybody to give a shit where you go and when you’re there is debatable, but that doesn’t change the fact that this data is immensely valuable.  It boils down to this:  Never assume you are invisible or anonymous.
Now, storing a database with your whole location history in an unencrypted file right on the mobile device AND the computer you connect it to is not only bad data management, it’s also a horrible practice from a security standpoint as well.  At a minimum I expect Apple will cover their ass and add an option to opt out of the location tracking, or at least add an option to wipe the data every so often.

Less Lethal Links

Here’s two links on the same story.
Police Pepper Spray 8-Year-Old in Colorado Elementary School – via AOL News
Colorado police pepper-spray misbehaving boy, 8 – via Yahoo! News
When I first heard about this story but before I learned any details, my first reaction was to think this was another case of law enforcement using excessive force.  After hearing the details, I think this was probably one of the safer courses of action the police could have taken.  There easily could have been much more severe injuries to either the boy or the police officers if they had chosen to physically disarm him instead of using pepper spray.  I still think it presents a potentially dangerous precedent and could serve to desensitize the public to this kind of actions in our schools, but in this case it was warranted.

Non-Lethal Weapons That Still Hurt Like Hell – via ModernMan.com – Since we’re talking about pepper spray, let’s take a look at some of the other less-lethal weapons that are available.