Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Only in America - "Mooninites" shut down Boston!

Ad Scheme Triggers Bomb Scare
By Jessica Heslam, Laura Crimaldi and Dave Wedge
The Boston Herald

Wednesday, January 31, 2007 - Updated: 08:10 PM EST

A guerilla marketing campaign for a popular adult cartoon thrust Boston into pandemonium today until 10 circuit boards initially thought to be bombs were identified as battery-operated ads strategically placed around the city by the Cartoon Network.

Federal, state and local police swarmed around the city as reports poured in of suspicious devices, closing roads, tunnels and bridges for hours.

The chaos touched off a traffic nightmare and prompted a tense press conference from Gov. Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who assured residents the matter was under control. Fears of a possible terrorist act were quelled when it was determined the devices were part of an underground advertising campaign for the Cartoon Network TV show “Aqua Teen Hunger Force.”

The device features a character called a mooninite.

“The packages in question are magnetic lights that pose no danger. They are part of an outdoor marketing campaign in 10 cities in support of Adult Swim’s animated television show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They have been in place for two to three weeks in Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Seattle, Portland, Austin, San Francisco, and Philadelphia.Parent company Turner Broadcasting is in contact with local and federal law enforcement on the exact locations of the billboards. We regret that they were mistakenly thought to pose any danger,” said a statement by Turner Broadcasting, which also owns CNN.

A source told the Herald that a memo is being sent out to City Hall employees notifying them that the devices are part of the marketing campaign. Authorities said there are 38 devices in Boston and Somerville.

City Councilor Michael Flaherty was fuming and demanded that Turner Broadcasting “reimburse the city of Boston for every dime spent today on this serious public safety threat.”

“It’s outragoues, reckless and totally irresponsible,” Flaherty said. “What a waste of resources.”

Todd Vanderlin, a New York City student, was visiting his buddy in Boston Jan. 15 when he spotted one of the illuminated devices on a South Boston bridge. He snapped photos of it and took it down.

“I saw one on a bridge. It was glowing. It’s like a light bright,” Vanderlin told the Herald.

Vanderlin said the device, which broke while he was taking it down, is a light-emitting diode or LED that was manufactured in China. It consists of four double D batteries that connect to a large capacitor and photoresister, a device that illuminated the device at night.

“That’s as complex as it gets,” Vanderlin said by phone. “It’s a simple, little, wiring thing. It’s so harmless it’s not even funny. My friend has it hanging in his office.”

Vanderlin said he spoke with the manufacturer, Interference Inc. in New York. The company had no comment earlier today and a woman said the CEO was unavailable.


"They'll have to pry that duck from my frozen, dead hands!" ..... Will Goodon

Metis Hunting Rights Focus Of Legal Wrangle
Constitutional Battle
Conviction For Hunting Without Licence Set Aside
By Sarah Matthews
National Post
January 31, 2007
Page A10

Two years ago Kipp Kelley, an Alberta Metis, left on an early November morning to teach his children how to hunt for food by setting snares for squirrel to use to catch bigger animals.

But the dozen squirrel carcasses and a marten landed Mr. Kelley at the centre of a constitutional battle fro Metis Nation hunting rights.

"I don't think he [Mr. Kelley] was expecting it to turn into this," said Metis Nation Association general counsel Jason Madden. "He's pretty well known in the community for being entrenched in the land and living off the land."

As Mr. Kelley, from Hinton, Alta., a town of 10,000 situated on the eastern edge of Jasper National Park, was walking back to his truck, he was met by wildlife officer Tony Brooks and charged with hunting without a licence.

Mr. Kelley claimed that under the Interim Metis Harvesting Agreement (IMHA), an agreement between Alberta and the Metis, he did not need one.

The 2004 IMHA recognizes the Metis Nation's right to harvest for subsistence through hunting, trapping, and fishing and applies to animals, fish and fowl.

However, Mr. Kelley was convicted in March, 2006, on the grounds that even though he is a Metis and eligible under the IMHA, he had not established a constitutional right to trap under the Supreme Court landmark 2003 Powley ruling, which affirms that the Metis Nation have the same rights as other Aboriginal people in Canada as defined in the 1982 Constitution Act.

Mr. Kelley appealed the decision claiming he had the right to hunt and teach his children to harvest. Alberta argued that Mr. Kelley's trapping was not for subsistence, that he was trapping on lands on which he was expressly denied permission, and therefore was trapping outside of the harvest agreement.

Last week, Justice Gerald Verville of Court of Queens Bench set aside Mr. Kelley's conviction, after finding that the trial judge erred.

While the IMHA was not legally enforceable because of a legal technicality, the province signed the agreement in an attempt to meet its obligations following the Powley ruling, and Metis would understandably believe they were covered by it, he said.

Metis leaders claim the court victory will have implications for other Metis from Ontario to British Columbia.

"This is a significant development," Mr. Madden said. "Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia need to recognize that they have an obligation to sit down with the Metis and accommodate Metis harvesting rights to fulfill the constitutional imperative that is on them, and Ontario needs to take a close look at what they are doing as well."

The Metis National Council estimates that between 350,000 and 400,000 Metis currently live in Canada.

Alberta Justice has not said whether or not it will appeal the decision.

Following the ruling, Audrey Poitras, president of the Metis Nation of Alberta, announced that she will be calling on Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach's government to include the Metis Harvesting Agreement in its regulations, to make it legally enforceable.

Alberta Fish and Game Association (AFGA) says that if this happens, all invested parties should be involved and changes be made, in order to protect the province's fish and wildlife.

"It can't happen like it did last time, an agreement conducted behind closed doors," said Martin Sharren, executive vice president of the AFGA.

"There needs to be a licensing procedure that tracks what is taken, and regulations to make sure that fishing and hunting only happens in regulated seasons - if people go and hunt a doe while she's pregnant, you're not just killing one deer."

David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation and the vice president of the Metis National Council, says that his people have written laws about what to kill in which seasons, as well as detailed records of everything they take off the land - and that arguments like the IMHA will not affect the overall populations of different species in the provinces.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Is it always racism?


"The issue of racism has gotten out of hand. It baffles me that we focus on that when we need to get our children to school and kids shouldn't be having kids. Those are things we should focus on rather than racism," said Madeline Hatch, an aboriginal Winnipegger.

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Sometimes people are a little too quick to rush to judgment playing the racist card to explain away their own inadequacies. As previously pointed out several times on this site, no race, creed or colour has an exclusive monopoly on discrimination - do the Metis always respect their First Nation cousins and vice versa?

A few years ago had the pleasure of meeting this marvelous lady who was doing some terrific volunteer work at the Turtle Island Neighbour Centre - wise far beyond her years!

Clare L. Pieuk
Monday, January 15, 2007
Borne The Brunt
Aboriginals Target Of Racism, Stereotyping
By Joyanne Pursage, Staff Reporter
Winnipeg Sun
January 15, 2007

As a teenager, he learned a brutal lesson about racism.

"We were sitting in a park and a bunch of non-aboriginal guys came and beat the hell out of us," recalled David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation. "At that time we found out the reason they beat us up was because we were a bunch of natives sitting in a park. Where does this hostility come from?"

Linda Simard faced similar hostility, although less overt, when her skin didn't match job interviewers' expectations.

"They would talk to me on the phone, but in person I could guarantee I wouldn't get a job. The enthusiasm just went away," said Simard, a 57-year-old Metis woman who has been looking for work the past two years. "I think it's a big problem for Metis people, unless the person can pass themselves off as white."

On this, Day 2 of a six-part Sun Media series on racism and tolerance, Chartrand and Simard's stories illustrate how Canada's aboriginal people have borne the brunt of prejudice through the years.

Poverty rates remain high in aboriginal communities, fueling social problems and feeding harmful stereotypes. The 2001 census found 32.5% of the country's aboriginal population had low-income status, compared with 27.2% of all visible minority people and 12.4% of the non-aboriginal population.

And while racism has become more subtle, it's still around, said Chartrand.

"A lot of times the colour of your skin and the way you're dressed leads people to come to conclusions quite quickly," said Chartrand.

He said tolerance is increasing but some stereotypes die hard.

"If you're aboriginal, you fall into these categories of welfare recipient and drug abuser. All these images flash into the eyes of the judge, without knowing the person," said Chartrand. "We're slowly clawing our way out of there, but it is slower than we expected."

He said education is the key to change.

"To combat racism, you have to build self-esteem in your people and ensure they feel equal in society," said Chartrand. "We need to understand and educate more."

One place where aboriginals aren't a minority is in many Canadian prisons. Wendy Whitecloud, a law professor specializing in aboriginal issues at the University of Manitoba, said aboriginal people are greatly over-represented behind bars.

Nationally, aboriginal people made up 2.7% of the Canadian population but account for 18.5% of the federal prison population, according to the Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics. In Manitoba, aboriginals make up 70% of the total prisoner population, according to Statistics Canada. In Saskatchewan, that figure is a staggering 77%.

Whitecloud said such facts can trigger racist attitudes, when people fail to seek out the root causes of criminal acts.

"It's something that seems to be really ingrained in the West that aboriginal folks just don't have the respect of the larger community and stereotypes fit into that process," said Whitecloud.

Yet some aboriginal people believe the focus on racism would be better directed to address immediate social problems for the community.

"The issue of racism has gotten out of hand. It baffles me that we focus on that when we need to get our children to school and kids shouldn't be having kids. Those are things we should focus on rather than racism," said Madeline Hatch, an aboriginal Winnipegger.

Hatch said over-sensitivity can lead too many issues to be defined as racially motivated.

"A lot of times people yell out 'racism' when it has nothing to do with racism," said Hatch.

Friday, January 12, 2007

MMF Constitution Article II - Political Affiliation: "The organization shall not be affiliated with any political party."

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The dangers of reading too much CyberSmokeBlog!"

I was having such a good year until you showed that picture of President Chartrand eh! Was that the buckskin jacket David gave to former Prime Minister Paul Martin or maybe it doesn't now fit Stephen Harper? Good to see where the Metis taxpayer dollars are going.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. We rather doubt President Chartrand gave the buckskin jacket off his back to former Prime Minister Paul Martin during the November 2005 First Ministers' Meeting held with Aboriginal leaders in Kelowna, British Columbia. Besides, it would be far, far too big for either Messrs. Martin or Harper. Rather, another one was likely made. By the way, don't forget about the painting - read on.

Clare L. Pieuk

Metis Present Painting To PM
By David Kuxhaus
Winnipeg Free Press
September 13, 2004
Page A4

THE Manitoba Metis Federation commissioned a portrait of Paul Martin worth several thousands of dollars which it presented to the prime minister earlier this year.

MMF president David Chartrand said the gift was to honour Martin for acknowledging the Metis as a nation.

"This is part of our culture," said Chartrand." When somebody does something for us we give them a gift."

The oil painting was done by Agnes Jorgensen, a local artist who lives in St. Andrews.

The portrait of Martin also depicts Metis leader Louis Riel looking down from the heavens on the prime minister .

"It's very beautiful," said Chartrand of the painting.

Earlier this year, Martin,speaking at a summit on aboriginal issues, suggested his government was prepared to officially recognize Riel, who was hanged for treason in 1885.

Chartrand declined to say how much the MMF paid for the painting.

A copy of a faxed invoice sent to the MMF by Jorgensen requests payment of $8,025 upon delivery of the portrait.

Chartrand said that amount included other services aside from the painting but refused to elaborate.

He emphasized that no government money was used to pay for the painting.

"I want to make that point very clear this is not program money," said Chartrand.

The MMF has an overall budget of $20 million, the majority of which comes from the government, however, Chartrand said they also operate a number of profit making ventures which include managing buildings and operating a restaurant in their Henry Avenue headquarters.

Several native chiefs from Manitoba have come under criticism for making political donations to the Grits and chartering a plane to attend a reception hosted by the prime minister in Ottawa last month.

They say it's part of doing business and getting Martin's ear.

Chartrand, however, said the MMF's gift to the prime minister was not done to curry favour.

"This is not about trying to get something back," said Chartrand.

Chartrand said he hasn't had a chance to get Martin's reaction to the gift but said he heard from one of the prime minister's sons that he liked it.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The dangers of reading too much CyberSmokeBlog!

Manitoba Metis Federation President
(Before reading

And after .....

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Got to watch it Folks - already being critically acclaimed by the media and hasn't been broadcast!

CBC has high hopes for 'Little Mosque' but creator hoping it gets laughs
Published: Sunday, December 17, 2006 12:51 PM ET
Canadian Press: LEE-ANNE GOODMAN

TORONTO (CP) - It hasn't even aired yet, but CBC's "Little Mosque on the Prairie" is getting the type of advance buzz most publicity departments would kill for.

The show, a comedy about Muslims trying to interact with their small-town neighbours in a fictional Canadian prairie town called Mercy, has been written up in the New York Times and the Houston Chronicle, with CNN and Stephen Colbert, the fake late-night talk-show host, also taking notice.

All this despite the fact that "Little Mosque" doesn't premiere on CBC-TV until Tuesday, Jan. 9. The show will then air on Monday nights at 9 p.m. ET, repeating on Wednesday nights at 8 p.m. ET.

The advance attention is gratifying to the show's creator, Zarqa Nawaz, who huddled on-set recently in a full-length Muslim head scarf while noshing on shepherd's pie. After all, Nawaz says, she's writing about what she knows and the issues and characters she holds dear.

"I grew up in a mosque, I got married in a mosque, I spend a lot of time in a mosque - mosque is a really important part of my life," she says, warming up inside a heated minivan on a chilly autumn day of shooting in the far reaches of Toronto's west end, currently filling in for the Prairies due to the show's suddenly compressed shooting schedule.

The CBC is so pumped by the attention the show started getting - largely on the strength of its title and premise - that it decided to take advantage of the buzz and premiere the show in January instead of waiting until next fall. That meant the show's production crew had to move into overdrive to get the initial episodes ready for broadcast.

The CBC is so pumped by the attention the show started getting - largely on the strength of its title and premise - that it decided to take advantage of the buzz and premiere the show in January instead of waiting until next fall. That meant the show's production crew had to move into overdrive to get the initial episodes ready for broadcast.

The temporary change in location from Saskatchewan to Toronto has meant Nawaz, a 39-year-old mother of four children ranging in age from six to 12, is frequently separated from her family.

"It's very hard," Nawaz says, sounding like any other working mother and not the brains behind what is arguably one of the most talked-about Canadian TV shows in years.

"I haven't seen them in a month; my husband's doing everything. But he's good that way. He has more patience with them, and they actually listen to him and do what he says. When I came back home, he had them all making their own lunches, and I'm talking the six-year-old. A six-year-old, making his own lunch!" she says with a laugh.

Nawaz, who was born in England, grew up in Toronto and moved to Saskatchewan 10 years ago, is witty, good-natured and clearly adored by everyone on the set, from the actors to the production assistants constantly popping by to make sure she's warm and well fed.

Her primary goal for "Little Mosque on the Prairie," Nawaz says, is that people laugh when they watch it.

"I don't know what it is about me, but the more serious and outrageous the situation, the funnier it becomes to me and I end up spinning it comedically," she says, pointing to her short film "BBQ Muslims."

The short got big laughs when it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1996. She wrote it following the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, when Muslims were initially blamed before Timothy McVeigh - decidedly not a Muslim - was finally charged.

"When that happened, it was so outrageous. They obviously had no evidence, yet they were pulling Muslims off planes and then suddenly they arrested this white guy, Timothy McVeigh. And I just thought right away, wouldn't it be funny to make a film about that?"

And so "BBQ Muslims" was born, starring Nawaz's friends and relations in a story about two Muslim brothers sound asleep one night when their gas barbecue blows up. They are immediately suspected of being Middle Eastern terrorists, although neither of them have ever set foot in the Middle East.

"I didn't realize at the time that . . . it was kind of ground-breaking, but it was," says Nawaz, a former CBC Radio reporter who was quickly bored by journalism and decided to study film.

"It screened at the Toronto film festival and people really laughed, and that's when I realized 'Wow, I can do this and I can make people laugh.' It was weird to discover this new thing in me that I didn't know about. I was good at creating really funny scenarios, and that's what I'm really hoping for with this show."

It isn't always easy to find humour in current events as a Muslim, Nawaz concedes. In the aftermath of Sept. 11, she says she understood what it was like to be singled out due to race and religion.

"I felt weird. When you grow up in a country, and you don't know any other country, to suddenly feel like you're now an outsider in your own community is very strange," she says.

"But I have to say that Saskatchewan was a great place because smaller communities tend to be more protective of their own, and I had non-Muslim people say to me 'Don't feel that we don't trust you; don't feel like it was your fault because it wasn't.' I did feel like I was protected in Saskatchewan. I am glad I lived there when it happened."

© The Canadian Press, 2006

Friday, January 05, 2007

See the dramatic difference reading CSB just a few minutes a day can make in your life too!

The Right Honourable Chief Justice of Canada, Beverley McLachlin, P.C.
(Before reading

And after .....

They're disqualified!

Anonymous has a new comment on your post, "Drum roll please! Envelope - and now CSB's first annual, Person of the Year Award goes to ....."

Good ol' David Chartrand and his legal appendage Murray Trachtenberg should be your "Persons of the Year." Both of these (......... - a very apropos descriptive, unfortunately, it had to be deleted) defined the lives of many Metis in '06.
Dear Anonymous:

Those two were the first disqualified because of the considerable public money they spent suing honourable people.

Clare L. Pieuk

Good ol' David Chartrand

His legal appendage

Drum roll please! Envelope - and now CSB's first annual, "Person of the Year Award" goes to .....

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench

OTTAWA, October 7, 1998 - The Honourable Anne McLellan, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, today announced the following appointments.

The Honourable Mr. Justice John A. Menzies, a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba (Family Division) in Brandon, is appointed a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench of Manitoba in Winnipeg. He replaces Mr. Justice V. Simonsen, who resigned.

Mr. Justice Menzies graduated in law from the University of Manitoba in 1980 and was called to the Bar of Manitoba in 1981. Before his appointment to the Court of Queen's Bench (Family Division) in 1996, Mr. Justice Menzies practised law with the firm of Johnson & Company.

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

This one was a slam dunk! Justice Menzies for his handling of the trial against The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont. His best line, no doubt delivered during a brief moment of extreme frustration with the Plaintiffs and particularly their Counselor:

"Not one witness has come into the courtroom to show how this man (Mr. Dumont) caused any harm to the Metis National Council!"

That says it all! There were many honourable mentions. Here's a few "arranged" in no particular order:


Rachael Ray (Obviously for her borscht making abilities!)
Darrel Roger Joseph Deslauriers (Who the hell nominated him?)
The Guninness Turtle
Jimmy Hoffa (Posthumously) - Sorry all his photos disapppeared!
Brother-in-law, Richard "The Hare" ("I'm slow?" That's ballsey!)

Ray St. Germain (Dark Horse Candidate)

Derryl Sanderson (Dark, Dark Horse)

Murray Norman Trachtenberg (Really Dark, Dark, Dark Horse)
Lionel R.R. Chartrand (Forget it!)
Will Goodon (For, "They'll have to pry that duck from my frozen dead hands!")

Clare L. Pieuk

Note: A special message for Mr. Ernie Todd!

Dear Mr. Todd:

We're very sorry indeed but we had to make some really tough choices for our Person of the Year Award, however, at least you were one of the final cuts. So the least we can do is give you a larger picture than some of those clowns above you.

Please don't send over Buddy to put CyberSmokeBlog in one of his famous half-Nelson's! Let us know about your next card and we'll post it.

The BIG KAHUNA'S 18 inchers -Yikes!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Forced gaiety!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Is the federal government tightening the screws on financial accountability?"

Yikes! Did anyone else see the "commercial" of David and the entire MMF Inc. staff wishing everyone a Merry Christmas? Not one of them was smiling...I guess they saw the bill.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Those photo ops are called "forced gaiety." Wonder what it cost and from where in the budget the funds were taken?

Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is the federal government slowly tightening the screws on financial accountability?

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

You have to wonder:

(1) Funding to the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg is recently put on hold

(2) The Indian & Metis Friendship Centre's budget is cut

(3) hints the Manitoba Metis Federation is coming under increased financial scrutiny but doesn't elaborate

(4) Prime Minister Harper suggests his administration may not implement the Kelowna multi-billion dollar Aboriginal Accord negotiated earlier under Paul Martin and the Liberals

(5) The omnibus Financial Accountability Act finally receives Royal assent

with another federal election not far off are the Progressive Conservatives sending publicly funded Aboriginal organizations and others a not so subtle message?

Clare L. Pieuk