Thursday, February 26, 2009

Senior citizen trying to report burglary turned away from British police HQ... as all the officers were playing POKER

They take very little interest in burglaries anyway. It takes insults to blacks, Muslims or homosexuals to get them moving

A pensioner trying to report a burglary was turned away from a police headquarters - even though officers were inside playing poker. Retired financial adviser Graham Hall, 69, walked to the head office of Thames Valley Police after discovering thieves had broken into a rental property he owns nearby. But after first asking Mr Hall if he was there for a card game involving 14 officers that was about to start in the social club, a security guard on the front desk told him no one could help.

Instead he was informed that the station was not open to the public and was handed a fridge magnet with the force's non-emergency telephone number, which he was told to ring. Mr Hall spoke to an operator who promised that a police officer would get in touch - but he was still to hear back from them, nearly a week later. The father of four said: 'When I got there a security guard popped up from behind the desk and said, "Good evening, are you here for the poker?". 'I said, "I've got it wrong. I thought this was a police station, not a casino". 'I told him I had come to report a crime, but he said I couldn't do that here. I said, "I'm sorry I wasted your time" and left.

'I was flabbergasted - you can't even report a crime at the police headquarters. 'The fact is that a crime had been committed on their doorstep but not one person could be bothered to come out and talk to me because they were gambling. At first I thought it was a joke but it really is no laughing matter. I've got no confidence in the force whatsoever.'

Mr Hall, of Oxford, discovered the break-in when he visited a rental property he owns in nearby Kidlington at 6.45pm last Wednesday. The thieves had smashed into a games room annexe and made off with hundreds of pounds' worth of snooker equipment. The semi-detached house was empty at the time after his daughter Joanna, 38, who had been letting it, moved out a few weeks earlier.

Mr Hall first went to Kidlington police station but a sign on the door said it closed at 5pm every day, so he went 150 yards down the road to Thames Valley Police HQ. The pensioner - who will have to fork out 150 pounds to replace both doors and a padlock - is furious. He said: 'Not only do I have to pay for new snooker balls and cues as well as the two doors but no one from the police has even bothered to contact me. 'I was going to leave the doors for the police to examine but it doesn't look like they're bothered. 'I feel extremely let down by the police who would rather play cards than catch criminals.'

A spokeswoman for Thames Valley police has confirmed that a poker game had taken place with a maximum stake of 2.50 a game. But she said that players at the regular event were off-duty. As for reporting a crime, she said the headquarters was not an 'operational police station' and that this was stated on a sign below the entry buzzer, along with directions to the nearest stations and opening times. The spokesman added that officers had not been dispatched to the scene as a matter of urgency because the incident is classed as a 'non-dwelling burglary'. However, an officer will now be in touch with Mr Hall as soon as possible, she added.


British policeman hauled before court and suspended for 20 months for defending himself against yob who headbutted him

Another example of British prosecutors being on the side of the criminal

A police officer told of his anger yesterday after being taken off front-line duty for a year and hauled before a court for defending himself against a suspect who he thought was about to headbutt him. Sergeant Bob Woodward spoke out after the case against him collapsed at the start of his trial when it emerged the supposed victim would not appear - because he was on the run after skipping bail over a separate violent attack.

The officer, a married father of three with 30 years' unblemished service, retires in April but said the episode had soured his last year in the force. Condemning the criminal justice system, he claimed his experience - the second time he has been wrongly accused of assaulting a drunken suspect - would make other officers think twice about confronting violent individuals.

Sergeant Woodward, 52, said Ashley Pearson had lashed out at him in July 2007 as they stood together in a custody suite at Cannock police station in Staffordshire, where Pearson had been taken after being arrested for an alleged breach of bail. The 6ft 8in policeman said he blocked the blow and pushed his attacker on to a desk, chipping Pearson's front tooth.

Pearson did not make a formal complaint but Staffordshire Police launched an investigation following an anonymous tip-off. Details were passed on to the Crown Prosecution Service which decided to prosecute Sergeant Woodward. He was taken off front line duties early last year when formally summonsed for assault and has since been doing other work or been on sick leave. The officer has now been fully reinstated after the case against him collapsed at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday.

Sergeant Woodward had previously been acquitted over an incident in July 2002 when he tried to stop a drunken yob spitting at him by pushing his face away. On that occasion, he had to endure seven months of anxiety before he was cleared.

The sergeant, from Hednesford, Staffordshire, said yesterday: 'There is something wrong when police officers end up in the dock for doing their job while thugs are left free to laugh at the justice system. They were ludicrous prosecutions. When they told me I was being charged I could hardly believe my ears. 'I had to keep it secret from my 80-year-old mother or it would have worried her to death.'

Announcing the CPS would offer no evidence against Sergeant Woodward, Zaheer Afzal, prosecuting, told Judge Sean Morris on Monday: 'Regrettably our main witness is not here today, and we have not been able to find him.'

David Mason, defending, said he found it ' staggering' that the case had taken so long to get to court, telling the judge: 'The officer thought he was going to be headbutted and was using reasonable force to protect himself from a clearly drunk, violent and aggressive man.' Pearson, from Cannock, Staffordshire, ended up in jail for an unrelated matter. He was released and has been on the run since February after being bailed on suspicion of being involved in a pub 'glassing' attack.


Review: Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted

Big Hollywood was given an exclusive first look at John Ziegler's latest documentary covering the media coverage of the 2008 presidential election. In journalistic terms it's called a "tick-tock." This is when the media crafts a news story that takes you behind the scenes of an event and breaks down, piece by linear piece, the individual acts which led up to that event. With "[1] Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected and Palin Was Targeted," director [2] John Ziegler ("[3] Blocking the Path to 9/11") turns the art of the tick-tock around and aims it, with damning effect, squarely at the news media. The result is not a documentary, at least not for anyone who believes in truth, fairness or journalistic integrity - the result is a horror film.

If you expect Ziegler to build his case using easy targets like Keith Olbermann [5] aping David Strathairn playing Edward R. Murrow, think again. Olbermann's a bit player in this cinematic indictment, a clown. The real conspirators run the gamut of every network (cable and otherwise), and most of the major print and online publications. Maybe it's not a horror story, after all. Maybe it's something closer to an Agatha Christie mystery where everyone's the murderer. The victim, of course, is American journalism.

Even for those of us who obsessively followed every twist and turn of the 2008 presidential election, watching Ziegler's autopsy of the grisly affair, starting with the primaries and ending with the days immediately following Barack Obama's securing of the Presidency, is to experience in a comprehensive way the breadth and scope of American media corruption.

Watching election coverage in real time last year was often frustrating to the point of outrage, and for the first half-hour of "Media Malpractice" the old outrage returns. But what Ziegler does is summarize his case like a prosecutor delivering a closing argument, bringing the disparate pieces together into something much more important than a narrative. What we see is the media's behavior in full blown context, and as the entire story comes together your outrage slowly evolves into something much more disturbing.

The real genius behind the film is in the wise choice not to use talking heads. Other than pieces of [7] an interview with Governor Sarah Palin (the full interview is included as a DVD extra) that pop up in the opening and then later during the coverage of her bid for Vice President, Ziegler understands that no matter how smart or insightful, no analyst could make as damning a case against the participants as the words and actions of the participants themselves.

Other than the director's narration to fill in the gaps and frame the context, the filmmmaker gets out of the way and allows us to witness first hand as Campbell Brown, Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Wolf Blitzer, Major Garrett, Katie Couric, Charlie Gibson and a troubling legion of familiar others summon audacious amounts of hypocrisy, ignorance and dishonesty to blunt any piece of news that could hurt Obama and destroy any individual who could stop him - and that includes Hillary Clinton, Palin, and an unlicensed plumber who dared to ask a question the media wouldn't.

This compelling first person approach more than makes up for the film's few flaws. The first and last ten minutes are sluggishly paced and the soundtrack is frequently intrusive and unnecessary, but once the film's narrative takes hold these issues are of little consequence. And with a run-time of 115 minutes the overall pacing is deliberate. This is a necessity, though, in order to fairly and fully make the case for an expansive and darkly effective media conspiracy.

So trained are we for the few second clip that it took a while for me to understand that the reason some clips feel longish is because the film is more interested in being fair than fulfilling the needs of our national ADD. We're not "told" what anyone said. No shady editing techniques are employed to make a subject look bad. Ziegler let's them talk. Full quotes. Full context. He knows it's not necessary to play the drive-by game on the drive-byers. They step into the noose and jump all on their own.

It's worth pointing out that "Media Malpractice" is not anything close to an anti-Obama screed. Obviously within the mission of the film, William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and other cuts from our current President's Not So Greatest Hits get some play, but for you reasonable Democrats who were horrified by the media corruption even as it benefited your guy, there's nothing to fear here.

Palin haters will be disappointed. Included in the DVD is Ziegler's full 45-minute interview with the Governor, [9] snippets of which were released earlier in the year [10] to great media uproar for her daring to criticize the likes of Katie Couric. Ziegler has the Governor watch and comment on the harshest coverage she received, some of it for the first time, and her impressive poise, good humor, and graciousness, while witnessing the lies and attacks on her family, remains intact. Whatever effect this vicious and partisan coverage may have had on her future is yet to be seen, but that she hasn't allowed it to get under her skin is obvious.

Narrative or documentary, all good films have a moment that stay with you long after the credits roll, and there's one here that put a chill down my spine. Directly after Palin's triumphant acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, which, in effect, made complete fools of all those involved in the coordinated three-day media attempt to destroy her beforehand, NBC anchorman Brian Williams took to the air and read, word for word, a manifesto written by Time magazine's very partisan Joe Klein demanding the media not relent in their destruction of her. His piece was littered with lies, including the scurrilous one furthered by Charlie Gibson about Palin claiming God was on our side in Iraq, even though a videotape of the event proves otherwise.

Watching Brian Williams, who up to that point had always come off as a slightly befuddled Dad right out of a 50's sitcom, trumpet a partisan character assassination and call to arms his media cohorts is a revealing look at the rancid heart that beats beneath the blow dry. It's also a warning.

In the production-values department, "Media Malpractice" may feel a bit rushed in spots but as of right now it's the most important post-election analysis released and couldn't be more timely or necessary. We're less than 20 months away from the next election and you only think you understand the magnitude of media corruption.


This is the sort of bureaucracy that the Left want to run the world

In 2001 in southern Sudan, it was a time of peace between wars. It was a time ripe for treating diseases that kill thousands of children every year. It was an opportune time for measles vaccination to halt outbreaks of one of the world's most preventable diseases. The Measles Initiative, founded by the WHO, UNICEF, the CDC and the American Red Cross, was created to address this significant challenge.

In the rural county where I ran an NGO, over 1,200 young children died of measles over four months in early 2001. The death toll was devastating to our school children and their families: local villagers did not have the resources to combat the outbreak except to bury the dead.

When we reported the outbreak to the WHO, the officials we corresponded with expressed shock and dismay that our communities had no access to a vaccination program to stop the spread. But the WHO was caught in a Catch-22 of their own devising: they were unwilling to allocate resources and send doctors unless they could be certain the outbreak was measles, but they couldn't be certain it was measles without a clinical diagnosis by qualified medical personnel.

Our NGO shipped out videotape of the infected children to one of the Measles Initiative partners. A medical doctor and global measles expert said the video was some of the best footage of children with measles he'd ever seen, but unfortunately Sudan wasn't on the list to have a measles eradication program that year and he couldn't be certain without seeing the patients. Even with the clear video footage, a senior WHO official still wouldn't attribute the children's deaths to measles nor send an investigative team. So, as far as we know, the children who died in eastern Upper Nile state in 2001 were never counted in the WHO's official measles statistics.

Worse yet, the WHO wouldn't supply vaccines to inoculate children and stop the outbreak without a refrigerator to store them, and the remote communities where we worked had no refrigerator and no reliable power source. UNICEF, we were told, would provide a fridge if the number of diagnosed deaths from measles was significant. But with no qualified medical personnel to diagnose a "significant" number of deaths in our area, we didn't qualify.

In cooperation with Save the Children (US) and funded by USAID, our NGO set up a medical clinic and put qualified African medical staff in place. Training on running a vaccination program was provided and record-keeping started. The communities waited impatiently for the vaccination program as more children died in subsequent outbreaks. There were hundreds more deaths diagnosed from measles each time. Our NGO was repeatedly told it was "near the top" of the waiting list, but years passed with no refrigerator and no vaccines.

Another outbreak of measles started in mid-2008. In desperation, our NGO raised private funds to purchase a refrigerator and fly it into the isolated area where we worked. Within a few months, our new refrigerator was in place and ready to hold the free vaccines that the Measles Initiative promised to qualified organizations. We have found that "free" is a relative term in Africa, however. We quickly learned that a small number of vaccines were available to us at a regional distribution center, a $5000 air charter flight away.

Just last week, a second refrigerator was delivered, this time courtesy of Save the Children (US), nearly seven years after the original request was made. According to locals, thousands of children have died of measles in the mean time, but the major aid agencies still cannot work together to provide truly free vaccines. Seven years later, this community has two empty refrigerators and still no means to keep their children dying from measles. The refrigerator excuse is gone but the vaccines are effectively out of reach.

Even a time between wars is not the best of times for the poor in rural Sudan. As it turned out, it has been a time of bureaucratic "defer and delay" from the UN aid agencies who failed to provide the vaccines needed to save vulnerable children dying from a preventable disease. After seven years, Save the Children (US) is making the most progress, which is disappointingly slow.

It makes me wonder if the 90% drop in measles infection rate between 2000 and 2006 claimed by the WHO is accurate, or if the children who are dying are just too much trouble for them to count.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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