Thursday, July 31, 2008

Isn't freedom of speech and expression in Canada great!

If he wrote the constitution we'd all be in jail!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thrusday, July 31, 2008 2:10 PM
Subject: MMF et al v Belhumeur et al
. ........... ....... ..... .. .. ..... .... .... ... ..... ........ .. ........ ....... .... ... ..... .... .., .... ..... ........ . ...... .... ... ......... .. .. ......... ... ...-..... .......... .

. .... .... ... .... ...... .... ... "... ...." . ........ .......... ... .... .... "..... ........" .... .......... .. ......... ... . ... .... ... ....... ... ........... .. .. .... .... .. .. ..., .... .... . ..... ....... ...... .. ... ...-..... .........., ... ...... ...... .... ........ .

..... ...., . .. ... ........ .. .... .... .. ..... .. .. ........... .. ... ...-..... .......... . .. .... ....... .. ......... .. ......... .... .

. .... .... ......... .. ... .... ......... .. .... . .. ... ...... ..... .... ... ... ......... ... ... ...... .. ... ..... ......... ... .. ... .......... .. ... .

Murray N. Trachtenberg

Posner & Trachtenberg

Barristers, Solicitors & Notary Publics

710-491 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4

Tel: (204) 940-9603

Fax: (204) 944-8878Email:

LEGAL NOTICE This transmission may contain privileged or confidential information. Any unauthorized distribution, copying, disclosure or dissemination of this transmission or taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this transmission is strictly prohibited. If you receive this transmission in error or if it is forwarded to you without the express authorization of Posner & Trachtenberg, please destroy this transmission and contact us immediately.


Dear Counselor Trachtenberg:

You, Sir, have two options. You can either try connecting the dots or in the alternative read my lips. Either way, .. .. ... .. ........., ... ... .. .... .. ..... ...... - .......!


Clare L. Pieuk


You haven't lived until you've been divorced, downsized and sued by Murray Trachtenberg!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Another blatant attempt to interfer with my constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression!"


Murray Trachtenberg is suing a Marissa Fontaine in Small Claims Court for almost a cool ten grand. The action was registered July 29, 2008 - file number SC08-01-11327. Let's see him try to block you from publishing the particulars.
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you very much for the heads up. Oh he'll probably try but we'll photocopy the file's contents and post it on the internet for the world to see. If he doesn't like it he can always take us to the Supreme Court of Canada!

Clare L. Pieuk

Another blatant attempt to interfere with my constitutional right to freedom of speech and expression!

Champion of freedom of speech and expression!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2008 2:20 PM
Subject: MMF et al v. Belhumeur et al

. ........... ....... .. .... ..... ..... .... .... ......... ..... ... ........... .. . ..... ... ... ...-............... .

... ... ...... .... ....... .. ... ...... ........, ..... ..... ..-........., ..... .. .....'. ..... .

... ..... ...... .. ...-.... .

Murray N. Trachtenberg
Posner & Trachtenberg
Barristers, Solicitors & Notary Publics
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4

Tel: (204) 940-9603
Fax: (204) 944-8878


This transmission may contain privileged or confidential information. Any unauthorized distribution, copying, disclosure or dissemination of this transmission or taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this transmission is strictly prohibited. If you receive this transmission in error or if it is forwarded to you without the express authorization of Posner & Trachtenberg, please destroy this transmission and contact us immediately.
Reply received from public Court Official:

. .. .......... .. ... ..... .... ....... ... .... .. . ..... .. .. ..... ........ .. ... .. ... ...-..... .. ......... . .. .:.... ..... .... ... .. . ..... ........ ..... ......... ... .

...... ........
..... ...........
... - ....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

And the judge will be?

July 30, 2008
Murray Norman Trachtenberg
Posner & Trachtenberg
Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries Public
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg Manitoba, R3B 2E4
Dear Counselor Trachtenberg:
Re: MMF et al vs. Clare L. Pieuk et al
Queen's Bench File No. CI 05-01-41955
Your File No. 2003-20
Once we agree on a mutually acceptable date and time for a Pre-Trial Conference in the above noted action, who will be the presiding judge. If you are unaware how might I find out?
Yours truly,
Clare L. Pieuk

The sign no one wants!

Tansi Good Day Readers:
The following was posted today on What can be said other than why the Manitoba Metis Federation's leadership keeps forcing these signs on communities that don't want them is beyond us.
Clare L. Pieuk
Traditional Metis Community And MMF Local Say No To Road Sign!
St Ambroise is a community of hard working, traditional Metis people. If these guys say a reported $500,000 for road signs and their wording are a waste and wrong, who the hell is David Chartrand to say what is good for the residents? St Ambroise people are true Metis and probably not too happy that a man who can get his Bill C-31 is trying to shove something down their throats. (Derryl Sanderson)
John L. has left a new comment on your post "MMF To Forge Ahead With Road Sign Plan"
This past spring, a Local meeting was held in our community of St. Ambroise. The subject of a sign going up in our community was discussed. At that gathering a motion was made we the members of the St. Ambroise Local did not want the sign erected in our community with it's wording. That motion was passed unanimously. It was then suggested we pursue fundraising activities to raise money to erect our own sign with proper wording. I have just been informed from a very reliable source that David Chartrand has conveyed the message that the sign, with it's present wording, will go up anyway. Does this mean the will of the people doesn't matter?
We all know the answer to that. To quote David Chartrand after questionable election results, "The Metis people have spoken". Well David, the people of our Metis Local have spoken, we don't want your sign in our community. If your sign goes up, then it is further proof of dictatorship which also shows your true colours and that we don't matter. The same source has also indicated that if we don't allow the sign to go up, future funding to our Local will be cut. This reeks of blackmail and dirty politics. Remember David Chartrand, you work for us, we don't work for you. You take direction from the electorate. To do otherwise is totally unacceptable. The MMF Constitution says so.
On another note, where is the money for these signs coming from? Also, where is the million dollars donated for the Upper Fort Garry site coming from? If anyone has answers or information about these two questions, please let us know.
John L.
St. Ambroise Local

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Check out your neighbour's criminal past from the comfort of your home!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

As someone who has spent countless hours at Winnipeg's Provincial Law Courts Building photocopying and reading Plaintiff files in the MMF's defamation lawsuit against, we welcome greater, easier e-disclosure. Given their explosive content, currently we're sitting on documents struggling to decide whether to internet them - we have that legal right.

Good case in point - former Federation Provincial Board of Director, and more recently ex-Plaintiff, Darrel Deslauriers. He was indeed very wise to remove himself from the lawsuit otherwise he could have found his thick, nasty divorce file displayed on the internet for the world to read - trust us it's not pretty. However, he's not the only one! We're amazed what you can learn by knowing how to access court records.

Given the sensitivity of certain personal information, some must be safeguarded. Why not blacken or delete it like frequently done with many documents obtained through access to information legislation? Imagine being able to read online about the criminal record of that neighbour with those beady little eyes you never liked. Or what about that young, sexy, wealthy divorcee who recently moved in next door? As it currently stands, in Manitoba you must visit the courthouse.

Clare L. Pieuk
High Court Documents May Go Online - Decision This Fall
Provinces Await Supreme Court's Lead, Lawyer Says
Janice Tibbetts, Canwest News Service
Monday, July 28, 2008
OTTAWA - The judges on the Supreme Court of Canada will decide this fall whether to post court documents online, the culmination of years of debate on whether throwing open the electronic doors threatens privacy rights in an era of Internet stalkers and identity thieves.
Courts in several provinces are also considering the prospect of e-access to court files, with British Columbia being the first in the country to go ahead with the venture by allowing the public to access the details of court workings for a $6 fee.
"Once the Supreme Court of Canada sets the standard it is something that will eventually become unanimous," predicted Halifax lawyer Mick Ryan, chair of a Canadian Bar Association committee that has worked with the Supreme Court on its policy.
"I think it's inevitable that it will happen, because the courts are really concerned about having an open access policy and being transparent."
The Supreme Court has already established that the principle of open courts trumps privacy rights and that "covertness is the exception and openness is the rule."
While courts have traditionally allowed public access to their paper files, curious Canadians have had to show up at courthouses and know what they are seeking, a roadblock the legal community widely refers to as the "practical obscurity" of the system as it currently exists.
"I don't think most people would bother to go the courthouse and spend hours poring over the information," said Toronto family lawyer Judith Huddart. "In theory, it could be done, but in practice it isn't done."
Posting documents online is raising vigorous debate about whether the often sensitive information in court files, including such things as personal birth dates, business secrets and even copies of tax returns, will make the courts too accessible, given the retrieval power of Internet search engines.
Ms. Huddart said family law files -- which include things such as divorce proceedings and custody disputes -- are of particular concern.
"We are going to have to find a way to address the electronic age -- because it's here -- in a way that doesn't create an inappropriate invasion of privacy of families and particularly of children," she said.
In Ontario, for instance, divorcing couples must file personal financial information, including income tax returns that contain social insurance numbers. Also, divorce files often contain bitter allegations that are unproven in court. "There's potential for someone to use and abuse that information in heaven only knows what way," Ms. Huddart said.
Louise Meagher, the Supreme Court's deputy registrar, said the judges will decide this fall whether to adopt a policy that has been years in the making. The policy is modeled on guidelines established three years ago by the Canadian Judicial Council, the body that oversees judges.
That policy endorses the idea of e-access, but suggests restrictions on the information that can be posted in the event it is misused for commercial data mining, identity theft, stalking, harassment and discrimination.
The judicial council advocates banning access to all personal identifiers, and suggests various levels of access, or registered access, depending on the records in question.
The Supreme Court retreated seven years ago from a plan to post court documents online, with Chief Justice Beverley McLachlin citing privacy concerns and a fear that Canadians would avoid the justice system if they knew that the details of their cases would be available on the Internet.
Ms. Meagher said that if the court goes ahead with Internet postings, it will put safeguards in place to protect personal information. Also, the identities of minors, whose names are banned from the public, would be omitted, she said.
The Supreme Court is viewed as a conservative testing ground for online public access, because much of the information contained in factums, which each party must submit outlining legal arguments, are more technical in nature than the more personal information contained in court files in Canada's lower courts.
British Columbia began posting information in civil cases online four years ago, but it excludes public access to divorce files, provincial family law files involving children, and adoption information, among other things.
But there is nothing that stands in the way going online to find out the details of a neighbour's legal dispute with a contractor over a kitchen renovation gone wrong, said Andrew Clark, who administers Court Services Online for the B. C. Attorney General's Department. The courts intend to make criminal files available this fall.
Many Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court of Canada, already post rulings online and they are searchable through a variety of Web sites. The Supreme Court of the United States goes even further by putting factums on its website.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Portrait of an increasingly desperate lawyer disintegrating into detail!

Counselor Trachtenberg
Tansi/Good Day Readers:
As long as Manitoba Metis Federation President and "Chief" Plaintiff David Chartrand continues to sign his minimum $250/hour Canadian taxpayer funded cheques in the MMF's asinine defamation lawsuit against, he'll file court documents ad nauseam - it's all billable hours. Can you blame him? Wouldn't you? Remember, the Federation is his white whale. He has a lot more to lose than we do. Keep waiting for him to implode - BANG! How does this expensive, publicly financed litigation benefit our Metis citizens?
This case goes back to September, 2003. As is the custom, the MMF's Provincial Board of Directors met on the eve of that year's Annual General Assembly. An anonymous source advised us David Chartrand had attempted to get a motion passed to sue but was only successful reaching agreement a lawyer should monitor the site searching for litigious material. We don't know who it was but strongly suspect Murray Trachtenberg. Notice My File No. 2003-20 quoted on all his correspondence.

Terrance Paul Belhumeur

Upon learning of this development I suggested to Terry Belhumeur CyberSmokeSignals registered owner we exercise due diligence by finding a lawyer willing to oversee the postings given we were now, in effect, on a "defamation watch." Mr. Belhumeur then contacted Lionel R. Chartrand a Legal Aid Manitoba attorney and current President of the Aboriginal Council of Winnipeg Inc. A mid-September, 2003 posting announced Mr. L. Chartrand had agreed to serve as General Legal Council which he did pro bono.
Lionel R. R. Chartrand
L. Chartrand proceeded to write several articles which appeared on the website critical of the MMF's approach to negotiating gathering rights with the province. He also authored the allegedly defamatory material (a petition) posted verbatim with his approval in late January, 2004.
"David announced today that he will seek federal and provincial grants to assist the MMF with the new election expenses and for funds to re-write the election by-laws. Sounds to me, given his conduct lately, that he is asking for a large campaign donation. I think we need to draft a petition to the governments stating that the Metis are opposed to these campaign donations. We should scrtinize the MMF expenses for the last 12 months. I wouldn't be surprised if over 50% of the MMF budget is spent on unnecessary expenses for travel claims, accommodation, legal fees and campaigning for David."
From: "Lionel Chartrand"
To: "clare pieuk"
Sent: January 20, 2004 12:46 AM
Subject: David
Note: Shortly thereafter during a subsequent telephone conversation Lionel Chartrand suggested he write the petition and agreed to do so because he had significant experience preparing this kind of document.
Messrs. Belhumeur and I subsequently learned Lionel Chartrand had entered into a personal services contract ($2,500 monthly retainer) with the Federation to provide legal advice on Aborginal hunting rights. Counselor Trachtenberg is and has been fully aware of the situation for some time now having seen several of the incriminating e-mail implicating Mr. Chartrand.
Lionel Chartrand has not been named as a Co-Defendant. Why? Yet the publicly financed Plaintiffs continue to authorize payment of Mr. Trachtenberg's legal fees which are now probably well over $200,000. From where in the MMF's budget are these funds being expensed.
To date there have been an extraordinary 130 court documents filed in this case over 100 by the Plaintiff's lawyer. Below is the latest correspondence from Counselor Trachtenberg advising yet again he's amending his clients' Affidavit of Documents - probably the third or fourth time.
We'll spare you the detail of the Plaintiffs' 14 page re-amended Affidavit of Documents and only show you Counselor Trachtenberg's covering letter. What's truly amazing in all this is Mr. Trachtenberg has generated more paperwork than you'd see in a first degree murder charge! Haven't done a count lately but likely over 1,000 pages.
Ron Chartrand, Vice-President of the MMF's largest Region (Winnipeg) never agreed to be a Plaintiff. Since then Richard DelaRonde (former Provincial Director), Bonnie McIntyre and Darrel Deslauriers (former Provincial Director) have signed Notices of Discontinuance withdrawing as litigants.

Clare L. Pieuk
Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries Public
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E4
Fax: (204) 944-8878

Gerald S. Posner, Maniotba & Ontario Bars

Murray N. Trachtenberg, B.A., LL.B.
Direct Line: (204) 940-9602
July 24, 2008

Mr. Clare L. Pieuk
2-371 Des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R2H 2N6

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

Re: MMF et al vs. Clare L. Pieuk et al
Queen's Bench File No. CI 05-01-41955
My File No. 2003-20

This is further to my letter of January 23, 2008 wherein I advised you that MMF would be providing an amended affidavit of documents.

Enclosed please find the amended affidavit of documents of the plaintiff Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. sworn July 23, 2008.

In addition to those documents referred to in my letter of January 23, 2008 the following documents have been added to Schedule "A":

8(a), 9(a), 9(b), 26(b) and 65(a)

Yours truly,

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Canadian taxpayers - and we should tell the pre-trial judge .....?

Murray Trachtenberg

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

On Friday July 25, 2008 we received another "package" (80 pages) from Murray Trachtenberg. Terry Belhumeur was sent the same. Rather than reproduce his entire legal tome, we're only publishing the covering letter but have summarized its contents below. If you'd like more detailed information or have any questions/comments please contact us.


Clare L. Pieuk


Trial Record:

1. Re-Amended Statement of Claim dated January 11, 2008 (23 pages)

2. My Statement of Defence (6 pages) dated April 24, 2005 - Counselor Trachtenberg used his knowledge of Queen's Bench Rules to have most of it struck from the record. This is easily done with self-represented Defandants having no legal training

3. Co-Defendant Terry Belhumeur's Statement of Defence (6 pages) dated April 28, 2005 - again most of it has been struck from the record

4. Notice of Discontinuance for Richard Delaronde dated January 30, 2006 (1 page)

5. Notice of Discontinuance for Bonnie McIntyre dated Januaray 30, 2006 (1 page)

6. Notice of Discontinuance for Vanessa Everton (1 page)

7. Notice of Discontinuance for Darrel Deslauriers dated May 22, 2008 (1 page)

8. Pre-Trial Conference Brief of Plaintiffs (33 pages)

PART I Facts (5 pages)

PART II Issues and Position of the Plaintiffs (2 pages)

PART III Trial Readiness (1 page)

PART IV Copies of Documents for Pre-Trial Conference Judge (1 page)


Mr. Murray N. Trachtenberg

Posner & Trachtenberg

710-471 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4

Dear Counselor Trachtenberg:

Perhaps it's time to remind you, Sir, of established legal protocol. Although self-represented with no formal legal training, nevertheless, I am entitled to the same consideration as if I had benefit of counsel. Arbitrarily arranging a Pre-Trial Conference without prior consultation is another abuse of process by an attorney duly licensed to practice in the Province of Manitoba. Therefore, please be advised you may be the subject of yet another complaint before the Law Society of Manitoba.

Further, as you are well aware Disclosure has not been completed. On two occasions you have disregarded my written questions.

Unfortunately, I may have a previous commitment which could preclude my attendence at the September 8, 2008 9:00 a.m. Pre-Trial Conference. At your earliest convenience, please acknowledge receipt of this e-mail by sending me an electronic letter or otherwise with a list of alternative dates and times.


Clare L. Pieuk



Barristers, Solicitors & Notaries Public

710-471 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, MB R3B 2E4

Fax: (204) 944-8878
Gerald S. Posner
Manitoba & Ontario Bars

Murray N. Trachtenberg, B.A., LL.B.
Direct Line: (204) 940-9602


July 25, 2008

Mr. Clare L. Pieuk

2 - 371 Des Meurons StreetWinnipeg, Manitoba R2H 2N6

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

Re: MMF et al vs. Clare L. Pieuk et al

Queen's Bench File No CI 05-01-41955

My File: No 2003-2003-20

Enclosed please find copies of te following documents:

1. Trail Record

2. Notice for Pre-Trial Conference; and

3. Pre-Trail Conference Brief of the Plaintiffs.

These documents have been filed filed with the Court.

Please note that the pre-trial conference will tale placer on Monday, September 8, 20089.

Please acknowledge receipt of these documentws by sending me an email, at your earliest convenience.

Yours truly,





Got proof?

"David Chartrand, president of the MMF, also said earlier this week it seems like Tasers and other police weapons are used more on aboriginal people than non-aboriginals."

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

The following statement appeared in today's Winnipeg Sun ("Unfairly Targeted" - by Simon Fuller) regarding the tragic death earlier this week of a 17 year old Metis youth tasered by police.

Our question for President Chartrand: "It seems" is not good enough.What do the statistics say - got proof? Until you do please do us all a favour cease and desist. Making unsubstantiated, irresponsible public statements benefits no one.

Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, July 25, 2008

Think before you speak!

Dear President Chartrand:

Sir, you have publicly alleged racial profiling may have been involved in this tragic incident. What is your factual basis? Paragraph 7 of the accompanying Winnipeg Free Press article strongly suggests the police did not have time to engage in such an activity. Rather, they instinctively reacted to a citizen's report of a crime in progress not knowing the suspect's identity nor ethnicity until sometime after the fact.

Second. What is your evidence for believing police used excessive force:

(1) Witnessed the incident firsthand did we?

(2) Read the Winnipeg Police Service's incident report before it's been released did we?

(3) Or what about the not yet written external police agency's review of the WPS's investigation - read that too did we?

(4) Talked with the Crown Prosecutor after they examined all the evidence did we?

(5) Attended the yet to be held Public Inquiry did we?

Until then don't rush to judgment - do everyone a favour cease and desist from making such irresponsible public statements.


Clare L. Pieuk


Top Cop Denies Tasering Victim Racially Profiled - James Turner, Winnipeg Free Press

Updated: July 25 at 09:57 AM CDT

Winnipeg's police chief has denied allegations that racial profiling played any part in the tasering of Michael Langan in an nner-city back lane Tuesday.

But despite the top cop's claims, the president of the Manitoba Metis Federation said there's many questions surrounding Langan's death that police must account for, including a series of delays in notifying his family of what had happened.

Langan, a 17-year-old Metis boy, allegedly brandished a knife in the back lane behind 871 William Avenue and was then tasered by a police officer when he refused to drop the weapon.
He was rushed to hospital in critical condition where he died. It's believed he also suffered a head injury in the incident, but police will not confirm this. His family described him as being about five-foot-six and 145 pounds. He and his mother, Sharon Shymko, had returned from living in Kelowna, B.C., to Winnipeg a month prior to his death.

Amnesty International believes Langan is the youngest Canadian to die after being hit by a stun gun. He's the first to have died after being tasered by a police officer in Manitoba.

Keith McCaskill said events leading up to the incident show the officers weren't targetting the teen because of his ethnicity.

Langan is alleged to have smashed in a car window to steal something prior to the taser incident.

The theft was witnessed by the vehicle's owners, who followed him and alerted police to what had happened, McCaskill said. Moments later, the back lane encounter took place. It's not known how many times the teen was shocked by the officer's taser.

"We had two citizens approach the police, direct them to a certain person... so I think that can alleviate that concern," he said.

The province's chief medical examiner, Dr. Thambirajah Balachandra, is reported to have completed the autopsy, but it may be months before additional tests can be completed to provide a definite cause of death. He did not return calls seeking comment Thursday.

Langan family spokesperson David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation, has questioned whether the boy was the victim of racial profiling. He had also said he believed police had used excessive force in how they dealt with the situation.

Chartrand said it was an example of "Quick Draw McGraw" behaviour by the officers involved.
He also took issue with detectives who allegedly turned up at Shymko's home nine hours after Langan had died to retrieve a picture of him without disclosing why they wanted it. They didn't notify the woman of his death until nine hours after that.

"Why did they wait so long to tell the family?" Chartrand wondered, alleging Langan had identification on him when he died.
With file from Canadian Press

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ralph meets pieman, pieman wins - well, sort of.....

Former Alberta Premier Ralph Klein
Simple Simon met a pieman
Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
"Let me taste your ware."
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
"Show me first your penny."
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
"Indeed I have not any."
Regina versus Geoghegan, 2005 ABQB 139 (CanLII)
Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
Citation: Regina versus Geoghegan, 2005 ABQB 139
Date: 20050310
Docket: 0307 81264S1
Registry: Calgary
Between: Christopher Peter Geoghegan, Appellant
- and -
Her Majesty the Queen, Respondent
Corrected judgment: A corrigendum was issued on March 10, 2005; the corrections have been made to the text and the corrigendum is appended to this judgment.
Reasons for Judgment of theHonourable Mr. Justice P.W.L. Martin
[1] On July 7, 2003, while the Premier of Alberta was addressing a Stampede breakfast in the presence of approximately 3,000 Calgarians, the appellant approached and pushed a pie in the Premier’s face. The appellant tried to flee but was apprehended and charged with assault. He eventually pled guilty to that charge and was sentenced therefore to 30 days imprisonment, to be served intermittently. He now says that sentence was inordinately harsh and asks that I reduce it to a non-custodial disposition.
[2] The appellant, then 24 years old, had no prior criminal record. He identifies himself as a political activist with an abiding concern for the rights of the disadvantaged in our society. He advised that his assault of the Premier was not intended to harm him, just to bring attention to the causes of the poor and the homeless.
[3] The pre-sentence report described the appellant as a kind, compassionate, somewhat idealistic, albeit unfocussed young man, who continued to feel his conduct was justified.
[4] The Premier tendered a brief victim impact statement advising that the incident humiliated him and left him with a sore face and a ringing in his ear. It also caused him to cut short his address to those assembled and perhaps, most notably caused him to be more apprehensive for his safety which has resulted in increased security and less direct contact with his fellow citizens.
Position of the Parties
[5] The Crown sought a sentence of 30-days imprisonment; while the defence argued that no more than a period of probation or a short term of a conditional sentence of imprisonment was appropriate. The sentencing judge settled on a 30-days intermittent sentence with probation.
[6] Counsel for the appellant has carefully reviewed the comprehensive Reasons for Sentence and identified what he alleges are a number of errors which resulted in an unfit sentence. He says those errors entitle this court to allow the appeal and impose a non-custodial sentence.
[7] I will briefly address some of those concerns.
[8] The appellant argues that the sentencing judge took into account other misconduct or criminal conduct alleged to have been committed by the appellant since this offence, which has not resulted in a conviction and which was not proven.
[9] I accept as a general proposition that an offender is only to be sentenced for the crime for which he/she has been convicted. R. v. Inwood 1989 CanLII 263 (ON C.A.), (1989), 48 C.C.C. (3d) 173 (Ont. C.A.). However, relevant previous conduct which may have amounted to an offence, but was not prosecuted may be admitted on sentencing in considering the character of the accused. Regina versus Inwood; and A. Manson, Law of Sentencing, (Irwin Law: 2001).
[10] In this case, the impugned information was placed before the court by defence counsel in response to a direct question from the sentencing judge. The purpose of the question, and the sole use of the information, was to determine whether the appellant represented a danger to the community, which is one of the criteria required to be addressed when considering a conditional sentence. The admissibility of this information for that restrictive purpose was not argued before me, but I am of the view that such information is admissible on that issue. To find otherwise would require the sentencing judge to remain wilfully blind to relevant information in reaching a conclusion on the potential dangerousness of the offender. That cannot be right. In my opinion, if there is post-offence misconduct relevant to the assessment of dangerousness, which has not resulted in a conviction at the time of sentencing, the Crown may allege the particulars of the offence, and if disputed or challenged, may be required to prove those allegations as directed. Regina versus Gardiner, 1982 CanLII 30 (S.C.C.), [1982] 2 S.C.R. 368.
[11] Therefore, I find the sentencing judge was right to consider this information. However, with respect, I disagree that the impugned information supported the conclusion that the accused was a danger to the community. The only suggestion of other misconduct here was that during a political protest or rally, the appellant entered into the lobby of a hotel, but left immediately upon being asked to do so. Defence counsel advised that as a result he was charged with an offence “akin to causing a disturbance.” In my opinion, notwithstanding that the appellant was released on recognisance to keep the peace and to be of good behaviour, this allegation of misconduct borders on the irrelevant and should not have been an impediment to the imposition of a conditional sentence. In other words, it does not support the suggestion that the appellant represents a continuing danger to society.
[12] The appellant next argued that the sentencing judge erred in his consideration of the appellant’s lack of remorse. In this case, the appellant was not remorseful for having hit the Premier with the pie, but sorry for having hurt him. He felt justified in what he had done but asserted that he would not do so again in the future. He made that promise to the sentencing judge and again to me. I accept that assurance.
[13] It is agreed that remorse may be considered a mitigating circumstance, but a lack of remorse may not be considered as aggravating. A review of the record reveals that the sentencing judge considered the appellant’s lack of remorse and ongoing sense of justification in his assessment of whether the appellant represented a danger to the community and not otherwise as an aggravating factor. He did not err in so doing.
[14] It was also argued that the sentencing judge found the appellant’s refusal to abandon his political views to be an aggravating circumstance. I find that a review of the Reasons for Sentence do not support that position. The sentencing judge was not looking for the appellant to abandon his political beliefs or limit his public protests, rather he was concerned that the appellant was still not prepared to respect the views and rights of others. There is no question that the appellant, like any other citizen, is free to hold political views different from those of the government and the majority of his fellow citizens. He is also free to publicly express those views and attempt to persuade others to adopt them. Likewise, he is free to vote against the government and to ask others to do so as well. However, he is not free to physically assault another person, including a politician, to gain notoriety for himself or his cause.
[15] It was not the appellant’s political views but his continued sense of justification which caused the sentencing judge to find that a high degree or moral blameworthiness accompanied the offence. He did not err in that assessment.
[16] The appellant next argued that the prevailing case law supports his position that a fit sentence for such an offence it does not require actual incarceration. The decision of Regina versus Brown, [2001] P.E.I.J. No. 121, was relied upon; and the decision of Regina versus Matrai, [1972] 2 O.R. 752 (Ontario C.A.), was distinguished by the appellant.
[17] The learned sentencing judge carefully considered those cases but concluded that a conditional sentence would not be consistent with the fundamental principals of sentencing. He concluded that a punitive, as opposed to a restorative sentence was required, in part because the accused continued to feel justified in what he did and to deter others from similar behaviour.
[18] I find no error in that conclusion. On the contrary, I think this is the kind of offence where a punitive sentence imposed on one offender will deter others from like activity. I say that because such acts are invariably planned to be executed at televised events which will bring the offender certain publicity and notoriety. It is reasonable to expect that if such misconduct is met only with a non-custodial sentence, the temptation for other like-minded individuals to seize their 15 minutes on the stage in this way will be too great for them to resist. The notion that politicians are fair targets for this kind of misconduct, or that it falls within acceptable limits of freedom of speech and expression, is absolutely false. Such acts are offensive and upsetting to all fair minded members of society. There is nothing funny or appropriate about such conduct. It must be denounced and deterred. On that basis alone the sentence imposed is justified.
[19] In all of the circumstances, I find the sentence was both fit and appropriate. Accordingly the appeal is denied.
Heard on the 17th day of February, 2005.
Dated at the City of Calgary, Alberta this 17th day of February, 2005.
P.W.L. Martin
H. Hagglund, Esq. For the Crown
J. Kelly, Esq. For the Accused
Corrigendum of the Reasons for Judgment of
The Honourable Mr. Justice P.W.L. Martin
In the last sentence of paragraph [13] the word “error” has been changed to “err.”
Source: "Truth To Power" (

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Got to love it!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Been checking out the excellent links on a new Blog "Truth To Power" ( operated anonymously by a Canadian lawyer. Stumbled upon this photograph at the bottom of's main page (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law).


Got to love it!

Clare L. Pieuk

Postscript: After having a good laugh over the picture we decided to take a closer look at What we found was quite an incredible story. Although we have no knowledge of the facts and, therefore, cannot comment on his case, Mr. Branson's bio suggests he has no formal legal training (Sound familiar?) yet has taken on the judiciary as though he were a seasoned trial lawyer.

Shortly we'll e-mail Mr. Branson to let him know we'll be linking with his site.

Ronald Branson Author, Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (JAIL)

Born in 1946, Ronald Branson joined the U.S. Military in 1963. He had a very strict and straight-laced view of "just doing his job." Part of his military time was spent as a Prison Chaser at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He presided over work details and regularly strip-searched the inmates. He quickly gained the respect of his superiors, and took on the reputation as the strictest Prison Chaser within the compound, having disciplined more prisoners than all his peers.

After his honorable discharge from the military, Ron entered Washington Bible College, and later graduated from two Bible Institutes, one in Wisconsin and the other in Los Angeles. In 1974 he became the author and publisher of the Alert Sheet Publications, a documentary which exposed cults and other religious organizations. He was ordained into the ministry in 1977 and pastored several churches. Then he began to realize that the biggest cult and threat to the churches was government, after which he began the Alert Sheet Informant, a publication which exposed corruption.

In 1980 Mr. Branson was called upon to travel with and meet appointments by the late A. J. Porth, the patriarch of the modern-day patriot movement, as his right-hand man. By 1992, Ron became co-founder of the Granada Forum, which held it meetings in Tarzana, California. During those years he invited the top expert speakers in their field from all over the country to come and address the attendees of the Granada Forum weekly, with each speaker audio and video recorded. The Granada Forum soon became nationally known among the Who’s Who of America.

Ron's legal pursuits within the courts began in 1982 when he engaged the County of Los Angeles over their refusal to give a mandatory civil service hearing to a sixteen year employee of the county holding civil service protection. Armed with the law and facts on his side, he took on the county in the courts only to find the law and the facts were irrelevant in the judicial system, and despite mandatory duty, politics ruled the courts, not the law. He found not only were the courts out-and-out contemptuous of the law, but also riddled with absolute facial conflicts, such as the counsel for the county also acting for the judges hearing the cases against the county. When he moved for change of venue due to conflict of interest, his motion was denied. When he sued the state judge in federal court, the defendant counsel in the state case would also appear representing the very state judge before which they were also a defendant. It got so crazy the government did not even attempt any longer to hide their conflict. Obviously it was as though they sat as judge in a case against themselves as defendant. Mr. Branspon has even had the judge admit he never read anything filed in his court by this plaintiff. And so it was in federal court, the judge also having worked for the same county which was then a defendant before him. An absolute fix with no possibility of redress.

The straw that broke the camel's back was in 1994 when Mr. Branson brought suit against the City of Los Angeles and seven police officers for thirteen and a half million dollars for false arrest, false imprisonment and unwarranted strip-search plus numerous other causes of action. The City defaulted and the case went to prove-up of evidence. The evidence was submitted on the record by the judge for decision. Statute clearly sets forth the judge shall hear the evidence and render judgment in the plaintiff's favor according to the testimony. However, no decision ever came forth despite the constitutional mandate such judgment shall be rendered within ninety days. His Honour, in protecting the City from a default ruling, simply unsubmitted the evidence before him (unrang the bell) leaving the case forever hanging with no conclusion!

All attempts by Mr. Branson to bring his case to a final judgment through the courts and then the Legislature failed. He realized the law on the books was a façade to give the public the impression we had laws that governed our society. Mr. Branson concluded if there were to be change at all in society, it would not come from within the government but must be done by going directly to the people through the initiative process. After a period of eighteen years seeking redress by pursuing due process of law, Mr. Branson was then pursuing his fourteenth case to the United States Supreme Court. The results were always certain and predictable.

Highly motivated to create a remedy for the redress of his grievance, Ron, in 1995 wrote, in two days, the original initiative then called, "The Judicial Reform Act of 1996." In 1997 it was renamed, "The Judicial Accountability Initiative Law," J.A.I.L. and a website created

With a goal of “Liberty and Justice for All” Ron's objective is to make J.A.I.L. a nationwide cause among all people that will restore the constitution and the laws to this country as our Founding Fathers had envisioned it. Citizens across the country are now clamoring for the hope J.A.I.L. offers. There is no doubt in Ron's mind J.A.I.L will one day become the hottest, largest and most controversial political hot potato this nation has recently faced.

Mr. Branson’s chief characteristics are truth, ethics and principle. He detests politics. Starting in 1996 Mr. Branson was elected three times to a two-year term as Representative in the 38th Assembly District, Los Angeles Republican County Central Committee. By the year 2002 his duties within J.A.I.L. had become so demanding as to require his full time, which he now serves at its Five-Star National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief with a national following that currently includes 50 states and three foreign nations.

Ron Branson may be reached at:
P.O. Box 207
North Hollywood, CA. 91603

The speed of the internet!

Robert Ronald Smith has left a new comment on your post, "Meet the not so animated little thinker!"

Hey Clare! This is the Bob Smith you just wrote about. Glad you like my walking, thinking man. Thanks for the nice comments and link.
Hi Bob,

Thank you for writing. We just loved your walking, thinking little man. As soon as we get organized we'll be sure to link your site. It's amazing isn't it how quickly word travels on the internet.

Clare L. Pieuk

Meet the not so animated little thinker!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

As noted recently, we're in the process of significantly revamping our links to greatly expand the site's reach and coverage. An excellent source of information is the new Blog "Truth To Power" ( with its 104 connections operated by an anonymous Canadian lawyer.

One we identified for our must have list is "No Force, No Fraud" ( authored by 69 year old retired Blogmaster Bob Smith of Richfield, Minnesota. Not only is the analysis and writing of high quality but Mr. Smith begins each posting with a small animated thinker who goes for about a 7 second stationary walk only to end up with a large question mark hanging over its head. Loved it - only problem is when we saved the image to the picture archives we lost the animation. Oh well.

Clare L. Pieuk

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Someone from whom we could all learn!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Last week interviewer Charlie Rose (Winnipeg - PBS Channel 3, dedicated his show to Nelson Mandela's life and his recently celebrated 90th birthday. His guests were Richard Stengel Time Magazine's 16th Managing Editor and Margaret H. Marshall, Chief Justice of the Massachusettes Supreme Court both of whom have known Mr. Mandela for a very long time.
Charlie Rose
In 1994, Richard Stengel collaborated with Mr. Mandela to publish, Long Walk To freedom - The Autobogrpahy Of Nelson Mandela which became an international best-seller.

To read the complete Time article, go to,8599,1821467,oo.html.


Clare L. Pieuk

No. 1
Courage is not the absence of fear — it's inspiring others to move beyond it.

In 1994, during the presidential-election campaign, Mandela got on a tiny propeller plane to fly down to the killing fields of Natal and give a speech to his Zulu supporters. I agreed to meet him at the airport, where we would continue our work after his speech. When the plane was 20 minutes from landing, one of its engines failed. Some on the plane began to panic. The only thing that calmed them was looking at Mandela, who quietly read his newspaper as if he were a commuter on his morning train to the office. The airport prepared for an emergency landing, and the pilot managed to land the plane safely. When Mandela and I got in the backseat of his bulletproof BMW that would take us to the rally, he turned to me and said, "Man, I was terrified up there!"

Mandela was often afraid during his time underground, during the Rivonia trial that led to his imprisonment, during his time on Robben Island. "Of course I was afraid!" he would tell me later. It would have been irrational, he suggested, not to be. "I can't pretend that I'm brave and that I can beat the whole world." But as a leader, you cannot let people know. "You must put up a front."

And that's precisely what he learned to do: pretend and, through the act of appearing fearless, inspire others. It was a pantomime Mandela perfected on Robben Island, where there was much to fear. Prisoners who were with him said watching Mandela walk across the courtyard, upright and proud, was enough to keep them going for days. He knew that he was a model for others, and that gave him the strength to triumph over his own fear.

No. 2
Lead from the front — but don't leave your base behind.

Mandela is cagey. In 1985 he was operated on for an enlarged prostate. When he was returned to prison, he was separated from his colleagues and friends for the first time in 21 years. They protested. But as his longtime friend Ahmed Kathrada recalls, he said to them, "Wait a minute, chaps. Some good may come of this."

The good that came of it was that Mandela on his own launched negotiations with the apartheid government. This was anathema to the African National Congress (ANC). After decades of saying "prisoners cannot negotiate" and after advocating an armed struggle that would bring the government to its knees, he decided that the time was right to begin to talk to his oppressors.
When he initiated his negotiations with the government in 1985, there were many who thought he had lost it. "We thought he was selling out," says Cyril Ramaphosa, then the powerful and fiery leader of the National Union of Mineworkers. "I went to see him to tell him, What are you doing? It was an unbelievable initiative. He took a massive risk."

Mandela launched a campaign to persuade the ANC that his was the correct course. His reputation was on the line. He went to each of his comrades in prison, Kathrada remembers, and explained what he was doing. Slowly and deliberately, he brought them along. "You take your support base along with you," says Ramaphosa, who was secretary-general of the ANC and is now a business mogul. "Once you arrive at the beachhead, then you allow the people to move on. He's not a bubble-gum leader — chew it now and throw it away."

For Mandela, refusing to negotiate was about tactics, not principles. Throughout his life, he has always made that distinction. His unwavering principle — the overthrow of apartheid and the achievement of one man, one vote — was immutable, but almost anything that helped him get to that goal he regarded as a tactic. He is the most pragmatic of idealists.

"He's a historical man," says Ramaphosa. "He was thinking way ahead of us. He has posterity in mind: How will they view what we've done?" Prison gave him the ability to take the long view. It had to; there was no other view possible. He was thinking in terms of not days and weeks but decades. He knew history was on his side, that the result was inevitable; it was just a question of how soon and how it would be achieved. "Things will be better in the long run," he sometimes said. He always played for the long run.

No. 3
Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front.

Mandela loved to reminisce about his boyhood and his lazy afternoons herding cattle. "You know," he would say, "you can only lead them from behind." He would then raise his eyebrows to make sure I got the analogy.

As a boy, Mandela was greatly influenced by Jongintaba, the tribal king who raised him. When Jongintaba had meetings of his court, the men gathered in a circle, and only after all had spoken did the king begin to speak. The chief's job, Mandela said, was not to tell people what to do but to form a consensus. "Don't enter the debate too early," he used to say.

During the time I worked with Mandela, he often called meetings of his kitchen cabinet at his home in Houghton, a lovely old suburb of Johannesburg. He would gather half a dozen men, Ramaphosa, Thabo Mbeki (who is now the South African President) and others around the dining-room table or sometimes in a circle in his driveway. Some of his colleagues would shout at him — to move faster, to be more radical — and Mandela would simply listen. When he finally did speak at those meetings, he slowly and methodically summarized everyone's points of view and then unfurled his own thoughts, subtly steering the decision in the direction he wanted without imposing it. The trick of leadership is allowing yourself to be led too. "It is wise," he said, "to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea."

No. 4
Know your enemy — and learn about his favorite sport.

As far back as the 1960s, Mandela began studying Afrikaans, the language of the white South Africans who created apartheid. His comrades in the ANC teased him about it, but he wanted to understand the Afrikaner's worldview; he knew that one day he would be fighting them or negotiating with them, and either way, his destiny was tied to theirs.

This was strategic in two senses: by speaking his opponents' language, he might understand their strengths and weaknesses and formulate tactics accordingly. But he would also be ingratiating himself with his enemy. Everyone from ordinary jailers to P.W. Botha was impressed by Mandela's willingness to speak Afrikaans and his knowledge of Afrikaner history. He even brushed up on his knowledge of rugby, the Afrikaners' beloved sport, so he would be able to compare notes on teams and players.

Mandela understood that blacks and Afrikaners had something fundamental in common: Afrikaners believed themselves to be Africans as deeply as blacks did. He knew, too, that Afrikaners had been the victims of prejudice themselves: the British government and the white English settlers looked down on them. Afrikaners suffered from a cultural inferiority complex almost as much as blacks did.

Mandela was a lawyer, and in prison he helped the warders with their legal problems. They were far less educated and worldly than he, and it was extraordinary to them that a black man was willing and able to help them. These were "the most ruthless and brutal of the apartheid regime's characters," says Allister Sparks, the great South African historian, and he "realized that even the worst and crudest could be negotiated with."

No. 5
Keep your friends close — and your rivals even closer.

Many of the guests Mandela invited to the house he built in Qunu were people whom, he intimated to me, he did not wholly trust. He had them to dinner; he called to consult with them; he flattered them and gave them gifts. Mandela is a man of invincible charm — and he has often used that charm to even greater effect on his rivals than on his allies.

On Robben Island, Mandela would always include in his brain trust men he neither liked nor relied on. One person he became close to was Chris Hani, the fiery chief of staff of the ANC's military wing. There were some who thought Hani was conspiring against Mandela, but Mandela cozied up to him. "It wasn't just Hani," says Ramaphosa. "It was also the big industrialists, the mining families, the opposition. He would pick up the phone and call them on their birthdays. He would go to family funerals. He saw it as an opportunity." When Mandela emerged from prison, he famously included his jailers among his friends and put leaders who had kept him in prison in his first Cabinet. Yet I well knew that he despised some of these men.

There were times he washed his hands of people — and times when, like so many people of great charm, he allowed himself to be charmed. Mandela initially developed a quick rapport with South African President F.W. de Klerk, which is why he later felt so betrayed when De Klerk attacked him in public.

Mandela believed that embracing his rivals was a way of controlling them: they were more dangerous on their own than within his circle of influence. He cherished loyalty, but he was never obsessed by it. After all, he used to say, "people act in their own interest." It was simply a fact of human nature, not a flaw or a defect. The flip side of being an optimist — and he is one — is trusting people too much. But Mandela recognized that the way to deal with those he didn't trust was to neutralize them with charm.

No. 6
Appearances matter — and remember to smile.

When Mandela was a poor law student in Johannesburg wearing his one threadbare suit, he was taken to see Walter Sisulu. Sisulu was a real estate agent and a young leader of the ANC. Mandela saw a sophisticated and successful black man whom he could emulate. Sisulu saw the future.

Sisulu once told me that his great quest in the 1950s was to turn the ANC into a mass movement; and then one day, he recalled with a smile, "a mass leader walked into my office." Mandela was tall and handsome, an amateur boxer who carried himself with the regal air of a chief's son. And he had a smile that was like the sun coming out on a cloudy day.

We sometimes forget the historical correlation between leadership and physicality. George Washington was the tallest and probably the strongest man in every room he entered. Size and strength have more to do with DNA than with leadership manuals, but Mandela understood how his appearance could advance his cause. As leader of the ANC's underground military wing, he insisted that he be photographed in the proper fatigues and with a beard, and throughout his career he has been concerned about dressing appropriately for his position. George Bizos, his lawyer, remembers that he first met Mandela at an Indian tailor's shop in the 1950s and that Mandela was the first black South African he had ever seen being fitted for a suit. Now Mandela's uniform is a series of exuberant-print shirts that declare him the joyous grandfather of modern Africa.

When Mandela was running for the presidency in 1994, he knew that symbols mattered as much as substance. He was never a great public speaker, and people often tuned out what he was saying after the first few minutes. But it was the iconography that people understood. When he was on a platform, he would always do the toyi-toyi, the township dance that was an emblem of the struggle. But more important was that dazzling, beatific, all-inclusive smile. For white South Africans, the smile symbolized Mandela's lack of bitterness and suggested that he was sympathetic to them. To black voters, it said, I am the happy warrior, and we will triumph. The ubiquitous ANC election poster was simply his smiling face. "The smile," says Ramaphosa, "was the message."

After he emerged from prison, people would say, over and over, it is amazing that he is not bitter. There are a thousand things Nelson Mandela was bitter about, but he knew that more than anything else, he had to project the exact opposite emotion. He always said, "Forget the past" — but I knew he never did.

No. 7
Nothing is black or white.

When we began our series of interviews, I would often ask Mandela questions like this one: When you decided to suspend the armed struggle, was it because you realized you did not have the strength to overthrow the government or because you knew you could win over international opinion by choosing nonviolence? He would then give me a curious glance and say, "Why not both?"

I did start asking smarter questions, but the message was clear: Life is never either/or. Decisions are complex, and there are always competing factors. To look for simple explanations is the bias of the human brain, but it doesn't correspond to reality. Nothing is ever as straightforward as it appears.

Mandela is comfortable with contradiction. As a politician, he was a pragmatist who saw the world as infinitely nuanced. Much of this, I believe, came from living as a black man under an apartheid system that offered a daily regimen of excruciating and debilitating moral choices: Do I defer to the white boss to get the job I want and avoid a punishment? Do I carry my pass?
As a statesman, Mandela was uncommonly loyal to Muammar Gaddafi and Fidel Castro. They had helped the ANC when the U.S. still branded Mandela as a terrorist. When I asked him about Gaddafi and Castro, he suggested that Americans tend to see things in black and white, and he would upbraid me for my lack of nuance. Every problem has many causes. While he was indisputably and clearly against apartheid, the causes of apartheid were complex. They were historical, sociological and psychological. Mandela's calculus was always, What is the end that I seek, and what is the most practical way to get there?

No. 8
Quitting is leading too.

In 1993, Mandela asked me if I knew of any countries where the minimum voting age was under 18. I did some research and presented him with a rather undistinguished list: Indonesia, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and Iran. He nodded and uttered his highest praise: "Very good, very good." Two weeks later, Mandela went on South African television and proposed that the voting age be lowered to 14. "He tried to sell us the idea," recalls Ramaphosa, "but he was the only [supporter]. And he had to face the reality that it would not win the day. He accepted it with great humility. He doesn't sulk. That was also a lesson in leadership."

Knowing how to abandon a failed idea, task or relationship is often the most difficult kind of decision a leader has to make. In many ways, Mandela's greatest legacy as President of South Africa is the way he chose to leave it. When he was elected in 1994, Mandela probably could have pressed to be President for life — and there were many who felt that in return for his years in prison, that was the least South Africa could do.

In the history of Africa, there have been only a handful of democratically elected leaders who willingly stood down from office. Mandela was determined to set a precedent for all who followed him — not only in South Africa but across the rest of the continent. He would be the anti-Mugabe, the man who gave birth to his country and refused to hold it hostage. "His job was to set the course," says Ramaphosa, "not to steer the ship." He knows that leaders lead as much by what they choose not to do as what they do.

Ultimately, the key to understanding Mandela is those 27 years in prison. The man who walked onto Robben Island in 1964 was emotional, headstrong, easily stung. The man who emerged was balanced and disciplined. He is not and never has been introspective. I often asked him how the man who emerged from prison differed from the willful young man who had entered it. He hated this question. Finally, in exasperation one day, he said, "I came out mature." There is nothing so rare — or so valuable — as a mature man. Happy birthday, Madiba.


Richard Stengel

Richard Stengel is the managing editor of Time. com. Until March of this year, he was senior adviser and chief speechwriter for presidential candidate Bill Bradley. Before joining the campaign, Mr. Stengel was a Senior Editor at Time Magazine.

He is the author of January Sun: One Day, Three Lives, a South African Town (Simon & Schuster, 1990), which was one of People Magazine's Ten Best Books of 1990. He also collaborated with South African President Nelson Mandela on the latter's autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom (Little, Brown & Co., 1994), which was an international best-seller. Mr. Stengel was the Associate Producer on "Mandela," the Oscar-nominated documentary produced by Jonathan Demme.

In addition to his work for Time, Mr. Stengel has been a frequent contributor to the New Yorker and the New Republic and has written as well for the New York Times, GQ, and New York Magazine. Mr. Stengel was one of the original on-air Contributors to MSNBC and still writes a regular column for In addition to appearances on MSNBC, he has been a guest on the Today Show, 60 Minutes, CNN, and the Charlie Rose Show.

In 1999, he was the Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University teaching a course on politics and the press.

Richard Stengel was born in New York City, attended Princeton University, and studied English literature at Oxford where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Richard Stengel lives in New York city with his wife and son.

Remarks for the 2006 UMass Boston Convocation

Margaret H. Marshall is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. Now three hundred and fifteen years old, the court is the oldest appellate court in continuous existence in the Western Hemisphere. Appointed to her position in 1999 by Governor A. Paul Cellucci, Chief Justice Marshall is the first woman to serve as Chief Justice, and the second woman appointed to serve as an Associate Justice. She was first appointed to the bench in 1996 by Governor William Weld as one of six Associate Justices of the Supreme Judicial Court. She will serve as Chief Justice until September, 2014, when she will reach seventy years, the age of mandatory retirement contained in the Massachusetts Constitution.

Chief Justice Marshall, who was born and raised in South Africa, obtained her B.A. in 1966 from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. While an undergraduate, she was elected president of the National Union of South African Students, at the time a leading anti-apartheid organization. She came to the United States to pursue her master's degree at Harvard. Later, she was unable to return to South Africa because of her activities opposing apartheid.

She received a master's degree in education from Harvard in 1969 and completed four years of doctoral study at Harvard before studying law at Yale Law School. Following her graduation in 1976 from Yale, Chief Justice Marshall practiced law for sixteen years in Boston and became a partner in the Boston firm of Choate, Hall & Stewart, where she specialized in intellectual property litigation. She became a United States citizen in 1978.

In 1992, Chief Justice Marshall was appointed Vice President and General Counsel of Harvard University, where she was responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs of the University and its affiliated institutions. She was the first woman to hold that position.

Chief Justice Marshall has been involved in numerous professional and community activities. She has served as a member of the Board of the Conference of Chief Justices. Before her appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court she served as President of the Boston Bar Association and was a member of the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, both in Massachusetts and nationally. She was a trustee of The Africa Fund and a member of the board of Africa News and serves as a trustee of Southern Africa Legal Services Foundation. She has served on numerous other civic and charitable boards.

In 1994, Chief Justice Marshall received the American Bar Association's Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award, which recognizes "outstanding women lawyers throughout the country who have . . . actively paved the way to success for other women lawyers." She received the Louis D. Brandeis Award from the American Jewish Congress in 1994. In 1998, she was the first recipient of the Harvard College Women's Professional Achievement Award given to an individual "who has demonstrated exceptional leadership in her professional field and has used that leadership to benefit the community." In 1999, Chief Justice Marshall was elected as a member of the Council of the American Law Institute, and in 2001, elected as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2003, she was appointed as a member to the Advisory Board of the International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life at Brandeis University. In 2004 she was elected as a Fellow of the Corporation of Yale University. Chief Justice Marshall is the recipient of many honorary degrees, including one from her undergraduate alma mater in 2000, and other professional awards.

Chief Justice Marshall lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts with her husband, Anthony Lewis.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Busted - again!

Anoymous has left a new comment on your post, "You are not going to believe this!" (June 13, 2008).

Decided to check out Ezra Levant's blog ( and found the following:

Hi Ezra,

There's a new blog ( hosted by someone who only identifies themself as a Canadian lawyer. It's noteworthy because the blogmaster is using the latest online legal search engines to post the results from fascinating, controversial court cases. Also contains many interesting links. Highly recommend your readers and you check it out.

Clare L. Pieuk

So visited ("Truth to Power") and you're right it's very informative and a site everyone should benchmark.
"Truth To Power" ( Blogmaster?


Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. What can we say except - busted!

Clare L. Pieuk