This Blog will discuss politics, government, corruption, police, S.I.U., courts, education, min. of attorney general, min. of labour, v.o.i.c.e. and other current and past events of interest to concerned citizens. In the "About me" section to the right and down I have included the names of persons whom I have tremendous respect for. Their influence on me however has been primarily environmental (and personal) and this is therefore a disclaimer that all words posted on this Blog/Website are mine and I alone am responsible for them. I say this with the greatest respect and affection to my friends.
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Yesterday's Waterloo Region (K-W) Record had a very interesting Editorial titled : " A fake handgun, a real headache". The Record appropriately point out the obvious namely: "...police committed significant errors last week" . This of course involves the Jessie Sansone case. The Record further states that if there were legitimate concerns for a child's safety then first and foremost a conversation and questions needed to be asked. One of the reasons I'm doubtful that there ever was a legitimate child safety concern is exactly because of the lack of straightforward questions asked. As the Record further states: "Handcuffing someone is hardly an opening for a friendly chit-chat. Arrest and confinement do not qualify as polite dialogue." Mr. Sansone at that point in time had every right to tell the Regional Police to go fuck themselves; he wanted to speak to a lawyer. Further our idiot Police didn't even tell Mr. Sansone the reason why he had been arrested and charged; namely because his four year old daughter drew a picture. This was for a reason. It was an idiotic excuse to arrest, confine and charge a citizen AND THE POLICE BLOODY WELL KNEW IT FROM THE GET GO. My suspicion is that they are so politicized that they are constantly trying to up their, in reality, falling violent crime statistics. I'll just bet that these same police have this whole file under the umbrella of a firearms incident. They never had any intention of clearing this up with a few inquiries or background check on Mr. Sansone. The Police WANTED to make a mountain out of a molehill. They as well as Childrens' Aid in my opinion are constantly looking for reasons to justify their existence and more importantly their budgets. As of this point in time those two groups as well as the School Board have offerred no apologies whatsoever. They are still too busy defending their indefensible behaviour. This is clear evidence as to how out of touch they are with the public and with common sense. What is even scarier is how out of touch they are with the concept of democracy and human rights. They are so far down the path of self righteousness, self importance and non accountability there is virtually nothing in their eyes that they can do wrong. Shame on the pack of them.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region (K-W) Record advises us that the province of ontario have filed a Notice of Appeal to the Ontario Court of Appeal. The title of the story is "Ontario appeals judge's decision to strike minimum sentence". This original decision was described here in the advocate on February 14/12. The convicted person was in his cousin's locked apartment alone at 2 am. mugging in front of a camera while holding his cousin's gun. In stormed the police on another matter only to find this unfortunate fellow holding his cousin's gun. The three year minimum sentence clearly was out of all proportion to the "crime" and the Judge was very clear on that. The province and the Attorney general seem to feel otherwise and wish to send this person to jail for three years. Please explain to me not again but just once who exactly the victim is of this fellow's solo attempt to play cowboys and Indians for the camera, inside a locked apartment at 2 am..
Today's Waterloo Region (K-W) Record carrys this story "Dad's arrest to get police review". Chief Matt Torrigan's feelings have been hurt. He was called names and stated "They were incredibly ill-informed and vitriolic" . Poor baby. How informed was he when he arrested, handcuffed and strip searched Jesse Sansone last week? "Vitriolic" oh no ! That must be so much worse than being assaulted, kidnapped and your home invaded.
Mr. Sansone is on the right track. Any Police "review" will be a typical whitewash. Mr. Sansone has hired a lawyer. The whole problem will be that this becomes a civil issue rather than a criminal one. The Police committed criminal behaviour that would land any of the rest of us behind bars. Instead they will be sued civilly, lose and then pay off with a confidentiality clause included all the while using taxpayers funds to bail themselves out. The system stinks and that's exactly how it's been set up to protect the guilty when they have the blessing of the politically powerful. This was a blatant case of arbitrary arrest and detention based on NOTHING. Testimony was privately coerced from a FOUR YEAR OLD who drew a picture of a toy gun. Clearly our Police, Children's Aid, and Schools are too stupid and arrogant to lower themselves to politely and respectfully engage a parent in conversation. This is the problem. They have no respect for the citizens they are supposed to protect. Matt Torrigan's words are nothing but wind. This includes his comments that "police don't routinely strip-search people placed in holding cells." The truth is that they discriminate based on prejudice, bias and politics. Peaceful women protesters in Guelph were strip-searched three years ago. I was strip-searched by the Regional police many years ago due to a dispute with the School Board. The charge was Trespass. Citizens are routinely strip-searched by the Police simply to intimidate and humiliate while making the Police feel omnipotent. Waterloo Regional Police have strip-searched suspects and then marched them naked past female cops. Do you really believe there is some overiding police procedure or policy that justifys or explains that? BULLSHIT. Our cops are unaccountable bullies who desperately need a swift kick in the teeth to make them accountable to us, the citizens.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
There are a number of reasonable explanations as to why authorities apparently overeacted and arrested, charged, strip searched, harassed and searched a citizen's home. First and foremost you must look at the overall context. The School Board just a few short years ago looked hopelessly inept and out of touch in regards to the Ron Archer affair. Mr. Archer was a long time teacher with a nasty habit of sexually assaulting and harassing children. The School Board were strongly criticized for their policies including my favourite known as "passing the trash". With this policy the Board simply looked the other way so as not to offend the Teachers Union. The bad apple (teacher) was then transferred to another school sometimes over and over again if necessary. It's fair to say that our School Board got their image badly burned over that behaviour. Further context would be the Regional Police losing a loaded handgun a few years ago in front of Kitchener Collegiate. To date it's never been found although they did charge an indiviual with the theft of it, however he was acquitted in court. It probably didn't help that the Police still couldn't find the gun. Therefore my theory is that our Regional Police are desperate for a clue, any clue. Along comes a four year old child with a picture of a gun. This is probably the best clue they've had in this case hence they leaped when the overzealous teacher (see above) and the always overzealous and financially motivated CAS seized the four year old and her siblings. Hey when you're desperate to restore your tattered image having to sacrifce a few pawns is a small price for them to pay to make you look better. Keep in mind even the CAS have been under considerable pressure of late due to their alleged overzealousness and willingness to break up families.
So how do we improve the situation? What have we learned? I would suggest that both the CAS and teachers pay close attention. I'm out of my depth in discussing crystal balls and or mind reading but I can "read" pictures at least as good as any teacher out there. Following is a primer on how teachers and CAS can more accurately read and interpret childrens' drawings. Airplane pictures- a no brainer. We all know this represents drug smugglers. Break down the parents doors. Boats- Same thing as planes. Clearly the child knows about drug smuggling using boats. Dog pictures- This is a clear emergency. Pit bulls are life threatening and the authorities must absolutely leap here because afterall Ontario is currently discussing lifting the pitbull ban and you have to act before that happens. A picture of a bottle- Also a no brainer. Do you think a four year old can spell much less say Brewers Retail? Hardly. Raid the home, the dirty parents are probably drinking beer. Balloons- again this is a clear emergency. No four year old knows what a condom is but we all know that a condom blown up looks like a ballon. You can't take chances here. Sexual abuse is a dirty business and what right thinking person would ever fault you for being a little proactive? A picture of a book- This could easily be a Manual for making explosives. The parents may well be international terrorists in which case they have no civil rights anyways. Drawings of apples and bananas- Go back to the picture of a balloon. Do you really think the child is drawing friut? Hardly! Check the shape of that banana again. Clearly this is an indication of a child under great duress in the home and there is no such thing as overeaction here.
Teachers and CAS workers you have been blessed with little or no accountability for a reason. Your judgement, experience and education are almost second to none. Do not hesitate to impose your values and judgements on others. Be forever vigilant because there is evil in the world and you are the true superheroes.
Friday, February 24, 2012
This is a followup posting regarding the below posting titled "ARE THEY COMPLETELY NUTS". The answer as stated earlier is yes and no. There is more going on here than just plain stupidity. The comments from the alleged "authorities" vary from illiogical to blatant lies. Allison Scott of Family and Chidrens' Services said "Our community would have an expectation if comments are made about a gun in a house, we'd be obligated to investigate that to ensure everything is safe." BULLSHIT you stupid twit ! Comments from a four year old. NO !!! "...a gun in a house..." . NO !!! Guns are not illegal in this country. A gun outside in the playground yes. A gun found inside a school or daycare yes. You ignorant intrusive, stupid, know it all ! "...obligated to investigate..." Again NO !!! And furthermore you didn't investigate and neither did the idiot Police. You called the Police and according to Insp. Kevin Thaler there was a complaint that "a firearm was in a residence and children had access to it." So who is the liar here? It's either Childrens' Aid or the Police or both.
Further the Principal Steve Zack claims that the law requires them to report anything involving the safety or neglect of a child. It was a picture and comment from a four year old child for God's sake. "Safety" Bullshit! You made no attempt to determine or clarify anything. A couple of neurotic, paranoid educational "professionals" set off the arrest, detention, interrogation and home invasion of a family. Finally the Police claim that the strip search was done "for officer safety, because it's a firearms related incident.". LIAR AGAIN ! One it was NOT a firearms incident and two the Regional Police routinely strip search suspects on any charges including minor trespass just because they can. It's for control and humiliation of suspects. That is the "purpose". Regional Police you are beneath contempt.
The answer is yes and no. What is becoming more and more apparent over the last few decades is that our authorities are becoming completely unaccountable. The front page of today's Waterloo Region (K-W) Record carrys this story: "Girl's school drawing of gun gets dad arrested, strip searched". The girl was FOUR YEARS OLD !!! The School Principal Steve Zack, Family and Children's Services Director Alison Scott and the Regional Police Chief should all be publicly horsewhipped. This of course will never happen because we citizens of this country have all been pacified into submission. What really should happen and again never will, is that those three people should be criminally charged with assault and kidnapping because that is precisely what all three did or directly contributed to. That is why I suggested the corporal punishment because it's clear that our laws do not apply to our own authorities. Do you realize that citizens of this country are far more likely to be assaulted, humiliated and degraded by our own authorities than they are by criminals?
The four year old child drew a picture of a man holding a gun and when asked by her teacher said "That's my daddy's. He uses it to shoot bad guys and monsters." Who the hell but autocratic, unaccountable idiots use that as "evidence" to kidnap and assault the father, terrorize the mother and children and immorally and ILLEGALLY search their home ? In a nutshell our Police, our School authorities and Child Welfare. If this family had a million dollars AND a decade of time they MIGHT get justice but don't hold your breathe. All three of these groups would simply use taxpayers own money to buy themselves out of trouble. They screw us individually at will and then payoff with our money the odd time they get caught. And you think Syria, Egypt and Libya are third world undemocratic countries? Welcome to Canada.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Today's Waterloo Region (K-W) Record has a very large and very disturbing story. The title is "OPP officer charged in buggy collision". The title of this posting might also be Two Classes of Citizens. Our Mennonite neighbours both here in Waterloo Region and in Mount Forest where the crash took place are known for their forgiveness. That however should not excuse the Justice System from doing its' duty. An off duty OPP officer drove into the back of a horse and buggy at high speed in a 50 km zone on a clear day. Nowhere in this article is mentioned whether a breathalizer test was administered. Neither I nor anyone else at this point in time knows whether one should have been. This officer was given a break in the choice of charges laid. Instead of Dangerous Driving, he was charged with Careless Driving. Eventually! It took three months , Editorials in the local paper and an anonymous letter to politicians and the media before any charges were laid. All during this time the OPP officer was not identified by the Police or Crown although locals all knew who had been driving.
While I have no difficulty believing that all segments of our society are not treated equally, nevertheless I find this story very odd. One of the less desireable tenets of our Justice System is their insistence on being treated always with respect. Any lack of respect in the courtroom quickly leads to Contempt charges. Also the Judicial System usually insists upon Justice being seen to be done. This again goes back to their own penchant for always having to be treated with respect if not reverence. To my eye it's almost as if secretly they fear being ridiculed and laughed at. That is why I find this story so unusual. Justice has not remotely been seen to be done so far. IF and I say if this Officer has been given special treatment it surely is going to bite our Judicial System in the butt and someone is going to have to pay for that.
Monday, February 20, 2012
Last Saturday's Woolwich Observer (Sat. Feb. 18/12) carrys the following Opinion piece by Steve Kannon: "Government attacking your privacy with Bill C-30". Mr. Kannon continues his defence of the public with this report. "With Bill C-30, what it calls, The Protecting Children From Internet predators Act, the Conservatives hope to strip away our basic civil liberties, hitting us with a huge-but as yet undisclosed- bill in the process". Further Mr. Kannon states "The so-called lawful access legislation tabled by Public Safety minister Vic Toews would give police the right to demand personal information-your name, phone number, IP addresses, surfing habits and the like-from Internet service providers without a warrant. It would also force ISP's to install expensive hardware and software to provide real-time surveillance of all their customers, turning that information over to police on a whim." Privacy experts across Canada including both the Federal Privacy Commissioner and all the Provincial Privacy Commissioners have roundly condemned this proposed legislation. That alone should give any government pause to seriously reconsider. The possibilities of turning this into Big Bother is watching you or into a Police State are far too easy. The possibilities will also be greatly exacerbated of our governments using this data against legitimate activists or opponents. The ability of money, governments and business to abuse dissenting private citizens should be lessened not increased as this legislation could do.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Usually the Regionals pick and choose a little more carefully who they get hard assed with. Occasionally such as the incident on Ahrens St. a few years ago they pick an ordinary Joe and still get burned. This time Waterloo Region's finest tried to pick on a lawyer. Talk about a pretty dumb move. Today's Waterloo Region (K-W) Record has the following story "Lawyer settles lawsuit with police". There are many interesting nuances to this story. First of all the Officers claimed that they had legitimate grounds to detain and arrest lawyer Jeffrey Garland after his complaint led to an investigation. Then they turned around and apologized to Mr. Garland. He responded by suing them in Small Claims Court. His lawyer was none other than Davin Charney who is making a name for himself by beating the Waterloo Regional Police in court, repeatedly. At that point the Regional police settled out of court for $5,000. What the heck? Almost makes you think that the officers alibi of mistaken identity was horse manure. Mr. Charney is becoming a one man wrecking crew when it comes to local police misconduct. Maybe our Regional Chair might give some thought to having real civilian oversight of our Regional Police. Clearly somebody needs to.
Friday, February 17, 2012
I believe that local reporter Luisa D'Amato has been covering education issues in Waterloo Region for close to two decades. In the Waterloo Region (K-W) Record this week is her following Opinion article "School Board rivalry flares yet again". When I was young and naive and even decades later I thought that education was a Mom and apple pie issue. How could any activity dealing with children and education be controversial, antagonistic or just plain nasty? Well I sure learned the hard way. Vested interests and no accountability explains a lot of horrendous behaviour. In this particular matter the public scool trustees were debating the merits of later start times for high school students. long story short the public Board thought they had an understanding with the seperate School Board. Well they didn't and the public Board ended up backtracking because of it. Luisa advises that these miscommunications have happened before and may indeed be somewhat intentional . Interesting. Luisa further advises that trustees and School Boards regularily behave more like the children they are supposed to be educating and turning into adults.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Every now and then we see Judges who have not lost touch with either reality or with the public whom they serve. The Judicial System may have lost touch but not all the individuals within it, thank goodness. Today's K-W Record, pg. A3, has this story "Mandatory sentence rejected". Ontario Superior Court Judge Anne Molloy looked carefully at the circumstances surrounding the conviction of a young man with no prior criminal record. He was convicted of possession of a loaded firearm. Now right off the bat this charge absolutely is not black and white. There are literally dozens of circumstances where possession of a loaded firearm is perfectly legal. A Brinks's guard, a police officer, a hunter and a target shooter on a proper range are all examples. This fellow was convicted yet the Judge struck down the mandatory minimum three year jail sentence and stated "In my opinion, a reasonable person knowing the circumstances of this case...would consider a three year sentence to be fundamentally unfair, outrageous, abhorrent and intolerable". The circumstances are almost comical. The Judge certainly is not portraying this gentleman as a victim of bad luck. She refers to his colossal bad judgement. He was alone in his cousin's locked apartment unit at 2 am. He found a loaded firearm . Keep in mind he was alone and the door was locked. He decided to take pictures of himself wearing sunglasses, t-shirt and boxer shorts to load onto his facebook page. Oh yes, while holding the handgun. He thought it would make him look cool. Unknown to him the Toronto Police Service chose that time to raid his cousin's apartment (2 am.) looking for illegal firearms. There he is saying cheese to the camera as the Police are breaking down the locked door. This rather silly individual had no wish to commit a crime. He was not victimizing anyone. Through sheer bad timing he is caught in possession of a handgun. Three years in jail would be ridiculous. Yet currently that is what the law says. Well done Judge Molloy for standing up and saying no.
Monday, February 13, 2012
Today's K-W Record has the following story "Boy,16. shot by police in Alberta". When I looked at the headline my first thought was well the average 16 year old, especially in winter clothes, probably looks as big as an adult and if he's holding a weapon, he's at great risk. After reading the article, the boy was driving a car and absolutely no mention of a weapon is made. Several years ago a police officer in Quebec shot a fleeing unarmed fourteen year old in the back. This article also states that the police officers involved were plain-clothes officers. Are you kidding me? If they were also in an unmarked car which seems both logical and possible as they weren't in uniform, then this gets weirder by the second. I've always understood that the only time a police officer can use deadly force is if their life or another citizen's life is in imminent peril. The article goes on to state that there will be an investigation by the Alberta Serious Injury Response Team, a body which investigates police incidents. This body sounds as if it is the Alberta counterpart to Ontario's S.I.U. (Special Investigations Unit). The S.I.U. here in Ontario has a well deserved reputation for its' inability to find police officers at fault in incidents involving serious citizen injury.
Friday, February 10, 2012
I'm a little out of my depth here in regards to copying a Comment to a posting from someone else's Blog. It's not the mechanics it's the ethics. Now first off I'm going to give credit to the other Blog. It's called JULIANICHIM (www.julianichim.wordpress.com) and it's not for everyone. Mr. Ichim has been working in the trenches for many years and I'm going to go out on a limb here and say you either love him or you hate him. Also fair warning that while he has a wicked sense of humour, sometimes (often) the language is a tad strong. These are not criticisms on my part, merely warnings for delicate readers. Secondly the Comment I've swiped to put here was written by me although in response to his posting.
2 Responses to “The line in the sand is drawn, forward to victory!!!!!!!”
Al February 10, 2012 at 6:10 pm #
Court orders are strange things. About fifteen years ago I had a Court in Kitchener order me not to be within 100-200 yards of the residence of a person who was suing my wife and I. I found this a tad strange because prior to that I had driven by this rural home perhaps twice in my life. It was off the beaten track and I had no reason to go by it 99.5% of the time. Anyways they moved shortly before suing my wife and I. Then at Court her lawyer asks for this ridiculous injunction/Court Order. I didn’t even know where she had moved to and had no interest in finding out. The Judge granted them the order based on nothing more than them asking for it. WTF ??? To this day I have no idea if I ever violated that Order simply because I still have no idea where they live. Maybe I drive by twice a day. Don’t know and don’t care.
The Judge who agreed to this Injunction/Court Order, in my opinion was biased. He's the same Judge who I mentioned in my post last December 2010 regarding the antiquainted jury selection process. My first hint that he was "off" was when he refused my wife and I a jury of our peers. I couldn't believe it. Until then I thought a jury of ones' peers was a constitutional right. Apparently not if the other lawyer knows the loopholes and has a willing Judge.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
"Those who forget history are bound to repeat it". While this is probably not an exact quote it reflects my belief in reminding all of us of the gross frailities of our judicial system. The K-W Record carried back to back stories from Canadian Press on September 23 and 24, 2004 dealing with Robert Baltovich. Mr. Baltovich was originally convicted in 1992 of the murder of Elizabeth Bain. Mr. Baltovich was convicted "...on the basis of an absurd Crown theory, a key witness whose testimony changed under hypnosis and the strong likelihood the real criminal was notorious sex killer Paul Bernardo..." Defence lawyer, James Lockyer, also referred to the Crown's theory of the murder as "idiocy". Further he referred to the Judge, Justice John O'Driscoll, at Baltovich's murder trial as unfair and as projecting an "aura of guilt" over Baltovich. One other very interesting item in this murder trial is that the victim's body was never found. Clearly that would suggest that there was literally zero forensic evidence associated with the non existent body. She simply disappeared and yet our Judicial system in it's arrogance and omniscience convinced a jury that her boyfriend was guilty of murder beyond a reasonable doubt. There were lots of theories and zero hard evidence including motive that Mr. Baltovich committed any crime. He spent eight years in jail. The Crown and Judge should get the same sentence for their complicity in railroading him. As long as there is zero accountability for Police, Crown Attorneys and Judges, these horrendous perversions of justice and victimizations of honest citizens will continue.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Let's put risks to life in perspective. Bernardo and Homolka were multiple rapists and killers. Clifford Olsen as well. Robert Pickton may be at the head of that class. One single vehicle accident on Monday on the edge of Waterloo Region killed far more than Bernardo and Homolka. Perhaps Olsen and Pickton over a period of years killed more than this one accident claimed in a few seconds. Today's Kitchener-Waterloo Record carrys details of this horrific accident. The front page story is titled "Migrant workers on way home to Kitchener before deadly crash". Further stories are on page A4.
To my initial surprise there seems to be in these multiple stories a theme that there is more to this than simple driver error and inattention. It was broad daylight, the roads were dry and bare and the van failed to stop at the stop sign for an oncoming tractor trailer. The three other stories are titled "Time to look after migrant workers: prof", "Transportation minister might take action on van safety" and "Call renewed to ban 15-passenger vans". There have been a number of passenger van accidents and fatalities in Canada over the last five years and they are listed. Apparently there is evidence that these vans are not particularily well built to withstand crashes. Also two of these articles allude to a history of migrant workers being particularily susceptible to on the job health and safety issues including their transportation to and from the job.
In reading these multiple articles I've noticed some contradictions and discrepancies. It is possible that they are nothing more than reporter error. For example the workers were supposedly heading home to kitchener from the Shakespeare area. However all reports were that they were heading west on Line #47. Shakespeare is west of Kitchener and they therefore should have been heading east to get to Kitchener. Secondly it was reported that they left the chicken barn at 4:30 pm. and were involved in the crash twenty minutes later. Well the map in the newspaper clearly shows that the chicken barn was only a few hundred yards from the crash site and indeed it was stated in the article that the crash site was within sight of the chicken barn. So why did it take twenty minutes to drive a few hundred yards? Finally and most disconcerting to me is the following: "...many of the workers lived in a Jean Avenue apartment building in Kitchener's Centreville neighbourhood". Further "Three of the names on the building's tenant list are listed as Marc Poultry, a poultry vaccination company that has experienced eerily-similar tragedy. In 2004, a van carrying a crew of nine Marc Poultry employees failed to stop for a red light at the intersection of Highway 6 and White Church Road in Hamilton when it collided with an 18-wheel flatbed truck.". Three men in the van died.
What the hell! Is this an incredible unlikely coincidence? One of the James Bond books mentions his opinion that once is happenstance, twice is coincidence and three times is enemy action. Who is the possible enemy here? These migrant workers are not here in Canada on humanitarian grounds. Neither are they here as the excuse is often given that Canadians won't do manual labour. There are literally millions of workers here who have come years ago from everywhere around the globe and are willing and able to do dirty and heavy labour. Groups like Justicia for Migrant Workers, who are mentioned in these articles, know that migrant workers are here because they are more desperate for work and more vulnerable to exploitation than our permanent labour force. It's all about money and that money includes slipshod health and safety standards. It was only a little over five years ago here in Ontario that the Occupational Health and Safety Act finally included the agricultural sector. Does it cover migrant workers equally with full time residents or is this simply one more incentive for employers to go with cheaper migrant labour? Whatever the answers to these questions one thing is certain. Maybe it's as simple as driver error or maybe not. This connection with Marc Poultry needs to be seriously investigated. There is a peculiar odour and too many discrepancies at present.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
If the name Arar doesn't ring any bells then you haven't been paying attention over the last few years. He was the Canadian engineer of middle eastern background who was arrested by the United States back in the 90's allegedly for terrorist connections. The U.S. then sent this unfortunate soul back to the middle east, probably to a progressive regieme such as Syria, libya or Egypt for interrogation. During Arar's initial incarceration, like any honest and legitimate Canadian citizen, he appealed to his government for assistance. The Canadian government in their competence and concern sold him down the river. Apparently they had nothing positive to say and further indicated their lack of concern to the U.S. thus permitting Arar's extradition to his original birthplace and homeland. Here these progressive governments lacking any evidence attempted to torture him into confessing his guilt.
Well the good news for middle eastern immigrants to Canada is that as long as you stay in Canada, you probably won't be tortured merely arrested and incarcerated if you behave provocatively. Now keep in mind that this article in the K-W Record on February 3, 2012 repeatedly emphasizes that Saad Allamis's allegations in his civil suit are at the moment unproven. The title of the article is "Quip made man a terror suspect". Apparently and allegedly he texted his co-workers at a trade show in New york City that they should "blow away" the competition. Clearly for the Quebec Provincial Police this provocative comment justified their arresting him and searching his home. No charges were ever laid but it has negatively affected his job and reputation. Although Mr. Allami's allegations in his lawsuit are unproven to date, there do seem to be some similarities here with Mr. Arar. We've had cowboys locally on our Regional police SWAT teams and their predecessors. It seems that a number of other Police Forces also have cowboys looking for excitement. Racism and extremism are not the sole perogative of private citizens. It seems as if our authorities also like to racially profile and jump to confusions.
Monday, February 6, 2012
Today's Kitchener-Waterloo Record has an Opinion article by Geoffrey Stevens titled "Do we cut pensions to buy F-35s?". The overall theme of the article is certainly not complimentary towards our federal Conservative government. In fact Mr. Stevens makes no bones about his concerns with "the Harper government's" not embracing either criticism or the advice of experts on a number of issues. He saves his greatest criticism however for "...the Harper government's pigheaded determination to proceed with the purchase of 65 F-35 stealth fighter jets.". Mr. Stevens further states that "It's crazy. We have a government that feels it must reduce its' investment in health care and old age security, but has no compunction about spending an estimated $30 billion on aircraft the country doesn't need.". Mr Stevens in his Opinion piece gives a number of reasons and details as to why we don't need these fighter jets and why the recent claims of unsustainability of the old age pension system are incorrect.
For me the timing is equisite. It also parallels the madness south of the border where we have a government spending trillions of dollars annually on Defence which cannot adequately help its' own citizens in New Orleans after the disaster of Katrina. For me the issue is about government credibility in a supposedly democratic country. A minority of our citizens voted for the Conservatives yet they form a majority government. A minority of citizens believe in both the superiority of the F-35s and Canada's need for them. A majority of citizens however believe that the Old Age Security system should be enlarged and expanded not the opposite. Is this truly what Democracy is about? I don't think so.
Thursday, February 2, 2012
Do you know how difficult it is to reach that standard of proof in a courtroom? I would suggest that it is nearly impossible without a lot of luck, irrefutable relevant evidence and plain hard investigative work. I would also suggest that those conditions are seldom met even when convictions occur. This is exactly why wrongful convictions can and do occur.
In the recent Shafia murder case and trial much was made of the Defendants background and cultural beliefs including honour killings. Much was made of the father's wiretap conversations after the four bodies were found. Astoundingly little was made of the actual alleged physical murders of the three daughters and former wife. Inadequate theories were proposed including the four being murdered prior to their car going into the canal. No evidence was presented to support this. There was evidence that the son "bumped" the car that ended up in the canal. There was not evidence that the two now convicted parents were present at the alleged crime scene. There are far too many unanswered questions and unproven theories. Nevertheless the jury convicted the parents and son of first degree murder. I would agree that on the balance of probabilities all three were responsible for the deaths of four human beings. I do not agree beyond a resaonable doubt that these three were proven guilty of first degree murder. That is not a small distinction. That distinction is precisely why innocent Canadian citizens have been wrongfully convicted in the past. Juries are under immense pressure to find defendants guilty. The more heinous the crime the more pressure to convict someone, anyone. The idea that it's better for five killers to walk free than one innocent be convicted no longer exists.
Currently ongoing is the Ron Cyr trial in Kitchener. Again the Crown seems very strong on motive and very weak on evidence pointing to the husband. Yes they have a murder weapon and forensic evidence pointing towards two other individuals who are co-defendants. To date as reported in the K-W Record we have an undercover Police Officer, an ongoing affair, a life insurance policy but again very little hard evidence proving the husband was involved. It almost seems as in the Shafia case that the Crown's strategy is to show that the husband isn't a very nice person. Is this strategy due to a lack of hard evidence against him? If I was a betting man I'd bet that all three defendants will be found guilty of first degree murder by the jury. I would also be willing to bet that the evidence against him is cirumstantial and doesn't reach that very high standard of guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. No doubt guilty people get convicted on weak circumstantial evidence but so do innocent people. Readers keep clearly in mind that this trial is still ongoing and not only has there not been a verdict but also all the evidence hasn't been presented yet. Therefore my above opinions are exactly that: opinions not conclusions.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Today's Kitchener-Waterloo Record carrys a story by Terri Theodore titled "Missing persons officer weeps during Pickton inquiry". This of course is in regards to the ongoing inquiry in British Columbia dealing with the aftermath of Police incompetence and inability to stop a serial killer. Yesterday while on the stand Detective Lori Shenher added to the damning evidence coming out against both the local Police force as well as the R.C.M.P.. She testifed that "...her superiors discounted her growing suspicion a serial killer was responsible and ignored her suggestions it might be Pickton.". She added after Robert Pickton was caught that "If it had been someone really tricky or skilled, I could have handled that, but...it was this person that was so in my sights the whole time.". Furthermore she testified "... reports either weren't taken or misplaced.". Victims families have testifed that a civilian clerk at the force rebuffed their attempts to file missing persons complaints. Detective Shenher "left the missing person's review team burned out and disillusioned with police work." The detective's final comments are that Inquiry Commissioner Wally Oppal "may want to look at the police culture and why it's very hard to be an "out of the box thinker" inside the department. Officers either assimilate or leave the culture, she said."
WOW ! Does anyone seriously think that these Police problems are not systemic? Does anyone seriously think that these investigative failures are confined only to murder investigations? These failures at the Police level have occurred across Canada and they will continue as long as our Provincial and Federal politicians aren't directly affected. When was the last time a wealthy and influential person or politician was wrongly convicted? Everyday citizens are literally dying and being wrongly imprisoned in this country and until there is a political will to root out this rot within, it will continue.