Saturday, January 31, 2009

Our letter to CNN's Nancy Grace!

Tansi/Good Day Readers:
We have received confirmation our letter to Nancy Grace was successfully transmitted.
Clare L. Pieuk
Subject: Seeking Justice
Date: 31/01/2009/7:12 PM
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"CNN, The Most Trusted Name In News"
Dear Nancy,
Hope your twins are growing like a couple little weeds.
Lacking any formal legal training, we have become Big Fans of your show finding it to be very informative.
We're a non-Aboriginal Blog located in Winnipeg, Manitoba currently involved in a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) defamation case where the focus is not on any alleged harm done to the Plaintiffs but rather litigation chill to discourage criticism of the spending practices of a Canadian taxpayer funded corporation.
Here are the basic facts of a convoluted lawsuit now entering its sixth year:
(1) The case has its genesis in mid-September 2003 when we became aware the publicly financed Board of Directors of the Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. (MMF, Federation) had assigned one of its lawyers to monitor our precursor site (now defunct) looking for litigious material
(2) Once we became aware we had, in effect, been placed on "a defamation watch," we exercised due diligence by engaging the pro bono services of a then Manitoba Legal Aid attroney to act as our General Legal Counsel. This was publicly acknowledged. It was the same individual who proposed, wrote and subsequently sanctioned the posting of the allegedly defamatory material (a petition calling for greater financial controls on MMF election campaign funding
(3) We later discovered our General Legal Counsel had entered into a retainer agreement to provide legal services to the Federation yet has never been named as a Co-Defendant
(4) By visiting the Manitoba Justice Department's website (File Search Registry - and entering CI05-01-41955), you will find to date an incredible 145 documents, most by the Plaintiffs, have been entered into the record
(5) From the beginning one Board of Director refused to sign the Statement of Claim while four others have subsequently withdrawn by signing Notices of Dicontinuance
(6) The lawyer for the Plaintiffs is:
Murray N. Trachtenberg
Posner & Trachtenberg
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 2E4
Telephone: (204) 940-9602
Facsimile: (204) 944-8878
(7) Shortly we will be attending our fourth Pre-Trial Conference presided over by a Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice. Counsel for the Plaintiffs successfully applied for a publication ban. However, it only covers this stage of the proceedings
8) We believe this case will set precendents and raise technological issues that will reverberate among Bloggers well beyond Manitoba
If you or your staff require further information or clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Clare L. Pieuk

Friday, January 30, 2009

Screening losers online!
Memberships Are Soaring At Dating Websites As More Singletons Opt To Screen Out Duds Online Before Spending Cash On A Face-To-Face Date

Globe and Mail
January 29, 2009
Cheapos Unite, In Digital Love
The downturn is proving to be a boon for online dating sites as Canadians look to hide in the arms of lovers they can suss out for free (or a nominal fee) online rather than over pricey fine dining that could yield a dud.
Websites such as,, and have seen their memberships soar after September's stock-market plunge.
Lavalife registrations are up 11 per cent from last month (Toronto is experiencing a 20-per-cent increase), and messaging among members is at its highest point in six months. Likewise, Vancouver-based dating site Plenty of Fish enjoyed a 77-per-cent growth in visits from December, 2007, through December, 2008. About 900,000 people now log in daily.
"It's a pretty good deal at $25 a month to go out and meet people online, versus going out and spending 50 to 100 bucks per night and possibly not meeting anyone," says Plenty of Fish spokesperson Mark Brooks, who delivered the keynote speech at the Internet Dating Conference in Miami last week.
The mood in Florida was upbeat, he said, with owners of free and niche dating sites in particular reporting huge growth.
That, Mr. Brooks said, is because unlike the real world, dating sites offer the lovelorn a "completely refined, focused community."
"At the end of the day, if somebody wants to wander around and meet somebody, that's not a good idea on two counts: No. 1, it'll take them a long while and No. 2, if they do meet somebody, they've got to get all the difficult questions out of the way."
Dating sites take care of the formalities: Plenty of Fish, for example, forces aspiring members to list their marital status, disclose whether they want children and how many times they booze it up in a week, and finally to elucidate "what makes you unique."
In-person dates are, of course, far from extinct, but they are happening later in the romantic process. A survey by Florida-based Avalanche LLC - which operates international sites, and - found that 48 per cent of respondents were spending more time online or on the phone with a potential date before spending cash on a face-to-face meeting.
Dating sites have long relied on people's romantic notions about "the right one" - as well as on their laziness and frugality, says Mandy Ketcheson, a Toronto-based psychotherapist who provides relationship counselling. "Online sites play on that hope with the added bonus of not having to go to a lot of trouble getting dressed up [and] spending money."
For some of her single clients, cruising free dating sites has become a cheap hobby lately, with people "perusing other people more like commodities," the way they might shop for deals on eBay, she said.
The psychotherapist adds that some of the searching is simple pragmatics: "There is a rising sense of desire to couple up in poor economic times because pooling resources is a better way to ride a bad economy."
Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine, agrees that bad economic times force people to "reprioritize their goals in life."
"People don't like to face negative news alone," he says. "It's nice to have someone to share difficult times with.
Thus they look harder for that 'special someone.' "
With online dating, the hunt costs a little less.
"There will still possibly be that 'expensive dinner,' usually around the second date, but the process allows singles to better filter and select who they want to go out with."
"[Online dating] is like lipstick: It's one of those comforting things that doesn't cost a lot," says Lavalife chief executive Marina Glogovac. "When people get disillusioned or structures are breaking down, they feel less confident or secure with the material things in their lives."
Indeed, Paul A. Falzone, chief executive of Boston-based, says this windfall is reminiscent of what happened after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
"It just seems that people, when they're confronted with any type of dilemma in their lives, they tend to want to migrate back to what's comfortable to them. They go back to eating their comfort foods, they crank up the heat by the fire instead of going out all night, and they want someone to be able to share things with."
That said, Mr. Falzone has no time for misers using online services to skimp on chivalry.
"If somebody is being a cheapskate, it's a lot easier to act on a $29.95 subscription than it is to step up to the line.
They might be getting their jollies meeting a lot of people, but they'll never have a crack at them if they don't step up and act like a fair human being about it and not expect everything for free."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

How soon is soon?

Tansi/Good Day Readers:

Anonymous is reporting on, "Yes.. there is an Audit of the MNC... It should be released soon."

Clare L. Pieuk

Big Brother will be watching Plaintiffs and Counselor Trachtenberg!

Tansi/Good Day Folks:

Interesting article. If the Manitoba Metis Federation's frivolous, vexatious, malicious SLAPP suit (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) involving now defunct goes to trial, it will create not only precedent setting case law but technology issues the likes of which Courts here have not seen.

While Federation lawyer Murray Trachtenberg was able to get a publication ban, Court of Queen's Bench Justice Karen Simonsen has ruled it only applies to the current round of Pre-Trial Conferences. This case is highly marketable both nationally and internationally. Little did the Plaintiffs and their Counsel realize what they were getting themselves into when they began the process back in mid-September 2003. Technology has sure changed since then hasn't it?

Clare L. Pieuk

Ann Cavoukian

Privacy And Technology: Friends Or Foes?
Globe and Mail
January 28, 2009

As the Internet, cellphones and digital cameras become a bigger part of everyday life for Canadians, old issues of privacy in the public sphere are facing new dilemmas.

Google, the online search giant, tracks user habits in order to customize its advertising and refine its search alogithms. Online social networks like Facebook and MySpace often display personal information in a very public way - but offer a new, nuanced method of communication for millions.

Surveillance cameras worry many privacy advocates, but they are incredibly valuable as a law-enforcement tool. Last week's day-time shooting at a Toronto subway station illustrates this point: Within a few hours, a photo of the supected shooter was on the police website, as reported in the Globe's story, Police find trusty partner in CCTV. Globe writer Kirk Makin alludes to this tension between privacy and technology in his Wednesday article, Technology straining paper-era privacy laws.

Ann Cavoukian

On the Web: The 'privacy by design' website

The problem some judges face, he writes, is an obligation to use laws written at a time when communications tended to involve pens, paper, file folders or a single telephone call.

"The courts are really struggling with how to reconcile the realities of technology with our own expectations about what it means to live private lives without the intruding eye of government," says Scott Hutchison, an expert in both privacy and new technology.

How can we expect privacy laws to adapt as technology changes? And what can we ask of corporations in order to ensure privacy and personal information continue to be protected?

Sorting through the legal and ethical implications of new technology can be incredibly complex. That's why we are excited to have Ann Cavoukian, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, with us Thursday at 1:00 p.m. ET to talk about this complex topic. You can submit a question in advance using our comment tool, and remember to join us then for the live discussion.

Dr. Cavoukian is recognized as one of the leading privacy experts in the world. She was appointed Commissioner in 1997, and is the first to be reappointed for a second term.

An avowed leader in the role that technology can play in protecting privacy, Dr. Cavoukian's leadership has seen her Office develop a number of tools and procedures to ensure that privacy is protected in Ontario — and around the world. "Privacy by Design," a term coined by the Commissioner in the '90s, has now become the primary approach to ensuring privacy in a networked world — by embedding privacy into the design specifications of various technologies, thereby achieving the strongest protections.

Dr. Cavoukian's published works include Who Knows: Safeguarding Your Privacy in a Networked World, written in 1997 with Don Tapscott, and, The Privacy Payoff: How Successful Businesses Build Customer Trust, written in 2002 with Tyler Hamilton.

Editor's Note: editors will read and allow or reject each question/comment. Comments/questions may be edited for length or clarity. HTML is not allowed. We will not publish questions/comments that include personal attacks on participants in these discussions, that make false or unsubstantiated allegations, that purport to quote people or reports where the purported quote or fact cannot be easily verified, or questions/comments that include vulgar language or libellous statements. Preference will be given to readers who submit questions/comments using their full name and home town, rather than a pseudonym.

"Marijuana plantation" - my God were they trees?

Police Google Farmers, Find Marijuana Field
January 29, 2009
ZURICH, Switzerland — Swiss police said Thursday they stumbled across a large marijuana plantation while using Google Earth, the search engine company's satellite mapping software.

Police said the find was part of a bigger investigation that led to the arrest of 16 people and seizure of 1.1 tons of marijuana as well as cash and valuables worth 900,000 Swiss francs ($780,000).

Officers discovered the hemp field in the northeastern state of Thurgau last year while investigating an alleged drug ring, said the head of Zurich police's specialist narcotics unit Norbert Klossner.

The plantation, measuring almost two acres, was hidden inside a field of corn. But officers using Google Earth to locate the address of two farmers suspected of involvement in the drug operation quickly spotted the illegal crop.

“It was an interesting chance discovery,” Mr. Klossner said.

Prosecutor Gabi Alkalay told reporters in Zurich that she plans to complete her criminal investigation in February, after which she will formally charge the 16 suspects and ask for prison sentences for all of them.

The gang is alleged to have sold up to 7 tons of hashish and marijuana between 2004 and 2008, with an annual turnover of 3-10 million francs a year, officials said.

Mr. President you're fired!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

..... meanwhile back on "The Rock" Premier Danny "Dollars" Williams is unhappy! ..... "Danny! Danny! Danny!"

Good Day Readers:

While Premier Williams is immensely popular within Newfoundland-Labrador he also seems to have a significant base of support in the rest of Canada - his public statements appear to resonate well beyond "The Rock." Face it, if Stephen Harper cannot win a majority in the next election, whenever that may be, his leadership will be in serous jeopardy.

How does this sound, "Ladies and gentleman we present the next Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Danny ('Dollars') Williams?" - "Danny! Danny! Danny! Danny!" Remember, it started here.

You've got to love a politician with the first name "Danny." Must admit it's better than Stephen ("Don't call me Steve") Harper.

Clare L. Pieuk
Premier Danny Williams: 'The indication over the next three years is a pretty crippling effect.'
Defeat PM over 'Vindictive, Nasty' Budget, N.L. Premier Tells Liberals - Williams will ask Ignatieff to introduce amendments to budget
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
CBC News

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is calling on opposition parties to show Prime Minister Stephen Harper the door, following a federal budget he described as callous.

Williams said the fine print in changes to the federal equalization program, contained in the budget that Finance Minister Jim Flaherty delivered in Parliament Tuesday, have left him no choice but to rekindle his notorious battle with the governing Conservatives.

"It's a good indication of the punitive, vindictive, nasty side of this prime minister," Williams said. "The indication over the next three years is a pretty crippling effect."

On Tuesday night, Williams called on the federal Liberals to defeat the budget, although he adopted a slightly different strategy on Wednesday, after Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff spoke in Ottawa. Ignatieff said he was putting Harper and his Conservatives "on probation" before triggering anything that would bring down the minority government.

Williams said he would ask Ignatieff to propose amendments that would return Newfoundland and Labrador's fiscal position to what he called the status quo. New changes to equalization that would affect offset payments, which are made to provinces as they adjust to swings in economic fortune, would amount to a loss of more than $1.5 billion over the next three years, Williams said.

Though willing to work with Ignatieff on amendments, Williams lashed out again Wednesday against Harper, describing the policy changed tucked into massive budget documents as "a unique solution to nail Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This was a strategy," said Williams, adding the federal government's agenda seemed to have been "how can we get the maximum shaft [against] Newfoundland and Labrador."

Speaking with reporters, Ignatieff said he was not impressed that the budget included "unilateral" changes to equalization that penalized both Quebec and Newfoundland and Labrador.

He said the Liberals would urge the Tories to "rethink" their policies, but did not say what he was prepared to do if they didn't change.

Choices Limited, Williams Says

Until Tuesday's budget, provinces like Newfoundland and Labrador were given different choices under the complicated and constantly changing equalization formula, which exists to ensure a standard level of services are provided in all provinces and territories.

Until now, the program allowed provinces to pick different options each year and take the one that put them in the best financial position. Williams said the new budget removed that flexibility, and means a substantial drop in expected revenue.

Williams said the latest change uniquely affects Newfoundland and Labrador because of the way its two offshore accords interact with equalization. The first Atlantic Accord, negotiated in 1985, recognized the province as the principal beneficiary of the offshore oil industry. The second accord, completed in 2005 with Nova Scotia, addressed problems, including a clawback of equalization.

Williams believes the changes in Tuesday's budget documents are a direct retaliation for the ABC campaign — standing for "Anything but Conservative" — that Williams, a Progressive Conservative, successfully waged in his province leading up to October's general elections. Voters in Newfoundland shunned all Conservative candidates.
"It's a very clearly orchestrated campaign by the federal government to cause maximum damage to Newfoundland and Labrador," Williams said Tuesday night in a hastily arranged news conference.

"There obviously has to be a change of leadership.… We've seen this man betray [a] commitment before," said Williams, who launched the ABC campaign when Harper dropped written campaign promises from the 2006 election to continue to exclude offshore oil revenues from the equalization formula.

The change in equalization policy comes just weeks after Newfoundland and Labrador was told that it had become, a full year earlier than expected, a "have" province, in that it no longer qualified for equalization payments at all.

After the general election in October, Williams adopted a much more conciliatory tone with the federal Conservatives. Williams said the budget proves Harper cannot be trusted.

Did the Metis National Council get its $400 million?

Mr. Economic Devastation!Tory love-in!
Tansi/Good Day Readers:
In the lead-up to yesterday's federal budget, MNC President Clement Chartier tabled a proposal calling for $400 million to stave off the impending "economicdevastation" of our Metis citizens by the economic down turn. A quick check of the Metis National Council and Manitoba Metis Federation websites show them to be devoid of comment. Did Mr. Chartier get his money?
Looks like once again we'll have to call upon Metis Mama at www.metisbarefacts.blogspot for the latest MNC reaction and her excellent analysis.
The budget document per se is over 600 pages in length but this is what we were able to find this summary on the federal government site

Clare L. Pieuk

P.S. Oh, and by the way Mr. Economic Devastation what did you say you're Canadian taxpayer funded annual salary is - and how many thousands, and thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees will the MNC have to pay MMF attorney Murray Trachtenberg for losing your vexatious, frivolous, malacious lawsuit against The Honourable W. Yvon Dumont?
Aboriginal Canadians

The Government of Canada invests over $10 billion each year in Aboriginal priorities. Budget 2009 invests another $1.4 billion on Aboriginal priority issues.

- $200 million to support Aboriginal skills and training to ensure Aboriginal readiness for opportunity-driven initiatives and to improve labour market outcomes for Aboriginal peoples.

- $400 million to address First Nation on-reserve housing by supporting construction, remediation and complementary activities, such as lot servicing.

- $515 million to support First Nation communities with urgent on-reserve infrastructure needs, which will concentrate on school construction, improving access to safe drinking water, and the remediation and replacement of crucial health and policing infrastructure.

- $325 million to continue practical partnership approaches with Aboriginal organizations and provincial and territorial governments on delivery of First Nations and Inuit Health programs and Child and Family Services.

- As well, Budget 2009 will make a $250 million investment that will benefit all Canadians living in the North, including Aboriginal Canadians.

- $200 million over two years in dedicated funding for the territories to support renovation and the construction of new housing units.

- $50 million over two years in support of economic development in the North, a new Regional Economic Development Agency and a renewed Strategic Initiative for Northern Economic Development.

These investments bring the amount of new funding that this Government has announced for Aboriginal Canadians since 2006 to almost $6.3 billion.

Could this happen in Manitoba?

Good Day Readers:

The following article comes from Truth To Power ( anonymously hosted by a Canadian attorney. We particularly like this site because of its unique insight into the law and accompanying images which are always so apropos - a train wreck waiting to happen!

The posting begs the question, could this happen in Manitoba? What's the process for selecting Judges and Justices? Are existing checks and balances sufficient? In the coming weeks we'll research the topic by contacting our Attorney General - Justice Minister The Honourable Dave Chomiak, as well as, Court of Queen's Bench Chief Justice The Honourable Mark M. Monnin asking for comment and report back.

Sue Hickey is a columnist for the Grand Falls-Windsor, Newfoundland based community newspaper Advertiser ( She can be reached at The impressive array of 16 writers also includes Authur Black who sure resembles the host of Basic Black a CBC national television program that aired for 19 years.

Clare L. Pieuk
27 January 2009

Newfoundland and Labrador Lawyer Donald Singleton (aka Don Singleton) and the Judicial Council of the Provincial Court of Newfoundland and Labrador

Appointee Resigns After Impaired Driving Conviction Revealed
Almost A Judge
by Sue Hickey
As originally posted: Advertiser January 15, 2009

A lawyer who was just one of many in the province's legal system became an unwanted public figure last week - and his situation has forced Justice Minister Tom Marshall to introduce a new review process for people applying to be judges.

Don Singleton, a lawyer based in Goose Bay, had been appointed as a judge for provincial court in Grand Falls-Windsor.

However, he had been charged in 2005 for illegally purchasing alcohol and tobacco at a military base in Goose Bay. He later received an absolute discharge.

But it later became known that he was convicted more than 20 years ago for impaired driving.

The resulting public attention prompted Mr. Singleton to withdraw his application.While Mr. Singleton didn't want to comment on the situation that opened him to public scrutiny, he maintained that he wasn't coming to central in the first place.

"I was never coming to Grand Falls," he said. "That only lasted for four or five days. The appointment to Grand Falls was only effective for four or five days.

"They were going to leave me here in Goose Bay. I was never going to Grand Falls. I was never coming to Grand Falls at all. The appointment was for Grand Falls and then within less than a week, I was advised that there was going to be a vacancy in Goose Bay."

Then I was told by the chief justice that it was going to be here in Goose Bay."

Kelvin Parsons is the Opposition justice critic.

He says the severity of the charge is what justifies people's response to Mr. Singleton's earlier appointment."

What happened, the severity of it and so on. I don't think there's too many people who would suggest if you had a traffic ticket, for example, that you not be a judge," he said. "It depends on when it happens. Something might have happened in your youth, a minor thing, lots of time may have passed. The problem that we have here is that the gentleman failed to disclose."

He disclosed the 2005 piece where he got into trouble over a federal customs act when he failed to declare he had alcohol and tobacco. He disclosed that, but the application asks you a very long question - actually, there's three questions: have you been convicted with or charged with an offence under the Criminal Code or any other statute, and you're supposed to answer that truthfully.

"Mr. Singleton didn't disclose the earlier charge, saying he forgot."

I would think, I know if I were pulled over by the police, arrested three times and told to take the breathalyzer on three different occasions, charged twice, one of which was dismissed at trial, another one I got a conviction, lost my licence for six months, and I'm sitting down and filling out an application for a provincial court judge's job, and the question was if I had any trouble with the law, I would think unless I had amnesia, I would remember that," said Mr. Parsons. "Maybe that's just me.

"He added there was a case of a provincial court judge, who while he was on the bench, got charged with impaired driving and he left."

My point is, if you have 30-40 applicants all of whom had the academic qualifications, have the time served because you must have the time served and you don't have any such baggage? Why would you pick up someone who had the baggage?

"I think it shows that the committee itself didn't do a proper job.

"Review called Justice Minister Tom Marshall has called for the review in question, spurred by the case involving Mr. Singleton."

We had a call from the chief justice saying that there was another conviction of Mr. Singleton, impaired driving, 20 years ago," he said. "That hadn't been disclosed to the judicial council, and I said 'why?' So we have to make sure that never happens again, and I asked him (the chief judge) to tighten up his regulations. They were not doing an independent court check of the applicants. I've asked him to tighten up his rules and procedures. I've asked him to show it to me to review it.

"But Mr. Parsons said he thinks it ought to go a bit further than that."

In my view, once the council has reviewed the applicants, if they recommend people, I believe that the list should be made public," he said.

"We talk about openness and transparency and we're appointing people to one of the most influential positions in our society where utmost fairness and integrity is required and it's all being done right now under cover of darkness with this committee and we saw what could potentially happen if it's not done right.

"But the minister doesn't agree with that thinking.

"The problem with that is that some people applying for a job on the bench may not want their names public," said Minister Marshall. "They may not want people to know they've applied and it would be the releasing of personal information, and government is precluded from doing that according to the privacy laws.

"In the long run, Grand Falls-Windsor provincial court won't need a new judge.

A judge in St. John's had indicated that he was going to retire, said Minister Marshall.

"That would leave an opening in St. John's. The chief judge informed me that he was going to transfer a judge from Labrador to St. John's and that would leave an opening in Labrador. He was going to put Mr. Singleton in Labrador and ask the minister to get a different judge for Grand Falls.Judge Timothy Chalker was scheduled to be transferred to Gander to replace a judge there who was named to the federal court, however that move is no longer planned.

Mercy rules?

Pax vobiscum ("Peace be with you") Sisters!
Would Jesus Run Up The Score?
Christian School Under Fire For Winning 100-0
Matthew Coutts, National Post Published
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Going into the second half of its high school girls basketball game this month, The Covenant Lady Knights were beating an inferior Dallas Academy Bulldogs team 59-0 with victory appearing inevitable.
What followed was described as a "great loss" for the Texas-based Christian academy, as the team kept the pressure on and trounced the Bulldogs in a 100-0 drubbing, raising an ethical firestorm and questions about exactly how wide a margin of victory is victory enough.
The debate came to a head on Sunday, when coach Micah Grimes refused to agree with an apology issued by Covenant head Kyle Queal, in which he called the win a "victory without honour" and called for the game to be forfeited to Dallas Academy, which had not yet won a game in divisional play.
"It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honourable approach to competition," Mr. Queal wrote in a note posted on the school's Web site, just over a week after the January 13 game.
"The school and its representatives in no way support or condone the running up of a score against any team in any sport for any reason."
The concept of mercy in amateur sports goes beyond a religious debate as a number of North American leagues have instituted mercy rules, from having time tick by unimpeded if a game becomes lopsided to simply ending a game if the result becomes to embarrassing.
But the idea that a team driving itself to victory could be considered unChristian raises the puzzling question: "What would Jesus do, if faced with a far inferior basketball team?"
Bob Bumpas, a representative of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, America's largest Christian sports organization, said Christian athletes and coaches shouldn't have a compassion-based mercy rule that any other team wouldn't have.
"As Christians and obeying what God's word says in the Bible, we are supposed to do the best we can in any endeavour of life. So I would think in sports we should do the best we can and perform our best for the Lord," he said. "You are supposed to compete, and compete to your very best until the end of the game. Of course, that goes the other way around. If you are losing, and losing by a large margin, you should continue to play to the best of your potential."
Mr. Grimes has remained quiet since his termination, but did issue a statement refusing to apologize for the win and rejecting the notion the victory wasn't Christ-like. "Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honour and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy. We honour God, ourselves, and our families when we step on the court to compete," he said on the Web site for the coaching academy, Flight Basketball.
"Competition builds character, and teaches us to value selflessness, hard work, and perseverance. As a coach, I have instilled in my girls these values. So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity."
Under Mr. Grimes' coaching, The Lady Knights went from a losing 2-19 record four years ago to the first Final Four appearance in the school's history last season.
Meanwhile the private Dallas Academy, which boasts small class sizes and specializes in teaching students with learning differences such as dyslexia, accepted the apology with "no ill feelings."
Despite being awarded the victory against Covenant, a move their athletic department does not support, the team has since withdrawn from district play and is building a schedule against prominently junior varsity opponents.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What is David Chartrand's annual salary?

"What me worry?"
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Is that you "Glorian?"

Perfect caption for this photo: "What, me worry?" You'd think with all the money he rakes in he could afford some dental work .....
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. The state of Mr. Chartrand's dentisty not withstanding you've raised a very interesting question - what is his annual salary?

A few years ago (Summer, 2001) we attempted to answer that very question. First we wrote to President Chartrand requesting the names and salaries of every MMF employee earning in excess of $50,000 annually and, of course, received no reply. Next came my MLA and Minister of Fiance Greg Selinger who replied (October 24, 2001)

Just to ensure that understanding of the Public Sector Compensation Disculosure Act is clear, a public body need only disclose compensation for individuals where that compensation for a year xceeds $50,000. Discloure of compensation for employees earning less than $50,000 is not acccessible by virtre of the Act and would have to be a voluntary disclosure on the part of Mr. Chartrand and his organization.

This was followed by letters to FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act - Manitoba's equivalent to the federal government's Access To Informaton Act), The Clerk of the Executive Council (i.e. the Provincial Cabinet), The Information Commissioner of Canada responsible for administration of the ATIA and in utter frustration Manitoba's Ombudsman. Talk about feeling like the proverbial Ping-Pong ball.

Lesson learned? While governments like to trumpet the various pieces of legislation they have in place to supposedly protect the democratic process and ensure public access to information, in reality they're not very user friendly.

The Manitoba Metis Federation is about a $25 million annual operation funded by Canadian taxpayers. Most comes from Human Resources and Social Development Canada plus a handfull of provincial departments. Irony of ironies? In the end an anonymous reliable source indicated President Chartrand's annual salary in those days was about $104,000 plus benefits and another $8,000 from his commercial fishing operation.

Fast fast forward to 2009. In a recent posting by Metis Blogger Derryl Sanderson ( it was stated:

President of the Manitoba Metis Federation David Chartrand reportedly earns more than the Premier! Is that right?

So what is Mr. Doer's salary. To find the answer we telephoned the Premier's Office. Go to the province's website (

(1) In the Search Box at the top type: Public Accounts

(2) Click on the 7th entry that appears on page 1 Financial Reports/Manitoba Finance/Province of Manitoba

(3) Financial Reports - Annual Reports
Volume 2 for the year ended March 31, 2008

VOLUME 2 Supplementary Information
For the Year Ended March 31, 2008

Voila! Scroll down until you find what you want.

There you will find the salaries of the Premier, all MLAs and every Manitoba Civil Servant earning at least $50,000 indexed by Name, Department and Position Classification.

For Mr. Sanderson's edification, Premier Doer's current salary is $146,537. At another location you can also find the Dates, Description and Costs reported quarterly of each out of province trip made by Mr. Doer.

So, if Derryl Sanderson is correct, President Chartrand makes in excess of $146,537 annually.

Clare L. Pieuk
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Is that you "Glorian?"

Oh my god he looks like a (descriptive deleted)!
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. We thought it best to remove your four letter descriptive although it certainly was apropos. What many forget, and he's obviously one, is by posting a photograph on sites such as Facebook and MySpace a permanent record is created that can come back to haunt them for years - something akin to an electronic tatoo. How many employers quietly check these locations before hiring?

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, January 26, 2009

Is that you "Glorian?"

Not the Glorian Yakiwchuk you were looking for? Search more >>
Tansi Good Day Readers:
Jeez, it doesn't look as though "Glorian Yakiwchuk" has many friends so lets help her out. Go to and send her a message saying you're desperate to be her friend.
Clare L. Pieuk
Sign up for Facebook to connect with Glorian Yakiwchuk. Glorian Yakiwchuk. Here are some of Glorian Yakiwchuk's friends:
Glorian Yakiwchuk is on Facebook. Sign up for Facebook to connect with Glorian Yakiwchuk. Sign Up it's free and anyone can join. Already a Member? Login to contact Glorian Yakiwchuk.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Is the Law Society of Manitoba seriously flawed? You be the judge and jury!

Good Day Readers:

The genesis of this story goes back several months when we received a rather disturbing anonymyous e-mail containing serious allegations against Winnipeg immigration lawyer David Hirsch Davis. Because there was no substantiation it was not published. However, a recent posting on Truth To Power (Manitoba Lawyer David Davis - hosted by a Canadian lawyer has given us cause to undertake further research.

Philip Slayton author of Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex and Madness in Canada's Legal Profession during an interview with Maclean's magazine (Lawyers Are Rats - August 6, 2007) at page 21 said in part:

The disciplinary process of the law societies in this country is deeply flawed. Lawyers are disciplined for breaches of professional rules, but it's like so much in Canada: everything depends on where you live. What can get you disbarred in Alberta won't have much effect on you at all in, say, Nova Scotia. The first difficulty with the disciplinary system in that if you're a lawyer who's alleged to have stepped afoul of the rules, you're investigated by the law society. If they decide you're a transgressor, they'll prosecute you, they'll hire a lawyer to do that, and the disciplinary committee itself is the law society. So you have the investigator, the prosecutor and the judge all essentially representing the same institution. I thought in this country we had a fundamental principle, that the person who investigates and prosecutes isn't the same person who judges.

A Law Society of Manitoba disciplinary conviction cannot be located on Google at least not easily. For example, try to search yourself for "David Davis" using any combination of "lawyer" or "immigration" or "Winnipeg" or "Manitoba" to see if you can find the Law Society's record. We have tried numerous times with several different lawyers and never been successful. Our inevitable conclusion: the Law Society's pages are not "searchable" using Google and, therefore, are shielded from public internet scrutiny.

This is a critical flaw in how the Law Society of Manitoba's website is organized significantly undercuting the legitimate "shaming" aspect of publishing its disciplinary records. We have noticed this with other Law Society sites such as the Law Society of Alberta and the Law Society of Upper Canada (Ontario's archaically and pretentiously titled Law Society).

Essentially Truth To Power attempts to remedy these shortcomings by posting convictions. Otherwise, how would many clients - especially unsophisticated immigration applicants from other countries with limited English skills - know to check the Law Society of Manitoba site? If this why they've been called "Flaw Societies?"

If you would like to comment on this article, please contact

The Law Society of Manitoba
219 Kennedy Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
R3C 1S8
Telephone: (204) 942-5571
Fax: (204) 956-0624
General E-Mail Adderss:

Chief Executive Officer: Allan Fineblit

Discipline Department

Leah C. Kosokowsky, B.A. LL.B.

Richard C.M. Porcher, LL.B
Discipline Counsel
Direct Line: (204) 926-2019
General Telephone: (204) 942-5571
Facsimile: (204) 956-0624

David Hirsch Davis
Davis Immigration Law Office
210 - 233 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R3B 2A7
Telephone: (204) 956-2336
Fax: (204) 975-1655

Clare L. Pieuk
Manitoba Lawyer David Davis
Case 01-04
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Called to the Bar
June 29, 1989
Particulars of Charges
Conduct Unbecoming
Sexually harassing client, contrary to Chapter 20 of the Code of Professional Conduct
Date of Hearing
May 23, 2001
D.J. Miller, Q.C. (Chair)
J.E. Neufeld, Q.C.
W.W.A. Riedel, Q.C.
45 day suspension costs of $1,000.00
C.K. Dangerfield for The Law Society of Manitoba
R.L. Tapper, Q.C. for the Member
Sexual Harassment


Mr. Davis represented a client in respect of her claim for convention refugee status before the Immigration and Refugee Board for a period of approximately six months commencing in July, 1999. Between July, 1999 and December, 2000 Mr. Davis sexually harassed his client by making comments and overtures of a sexual nature to her. Notwithstanding her resistance to his overtures, he kissed her, or attempted to do so, on a number of occasions. He attended at her home and presented her with a gift which she refused to accept.

Mr. Davis admitted that he had sexually harassed his client and that his conduct amounted to conduct unbecoming a barrister and solicitor.

Decision and Comments

The Committee determined that Mr. Davis had sexually harassed his client in circumstances where he could reasonably expect that his conduct would cause her discomfort, given that she explicitly and consistently resisted his advances.

The Committee concluded that sexual harassment is a serious type of professional misconduct in that it involves a breach of trust that fundamentally undermines the lawyer/client relationship. As such, the breach can be as serious, or more serious, as one resulting from the misappropriation of trust funds.

In the circumstances of this case, the seriousness of the member's conduct was buttressed by the particular vulnerability of the client. Mr. Davis was aware that her claim for refugee status was based in part on the client's allegations of sexual harassment and sexual assault suffered at the hands of her employer prior to fleeing to Canada.


The Committee concluded that a suspension of 45 days was appropriate. Had it not been for the member's genuine remorse, his history of service to the legal and volunteer communities as well as his prior good character, the Committee would have been inclined to impose a suspension of a longer duration in accordance with the seriousness with which the Committee viewed the member's conduct.

The member filed an appeal to the Manitoba Court of Appeal from the Committee's decision with respect to sentence. The appeal was dismissed on September 6, 2001 with costs.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Dear Lawyer of Love ESQ. - please help us!

Dear Readers:
Ms Fetman sure is a one person marketing machine. How many law firms do you know advertising themselves this way? Posner & Trachtenberg's tired, unimaginative website ( sure could use a serious upgrade.
Here's the question we sent to The Lawyer of Love. Hopefully, it will get published in an issue of Playboy and we'll become famous:
Dear Ms Fetman:
We really love your websites. Our readers would like to know the essential considerations for a good Pre-nuptial agreement? Should each partner have their own? And are they legally binding if not approved by a lawyer? Thank You!
Clare L. Pieuk
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Yikes we're being watched by the animated toilet!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Thought you'd never ask!"

Mr. Clare Pieuk:

The NSA is spying on you! The evidence can be found here
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Jeez, it's bad enough we have MMF lawyer Murrray Trachtenberg monitoring us with his magnifying glass in search of litigious material, Frank Godon and his Russian student with their ultra secret laser GPS guided computer system capable of tracking anyone who has posted on a blog or website to their home computer. And now the animated toilet. What's next the RCMP, FBI, the Canadian Security Intelliegnce Service (CSIS) and the CIA?

As we recall, the George Bush Administration came under heavy criticism when it became known the National Security Agency mandated to monitor foreign electronic communication had been used domestically. Big Brother is watching! Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk
January 24, 2009

Animated Toilet Warns The NSA Is Spying On You
By J. Clifford

Heads up, America, it’s Tim the Talking Toilet here with the news that you probably missed because it came out the day after the Obama inauguration, upon which almost everyone in America was just sitting around in a kind of daze - like the kind that you get when you wake up from a nightmare and you can’t believe how lucky you are.

Well, here’s the bad news, folks: You’re not as lucky as you think you are. See, on Wednesday, a man named
Russell Tice, a former employee of the National Security Agency, revealed that the National Security Agency has been gathering ALL of the electronic communications in the United States and sucking them into a giant database, and then sorting out and looking at the private communications of huge numbers of American citizens. It was all done without a search warrant, and didn’t even have FISA court approval. It was done completely outside the law.

Russell Tice says that he was part of a program that intentionally used this government electronic surveillance system to spy on American journalists. That’s blatantly unconstitutional - ever heard of freedom of the press?
Here’s the thing, though. Russell Tice also says that his anti-journalist spying program was just one of many, many, many different spying programs that were targeting different groups of Americans and listening in on their private lives.

Think that this is just a post-mortem story from the Bush days? Think again.

Guess who voted for the FISA Amendments Act, the law that gave retroactive immunity to telecommunications corporations for their role in this set of programs to spy on Americans? Barack Obama, that’s who.

Since this story was released on Wednesday, Barack Obama has had zero comment. Zero. Obama is refusing to talk about it.

Furthermore, Barack Obama says that he wants to keep these spying programs going. So does his Attorney General, Eric Holder.

This is a fully armed and operational death star, people.

Change has not come to America. This NSA spying needs to be stopped, and its extent needs to be fully investigated and revealed to the public.

Please, let’s not let America go down the toilet. It’s time to raise bloody hell about this.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Well, we did it!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Ms Corri D. Fetman
CHICAGO, IL. 60604

Dear Ms. Fetman:

We love your approach to marketing - Brilliant, nothing short of Brilliant!

Best Wishes,
Clare L. Pieuk
Winnipeg, Manitoba

Thought you'd never ask!

Good Day Readers:

Our only questions for Ms Fetman would be whether she's been divorced and practiced any defamation law?

Clare L. Pieuk

Corri D. Fetman

Corri D. Fetman is a self made entrepreneur who elected to limit her practice to primarily family and matrimonial law after practicing in numerous areas of the law since 1988. Fetman worked full time while attaining her undergraduate degree at DePaul University with honors in 1985. After taking several classes in pre-law at DePaul, a professor recommended that Fetman attend law school due to her "tenacious argumentative" skills and "natural ability to present issues in a logical fashion." This same professor wrote a written recommendation for Fetman and she was given a partial scholarship to DePaul College of Law. While working full time, Fetman attended DePaul College of Law and served on the DePaul Law Review.

After attaining her law degree, Fetman clerked for an appellate law judge and practiced in numerous areas of the law, including, securities fraud, commercial and labor law, complex civil litigation, school law, entertainment law, construction law, bankruptcy and transactional work.

In 1993, Fetman worked for a prominent divorce firm in Chicago and determined at that time that she wanted to practice primarily in family and matrimonial law. Fetman found matrimonial law to be fascinating and complex because it encompassed transactional law, complex issues in numerous areas of the law and litigation.

In 1995, Fetman started the law firm of Chicago Women at Law, Ltd. from her home. Since that time, with hard work and determination, Fetman has significantly developed the firm and has been featured in various publications due to her "no nonsense" and unconventional reputation in the field of matrimonial law. Fetman has coordinated and moderated seminars for and served as a co-chair of Illinois State Bar Association CLE Family Law Committee from 2004-2005. Fetman also served on the Women's Board of the Chicago Symphony from 2005-2006.

In 1993, Fetman worked for a prominent divorce firm in Chicago and determined at that time that she wanted to practice primarily in family and matrimonial law. Fetman found matrimonial law to be fascinating and complex because it encompassed transactional law, complex issues in numerous areas of the law and litigation.

In 1995, Fetman started the law firm of Chicago Women at Law, Ltd. from her home. Since that time, with hard work and determination, Fetman has significantly developed the firm and has been featured in various publications due to her "no nonsense" and unconventional reputation in the field of matrimonial law. Fetman has coordinated and moderated seminars for and served as a co-chair of Illinois State Bar Association CLE Family Law Committee from 2004-2005. Fetman also served on the Women's Board of the Chicago Symphony from 2005-2006.


TEL 312 341 0900




We welcome any and all comments about our ad campaign or firm. Unfortunately, we cannot answer legal questions by website. If you have a case or legal matter, kindly contact our firm at (312) 341-0900. Thank you.


You haven't lived until you've been divorced - right?

Chicago Divorce Lawyer Corri Fetman
"A woman is a woman but at least a good cigar is a smoke!" ..... W. C. Fields
Billionaire Fights Alimony For Former Lover - Challenge To Quebec Law
Sue Montgomery, Canwest News Service
Friday, January 23, 2009

A Quebec billionaire at the centre of a messy and public airing of his 10-year relationship with a young Brazilian summed up yesterday why he never married her, despite having three children together.
"It's not my cup of tea," the man, who can't be identified under provincial law, told a packed Quebec Superior Court room. His former common-law wife has launched a constitutional challenge to Quebec's unique-in-Canada family law to receive financial support, in a case that could affect the rights of the one million common-law couples in the province.
"I just wish I wasn't in the middle of it," the man said. "I'm disappointed that what was supposed to be a constitutional debate has evolved into an airing of our dirty laundry."
In Quebec, couples living common-law have to pay only child support and are under no obligation to provide support to the spouse, or to divide assets once the union ends.
The woman's lawyers, who expect the case to go to Canada's top court, want couples in de facto unions for three years without children or one year with children treated the same as people who are married, just as in all other provinces.
The woman is asking for $56,000 a month plus a onetime payment of $50-million -- a figure she says reflects the kind of spending power she had when the two were together.
But the man, now living with a model to whom he is not married but with whom he has two children, says he gives the three children by his former lover ample support.
They and their mother are in the process of moving out of their Westmount home, which has a mould problem, into a $2.4-million Outremont home that is in the man's name. He pays for the nannies, chauffeur, cleaning lady and cook, as well as all the children's school fees. He gives the woman $35,000 a month in child support.
One of the two lawyers fighting her case said it isn't about the money she seeks, but about changing the rules to benefit all spouses in common-law relationships.
"This is a situation that affects many people who don't have the means to fight," Marie-Helene Dube said this week. "Look how many are fighting against us," she said, pointing to eight lawyers, stacks of documents piled in front of them.
Yesterday, the man's testimony sounded like a script from a soap opera, as he recounted details of their tumultuous relationship. It was peppered with details of jetting off to Europe, Brazil, Fiji, Japan and Dubai, house parties with 2,500 guests and denials of drug overdoses.
"We were incredibly in love and our three children were made with love," he said. "But on the other hand, I was constantly criticized for my lifestyle, that I worked too hard and for the people I hung out with. And I had problems with her behaviour, too."
He met the girl, then 17 and 15 years younger than he was, on a beach in Brazil in 1992. In January, 1995, the woman came to Canada and studied French at McGill while trying to build up a modelling portfolio. But by the summer, they had broken up. They were back together for Christmas in Brazil and New Year's in London. By February, 1996, she was pregnant.
"So we decided to get back together and go through the pregnancy together," he said, adding the concept of marriage was discussed.
"I said I didn't believe in the institution of marriage ... and if I did it, it would be with a contract to separate our assets. I didn't want to put [my business] in danger. I had a lot of friends who had experience with divorce in similar situations and their business was thrown into the conflict as well."

Got it! What about, "Les Taureaux Rouges Retardes?"

Red Bull Crused Ice appears to be a mix of hockey, luge and boardercross
Extreme Sporting Event Draws Language Controversy In Quebec
Dave Washburn/Canwest News Service January 23, 2009
QUEBEC -- An extreme skating race down the steep streets of historic Quebec City is drawing controversy from language groups who want the name of the event translated into French.
The Red Bull Crashed Ice event has been held in Quebec City since 2006 and features adrenaline junkies who hurtle down an icy 550-metre-long course from the landmark Chateau Frontenac to the old port.
More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the event Saturday and language-advocacy groups say it is "disrespectful" towards the city residents, who speak French, not to use their language to promote the event.
The nationalist Mouvement Montreal francais picketed Friday in front of the company offices in Montreal to ask that it follow the example of its Italian affiliate that calls its Formula 1 team "Toro Rosso."
The provincial language police who enforce Quebec's sign laws also recommended a French name for the event, but the company did not follow this suggestion.
The government said Friday it would ask the company to have a logo or another name that would give some indication, in French, that the event takes place in Quebec. "It is clear in Quebec that French comes first,"
Quebec Employment Minister Sam Hamad said.
Red Bull argues the event takes place in several countries such as Russia, the U.S. and Sweden and it is referred everywhere as Crashed Ice.
"We have committed to keeping a consistent and recognizable name. However, we always strive to offer all event-related materials and content in the host country's native languages," Red Bull Canada director of communication Lubor Keliar said.
With files from the Montreal Gazette

More Lionel Chartrand!

Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench File No. CI 01-05-41955 (
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Alberta Crown Prosecutor Lionel Chartrand!"
I was very disappointed how Lionel Chartrand had to step back as General Legal Counsel to CyberSmokeSignls and you guys because of a conflict of interest. Many people never looked at him the same after that or when he agreed to a consulting contract with the MMF.
People who know anything about Manitoba Metis politics basically saw him as an MMF (word deleted) and later even after the Federation cut him off, they viewed him as a (word deleted). It's sad what happened to this once fine man who we all liked and respected. I think he left because he had lost face in the eyes of some.
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. As you'll notice we had to alter the wording of your original e-mail on a few occasions - although we agreed with the meaning, we're sure you can appreciate why it was necessary.
If you're interested in this sort of thing, we'd highly recommend Philip Slayton's, Lawyers Gone Bad: Money, Sex And Madness In Canada's Legal Profession (The Penguin Group, 2008). An excellent read and a real eye-opener!

Clare L. Pieuk

Jeez, should have known!

Good Day Readers:

Can you imagine if Winnipeg's Transit System, or any other for that matter, were approached to place a no God sign on one of their buses followed by a there is a God. Then what?

Clare L. Pieuk
An advertisement reading, "God does exist, enjoy your life with Christ" is seen on a metropolitan bus in Madrid January 14, 2009. The campaign is a response to an atheist advertising campaign whose advertisement read, "There's probably no God. Don't worry, and enjoy your life." (Reuters)
National Post Editorial Board: If an atheist bus crashes, do the passengers go to heaven?
January 23, 2009 by National Post Editor
If what the great monotheistic creeds say about God is true, it must have been His choice to have a few atheists hanging around. After all, if it were self-evident that He existed, there would be no exercise of free will involved in believing in Him, and no moral credit could possibly redound to the believer.
People of faith should, therefore, consider rejoicing at the news that Canadian atheists intend to follow in the footsteps of their old London brethren and buy provocative bus advertisements, some of them carrying the same jolly slogan used in England: “There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”
Of course, rejoicing won’t be their first instinct in many cases. For that matter, neither are they likely to “stop worrying” just because a bus told them to. Yet it is hard to take the advertisements too seriously: One gets the sense that the ads are as much about spreading around a little atheist fellow-feeling as they are intended to encourage conversion. Freethinkers don’t, after all, have a venue where they meet up once a week to glad-hand one another and provide mutual support.
At least one evangelical bus driver in Hampshire, England, couldn’t bring himself to pilot one of the “atheist buses;” upon seeing the ad, he asked his employer to give him another bus, and they did so immediately. (In Canada, one can only imagine the furor that would ensue if, say, a devout Muslim were asked to drive an atheist bus — his company would be slapped with a human rights complain just for asking.). If anything, this goes to show that the non-believer still enjoys a marginal position in Western civilization: An atheist driver who demanded a similar sort of purity, and refused to pilot a bus that featured advertising implicitly promoting or endorsing religion, would be a great deal harder to accommodate.
Canada is not formally a very Christian place anymore, but that doesn’t mean the atheists have yet captured the commanding heights of our culture. Religious establishments, far from being anathema to our constitution, remain part of its foundation. And on a deeper political level, our society is characterized by features that stem directly from its Christian origins: our esteem for the individual as the essential social unit, the place we give to forgiveness, mercy and repentance in our system of justice and, indeed, the very freedom of religious understanding we aim to extend to all. If history is capable of teaching us anything about God, it is that our treatment of atheists is likely to be something that He keeps a very close eye on indeed.
Perhaps He put them here to test us — to be, by their very existence, signposts of tolerance and passive defenders of privity of conscience. In any case, our society should take it as a badge of pride that buses can drive around preaching atheism. In many parts of the world — say, Gaza City or Karachi — such an advertisement would be akin to painting the words “Bomb me — I’m an infidel” in large block letters. In England, atheist buses created a backlash, with some folks calling for the ads to be banned. But such militant theists should be mindful of how such a phenomenon progresses. One day, the authorities are content to censor the most outrageous, insolent, and satirical of unbelievers, but before long, you wake up and find that Protestants and Catholics are brawling in the streets; or the Sunnis and Shiites are driving car bombs into each others’ mosques.
Jesus did not say “Love thy neighbour — unless he’s one of those nutty Samaritans, in which case feel free to take a swing at him.” He was, indeed, quite careful to specify the opposite. Which is why so many atheists and agnostics still hold him in a notably, and otherwise bafflingly, high regard. It’s something that even the most religious among us should remember when, and if, a passing bus tells us to abandon our faith.
National Post