Friday, May 27, 2016

To the new breed of online bank robbers your identity is worth more than money!

Herve Falciani

Good Day Readers:

Imagine simultaneously being indicted in Switzerland, jailed in Spain and celebrated in France but such was the fate of Herve Falciani. His crime? Exposing a major Swiss bank`s (HSBC) darkest client secrets.

This is an excellent article very well researched and written but as you will see from the following link it`s quite lengthy so isn`t being reproduced in its entirety. However, if you have the time it`s well worth a read:

Clare L. Pieuk

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"Oomph!": The sound of the Canadian Prime Minister and Premiers getting kicked in the nuts/groin! ..... they'll just have to find another way to dick over taxpayers to pay for their extravagzas!

Good Day Readers:

When you read the ruling of Provincial Court Judge Ronald LeBlanc it soon becomes apparent what a gem it really is - years of interprovincial trade barriers in goods and services gone with one stroke of a pen!
Provincial Court Judge Ronald LeBlanc

Gerald Comeau

His Honour's ruling was beautiful in its logic and simplicity. Oh for sure the Americans will continue to impose trade barriers against Canada (e.g. softwood lumber exports) but his decision has far greater long term implications for this country than anything the United States could do to us!

Clare L. Pieuk
Interprovincial beer ban violates Constitution, New Brunswick Judge rules 

Tu Thanh Ha
Friday, April 29, 2016

A retiree’s decision to fight a $292 ticket he received for buying beer in Quebec has led a New Brunswick court to invalidate a section of the province’s liquor act, in a case that could eventually bring sweeping changes to interprovincial trade across the country.

In a ruling released Friday in Campbellton, New Brunswick Provincial Court Judge Ronald LeBlanc agreed with defence arguments that the Fathers of Confederation didn’t want trade barriers between provinces and that New Brunswick’s monopolistic law contravened the Constitution Act of 1867.

“That historical context leads to only one conclusion: The Fathers of Confederation wanted to implement free trade as between the provinces of the newly formed Canada,” Justice LeBlanc said in his 87-page ruling.

Arnold Schwisberg, one of the defence lawyers, said in an interview that the decision has a “national impact, not just for the transportation of liquor.”

“What that means is that the Canadian supply system, whereby the interprovincial trade of commodities are restricted, the dairy boards, the wheat boards, every aspect of our Canadian commercial situation that has impediments for cross-provincial movements, are all unconstitutional.”

He said he had already received a call from a lawyer in British Columbia wondering about the impact on the B.C. wine industry, which does $255-million in annual sales.

Canadian wine and beer producers have long complained of interprovincial hurdles, such as many provinces’ restrictions on shipping directly from an out-of-province winery to a consumer, or the decision last December by Premier Rachel Notley’s government to slap a 525-per-cent tax hike on craft beer from outside Alberta.

After Friday’s decision, the Crown has 30 days to decide whether to appeal. “[The] government will review the decision, but we have no further comment at this time,” said Elaine Bell, a spokeswoman for New Brunswick Attorney-General Serge Rousselle.

Mr. Schwisberg and the Calgary-based Canadian Constitution Foundation, which helped the accused, Gérard Comeau, with his defence, said they expect the case to end up at the Supreme Court.

“We had pledged from the beginning that if we got into this we’d be there the whole way,” said foundation executive-director Marni Soupcoff.

The defendant, Mr. Comeau, had been fighting the case since 2012.

A retired line worker, he had been charged and fined after the RCMP pulled him over as he returned home with 15 cases of beer and three bottles of liquor purchased in Quebec.

“It would have been much easier for him to pay. But he wanted to fight, because he thought it was wrong,” Ms. Soupcoff said.

During the trial, the defence brought out academics to testify that current laws clashed with the 1867 Constitution.

Under Sections 43 and 134(b), the New Brunswick Liquor Control Act, it is illegal for local residents to purchase more than the equivalent of 12 pints of beer from outside the province.

However, Mr. Comeau’s lawyers noted that Section 121 of the Constitution Act says that “all articles of the growth, produce or manufacture of any of the provinces shall … be admitted free into each of the other provinces.”

Going against the 1921 Gold Seal decision by the Supreme Court, Justice LeBlanc agreed with the defence that the historical context described by experts testifying at the trial indicated that Section 121 didn’t just refer to being free from customs duties.

The changes between the first and second drafts of the Constitution of 1867 indicated that the Fathers of Confederation clearly thought about interprovincial commerce, the judge said.

“They anticipated expansion and they anticipated greater trade as between the provinces. … The amended wording reflects their attempt to gain unfettered economic exchange and a more comprehensive economic union,” Justice LeBlanc wrote.

Since the federal government was not involved in the proceedings, Justice LeBlanc said his ruling did not address the constitutionality of the 1928 Importation of Intoxicating Liquors Act, Prohibition-era federal law that gives provinces control over interprovincial sales and shipment of alcohol.

The trial heard it was common for New Brunswickers to buy alcohol in Quebec, where beer is nearly half as expensive.

Alcool New Brunswick Liquor, the Crown corporation responsible for alcohol sales in the province, adds a mark-up of as much as 89.8 per cent to its beer, and has annual profit of about $165-million.

ANBL had warned at the trial that it could go out of business if Mr. Comeau got his way.

The heavy mark-up in his home province is what prompted Mr. Comeau to take a 200-kilometre drive from his house in Tracadie to Pointe-à-la-Croix, a small Quebec municipality separated by the J.C. Van Horne bridge across the Restigouche River from the New Brunswick town of Campbellton.

After his court victory, Mr. Comeau headed across the border and bought himself $300 in beer and spirits, according to Radio-Canada journalist Serge Bouchard, who posted a photo of a smiling Mr. Comeau holding a case of Budweiser.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Knitting 101 with a political message comes to CyberSmokeBlog!

Good Day Readers:

Increasingly in this day and age gender lines are blurred. Women wear pants, cravates, lobby for genderless washrooms with urinals all formerly the perview of males. So why should they be allowed to control the world of knitting? Not here not any more!

Had an uncle in Alberta who worked in the coal mines, homesteaded and eventually went on to successfully operate a large grain operation. Uncle Stanley knit his own socks long before it was fashionable. So multi-talented sister Jo-Anne has agreed to teach us how to knit. Of course some of the apparel produced with come with political messages such as Justin Trudeau is goofy - can't resist the urge to make political comment.

It seems this decision is quite popular with at least one reader who wrote:


I am so impressed! I will have to add you to my emails for knitters. Trust me, it is very (mentally/physically) therapeutic and restful. I believe during the war that boys in school (as well as girls) were knitting (2 of my uncles included, though I don't know that they continued). I have been knitting since at least 10 years old, maybe before - so a *few years*

Bonus now - Youtube has videos to help out with instructions. And guess what - I thought there were just 2 styles of knitting - English and Continental, but I found out there is also Portuguese style (learned from a Portuguese friend in Winnipeg who is going to teach her 7 year old granddaughter). I knit Continental (as that is what my mother and grandmother use). I have not knitted anything for a while, though I have bought yarn - my Co-op store carries yarn and I view it every so often and buy a ball or 2 because it is nice to look at. ALSO, I had a book from the library on Icelandic knitting (also have Icelandic genes) and according to the stories in it about Icelandic sheep etc. the shepherds would take knitting with them while they looked after their flocks.

Knitting therapy
A repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state similar to that associated with meditation and yoga

Jane Brody
Thursday, February 18, 2016
Studies have found knitting helps people feel happier and healthier - and the knitter ends up with mittens, scarves and sweaters. (Eugenio Maronigu/Stock)

About 15 years ago, i was invited to join a knitting group. My reluctant response - "when would I do that?" - was rejoined with "Monday afternoons at 4." at a friends home not three minutes walk from my own. I agreed to give it a try.

My mother had taught me to knit at 15, and I knitted in class throughout college and for a few years thereafter. Then decades passed without my touching a knitting needle. But within two Mondays in the group, I was hooked, not only on knitting but also on crocheting and I was on my way to becoming a highly productive crafter.

I have made countless afghans, baby blankets, sweaters, vests, shawls, scarves, hats, mittens, caps for newborns and two bedspreads. I take a yarn project with me everywhere, especially when I have to sit still and listen. As I had discovered in college, when my hands are busy, my mind stays focused on the here and now.

It seems, too, that I'm part of a national resurgence of interest in needle and other handicrafts, and not just among old grannies like me. The Craft Yarn Council reports that a third of women 25 to 35 now knit or crochet. Even men and school children are swelling the ranks, among them my friend's three grandsons, 6,7 and 9.

Last April, the Council created a Stitch Away Stress campaign in honour of National Stress Awareness Month. Dr. Herbert Benson, a pioneer in mind-body medicine and author of The Relaxation Response, says that the repetitive action of needlework can induce a relaxed state similar to that associated with meditation and yoga. Once you get beyond the initial learning curve, knitting and crocheting can lower heart rate and blood pressure and reduce harmful blood levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

But unlike meditation, craft activities result in tangible and often useful products that can enhance self-esteem. I keep photos of my singular accomplishments on my cellphone to boost my spirits when needed.

Since the 1990s, the Council has surveyed hundreds of thousands of knitters and crocheters, who routinely list stress relief and creative fulfilment as the activities' main benefits. Among them is the father of a daughter born prematurely who reported that, during the baby's five weeks in the neonatal intensive care unit, "how to knit preemie hats gave me a sense of purpose during a time that I felt very helpless. It's a hobby that I've stuck with, and it continues to help me cope with stress at work, provide a sense of order in hectic days and allows my brain time to solve problems."

A recent e-mail from the yarn company Red Heart titled Health Benefits of Crocheting nad knittintg prompted me to explore what else might be known about the helth value of activities such as knitting. My research revealed that the

"Learning how to knit preemie hats gave me a sense of purpose during a time that I felt very helpless."

Father of a premature baby in neonatal intensive carerewards go well beyond replacing stress and anxiety with the satisfaction of creation.

For example, Karen Zila Hayes., a life coach in Toronto, conducts knitting therapy programs including Knit to Quit to help smokers give t the habit, and Knit to Heal for people coping with health crises, such as a cancer diagnosis or a family member's serious illness. Schools and prisons with craft programs report that they have a coming effect and enhance social skills. And having to follow complex instructions on complex craft projects can improve children's math skills.

Some people find that craft work helps them control their weight. Just as is is challenging to smoke while knitting, when hands are holding needles and hooks, there's less snacking and mindless eating out of boredom.

I've found that my handiwork with yarn has helped my arthritic fingers remain more dexterous as I age. A woman encouraged to try knitting and crocheting after developing an autoimmune disease that caused a lot of hand pain reported the Craft Yarn Council site that her hands are now less stiff and painful.

A 2009 University of British Columbia study of 38 women with the eating disorder anorexia nervosa who were taught to knit found that learning the craft lead to significant improvements.

Seventy four per cent of the women said the activity lessened their fears and kept them from ruminating about their problem.

Betsan Corkhill, a wellness coach in Bath, England, and author of the book Knit for Health & Wellness, established a website, Stitchlinks, to explore the value of what she calls therapeutic knitting. Among her respondents, 54 percent of those who where clinically depressed said that knitting made them feel happy or very happy, In a study of 60 self-selected people with chronic pain, Corkhill and colleagues reported that knitting enabled them to redirect their focus, reducing their awareness of pain. She suggested that the brain can process just so much at once and that activities such as knitting and crocheting make it harder for the brain to register pain signals. More of Stitechlinks' findings are available at the website.

Perhaps most exciting is research that suggests that crafts such as knitting and crocheting may help to stave off a decline in brain function with age. In a 2011 study, researchers led by Dr. Yonas E. Geda, a psychiatrist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota interviewed a random sample of 1,321 people 70 to 89, most of whom were cognitively normal, about the cognitive activities they engaged in late in life. The study published in The Journal of Neuropsychiatry & Clinical Neurosciences, found that those who engaged in crafts such as knitting and crocheting had a diminished chance of developing mild cognitive impairments and memory loss.

Although it is possible that only people who are cognitively healthy would pursue such activities, those who read newspapers or magazines or played music did not show similar benefits . The researchers speculate that craft activities promote the development of neural pathways in the brain that help to maintain cognitive health.

In support of that suggestion, a 2014 study by Denise C.; Park of the University of Texas at Dallas and colleagues demonstrated that learning to quilt or do digital photography enhanced memory function in older adults Those who engaged in activities that were not intellectually challenging, either in a social group or alone, did not show such improvements.

Given that substantial social contacts have been shown to support health and longevity, those wishing to maximize the health value of crafts might consider joining a group of like-minded folks. I for one try not to to miss a single weekly meeting of my knitting group
New York Times News Service

Friday, May 20, 2016

That well hung Weiner man is back!

Good Day Readers:

No matter what he says or does hereafter, how can you take this fellow seriously?

Clare L. Pieuk
Can a new film make Anthony Weiner more than just a punch line?

By Stephanie Merry
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Anthony Weiner in a still from "Weiner" a documentary by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg. (AFC Films/Suncance Selects)

Anthony Weiner’s name was always an easy punch line — in a grade-school insult kind of way. But the former congressman all but gift-wrapped the joke when he accidentally broadcast a picture of his bulging boxer briefs on Twitter in 2011. An unfortunate moniker became a fitting one. The New York Post had a field day.

But there’s more to the man than extramarital sexting. That’s what documentarians Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg set out to prove with “Weiner,” a fascinating account of the Brooklyn native’s failed bid to become New York City’s mayor in 2013.

Before he was a filmmaker, Kriegman worked in politics as Weiner’s chief of staff in the mid-aughts. But before you assume that the movie was a favor to Kriegman’s former boss, consider this: Weiner isn’t thrilled about the documentary, which has been gaining buzz since winning the grand jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival.

He doesn’t want to talk about it, he said via email — he hasn’t even seen the movie. He elaborated a bit on“Larry King Now” in February, complaining that the filmmakers used clips of his wife, Huma Abedin, without her permission. Of course, there’s considerable interest in seeing her onscreen, because she’s long been one of Hillary Clinton’s closest confidantes. And there’s something inexplicably gripping about watching the inner workings of a struggling marriage.

But there was also his pride.

“Look, I know how the story ends,” Weiner told King. “I’m not eager to watch it and relive it.”

Steinberg and Kriegman began working together a few years ago, directing a PBS special about prison reform, for example. But they were both interested in a verité-style character study. Kriegman thought Weiner would be a good subject but didn’t think it would pan out after he floated the idea and got a tepid response. But on the day Weiner announced he was going to run for mayor (for the second time; he also ran in 2005), he texted Kriegman and asked whether the director wanted to come over with a camera.

“I literally ran over there,” Kriegman said. “And, as you saw in the film, was by his side from the day he announced he was running all the way through to the end of the election.”

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Why many Canadian federal politicians are out of touch jerks!

Good Day Readers:

What a disgraceful performance that was earlier today in the House of Commons. Picture this. Thousands and thousands of Canadians (many single parents) working multiple minimum wage jobs struggling to make ends meet not to mention recently graduated students burdened with thousands and thousands of dollars worth of debt and no jobs.

So up stands former Conservative Environmental Minister Peter Kent who ran on ad nauseam for at least 10 minutes providing taxpayers with a tome on Westminister parliamentary law - seriously - that included everything save for the kitchen sink. So where was the Speaker of the House to tell him to get to the point and spit out his question or comment - you know pee or get off the pot?

Speaker of the House Geoff Regan asleep at the switch yet again!

Meanwhile there was Sunny Ways Justin Trudeau responding to all comments and questions with the same smug line, "I am so, so sorry it will never happen again ... blah ... blab ... blah."

So to Peter Kent CyberSmokeBlog says, "Get relevant or get out you're wasting too much taxpayers' time and money.

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, May 16, 2016