Posts from our progressive community

Does God Exist?

LeDaro - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 09:28
This question has been in my mind since I was a child. To this day, I have not found the answer. I have read parts of the Torah, the Bible, and the Quran, but never got any convincing evidence. Unfortunately I remain agnostic, unless somebody can prove to me otherwise.

I came across this very interesting article, Does God Exist? The writer makes some very interesting points:

Does God exist? The complexity of our planet points to a deliberate Designer who not only created our universe, but sustains it today.

Many examples showing God's design could be given, possibly with no end. But here are a few:

The Earth...its size is perfect. The Earth's size and corresponding gravity holds a thin layer of mostly nitrogen and oxygen gases, only extending about 50 miles above the Earth's surface. If Earth were smaller, an atmosphere would be impossible, like the planet Mercury. If Earth were larger, its atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, like Jupiter. Earth is the only known planet equipped with an atmosphere of the right mixture of gases to sustain plant, animal and human life.

The Earth is located the right distance from the sun. Consider the temperature swings we encounter, roughly -30 degrees to +120 degrees. If the Earth were any further away from the sun, we would all freeze. Any closer and we would burn up. Even a fractional variance in the Earth's position to the sun would make life on Earth impossible. The Earth remains this perfect distance from the sun while it rotates around the sun at a speed of nearly 67,000 mph. It is also rotating on its axis, allowing the entire surface of the Earth to be properly warmed and cooled every day.

And our moon is the perfect size and distance from the Earth for its gravitational pull. The moon creates important ocean tides and movement so ocean waters do not stagnate, and yet our massive oceans are restrained from spilling over across the continents.

It's a fascinating article to read. It is long but worth reading. To read the rest of the article, please click here.

Friday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 08:10
Assorted content to end your week.

- Roderick Benns interviews Scott Santens about the effect of a basic income:
Benns: Why is the concept of a basic income guarantee so important at this point in our societal development?

Santens: We’re living in a paradox of absurdity, where we’ve created truly incredible levels of technology, growing at exponential rates, and yet we’re not using it to propel our civilization forward. Technology has from the moment the first tool was ever created, been intended to reduce human labour and enable us to do so much more than we ever would without it. And yet here we are working 47 hours a week instead of 40, and working nine hours a day at the office despite not actually working for four of them. We’re encouraging people to work in jobs they hate instead of doing work they love. We’ve increased the risks of failure, putting a counterproductive brake on innovation. We’re increasing inequality, hampering our economies. We’re reducing bargaining power by decreasing the ability to say no. And we’re replacing human workers with technologies that don’t buy anything. None of this makes any sense if our goal is for technology to work for us instead of against us. So let’s do that instead. - Don Braid explains why it's taken an NDP government to provide Alberta's farm workers with protections they've lacked for a century. And Ben Spielberg and Jared Bernstein offer a fact check against the U.S. Republicans' hostility to a reasonable minimum wage.

- Murray Dobbin considers the Trans-Pacific Partnership to be a test of Justin Trudeau's willingness to offer meaningful change from the Harper Cons. But PressProgress points out that there's a real question as to whether the Libs are even willing to allow for the public debate they've promised. And Duncan Cameron notes that we don't seem to be getting much but conservative economic philosophy from the Libs.

- Laura Best explains why Canada should have little trouble meeting its commitments to assist Syrian refugees. And Remzi Cej discusses how he'd describe Canada to newcomers looking to escape war and poverty - offering a standard we should absolutely work to meet.

- Finally, David McGrane recaps a conference honouring the memory and work of Allan Blakeney by setting out a few of the challenges we need to meet in order to be able to claim a functioning democratic political system.

Rex Murphy On Canada's Refugee Plans

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 08:06
While I am hardly dismissive of those who are expressing concerns about the speed with which the Liberal government is planning to bring in Syrian refugees, those concerns, I believe, are being exploited by some for less than noble purposes. Take, for example, Rec Murphy's point of view, expressed on last night's National news broadcast, my critique of which follows the video:

At first blush, as is often the case with Murphy's pontifications, his position sounds quite reasonable. However, if you listen to it carefully, moving past his gratuitous endorsements of Brad Wall and the former Harper regime, the subtext of his message is that there is much to fear from the Syrian influx that might be bearing within their midst ISIS agents coolly biding their time while they plot our destruction.

Such a jaundiced view is at variance with the facts of Canada's refugee plans. Murphy chooses to conflate the Paris attacks and Syrian refugee situation in Europe, which has seen massive numbers enter with little or no documentation, with Canada's plan:
They will most likely come from Jordan, Turkey or Lebanon, where almost all have been registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Jihadis interested in violence are not going to sit in a refugee camp for months — sometimes years — waiting for an interview with a visa officer, say experts.

“The idea that ISIS would use the refugee system to infiltrate Canada is vastly overblown. There is no history of this,” said Wesley Wark, a security expert and professor at the University of Ottawa. “You could never be certain your jihadi would even arrive.”Some of the refugees in the camps have been there since 2011, when the civil war in Syria began.
Normally, government-sponsored refugees go through three levels of intense screening for criminality, war crimes and medical needs. UNHCR officials conduct detailed interviews and identity checks in the country of first asylum. Even if Syrians don’t have passports, most carry national identity cards with bar codes.

“We question them about past or current military activities or affiliations, including their future plans. We have a number of biometric security and anti-fraud measures including iris scanning,” said a UNHCR spokesperson. The registration data is entered into an interconnected global system.

The UNHCR then triages the refugees, and selects a very small number (about 1 per cent) who would make good candidates for resettlement by countries such as Canada. Women with children, unaccompanied minors, the elderly, sick and vulnerable are given priority.More details about the process can be accessed here.

The wisdom of bringing in 25,000 refugees on a very compressed schedule is certainly a fit topic for debate. Rex Murphy's pandering to fears and prejudices is not.

Recommend this Post

The Con Media's Insane War on Justin Trudeau

Montreal Simon - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 07:58

As you know the Cons, led by the flying chicken hawk Jason Kenney, have been trying to use the massacre in Paris to go after Justin Trudeau.

Accusing him of letting down the side, or siding with the terrorists, for his decision to end our bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. And focus instead on better and more Canadian ways to help defeat ISIS.

And what makes it even worse, is that the Con media is going after Trudeau for the same reason.

Like bats out of hell...
Read more »

Duffy? Duffy Who?

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 07:00

Yeah, so the trial of the Cavendish Cottager has resumed. Who cares? Now with Stephen Harper sent packing and a new party with a secure-term majority, it doesn't seem to matter nearly as much as it did over the summer before it adjourned.

Where's the high drama now? The Crown seems intent on closing with a fizzle, focusing on petty cash/sticky fingers issues. The bribery case, the sine qua non of the prosecution, appears to have collapsed. It had been thought the Court might hear from Tory senators LeBreton, Tkachuk and Stewart-Olsen and maybe even party counsel Hamilton, just possibly Harper himself. Defence counsel Don Bayne might subpoena those folks but if the thinks the bribery charge has cratered he probably won't. What would be the point?

In other words we may be left with just the "hand in the cookie jar" charges and there's a bit of a problem with that. Some of the light-fingering referred to in the charges was pretty commonplace among a good segment of the Senate, I'm hearing about half.  So, if Duffy is prosecuted, possibly convicted, and the rest of his fellow miscreants are left off the hook, how does that look? Suddenly it takes on the trappings of a political inquisition dressed up as a criminal trial.

This saga began with some nasty, underhanded business. It might just end the same way.

U.S. Yells "Uncle" on F-35

The Disaffected Lib - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 06:42

When American military commanders run out of money, you know something is very wrong.

U.S. defence planners have run the numbers and figure there'll be no 60 or 80-a year buy of F-35's as once planned.  Putting it bluntly they said the USAF will be "struggling to afford 48 F-35s a year."

So what's a girl to do when she runs out of mad money?

The U.S. Air Force may solicit bids for 72 new Boeing F-15s,Lockheed Martin F-16s or even Boeing F/A-18E/Fs as budget issues put planned production rates for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter out of reach, according to senior service and industry officials at the Defense IQ International Fighter Conference [in London].

In the typical Dr. Strangelove lexicon, air force officials said modernized F-15s would be used to "augment the F-35 and F-22 in a high-end fight." Now, in case you're not up on US Air Force lingo, "high-end fight" means a peer-on-peer air war which itself is code for war on Russia or China or, almost certainly, both.
The U.S. Air Force activity parallels U.S. Navy fleet planning; the Navy, likewise, is considering reductions in the planned F-35C production rate to fund life-extension efforts for the Super Hornet.

Okay, what does all that mean for Canada and other F-35 partner nations? A reduced American buy means only one thing - higher unit costs for everyone. Lockheed's pricing is built on a projected US military buy in big numbers. As those US Navy and US Air Force numbers get whittled down, the price per aircraft goes up for everyone, including foreign customers. That's very bad news for an aircraft that is still plagued with delays, cost overruns, performance issues and a "perishable" stealth technology.
Even the air force guy running the programme, General Christopher Bogdan, has alluded to the F-35's pricing problems in the context of a "death spiral" in which, as orders are trimmed or canceled and, in the result, prices soar, the warplane becomes increasingly unviable.
For Canada there's a potential silver lining in all of this. Boeing has designed major upgrades for both the F-18 and F-15 that make them more capable and even somewhat stealthy. Either of those aircraft would probably outperform the F-35 for Canada's home defence needs and by a wide margin.
Until recently it seemed the Boeing's F-18 and F-15 production lines would soon be shut down, eliminating those options for Canada. Now it seems the US military may just be keeping them open. At this point what matters most - being invited to the opening strikes of some "high end" attack on Russia and China or being able to patrol and defend Canada's vulnerable airspace in the far north?

UPDATE: A Police Or An Occupation Force?

Politics and its Discontents - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 06:25
Last night, the CBC reported on the case of Rodrigo Gonzalez, the subject of yesterday's post and the latest to die at the hands of Toronto Police. while the report perhaps sheds no further light on what occurred, it at least graphically brings to the public's attention something everyone should be very, very disturbed by:

Recommend this Post

Who Wants To Do That?

Northern Reflections - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 06:08

What happened in Paris a week ago was horrific. It can't be justified and it must be dealt with. But, for the last fifteen years, our response to what has been happening in the Middle East has been wrong headed. Since George W. Bush invaded Iraq, western policy has been all about eradication. Michael Harris writes:

But the more relevant question is whether a strategy of “eradication” works. Fourteen years of boots on the ground in Afghanistan should have shown the United States that it doesn’t. Two superpowers — the USSR, then the U.S. — tried the military option for 24 years; Afghanistan remains an unreconstructed narco-state with the Taliban back in business and Kabul as corrupt as ever.

Boots on the ground accomplished even less in Iraq. Revisit in your memory President George Bush strutting across the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in September 2003 beneath a banner declaring “Mission Accomplished.” It was War on Terror rhetoric at its most perverse. Thirteen years on, that “war on a noun” is still an utter failure.
Shock and Awe may assuage a need for revenge. But it doesn't solve the problem. It only makes things worse -- because it obliterates perspective:

You stand a better chance of being struck by lightning than of dying at the hands of a terrorist — but most governments see a hidden benefit in exaggerating the threat. After every attack attributed to terrorists, governments take another step towards the complete surveillance state. France is no exception. In the wake of the Paris attacks, French President François Hollande has asked to change the Constitution of the Fifth Republic.
What's even more worse, is that it gives rise to the Surveillance State:

The journey towards global surveillance rides the bullet train of fear and prejudice. The more speed it picks up, the further democracy recedes in the rear-view mirror. The National Security Agency spied on all American citizens with its collection of so-called ‘metadata’ — something Americans would still know nothing about were it not for a fellow named Edward Snowden, now a fugitive in exile for alerting his countrymen to the 21st century version of Watergate.
So what should be done?

The most sensible way to deal with terrorists is to stop characterizing them as fanatics or mentally unstable. As former CIA officer Philip Giraldi says, all terrorists are members of political movements. They have grievances and goals which need to be understood rather than caricatured. Otherwise, we have no way to intervene against them other than the sharp edge of the sword — always an excellent recruitment tool for outfits like ISIS.
But that would mean "committing sociology." And who wants to do that?

Are Rona Ambrose's Ghastly Cons Out of Control?

Montreal Simon - Fri, 11/20/2015 - 03:39

When Rona Ambrose was crowned temporary Queen of the Cons, and promised that her shell shocked MPs would set a "new tone" i.e. raise their behaviour out of the gutter, and stop acting like animals.

I remember wondering whether she was dumb or delusional, and whether she really believed she could do that in the snake pit of a party Stephen Harper created. 

And Jason Kenney now runs.

And sure enough she couldn't. She just couldn't CONTROL them.
Read more »

Abortion: Once and For All

Dammit Janet - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 11:23
My entire blogging career -- if you can call something that doesn't pay a "career" -- has been conducted during the Dark Ages.

It started back at Birth Pangs, now sadly gone but snippets have been saved at the WayBack Machine (hours of fun!). Birth Pangs was focussed on reproductive rights just about exclusively.

We created DJ! in 2009. Our birthday was yesterday.

With DJ! we spread our focus, but I -- and deBeauxOs to a lesser extent -- stayed on the repro rights beat.

I've been thinking about what I want to do now that the Dark Ages are over and we don't have to remain constantly on guard for sneaky fuckery from Conservative misogynist nutbars.

I've decided to go on the offensive.

According to the fetus freaks, we now have the most "pro-abortion" PM EVAH! Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada (ARCC) reckons the anti-choice brigade in the House of Commons has been halved, from 38% to 18% and ALL of them are in minority opposition.

The Liberals ran on some pretty big promises to women, specifically on abortion access.

I propose we not only hold the government to those promises but push for more.

Here is ARCC's list of demands.
• Enforce Canada Health Act against NB and PEI – i.e., arbitrate to resolve access/funding issues, and if the provinces still don’t comply, withhold federal transfer payments.
• To reduce abortion, fully fund most contraception through Medicare (the Pill, IUDs, Depo, emergency contraception, etc.).
• Increase number of hospitals that provide abortions outside major cities.
• Increase medical school training in abortion; provide continuing education in abortion techniques to existing doctors.
• Incentivize and support doctors to provide abortions in smaller communities.
• Prohibit so-called “conscientious objection” in reproductive healthcare, or at least require referrals and discipline doctors who disobey.
• Screen out anti-choice medical students before they enter the Family Planning program or Obstetrics/Gynecology specialty (inability to fulfill job requirements should make them ineligible).

To which I would add:
• Require comprehensive sex ed, including consent and gay and trans rights, in every publicly funded school.
• Regulate and license so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centres to ensure they are telling the truth and treating "clients" respectfully and responsibly. Shut them down if they don't.
• Create a media climate in which any reporter who goes to a fetus freak for a "balancing" comment on a proposal that should be judged on its own merits gets laughed out of the room.
• Crowdfund as necessary to bring suit against organizations and pundits that tell outrageous lies about sexual health and reproductive law.

Of course there are other important things on the feminist agenda that we will continue to work on, like violence against women, child care, equal pay, decriminalizing sex work, and so on.

But I think we have a historic opportunity to get this one done. Once and for all.

Canada is a pro-choice country. We have the chance to move our institutions, media, and culture to the point of no return. Where it will become simply unthinkable for anyone to question a woman's right to make her own decisions on her own life.

We can discredit, delegitimate, disrupt, and demoralize the anti-choicers so that only the most insane of them think it's worth their time to continue.

We can do this. And serve as a beacon of compassion and sanity to the world.

A Police Or An Occupation Force?

Politics and its Discontents - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 07:55
While I realize there is an element of hyperbole in the title of this post, I cannot help but think that for many vulnerable people, the Toronto Police might be viewed more as oppressors rather than as protectors. Yesterday I posted about the beating at their hands of Santokh Bola, a 21-year-old intellectually challenged man falsely arrested on Nov. 1. Police say he matched the description of a man armed with a knife, but perhaps significantly, they have not released that description, nor have they named the officers involved in the brutality.

Today's Star has yet another report of a man's encounter with police that led to his death. Since police apologist Mark Pugash insists that context is always important, here it is:
More than ten police officers, including a tactical squad carrying shields and a battering ram, responded to a 911 call to a family apartment in the city’s west end.

In the Nov. 6 incident that is only now coming to light, there was an altercation, two Tasers were used, and shortly after, the resident, Rodrigo Hector Almonacid Gonzalez was rolled out on a stretcher. His head was rapidly moving from side to side, according to time-stamped surveillance footage from the building provided to the Toronto Star by his family.

Gonzalez, 43, died in hospital the following day, and his family wants to know what happened in the apartment and why it took the province’s police oversight agency, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), five days to show up at the apartment. Nobody told the family to preserve the scene in the bathroom. Vital evidence may have been lost during this time, the family’s lawyer says.Gonzalez, for whatever reason, had locked himself in the bathroom, and his concerned wife, Sosana Chavarian, called 911. No weapons, no drugs, nothing except a man in distress who locked himself in the bathroom.
Photographs taken by Gonzalez’s wife at the hospital show a head injury wrapped in bloody gauze, as well as a black eye, bruising on a limb and shoulder, and what the family suspects is a Taser mark near his groin.Why it took more than 10 officers, some from the tactical unit and armed with shields, a battering ram and three tasers, has not been addressed, but the results were deadly. Gonzalez died in hospital, presumably from injuries suffered in the police overreaction.

Gonzalez's wife blames herself for his death because she was the one who placed the 911 call. However, based on the story, blame would seem to lie elsewhere.Recommend this Post

Thursday Morning Links

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:59
This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Linda Tirado writes that whatever the language used as an excuse for turning public benefits into private profits, we should know better than to consider it credible:
Given how much I had heard my whole life about British dignity, and the fact that there is a thing here called the House of Lords, I had assumed I would find something like comity and refinement among the people charged with running the place. Instead, I found Boris Johnson.

I began to feel at home immediately. Then I heard the term “skivers and strivers”. It felt familiar – in America we say “makers and takers”. If you listen, you can’t help but hear US-style campaigning creeping into the British political system. It’s not only the rhyming phrases meant to boil an incredibly nuanced issue down to a simple cops v robbers scenario. It’s the exact same arguments.
There is only so much variation you can put on one school of political thought, and both men are fairly mainstream-to-right with occasional forays into ideological counterproductivity. Both want to pare government spending to the bone, ostensibly to cut the debt and/or deficit depending on which we are very concerned with this week. In the end, you’ll wind up with some pretty sizeable tax cuts to the wealthy either way.

But can two countries with very different approaches to shared sacrifice and benefit have the same economic strategies? Given that a British citizen thinks it their right to see a doctor, and an American citizen may or may not think that the very idea is the reddest of Soviet plots, can privatising healthcare really solve the woes of both nations’ systems? It seems unlikely, given that the US still has an incredible number of people who are uninsured and the system is largely still run by private companies, that the solution will resemble what’s needed in the NHS. - Jeremy Nuttall weighs in on the growth of food bank use in Canada. Miles Corak takes a look at income inequality, pointing out that a Working Income Tax Benefit which didn't wither away to nothing for the vast majority of workers would represent a good start in developing a more fair economic system. And Lars Osberg points out that there's plenty of room to increase how much high-end income goes to fund needed social benefits, while Carol Goar offers a few more suggestions as to how to pay for the Libs' campaign promises.

- CBC reports on the Canadian Institute for Health Information's latest study on the persistence - and in some case expansion - of health inequalities in Canada. And Canadian Doctors for Medicare calls for the federal government to step in and ensure that access to health care doesn't become a privilege reserved for the rich.

- Yves Engler writes that the Trans-Pacific Partnership is all about corporate control rather than free trade. And Michael Geist points out how the TPP is particularly flawed in its restrictions on digital policy.

- Barrie McKenna reports that the Libs are dropping at least one of the Cons' most gratuitous corporate giveaways by eliminating a mandatory P3 screen for infrastructure funding.

- Finally, the New York Times rightly argues that mass surveillance is neither necessary nor particularly helpful in trying to keep the public safe.

New column day

accidentaldeliberations - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 06:41
Here, on the decision-based evidence-making behind the Sask Party's selloff of Crown land and planned gutting of publicly-operated liquor stores.

For further reading...
- The Sask Party's announcement of a program to sell off farm land (and ratchet up lease rates for anybody who doesn't want to participate) is here. And the consultation process which made absolutely no mention of that plan is documented here (PDF).
- Similarly, yesterday's liquor retailing announcement is here. And while I've already discussed some of the problems with a glaringly biased survey, it's worth noting the massive gap between what people were asked about (PDF) and what the Sask Party plans to impose on the province as a result.
- Finally, the CCPA's study (PDF) on the effects of privatizing liquor sales is well worth another read.

He Won't Recognize Canada

Northern Reflections - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 05:48


The Conservatives are already missing Stephen Harper. Susan Delacourt writes:

A photo of Stephen Harper, emblazoned with the caption “Miss Me Yet?”, has popped up on the blogs and Facebook posts of some core Conservatives. A new website,, has declared that Justin Trudeau “is already letting Canada down” and is vowing to “bring conservatism back to Ottawa.”
That's because the mandate letters Trudeau  sent to each of his ministers make clear that the Liberals' first order of business is to undo much of what Stephen Harper did:

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould appears to have the largest list of Conservative measures to unravel; she’s already announced the move to abandon a court challenge of niqabs at citizenship ceremonies and has been tasked with a wide-ranging review of the past decade’s changes to the criminal justice system. She has also been instructed to restore the old Court Challenges Program and help other ministers repeal bits of the controversial C-51 security law and C-42, the so-called “Common Sense Firearms Act,” which critics said watered down gun control laws in Canada.Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly will be reversing funding cuts to the CBC. Democratic Reform Minister Maryam Monsef will be taking a hatchet to many provisions in the Fair Elections Act. Finance Minister Bill Morneau will be scrapping income-splitting for families and other “unfairly targeted tax breaks.”When Citizenship and Immigration Minister John McCallum is done with the task of getting 25,000 Syrian refugees to Canada by year’s end, he also has to repeal provisions in the Citizenship Act that give the government the right to strip citizenship from dual nationals, and also eliminate a $1,000 fee imposed on those who hire foreign caregivers.
Then there are all the things that the Liberals promised to do -- like spending on infrastructure. 
Stephen Harper won't recognize Canada when the Liberals get through with it.

The Syrian Refugees and the Friendly Holiday Isle

Montreal Simon - Thu, 11/19/2015 - 03:46

The other day I told you how Scotland was getting ready to welcome its first group of Syrian refugees, and how that small country had been working hard to try to make them feel at home.

In a country so different from the ones they were coming from.

Well now they have arrived, on a miserable cold wet afternoon in Glasgow, which must have made at least some of them wonder to what icy grey hell had they been condemned.

But they did get a warm welcome. 

And this picture probably sums up how many of them were feeling...
Read more »

The Face of Hate and the Inspiring Message of Antoine Leiris

Montreal Simon - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 22:41

When I see how the tragedy in Paris has some of the bigots in this country crawling out of their holes, to spew ignorance and hatred. 

Like this ghastly joker. 

Half maniac, half beast.

Or I read the comments from those who are so afraid, they would deny desperate refugees safe haven in Canada. And by so doing play into the hands of the ISIS death cult.

I like to think of the message Antoine Leiris, who lost his wife at the Bataclan club, had for her killers: 

Read more »

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't

Cathie from Canada - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 21:19
I expect Trudeau realizes that all of the people who are criticizing him for moving too fast on the Syrian refugee promise would turn on a dime and howl in betrayal if he announced he was slowing down.
Damn the torpedos, sir -- full speed ahead!

That NDP survey

Dawg's Blawg - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 17:39
Readers will recall my earlier comments on the post-election “survey” by the bruised Old Democratic Party. Well, the results are in! I publish this, in its entirety, without comment, other than to report that tears are running down my cheeks—but... Dr.Dawg

“There’s always a context in which these things take place.”

Politics and its Discontents - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 14:23
So says Toronto police spokesman and perennial apologist Mark Pugash about the beating administered by the police to Santokh Bola, a victim of what the authorities admit was a 'mistaken arrest.'

Sure looks to me like just another case of police brutality, something the Toronto constabulary is becoming notorious for:

Bola’s lawyer, Michael Smitiuch, told a news conference Wednesday that the video shows police delivering 11 punches to Bola in quick succession, and a total of 20 blows to his head.

“Officer, please, officer,” Santokh can be heard saying in the video. “Let me go, please let me.”

The incident took place by Bola’s car in the rear parking lot of his family’s store on Islington Ave., according to the lawsuit.

In the video, Bola can be heard begging to speak to his grandfather and twice says, “Let me talk to my parents.”

He also pleads, “Sir, I beg you.”

When the beating was over, Bola was held briefly in a police cruiser and then set free, Smitiuch said. No charges were laid.

He was taken to Etobicoke General Hospital by his grandfather, where he was treated for head and facial injuries.Recommend this Post

Legal loopholes - Bruce Carson, Nigel Wright, and Elections Canada

Creekside - Wed, 11/18/2015 - 11:51
Elections Canada declined to recommend the RCMP investigate and prosecute electoral fraud cases in both 2008 and 2011 elections because, in the *opinion* of Elections Canada, the perps were unsuccessful in their attempt to sway the election results. They were crap at it so no harm no foul.

Yesterday Bruce Carson was acquitted of influence peddling under Section 121 of the Criminal Code - which prohibits anyone from using their influence with the government to obtain benefits for themselves or someone else - because although he approached Indian and Northern Affairs government officials to help set his girlfriend up with a 20% fee to sell water purification systems to First Nations, he approached the wrong people. He was crap at influence peddling so again, no harm, no foul.

This also partly explains I suppose why the RCMP never charged Nigel Wright, who shares lawyer Patrick McCann with Carson, with paying Mike Duffy off with a $90,000 cheque to "make this whole thing go away". It didn't go away, Nigel was crap at making it go away, so again - no harm, no foul.   

Canadian law apparently requires certain standards of felony competence from white collar perps before it is willing to take them seriously. If you can't be arsed to attain a bare minimum of professionalism in your chosen felony, Canadian law just isn't interested.  

This must piss off bank robbers no end. Busted at 4am surrounded by their safe-cracking tools and cops and blaring bank alarms does display a certain wont of proficiency at their chosen profession, yet Canadian law does not offer them the same consideration shown to those who attempt to undermine our elections, take personal advantage of their positions of influence, or buy off political cronies.

Bruce Carson still faces charges of influence peddling and being "the secret sauce" that enabled tarsands/extractive industry lobby group EPIC, according to their own presser, to successfully rewrite government regulations thatwere holding up tar their permits. 
According to the RCMP ITO, Carson allegedly lobbied Nigel Wright and Wayne Wouters, Clerk of the Privy Council, on behalf of EPIC for a salary of $10,000 a month. 

We await the court's decision on whether he was crap at that too.


Subscribe to aggregator - Posts from our progressive community