Sunday, February 28, 2010

A penny for your thoughts Mr. President?

Do you want more of the same?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Do not vote for Team Chartrand-Trachtenberg!"

Not my Damn vote. Not now. Nor before. Not ever, ever, ever. Team Chartrand-Trachtenberg can kiss my fat (word deleted) .....
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. If you believe in transparency, accountability,good governance, freedom of speech and expression that would be a very wise decision.

Clare L. Pieuk

Top secret not for your eyes!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The MMF internet "transparency" wars!"

Since I' am a latecomer in what this is about:

"..... information contained in the internal MMF documents which you were ordered by Justice MacCawley to return and, that you are restrained by Court Order from publishing on the internet or elsewhere ...."

What were the documents?

Dear Anonymous:

As a newcomer thank you for writing. All we can tell you is many nvolved the internal financial operations of the taxpayer financed Manitoba Metis Federation. Sorry, because of a Court Order we're unable to say more.
Clare L. Pieuk

Do not vote for Team Chartrand-Trachtenberg!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The MMF internet "transparency" wars!"

Wha ..... whaa, looks like "Murr", is in panic mode ..... guess that's what he's being paid for..... P.R., P.R., P.R., ....
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. Contrary to what Mr. Trachtenberg would like you to believe, CyberSmokeBlog did not publish the Affidavit in question, is not in violation of a Court Order and simply has no control over what other Bloggers may choose to say about this disgraceful lawsuit.

But it goes much, much deeper. During late July 2005 our then attorney Mr. Jeffrey Niederhoffer wrote to Counselor Trachtenberg proposing Judicially Assisted Dispute Resolution a procedure designed to reach an out of court settlement to avoid going to trial. In a letter dated October 14, 2005 Mr. Trachtenberg stated in part:

"My clients are not prepared to enter into JADR at this time."

The lawsuit should have ended not days or months ago but years. It's one thing for Plaintiffs to use their money to sue private citizens quite something else to have their legal fees paid with your hard earned taxpayer dollars. To make matters worse, two current litigants (Rita Cullen and Darryl Montogomery) have not been Board of Directors since June 29, 2006 (date of the last MMF election) yet continue to have Mr. Trachtenberg's costs paid from public monies.

To date how many countless thousands and thousands and thousands of your dollars has this lawsuit cost you the Metis voters of Manitoba? What has the benefit to you been? Do you not deserve an accounting? Good luck trying to get an answer from the current "transparent" MMF leadership! All you're doing is enriching Murray Trachtenberg.

Remember, when you cast your ballot in the next election, which must be held no later than September of this year, a vote for David Chartrand and the Plaintiffs is a vote to continue this senseless litigation.

Clare L. Pieuk

Men throw away your Grecian Formula!

Grey hair is suddenly in style
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Toronto hair stylist Mike Baronowski bleached his brown locks platinum last fall and loves the light look. "I find it actually makes me look younger," says the 22-year-old. (Andrew Wallace/Toronto Star)

By Susan Pigg

Reporter New York stylist Ashley Javier used to have a code word to ease the pain for young clients going prematurely grey.

He'd call the unwanted hair "sparkles." Now he calls them stylish.

If you think it's been a grey winter, just wait until summer when silver strands that have been sprouting up on the fashion runways are expected to hit the streets and the heads of fashion-forward twenty- and thirty somethings.

"A lot of these women aren't old enough to remember blue rinses and those beauty-school granny colours – the women they thought of as 'older' didn't do that," says Javier. "So for their generation, (grey) seems a little undiscovered."

Supermodel Kate Moss showed up at a Longchamp handbag launch in Paris last month sporting silver streaks, causing fashionistas of all ages to wonder whether hard partying was coming back to haunt the 36-year-old. Young models were sporting steely streaks in elaborate bouffants at Chanel's recent haute couture show.

Even 13-year-old fashion blogging phenom Tavi Gevinson had gone grey at last week's New York fashion week – a look that Javier describes as more Golden Girl than It Girl. "She looked just like Estelle Getty (the elderly star of the 1980s sitcom) with her glasses and pillbox hat," Javier chuckles.

Toronto hair stylist Mike Baronowski bleached his brown locks platinum last fall and loves the light look, which he says has started catching on among young Asians because it's such a break from black.

His boss, Yorkville stylist Greg May, sees silver as rebellious and retro – a throwback to the 1980s and a way for young people to make their mark on a new decade.

"I find it actually makes me look younger," says Baronowski, 22. "I don't even remember the '80s, so this just seems futuristic to me."

May says some older clients have been asking for silvery highlights and he's getting more demand for grey. "I have men coming in asking for that Richard Gere older-man look – and they're 30 years old."

Rosedale hair stylist Rita Renouf, 55, finds all this quite amusing, having spent decades fighting back grey before letting her own wavy locks return to their natural silver a few years ago.

"It used to be that young girls hated my hair – I looked old. Now all of a sudden I'm finding that a lot of girls are very envious of my colour. I've never had 20- to 25-year-olds go crazy over my hair. But it's quite beautiful, I have to admit."

Javier describes the ideal look as streaks of Japanese anime-style colours, such as slate grey, blue or seafoam green. Don't go all grey "or you'll look like you're wearing a wig," he warns.

The man who has styled the hair of Hollywood icons such as Penelope Cruz and Uma Thurman cautions that this "new wave of possibilities" requires meticulous bleaching and toning. Otherwise you risk walking out of the shop looking like the blue-rinsed Mrs. Slocombe from the British comedy Are You Being Served?

"These colours are meant to be empowering. The sexiness comes from the fact that not every girl at the party looks like you or has this colour," says Javier.

"It's so tricky to make sure it doesn't look tragic that, when you do get it right, there's a certain aura about you. People remember you."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The MMF internet "transparency" wars!

Posner & Trachtenberg
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 2E4

File No: 2003-20

February 26, 2010

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

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

Re: Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. et al v. Terry Belhumeur et al Court of Appeal File No. AI09-30-07277

I write to you with respect to your affidavit of September 11, 2009 filed in this matter. As you know, except for two paragraphs, your affidavit was expunged from the Court record. Justice Simonsen ruled that it was not an admissible document.

Today, what appears to be an essentially complete copy of your affidavit has been posted to the internet on a blog site called Truth To Power. Ths can only have been done with your knowledge and agreement by the person responsible for this blog.

I have previously advised you, that many portions of your affidavit, aside from being inadmissible as a Court document, summarize information contained in the internal MMF documents which you were ordered by Justice MacCawley to return and, which you are restrained by Court Order from publishing on the internet or elsewhere.

The publication of this affidavit today on the internet is a violation of the injunction and, may result in the Court of Queen's Bench finding you to be in contempt of the Court Order.

As well, I am aware of a legal opinion recently posted on your website by Mr. Jeff Niederhoffer who, wrongfully concluded that he was at liberty to provide your affidavit to third parties for the purpose of publication without any legal consequence. I will be seeking instructions to have Mr. Niederhoffer's involvement in this matter, if any, reviewed by the Court of Queen's Bench.

I suggest that you immediately request the person responsible fro the publication of this affidavit on Truth To Power to remove it from the blog.

I will also e reviewing with my clients what additional claims may be brought against you as a result of today's publication of your affidavit.

Yours truly,


Posner & Trachtenberg
710-491 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3B 2E4

February 26, 2010

File No: 2003-20

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

Re: Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. et al v. Terry Belhumeur et al Court of Appeal File No. AI09-30-07266

This is further to my earlier letter of today concerning your affidavit of September 11, 2009. Your affidavit has been sent ot Mr. Derryl Sanderson whom, as you know operates a blog "Metis News and Stuff." It appears that your affidavit was and continues to be posted on his blog since February 24, 2010.

I repeat the comments made in my earlier letter to you of today.

I suggest that you contact Mr. Sanderson and request that he remove the affidavit immediately from his blog.

Yours truly,

The amazing little honey bee!

Queen bees blocked at border
Published: Saturday, February 27 , 2010
Emily Mathieu
Business Reporter
A Queen bee in the pupae stage is attacked by virulent, Varroa destructor parasitic mites.

The Hawaiian queens are one to two months old when they are mated and sent away from the balmy country of their birth, travelling with a cluster of worker bees to tend to their every whim.

"She comes in a little matchbox-sized cage and the five attendants with her feed her. There is a little candy plug at the end of it with sugar to give them a little nutrition when they are in transit," said Heather Clay, chief executive officer with the Canadian Honey Council, describing one way that queen bees are shipped from Hawaii to Canada every year.

The queens are a vital component to the health and production of crops that Agriculture Canada estimates are worth more than $2 billion to the country's economy each year.

With Canada facing what Clay described as "devastating" rates of honey bee mortality, imported queens are key to replenishing stock.

Every year Canada brings in about 150,000 queens, most from Hawaii.

This year that vital process has been derailed.

A virulent parasitic mite called Varroa destructor – partly responsible for high honey bee mortality across North America – has been found on Hawaii's main island and shipments of bees to Canada have been halted indefinitely.

"It could make things very difficult," said Clay.

"We get more than 100,000 queens from Hawaii, and we only import during a very narrow window of time," from late February to May.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Agriculture said, "Hawaii discovered Varroa mites in their honey bee population and, as a result, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency stopped all honey bee imports from Hawaii."

U.S and Canadian officials are working on a solution to allow Hawaiian bees to be shipped to Canada.

Canadian queens are not available until June, so beekeepers wanting an early start replenishing their colonies order from other countries. Canada also imports bees from Australia, Chile, New Zealand and California. If the Hawaiian queens are kept out of Canada, those countries will likely ramp up production, said Clay.

Derrick Johnston, bee supply manager for the Alberta Honey Producers Cooperative, said bees are shipped from west to east as weather improves.

Commercial beekeepers ship queens in small boxes and large containers with about 100 separated queens in a larger container with 3,000 to 4,000 workers, he said. The large container is preferred by commercial beekeepers, since a queen and her private attendants might be overly aggressive when introduced to an existing hive.

Alberta typically gets its queens in late March or early April, said Johnston. He said it is impossible to calculate losses if the queens were delayed through spring.

"I think initially it would be catastrophic. We rely heavily on those Hawaiian queens," said Johnston.

Alberta imports about 60,000 queens a year, at about $20 to $23 each. Queens lay between 1,500 to 2,000 eggs a day, so any delays have a "huge domino effect," he said.

The $2 billion value is based on commercial crops reliant on pollination, the creation of hybrid canola seed and the increase in yield or quality in other crops, including apples. It does not account for the value of honey bees to plants in gardens and national parks.

"If you go into a grocery story and you see a lopsided apple that is a clear example of inadequate pollination," said Stephen Pernal, a research scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada working at Beaverlodge Research Farm in Lacombe, Alberta.

Canada has been experiencing high rates of mortality among honeybees for several years.

The Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists reported that last year, for the third year in a row, national mortality rates over winter and spring hovered near 30 per cent, with 204,417 out of 603,824 commercial colonies lost. Ontario reported a loss of 24,800 out of 80,000, or 31 per cent.

Before the arrival of the Varroa destructor mite, the normal mortality rate was 15 per cent.

"If keeping bees alive is going to be that difficult I don't see beekeepers being able to do that in the long term," said Pernal.

Most commercial bee farmers in Canada deal in honey, but the number relying on pollination is rising, said Pernal. One pollination-dependent area of agriculture is the creation of hybrid canola seed, which has exploded during the last decade.

Of the 240,000 colonies in Alberta, about 60,000 are contracted out for hybrid canola seed production, he said. Renting a colony costs between $120 to $150 for a summer, he said. Once the seed is planted the wind takes care of pollination.

No honey bees mean returning to a variety of non-hybrid seed, resulting in crops with lower disease resistance, less yield and less profit.

Pollination can be done by other insects, wind or birds, but honey bees are the most easily managed for commercial agriculture, said Pernal.

A sharp decline would not result in a severe food shortage. Staple crops like wheat, corn and rice are pollinated by wind. Blueberries, apples, raspberries and to a lesser degree cucumbers and pumpkins are dependent on bees for pollination.

Pernal describes it as a system reaching a breaking point in North America and Europe

"Mabel Black Label!"

Age discrimination suit tossed after Mets beer vendor, 85, is replaced by 75-year-old
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Shea Stadium beer vendor Mildred Block, 85, sued company Aramark after being replaced by a 75-year-old woman. (Simmons/News)

An 85-year-old woman who sold suds at Mets games was crying in her beer Friday after a judge junked her age discrimination suit against the company that replaced her with a 75-year-old.

Mildred Block sued concession giant Aramark last year, charging it illegally yanked her from a lucrative beer stand during the last season at Shea Stadium.

"Everyone was like, 'Mildred, what happened?'" said the New Jersey woman. "I worked there so many years, and I think I'm an excellent worker."

Block said she was marooned at a Shea booth where tips were scarce compared to the right field stand where she'd been for nearly two decades, pocketing $40 in tips on good days.

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Joan Lobis sided with the New York City Commission on Human Rights, which determined it was "highly unlikely" that Aramark had discriminated.

The decision pointed out the company replaced Block - who still works for Aramark at the new Citi Field - with Gloria Smith, 75.

Block and her son, Marty, accused the commission of a "one-sided, abbreviated, incomplete and improper investigation."

Marty Block, who started working at Shea in 1973, claimed an Aramark manager told him, "Your mother is an antique dinosaur, old cripple that we do not want at Citi Field."

Aramark declined comment. In court papers, the company said it received complaints about long lines at the stand where Mildred Block worked with a male partner 40 years her junior. Block insisted she's still good enough for the beer-stand bigs, and that she "never made a mistake with the change."

"I couldn't go any faster than he served the beer," she said.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Wonder what "Grover" our poster cat thinks?

Tiger growl chases off PETA
February 26, 2010
Posted: February 26, 2010

Tiger Woodswasn't amused by billboards that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals planned to put up bearing his face and the slogan, "Too much sex can be a bad thing." Lawyers for the horndog golfer threatened to sue the activists if they used his once-valuable image in their campaign urging owners to neuter their pets. So now PETA says it will feature another famous philanderer, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford, with the possible tagline: "Your dog doesn't have to go to South America to get laid."

A PETA source told Page Six, "We were contacted by Tiger's lawyers at IMG who kindly, but firmly, told us we were not authorized to use his image on the billboard, and would we desist. We agreed and have now turned the focus of our campaign to Mark Sanford."

The ad campaign aims to prevent millions of abandoned cats and dogs from being euthanized at shelters each year. It featured an image of Woods with the words, "Too much sex can be a bad thing . . . for little tigers too. Help keep cats (and dogs) out of trouble: Always spay or neuter!"

But PETA abandoned the plan after the call yesterday from IMG. No figure for possible damages was discussed. But

Rob Hassett-- who is not involved with Woods, but whose Atlanta firm, Casey Gilson P.C., focuses on entertainment law -- said, "It would be a violation of his publicity rights to use his image without his consent. The damages would be a jury decision. But I'd sue for at least $5 million."

Now PETA intends to poke fun instead at Sanford, who flew to Buenos Aires last year to be with hot tamale

Maria Belen Chapurwhen he claimed he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Lawyers for the horndog golfer threatened to sue the activists if they used his once-valuable image in their campaign urging owners to neuter their pets. So now PETA says it will feature another famous philanderer, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, with the possible tagline: "Your dog doesn't have to go to South America to get laid."

A PETA source told Page Six, "We were contacted by Tiger's lawyers at IMG who kindly, but firmly, told us we were not authorized to use his image on the billboard, and would we desist. We agreed and have now turned the focus of our campaign to Mark Sanford."

Curling the sport of champions!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Wall Street - curling?"

Curling is (word deleted). It's a (word deleted) man's sport because it attracts (two words deleted) like Lionel Chartrand.
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Sorry, but we thought it better to delete some of your colourful wording. Regarding curling, we say try telling that to a Scotsman.
As for Wetaskiwin, Alberta Crown Prosecutor Lionel Chartrand ( and former CyberSmokeSignals' "General Legal Counsel," we hope his curling is a lot better than his lawyering.
Clare L. Pieuk

Wall Street - curling?

On Wall Street, a Romance With Curling
Published: February 25, 2010
Wall Street trading is often described as a blood sport. But inside the great investment houses, the sport of the moment is, of all things, curling — that oddball of the Olympics that is sort of like shuffleboard on ice.
Marc Lombardo, an analyst at Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, keeps Olympic curling on television while working. (John Marshall Mantel for The New York Times)

And so, after a day of braying for money in the markets, traders are winding down with curling. It is, fans say, a bit of after-market therapy. Curling is so slow and drawn out that it becomes mesmerizing.

“It is like drinking merlot,” said Douglas A. Kass, the president of Seabreeze Partners, who got hooked on Olympic curling a few years ago via CNBC.

People at Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and even the Treasury Department have gone a bit curling crazy. Terms like “kizzle kazzle” — a curling stone that is wobbled to compensate for slush on the ice — have suddenly entered the Wall Street lexicon. CNBC’s ratings have gotten a boost, too.

But, really: curling? To the uninitiated, the game seems like horseshoes combined with housekeeping. One team member slides a 42-pound stone toward the target zone, or “house,” while two “sweepers” guide it along by frantically sweeping the ice with brooms. Not exactly super-G.

But aficionados say it isn’t about thrills (or the lack thereof). It is about strategy and precision. Curling is like chess on ice, and that, Wall Streeters say, it part of its quiet appeal.

Jake Siewert, a counselor to the Treasury secretary, Timothy F. Geithner, said curling provided a welcome respite from the usual shout-’em-down-style of business TV. “It’s better than that thing where they have eight people in a box screaming at each other,” he said.

Raj Atri, a research analyst at Bank of America, said the game’s plodding pace was a plus. Curling is so leisurely that he can easily multitask, with one eye on his Bloomberg terminal that provides financial data and another on a game.

It never would’ve happened without CNBC — or, in all likelihood, at any other time of year.

“Let’s face it: if baseball and football were in the winter, nobody would be watching,” said Robert P. Kelly, the chief executive of Bank of New York Mellon, who took up curling when he was growing up in Canada. He is a former “skip” — the player who usually directs the strategy during a game —and dispenses curling tips to employees.

Like what? “What’s important,” Mr. Kelly deadpanned. “To win — just like on Wall Street.”

For Olympic curlers — and Wall Street — it is almost over. The women’s gold-medal match is Friday at 6 p.m. on CNBC. The men’s final is on Saturday.

Stupidity insurance!

TigerText: An iPhone App for Cheating Spouses
By Belinda Luscombe
Friday, February 26, 2010

Tiger Woods, if you're reading this, remember that you've been through what mothers call a "valuable learning experience" and you're probably a "better man for it" and so on. Having said that, an iPhone app that launched on February 25 could totally have saved your hide.

Called, coincidentally enough, TigerText, it allows users to set a time limit on how long a text that they send will hang around after it has been read. When that lifespan has been exceeded, the message will disappear, say the developers, from the recipient's phone, the sender's phone and any servers. The message cannot be forwarded anywhere, stored anywhere or sold to any tabloids for an undisclosed sum.

It works like this: when, say, a prominent Southern politician sends his mistress an iPhone message via TigerText, the mistress will be prompted to install the app. When she has done this, she can read the message, but she can't keep it. In fact the message is never actually sent to her phone — it's stored on Tiger Text's servers. After the timespan that the politician specified has elapsed — anywhere from one minute to five days — the message ceases to exist. There's even a "Delete on Read" setting, which counts down from 60 after it's opened, and erases the text at zero.

For those who need an even more comprehensive covering of their tracks, the "delete history" option will wipe any evidence of a given phone call. No tell-tale suspicious numbers, no chance of getting caught out by the old Press Redial routine.

While the implications for philanderers — and spies — are obvious, the app was not actually developed for them, says founder Jeffrey Evans, a former recruiter and headhunter, and not, at least on the basis of one interview, a particularly paranoid guy. The name was in place before the Tiger texting scandal, he claims, and the company decided to stick with it. Evans' real concern is about privacy. "People text like they talk," he says. "And some of the things they say, taken out of context, can come back to haunt them."

He points out the European Union ruled in 2006 that phone and internet providers were required to keep all cell phone and email data for a certain period of time. "That just seems wrong, and an invasion of privacy," he says. "We have not caught on to the implications of all these conversations being kept for so long." While he acknowledges that the app might also be a boon to teens who are in the habit of sexting, drunk-texting, or "running off at the thumb," he thinks lawyers and their clients, or business executives involved in a complicated deal will be even more interested.

Obviously there are times when you just shouldn't hit send; at it's most basic level, Tiger-Texting is like paying $2.50 a month for stupidity insurance. But let's face it, who among us has never needed a do-over?

Now you know?

Are you a sex addict?
By Elizabeth Cohen, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent
February 25, 2010
(CNN) -- When Jack Rogers first heard media reports of Tiger Woods' multiple extramarital affairs, the first thing he did was say a little prayer for Woods and his wife. The second thing he did was tally up the number of women who claimed to have had sex with the famous golfer.

"I said to myself, 'My God, that's some body count,' " Rogers remembers.

Jack Rogers -- that's not his real name -- knows a little something about body count because he has one of his own: In the first 20 years of his marriage, he says, he slept with some 50 women. While some view Woods as just an unfaithful louse who was looking for a good time, Rogers sees him as a sex addict.

What's the difference? Rogers, who works in the high-tech industry in Washington and has two children, says his whole life was geared around how he would have his next orgasm, in the same way a methamphetamine addict is constantly trying to find his next drug hit.

Between women and pornography, "I was having three, four, five orgasms a day," he says. "As soon as I was done with one I was thinking about how I was going to get the next one. Sex was controlling my life, and I was miserable."

Confessions of a sex addict

Now 49, Rogers says his addiction began at age 16.

"I would have sex for hours and hours at a time, and then go look at pornography," he remembers. "Sex was my all-consuming endpoint."

While some young men might brag about their sexual conquests, Rogers was the opposite. He kept his sex life a secret, seeking out girls who didn't attend his high school.

He says no one suspected.

"I was elected all-school president," he says. "I was well thought of. I earned a full scholarship to the University of Washington. If you'd met me, you'd think, 'Wow, I want to give that kid a scholarship.' "

He continued to be obsessed with sex in college. "The day Mount Saint Helens blew up, everyone was talking about it. But I didn't even know it happened because I was having sex all that day," he remembers.

He was never faithful to a girlfriend, and although he married at age 25, he was never at any point faithful to his wife.

"I was having affairs while we were engaged," he says.

His quest for sex started at 4 in the morning, when he would wake up to get in touch with the women he was seeing on the East Coast. The rest of the day was spent mapping out his sexual activities. Some of the women he had sex with were colleagues. Others were prostitutes. Some were women he met by chance.

"I could meet a woman on the elevator and be having sex in her apartment two days later," he says. "I would just get a feeling, from the amount of eye contact or the type of eye contact, that a person would be open to the idea."

He says he usually had two or three affairs going on at one time, but didn't actually derive pleasure from them. "I wanted to stop and I couldn't," he says. "I was miserable. It was a horrible way to live."

How do you know if you're a sex addict?

Jay Parker, a dependency counselor who runs a program for sex addicts in Redmond, Washington, called "No More Secrets," says an intense interest in sex doesn't mean someone is a sex addict.

"It's like with alcohol -- everyone who gets a DUI isn't an alcoholic," he says. "There are people who have errors in judgment -- they're not addicts."

So how do you know when someone's behavior has crossed the line into addiction?

According to the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, an estimated 3 to 5 percent of Americans could fall in the category of having an addiction to sex.

However, it's important to note that the official handbook of psychiatric diagnoses, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, doesn't include a diagnosis for sexual addiction. Some therapists, like Craig Fabrikant, a clinical psychologist at the Hackensack University Medical Center, doubts such a thing even exists.

"I think it's more of a habit than an addiction," he says. "I would classify it as OCD -- more of an obsession or compulsion than an addiction."

But professional arguments aside, Fabrikant agrees that people like Rogers who are miserable or dysfunctional because their sex lives are out of control need professional help -- and that the first step is to recognize when they have a problem.

Click here to see checklists devised by the Sexual Recovery Institute and the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health to help you determine whether you have a sexual addiction. If you answer yes to a high number of questions on any checklist, you may have a problem.

Here are some general ways to know you might have crossed the line from healthy sexual interest to sexual addiction or compulsion:

1. You lie

For Parker, the sex addiction counselor, this is the No. 1 way you know you've crossed the line: when you make up stories to get sex.

"If you lie with women to get them to have sex with you, you're a predator and an addict," he says.

2. Sex consumes you

If your interest in sex runs your life, you have a problem, says Robert Weiss, a social worker and founder of the Sexual Recovery Institute. He says addicts "are always preoccupied with hitting on someone, or picking someone up, or getting home to look at porn before their spouse comes home."

3. You're "divorced, dead, fired or arrested"

If you continue your sexual activities even under threat of being "divorced, dead, fired or arrested," you're an addict, Parker says.

"They ignore the consequences," Weiss adds. "They say, 'I could really screw up myself here, but I'm going to continue to do it.' "

4. You have an intense interest in pornography

"The pornography piece of this cannot be overstated," Parker says. "Show me a guy who's having sex with three women in one week, and I promise you he has a relationship with pornography."

5. You want to stop and you can't

Sexual addiction is defined by a loss of control, Weiss says.

"I was totally out of control. I tried to stop and I couldn't," Rogers says.

Five years ago, when the misery got to be too much, Rogers confessed his addiction to his wife and checked himself into an inpatient treatment program for a month, which included not having orgasms alone or with anyone else.

After leaving the treatment center, he continued on outpatient treatment, and has not cheated on his wife again.

In treatment, Rogers was not allowed to engage in any type of sexual activity or look at pornography. He also did what he called "psychodrama," looking at situations from his past that might have led to his addiction, including being sexually abused repeatedly at age 7 by an older boy in his neighborhood. In other sessions, counselors helped him understand the effect he'd had on his wife and children, the women he'd slept with, and their families.

His wife joined him for two days at the program. He read her his "disclosure letter" describing his sexual activities over the past 20 years.

"She knew about the pornography and masturbation, but she didn't know about the affairs or the prostitutes," he says. "So it was very difficult to her to receive this information, just in terms of the sheer numbers of women."

In the last week of treatment, he and his doctors mapped out what his life would look like back home after recovery. He sees a counselor and goes to a 12-step recovery program. "In my first 365 days after treatment, I went to 523 meetings," he says.

Early on in his recovery he did sometimes look at Internet pornography, but a software program he installed on his computer alerted his wife and sponsor in his support group, and he stopped looking at porn.

Gradually, Rogers says, he learned how to have a healthy sex life with his wife.

"That's what we aim for," Parker says. "We're not trying to turn someone into a monk. He needs to learn how to have sex like a gentleman."

Thursday, February 25, 2010

No pizzas and haircuts!

Good Day Readers:

According to the following letter received today from The Honourable Madam Justice K. I. Simonsen it doesn't look like MMF President David Chartrand, his Board of Director Plaintiffs and their taxpayer financed lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (; will be getting their pizza and haircut money anytime soon.

Clare L. Pieuk
February 24, 2010

[by email and regular mail)]

Mr. Murray N. Trachtenberg
Posner & Trachtenberg
Barristers and Solicitors
Fuite 710 - 491 Portage Avenue
Sinnipeg, MB R3B 2E4

Mr. Clare L. Pieuk
2 – 371 Des Meurons Street
Winnipeg, MB R2H 2N6

Dear Sirs:

Re: Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. et al. v. Belhumeur et al.
Queen’s Bench File No. CI 05-01-41955

Further to your appearance in court on February 22, 2010, this is my decision on costs with respect to time spent addressing Mr. Pieuk’s proposed witnesses.

Because my decision regarding the witnesses was provisional only (that is, it is reviewable by the trial judge), I do not believe it is appropriate for me to decide the issue of costs at this stage.

I am sympathetic with the plaintiffs’ position that considerable unnecessary time was spent dealing with proposed witnesses relevant to justification when Mr. Pieuk had been reminded that justification is not before the court. Nonetheless, I believe that costs associated with issues regarding witnesses should be dealt with by the trial judge. If the trial judge refers the question of costs to me because of my familiarity with the circumstances under which I dealt with the issue of Mr. Pieuk’s witnesses, I will deal with the matter at that time.

Yours truly,

cc: Mr. Terry Belhumeur [by email and regular mail]

Couldn't have said it better!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The settlement offer that wasn't!"

Inglorious (word deleted).
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. While we certainly agree with your descriptive thought it better to delete the word. Howeverer, couldn't have said it better.
Clare L. Pieuk

"The Conversation!"

Boyfriend devised plan to film refugee judge
Devised plan to film adjudicator meeting with his girlfriend
Published Thursday February 25, 2010
Peter Small (Courts Bureau)
Ji Hye Kim enters court February 23, 2010, where she testified at the breach-of-trust trial of former councillor Steve Ellis, right. As an immigration judge he allegedly offered to approve her refugee claim in exchange for sex. (Peter Small/Pawel Dwulit - Toronto Star File Photo)

When an immigration judge wanted to meet for coffee with refugee claimant Ji Hye Kim, her boyfriend was immediately suspicious.

Brad Tripp thought it could mean only one thing: That the judge, who had presided at her refugee hearing, wanted to have sex with her.

So Tripp talked Kim into carrying a hidden digital recorder and microphone to the meeting while he would film it from a distance.

"I felt that we needed to record this meeting to protect Ji Hye's rights to a fair hearing," Tripp, 34, testified at a trial for Steve Ellis, the former immigration judge.

Ellis, 50, once a city of Toronto councillor, has pleaded not guilty to breach of trust and an Immigration and Refugee Protection Act charge of bribery.

Tripp said he accompanied Kim, a South Korean whom he has since married, to her refugee hearing on July 17, 2006, but sat outside.

Ellis reserved his decision.

On September 13, Tripp said, Kim came home and told him Ellis had dropped by the Jarvis Sreet restaurant where she worked as a waitress. "I just thought it was a coincidence," Tripp told prosecutor Lynda Trefler.

On September 22, Kim called from the restaurant and said Ellis was there again, and that she wanted to ask him about her case.

"I told her it was probably not a very good idea," Tripp said, adding that he thinks Kim ignored the advice.

When Kim told Tripp that Ellis wanted to meet her for coffee four days later, Tripp was immediately suspicious and hatched a plan.

He borrowed a camera from work and, knowing he would not get close enough to the meeting to pick up sound, bought a digital recorder and microphone for Kim to hide in her clothes during the meeting.

They chose the patio of a coffee shop on Bloor Street West a block east of Bathurst. "The outdoor patio made it easy to record the video from across the street," Tripp said.

On September 26, the day of the meeting, Tripp rented an SUV.

He parked across the street from the patio, and waited. "I had a virtually unobstructed view," he said. Ellis arrived at around 7:00 p.m. and Tripp started recording, only stopping at 7:33 p.m. when it got dark.

Several minutes later, Tripp saw Ellis and Kim walk away from the restaurant and noticed Ellis kiss Kim on the cheek.

Kim phoned shortly after.

"I asked her if she was okay," Tripp testified. "She was very stressed and tense and she didn't want to talk about it."

That night he synchronized the audio and video on the tapes.

The tape, played in court, shows Ellis telling Kim he wants to be her friend, and that he was having second thoughts about rejecting her refugee claim. "I'm not going to fall in love with you, don't worry about that," Ellis tells her in the video.

The trial resumes March 8.

The settlement offer that wasn't!

Good Day Readers:

On September 29, 2009 MMF taxpayer financed lawyer Mr. Murray Trachtenberg (; tendered a "most generous" unsolicited offer to settle the Federation's defamation lawsuit against CyberSmokeSignals which effectively began in mid-September 2003 when President David Chartrand was able to get a resolution passed by his provincial Board of Directors to have an attorney monitor the site in search of litigious material. The "defamation watch" had begun.

His letter was marked "Without Prejudice" which usually means it cannot be reproduced or published. As an unrepresented Defendant without any formal legal training we decided to undertake some research.

We determined when a document previously marked "Without-Prejudice" is attached as an Exhibit to an Affidavit or Motion Brief, for example, subsequently filed with Queen's Bench File Registry, the package becomes publicly available. In other words, the "Without-Prejudice" designation is trumped - in effect, it has been waived. The only exception would be if a judge were to seal a document (rarely done) which has not happened in this case.

Earlier this month we successfully filed a Motion Brief (containing Mr. Trachtenberg's magnanimous settlement offer) to have the trial date adjourned. Based on our research, we have concluded the September 29, 2009 letter is now publishable. A new trial date cannot be set until sometime after April 19, 2010 when our appeal is scheduled to be heard and a decision eventually handed down.

The fatal flaw in "the offer" is it asks us to admit we're unaware of any wrongdoing on the part of the Manitoba Metis Federation before negotiating a Consent Agreement. This is essentially what former Defendant Vanessa Everton agreed to in a letter to President Chartrand dated November 9, 2006. She was subsequently dropped as a litigant. Problem for Ms. Everton is we're in possession of e-mail from her which suggest otherwise.

What if the Plaintiffs' and Counsel made outrageous demands which were totally unacceptable? How could we then go to trial before a judge and jury having signed such a letter which effectively removed all our defences?


Clare L. Pieuk


September 29, 2009

File No: 2003-20

"Without Prejudice"

Via Email/Mail

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

Dear Mr. Pieuk:

Re: Manitoba Metis Federation Inc. et al v. Terry Belhumeur et al - Queen's Bench File No. CI 05-01-41955

As you know, the trial of this matter is currently scheduled for March 1 - April 9, 2010 inclusive. To date, the Court has pronounced several costs awards against you requiring you to pay costs to my clients with respect to various motions that have been brought. Although I shall be asking Justice Simonsen to reduce the number of days scheduled for trial as I am of the opinion that many of your proposed witnesses should not be allowed to testify on irrelevant matters, it is clear that the trial of this action will involve a substantial amount of Court time. The costs of that will be awarded by the Court to the successful party will be significant.

While my clients are fully prepared to proceed to trial and are confident of the outcome, I am nevertheless writing to you to raise the possibility of resolving this matter by way of settlement. Such resolution would have to involve two things namely:

(a) You issuing a letter of retraction and apology (in the same form as used by Ms. Everton) and

(b) The entering of a consent judgment against you and Mr. Belhumeur requiring you to pay an agreed to amount to the plaintiffs.

In the past, you have refused to issue an apology and retraction. I am not going to spend a lot of time attempting to settle this claim with you if that continues to be your position.

In the event this matter proceeds to trial and a judgment is obtained against you, the plaintiffs will take all possible steps to realize upon that judgment to its full extent. I note that in the past, you have alluded to the possibility that such a judgment could not be recovered as you do not have sufficient assets and/or will consider making an assignment in bankruptcy for the main purpose of evading a civil judgment, it is by no means a guarantee that you will be dischared unconditionally. The plaintiffs will oppose any such discharge and will seek to make it conditional upon the payment of part of the judgment.

I urge you to reconsider your position. It is clear that all of these years later you do not and did not ever have sufficient evidence to prove the truth of the allegations contained in the Election Petition despite your portest on repeated occasions that you do. As well, as I have indicated in Court, the nature of a defamation case allows the Court to take into consideration the actions of the defendant right up to time judgment is pronounced. Your failure to apologize and your insistence on the turth of defamatory statements are aggravating factors which will substantially increase the amount of an award of damages in this case.

Upon receipt of written confirmation from you that you are prepared to issue a written apoplogy and retraction in the form previously used by Ms. Everton, I am prepared to discuss the form of consent judgment and the amount that will be required by the plaintiffs.

In the event I do not receive such written confirmation from you, I will assume that you are not interested in attempting to settle this claim and that you require this matter to proceed to trial.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours truly,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wake-up Canada!

Canada risks missing digital revolution: Google CFO
Matt Hartley, Financial Post
Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010 Patrick Pichette, chief financial officer of Google Inc., says Canada is in danger of missing out on international opportunities afforded by the Internet and the digital revolution. From his office in Silicon Valley, Patrick Pichette has a unique view of the business landscape in his home country of Canada. (Norm Betts/Bloomberg)

What he sees is a country in danger of missing out on international opportunities afforded by the Internet and the digital revolution that could turn Canadian businesses into global champions.

Yesterday, the Canadian-born chief financial officer of Web giant Google Inc. -- a post he once held at BCE Inc. -- was in Toronto to speak to a gathering of business leaders about using the Web to think beyond the borders of the Great White North.

"Every company now is global," Mr. Pichette said in an interview. "As I travel the world, everybody that's innovating, they don't think 'I'm doing this for France' or 'I'm doing this for Japan,' they think, immediately out of the box -- 'I'm taking this global.' I just want to make sure that we as Canadian companies don't miss the boat because we're not set up that way."

Although Canadians spend more time online than just about any other nation in the world, advertising dollars and marketers haven't followed audiences online to the same degree as in other countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom.

"The needle hasn't moved yet in any significant way, and it continues to be an area where there's fantastic opportunities for any company who is willing to invest in that space, whether they invest with Google or not," he said.

"It's not a Google issue, it's an issue of there's a world out there that's shaping and people should seize the opportunity."

Embracing the marketing power of the Web is especially important for small and medium-sized businesses, even if they're only spending $100 a month online, Mr. Pichette said.

"Canadian companies do not spend what would be required to actually capture the advertising opportunity; they are staying traditional in their behaviour and mindset," he said.

"Even if they're a medium-sized company and they've never done any of it before, go and learn -- whether it's with Google or somewhere else --learn digital advertising, because that's where people live now."

While some areas of the economy are still recovering from the effects of the global economic downturn, Mr. Pichette said there's really no recession in the digital space, and that the technology sector continues to grow despite the broader economy.

"The e-commerce and the digital sectors have done tremendously well," he said. "It just shows that there are two economies that are moving at different rates because they are governed by fundamentally different forces."

Last week, the European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice approved a landmark search advertising deal between Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc., which will see Google's two biggest competitors in search team up to challenge the Web giant's dominance.

Still, Mr. Pichette said the new alliance won't change the way Google conducts its business in the search world.

"Competition is good because it keeps everybody honest," he said. "We, Google, continue to be only one click away for everybody, so as soon as there's a better mousetrap, you switch. So in that world, it will keep us even more focused on what we do well, but it doesn't change our core agenda. We just have to take even more notice because now we have a competitor that has even more scale."


The immigration judge!

Ji Hye Kim enters court February 23, 2010 where she testified in the breach-oftrial of former councillor Steve Ellis, right. As an immigration juddge he allegedly offered to approve her refugee claim in exchange for sex. (Peter Small/Pawel Dwulit - Toronto Star File Photo)

Video shows refugee judge's secret offer
A trial sees the tape of an immigration adjudicator making a suggestive offer to help woman stay in Canada

Published Wednesday February 24, 2010
Peter Small

Courts Bureau A former South Korean refugee claimant says an immigration judge left her with what she felt was a stark choice: have sex with him or lose her chance to stay in Canada.

"I didn't know what to do," Ji Hye Kim testified Tuesday.

The slim 29-year-old woman described a private meeting requested by immigration adjudicator Steve Ellis, at a Starbucks patio on Bloor St. near Bathurst St. on Sept. 26, 2006.

During the meeting to discuss her refugee claim, Kim secretly carried a tape recorder with a microphone hidden under her shirt. Her boyfriend sat in a car nearby, and videotaped the meeting.

Technicians later synchronized the video and audio, and the results were played in Ontario Superior Court on Tuesday. Ellis, 50, a Toronto city councillor for Ward 9 from 1991 to 1997, is on trial for breach of trust and seeking a bribe.

He was the immigration judge deciding her claim and, in the video, he tells Kim that he had initially rejected it, as with most refugee applications from South Korea, but was now inclined to approve it.

"I've been trying to find, trying to find a way to say yes for you," he tells her in the video. "If I say no to you, I won't be able to sleep."

Ellis tells her he has never met privately with a claimant before.

"I really want to be friends with you and I really want you to teach me Korean," he says.

He confesses that: "I'm not supposed to do this. So don't tell your lawyer. Don't tell nobody. We just became friends afterward," he says.

Kim testified Tuesday that when Ellis said he wanted to be friends, it made her uncomfortable. She knew her future in Canada lay in his hands, she said.

In the video, Ellis remarks on how pretty she looks in a photo attached to her refugee application, which he has brought along.

"When I saw that I thought you were a model," he says, mentioning that he is involved in the fashion industry.

He promises her he will do what he can to approve her refugee claim, and sets another date for a meeting, when "we'll have a big celebration."

He then asks if she has a boyfriend. "Actually I do," she says.

"That's okay. You know what, I've got a wife too," Ellis replies. "It's a terrible marriage and I, I'm staying with her for the kids."

He then reveals that he has a Filipina girlfriend, but adds that he's probably going to break up with her.

"I want to be good friends with you and I know you've got a boyfriend. I've got a wife, so I mean, if we do things together on the side, that's okay. That's fine," he says. "Don't worry, I'm not going to be demanding. I'm not gonna ask you to move in with me or anything like that ... I'm not going to fall in love with you, don't worry about that."

Kim testified that when Ellis told her he didn't want to fall in love with her, she interpreted that to mean that he wanted a "physical relationship."

The video shows Ellis warning her not to tell her boyfriend about their meeting, because if she breaks up with him he might try to make trouble. "He'll say ... `She's f---ing him. That's why he said yes," Ellis admonishes.

If it comes out that "I did this for improper reasons, then you're screwed, we're both screwed. I'm in big trouble and, you know, your status is gone," Ellis says.

As their meeting winds down Ellis tells her he really wants to do things with her. "I know you've got a boyfriend ... but you know once in a while I want to get together with you ..."

Kim testified that as they parted he kissed her on her cheek.

The trial continues Wednesday.

A million dollars?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What people do at work every day!

The Facebook games that millions love (and hate)
By Doug Gross, CNN
February 23, 2010

(CNN) -- Early each morning, millions of farmers around the world rise to toil in their fields. By night, gangs of mobsters scheme and legions of poker players shuffle up and deal.

Sure, none of it's real. But the overwhelming popularity of so-called social gaming -- simple games that let people play with their friends on networking sites such as Facebook -- is changing the face of video games, experts say.

And as the maker of popular titles like FarmVille and Mafia Wars, San Francisco, California-based Zynga has ridden the games' skyrocketing popularity to the top of that emerging market.

For Zynga founder Mark Pincus, the formula for gaming success on Facebook, MySpace and other sites was as simple as it might seem counterintuitive: create simple games that people like but can easily set aside.

"We built the games so they could be played in a tab on your browser while you're on a conference call," said Pincus, a veteran Web entrepreneur who created Zynga in 2007.

Of course, they've been helped by the massive growth of Facebook, where the games are so popular they've spawned "fan" pages devoted to complaining about having to watch friends play them.

Facebook, with its 400 million users, is where the vast majority of people play FarmVille and Mafia Wars along with other Zynga titles like FishVille, Vampires, Café World, YoVille and Zynga Poker.

In all, more than 65 million people play Zynga games every day, according to media tracking company Developer Analytics.
More than 75 million people a month play FarmVille, Zynga's most popular title.
Zynga's top title, FarmVille, is played by an estimated 75 million people each month -- roughly equal to the number who have played the classic arcade and desktop game Tetris during its entire existence.

The massive growth was satisfying but not altogether surprising to Pincus, whose previous startups had included Freeloader, a Web-based information-gathering service; tech-support company SupportSoft; and, an early social networking site from 2003.

He said that starting the game company, which he named after his late English bulldog, was an effort to fill what he considered a surprising void in most people's daily Internet use.

"I thought in 2007 that something had gone oddly wrong with the whole Internet experience," Pincus said. "I would have thought games would have been one of the top two or three experiences people had on the Internet."

What Pincus got right, according to gaming expert Scott Steinberg, was a sort of return to the "golden era" of games like Pac-man and Super Mario Bros.

"Video games actually appealed to a huge cross-section. They appealed to everybody," said Steinberg, publisher of "What happened is, as we went through the mid-'80s to the mid-2000s, you started to see gaming become more incestuous in terms of 18- to 34-year-old males making games for people just like them."
Zynga games like Café World draw much higher rates of female players than most video games.
By contrast, three of Zynga's top five games -- FarmVille, Café World and FishVille -- have mostly female players, with many players outside the traditional 18- to 34-year-old range.

Those games all operate on the same basic premise. Starting with a simple farm, fish tank or restaurant, the player works to make it bigger and fancier, sharing items with friends and helping each other along the way.

Some of Zynga's early titles simply mirrored existing board and card games. It was Mafia Wars -- in which players team up to whack other gangs -- that first exhibited what would become the hallmarks of social gaming: simple, single-player action that's enhanced by teamwork.

With FarmVille, that formula would become complete.

Players plant virtual crops that can be harvested hours, or days, later. Along the way, they invite online friends to become their neighbors and help each other by sending gifts or helping with the farming. There's no way to "win," but players take satisfaction in building big, fancy farms that they can showcase to their friends.

"A farm is something that is internationally understood and known. It's cross-cultural, cross-gender, cross-age," Pincus said. "A great social game should be like a great cocktail party. If you want it to appeal to absolutely everyone you invite, it has to be broad in its content so that everyone gets it."

Not that Zynga's success has come without criticism.
Mafia Wars is popular but prompted claims that it was a knock-off.
With hundreds of smaller companies vying for a piece of the social gaming market, some rivals have accused Zynga of using its hefty venture capital to crowd out less-financed competitors.

Many of its most popular games, including FarmVille, are similar to pre-existing games from smaller companies, a fact Pincus dismisses by noting that video games have always fallen into genres with similar titles from competing companies.

Psycho Monkey LLC, the makers of Mob Wars, filed a lawsuit claiming that Mafia Wars ripped them off. Zynga settled that case in August, said a spokeswoman for the company.

Zynga also was hit with complaints and lawsuits over its original business model, which let players earn in-game rewards for things like signing up for a credit card or video-rental membership.

Critics said some of the offers amounted to scams, leading players to download unwanted software or unwittingly sign up for memberships that appeared stealthily on their phone bills.

Pincus has acknowledged not being vigilant enough with the automated ads that appeared on Zynga games during the company's early days.
More than 13 million people play FishVille every week, according to Zynga.
"We were playing whack-a-mole," Pincus said. "Every time we found one of these or got a complaint, we would take them down. Eventually ... we realized we had to take a much more aggressive stance than a normal Web site."

In November, Zynga removed all "lead-generating" ads, relying for revenue instead on the roughly 1 to 3 percent of the player base that pays for in-game items, such as a barn in FarmVille. It has since been putting the advertisements back in, with a new system that lets it more closely monitor what kind of ads show up, Pincus said.

"We'll see where this goes for the entire industry," Pincus said. "It was really important to us to maintain a trusted position with our users. We wanted to do the right thing, and I think we did."

Pincus offers a ray of hope for another vocal group of critics: the social-media users who say they're tired of seeing all of their friends' updates about Zynga and other social games.

On Facebook, a group called "I dont care about your farm, or your fish, or your park, or your mafia!!!" had more than 5.2 million members recently.

"Please. No more of this stuff," wrote one member. "I've had all I can take. About to hang up FACEBOOK. Just want a nice cozy place to talk with my friends!"
Zynga Poker was one of the company's first social games and remains among the most popular.
Pincus said he hopes that messages from games can eventually be targeted to a more select audience.

"We have to evolve," Pincus said "I think it's heading to a place that's more narrow-casting. I think you'll get to a place where Facebook will be better about showing feeds to people who have a registered interest in them."

For example, he said, there might eventually be a way to send game notifications only to people who play social games themselves.

"It's not just games. It's going to be true for music, for pictures, for status updates," Pincus said. "I think, over time, these networks are going to start to shape more to ... your [registered interests]."

Meanwhile, Zynga will be among the developers continuing to change how people look at video gaming. It's a change that Steinberg, the gaming guru, says will be for the better.

While heavyweights like Electronic Arts and the popular Civilization series are making inroads into social gaming, Steinberg said, the genre is also opening up opportunities for smaller developers.

"We're seeing, in many ways, a second renaissance for games," Steinberg said.

"There's been an epiphany among the developer community saying, 'Look at these millions of users that we've forgotten to speak to for years.' This can only be a good thing for the gaming industry in the end."

There it is!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "You can call us stupid but ....."

It's at the top of the page under the photo of him in a black shirt with the words "The Announcement"
Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing and not calling us stupid. Successful political campaigns seem to be based on mastering 5 C's:


The first 3 refer to the candidate's message. The fourth you're currently doing by running a series of polls to establish voter preferences. Finally, the status quo is not an option people are always seeking change.

We'd suggest the 5 main planks of Candidate Godon's platform be promenantly displayed on (each sentence no more than 5 words each word no more than 4 syllables) so readers/voters don't have to go looking - much like its been done for your latest poll.

Clare L. Pieuk

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bloom Box - the real thing?

You can call us stupid but .....

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Financial audit?"

Check number 2 of Candidate Godon's platform - last line - "Also in line with transparency we want an internal audit of the Federation done from the last 5 years to account for where taxpayer’s monies have gone."
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. Where can Candidate Godon's platform be found on
Clare L. Pieuk

Financial audit?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Murray your toast is burning!"

New poll on
Dear Anonymous:

Thank your for writing. Yes we'd noticed. For those unfamiliar with Metisonline it's the election campaign site for Presidential Candidate Frank Godon.

The latest poll asks:

What is the most important issue that Frank Godon meeds to address as President?


Metis Rights Under A National Agreement

National Identity Card

Land Claims

Veterans Benefits

Residential School Surivvor Benefits


A pleasant departure from the campaign approach of the David Chartrand administration where it tells you what you need.

We'd like to know Candidate' Godon's position, if elected, on having an independent third-party financial addit of the Manitoba Metis Federation.


Clare L. Pieuk

Courtroom 210!

Good Day Readers:
This morning we had another Pre-Trial Conference in the Manitoba Metis Federation taxpayer financed defamation lawsuit against CyberSmokeSignals. Without checking our records instinctively it felt like about number ten. We've seen the inside of so many courtrooms we're starting to feel like hardened criminals.
Unfortunately, MMF lawyer Murray Trachtenberg (; was granted a publication ban at the first one (September 8, 2008) so we're unable to share with you details of anything that was discussed. Co-Defendant Terry Belhumeur was absent yet again - perhaps he'd gone ice fishing?
The next one is scheduled for Wednesday May 26, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.
Clare L. Pieuk

Yes, we can see the tear Mr. Bruinooge!

Bruinooge apologizes for comment on Martin
By: Staff Writer
February 21, 2010

Winnipeg South Tory MP Rod Bruinooge has apologized this afternoon for statements he made in Saturday’s Winnipeg Free Press about Winnipeg Centre New Democrat MP Pat Martin.

Bruinooge’s office released his statement this afternoon:

"I wish to apologize for a statement I made in the Winnipeg Free Press published February 20, 2010. I said that MP Pat Martin should not involve himself in the debate regarding Louis Riel’s place in history as he is not Métis.

"I have apologized to Mr. Martin personally and I wish to do so publicly as well. I am sorry for saying this as it does not reflect my view of democracy.

"As a Canadian, and especially as a Manitoban, Mr. Martin has every right to publicly discuss his views on Louis Riel. Whether I agree with him fully or not, the beauty of our democracy is the freedom to discuss conversing (sic) opinions," said Bruinooge.

The human bowling ball!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The newsletter!"

Too disgusting, shameful, ignorant, pathetic, Metisphobic and completly typical of a great white westerner! We's had to listen to that gut-rot voice for the last several hundred years already. Get with the program Goldring-a-ding, we don't tolerate political ignorance anymore!
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. You know it's bad when such luminaries as Shelly Glover, Rod Bruinooge and David Chartrand disavow you. We'd respectfully submit you tone down your rhetoric. There are many great white westerners. Please do not judge all by one.
Clare L. Pieuk

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Loose cannons!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The newsletter!"

This isn't the first time Goldring has gotten in trouble with his thoughts about Louis Riel. If I recall, didn't he sponsor a private members' bill denouncing Louis Riel as a terrorist and supporting after the fact the conviction and execution?

Goldring is an ugly nativist, one of the worst from the old Reform-Alliance crowd.
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you for writing. As soon as we heard the name we recognized it as being associated with past controversy but can't remember the details. What can one say every political party has its loose cannons.
Clare L. Pieuk