Best! Inaccessible! Voting! Experience! Ever!

I want to take a second to thank the folks working the polls at the Activa Sportsplex in Kitchener last night for one of the better voting experiences I’ve ever had.

None of you were outwardly freaked out by the sight of unaccompanied blind people roaming loose in the wild.

None of you tried to pawn us off on somebody else who very clearly wanted even less to do with us than you did.

None of you tried to force us to sign our independent voting rights over to a random stranger.

None of you tried to aggressively explain to the man and woman who have been blind for nearly forty years each that this metal thing with a couple of numbers written on it is a Braille ballot so we’re good now.

No. all that every one of you did was help.

From the person who greeted us at the front of the line to the ladies who helped us make sure all of our choices were marked correctly to the nice woman at the tabulation station who made sure I knew my ballot went into the box and even went so far as to tell me which voter I was sequentially that day, you were all awesome.

Rarely have I had an easier, more pleasant or more efficient day at the polls, and that includes polls that had the accessible voting technology operating.

Don’t get me wrong, I still absolutely, 100 percent believe that every polling station on every day of every election at every level of government should have this technology available regardless of logistics or cost because it’s the right thing to do, but fair is fair, and everyone we dealt with last night did a fantastic job and should be commended for that. It’s just too bad that you all are the exception and not the rule.

I don’t have a whole lot to say about the results of the election (partly because I just don’t and partly because we still don’t know who won everything), but good on the cities that voted to give ranked ballots a try. It’s going to be an interesting experiment. Maybe it won’t ultimately work out better than first-past-the-post, but it’s certainly worth a try. My only concern is that it’s going to put more demand on a public that already can’t be arsed to vote more than half the time to be even more informed and I fear that even more may not bother. I envision turnout initially going up some because of the novelty of a new system, but hopefully the end result isn’t people finding it too cumbersome.

Ranked ballots, by the way, are a very good argument for assistive voting machines assuming anyone still needs a good argument for those. Nobody should have to sit there with me while I mull over whether Frank is the second or third best choice for a job or whether I should say screw it and go with Bob in first when initially I was voting for Jane all the way and Bob wasn’t even making the cut. Part of the right to vote is the right to change one’s mind up until the last possible second, and that, just like the rest of the process, needs to be as simple as possible for everyone.

Cop In An Elevator, Gettin’ It Up While We’re Goin’ Down

Level Plains, Alabama police chief Billy Maurice Driggers has become former Level Plains, Alabama police chief Billy Maurice Driggers after being caught enjoying a trip to Florida a little too much.

According to Panama City Beach investigators, officers arrived at Aqua Condominiums on Oct. 2 in response to a complaint about a suspicious person.
“Officers made contact with security staff and were advised guests of the resort observed a white male masturbating while watching females,” reads a news release from the city’s police department.

Driggers was not a registered guest at the condominiums and had no valid reason to be on the property, police said.
Upon reviewing surveillance video, investigators allegedly observed Driggers in the elevator of the building. On at least three separate occasions, Driggers was allegedly seen with his hand down his pants, “masturbating in the presence of women and children,” according to police.
Investigators reviewed additional surveillance videos, which allegedly showed Driggers pleasuring himself while walking behind a group of teenage girls. He was also allegedly seen taking photos and videos of the girls as they utilized outside showers near the beach.
“During the course of the investigation, investigators were not able to locate an instance where Driggers exposed his genitalia while masturbating,” the Panama City Beach Police Department statement reads. “However, Driggers actions were found to be obscene and sexually deviant in nature.”

I should hope so, yes. I would also hope that making this determination based on what seems to be the available evidence here didn’t take anyone involved an overly long time.

Since he didn’t pull it all the way out, police didn’t charge him with indecent exposure. Instead they opted for four counts of disorderly conduct, which in Florida could mean up to 240 days in jail and a $500 fine.

Assault And Vinegar

What goes better with dip than chips?

A South Carolina man turned violent in a dispute over salt-and-vinegar potato chips, authorities said.
Ryan Dean Langdale, 19, had warned his 17-year-old cousin not to eat his chips, but when his relative did, Langdale shot him, authorities said Wednesday.
“Do not touch my chips, or I’ll shoot you,” the cousin said Langdale had warned him, the Post and Courier of Charleston reported.

The charges of attempted murder and using a firearm in a violent crime that Langdale was going to be facing anyway would have been bad enough, but he managed to compound his stupidity and tack on one for obstruction of justice by tampering with the crime scene and trying to claim that the shooting was the result of a self-inflicted cleaning it and it went off accident.

Maybe he was cleaning out all the chip dust?

A Jarring Experience

When Alfonzo Stanley’s daughter made the mistake of eating some of his food, the 50-year-old reacted in the calm, understanding manner in which one would expect a father to react. He brained her with a jar of Doritos Nacho Cheese Dip.

Wait, Doritos makes cheese dip? I didn’t know that.

According to his arrest report, 50-year-old Alfonzo Stanley told police he hit his adult daughter because she was trying to eat his food.
Stanley’s daughter told police she tried to replace the food after her father said it was his, but he attacked her and slammed a glass jar of Doritos Nacho Cheese Dip into the left side of her face, the report said.
When police interviewed the woman at a friend’s apartment in the same complex she was holding a blood-soaked towel against the side of her face and had multiple cuts. The woman was taken to University Medical Center and needed a total of 40 stitches.

When police talked to Stanley, he said that the reason he hit her with the jar is because it was there. Had his cane been the first thing he saw, he told them, he would have hit her with that instead.

Good thing they weren’t near the car.

Stanley was taken into custody and charged with one count of domestic battery resulting in substantial bodily harm.

Social Security, Maximum Security, What’s The Difference

I didn’t think it was possible, but I do believe I’ve found something even dumber than having your own name tattooed on yourself whilst being a criminal. That something? Having your Social Security number tattooed on yourself whilst being a criminal. At least with your name, there’s a chance the police might be thrown off your trail for a minute or two by the albeit slim possibility that there might be two Bob Smiths in red shirts out knocking over variety stores on a Tuesday. But your Social? That’s you, dude.

It doesn’t take much sleuthing to identify this suspect after he commits a crime, according to police in Houston, Texas.
That’s because Robert Charles Wooten, 40, has what a December 2017 police report described as “distinctive tattoos” on has face.
And “distinctive” is a polite way to describe it. After all, what could be more distinct than a person’s one-of-a-kind Social Security number?
“They’re calling this guy ‘Social Security’ because he actually has his Social Security (number) tattooed across his forehead,” Houston police investigator Frank Heenan told KPRC.

Most recently, that self-identifying tattoo inked onto his face placed Wooten at the scene of a string of at least three armed robberies in Houston late last year, according to Harris County court filings.

Wooten is no stranger to law enforcement, if Harris County court records are any indication.

In July 2017, Wooten was caught exposing his genitals to someone against their will and was charged with indecent exposure. Wooten pleaded guilty.
Beyond that incident, Wooten has been charged with everything from theft to trespassing to violating protective orders to drug crimes, according to Harris County Court records.
“He’s notorious,” Heenan told KPRC, particularly in a handful of Houston neighborhoods.

Oh, and a big thank you to the police for explaining why they’re calling him Social Security down at the station. That’s some pretty high concept nicknaming that I don’t think most of us would have understood otherwise.

With Friends Like These…

Update:
There’s a less than zero chance that the tweet cited in this post came from a fake account. My apologies for not catching that if that is indeed the case, although I’m far from the only one who bought it.

This, however, does not change the main point of what I wrote. What this guy did, tweet or no tweet, was still incredibly stupid.

Original Post:
Regardless of which side of the abortion debate you’re on, I hope we can all come together and agree that our boy Jordan Hunt here is a god damned idiot.

“I meant to kick your phone”?

Come on, man. You’re the one saying that a person should be in charge of her own body and future. You’re supposed to be the smart one here, especially when compared with the what if a rape victim kills her 3-year-old argument that this woman was making. Do better, please.

And lest you think he said a stupid thing in the heat of the moment and immediately thought better of it…

In case he ever does wise up and deletes that, it says “For all wondering, i did not mean to kick her, i only meant to kick the phone out of her hand. but you haters don’t care about the truth. smh”

Don’t care about the truth, you say? What truth don’t we care about, Jordan? That you’re giving the anti-choice crowd, the ones who like to stand outside of abortion clinics so they can scream horrible abuse at women who are making one of the hardest decisions of their lives, ammunition to paint the rest of us as violent, extremist morons? As a reasonable person, I absolutely care about that.

Investigators told CP24 that the incident occurred on the afternoon of Sept. 30, at the intersection of Bloor Street West and Keele Street in the Toronto’s west end.
In the video – that has since gone viral on YouTube – a man in a purple hooded sweater with a flower behind his ear is seen confronting a group of mostly female anti-abortionist activists holding signs on the sidewalk. He asks the woman filming him about her opinion of impregnated rape victims choosing abortion.

“If somebody gets raped by somebody and they’re like ‘I’m a 16-year-old and I can’t have this baby’ think you should keep it?” he asks her.
“It’s a baby,” the woman behind the camera is heard responding.
As she starts to further explain her position, the man in the purple sweater sticks out his tongue and kicks her. The camera then loses focus.
In the background, voices can be heard shouting to call the police while the man says he meant to “kick her phone.”

Police say they’re investigating, but no charges have been filed yet.

So You’re Telling Me Her License Is Suspended? But She’s Such A Careful Driver!

I’ve seen so many dumb criminal stories over the years that it generally takes something going pretty spectacularly wrong to get my attention anymore, but now and then a simple event like the one detailed in this Ontario Provincial Police news release just strikes me the right way at the right time and I can’t help but laugh and laugh and laugh.

By the way, I don’t know who wrote this thing, but I know who edited it. Nobody. All below typos are theirs, not mine.

TOWNSHIP OF GUELPH/ERAMOSA – On Monday, Sept. 17, 2018 a Wellington County Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer was monitoring traffic on Highway 7, west of Guelph.
At approximately 5:30 p.m. the officer observed a female operating a blue pickup with authorized plates and attempted to pull the vehicle over. The driver initially pulled onto the shoulder of the road as if to stop but then rapidly accelerating away from the officer and fleeing through dense traffic.

Shortly after, police were notified of a vehicle that had entered the ditch that matched the description of fleeing vehicle. The driver was seen walking away from the stopped vehicle.
Police attended and located the woman and arrested her. Further investigation revealed that her licence was suspended and the licence plate was reported as stolen.
34-year-old Shannon C. Payette of Kitchener has been charged with Flight from Police, Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of Property obtained by Crime, Drive while Suspended and two-counts of Unauthorized use of a Plate. She is scheduled to appear in Guelph Criminal Court on Oct. 23, 2018.

I can’t end this without giving a few bonus points to Guelph Today for making me not skip right over the rather boring headline “Kitchener woman drives away from police” by adding “Police catch up with her in a near-by ditch”. That may be my favourite part, the more I think about it.

Wroute Will Drive You Between Kitchener And Guelph In A Tesla For Cheap And On A Pretty Sweet Schedule

This is certainly interesting.

A new service called Wroute, which you’re supposed to say like “Root” because it’s the law that every startup must have a nonsensical name, is going to start offering frequent, daily Tesla rides between Fairview Mall and Guelph Central Station for $20.

Each shared Wroute trip can carry up to six passengers and two bicycles. The all-electric Teslas run emissions-free.
Wroute (pronounced “root”) is launching with an ambitious schedule that will see its vehicles departing the two stations every 15 minutes, seven days a week. The service will begin at 5 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends, winding down at 11 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday, and at 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

“The idea there is that instead of building your day around how you’re getting to Guelph, you just fit us into your day,” Hammond said.
Each one-way trip will cost $20 including tax; a reduced price for daily users may be introduced as the service grows. Reservations and payment will be made online in advance, and no tipping is required as the drivers are salaried.

Other routes could be introduced in the future. Hammond said he doesn’t intend for Wroute to compete with existing transit options. Rather, he believes Wroute will enhance those options, especially for commuters and students. “It sort of sits in the middle in terms of cost and convenience.”
Taxis or Ubers cost more but take you door-to-door, Hammond said. Buses or trains are cheaper but don’t run as often. “By filling in the gaps with this high-frequency service, we want to build up the marketplace.”

I like the idea. I just hope it ends up being sustainable. They’re making a ton of trips which is exactly what this sort of service should be doing to make itself attractive, but is there that much actual demand there? I hate asking that because there are times in our lives when both Carin and I would have used the bejesus out of something like this and they’re in a tight spot between overdoing it and not doing enough, but my gut says the schedule might be a touch ambitious, at least starting out. Obviously the fuel costs will be lower, but even with that working in your favour there’s only so long you can pay people full-time wages to drive themselves back and forth.

I wish them well though and look forward to trying it out sometime. I’ll bet Carin does too, especially if they’re not going to be dinks about her guide dog like the Uber folks so often are.

Update:
I wasn’t able to find it on Friday for some reason, but I’ve since found the company website. There looks to be quite a bit of information there, but you’ll want to pay particular attention to this things to know page before you take your first trip. It even has a service dogs are good and please don’t pet them section, which sounds promising and which I have no doubt Carin will totally be holding them to.

OUR FURRY FRIENDS ONLY COME ALONG WHEN THEY’RE WORKING.
We love our pets, and we’re sure we’d love yours, too. However, our passengers may have allergies that mean they can’t enjoy the journey if others bring animals along for the ride. So, we only board service animals. Remember that they are working to keep their humans safe, so resist the urge to spoil them with all the affection they totally deserve.

More Like Fraud Nation

Much like Donald Trump has never met a lie he wouldn’t tell, it seems our shiny new Ontario government has yet to meet a courtroom through whose doors it will not be dragged. So I give you this because it’s important, plus let’s face it, it’s the only way we might have a chance of being able to frigging keep up.

Government lawyers are getting busy in Ontario.
Over the course of two days in August 2018, Tesla won its case against the Progressive Conservatives, the government was slapped with a notice of action from basic income recipients and then named in the City of Toronto’s challenge to council cuts.
The Minister of Education also faces three separate actions over her decision to revert to a health curriculum first introduced in 1998, which doesn’t teach students about consent, cyberbullying, gender identity or gay relationships.
Here are all the lawsuits, challenges, and applications for judicial review filed against Premier Doug Ford’s government. This story will be updated as decisions are released and more documents are filed.

They aren’t kidding. In fact, since I first saw it yesterday it’s already been updated once.

All since the end of June, everyone. All since the end of June. The Ultimate Guide To Legal Actions Against Doug Ford’s Government

Ontario Government Doesn’t Understand How Studies Work, Thinks We’re Dumb

No matter how you feel about Ontario’s basic income project (I’m for it for a number of reasons, for the record), it’s awfully hard to see the Doug Ford governments decision to yank it out from under people without warning years early and in spite of a promise not to do that as anything other than a dick move. When you make a deal with someone in good faith, you don’t sign that deal expecting the other party not to honour it simply because they wake up one day and don’t fucking feel like it, do you? Of course you don’t. Nobody does. But that’s exactly what Ford and Lisa MacLeod did to a few thousand people who made some pretty major life decisions based on the assumption that things were going to be a certain way and that they could trust their government not to lie to them, and now they’re getting sued for doing so, as they should.

Getting sued, by the way, seems to be what this government does. And it’s worth pointing out that they only took over at the end of June, so all of that is just since then. Yes, our provincial government has been taken to court more than once a month so far. The next four years are gonna be great. Party with taxpayers’ money, indeed.

But back to this basic income pilot. Yesterday, the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services issued a news release about its wind down, and it, in the spirit of consistency that this government has rather quickly established, is pretty well steaming hot garbage.

Right out of the gate, these shameless shitbags have the frigging unmitigated audacity to call themselves “Ontario’s Government for the People. What people would those be, pray tell? Not the poor people, that’s obvious. Disabled people? They’ve had promised increases to their benefits slashed as well and Doug has made it pretty clear that he would rather not have them around, so it’s not them. Minority people? That’s iffy at best. Gay people? Nope. So who’s left? Oh. right.

Moving on, we are soon informed that arbitrarily tearing up a deal and throwing people’s lives into absolute chaos and disarray is compassionate because, you see, they’re going to have until the end of March to figure everything out. As anyone familiar with these systems will tell you, six months should be plenty of time for everyone to get their paperwork in order and be settled into their new accommodations, especially if they require subsidized housing. “ROTFLMAO,” they will then add before collapsing into a sobbing heap.

And perhaps most unnerving of all, it sounds quite a bit like Lisa MacLeod doesn’t understand how research works.

Ontario’s Government for the People announced today that the Basic Income research project will wind down at the end of the fiscal year.
“We have a broken social service system. A research project that helps less than four thousand people is not the answer and provides no hope to the nearly two million Ontarians who are trapped in the cycle of poverty,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services. “We are winding down the basic income research project in a compassionate way.”

Please, Lisa, do tell me more about all of the cancer treatment trials and such that involve like 20 million people and no control group. I can’t wait. I went into this government expecting that Doug wasn’t going to know shit about shit, but I expected a little better from you.

It’s more likely, of course, that she knows full well how dumb this sounds and is hoping, as this government does, that we’re all too stupid to notice. And given that we all had the ability to look, listen, read and learn before the election and yet enough of us still bought in to win them a majority, they might just be right. They have to be right, because to believe anything else means that there really are that many people in this province who just flat don’t give a shit about anyone but themselves, and I refuse to believe that.