The dogs enjoy some fun in the sun - under my watchful eye.
The dogs enjoy some fun in the sun - under my watchful eye.

So, yesterday, my home was cased by some degenerate looking for an easy break-in (q.v. last issue, editor). What concerns me about the incident is: a) the guy’s seeming indifference to the dogs barking on the other side of the door, b) the fact that he and his accomplice(s?) targeted our house out o the varied selection on our block, c) the police’s helplessness to do anything about it.

Last things first. In order to arrest this guy, he has to either be caught in the act or witnessed in the act of breaking the law. And even if he is caught AND convicted, it amounts to neither here nor there since this particular guy we’re talking about has already been convicted a good two dozen times for B&E. The police are not to blame. They’re doing the best they can (and then some) but are handcuffed by a judicial system that is weighted more toward showing compassion for perpetrators than generally giving a fuck about the victims of crime. Witness this interesting little article from last year’s Vancouver Sun in which the city’s police chief suggests a means of getting those chronic offenders off the streets: “A 30 Strikes and You’re Out” policy. 30 strikes! 30!!! According to Chief Jim Chue: “ “These criminals primarily commit property crimes to feed their drug addictions. We have literally thousands of these criminals who in any other city would be classified as chronic offenders after they have had five criminal convictions. But in Vancouver, the situation has reached ludicrous proportions.” (http://www2.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=4683cc28-c34d-4aad-93b6-bd580152c013)

And yet, lawmakers in this country (and this city in particular) feel they’re committing a gross social injustice by locking these mouth-breathers away. It’s always “What we really need to do is target the roots of this problem: substance abuse, the terrible childhoods that may have led to their lives of crime, the fact that manufacturers make dress shoes too tight which ends up putting wearers in a bad mood and more likely to break the law, etc.” The implication being that by targeting these issues instead, we’ll actually be working to solve the problem – which is all well and good but doesn’t really help the victims of crime. My question is: “Why can’t we have both?” Why can’t we target social problems AND keep our streets safe by locking these thugs away?

The criminal-loving defenders will argue that locking criminals away does nothing to change criminal behavior. The province’s Attorney General has suddenly and miraculously adopted a tough-on-crime stance since the public outcry over the rise of gang violence in the city. Truly amazing given that this is the same guy who, when asked why more car thieves weren’t ending up behind bars, essentially told reporters it was because prison wasn’t an effective deterrent. Well, I’ve got news for this doofus and any of you with a similar opinion, specifically those who believe that prison is about rehabilitating criminals so that they can some day become productive members of society: We have plenty of productive members of society who DON’T commit crimes, law-abiding individuals who are having a hard time making ends meet in these tough economic times, struggling to survive while the crooks and creeps that plague our society are given a free pass. Prison isn’t some social experiment designed to magically transform miscreants into school teachers and lovable librarians. Prison is punishment. Prison is the means by which we can keep chronic offenders off our streets and make our neighborhoods a little safer. Honestly, we have more than enough “productive members of society”, thank you very much.

Rehabilitation my ass. I remember back many years ago when our quaint suburban neighborhood was rocked by the murder of an elderly couple. Three punks crawled in through their basement window and beat them to death with baseball bats while they were sleeping. Given that the perpetrators were all under the age of 18, they were considered young offenders and thus avoided adult court and any serious jail time (Incidentally, Quebec is notorious for its coddling of young criminals, holding that anyone under 18 years of age cannot really be held responsible for their actions because they have yet to develop the ability to judge right from wrong.). I recall being outraged and voicing my displeasure at a local video store, suggesting the murderers should have faced hard time. One of the clerks working there seemed surprised, countering that locking them away wasn’t the answer because they could still be rehabilitated and become productive members of our society. Interestingly enough (and not at all surprisingly) this guy went on to become a reporter.

Which brings me to the media who, on the one hand, demonstrate a marked disinterest in following up on or applying pressure to the criminal element in our society while, on the other hand, luxuriate in applying the screws to the police if they ever so much as step out of line. Nothing thrills the fifth estate like the sniff of police brutality or corruption – no matter how faint the trace or inevitably way-off-base the suspicion. I sympathize with police who are put through the ringer for doing what is becoming an increasingly tough and grossly underappreciated job. And, quite frankly, I occasionally empathize with those who do sometimes cross that line. Several years ago, a couple of cops roughed up a drug dealer and repeat offender who the courts, for reasons only they can explain, couldn’t be bothered to get around to dealing with. The local news was, of course, all over the story, vilifying the cops while plastering the drug dealer (and his media whore defense attorney) all over the news. As he was being interviewed, the drug dealer informed reporters that, as a result of the rough treatment he’d received, he now panics whenever he hears a siren. My reaction was: “Great!”. I couldn’t have been happier to hear it.

Okay, second things second. Why our house? No idea. It could be because it’s one of the nicer homes on the block (Apologies, neighbors.). Or it could be because there was no car parked out front (I park my car in the garage). It could have been a random selection and the fact that I surprised him by being at home may lead him to think twice about coming back. Then again, if he’s a stubborn idiot (which I believe these types usually are) then he may try again. Which brings me to –

First things last. Despite the fact that I have an alarm system, these guys are smash and grab types, helping themselves to whatever they can and fleeing the scene before the police arrive. I’ve taken further precautions to lock the place down and make it, if not inaccessible, then harder to access and certainly trickier to slip quickly away from. Still, if at the end of the day they do end up stealing some of my shit, it’ll certainly be annoying but these items are replaceable. The dogs, however, are not and that is the only truly troubling aspect of this whole incident – the prospect that I can never feel comfortable popping out for a few hours and leaving the dogs alone. And so, to be on the safe side, I think I’ll be spending more quality time at home to keep an eye on things, work from my home office, and welcome any would-be burglars with a thought-provoking argument for why they shouldn‘t rob me inspired by this province’s impotent but socially conscious judicial system.

On a lighter note, I had the guys over for basketball today (My bracketts are screwed. Curse Wake Forest and BC, but especially FSU that deep-sixed any outside shot I had of finishing “in the money“). I left Carl a message yesterday, inviting him over. This morning, I received the following response on my voice mail:

“Hey Joe, it’s Carl. I got your message. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to your little shinding today. But I did, if it’s okay with you, I did tell my brother it would be okay for him to swing by. You’ll recognize him. He has a white van. I told him not to knock on the door, just to peer in the window until he saw you. I told him your name was Stanley because of your celebrity status I want to keep secret. Anyway, I hope that’s okay. Talk to you later. Bye.”

 

Mailbag:

David writes: “ 1. Is the new Icarus set going to be the replacement for the sgc set which was knock down last year.
2. Can you confirm that the destiny is equal to 5 carriers as Robert Carlyle said in his interview, it seemed to me a bit on the small side, it not even as big as Atlantis is, let alone a hive.
3. Was Rush character based on the Baltar of the new BSG, they both have a similar look and feel there characters if that makes any sense.
4. What is your favourite script so far.”

Answers: 1. The Icarus base set is in Stage 5, the former home of Stargate Command.

2. I can neither confirm or deny as I don’t know the specifics off the top of my head.

3. Nope.

4. I enjoyed the opening three-parter, Air.

Deni B. writes: “I hope they catch the guy soon. Have you ever considered getting a big dog?”

Answer: They know who the guy is but unless they catch him in the act, he’s free to walk the streets and plan his next robbery. Actually, it would seem that even if they did catch him, he’d be out in no time, free to walk the streets and plan his next robbery. As for the big dog – yeah, Fondy’s leaning towards a Great Dane.

PL writes: “How is House of Leaves shaping up?”

Answer: Bizarre yet creepy. Give me another hundred pages or so and I’ll weigh in with a far more informed opinion.

PG15 writes: “In this screenshot, there’s a little green patch at the very left, behind the gate.  Is that actually a part of the Destiny set or is it just green screen?”

Answer: That’s a screw-up! Well done, Eagle Eye. Now somebody’s getting fired!

Shiningwit writes: “I remember a long time ago and in a galaxy far away my then husband and I came home one night to find someone in our house, it was a stupid tosspot from round the corner known for breaking and entering so my hubby chased him to his house and bust his door down!”

Answer: Love it.

Frenchygate writes: “- Are there any plans for multi-seasons arc(s) ?
– Will the special effects budget be significant ?
– The episode titles in one word are just for the first season ? Are they definitive or just code names ?”

Answers: 1. The series as a whole will be more arc-driven than its predecessors. That said, we know where we’re headed for our season finale and second season.

2. It will be significant but, hey, it’s never enough.

3. For now, we’re going with one-word titles for the show’s first season.

Silversi writes: “Question for you (and sorry if this has been asked before, I’m fairly new to your blog)…do you think that there is even the slightest teeny tiniest chance even if its waaaaaaay far off in the future that there could someday be an Atlantis/SG-1 crossover movie?”

Answer: There certainly could.

Brandon writes: “How many gates do you all actually have? Two (SGA and SG-1)? Or is there a third on location gate? Did you retrofit an old gate for SGU or build a new one?”

Answer: We currently have three gates: one in Stage 6 (the Atlantis gate), one in Stage 5 (the SG-1 gate) and one in Stage 4 (the Universe gate).

Anubis91 writes: “ Now that Atlantis (in its tv show form) in over and even if some movie(s) has yet to come, I would like to know if you could share with us the production arts of the beginnning of Atlantis, with the earliest concepts of the Pegasus gate, the earliest Atlantis concepts arts, etc… ??”

Answer: If I can track them down, sure.

Shirt ‘n Tie writes: “If Atlantis is splashed down outside San Franciso…..which gate has dominance…SG1’s Cheyenne Mountain or the Ancient Gate???”

Answer: I believe the Pegasus gate takes precedence.

Ponytail writes: “Hummmm. Interesting. Your first season episode titles could all be one word titles. Your second season episode titles could all be two word titles. Your third season would be three and so on, and so on…”

Answer: Especially when we hit season 10!

CatFishEatsDogFish writes: “ Since you’re an executive producer, I imagine you do, for lack of better words, “producerly things”. But what does someone like a “story editor”, or a lower-ranked producer/writer do when they’re not penning their own script?”

Answer: Help spin ideas, break stories, give notes on outlines, scripts, cuts, and mixes, and generally learn as much as they can about production.

Sappho writes: “I was wondering… do you think military protocol will be more relaxed on the Destiny due to their distance from Earth?”

Answer: Time will tell…

Danny writes: “Have you read Jay Lake’s Mainspring yet?”

Answer: I haven’t. Good?

Dovil writes: “He miraculously got away by participating in the Fence Leaping Olympics, but left behind a subtle clue to his identity. His car.”

Answer: They aint the brightest.

 

102 thoughts on “March 22, 2009: Our Criminal-Lovin’ Judicial System (Not) Serving You

  1. 1. 😆 @ Carl.

    2. Is part of the mailbag missing?

    3. Joe – I feel for ya, I really do. Now…at times like this, don’t you wish you had your own personal Wraith? Oh well, too bad they’re not real…seems there’s good eatin’ for ’em up there in Canada. 😉

    4. I broke down and watched CH’s two Supernatural eps – and wow! What a great performance! The show is not my cuppa at all, but Chris certainly made it well worth the time to watch. LOVED his voice in it…totally awesome and creepy! But now I have nothing new to hold me over until Sanctuary starts up again. Poo. Guess I’ll just have to go back to my Columbo marathons…

    das

  2. When I lived in Rochester, the local petty thieves would steal lawn and porch furniture and, in one case, even stole the rose bushes.

  3. OMG, I’m just catching up on a few days worth of posts. I’m so glad you and the dogs are OK. Great work with the licence plate btw.

    Totally understandable your need to stay lose to home, does Fuel do takeout?

    Perhaps you should do a letter drop in the neighbourhood alerting everyone to be on the lookout for the van.

    Totally love Carl’s voicemail message. Classic!

    Cheers, chev

  4. I can’t find a single thing I disagree with on what you said about the justice system and habitual criminals. I don’t mind the idea of rehabilitation, but that’s a tertiary goal at best. And an option that should only be offered to first or maybe second time offenders. After that, I don’t see any chance of the cost being worth the investment. Of course, I am firmly for alternative punishments too. From petty criminals having to wear pink tutus while they scrub city streets, to allowing the harder criminals to act out their own version of “Survivor” on an appropriately desolate piece of rock in the northern Atlantic or Pacific. But the job of the justice system is supposed to be for the protection of those who abide by the implied contract of our civilization by following the laws rather than breaking them.
    I might suggest as an alternative to buying a large dog, you consider one of the following options.
    a) Take the skin of a large snake, place it strategically by a window, and post warnings about dangerous reptiles inside.
    b) caltrops placed underneath the windows and sliding glass doors. A thin throw rug will help disguise this. Of course, you’d have to keep the dogs away.
    c) Obtain a variety of bumper stickers and other paraphenalia from the NRA, and possibly militias, about peace through superior firepower, gun control is hitting what you aim at, etc. Make sure these are visible to outsiders.
    d) Obtain some pig entrails from the local butcher. Hang these decoratively up in the front yard, with the sign “Wanted: More food donors for my hybrid pirhuana-dogs”.
    e) get some of the fx guys to help you figure out how to set up some squibs in the house. When someone breaks in, the sound of rapid gunfire may be enough to encourage the burglars to run away before grabbing anything.
    f) Teach Lulu to dial 911 in the event of a breakin, while Maximus herds the others into a “safe room”. Lulu will then be trained to duck under cover, while sniffing to memorize the scent of the intruders. Once found, she can identify them for you. Then you hire a hit man. (We wouldn’t want the burglars to come after Lulu as the only witness against them).
    Carl’s message had me burst out laughing. His comments were probably the best thing to have come out of the whole episode. It’s that kind of sense of humor that makes me such a fan of the SG shows and those of you who work so hard to bring it to us. Thanks for ending my weekend with a smile, and looking forward to the week’s ongoing adventures at Bridge studio.

  5. judging by the sudden stop in the third set of questions from the mailbag, i’m going to assume that you yourself have been stolen by the man in the white van.

    i’ll check e-bay in the morning.

  6. Amen to that! Seriously, what is wrong with the criminal justice system? There’s a reason it’s not called the criminal mercy system. This is a problem that seems to be affecting the majority of western civilization these days. The world is getting more and more bad-guy-friendly, not only because it doesn’t require them to face any consequences for their actions, but because it’s also simultaneously crippling the law-abiding citizen from defending himself.

    The two ways I can think of to help with this problem of people breaking into your house are to get a gun and to get an appropriately protective and well-trained dog. (Sorry, but a lot of large breeds just don’t make very good protective dogs. Ideally, get a german shepherd. They’re awesome. You can name it Johann.) But given the way these incredibly liberal justice systems are going, more often than not if you shot someone breaking into your house, you could be charged with murder and sent to prison while the perpetrator goes free. And if your dog were to attack an intruder, you could still go to prison and the dog would be destroyed while, again, the perpetrator goes free.

    The world is effed up.

  7. Dear Joe,

    Sorry to hear about your close encounter with a theif. Maybe its time to get a couple asuran warriors to guard the house at night or when your out. No seriously, you should take serious precautions, the theif didn’t target your house for no reason…. they are usually organized and pick their “more profitable ” targets.

    Anyways sir best of luck for all and a quick little question:

    Will there be Starship sights of the likes of BAMSR in Stargate Universe?

  8. I’m curious if the Canadian legal system is the same in the US regarding theft ($500 being the difference between a misdemenor and a felony). I’m thinking if he was busted for petty theft it might explain his being free.
    Still, I think that for burglars part of their prison treatment should be hourly sessions of being ridiculed for being an unoriginal stereotype. Never underestimate the power of negative reinforcement. Of course if you undermine their self-esteem they might feel inclined to act out and shank somebody. So there’s that.

    But is this “30 strikes” notion retroactive? If somebody is taken in for a little pickpocketing, and a look at their rap sheet puts them over the mark would that be the matter? It does sound pretty half-assed, but I think the “zero strikes” idea–making examples of nickel-and-dime criminals–is more for the comfort and retribution of the public. It’s not like every coke head is reading the papers and realizing that they should look for more legit work, as the man is starting to break bad hard.
    Jail time for sure, increasing in duration with each crime (despite the severity of subsequent crimes). Better education and all that jazz.

    Speaking of screwed brackets, I went with my heart and had Tennessee beating Memphis in the championship. So there’s that.

  9. The police said the guy was known to them for break-and-enters, so chances are you were targeted by chance. A family I know of near where I live had their house broken into in broad daylight a couple months ago – the thief just took the TV.

    Ya when you need help, its hard to find.
    Last year I was out xmas shopping with a friend and my purse was stolen. It took 10min before the security guard finally came. When I filed my report with the Burnaby Police they wondered why I hadn’t called them when it happened – I thought if the police were needed the security in the mall would have called them (plus I was more than a little shocked/stunned). But no I was supposed to call them so they could work with the security. Anyways I was ordered by the police to contact the mall and get security tape footage (how come they couldn’t do that?)….conveniently the mall claimed there were no cameras pointing in the area of the incident NOR the doors the thieves escaped from. Then I received a call from the purse snatcher while I was out xmas eve – they left a message (sadly blocking their number), and there were at least 7 phone calls from other people since, so Telus couldn’t trace the number. I called to update my report. And again upon order of the dept, I had to recontact the mall and have them search again. The mall found nothing…. I highly doubt they even looked since the place which my empty purse was found had SIX cameras. *shakes her head* Maybe the camera’s were just for show, they weren’t actually on or recording…cause thats the only way I can see them not finding anything.
    So ya byebye nano, money for xmas presents, bus pass, etc. Thankfully my id cards turned up the day after they were stolen.

    I sure hope that guy doesn’t come back to your place!

  10. Hi Joe, I think it’s basically the same everywhere you go. Many years ago, someone tried to break into my house and my dog, a Lab/German Sheperd mix, Riggs (as in Martin Riggs from Lethal Weapon) took a chunk out of the guy’s thigh as he was about to come in the house. The police told me they’d be on the lookout for anybody coming in for treatment for a dog bite at the local hospitals, but that I’d better think twice about pressing charges because the guy could turn around and say that he was innocently walking down the street when my dog chased him down and bit him for no reason and then sue us. So, like, am I supposed to be taking pictures or taping the guy while he’s commiting a crime? WTF? Again, after hurricane Andrew, living in Homestead, this same dog came to the rescue. Two or three nights after the hurricane, I’d moved my children to the house of a friend that had not been affected, and hubby was called in to work the night shift. I was scared shitless having to stay in the house alone (although I did have the dogs) with no electricity or phone. It was too hot to stay in the house w/o air conditioning, so I took a lounge chair to the front of the house and was reading by candlelight while getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. Riggs was under the lounge chair sleeping when along came 2 guys speaking Spanish thinking I couldn’t understand them. The head asshole told the backup asshole to hold me down while he went inside (at which point my heart was pounding in my head), but they hadn’t noticed Riggs under the lounge chair. Riggs came out from under the thing like lightning, bit them both, they ran off, and me w/o a phone to call the police. I tried flagging the police down as they drove by, but they wouldn’t stop because apparently they had no radio communications and would not get involved. Obviously, this was a different situation, but please, seriously think about getting a big badass (or at least badass looking) dog for Fondy’s (and the little guys) safety. He was a pussycat to the little dogs and to children, but he took no crap when it came to his family. Riggs passed away in 2002 at age 14, and I still miss him and the way he made me feel so safe. Working from home sounds like a good idea! Stay safe, and have a peaceful night!

  11. You think crime is bad in your neck of the woods? At 9:45am some lowlife robbed my 89 year old grandmother of her purse while she was sitting at a bus stop, taking her rent and Avon money (Yup, she has worked every day since a little girl and still sells Avon!). To add insult to her injury, when she told the bus driver he shrugged his shoulders and ignored her, since she could not pay she did not get on the bus and neither the bus driver nor the many people she asked for help bothered to dial 911 from their cellular telephones for a little old lady.

    All of this took place in New Jersey, the “garden state” which these days has been producing more weeds than “fruit bearing”, productive members of society.

  12. Thornyrose —

    I love your ideas for alternative punishments. I think there’s a lot to be said for such things. Unfortunately, I think that in America at least those would fall under “cruel and unusual”, or at least “unusual”, which is sadly not allowed. But they really should be. One should never underestimate the effectiveness of public humiliation. My cousin’s a jr. high teacher. When a student is caught cheating, she calls him out on it and makes him call his parent right there in the middle of class while everyone watches to tell them he was cheating.

    If the current punishments aren’t working, the solution is not to stop punishing. It’s to think of new punishments.

  13. It probably wasn’t just your home. They were likely scoping out homes when they thought that people would be at work. They very likely checked out all the homes on your street. You may be the only one to have caught them peeping in.

    I’d also be concerned about my little animals too so I know how you feel. Maybe you can call to have the police drive around often. I’d definitely call the alarm system company and report the incident. Maybe they can recommend something. Install motion lights on the outside of your house. If your doors, like basement, or back door isn’t strong enough, check into steel reinforced doors which offer more protection.

    The legal system is totally screwy. I interned at a sheriff’s department in the US in forensics. I remember the first big case that I was able to watch in court. The man was being charged with 2 counts of kidnapping and 2 counts of rape. He had previously kidnapped and raped four other young girls and women, went to prison, served his short time, got out, before doing it again. The cops told me that he’d get a 10 year sentence, but he likely wouldn’t serve more than 3-5 years…that is if he survived prison. Bad thing is his father was a serial rapist, and his brother is a serial child rapist, all convicted some 2-3 times.

    Of course this reminds me of Obama’s latest ideas…on closing Gitmo. He’s released several terrorists already who have (surprise surprise) gone back to rejoin Al-Qaida. heh. But don’t worry, he claims America is still safer!

    Has anyone read the Sword of Truth series? One of the later books discusses the punishment of criminals. There’s this town, cut off from the rest of the world. Criminals are punished by being forced to leave town and pass through the barrier, as they feel, let someone else deal with their criminals. Of course, no one at the time knows that these people are actually being sent to their deaths. It’s a rather interesting concept.

  14. Oh man, don’t get me started on our idiotic judicial system. There’s the guy who beat a gay mean to death in Stanley park with a golf club and gets what 5 years for manslaughter when in reality it was a hate crime and should have been the maximum sentence. And then the psycho responsible for a horrific murder on the Greyhound cannot be held responsible because he’s insane? No shit! I don’t think a sane person would be capable of that, but I fail to see why he shouldn’t be punished, sane or not. Then the pedophile who simply walks out of a minimal security prison after I think 5 years behind bars where the police afterwards finds gigs of child porn on his computer… seriously? On *his* computer in *prison*?! Prison is a f*cking joke here.
    Let’s get back to the 6 by 6ft cells with actual bars and without tv, computer and access to weight room, etc. Or better yet, let’s dress them in black and white and have them fix the streets or something. Let it be an actual punishment instead of a vacation. For many homeless people prison actually is a nice place to be. It’s wrong on so many levels, it’s not even funny.
    Guess you got me started anyway, rest assured you’re far from alone with your feelings.

  15. Sorry to hear about the snooper. But yours probably wasn’t the only house they were casing. Check with VPD and find out if there have been break-ins in your neighborhood.

    Criminals usually will hit an area and get what they can, then move on. They become vulnerable if they stay around for too long. And VPD sounds like they did a great job with the follow-up, so at least you know what you’re up against, and they’re probably sending patrols around.

    Starting a neighborhood watch, if you don’t already have one, is a great way to regain a sense of security, especially for the pups.

    How hard is it for you to concentrate on writing after this?

  16. Joe most burglars don’t repeat and most don’t like people to be home when they do the robbing. When I lived in my apartment I would leave a TV on so they would think someone was there. I also left a light on in the living room. Consequently my dog has to sleep with both the light and the TV but that was a cost I was willing to make.

    At the gas station I work at I befriended the police and paramedics with free coffee so every 10 mins or so there is some sort of law official coming in. (knocking on wood) We are the only gas station in 20 miles (about 12 stores) that has not been robbed this year. I like to think the free coffee has something to do with it but then again it could be my 6ft tall, muscley body guard.

  17. Years ago some thugs broke into a friend’s house. They thought the occupant wasn’t home (he’s a night shift worker).

    Apparently they turned on the lights to see what stuff they were going to steal and saw photos on the mantle piece.. they should have made the decision to leave then and there upon seeing them.

    The lights disturbed the occupant who taught them a lesson they’d never forget.. they never came back.

    See my friend was a retired S.A.S dude (special air service) ahahaha…

  18. From past guest blogs and accounts you’ve given, I can’t help but wonder why you aren’t all writing comedy!!! I know I’ve said this before, but I really do laugh out loud every night reading your blog, Joe, and the little hilarious moments in SG-1 and Atlantis were what set the shows apart for me. I can only hope SGU retains the humor that we’ve come to know and love 😀

  19. Yaaay! I got my question answered, AND I got someone fired. It’s the best day ever! 😀

    Poor Carl; totally oblivious to the dark side of his brother’s life. Perhaps you should fire Carl, Joe, so that he may have more free time to spend with said brother, to learn more about him. I will miss his episodes, but that’s not nearly as important as an understanding of his brother that Carl will get when you fire him. It’s for the best.

    I wonder if Carl got the idea to send you that message after you said the robber had a moustache. Fascinating.

    I never really paid attention to the legal system in this country; for the most part I guess my family has been lucky in terms of not getting robbed. But that really sucks that good people are having to pay for Canada’s inability to actually punish criminals. It almost seems like we have to take the law into our own hands.

    Time to get that gun.

    I wonder if prison space is an additional problem. If that’s the case, then just dump ’em out in the BC wild. Let’s see them try to steal from a Bear’s den or something. That’ll be fun.

    Sappho writes: “I was wondering… do you think military protocol will be more relaxed on the Destiny due to their distance from Earth?”

    Answer: Time will tell…

    Ok, wait. Is this “Time will tell” just a phrase, or are you saying that the episode “Time” will reveal the answer to this questions? See what happens when the titles are so…1-word? Ha!

  20. I completely understand the lenient rulings the judicial system can give. In 1997 one of my dad’s friends and his fourteen year old son were killed by a drunk driver, who was not only drunk but was high on medications and God knows what else. Luckily Josh’s friend, who was sixteen at the time I think, was only moderately injured. The officials had a hard time deciding whether to bring him up on trial in Inyo County or Mono County because the crash happened on the county line. They tried him in Inyo and for killing two people, the guy got 8 years 4 months in jail – jail not prison. He’s a murderer in my eyes and deserved a harsher punishment but Inyo County said that it was hard to get a jury of his peers since just about everyone in Inyo County knew and loved Josh and Dwight Heslep. Josh never really got to live his life and the guy responsible for that is walking free. Where’s the justice in that? And yet they want us to trust the Justice system? There’s a reason why I follow the laws and have never even been pulled over. I just watched Changeling with Angelina Jolie and the California justice system is just as corrupt now as it was in the ‘20s and ‘30s. Changeling was an excellent movie by the way.

    On a lighter note, it looks like you had the wonderful opportunity to enjoy some sunlight today, unlike me. The third day of spring and Mother Nature couldn’t decide if it was still winter or if it was spring. I woke up at 8:15 this morning to it snowing outside, then the clouds broke and a little sunlight trickled through. Then it hailed and a little more sunlight poked through the clouds. Then it rained for a few minutes before the clouds broke for good. We have two days of high 60s to low 70s degree (Fahrenheit) weather then crappy cold again. At least it’s getting green. I need warmth already.

  21. Wow, I knew Canada is more liberal than the US, but I didn’t realize the government would use burglary as a method of wealth redistribution. If the idiot can steal 30 times, can you shoot him 30 times? 🙂

    I hope your self-imposed confinement at home isn’t too lengthy. Does Fuel deliver?

  22. Does the fact tht the main Gate being used is the lame Atlantis one mean that we won’t be able to see SG-1 walk through the real Gate again and that cheyane mountain will not be used again? If soo…Well, that’s just wrong. :o( Argh!

  23. I can attest to the stupidity of the Judicial system. A man who robbed my store and held a gun to my friends head with a sawed off riffle got 26 months.

    26. Months. For attempted man-slaughter, burglary with a deadly weapon, burglary under $5000…and whatever else he was charged with.

    So Yes, I completely understand where you are coming from and you, like many people-myself included- really need to do something about it, because I am getting sick and tired of seeing people out of jail after 10 days. Or even over 1 year to go to trail (I go tomorrow for a robbery that I was witness to).

    Obviously it sucks balls and we as Canadiens need to somehow fix it. There are more days that I’m scared that one of the random gang shootings down in Van will hit someone I know or my family, and its because of our crap judicial system.

  24. First, get a goose. They are vicious watch-birds.
    (although it would probably let the burglar in out of spite, knowing of your taste for foi gras)

    Second, I just watched the SGU trailer – and surprisingly enough (to me) it looked pretty good.
    So, I am thinking that if Atlantis had not been cancelled in the fashion it was, Universe would have been guaranteed a viewer in me.
    I would have certainly stayed awake or DVR’d it and probably enjoyed the new sister show on SyFy Friday. I would have had a good feeling about watching it along with my favorite, Atlantis.
    But in this reality, the cancellation has guaranteed that one viewer, at least, me… won’t tune in.
    I still have a very bad taste over this whole affair and the negative feelings far outweigh any positive inclination to watch I might otherwise have had.
    I find this very sad, and a lesson to someone, somewhere, in public relations perhaps??

  25. Time for some practical landscaping Joe…

    – If there’s room around your property, a moat is always good
    – Better yet, quicksand pits under any windows or really thorny bushes
    – My personal favourite: electrified fencing [or Welcome Mats!]

    Or perhaps some techno additions…

    – Loud speakers attached to the alarm system that broadcast to the entire neighbourhood saying that someone has broken in
    – set up a camera and 2-way speaker at your door that can be remotely accessed!
    – Get *someone* to make those alien weapons to *really* work!

    – Maybe have Bam-Bam and friends rehearse on your front lawn…

    Anyways… welcome to the Real World!

    And BTW, you’re probably preaching to the choir here about the Judicial system is here in Canada [and the U.S.]. Growing up in a cop family doesn’t make one immune [years ago, cop friends of mine had their truck stolen from their driveway which was then used in a home invasion miles aways!], but does opens one’s eyes to being aware of what’s going on and how oblivious a lot of people are to their own safety and their property.

    It never ceases to amaze me to see how many people leave wide open purses and other bags out of direct sight, let alone several feet away while shopping. Or cars unlocked. And don’t get me started with all that FaceBook/MySpace crap! Hello, People?! Identity Thief 101!! Seriously, some times I don’t know why terrorists even bother to waste their time, they only have to leave “Society” to their own stupidity for long enough and shit will happen on its own! And/or a big rock will hit the planet…

  26. I’ve always kind of wondered what would happen if someone broke in while I was home. Nevada, like a lot of south and south western states, is a state with the “My home is my castle” type law. If an intruder breaks in, you have every right to kill their ass dead. And I totally think I’d open up a can of stabbity.

    And really, 30 strikes? 30?!?! California is one of our most liberal states and they only give 3. I’m all for rehabilitation, but after Stickyfingers McGee gets caught a second or third time, isn’t it pretty obvious that it’s not working? Obviously the guy in your post has always been a tick on the ass of society and always will be tick on the ass of society. And he probably carries lyme too.

  27. HI Joe, in answer to your answer I wished to say that I’m glad to maybe see in a near or at least not so far future, the concept arts of Altantis at its beginning ! Though I’m hoping it will be sooner rather than later !

    For the record my question was :
    Anubis91 writes: “ Now that Atlantis (in its tv show form) in over and even if some movie(s) has yet to come, I would like to know if you could share with us the production arts of the beginnning of Atlantis, with the earliest concepts of the Pegasus gate, the earliest Atlantis concepts arts, etc… ??”

    Answer: If I can track them down, sure.

    Thanks a lot 😉

  28. You are preaching to the choir in my case, Joe, I couldn’t agree with you more. Well, actually, I do believe that rehabilitation should be attempted in the first prison term, but reoffenders need to go away permanently. I also agree with everyone who has suggested getting a guard dog, particularly a German Shepherd Dog which has already been trained as a protection dog. It won’t be cheap by any stretch, but you’ll be getting what you pay for if you go to a reputable trainer and it will be far cheaper than replacing the electronics and jewelry that would likely be stolen. Not to mention that your little ones are irreplaceable and you’ll have a new member of the family to love as well.

    You should be able to find a dog that is already socialized to be around other animals, so you won’t have to worry about your little ones, especially since GSDs tend to be as protective of their animal companions as their human ones. You and Fondy would probably need to take some classes with the dog, but that would also be worth the effort. If you’re interested, you might try contacting someone at the German Shepherd Schutzhund Club of Canada or a similar organization for more information and a list of reputable breeders/trainers.

    Personally, I would go for something like a Remington 870 as well as the dog, but that’s because I have an even more draconic outlook on crime than you do. The dog would alert you to a burglar and hold them off, giving you time to get the shotgun. If the bad guys were so aggressive and determined that they weren’t gone by then, they’d be picked up by the coroner instead of the police.

    @ Alfredo I’m sorry to hear that your Grandmother was robbed and then treated so poorly. I hope she is all right. Things like that make me so angry I could chew nails and spit bullets!

    @ Annie from Freemantle I love your story about your friend who is retired SAS, I’m glad he put a hurt on those a$$hats!

  29. Hi Joe,

    Thats absolutley horrid that someone tried to break in. Something similar happened to my sister, where she had left only the fly screen door open/unlocked and was in the other room watching TV. Some guy decided to just walk in the house and help himself to the stuff in the bedroom. Luckly she had the dog, a usually loveable and stupid Labradore named Nyla who is more interested in licking you death than harming you, was inside with her and went absoultley nuts at the intruder before he could grab anything. She called the local police, who knew exactly who it was but would’nt even bother touching them cause they knew it would be a waste of time to proscute them.

    We two have the problem of underage offenders only getting a slap on the wrist for B&E type crimes. So have no problems repeat offendering. we may as well be handing them the bolt cutters!!!

    Oh and you say your judical systemed is rubbish. Try the West Australian judical system that last week let three men go for assulting a police officer (causing perminant brain damage and paralization) because they pleaded ‘self defence’ against the police. They were being unruly and potentially dangerous towards others outside a pub to the point that the police needed to be called, resisted arrest, assulted someone and THEY are the victims?!?

    Give me Strength!!!

  30. I brought my soapbox just in case and it looks like everyone is on it. The British justice system is in a horrific state too which i find unconscionable considering we live in a supposed democracy then those we have chosen to represent us are not doing our bidding. I suppose you have heard of the Jamie Bulger murder which took place in 1993 you can read the rest here
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_James_Bulger
    the two culprits who were aged 10 at the time served 8 fucking years and were released on license in 2001 a travesty whichever way you look at it.
    I say ALL prisons/jails whatever should be like the bastille. vermin infested in more ways than one and tough shit! what happened to Hard Labour? too many bleeding hearts and not enough hanging judges!

    Good luck with the working from home thing, have you considered discussing with your neighbours the possibility of hiring a private security firm? I know some neighborhoods over here did so a while back. (I’m my own security firm, me, my dog and whopping great big bike chain!)

  31. Hey Joe,

    How unnerving for you. Agree about the dogs. If these people have no respect for their fellow man I always get concerned about what they would do to get around that final annoying, yappy obstacle.

    Happy to lend you Ralph as the muscle and Jack as perimeter guard.

    Two weeks ago our friend’s Brother was shot dead by the tenant of his rental property. He’s now claiming self defence. Can’t say much more as it goes to court in July but no one is optimistic that he’ll get what’s deserved.

    My Dad had an interesting crime prevention technique that I’m sure would land him in trouble now. My parents live on a protected nature reserve. Some idiots on dirt bikes were tearing it up. He went out repeatedly and asked them to leave. After calling my old man every name under the sun Dad walked into the garage, picked up a case then quietly and calmly assembled his bow in front of them. The guys on the bikes decided it would be wise to get some distance and rode a little bit away where they started to hurl more abuse. Dad is a skilled archer so he aimed for the sky and the first arrow landed about 2 feet from where they were on their bikes. They left in a hurry, Dad packed up his bow, put it back in the garage and we never saw them again.

    Stay safe.

  32. And can we please get rid of this ridiculous human rights bullcrap. Too many are using it for all the wrong reasons!

  33. Oh that Carl. What a crackup! 🙂

    I was burgled once. They were obviously interrupted because they left my TV on the lounge and a bag of my underwear (and my grog) they were planning on taking. I don’t want to know why. They did make off with my neighbours sewing machine though. The mind boggles.

  34. The funniest example of green screen that’s been accidently left in a finished program would have to be in the Doctor Who episode ‘Midnight’. Look at the right of screen towards the end of the teaser sequence, there’s an external window showing a whole lot of green, rather than a planetary surface.

    Still, it gave them something extra to laugh about in the commentary…

    Cameron

  35. When my place was robbed two years ago (right before Christmas, yes they stole the presents) the only thing I was worried about were my two pet ferrets. Thankfully they didn’t bother with them, but when people are drug users you really have no idea what they’ll find fun.

  36. Coucou Joseph!
    Me voila, je n’ai pas était en cour aujourd’hui c’etait le pére cent, je n’avais pas envi de me prendre des oeufs,de la farine et du ketchup dans la tête^^, donc un amis ma raméné chez moi.

    Vous vous demandez pourquoi il a choisi votre maison? bah deja si c’est la plus belle du quartier c”est normal, mais en grande partie c’est du hasard je pense.

    Questions:

    1)Vous n’avez jamais penser à faire apparaitre un de vos chiens dans un épisode de stargate?
    2) Quel est votre poisson préféré?
    3)Quand aura ton des photos promo de sgu où l’on voit les personnages en tenu ?

    Passez une bonne journée!

  37. Joe, I’m sorry you are having to go throuh this. And my heart really goes out to you for the puppies. The material stuff- TV, DVDs, books, etc, can be recovered and replaced. But what about the dogs? They are a little difficult to recover and you can not replace them. I wholeheartedly agree with Deni B’s comment. Though I know him to be a bit of a wuss (but he’s *my* wuss) My Lab/Husky mix has been a great deterent. We have this guy who likes to come around our neighborhood who normally sells stolen items, but has been suspect for a few thefts around here. Apparently he dosen’t like big dogs and my Vader is a big dog who loves to bark at anything that moves into his territory. Thankfully this guy has taken it as the dog is mean and we’re a place to stay away from. German Shepards are great for guard dog duty (and as a family pet) as they are normally very gentle with the other animals and kids in general but are also very protective over what they have claimed as theirs. They are also easier to train. Lab are good for this too, but they can be a bit too high energy, especially for your pugs, but like a Shepard, they will be gentle with them. Great Danes are some of my most favorite dogs, but unless they are trained for it, they don’t really make good guard dogs. It might intimidate the would-be-criminal, but these dogs are typically the real ‘gentle-giants’.

    And it sounds like Canada and the US are very similar in the justice system. With some of the issues I’ve had over the last few years with my oldest child and so-called friends, I’m surprised this country is still standing. And from the sound of it, but Canada and the US should be over run by criminals right now. Which is sad. We used to have a system in place that worked, and now sooo many people have used the legal system to change it so the law now considers the victum to be the criminal and not the law breaker. Very sad times we live in now.

  38. I’m sorry about your close encounter with the thief. Not that it is any consolation but here in the UK the problem is the same. I reported that someone had gone into my car while I briefly came home and suspected there were intruders in the garden as there was a suspiciously parked car around the corner ( I live in the countryside, no houses around) and gave them the registration number .It was around 3pm. The car stayed there until after 6pm , the police visited us after10pm. According to police the car belonged to “a string of villains” changed owners every few months, next day we discovered our mower and several tools had been stolen. I still feel vulnerable when at home alone because I know even if I confronted them and managed to defend my property or myself I would be the one probably to be arrested for hurting them.
    Saw the promo for SGU , looks good 🙂

  39. Hmmmm… criminal scum seems to be everywhere… and even more when it comes to crap-justice systems.

    In Seville we had the murder of a 17 y.o. girl by a “low level” 19 y.o. guy and a few accomplices which helped clean the mess. The guys in question first said they dumped the body in our local river which flows to the Atlantic. Then, after 2 months of search, Belgian search dogs coming in, military personnel, and a great expense of tax payers money, these human detritus change their declaration saying that they raped her (he and an underage pal), killed her, and then dumped the body in the trash containers. They’ll be convicted to 1000 years of prison (yeah, they make such sentences here), and they’ll do only a maximum 30 years in jail. Discount half of that for good behaviour and in-jail technical/university studies, and there you go.

    Even better… a guy in a near town to the west, abuses of his daughter with the complicity of his wife. They get caught and sentenced to go to jail. Sentence isn’t executed due to inefficient secretarial and judge coordination, and a few years later, the same guy kidnaps, abuses, and kills a little girl from his neighbourhood. That time he gets sentenced (again), and goes to jail. The secretary gets fired, and the judge only gets a 1000 euros fine.

    Lots and lots of people now are requesting harder convictions and the instatement of the lifetime inprisonment.

    If you have that kind-of-severity justice problems in Canada, then you should really try to screw your government as much as possible, you might even succeed… here, people doesn’t move much to solve crappy stuff going on all day in our cities, they just resign to it.

  40. Long time reader (like 4 years) first time commenter, but you just pressed the right buttons!

    I agree with the underlying sentiment, the refusal to act on obvious evidence, but seriously, what was the right wing rant about? Please tell me it wasn’t really a friend of a friend casing the joint?

    Most of your audience is from the US and we lock up people for jaywalking and littering. My neighbors would have taken out any one suspiciously eyeing my house. In fact we are always calling the cops on some odd looking wanderer (who is often from around the block looking for his lost dog).

    I despise real criminals and jail can’t rehabilitate when they are so overcrowded, but substance abusers should be treated and quickly if only for their own good!

    Last: I would like to invite you to Dragon*Con. Its in Atlanta the first week of September. Michael, Lexa and Jason are guests this year. I have always wanted to meet you. I’m bringing my dog, a Maltese.

  41. hahah go Carl!!!

    I remember when I was in Primary School we were playing out in the field(yup in Ireland we played out in fields!!) when we noticed this guy hanging around in the bushes..so naturally we called our teacher over and she went to the Principal who phoned the Gardaí..turns out the guy had been collared on an attempted rape charge….

    T

  42. I vote for the big dog, too. I have one, a black shepherd mix who is actually just a giant lap dog…however he also has a very loud and dangerous-sounding BARK.

    We had a magazine salesman come by once, and for whatever reason the guy just opened the back door instead of knocking (he later claimed that he was just daydreaming and wasn’t paying attention to what he was doing). He got one foot in the door before there was a mad scrambling of paws over hardwood floors and then the sound of a dog running full tilt for the door, barking viciously all the while.

    The salesman shrieked a colorful expletive, ducked out the door and then bolted down our driveway.

    Of course our dog, if he’d actually caught up to the salesman, probably only would have demanded that the guy sit down so he could park in his lap. But the salesman didn’t have to know that. 🙂

  43. Stupid justice system, indeed. My sister got injured during a struggle over her purse. Yes, she misinterpreted the advice of, “just let them have it”.

    The DA is NOT filing the case because my sister gave the guy a dirty look, thereby discriminating against him & justifying the crime.

    Sheesh!

  44. Mornin’, Joe! Hope all is well!

    Ya know, you just gotta love Columbo! I’m watching An Exercise in Fatality this morning, and I love this line:

    Columbo (in reference to his wife): “Well she was never exactly thin. I wouldn’t let her, because I happen to like a woman that…” (extends his hands out in front of his chest) “…well, ya know, that’s something else.”

    😆 Now that’s my kinda guy! 😀

    das

  45. You need a sign that says…”Trespassers will shot, cut up, and fed to the DOGS.” 😀

    No need to buy a gun, Home Alone has shown us two things…fireworks and a mafia movie can go a long way.

  46. Might be time to shop for a gun, Mr. M. I’m partial to the Glock 22 (.40 cal). I own two. Manageable recoil and more stopping power than a 9mm. Which of course, is only an option if you’re actually home.

    I worry about my dog in the same situation. Like you said, everything else is replaceable. Granted, she is a pit bull, but she’s very sweet and I imagine her licking instead of biting a potential burglar. If anything ever happened to her in a situation like that, I would lose it…definitely taking the law into my own hands.

    And while not quite as liberal as Canada, the US is slowly getting there. What, with not keeping score in little Johnny’s tee- ball games (because no one should ever have to lose!), and teaching our society that there is no such thing as accountability (Clinton: Define sex?).

    I live in NJ (obviously) but just outside of Philadelphia. Five Philadelphia police officers have been murdered in the last year. Four by repeat offenders. One poor misunderstood fella whom society forced to kill a police officer, had been arrested over thirty times. Thirty.

    My mother was a police officer for 25 years, my step-father for 30, my step-brother for 15, one of my best friends is currently. I’ve grown up with and around officers my entire life. I know their frustration at trying to keep these scumbags…I’m sorry…poor, misunderstood children of broken homes who were never given a chance to succeed… locked up. I just wish the judiciary would step up to the plate and ignore the Left. In the meantime, all you can do is protect yourself.

  47. Joe you have wonderful “Pug” Patrol group there. I agree, my worst fear is not losing my possessions but what rather they would do to my dog. 🙁

  48. And I used to freak out about living in Toronto. Wow. I would be worried for your little guys too!

  49. Wow, what a wise guy carl is, lol.

    30 strikes huh, too many. Someone in the office was talking about how a sexual preditor was settling into a certain neighborhood in our state after being shagged out of another one. She went on to say he also murdered the child in question and my question was, “wait a minute he killed someone and he is not in jail?” she said he was on parole for good behavior. Now, if that isn’t scarey. If you take someone’s life there shouldn’t be a chance for parole.

    I agree with your opinion on criminals and how they should be punished. As for the kids not having to account for their crimes, that is wrong, if anything it makes the kids experiment more knowing they won’t get in trouble and then they are hooked on the bad behavior as they go into adulthood. This world is nuts!

  50. @ Thornyrose oh my, my… those alternative burglar-proofing ideas are so good, I may use some of them myself. Since I have cats that do not get along with dogs, I can’t rely solely on my 2 pairs of nunchakus (Dictionary.com: an Oriental hand weapon for defense against frontal assault, consisting of two foot-long hardwood sticks joined by a chain or thick cord that stretches to body width).

    I also bemoan the lack of spine of our local judiciary system. I say, go by the old adage: fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, fool me a third time, lock your ass up and through away the key.

    2cats in NJ

  51. When we go out of town, we leave a $20 on the kitchen counter and a dummy purse with expired credit cards in it. Everything small and easy to steal lives in a locked box off the property. The TVs suck, they can have them.

    My housesitter left the front door open… my neighbors knew I was out of town and called the cops. According to my niece, who they called to escort them through the house, the official eyebrows went up when they went into the room with all the swords on the wall. And they asked why every small trash can in the house had been dumped over… one of my cats thinks trash cans are toy boxes.

    Last week, Utah released 97 “non-violent” offenders from jail due to overcrowding. There’s no money to operate the perfectly good, yet empty, jail just a few miles down the road. I say we legalize pot, tax the hell out of it. Potheads do tend to be too stoned to care about violence, and the tax dollars could put the violent criminals behind bars.

  52. Hi again Mr M!!

    Thanks for your kind (and speedy) reply re: dominant gate. That’s very interesting….I’m sure debate is raging over on GW about that one ! Appreciate you responding to the question, thanks again. Will this fact be discussed in the SG1 movie? Just curious!

    @Trish (aka Whovian); Perregrin; Das and all rugby fans:
    Many thanks for your kind words and yes O’Gara’s drop kick was the last score. Wales had a penalty kick 44 meters out….and missed …with 8 seconds on the clock….Let’s just say, I watched the last 5 minutes of the game through my fingers and apparently there has been a National up-tick in Dry Cleaners today …… pints of Guinness being spilt you understand!!!

    @Carl Binder: Gotta give up for the Carl-meister!! Very funny….please try and work same into the new SG1 movie!

    Thanks again Mr M! And stay safe. One of the tricks that I do is to put (I kid you not) a loop of DVD episodes of SG1 going on the TV. Particularly early replicator eps….loads of run and gun…. any self respecting burglar will think twice when they hear shotguns!!! No… I am serious….It drives Her Royal Highness crazy…and my small people have taken to telling people that “SG1 are minding the house”…. Most think SG1 is a security firm…

    Best to all!

    Shirt’n’Tie

  53. I dont know if you can get them over there but we have these screen doors (doors on the outside, dont know what you call em) which if you lock with a key are like almost impossible to open, cut or kick in. ^^
    And if they do get in KICK EM IN THE FACE!
    I liked someone elses idea of the fake gun fire!.

  54. Hi Joe,

    Thornyrose has a great idea with the squibs. That burglar jerk may be stupid, but I bet the sound of “gunfire” would make him think twice about kicking down your door!

    It’s a sucky situation. I’m sad that guy was ever in your neighborhood and yard…and out of jail.

    I believe people can change, but most don’t want to, even if they’re lowlife drug-addled criminals. Don’t know what the answer is, but *appropriate* jail time and drug treatment would help a few. The repeat offender is a different beast.

    eddy

  55. I second (third? fourth? nth?) much of what has been written. I work with people with major mental illness, and about 60% of them have a drug problem too. I’m sure most people would assume I’m on the liberal side of this, which I guess is true, but my beef is with people using mental illness or whatever as an excuse for crime. Like I said, I work with these people and miraculously they manage to have illness yet not commit crime!!

    I don’t really understand the whole legal insanity defense thing or how it works,exactly, but something ain’t right. In my experience, those who suffer from sever mental illness often lose their ability to organise, plan and follow through on things. Which seems to be what most criminals are able to do. Unless they are caught. But I guess even that doesn’t stop ’em in beautiful Vancouver.

    Good thoughts to you and the dogs. And remember that teeny dogs can be the meanest if they’re threatened 🙂

  56. Sticking closer to home…at least for a while…is probably a good idea. Now, if I could just get the creepy guy to quit ringing my doorbell once a month to see if I need any work done and then look past me to see if anyone else is home. Well, that would be a wonderful thing.

    That Carl is a funny, funny guy. He does know the old saying about paybacks?

  57. I agree with StanleyBeagle. I know people who are poor, people who’ve had crappy, violent lives, and they don’t choose to be criminals.

    I suppose the not guilty by or guilty but insane defenses are put into place in the hope that the person will (finally) get the help they need. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t – just like everything in life.

    eddy

  58. The state of Kansas has an interesting way of dealing with drug crimes. There is a state drug tax, and you have to buy stamps for all your illegal drugs, at a percentage based on their value. The stamps, which are only good for three months, can be bought anonymously, and the Department of Revenue is not allowed to share any sale information with law enforcement.

    The catch is that if you are arrested for drug possession, you have to produce your stamps to prove you’ve paid your taxes on those drugs. If you don’t have the stamps, or your stamps are expired, your other property will be confiscated to make up the value of the unpaid tax.

    I don’t think it’s much of a deterrent, but it definitely makes it hurt when someone gets arrested, especially the dealers! The cops just love towing away their nice cars!

  59. That Carl sure is a smartass. That’s why we like him so much.

    I loved reading everyone’s suggestions. I don’t think that the guy is coming back. He was casing the neigborhood. If he knows that there are people home during the day, he’ll probably steer clear and case another, easier place instead. Take care and be careful. I do wish I still had my German Shepherd. She was the best deterrent ever. Everyone was scared of her, but she was the biggest baby in the world. I don’t doubt that she would have laid her life down for my family though. That’s how loyal she was.

  60. Your “Pug Patrol” looks alert and at the ready – and of course, so very cute.

    Their well being is, in reality, a priority – they are not able to defend themselves. In truth, yes, they can bark, bite, and have to include this – throw up on intruders, but they have absolutely no way to combat poison, guns, knives or other sharp things used on them during an intrusion.

    It is very sad that the misguided intentions of the bleeding hearts result in a law system that essentially rewards the deviants and punishs the victims.

    –looking for where to deposit my two cents for use of the soap box —

  61. I’m sure you could mock any intruder into submission, Joe! Do take care.

    Quick question, and it may have been asked before…There is a rumor running amuck on a certain GW thread that the SGA movie has been postponed/cancelled. We’re still good for a 2010 release of the movie, aren’t we?

  62. You want justice? Come to Texas. We have the Death Penalty and it is carried out regularly. Those who kill a child or policeman may sit on death row waiting for 20 years, but eventually they experience their final sentence from being found guilty of Capital Murder.

    And burglars? They have a 50% chance of meeting a homeowner with a shotgun once they cross the threshold, and a 50% chance of surviving the blast. Texans are allowed to defend their homes and property (and that of their neighbor’s too). Joe it is time to meet your neighbors and form a neighborhood watch. You would be surprised how many neighbors are home during the day.

    In researching my next dog, I was looking at boston terriers, jack russell terriers, and beagles. I want a dog I can pick up and hold on my lap. After reading Joe’s blog the last couple of days, I have had a big swing toward german shepherds. I guess it’s back to the researching.

    That Carl! Such a comedian!

  63. Hi again Mr M!!

    I have been dipping in checking in on the whole Criminal Justice System.

    I concur with a lot of what’s been said. There seems to be a revolving door policy on offenders.

    Two quotes come to mind:

    “Too much Law and not enough Justice”

    and, to quote from another hero of mine… Sledgehammer:

    “I fire warning shots at J- walkers!”….My kinda cop!

    Best to all

    And please…More Carl Binder-isms!!!

    Shirt’n’Tie

  64. So, I’m live from the Borgata. I do NOT want to be here – but it’s for a dealer meeting, and mom and dad couldn’t make it because of mom’s knee surgery, so they sent my sister and I instead. Does anyone know how BORING HVAC dealer meetings are??! Lemme tell ya, I’ve been to comic book conventions, and I can honestly say that THIS is geekinerdier than ANY comic book convention I’ve been to! “Oh, yes…PLEASE…show me your exhaust vent!” 😛

    @ JimfromNJ – What’s happened in Philly this past year or so is just heartbreaking. I get so frustrated! What I hate even more is that when a cop is shot (and what a tragedy Oakland has just suffered!), people right away start bringing up all the ‘bad cop’ stories. Ya know – that’s neither here nor there. Yes, there are bad cops, but those aren’t the ones getting gunned down on the streets. The bad ones are few and far between compared to the ones who are just trying to do their jobs, at the risk of their very lives.

    Joe – and everyone – stay safe!! And me? I’m off to find a bar… 😀

    das

  65. I don’t know anything about Canadian Law but can you protect your land with man-traps? A nice pit trap with spikes in could be a useful deterent to nasty thugs, or maybe poison darts! Or is that too D&D? Maybe some razor wire… or a shotgun would be better.

  66. Here’s my unwanted 2 cents. 🙂

    I don’t know if you watch Animal Planet on cable at all, but on this they have a series of shows entitled Animal Cops set in various American cities. In it you have dogs being rescued from horrific environments, they’re starved, beaten…it’s not suprising that they’re scared and angry. But because cities like NY and San Fran have the resources they have people at shelters working with these dogs and because of this the majority of the time the show ends up with Killer the rotweiller being renamed Flopsy and leaping about the backyard with kids, the nicest dog you could possibly come across. (The ones where it ends with a syringe and a dumpster: de-press-ing.)

    If a dog has been beaten and displays anti-social behaviour the way to correct this isn’t to keep on beating it.

    If you look at the stats for prison populations vs the general population it paints a picture of people who have been victims of abuse themselves, who are most likely to be from lower-socio economic backgrounds, who are poorly educated, perhaps even illiterate, who had drug/alcohol issues, who have no job prospects…If you have a stagnent pool of water in your backyard it’s not exactly suprising if you end up with mosquitoes. If you have unaddressed disfunctional poverty in society it’s no surpising if you end up with criminals.

    Ideally you address it before it gets to this stage, but if not, and if people are slipping through the cracks, you can either hit them with the stick of retribution, or you can realise that if you want to lower recidivism rates, if you want people to fulfill their potential, not just because it’s the tree hugging good thing to do, it’s because it’s these individuals that go back into the community, it’s these people who go on to have kids of their own – it’s about making broken communities a better place, it’s about breaking that cycle so that there isn’t that next generation of disfunctional people.

    People who live in comfort (this isn’t directed at you, this is very much a general observation) bitch and whine about paying taxes and throw accountants and votes at the option that has them contributing the least amount possible to social services where intervention can happen, then surprise, surprise there’s a crime against property, then there’s the howls of outrage and the demands that criminals get locked away for longer time, that they shouldn’t be coddled with receiving (free!) education, or tv, or, you know, food.

    You keep beating a dog it’s going to bite, if you keep beating a person, whether literally or the state doing it metaphorically, you’re going to end up with an ingrained anti-social human being. It’s either stop it by investing in communities and education etc, or if it’s just a case of shoving them in jail, letting them out, shoving them in jail, repeat ad nauseum, you might as well just bring in the death penalty and society can do the ultimate hand washing of the situation. Bring in the bulldozers into squalid areas, build gated communities, and for the love of god never leave home without a gun.

    Not that I’m about to adopt a prisoner, but eh, if someone has a chance to rehabilitate themselves I’m not going to begrudge them a couple of dollars for the resources to do it, especially if it means that in the long run my tv doesn’t get nicked.

  67. Ruh-roe Joe!

    A Great Dane? Really? 😯 I think you’re kidding. A Dane would probably weigh more than Fondy. You know you really want a Pyr. 😉

    Carl is very funny. 😛 The stinker!

    Don’t get me started on all the criminal coddling going on these days. America’s certainly no better. Many victims of rape suffer terribly afterward and often must pay for their own counseling. If they were in school they often drop out. Or if they continue going it’s on their dime. All the while the criminals get counseling and can get an education in prison. How messed up is that? 🙄 I’ll tell ya! Very! It’s very very messed up! I do try to vote for people who say they’ll make it better. I’m always let down, though. I also call the police when I see weird behavior. I think that’s the least I can do.

    @maggiemayday: Legalize pot and tax the hell out of it? LOL! I think you are on to something. I was going to suggest that the criminals pay for their keep. But I know that there are major problems with my theory. I like your idea way better! 😆

    @Shirt’nTie: Ha! I’m sure many a pint was spilt in celebration! 😆 Now I miss Ireland. Well, I always miss it. Now I miss it MORE. 😀

    Trish

  68. Fathercrow wrote:

    I don’t know anything about Canadian Law but can you protect your land with man-traps? A nice pit trap with spikes in could be a useful deterent to nasty thugs, or maybe poison darts! Or is that too D&D? Maybe some razor wire… or a shotgun would be better.

    Or some tape…. Some poison tape.

    🙂
    Anne Teldy

  69. Thank you dovil – I really needed to read your response, after reading many of the others today. Joe, there are a scary amount of people reading your blog who think the price of a human life is whatever the cost of their television is, and that’s freakin’ disturbing. I’m very glad your readers don’t actually run our judicial systems!

    Shiningwit: And can we please get rid of this ridiculous human rights bullcrap.

    You realise you’ll have to give up your human rights, too?

  70. i work for a local police department. take 911 calls. some thoughts on your recent brush with a burglary.
    -have the police stop by your home and have them do a security walk through. they can look at your house and point out areas that may have made your creep choose your home. yes, the police were just there, but they werent thinking about advising you on perhaps cutting back on the bushes, or replacing light fixures that dont work. it might take as much as an hour, but it might answer some of your questions. and give you back a little bit of your lost sense of security.

    -having a dog isnt all that much a deterrent as you might think. small dogs are often more annoying than killer, you can often tell what size dog is on the other side of a door by the sound/pitch of its bark. the bad guy could have just come thru, had your dogs follow him into the backyard or another room, then closed the door on them and they would have been out of the picture. or just left the door open and let them out. if your dogs bark, alot, then your neighbors wouldnt be looking for anything different if they were to hear them barking.

    -house alrms make a lot of noise and if the alrm was loud enough that your neighbors could hear it and you have neighbors at home during the day who would look out their windows, then the alrm is worthwhile. but seriously, i think alrms are a waste of money. great if you are home and the alrm goes off, it lets you know to go look for something. but during the day, no one is home or at the neighbors to hear the alrm. everyone is gone, school, work, etc. false alrms account for large percentages of wasted police calls. either the system acts up, people turn on the alrm and then forget the cleaning crew is coming, they have people house sit and dont give them the password for when they set off the alrm accidentally and the alrm goes off. people leave doors and windows open just enough that when the wind blows it makes the frame jiggle and the alrm goes off. all day, our officers go out on alrm calls. all day. sometimes they find the door to the house open. and they do a walkthru. and then they secure the door and leave a note. its rare for them to respond to an alrm call, where they think someone actually tried to or broke in. in 4 yrs, i cant remember the police arriving in time to an alrm to catch someone in the act. altho they have gotten there in time to catch teenagers trying to break into their own home in the late afternoon becasue they forget to bring their house key with them. nothing reminds you to bring your keys with you next time, then finding 4 officers surrounding you and your friends.

    -just remember bad guys are stupid. example, a mother and daughter returned to their car parked at a mall parking garage and found that someone had broke in and rifled thru their glove box looking for things to steal. apparently there was nothing worthwhile and he ended up stealing another nicer vehicle that day. how was he caught so easily and quickly? well, the women were cleaning out the car later that day, picking up the paper, and found that while the bad guy had sat in the passenger seat looking thru their stuff, his wallet fell out and they found it on the floor. not only did it have pictures of him and his gang friends, it also had an appointment card noting his next appointment with his probation officer.

    -just remember bad guys are stupid. he may not even remember your home or neighborhood now.

  71. Thank you! I can’t stand how bleeding hearts turn the criminals into victims, as if we should sympathetic towards them all, and make excuses for their behavior. Grow up.

  72. Ask around and borrow a Doberman or German Shepherd or Belgian Sheepdog/Malinois/Tervuren/(wire haired one whose name escapes me). Host the dog for a week and word will get around. Bad guys usually head for the hills once they know that type of dog is present. Frenchies & Pugs are noisy but not intimidating.

    When I go on vacation, I board my dogs. My vet have always let my Dobe, Merlin, (& before him my Belgian Sheepdog, Shadow) roam loose when they are there after hours. One of the office types was doing the books on a Sunday with Merlin watching her. A junkie came to the front door where he was greeted by Merlin barking & snarling. So the guy went to the back door where he was again greeted by a noisy Merlin. The worker was on the phone to the police. Police caught the guy who had tried to hide from them behind a 2 ft tall bush beside the back door. The guy kept complaining to the cop wanting to know why was there a big dog at the vet’s? Duh!

    Good luck and keep safe.

  73. @ dovil. Whilst I agree with you in principle I’m afraid i have to interject with the observation that you are forgetting the chaos factor and that is that there are a LOT of people out there who do not WANT to be rehabilitated because in their own sordid little world they wield some power or they just plain want to be bad. Human nature being what it is I’m afraid all the do-gooding in the world will not help these people nor is society helped by such pie-in-the-sky ideals, look where its got us up to now, the wrong doers get rewarded if they behave but what do those who behave anyway get? its happening in schools and teaches those who have the propensity how to play the system to their advantage, they say what is required and pay lip service to the rest for the rewards that are showered upon them while the rest of us have to slog hard and have it rubbed in our faces.

  74. I’m going to shut up now. Oh and no offence dovil, I love playing devils advocate (or should that be Dovil’s advocate?) Can anyone tell I love a good debate?

  75. PS I used to work in the probation service and with social services so I do have a bit of a clue what I’m rambling about. (not to mention an opinion on everything anyway ) LOL

  76. I am not a “criminal-loving defender”, but just locking them up will only solve half the problem; keeping them from doing whatever it is they are doing, it will not change their behavior. I agree with you, Joe why can’t we have both; targeting the social problem and locking them up. One can focus on the problem as a whole,but, the individual needs rehab if he or she is going to function in society. I believe can be done with art therapy and art comes in many forms. Well maybe not art therapy alone, but it has been successful among juvenile offenders.

    Wrote a whole paper on it, art can heal and change perceptions. Writing is an art, just as cooking , sewing, gardening, singing, acting, dancing, drawing ,painting etc.

    Art Therapy And Social Action – by Frances F. Kaplan, cool book. However, it’s not going to solve all the problems. But it is interesting to see how it has changed some lives and unlocked some deep, deep, hidden emotions.

  77. Why would the Pegasus gate get precedence over the Milky Way one? Surely it would have different star constellations as addresses so it wouldn’t work. Just thinking out loud.

    Glad the guy didn’t rob you. I’ve never had any experiences like that so I can’t really add any anecdotes, which is a good thing.

  78. Dovil, you make some good points. I think there should be some rehab facilities available for those who choose to change. I support, with my taxes and my voice, improving education, especially in impoverished areas, to give kids another option than crime. I also don’t have a problem with getting some education into the prisons. Even if an employer would hire an ex-con, would he hire one that can’t even add?

    Also, from a personal standpoint, I think too harsh of prison conditions makes it dangerous for the guards and employees who work there. My uncle was a guard at a maximum security prison, and if we treat criminals worse than beaten dogs, then they are going to “bite.” (It’s bad enough as it is now, from what I’ve heard from people who’ve visited prison.)

    It’s how we deal with the repeat offenders that Shining Wit mentions that is the pickle in the cookie jar.

    Although we can surround ourselves with dogs, alarms, poison tape, snakes, and moats, if we could keep the 30th-strike criminal off of our back porch in the first place, I think that would be better.

    I don’t think the answer is always “throw away the key.” One of the good things about living in the US (and some other countries) is that we have a juvenile justice system. It has been eroded away due to reaction to very violent, shocking actions by a very, very few kids in contrast with the population at large. I dunno. Maybe some kids can actually be “fixed” enough they won’t go back into stealing, killing, and prostitution.

    The extreme cases can usually get a general consensus – I don’t shed a lot of tears for the life w/o parole or death sentence for a child rapist/murderer.

    It’s what do we do with the “non-violent” criminals who don’t want to stop? (Is any crime really “non-violent?”) I sure as heck don’t want that jerk who was casing Joe’s place showing up again in his yard/neighborhood/city, so what do we do with him? I don’t want him here! What about the con artist who scams li’l old ladies out of their pension checks? ID thieves?

    We can’t lock them up forever (yet). We can’t kill them (yet). We’re not supposed to run around with pitchforks and torches (yet).

    Getting depressed and brain is turning to mush trying to solve the world’s problems.

    eddy

  79. Been reading your blog for a while now, but haven’t been motivated to post until today.

    It helps to have a crazy neighbor, one who doesn’t mind scaring the crap outta everyone within spitting distance. The guy who lives across the street from my folks is a 79 year old five tour Vietnam vet with a pile of guns and the will to use them. He once fired at a guy who was trying to steal gas out of a neighbor’s car in the middle of the night. Egad! He also rescues feral kitties in the neighborhood. A real softy, but just don’t piss him off.

    Also, I DVRed BSG on Friday so I could watch the SGU sneak peak. I have one thing to say: C-O-O-L! Can’t wait to see more. Question, though. Could they have cut it together any faster?! I had to watch it several times, and finally resorted to flipping through the screen caps on GW today to see what I’d missed. Still, looks good, so tell the gang to keep ’em coming.

  80. Gosh, I guessed I missed the part where Joe complained about his taxes paying for rehabilitation. Agreeing that all avenues should be pursued to stop the cycle of criminal behavior is rather a separate question from expecting the right to feel safe in your own home, or to be reasonably sure your dogs won’t be killed while you’re out to dinner. You don’t know what that anger feels like until you’re a victim. Then all the liberal ideals have a bit less shine.

    And by the way, ask people who have turned their lives around whether being allowed to repeat their bad behavior over and over with no negative consequences was much of a motivator. Eh?

  81. I agree with dovil and Riley’s thought processes and in theory it would be great.

    I tried to do my part once and took in a homeless person. It ended badly. We provided a house, food, a job, chores and a support structure. I realised afterwards when reflecting on everything that had happened that in order to rehabilitate them and have them functioning in society you need to have some way of hitting a reset switch. When things got tough again rather than rising above it and doing the right thing he went back to old, familiar habits.
    Are there enough individuals who are willing to sacrifice in order to help these people? Riley I know you would.
    Funding and resources are tough to come by and most importantly the person has to want to change.
    The gene pool needs some attention too.
    Hard to type this on blackberry. Back to sleep again. Bye bye.

  82. @shiningwit. Absolutely. There are some people that are just so terribly completely broken, who refuse point blank any help, any efforts, that they will never be able to be rehabilitated and the only thing to do is to remove them permanently from society.

    Helping people change their way once they’re already in prison, is not exactly the ideal situation to be in(!), but if they’re sitting there any way you can either provide the resources and time and effort to at least TRY and stop the cycle from happening, or you can just think of them as ‘them’, as sub-human, as inheriently evil, as a waste of breath and space, as the detrius of society, and then what?, let them back out again?? I think it’s kind of a sad state of affairs that we think an animal can change it’s behaviour but we don’t think that someone who has screwed up can.

    It’s like going okay, the general makeup of an offender is X, but instead of addressing X lets blame the offender and be done with it – there’s personal responsibility but that’s not innate, and we’ve created a society that creates fucked up people. It’s all very well me saying that I grew up in a nice family in a nice neighbourhood and turned out okay, so why can’t someone living in a drug and crime riddled slum, but at the end of the day dysfunction breeds dysfunction. It’s not coddling offenders, it’s looking at the context, it’s looking at the reality of their situation and it’s about trying to address the issues that caused all this in the first place so it doesn’t happen again. And purely on economic terms if it costs less to give someone the skills to function in society that it does to house them in prison, surely that’s a better use of tax payers money.

    (And I would argue that the ‘rehabilitation’ that goes on is poorly funded, under resourced, and the throwing them back on the street business is all about prisons being so over crowded that it’s under threat of collapse.)

    It’s understandable when talking about crime that our first reactions are an emotional one of fear and anger, because if you’re under threat of getting burgled or mugged the first instinct isn’t going to be to give them a big hug and say that you’re sorry for their shitty upbringing, the sonofabitch just stole your tv, after all. I just think that if we really did live in a meritocracy, if the state as an extention of us all, really did look after ALL it’s citizens and provide the basics, we wouldn’t have the crime that we do.

    I don’t think people are born bad (except for some people with actual physical brain damage such as psychopaths) even if babies are kind of evil with the vomitting and the smells. Instead I think most people are made that way, but I also think that there can be hope and given enough pats and positive reinforcement and mince (no wait, that’s dogs) that some people can get it together. But that’s hard work and as a society we’d have to look slightly ashamed and shuffle our feet and spend our IPod money on it and it’s easier to just vote for the person who is offering punishment because that’ll show them for being scary and icky to deal with.

    If we don’t give enough of a damn enough to intervene when someone’s a kid growing up in a hell hole I guess it’s unlikely that we’re really going to care about the adult that it produces.

  83. joe, i drove by a car that had been pulled over by the police… a white van…

    *cue scary music*

  84. Hi, Joey Malloey!! My sister wanted to say ‘hi!’…

    Hi.

    We’re trapped here in AC (that’s Atlantic City, not air conditioning)…and bored…so we were wondering if you’re bored. Like us. Or tipsy. Like us. Heather – if you’re reading this – your old aunties are having more fun than we should be having for being so bored.

    Oh, and BTW, we don’t gamble…sooooo…sorry, we’re laughing…and can’t…did I tell you my sister is like – old – ouch! She pinched me!! She’s 501…lol…no, I mean 51, which is 501 in Wraith years. Anyway…just hope your evening is as much fun as ours.

    Does anyone know if what happens in Atlantic City stays in Atlantic City…’cause if it does, someone might need to bail us out tomorrow…

    😛

    das

  85. I enjoyed the sneak peak of SGU. The cast is handsome and the effects are as striking as I expected. Well done.

  86. Carl Binder is mean! We should all adopt the Japanese custom of politeness and not stealing so much as a pin. If we can learn to recycle and text then we can learn to retrain kids not to steal.

    Thirty strikes? See, in countries where they cut off hands and beat with canes you don’t see much thievin’. I’m pro-violence when it comes to thugs. I say we build giant Thunderdomes and toss ’em in . The ones that survive get to fight another day until they die, with no clemency.

    Crime is big business in North America. It gives lawyers, judges and jailors a steady income. Politicians get elected railing about it, it provides free news stories for reporters and everyone gets paid including the thieves. The only ones who get screwed are the civilians. When they start paying lawyers, reporters and judges the same pay grade as teachers and cops you’ll see a huge drop in crime. As long as crime is a lucrative business for lawyers and judges crime will never go away. This is why lawyers and judges fight so hard to release criminals; criminals pay the bills if you’re a judge.

    The solution is evidenced base imprisonment, no trials. Why bother with trials when you can tie criminals to crimes with irrefutable evidence? If the evidence is clear then they should go from fingerprint verification to jail. Think of all the money that would be saved by not wasting time with lawyers who concoct wild explanations for obviously guilty criminals.

  87. Hi Joe,

    This is similar to what happened to my 90 year old Great Aunt a few years ago . A woman came to her door asking to use the phone because her car had broken down across the street. She let her in and the woman pulled a knife and lightly slit her throat. She was able to run to her room and find her revolver and score a chest shot with the first round. She survived and even got a article in the National Enquirer. She is a tough old gal.

  88. Why have a trial? In America at least, we have that inconvenient thing called the Constitution, which requires due process and trial for criminal convictions.

    And really, people, the criminal justice system =/= Law and Order. The insanity defense is almost never used, and even when it is, it is rarely successful. It makes for dramatic television, but in reality it just doesn’t play that big of a role. Partially because a lot of defendant’s consider a not guilty by reason of insanity verdict to be worse than a conviction. You don’t get to go free–you go to a criminally underfunded mental health facility until they judge you safe for society–in the end you’d quite possibly end up serving more time that way.

    You want to lower crime by incapacitating people through prison time? The effectiveness of that theory is historically doubtful, but fine. But you’re going to end up paying for more prisons. The Right can’t claim it wants to throw more people in prison and have tax breaks be their mantra.

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