Drumpf-Style Hipocricy

Hypocrisy Runs Rampant in Trump Administration

Southern Border Wall– Build a Wall and Mexico will pay

  1. Mexico is not paying for the southern border wall.
  2. 4 years in office and he has never asked them to pay?
  3. Mexico’s then president said no; just in response to media reports. Without ever having to face the actual question/order from Trump.
  4. American citizens have paid 6.1 billion to reinforce 76 miles of existing wall and $3.8 billion has been taken from the US military for a grand total of about $10 billion that has accomplished the following: 90 miles of replacing existing structures and 3 miles have been added to that.
  5. A private organization called We Build the Wall” has constructed half a mile of new wall on private property.
  6. 3 new miles at $10 billion–3.3 billion dollars per mile. This is an area where there have never been any reported crossings.

Ban all Muslims from entering the United States until “we can figure out what the hell is going on.” He called for “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

  1. There are such obvious flaws in this legislation. Most obvious is the answer to the question doesn’t respond to what the citizens of the United States were most concerned about, that is, it’s not a question of attacking of religion it’s a question of preventing dangerous people who may be behind mass killings in the United States.
  2. The major attacks such as:
  • The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre and at other locations; the Boston Marathon bombing in the Orlando nightclub attacked were all carried out by persons from countries that are not on this list.
  • In fact, they were carried out by countries that the United States panders to, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Ironically, the Orlando nightclub was by US-born terrorists.
  • The demonstration of the hypocrisy of this legislation is that Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi defector and critical journalist working for the Washington Post was murdered by agents of the Saudi government. Yet, the President and his feckless son-in-law Jared Kushner, continued to extol the virtues of Saudi Arabia.
  • It is important to remember that 15 of the 19 9/11 attackers were citizens of Saudi Arabia. Two others were from the United Arab Emirates, one was from Lebanon and the other from Egypt.

So the obvious question is: Why are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates not on the list of banned countries? The even more obvious answer is that the Trump family, and now the Kushner family, have deep business ties with Saudi Arabia. It is common knowledge that Trump has booked hotel rooms and meeting rooms to the Saudis. Trump boasts about his long-standing relationships with members of the Saudi government. He says openly “I love the Saudi’s.” While running for president he bragged about the Trump Tower being largely occupied by “friends” from the Saudi government.

The 9/11 terrorist were mostly Saudis. Is that what he loves about the Saudis? Does he know that they are Muslims? Does he know that other than buying arms from the United States to be used against their enemies, some of them allies of the United States, they have no love for him. They use him for their own purposes often and effectively. So, how did the Saudis stay off the Muslim ban list? Under scrutiny for his questionable ties to Saudi Arabia, the answer to this question and many others about this irresponsible continuous pandering to the Saudis is that he does what’s in his interest, particularly his business interests, not what’s good for the country. The ban on Muslims is not total as promised and leans heavily in favor of his personal interests.

Bring manufacturing jobs back (make America Wealthy Again) and, the people that rigged the system are supporting Hillary Clinton

  1. He promised to get rid of NAFTA. He did not. In fact, a new deal has been signed which is essentially the same as the last, all chaff, no wheat. There are very few significant differences between NAFTA and the USMCA. Trump bragging that the new deal would be “the best and most important trade deals ever made by the USA is laughable. The two deals are far more alike than different.
  2. While the deal may adversely affect Mexico to some extent because of that country’s low wages, it has virtually no impact favorable or unfavorable on Canada. It requires that autoworkers making parts or using parts must earn at least $16 an hour. In Canada they do earn that or more. So, the United States loses the advantages it held by the use of cheap labour in Mexico. We say that’s a loss financially to the United States, not a benefit. With Canada the agreement changes nothing.

Trump’s Dealing with China

  1. Trump promised to stop China’s entry into the World Trade Organization. China is a member of the World Trade Organization. China has been a member of the World Trade Organization since December 2001. They are in and all signs point to China remaining in despite Trump’s blustery promises or threats to the contrary.
  2. The United States Congress granted China “Most Favored Nation” status in 1980 that remains to the present day.
  3. In recent trade negotiations it appears that the United States has not bettered its position vis-à-vis China in any significant way. If anything, trade is worse between the two countries because Trump erroneously believes that the tariffs that he has imposed on imported Chinese goods are paid by the Chinese government, when in fact, those tariffs are paid by American consumers. American consumers have been significantly hurt financially by the tariffs. China is only hurt by the fact that American companies and individual consumers buy fewer Chinese goods because the tariffs imposed upon those goods make them more expensive.
  4. The trade talks are apparently at a standstill. Trump brags about his “great” relationship with President Xi. The stall in the trade talks suggests otherwise. Just as Trump bragged about China’s transparency in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, that too has apparently changed. Now he alleges that China was secretive, irresponsible and may have intentionally caused the spread of Covid-19 for its own personal gains.
  5. Trump doesn’t speak about China much anymore. Does this surprise anyone? In Trump’s world China’s leader is great one day, a despot the next day. It’s difficult to follow the bouncing ball.
  6. Presumably the relationship between the United States and China is a day-to-day thing. Mostly dependent upon the whimsical, unstable and inept meandering mind of the President.
  7. When the coronavirus debacle began Trump praised President Xi for his transparency. Now that the United States has the highest number of cases and the most deaths of any country in the world, Trump blames China for the outbreak of the virus even suggesting that China acted with malevolence (although he would not actually know the meaning of that word).
  8. We now know thousands of people from China entered the US carrying with them the Covid- 19 virus. The president claims that if he had not imposed an immediate ban ‘things would’ve been much worse.’ That claim is, of course, false. It is generally recognized that it was too little and too late.
  9. The President has defunded the World Health Organization. His timing couldn’t be worse. He has defunded the most important organization for the health of the world In the middle of a health pandemic. Why? Because that organization represents to him a foil to the President’s misinformation campaign .
  10. From January 2020 until mid-May 2020 100,000 Americans have lost their lives. The President early in the death toll said the first 15 cases will soon be down to zero. He also said the virus will just go away on its own, and, by Easter the virus will be gone and it will be great to see people gathered in churches all over the country. He foolishly said , “It’s just going to disappear on its own. This sad erroneous narrative was as fanciful as it was wrong. The United States has the largest number of cases of infection and deaths in the world. Trump’s helter-skelter, uninformed and chaotic approach is mostly responsible for the United States leading the world in something that it does not want to acknowledge.
  11. There are many other catastrophes created by the misfeasance of the US government at the behest of its President. Currently approximately 20% of the jobs in America have been lost. The country’s economy is worse now than at any time in the past. But the President carries on blissfully supported by his base. His base apparently is a large segment of the US population that appears to be impervious to his wanton incompetence.
  12. The President recommends taking a drug for malaria, hydroxychloroquine. All knowledgeable medical experts disagree, and most suggest it could be dangerous particularly with people having pre-existing heart conditions. He, of course, has a pre-existing heart condition. If he is actually taking that drug this could get interesting. If he is not taking that drug, just throw that lie on top of the other 18,000 of them.

President Drumpf

It is certainly no secret that the President of the United States is a serial liar. At the beginning of May 2020, the Washington Post had documented more than 14,000 lies. These are lies that were public and “on the record” in the sense that he was making public statements that were provably false. They excluded hundreds more statements or comments that were likely false but not provably false.

One should, I suppose, be careful in this assessment of his serial lying because he is so intellectually impoverished that some of his craziest comments may not be lies, but instead, his inability to understand or appreciate the circumstances surrounding events that he appears to lie about. His level of stupidity may be inaccurately recorded as lying when it actually represents a full-blown mental illness, or, at least, an intellectual incapacity, preventing him from understanding or appreciating even simple, straightforward circumstances. We can be sure he would prefer to be described as a liar rather than an imbecile. Truth is, he’s probably both.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo recently questioned the President’s campaign spokesperson, Kayleigh McEnany about the President’s propensity to lie. It appears that the host of the show wanted to have some fun with another serial liar. Kayleigh did not disappoint. Despite the many thousands of documented lies of the President, McEnany said, “He doesn’t lie.” Very good Kayleigh, you get to keep the position as spokesperson for the liar as long as you’re prepared to lie as much as him. You are unlike the last 3 Inspector Generals who the President fired because they were legitimately fulfilling their role in oversight over the actions of his government. Stick with the lies or ‘be gone Satan.’

A president who lies regularly does not actually want oversight. Why would he? Oversight implies somebody’s watching to make sure everything is legitimate. When you’re running a government that is not legitimate oversight is the antithesis of your plan of governmental deceit. The latest casualty to the war on truth is Steve Linick, Inspector General in charge of oversight. He must’ve known that his job was precarious based on the firings of the previous 3 Inspector Generals who were all fired for doing their job. He had a choice; do the job properly and get fired, or, overlook every shady deal by Trump and his cronies, most particularly in this instance, Mike Pompeo, and remain in place collecting a salary while pretending that there is, in fact, an oversight watchdog. In this administration there are no watchdogs allowed. Only lapdogs please. That is our modus operandi.

Linick, of course. suffered the same fate as his 3 predecessors. That’s a total of 4 Inspector Generals in less than 4 years of the President’s term in office. No reason was given for the Inspector General’s firing, other than the usual comment that the President had lost confidence in him. But everybody knows the real reason. The Inspector General was doing his job. That’s the reason! He was investigating the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, in relation to his knowledge of and participation in a massive arms deal with Saudi Arabia. In addition, there were some personal elements to the investigation because Pompeo was regularly using government staff for personal errands and several media outlets had been reporting on this breach of protocol. The President had no difficulty with Pompeo using the staff this way. He said, “Do you want Mike Pompeo doing the dishes or someone else?” I would think the average voter would say ‘if Pompeo used the dishes, he should wash them.’ Why should someone from his security detail be washing his dishes? Do they present a security risk?

After almost 4 years in office what is apparent is that the President prefers to operate without a system of checks and balances. Checking on his behavior, his decisions, his appointments and his comments on all manner of subjects only exposes his bizarre behavior, his ridiculous decisions, his appointment of lackeys and his intolerance of people pointing out the inaccuracies of his comments on virtually every subject. Perhaps we should not be so intolerant. If we spent 12 or 13 hours a day watching ourselves on TV, 2 ½ hours painting our face orange (don’t you wonder why he doesn’t paint his neck and his hands the same color?) and, another 2 ½ hours working on our comb-over (that one must admit is most unusual in its design), we probably wouldn’t take time to read our security briefings either. Perhaps is all just a question of prioritizing one’s work day.

But one thing is certain. Watchdogs, in these circumstances, are not preferred. Lapdogs, (as in every Republican member of the Senate today, except perhaps Mitt Romney, who occasionally raises a dissenting hand) are definitely preferable. Everyone, except the Inspector Generals, have repeatedly turned a blind eye to all manner of impropriety and dishonesty by this President.

There is, however, hope for this moribund country. Elections are coming. All class 1 seats were contested in the November 2018 elections. In this Congress, class 1 means the term commenced in the current Congress, requiring re-election in 2024. Class 2 means the term ends with this Congress, requiring re-election in 2020. And, class 3 means the term began in the last Congress requiring re-election in 2022. There should be several Republican Senators freed of their obligations in the Senate when they go down to defeat in the next elections.

After all the Republican majority in the Senate has failed to pass any meaningful legislation, despite having over 400 bills passed by the House Democrats sitting in front of them and waiting for passage. Apparently the Republican senators are frozen in place, mimicking the appearance, demeanor and personality of Mitch McConnell who strikingly resembles a frozen fixture from a wax museum—barely moving his head, eyes, lips or hands as he ignores the pile of proposed legislation in front of him. Move your eyelids to prove you’re alive Mitch, otherwise you’re destined to be a wax figure on Saturday Night Live for years to come. The comedian who plays your part in those Saturday Night Live skits says it’s the easiest money he’s ever made, all he has to do is not move.

Here’s the bottom line. The President is an incompetent leader. He is likely mentally ill (only a mentally ill person would recommend swallowing Drano to combat Covid-19) or, he’s psychiatrically challenged (“Give me a prescription to fight malaria because I mean, ‘what harm can it do?’ ) or, he’s just plain stupid. It doesn’t really matter which diagnosis fits, because, unfortunately, he poses a great risk to the entire free world. The reason for his incompetence is not really important. The fact that he is incompetent is important. He is what he is–regardless of label or professional assessment.

Canada and Mexico are at risk during this administration. They are, so to speak, ‘next door’ to America and and therefore at risk. America was once a proud, powerful country that embraced its role as the leader of the free world. Now, the country is viewed as unreliable and a threat to peace. It’s leader is far more likely to be the butt of daily jokes that he is to be considered as a person worthy of consulting on any world the matter. Unfortunately, the leaders of other countries will see no value in consulting a mentally ill or completely inept, seriously diminished, individual. They humor the United States of America hoping that he will soon be gone. Their fervent hope is that his departure will lead to a return to normalcy.

These circumstances pose a threat to Canadians, Mexicans and every other free nation when this self-ordained ‘stable genius’ provokes countries like Iran. He cost Canada hundreds of innocent lives when he ordered the murder of an Iranian military leader. The Iranians returned fire but unfortunately downed a domestic flight mistaking it as an incoming missile. Canadians paid the price for the President’s idiocy. Did the President express any remorse? Of course not. It’s always all about him. He has many weaknesses. But chief among them is a complete lack of empathy or remorse.

He’s erratic and undisciplined. He makes bad decisions. He is not smart. Yet, he’s in charge of America and dangerous to many others who are not American, didn’t vote for him and never would vote for him if he ever ran for office in their country. The fact that he has the right to put his fat little fingers on the buttons of mass destruction is truly scary. He wants to be a dictator. That’s why he admires the leaders of North Korea and Russia and China. He congratulates them on electoral victories that everybody in the world, other than him, recognizes as bogus victories. They don’t have opponents. It should be relatively easy to figure out. But he calls and congratulates them on victories. He muses about Kim Jong-Un becoming the leader of a country at such a young age! He doesn’t seem to understand the right of succession under dictators. Just think about that. Can he possibly be that stupid? Can the people that voted for him be that stupid?

Mental illness fits with his own description of himself as a “very stable genius.” There’s nothing about him that even hints of genius. Anyone who has watched any of his torturous press conferences knows that he can barely read. He stumbles over the words in his prepared speeches like a kid in grade 3 destined for some type of vocational school.

His lap dog Republican Senators stifle laughter when he stumbles through his notes at press briefings. He gets mixed up with the location of certain states. This became apparent when he tried ineptly to warn people about the tract of a hurricane. So, in an effort to cover his blunder, he altered the map of the United States with the stroke of a sharpie. It would’ve been much better to just admit that he had no f’ing idea where that state was. Is it any wonder that his previous lawyer Michael Cohen was tasked with threatening every educational venue he attended with heavy duty lawsuits if they released his grades publicly. If one had a choice, most would prefer to view him as an abject liar rather than an insane, mentally challenged cretin.

We are told he refuses to read his morning security briefings. That makes sense. He doesn’t read anything. It’s torturous to watch and listen to him read. His vocabulary scores at about a grade 3 level. His favorite words are “tremendous” “strong” “big” “crooked” “fake” “sleepy” “little” and “nasty.” Nasty is reserved only for women. Apparently, many women have been nasty to him. Is it any wonder?

While US security types go through the ritual of morning briefings, they rather dejectedly admit he shows little interest. They advise that he doesn’t appear to read even a single sentence of any of the intelligence briefs. He doesn’t read well, and, he definitely doesn’t read often. Poor reading skills and lack of comprehension will do that to a person. Combine a low IQ with inadequate reading skills and you may have a moron, but you definitely don’t have a genius. Almost anyone in the world would rather be thought of as a liar rather than just plain dumb. So, faking it is necessary. But it’s hard to fake genius when you can’t read or write. Wouldn’t it be interesting to look at his academic scoring? It would provide more insight into his intellectual capacity or lack thereof, than reviewing his income tax returns. His tax returns have undoubtedly been prepared by people much smarter than him. One can only wonder if the schools he attended are still afraid of the threat by lawyer Cohen now that Cohen’s in jail for lying on behalf of Trump.

Let’s examine some of his more recent comments and let the reader decide whether it is a lack of intellect, a failure to comprehend or dishonesty or any combination of these that fuel these incomprehensible thoughts and positions. That he is the leader of the United States of America and his comments may be attributed to one or all of these personality defects is enough to legitimately be alarmed.

We are presently in a pandemic crisis. So, it is particularly interesting to examine some of his comments about the coronavirus. The pandemic crisis has led to a mother lode of lies and false information by him. Forbes reports the President has averaged 23.8 lies per day since the first case of Covid-19 was recorded in the US. For each of the comments made by him the question is: ‘is he too stupid to understand, or, is he just an even bigger liar in times of crisis?’

False information during a pandemic is arguably much worse than his every day, mostly inconsequential, lies. In times of crisis, the public needs to trust and rely upon heads of state for accuracy. That is an unachievable goal for a man whose lies, and deception, are at the very core of his personality.

Worse, the crisis provoked even more than his usual harmful recommendations that could cause injury or death to members of the public. One would like to think that his lies force everyone to question the value of any information from him. This may generally be so, but not necessarily for those weird folks who represent his base.

As near as anyone can determine his base of voters is made up of the uneducated (he once famously said ‘I love the uneducated’) the uninformed, and, those leaning toward racism and anarchy, and also those generally angry about their place in life. They may also be angry and prone to violence. They roar with laughter when their leader says, ‘Go ahead and hit that man, I’ll pay for your legal fees.’ Their hats should read, ‘Make America Stupid and Violent Again.’ Or, ‘The Jews or Blacks Won’t Replace Us.’ Or, ‘Lock Him or Her Up.’ Or, ‘Where is the Swamp? I Want to Go for a Swim.’ His base consists of a bunch of non-intellectuals looking for someone to blame for whatever ails them. “Base” is an apt description for any Trump supporter.

Hydrochloroquine

Trump claims he has been taking the controversial drug hydrochloroquine “for the past couple of weeks.” He said this after he had been promoting its use despite many scientists having determined that it does not help in the treatment of Covid-19.

He also said, “You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it. That might be true, especially if they have malaria, since that’s the disease the drug has been created to combat. Trump said, I happen to be taking it right now. I asked the White House doctor, “What do you think?” He said, “Well, if you’d like it.” I said, “Yeah, I’d like it. I’d like to take it.” “He got it for me.” How’s that for an interesting doctor-patient assessment leading to a prescription?

The President also said, “A lot of people are taking it. Many doctors are taking it. So far, I seem to be okay.” He didn’t say what the people are taking it for, who “the doctors” are and why they are taking it. What he did say is that he is taking hydrochloroquine prophylactically to combat Covid 19. Now, absolutely no one has suggested it should be used for that purpose! The President is apparently taking it because he has concluded, “what harm can it do?” The basis of his conclusion remains sketchy. His medical doctor apparently prescribes an inappropriate medication on the basis of his patient “liking to try it.” Do I detect the smell of a medical license burning? The test for prescribing hydrochloroquine was, “If you’d like it.Seriously? Sure, I’d like it, and, can you throw in a little Fentanyl and crystal meth? I hear a lot of doctors are taking them also.

The manufacturer of hydrochloroquine warns that it should not be taken by persons with a pre-existing heart condition. He has a pre-existing heart condition. Don’t worry about that pre-existing heart condition, the question is would you like it? Let’s be serious here. Let’s separate fact from fiction. Many doctors are not taking it. This drug is an anti-malaria drug. There is no evidence that it can act as a preventative measure against Covid-19. Contraindicated is prescribing this medication to a person with a pre-existing heart condition. Hello. The President has a pre-existing heart condition. That condition was made public last year on his annual medical inspection.

Political commentator Emma Vigeland responded to his claims of literally prescribing this inappropriate drug for himself in the following manner: “It’s so obvious that it’s almost not worth pointing out, but Trump saying he’s taking hydrochloroquine is one of his oldest media tactics, say something outrageous to hijack the news cycle and distract from over 90,000 dead Americans. He lies. Touché Emma. He lies. That’s really all you need to know unless you’re part of his base.

One study by experts at Columbia University concluded that “patients who received hydrochloroquine had the same risk of intubation or death as patients who did not receive that drug.” Trump has also suggested that people should consider ingesting bleach as a possible cure for Covid-19. He asked one of his experts what she thought of “his idea.” She replied simply, “not for treatment.” Undaunted, he replied, “it might be “interesting to check it out” as a possible cure. His idiotic remarks caused several chemical companies to put out warnings that their products should not be ingested. To do so would be lethal the warnings proclaimed. His political advisers tried their best to prevent him from conducting any further press briefings with his medical experts. His idiotic suggestions were, in their opinion, likely to be a major cause of his loss in the next election.

Best-selling author Kurt Eichenwald summed up this issue by stating prophetically: “Speaking as someone who has known Trump for decades, I promise you he is lying about taking hydrochloroquine. I also expect he will soon trot out some physician to lyingly confirm he is. How’s that for a prediction 2 weeks before the actual event. The President asked parenthetically, “What do you have to lose?” To that we say, ‘we hope only you.’

Personal Privacy Obliterated By Canada

 

Federal Government Is Continuing To Destroy Any Rights of Privacy

Are you worried about your privacy? You should be. The Canadian government intentionally exposes every Canadian to breaches of their privacy. Privacy breaches by the government and others are legislatively encouraged and protected. Access to private information is granted upon request, without a warrant or court order. Information that Canadians believe is entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy is intentionally exposed.

There is really only one area where the Canadian government does, in fact, protect privacy. The prerequisite for privacy in this country will not surprise you. It occurs only if the information to be protected concerns the operation of the government. The more important the information is to protecting the Government’s image, the more ferociously they protect it from disclosure. Conversely, private information about you is routinely breached. Your telephone calls, emails, banking records, and personal interactions are not protected. The federal government has insidiously wiped out any hope of personal privacy.

The  government’s latest assault on our privacy rights  is found in its  proposed legislation, Bill C-23. If passed into law  the police would be allowed to secretly collect a citizen’s personal data and use it forever  without restriction .  The proposed law would prevent disclosure of the police activity .  The citizen whose data was collected would never be aware  that his/her data has been  taken and preserved by the police .  The proposed law does not provide any remedy  for the person whose  information has been taken .

 

The Liberals And NDP Incredibly Inept In Challenging New Laws

How could this happen? Canadians allowed it to happen. A once proud and tolerant nation embraced the Federal government’s ‘Get Tough on Crime’ legislation. Canadians were supportive of what was billed as anti-crime legislation that simultaneously and secretly trammeled individual privacy rights. The opposition parties have proven passively irresponsible, refusing to challenge the new laws in any meaningful way. Believing that average Canadians have moved further to the right philosophically, the cowardly opposition parties provide no resistance to these dramatic changes to the reasonable expectations of privacy previously enjoyed by Canadians. Now, the problem is everyone’s problem.

 

The Canadian Government Protects Itself Not Its Citizens

The Canadian government prohibits disclosure of its own information whenever it deems the disclosure is contrary to the Government’s interest. Examples of this are plentiful. Negative reviews of drugs produced by powerful pharmaceutical companies are withheld from the public by the government in the interest of maintaining their financial/political support. Information concerning failings by the government to protect Canadians abroad is withheld. Information is withheld concerning government spending on prisons, fighter jets, the Afghan war, and any other expensive, wasteful government projects. Efforts to obtain government information using Canada’s Access to Information Act are regularly thwarted. Applications for disclosure of information meet with lengthy delays, denials, and refusals to process.

The federal government’s political claims of ‘openness and transparency’ are sheer burlesque. The government’s policies are the antithesis of openness and transparency.  The government claims it has a right to probe your emails, telephone conversations, and private documents. Your requests to access government information conversely require: a money order in an envelope, addressed to a non-efficient governmental office created to obstruct your efforts until the information you seek has been deleted from the government’s server. Your denial will be terse and impolite. The information you seek is ‘unavailable.’

 

The ‘Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act: (PIPEDA)’  And ‘Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act’ Hide A Darker Purpose

The Federal government is all about appearances. The plan: appear transparent; remain impenetrable. The government has a healthy disrespect for the privacy of its citizens. It trusts that Canadians are ignorant of its intrusions on their privacy rights. The government cleverly couches its laws under misleading titles, aimed at sounding innocuous, or subtler and more insidious, supportive of individual privacy. The Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (“PIPEDA”) is a prime example. The title suggests protection of personal information. The title is disingenuous. Its provisions support disclosure of private information from all its citizens . This legislation flies under the government’s Get Tough on Crime agenda. Under the guise of fighting crime, the government gathers and examines private information that most of its citizens naively believe are truly private.

The Get Tough on Crime agenda is informed not by principle, but by politics and polls. It exploits and deliberately exacerbates the public’s misguided fears that crime is increasing, when crime is actually decreasing. In fact, crime rates have been decreasing steadily for about 22 years. The smug, self-congratulatory tone conveyed by such titles as the Truth in Sentencing Act, or, Standing Up for Victims of White Collar Crime, this agenda has nothing whatsoever to do with truth in sentencing or standing up for victims. The Get Tough on Crime agenda has the unclean odor of politics all over it. It plays to the public’s irrational fears. It flies in the face of an ever-developing and now overwhelming body of literature going to suggest that harsher sentences lead, if anywhere, to the same or more crime, not less. It flies in the face, too, of the accumulated wisdom of our finest judges, who are now being told, in unmistakable terms, that they cannot be trusted to exercise their discretion reasonably, competently, and compassionately. These legislative amendments represent the government, like the crayfish, crawling backwards into the future.

Unlike the Patriot Act, the U. S. law that unabashedly suspends civil liberties in the name of combating terrorism, Canada’s version, PIPEDA, and it’s proposed amendments in Bill C-29 and Bill C-23 and Bill S-4; are all ostensibly aimed at protection of privacy, not combating terrorism. At least that’s what their titles claim. The titles are sanctimonious. The government’s intentions are disingenuous. To believe that the titles accurately reflect the provisions beneath them is to believe a lie.

 

No Safeguards Against Invasions of Privacy

The government claims PIPEDA is designed to ensure that Canadian businesses, organizations or individuals that collect and use your personal information for legitimate business purposes must also manage your information in a way that safeguards your privacy and protects your personal information from ending up in the wrong hands. PIPEDA refers to “personal information” and “protection”. The short title for its amendments is Safeguarding Canadians’ Personal Information Act. Don’t believe either one of them. Their titles confute their stated goals. These laws suspend civil liberties. They expand, not limit, the circumstances where personal information can be collected, used or disclosed without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

The proposed amendments provide several new circumstances where personal information may be disclosed without consent. If personal information is requested to “perform policing services” it may be disclosed. Apparently, the drafters of PIPEDA were not satisfied with the existing “exceptional circumstances” that allowed personal information of Canadians to be disclosed. The existing law permits disclosure without consent, upon request for, “enforcement of any laws of Canada, Province or a foreign country; intelligence gathering related to enforcement of any laws of Canada, a Province or a foreign country and administration of any laws of Canada or a Province.” It’s difficult to imagine what personal information was not available to the police at their whim (or request) under the existing legislation. But the government obviously thought it too restrictive. The proposed amendments do not require any lofty goal like the enforcement of law.

The proposed amendments make the old provisions seem strict by comparison. The proposed legislation checks civil liberties by provisions that only require investigating officers to be performing “policing services” as they gather your personal information from 3rd parties. The information is to be made available to them “upon request”. For greater truth in legislation the acronym PIPEDA should change to PIDPEA: ‘Personal Information Disclosed to Police Everywhere Anytime’. The new law lacks any form of restraint. It removes all impediments to accessing and using private information in any form. The term, “policing services” is not defined in the Act or in the amending Bill. Ostensibly, the janitor at a police precinct is performing policing services according to this law.

While PIPEDA limited the collection, use, and disclosure of your personal information without consent to circumstances where the police were acting under “lawful authority”, the amendments provide specifically that “lawful authority” does not require a subpoena or warrant from a court or relate to the Rules of Court ordering the production of records. Lawful authority is undefined and open-ended. The amending Bill also permits the organization disclosing the information to provide personal information without having to verify that anyone seeking personal information has lawful authority.

PIPEDA already permits voluntary disclosure of personal information to any government institution without the consent of the person affected by the disclosure,  if the organization has reasonable grounds to believe that any law of the Province or the country is/was or may in the future, be broken. Bill C-29 will allow disclosure to anyone (not just government institutions) including other businesses or organizations, without requiring grounds to believe anything related to an actual crime is, has, or will be committed.

 

Bill C-13: The New Grounds: What Might Be Necessary!

Justice Minister Peter MacKay apparently has no difficulty lumping together cyber bullying law with terrorism law. In the face of criticism from Canada’s interim privacy Commissioner, 2 provincial commissioners and at least one parent of a child who committed suicide after being victimized by cyber bullying, MacKay remained adamant that the government’s broad new police surveillance powers are the government’s response to the suicides of Rehtash Parsons, Amanda Todd, James Hubley and others. He said their deaths were a “clarion call for government action– not further study, not delaying it, not allowing experts who may have some other agenda in mind.” The reader can decide for herself whether or not the proposed amendments should lead to the following government action.

This enactment, according to the government’s own website, amends the Criminal Code to provide:

(a) a new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images as well as complementary amendments to authorize the removal of such images from the Internet and the recovery of expenses incurred to obtain the removal of such images, the forfeiture of property used in the commission of the offence, a recognizance order to be issued to prevent the distribution of such images and the restriction of the use of a computer or the Internet by a convicted offender;

(b) the power to make preservation demands and orders to compel the preservation of electronic evidence;

(c) new production orders to compel the production of data relating to the transmission of communications and the location of transactions, individuals or things;

(d) a warrant that will extend the current investigative power for data associated with telephones to transmission data relating to all means of telecommunications;

(e) warrants that will enable the tracking of transactions, individuals and things and that are subject to legal thresholds appropriate to the interests at stake; and

(f) a streamlined process of obtaining warrants and orders related to an authorization to intercept private communications by ensuring that those warrants and orders can be issued by a judge who issues the authorization and by specifying that all documents relating to a request for a related warrant or order are automatically subject to the same rules respecting confidentiality as the request for authorization.

The enactment amends the Canada Evidence Act to ensure that the spouse is a competent and compellable witness for the prosecution with respect to the new offence of non-consensual distribution of intimate images.

It also amends the Competition Act to make applicable, for the purpose of enforcing certain provisions of that Act, the new provisions being added to the Criminal Code respecting demands and orders for the preservation of computer data and orders for the production of documents relating to the transmission of communications or financial data. It also modernizes the provisions of the Act relating to electronic evidence and provides for more effective enforcement in a technologically advanced environment.

Lastly, it amends the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act to make some of the new investigative powers being added to the Criminal Code available to Canadian authorities executing incoming requests for assistance and to allow the Commissioner of Competition to execute search warrants under the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Act.

The proposed amendments will, if passed, lead to the most dramatic destruction of privacy in the history of Canada. Privacy as a constitutional right will be extinguished.

Disclosure of private information will be based upon the requesting party’s belief.  The requesting party will always be a member of the  government  or the police. What belief? The information might be necessary to investigate a breach of an agreement, a law, or to prevent, detect or suppress fraud or “to prevent, detect or suppress fraud when it is reasonable to expect that the disclosure with the knowledge or consent of the individual would undermine the ability to prevent, detect or suppress the fraud”. Simply stated, the new law encourages disclosure of private personal information to anyone, for any reason.  The concept of an investigating officer investigating a specific crime  will be gone .

The Canadian government apparently asks, “Who needs terrorism as an excuse to trammel civil liberties?” The Canadian government instead embraces a philosophy that the personal privacy of Canadians will be afforded the disrespect the government believes privacy deserves. Total disrespect. The Canadian government cleverly disguises its disrespect for individual privacy under deceptive legislative titles that refer to “protection” and “safeguarding” personal information. Under these cagey, deceptive banners the government encourages all manner of disclosure of private personal information to anyone for virtually any reason. Disclosures are unencumbered by restrictive provisions. The law represents pre-eminent, unprincipled disrespect for an individual’s privacy.

The Canadian government presumably hopes that Canadians only read their titles. Examination of the contents will prove depressing for anyone who values personal privacy. For Americans, their visceral reaction to 9/11 led to the passage of the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act is an understandable reaction to the senseless tragedies in New York and Washington D.C. on September 11, 2001. For Canada, however, a country once proud of its reputation for individual freedoms and tolerance, the rationale for its laws ensuring an absence of privacy is scarcely discernible.

 

Is the Supreme Court of Canada The Answer?

The Supreme Court of Canada is about to decide a case that may have profound impact upon police authorities having warrantless access to telecom customer data. The case is R. v. Spencer. Spencer was charged with possessing child pornography. He was 19 years of age at the time of his arrest.  PIPEDA played a significant role in his arrest. Although the Act claims to protect personal digital privacy, under its provisions Spencer’s Internet service provider volunteered Spencer’s digital identification. The Act, even without the proposed amendments in Bill C-23, allowed his Internet provider to voluntarily hand over customer data to the police. The only requirement was that a police officer request it for “the purposes of enforcing any law in Canada, a province or a foreign jurisdiction.”

The police claim they witnessed certain behavior that they suspected was illegal. They went to Spencer’s Internet provider and the provider gave the police his IP address. Under PIPEDA no warrant is required. There is no judicial oversight. There is no disclosure to Spencer that he is under investigation or that his private digital data has been turned over to police authorities. The Act proclaiming  protection of privacy rights instead enhances police powers allowing them to search and seize Spencer’s information without judicial oversight.

The Supreme Court of Canada will be asked to decide whether some or all of PIPEDA’s provisions are unconstitutional. Their decision will have an impact on the proposed amendments to PIPEDA to afford the police even greater authority to search and seize private information.

 

Even Canada’s Victims of Crime Fear The Canadian Government’s Motives in Bill C-23

Bill C-23, the Canadian government’s proposed new law to provide easy access to the metadata that Internet service providers have for every call and e-mail by their customers came under fire recently from a most unusual Canadian;  one parent among the parents of 3 Canadian teenagers who committed suicide after they were bullied online. Seeking to score political points from these three tragedies, the Canadian government promised a tough new law against cyber-bullying. But the government took this tragic set of circumstances as an further opportunity to hide some new draconian laws to erode privacy rights that are completely unrelated to cyber-bullying.

Outspoken  Carol Todd, mother of Amanda Todd, one of the victims of cyber-bulling,  stated, “I am troubled by some of these provisions condoning the sharing of Canadians privacy information without proper legal process.” Ms. Todd’s concerns should be the concerns of all Canadians. Todd suggested the government remove the more controversial measures from the Bill so that it could pass with broad agreement. Presently, Internet providers may voluntarily disclose personal information they hold on their subscribers, but many insist upon a court order demanding disclosure thereby taking the decision out of their hands. Todd, an obviously articulate and informed Canadian, said this to the House of Commons committee that’s studying the proposed legislation:

“I don’t want to see our children victimized again by losing privacy rights. I am troubled by some of these provisions condoning the sharing of Canadians’ privacy information without legal process.” and,

“We should not have to choose between our privacy and our safety.”

Ms. Todd could not understand why the Canadian government wants to lump together provisions prohibiting cyber-bullying with anti-terrorism measures. Of course, these new measures are precisely that: incompatibly lumped together for political reasons only. Under the guise of protecting our children from cyber-bullying, the government seeks to pass an array of new laws aimed at infringing privacy rights. The government does so hoping that the average Canadian is not nearly as perceptive as Ms. Todd.(1)

Preventing cyber-bullying and combating terrorism are separate and distinct goals. The government fears it will face serious challenges by knowledgeable Canadians to its proposed ‘terrorism legislation’ and so it “hides” its terrorism provisions that permit organizations to disclose subscriber or customers’ personal information without court order under legislation touted as protection for our children. The government’s proposed law would permit the government to obtain subscriber or customer personal information, without a court order. The disclosures would be kept secret from the people whose information is being shared.

Another Bill proposed by the Canadian government, Bill S-4, known as the Digital Privacy Act, would also allow organizations to disclose subscriber or customer personal information without a court order. If these new laws are passed, personal privacy in Canada will also be non-existent for all digital information.

 

The L.S.U.C.’s Rules of Professional Conduct: A Special Problem for Lawyers

Rule 2 of the Rules of Professional Conduct prohibits disclosure of confidential information without the client’s permission. This rule requires that a lawyer hold a client’s information in strict confidence, subject only to few exceptions. This obligation conflicts with the open-ended, undefined laws of PIPEDA and the various new proposed laws in support. These laws encourage disclosure of private information in virtually every circumstance. What should a lawyer do? The answer: Challenge PIPEDA and any other legislation that encourages disclosure of private information.

Lawyers should make every reasonable effort to keep privileged-communication privileged. This includes using special methods available to lawyers to ensure that solicitor-client communications remain private. There are some methods available to lawyers to maximize privacy. These methods include private, face-to-face meetings with the client, using specialized equipment and software programs to enhance the privacy of telephone or electronic communications.

Edward Snowden, former CIA agent and contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency (the “NSA”) has disclosed how difficult ensuring privacy, while communicating by electronic means, can be. He disclosed the existence of numerous global surveillance programs; many of them run by and for governments, with the co-operation of telecommunication companies. These same governments prosecute our clients. Against these long odds lawyers are required to maintain confidential information.

For lawyers to ensure that communications remain private while using electronic means of communication, including the Internet, special steps must be taken. These steps include stand-alone computers, open source Internet browsers, and dedicated servers. As Edward Snowden so ably demonstrated, electronically communicated information is only as safe as the weakest link in the chain of electronic equipment. Even encrypted messages that pass through unprotected servers or servers that accommodate multiple users leave the information vulnerable to interception. The “handshake” between interconnected computers often provides the portal of access to private information.

Conclusion

In this age of mass surveillance, government secrecy and privacy-breaching legislation present and proposed,  the balance between individual privacy and government’s ability to surreptitiously spy on its citizens, the scales have tipped distinctly in favor of disclosure of private information and NOT the protection of privacy.

 

 

Notes

1. The Minister of Justice is unable to explain the connection between Amanda’s suicide and the wide-ranging legislation proposed by the government http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/news-video/video-proposed-cyberbullying-bill-touches-on-terrorism-cable-theft/article15537000/#video2id16840402

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephen Harper’s Contempt for Constitutional Rights

Stephen Harper’s recent nominee to the Supreme Court Canada exposes his desire to exercise power over the criminal justice system without interference by judges. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with his appointee, Justice Marc Nadon. He is faultlessly ordinary. Ask any Canadian lawyer with the temerity to offer an opinion and with knowledge of the appointee’s judicial history and you will likely find this assessment: Nadon lacks the Promethean ability to be daringly original or creative. His judgments are imitative and uninspired.

So why would Stephen Harper nominate Nadon?  Nadon suits Harper’s political agenda. Harper anticipates that Nadon will staunchly defend his ‘Tough-On-Rights’ agenda. Harper does not refer to his agenda as inimical to civil liberties. Instead, he holds the antiquated notion that harsh penalties and mandatory minimum sentences deter criminal behavior. He smugly refers to his agenda as ‘tough on crime.’ His agenda, regardless of its characterization, abhors a nation that values liberty and democracy. Under the guise of protecting victims of crime it violates the rights and freedoms of  Canada’s citizens that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was designed to protect.

Nadon’s judicial record is antagonistic to civil liberties. His judicial record is that of a governmental ‘yes’ man. He is the quintessential Harper nominee. Lacking in independent thought, he is less likely to challenge any government legislation, even if it is misguided or intrusive of civil liberties. If the government wants something, that will be good enough for him.

Ironically, at Nadon’s nomination hearing in October 2013, he claimed that he most admired two of Canada’s judicial icons, former Chief Justices Bora Laskin and Brian Dickson. Interesting choices. However, stealing the words of Sen. Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle during the 1980 United States vice presidential debate: “Justice Nadon ‘You’re no Bora Laskin or Brian Dickson’.” Not to suggest that Nadon was attempting to compare himself to these exemplars of judicial talent; but his judgments are the very antithesis of what Laskin and Dickson championed.

Laskin was a liberal jurist with a strong record of supporting civil liberties. While many of his decisions were not popular at the time of their release, they were almost always eventually adopted by judges less creative and less visionary. Dickson was himself an admirer of Laskin. In fact, in their years together on the bench they seldom disagreed. The two of them, together with another staunch protector of civil rights, Justice Spence,  became affectionately known as the LSD line. You could count on all 3 to ensure that an individual’s rights were never sacrificed on the altar of governmental pandering.

Stephen Harper, of course, hopes that Marc Nadon will genuflect at that governmental altar in deference to his Almighty ruler, himself. Harper no doubt was impressed when Nadon sided with the Canadian government in every aspect of their treatment of 15-year-old detainee Omar Khadr. Khadr was interrogated for hours at Guantánamo Bay without benefit of legal counsel. Of the 13 Canadian judges asked to consider the actions of the Canadian interrogators, only one found no fault in their treatment of the young detainee; Marc Nadon. At that moment Harper probably decided who his next nominee to the country’s highest court would be. He had found the man who would unquestioningly support his anti-democratic agenda.

Those that challenge Nadon’s appointment to the Supreme Court of Canada will be impaired by their requirement to demonstrate that his appointment offends constitutionally entrenched laws. There is nothing illegal about the Prime Minister’s ability to appoint a candidate in lockstep with his agenda. He is not bound to follow previous leaders who chose worthy candidates based upon their intelligence and talent. Sadly, Harper is free to choose his candidate based upon the likelihood that he will never dissent from the government’s agenda no matter how repressive it may be.

Harper’s nominee, if appointed, will never be a modern-day Laskin or Dickson. To emulate these judicial luminaries Nadon would need to be a lot more creative and a lot less intimidated by the government that nominated him. The Harper government, like the crayfish, continues to crawl backwards into the future.

Stephen Harper Squirms

The vast majority of Canadians were undoubtedly delighted this week to see Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper squirm under the allegations of his own appointee to the Canadian Senate Sen. Mike Duffy. Mike Duffy, himself no model of propriety having stolen close to $100,000 in expenses that even he acknowledges were illegitimate, aimed his best invectives at the hand that once fed him, Stephen Harper. And, Stephen Harper, Canada’s most hated one, wilted noticeably in the bright light of shame he so sedulously aims to avoid.

The key insult in Mike Duffy’s 30-minute tirade in the house of sober second thought was to call out Stephen Harper on his often-repeated lie that Harper’s former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright acted alone in paying Mike Duffy’s $90,000 debt to the Senate and that he did so in protection of the Canadian public rather than for the purpose of covering up an embarrassing political scandal. Duffy did not mince his words. He said that the 3 met privately and that it was unmistakable from the words and actions of Harper that the aim was to eliminate the political embarrassment. There was not a word spoken amongst the 3 that could be taken as a concern for Canadian taxpayers. The meeting was about saving Harper’s reputation.

Significantly, Harper acted in a predictable way, the way most Canadians believe that he is–an angry, vindictive man who maintains absolute control. Those who challenge him are punished quickly and severely. They are punished not necessarily for their misfeasance but instead for the embarrassment they bring upon him. His recent appointee Duffy was embarrassing him. The money would be paid back immediately or he would be turfed from the Senate. Simple. Harper’s way or the highway.

None of this would surprise any of the 60% of Canadians who loathe Harper’s dictatorial style. Since coming office 7 years ago he has angered not only his enemies but those who previously supported him. They know he has done much to disregard, if not eliminate, civil liberties in Canada. His leadership has amounted to a long walk into darkness. He is Canada’s answer to Dick Cheney. And, he embraces the concept of intolerance as his political stratagem. His brand of ultra- conservatism is despairingly well to the right of the brand espoused by Republican tea party members . His administration  represents the side of anti-democracy. It has been the bane of otherwise temperate, tolerant Canadians who cherish their rights and freedoms and allow their fellow citizens to function without restraint provided they respect others in the same fashion.  If Harper’s latest polling numbers are even remotely close to accurate,  Canadians are poised to throw him out of office, even if the end result is a government run by Justin Trudeau, by all accounts, a political neophyte, lacking somewhat in political savvy.

But compared to Harper, Justin Trudeau is refreshingly committed to protecting the rights of Canadians. Trudeau is certainly smart enough to sit back and watch Harper hang himself on his own petard. Trudeau likely senses that all he needs to do is to allow Harper to self-implode  in a morass of political corruption. Three recent conservative appointees to the Senate  and the Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, all embroiled in a cover-up of misuse of taxpayer money.   Every one of them appointed by Harper.  Mike Duffy’s latest “defense” was the coup de grace.   His allegation that Harper threatened him with expulsion from the Senate accurately portrayed Harper as the control-freak that everyone knows him to be, and, effectively dragged Harper into the snake pit with the rest of his infamous colleagues.

Mike Duffy’s taunts may be dismissed by some Harper partisans as the ramblings of a Senator about to lose his posh position in the do-nothing Canadian Senate, motivated to strike out at Harper because Duffy perceives Harper as the instigator of the Senate majority’s push to expel him. But Canadians are not buying that. They know that Stephen Harper functions with the sensitivity of a Vladimir Putin. He is retaliatory and cruel. His enemies know his ruthless, spiteful and vengeful ways. If Nigel Wright was only paying Duffy’s $90,000 debt to ensure Canadian taxpayers were not harmed by Duffy’s theft, why would Harper fire Wright? Because Harper slashes and cleaves even those close to him if there is any potential that their smut or indecency has any potential to touch him.

I predict that Mike Duffy will lose this battle. Harper’s cronies will band together sufficiently to toss him from the Senate. Perhaps rightfully so, since he only held that cushy, high-paying job based on Harper’s belief that he would spend the rest of his life singing Harper’s praises. But ironically, Duffy’s speech this week in the Senate served a very worthwhile purpose. It was another step toward exposing Harper as the bitter, self-justifying, iconoclast that most Canadians have come to know and hate . Harper has brought Canadian politics to the point that most right-thinking Canadians see it as a septic tank of trickery and deceit. It is a good thing that both the appointer and his appointee have been exposed simultaneously. Both deserve a similar fate. Unfortunately, Canadians will have to wait another year to rid themselves of Harper. Duffy’s demise is imminent.

Cannabis Plant May Prevent Cancer

The debate in several countries over the legalization of marijuana only serves to cloud a much more important debate: is cannabis a powerful natural plant capable of acting as a health agent that could prevent cancer? There is bountiful evidence that supports its preventative effectiveness.

Legalization of possession and use of marijuana will arrive in the near future to virtually every country that passes laws based on common sense. That, of course, will leave Canada far removed from the avant-garde as Canadians inexplicably continue to elect a Neanderthal-style government bent on passing new laws that play to the public’s irrational fears that crime is increasing and harsher penalties are the answer. But legalization is only the first step in what is really required– full-scale, properly funded, research into the use of the cannabis plant as a preventative agent against developing cancer.

Canada will no doubt be the last to grasp its own stupidity. The majority of Canadians elected the present federal government with its ‘get tough on crime agenda’; an agenda  that includes minimum mandatory jail sentences for possession of cannabis. The Canadian electorate is hopelessly out of touch with the reality that crime in Canada has been decreasing for more then 23 years and more than half their fellow citizens use or have used marijuana. The get tough on crime legislation includes the senseless incarceration of Canadians for possession, sale or production of cannabis through minimum mandatory jail sentences.

Canadians appear mystifyingly unaware that the downward incidence of crime began long before the present government’s primitive notion that harsher sentences lead to less crime.  Canadians are spectacularly out of touch by their support for minimum mandatory jail terms for possession of cannabis. Instead of enhancing its once admired reputation as a benevolent, tolerant society, the vast majority of Canadians have adopted the barbarous notion of becoming an increasingly intolerant society. And, as soon as the United States of America rectifies its failed policies in the same direction, as promised last week by that country’s attorney general, Canada will stand alone at the pinnacle of repression.

Until a few weeks ago the United States of America was the standard-bearer of intolerance toward its citizens. With millions of its citizens incarcerated for long prison terms on convictions for non-violent crimes such as possession of marijuana, the US has recently admitted the error of its own get tough on crime legislation that held no connection to reality. Their failed approach also cost the US billions of dollars housing non-violent US citizens. US Attorney General Eric Holder said in a speech to the American Bar Association on August 12, 2013 that:

  • “too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long and for no good law enforcement reason”
  • “we cannot simply prosecute or incarcerate our way to becoming a safer nation”
  • “with less than 5% of the world’s population, the United States has almost 1/4 of the world’s prisoners, approximately 2,000,000 inmates, with the rate of incarceration that’s about 6 times higher than China and a correctional tab that’s approximately $80 billion a year”

In effect, Holder was admitting that the US’s get tough on crime legislation, referred to affectionately for years as “the war on drugs”, was an abysmal failure. Holder promised that the US would abandon harsh mandatory sentences for drug offenders and that it would eschew prosecutions for non-violent, low-level criminals whose offenses previously mandated minimum jail terms.

One can only hope that Canadians will not require 20 years of a crime initiative destined to fail before throwing the ideologically-driven miscreants who have authored this right-wing initiative out of office. Legalizing marijuana is a very small step in the right direction. Statistically, far more than a mere majority of Canadians are in favor of legalization. But legalization doesn’t go nearly far enough. It only makes possible the ability to study and perfect ways to make the cannabis plant available for prevention of cancer. As long as cannabis remains a part of some misguided war on drugs it can never be seriously considered medicinally.

Some will say that our courts’ recognition of its usefulness in lessening pain for terminally ill cancer patients is a sign that Canadians are somewhat enlightened. Wrong. Allowing a few Canadians, after navigating their way through a labyrinth of useless regulations, to smoke marijuana cigarettes to ease their pain and anxiety before cancer claims their life, is not the answer. It does not even scratch the surface of what could probably be accomplished by the proper medicinal use of the cannabis plant.  Serious and properly funded study of the healing properties of the cannabis plant is needed.

Because the plant grows naturally, it will not enjoy the enormous resources of the big pharmaceutical companies.  In fact, whatever Big Pharma cannot patent they work sedulously to oppose. The proper study of the preventative possibilities of cannabis will be no different. Look to the pharmaceutical lobbyists to purposefully attempt to scuttle any serious effort in that direction. They are not interested in curing cancer–to do so would eliminate the need for their expensive drugs. Big Pharma has infiltrated the medical community and carefully guided it down a failed course of “treatment” that defies logic. Powerful destructive drugs classified as “chemotherapy” have proved to be a thundering disappointment.  The medical community now accepts that we do not cure cancer, but instead, manage it. Big Pharma makes billions in its management.

Real change will only come when the people demand it. Politicians are unlikely to lead the charge for change as long as the pharmaceutical companies continue to control them through political donations and influential lobbyists.  And, the medical community has likewise fallen into lock-step with Big Pharma, pumping out doctors who mindlessly cling to the status quo of cancer treatment despite over 4 decades of dismal failure by treating cancer by burning, cutting and poisoning.   The few that dare to challenge the status quo are quickly labeled as quacks. They are ridiculed out of existence. It was approximately 42 years ago that Richard Nixon declared war on cancer.  Our lack of success in treating cancer then remains the same today.  Small wonder we now humbly claim only to manage, not cure.

We are not speaking here of “smoking” anything. Instead, we’re speaking of wringing from the cannabis plant what many have discovered as its apparent ability to prevent cancer. Obviously, preventing cancer is better than curing it.[1] All of us have cancer cells. Currently, our medical community spends virtually all of its time and money on treating cancer patients and very little of its resources on prevention of cancer.  For at least 4 decades the archaic approach of our medical community to “treating” cancer has been to cut burn and poison. Big Pharma is the only beneficiary of our failed attempts to treat cancer. It is in their interest, and their interest alone, to keep patients alive long enough to use their expensive but ineffective drugs. Chemotherapy kills. It does not cure.

Our medical community needs to balance its approach to cancer if it ever hopes to have any meaningful impact. The cannabis plant may hold the answer. Michael Ducharme writes:

Every cell (including cancer cells) have a cannabinoid receptor (there are two types, called CB1 or CB2). The receptor is similar to a lock that waits for a specific key. In this case the keys are cannabinoids, which are found most abundantly in the cannabis plant, and are also produced in very small numbers by the human body itself and in the cacao plant.

When these locks receive their special key, all 212 cell types are regulated. This means that if the cell is cancerous, it either becomes noncancerous or dies. the noncancerous cells are also improved, not harmed. For example, an overactive immune system (which attacks healthy cells and causes diseases including arthritis and many more) will reduce its activity to a healthy level.[2]

Permitting consumption of cannabis is, we hope, a very small step in the direction of funding scientific research on the medical benefits that might be derived from the cannabis plant. Dr. J. Michael Bostwick has suggested:

…federal policy has failed to keep pace with recent scientific advances” including the recently-discovered endocannabinoid system, which (in an article published by the Mayo Clinic) he called “a finely tuned physiologic modulator.  Michael Ducharme also writes that Dr. Bostwick noted that cannabis may have “analgesic, appetite-modulatory, immunosuppressant, antiemetic, neuroleptic, or antineoplastic effects, among other possibilities.[3]

Consequently, what is needed is for governments everywhere to get out of the way of much-needed research on the potential preventative properties that cannabis may afford.  The debate over legalization is interesting, but far less important than clearing the way to properly funded research. Until that happens governments standing in the way of research in relation to the cannabis plant will be like the crayfish, crawling backwards into the future.



[1] See: Cancer: Causes, Prevention and Cure by Michael J. Ducharme

published at http://www.michaelducharme.com/wp/articles/cancer-causes-prevention-and-cure.

[2] Ibid.

[3] As quoted in note 1.

Justin Trudeau: Canada’s Next Prime Minister

 Justin Trudeau, the brilliant new leader of the Liberal party of Canada, has engaged in valiant efforts over the past several weeks to hold Harper to his lofty promises. But Harper has become Casper the ghost. He hasn’t been around much, and when he is he’s not answering questions. His disappearing act is demoralizing even for his Conservative colleagues. They must wonder why their leader has left to them the challenge of answering questions about Conservative party fraud, exploitation of public funds, political graft, misrepresentation and payola to silence Harper appointments to the Canadian Senate. They are not able to answer Trudeau’s poignant questions, nor should they have to answer them.

The answers to Trudeau’s questions can only be answered by one or all of four persons: Stephen Harper, his former Chief of Staff Nigel Wright, who recently resigned his post in abject disgrace, and two of his recent appointments to the Canadian Senate, Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy.

Stephen Harper, like Richard Nixon before his fall from the Presidency of the United States of America, is in hiding. When Harper surfaces, he is not responding to questions about the political scandal that has rocked the Canadian Senate, other than a feeble mantra that he knew nothing of the fraudulent behavior of Wallin or Duffy until informed about it by the media. While he wears the mantle of ignorance well for many other reasons, in this instance his ignorance is obviously feigned.

As Canada’s next Prime Minister has pointed out so ably in the House of Commons, there are several inconvenient truths that stamp Harper’s claim of ignorance as bogus.

Duffy was appointed by Harper to the Senate. Duffy claimed $90,000 in housing expenses fraudulently. When the news of Duffy’s skimming of the public funds was first reported, Harper expressed his staunch support for his loyal appointee. It was not until it became obvious that Duffy’s expensing practices were false and deceptive that Harper feigned ignorance of his colleague’s malfeasance, and quickly began to distance himself from Duffy and his other wayward Senate appointment, Pamela Wallin. Harper also faked ignorance of the payment of $90,000 to Duffy by his Chief of Staff Nigel Wright. Duffy used the money to repay his false expense claims but pretended the money was his money. He neglected to mention that the money came from Wright. When the media discovered it came from Wright, Harper’s Chief of Staff, Wright resigned.

Pamela Wallin’s skim of the public money is reported closer to $132,000. A large public accounting firm was employed to examine Wallin’s expenses.  They reported that Wallin made scores of entries into her “new” business calendar years after the fact in an effort to cover her tracks and “paper” her fraudulent bilking of public funds.

According to Harper, if not for the media, he would have no clue as to what was happening in his own office. So why did Wright give Duffy $90,000? For Duffy’s silence, of course. The quid pro quo of this payment was that Duffy was to shut up. No more gabbing with the media. Comments on his fraudulent behavior were to remain under the dome of silence. In Nixion fashion, Harper and his less-than-transparent colleagues hoped that silence would make it all go away. But like Watergate, it has not gone away. Instead, the obvious corruption within his ranks, committed by his own appointees, has festered. And sadly for him, Justin Trudeau reminds him regularly and repeatedly of his self-righteous platitudes upon taking office— “abusers of the public trust would go to jail and members of his government who bend the rules will be punished.”

Duffy has voluntarily removed himself from caucus. Big deal! He still remains in the Senate. He still collects his salary and he’s not in handcuffs or in jail. Duffy even vows to return to caucus after “all this” is cleared up. “All this” must refer to the police investigating his expense claims. The Senate has already concluded he stole the money and the Senate has already demanded repayment by him. Duffy pretended he paid the money back personally but we now know Harper’s Halderman, Nigel Wright,  actually paid. The only thing transparent about Harper’s government is that it is now transparent that his office is directly involved in the attempted cover up. If only the Prime Minister’s office was wired for sound in Nixion fashion! Wouldn’t we love to hear the discussions between Harper and Wright!

Duffy’s expense claims relate to fraudulently claiming a residence that was not his residence in order to pad his expense account and steal money from Canadian taxpayers. When it became obvious that his residence claim was false, Duffy said he was “confused” by the rules of the Senate in relation to claiming residency expenses. Only a buffoon could be confused about where he lives. Roaming pigeons and cats know where they live. It is generally an easy question. Where do you live Mr. Duffy? Mr. Duffy: “I’m not sure, these damn rules have me confused.”

How about you, Ms. Wallin, how is it that so many entries of what you did years ago just made it into your calendar a few weeks ago? The ink on these enties appears to still be wet. Ms. Wallin: “I was told to do that by another Senator”. Oh we see, your version of “the devil made me do it.”

The media says to Ms. Wallin, “We’ve spoken to that Senator and he denies ever telling you to make up a list of events that you claim you attended in order to justify your expenses of years ago.” Ms. Wallin: “Well he’s lying!” Surely that Senator is trembling in his boots at the thought of his word being tested against Wallin’s word. Anyone with an intelligence level slightly above that of an amoeba would say, ” Why would any public official tell an already exposed fraud artist like Wallin to create an after-the-fact fraudulent calendar of events?” Pamela, you are also toast. But, you need not worry about Stephen Harper. His promises of accountability and transparency are as phony as your new calendar. Somebody close to Harper is on the way with a bag of money for your repayment. You need not resign from the Senate but you must shut your mouth.

Justin Trudeau, get ready. You sir are Canada’s next Prime Minister.

North Korea’s Leader Kim Jong Un Is Certifiably Insane

Kim Jong Un considers Dennis Rodman intelligent and entertaining. This could possibly be true if one defines those terms in relation to one another, as in, Rodman is entertaining based upon his distinct lack of intelligence. Un’s praise of Rodman as an intelligent statesman is more likely a sign of Un’s own mental illness. North Korea’s Supreme leader, annointed on December 30, 2011 after the death of his enigmatic and unstable father Kim Jong-il on December 17, 2011, lands squarely on at least 12 disorders in the DSM-IV Code of recognized diagnostic mental disorders.

Un this week ordered his missile units to be ready to strike the United States and South Korea. In fact, he apparently called an emergency meeting to advise his military commanders and the leaders of his artillery units to be on the highest alert. He is said to be contemplating retaliation against the joint military exercises of South Korea and the United States. This, any good shrink would tell you exhibits distinct elements of extreme grandiosity and a total break with reality. It may also be that he is also suffering from transference, juxtaposing in his mind his country’s military strength with that of the United States.

North Korea’s Scud missiles are of the same variety utilized by Iraq in its very brief and very unsuccessful encounter with the United States–once fired, no one, absolutely no one, not even those responsible for the firing of the Scud missile, has any clue where it might land. Scuds are the antithesis of today’s “smart bombs”. They instead epitomize the concept of “dumb bombs”. Scud is apparently short form for ‘pot luck.’

To give North Korea’s Supreme leader his due, he also has a few Musudan missiles. If his military commanders drive them to the very edge of North Korea’s borders they might actually have a range sufficient to place the West Coast of the United States at least within target range. But no one really knows, because they’ve never been tested at that range or any range. As of the date of Un’s ascension to power the world has had no indication that this missile system has ever been tested or is actually operational. In military terms it might be wise for North Korea to test these missiles in some fashion before they are launched in the direction of the world’s only superpower. History tells us nothing ticks off a superpower quite like launching a missile at it.

Once ready to launch, Musadan missiles must be launched within a few days or not at all because failure to do so will lead to tank corrosion caused by the red fuming nitric acid used as an oxidizer in its fuel/oxidizer combination.  Failure to launch a Musadan missile promptly could lead to North Korea blowing itself up. The likelihood of corrosion in the Musadan also means that these missiles must be transported by land and fueled at launch site. With today’s satellite surveillance, by the time the North Koreans get these missiles in place for launch, the United States could, and probably would, obliterate all of North Korea’s missile sites with actual smart bombs—you know the kind that land somewhere in the vicinity where those that launch them intend them to land.

In any event, Kim Jong Un would never initiate a 1st strike missile launch against the United States  for several reasons. First, he knows his friend Dennis Rodman lives in the United States.  Launching a nuclear missile at the home of your friend is definitely a recognized mental disorder in the DSM-IV Code.  Remember that Un is trying hard to avoid an official certification of insanity. Secondly, Kim Jong Un knows that the United States is home to the Harlem Globetrotters.  In fact, Un believes, and should not be dissuaded from this erroneous thought, that the Harlem Globetrotters are a real professional basketball team.  Lastly Un, despite his mental state, suspects that a 1st launch by North Korea would likely lead to his own untimely death. Kim Jong Un probably suspects that he is more likely to play in the NBA than to have any meaningful impact on United States as the world’s only superpower.  If he doesn’t, Kim Jong Un is definitely certifiably insane and the world is about to witness some more Shock and Awe.

Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin

Canadian Senator Pamela Wallin defends her exorbitant travel expenses by claiming that she is simply unable to do her job sitting at a desk in Ottawa. The truth is she could do her job sitting anywhere. Her job, of course, is to rubberstamp any legislation supported by the person who anointed her to the do-nothing job of being a Canadian senator. That would be Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The Canadian Conservative government after railing on for years about the need for Senate reform when they were in opposition has taken a distinctly different path since their election in 2006. Pamela is one of 64 Conservative party appointments to the 105-member Senate Chamber. Simple math tells you all you need to know. The members of this do-nothing governmental body routinely vote along party lines ensuring that neither their physical presence nor their thinking process is ever actually needed. The only reform needed for this feckless, inept and pointless appendage of government is to allow votes to be mailed in. That way, she and others of her ilk could wistfully spend her remaining years spending time where they want to spend time. That apparently is not the floor of the Senate.

Pamela, for example, has been hanging out regularly in Wadena Saskatchewan where her parents and sister live and where she maintains two residences and owns a seasonal ice cream store. Allowing her to merely mail in her entirely predictable vote on each and every question that makes its way to the Red Chamber would actually save the taxpayers of this country hundreds of thousands of dollars in travel expense and the cost of a separate residence in the Ottawa area. In the last 2 years alone she allegedly spent over $350,000 in travel costs to and from Ottawa and Saskatchewan. Her excuse: she travels home to represent her constituents, all 1500 of them, in Wadena Saskatchewan. Not likely! Only $28,000 was spent there. The remaining $322,000 went elsewhere–hence the audit on her travel accounts.

One wonders what input, if any, the 1500 residents in Wadena had in any of Pamela’s votes over the last 2 years! Let’s hope they unanimously supported every Conservative legislative initiative. Pamela certainly did. If so, they were extremely well represented!  Pamela apparently knows who butters her bread. And based on Pamela’s unfailing loyalty to the cause, Wadena must be considered a staunch Conservative enclave. It seems that she should not have to leave Wadena to deliver such a predictable vote. Think of the savings!

Pamela’s claim of traveling to serve her constituents will eventually unravel to reveal a more disingenuous, deceptive and artful camouflage of her use of taxpayer money. Wherever and however the money was spent, spending almost 6 times the nation’s average income on travel in 2 years demands some straightforward answers. The pork-barrel society that is Canada’s Senate is not in need of reform. Instead, it is in need of abolition. The Senate serves no worthwhile function. Elected members of the federal government should find other ways to pay off their political buddies, preferably from their own pockets and not from the pockets of hard-working Canadians. Pamela Wallin’s squandering of public money serves to highlight the need for abolition.

Al Gore: Hypocrite

I do not know if Al Gore’s claims that the world’s climate is in crisis are true. I also do not know if the world’s coal, oil and gas companies have conspired to develop misleading propaganda that carbon polluters have in hand the answers to any negative effects of carbon emissions.

I do know now, however, that the world’s best-known advocate for the proposition that the world climate is, in fact, in crisis, and, that the major culprits are the coal, oil and gas companies of the world–is a phony. Former Vice President of the United States of America, Al Gore, Nobel laureate and self-proclaimed representative of the movement for climate change, has demonstrated himself to be Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold all wrapped into one.

Why? He deftly turned his climate crusade of the last half decade into a prophecy of profit. This globe-trotting alarmist has made a science of finger-pointing at Big Oil. All the more reason for the utter shock inflicted on tree huggers everywhere at the news that he recently sold his digital channel television station, Current TV, to al Jazeera for a cool $500 million. Al Jazeera, a propaganda oozing, multi-language television production owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation, takes over a television network that ironically was founded by Al Gore to give voice to those who stand up against Big Oil. Al Jazeera is synonymous with Big Oil.

Al–you are a sellout! What platitudinous BS to call out President Obama for his failure to take the climate crisis seriously! The same can be said for your biting criticism of Congress when you said, “… polluters and their ideological allies tell the members of Congress to jump, and they say, ‘how high?’ Al Jazeera, in addition to being the voice of Big Oil, is also a favorite sounding board for militant groups such as Hamas, Al Qaeda and the Taliban. But apparently when Al Jazeera asked you to jump you did. How high?  Your Inconvenient Truth is that you jumped $500 million high.