Sunday, October 31, 2010

"How do you plead little girl?"

4-Year-Old Can Be Sued, Judge Rules in Bike Case
Published: October 28, 2010
Citing cases dating back as far as 1928, a judge has ruled that a young girl accused of running down an elderly woman while racing a bicycle with training wheels on a Manhattan sidewalk two years ago can be sued for negligence.

The ruling by the judge, Justice Paul Wooten of State Supreme Court in Manhattan, did not find that the girl was liable, but merely permitted a lawsuit brought against her, another boy and their parents to move forward.

The suit that Justice Wooten allowed to proceed claims that in April 2009, Juliet Breitman and Jacob Kohn, who were both 4, were racing their bicycles, under the supervision of their mothers, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn, on the sidewalk of a building on East 52nd Street. At some point in the race, they struck an 87-year-old woman named Claire Menagh, who was walking in front of the building and, according to the complaint, was “seriously and severely injured,” suffering a hip fracture that required surgery. She died three months later of unrelated causes.

Her estate sued the children and their mothers, claiming they had acted negligently during the accident. In a response, Juliet’s lawyer, James P. Tyrie, argued that the girl was not “engaged in an adult activity” at the time of the accident — “She was riding her bicycle with training wheels under the supervision of her mother” — and was too young to be held liable for negligence.

In legal papers, Mr. Tyrie added, “Courts have held that an infant under the age of 4 is conclusively presumed to be incapable of negligence.” (Rachel and Jacob Kohn did not seek to dismiss the case against them.)

But Justice Wooten declined to stretch that rule to children over 4. On Oct. 1, he rejected a motion to dismiss the case because of Juliet’s age, noting that she was three months shy of turning 5 when Ms. Menagh was struck, and thus old enough to be sued.

Mr. Tyrie “correctly notes that infants under the age of 4 are conclusively presumed incapable of negligence,” Justice Wooten wrote in his decision, referring to the 1928 case. “Juliet Breitman, however, was over the age of 4 at the time of the subject incident. For infants above the age of 4, there is no bright-line rule.”

The New York Law Journal reported the decision on Thursday.

Mr. Tyrie had also argued that Juliet should not be held liable because her mother was present; Justice Wooten disagreed.

“A parent’s presence alone does not give a reasonable child carte blanche to engage in risky behavior such as running across a street,” the judge wrote. He added that any “reasonably prudent child,” who presumably has been told to look both ways before crossing a street, should know that dashing out without looking is dangerous, with or without a parent there. The crucial factor is whether the parent encourages the risky behavior; if so, the child should not be held accountable.

In Ms. Menagh’s case, however, there was nothing to indicate that Juliet’s mother “had any active role in the alleged incident, only that the mother was ‘supervising,’ a term that is too vague to hold meaning here,” he wrote. He concluded that there was no evidence of Juliet’s “lack of intelligence or maturity” or anything to “indicate that another child of similar age and capacity under the circumstances could not have reasonably appreciated the danger of riding a bicycle into an elderly woman.”

Mr. Tyrie, Dana Breitman and Rachel Kohn did not respond to messages seeking comment.

How much did your Member of Parliament spend?

Good Day Readers:

We've highlighted the expenses of Shelly Glover because for better or worse she's our MP.

Suffice it to say for now we can't say we're overly impressed. On the question of 10-Percenters for a while it was ridiculous. It seemed hardly a week would go by without one from her. More recently, the flow seems to have slowed - thank God! The messages/debates were framed in simplistic almost juvenile terms as though geared to the uninformed common denominator. As we looked at the many flyers scattered on the floor of the apartment building we wondered isn't there a more cost effective way such as e-mail?

Wonder what we should say to Ms Glover when she comes knocking on our door during the next election looking for a vote?

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk


LOCAL Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Travel costs disclosed, but not details
Manitoba Tory MPs draw fire for partisan mailers

October 30, 2010
By: Mia Rabson

OTTAWA -- Taxpayers shelled out more than $7 million in office and travel expenses for Manitoba's 14 MPs last year.

The new report on MP expenses was released Thursday as part of the tabling of Public Accounts documents in the House of Commons.

What your MPs spent last year - Total expenses

Steven Fletcher (Conservative, Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia) = $839,092.15*
Joy Smith (Conservative, Kildonan-St.Paul) = $541,728
Vic Toews (Conservative, Provencher) = $528,957.88
James Bezan (Conservative, Selkirk-Interlake) = $527,008.98
Pat Martin (NDP, Winnipeg Centre) = $508,743.68
Anita Neville (Liberal, Winnipeg South Centre) = $506,704.60
Rod Bruinooge (Conservative, Winnipeg South) = $491,581.84
Niki Ashton (NDP, Churchill) = $491,310.79
Inky Mark (Conservative, Dauphin-Swan River-Marquette) = $490,262.67
Candice Hoeppner (Conservative, Portage-Lisgar) = $489,431.12
Judy Wasylycia-Leis (NDP, Winnipeg North) $488,306.09
Merv Tweed (Conservative, Brandon-Souris) = $478,322.01
Shelly Glover (Conservative, Saint Boniface) = $466,615.30
Jim Maloway (NDP, Elmwood-Transcona) = $392,219.92


Vic Toews, Conservative = $89,539.30
Steven Fletcher, Conservative = $74,859.09
Joy Smith, Conservative = $62,521
James Bezan, Conservative = $62,396.18
Inky Mark, Conservative = $55,337.10
Rod Bruinooge, Conservative = $49,867.07
Shelly Glover, Conservative = $42,736.24
Merv Tweed, Conservative = $32,432.34
Anita Neville, Liberal = $26,731.58
Pat Martin, NDP = $26,120.69
Judy Wasylycia-Leis, NDP = $22,738.78
Jim Maloway, NDP = $20,616.25
Candice Hoeppner, Conservative = $18,165.01
Niki Ashton, NDP = $9,155.50

* Expenses are higher due to medical needs and other assistance due to quadriplegia

This year's report is in a more user-friendly format and has a few more details in it than previous years, the result of a large outcry from the public that included hundreds of letters to Prime Minister Stephen Harper decrying MPs' unwillingness to let Auditor General Sheila Fraser examine their expense claims.

But the specific details such as where MPs travelled and why, how many staff they have on the payroll or what furniture they bought for their offices is still behind a veil of secrecy.

Overall, MPs from the 308 ridings spent $142.6 million on office rentals and supplies, staff salaries, travel to and from their constituencies, accommodation expenses while in Ottawa, advertising and political mailers.

In Manitoba, the 14 MPs racked up $7,240,285.66 in expenses, an increase of nine per cent over the year before.

Over 42 per cent of Manitoba's MP expenses paid went to staff salaries and service contracts and more than 21 per cent to travel for MPs and designated dependents mainly to and from Ottawa.

The third-largest expense was paid for the now infamous 10-percenters. The controversial partisan mailers have now been banned from being sent outside an MP's own riding.

But last year Manitoba MPs spent almost $600,000 on them, usually on hyper-partisan leaflets attacking their opponents, all at taxpayers' expense.

Conservative MPs were by far the most prolific users of this communications approach, averaging more than $50,000 per MP in Manitoba, compared to less than $20,000 for the four NDP MPs. Sole Liberal MP Anita Neville spent $26,731.

Manitoba regional cabinet minister Vic Toews rang up the biggest 10-percenters bill at $89,539.30, more than all four of the Manitoba NDP MPs combined.

NDP MP Niki Ashton spent the least at $9,155.

Manitoba NDP MP Pat Martin -- who expensed $26,120 on 10-percenters last year -- said the fact a cabinet minister topped the list in this category is unacceptable.

"The government has unlimited dollars at their disposal to communicate with the public," said Martin. "For a minister of the Crown to use taxpayer dollars to carpet-bomb opposition ridings is appalling."

Toews' office did not respond to a request for a comment.

Derek Fildebrant, national research director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said Toews' use of 10 percenters likely was him playing the part of the team player since most often 10-percenters were designed by the party and mailed out on behalf of MPs.

But he said it is hypocritical and poor leadership to waste money on partisan mailers at a time when the government is preaching restraint in spending.

"In a time when we're facing mass record deficits it is an example of very poor leadership," said Fildebrandt.

Fildebrandt said it was nice to see a few more details in this year's report but said the lack of full access to receipts and details such as where MPs travelled and why, the system is still not open or accountable enough.

"The best medicine for keep spending under control is accountability," said Fildebrandt.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 30, 2010 Page A5

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Conspicuous consumption!

The Law Society of Manitoba's poster child?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Keep your bedroom antics private - a nation doesn't need to know!"

Good Morning Mr. Pieuk:

(1) Indeed, on investigation, Mr. Walsh has an extensive history of discipline by the Law Society of Manitoba. Perhaps it is this history that allows Mr. Walsh the fortitude to engage the LSM and his profession head on? Having gone through the digests, despite seemingly serious infractions, the discipline of the LSM was pathetic. (No offence Mr. Walsh, but you’re not exactly the poster-boy for professional conduct!). The LSM certainly has a record of “sweeping issues under the rug” and its decision regarding Mr. King will act as either an endorsement of the payment of “hush money” to Mr. Chapman, or as being a governing body capable of imposing real discipline on its members. I can hardly wait for the decision.

(2) As I understand it, the LSM already has the power to engage a layperson, the Complaints Commissioner is a non-lawyer who can review a complaint filed with the LSM that has been rejected or that the complainant is not satisfied with. According to the The Society's 2010 Annual Report (Page 4), the role of the Commissioner is changing:

“Next year the role of the Complaints Commissioner will be expanded to include reviews of all complaints within the Law Society’s jurisdiction that are not referred to the Society’s Complaints Investigation Committee. This will include decisions to take no further action because a lawyer has provided a satisfactory explanation, the complaint is determined to be of no merit or the lawyer has been reminded of his or her obligations. There will likely be an increase in the number of referrals to the Complaints Commissioner as a result of these changes.”

Should prove interesting, if these changes are actually implemented.

Veritas Justitias Honoris
Dear VJH:
As always thank you very much for another well-written and informed e-mail. To respond to your comments:
(1) As soon as we read in a CBC News report earlier this week that Winnipeg lawyer Paul Walsh had represented Mr. Alex Chapman in his latest court appearance the bells/whistles sounded and up popped not pink but red flags!
The Public Eye, a practicing Canadian lawyer, is one of the few bloggers, and may be the only, who periodically posts disciplinary decisions from Law Societies including Manitoba's
Truth To Power (;

In the past Mr. Populi has published multiple decisions from the Disciplinary Case Digest involving Mr. Walsh.

To view them visit his site and type "Paul Victor Walsh" in the search box (main page top left-hand corner). Mr. Walsh challenged a penalty (6-month suspension plus $25,000 fine) to the Manitoba Court of Appeal on 3 counts of porfessional misconduct to which he had pleaded guilty. Here's a telling excerpt from its December 2006 decision:

"The appellant has been the subject of formal discipline proceedings on no less than nine prior occasions, with a record that is comprised of two formal cautions and 13 findings or admissions of guilt for professional misconduct. He has already been fined a total of $23,000 and ordered to pay costs of $20,500. Appeal dismissed."

Regarding the upcoming decision in the Alex Chapman complaint, please don't hold your breath. We expect another weasely-like decision from the Disciplinary Committee

(2) Actually, our comments were directed more at placing laypersons on Disciplinary Committees so they impact on a decision before it's made not after. The Complaints Commissioner's role in reviewing a case is to determine only if the correct decision has been made not to pursue a formal investigation vis-a-vis the complaint per se. This raises a few questions:

(i) Is a Disciplinary Committee obliged to follow the recommendation(s) of a Commissioner?

(ii) How is the Commissioner selected, that is to say, what are the criteria? Is there an open, advertised competition?

(iii) How long does a Commissioner serve? What is their rumuneration?

(iv) The current Commissioner is Drew Perry who's serving in an acting capacity. Anyone know who he is and his background?

(v) Could we apply to become the next Commissioner? My goodness were both eminently qualified!

More research for you VJH.


Friday, October 29, 2010

Get your annual monopoly and unprofessional conduct protection for only $1,653.75!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "A license to print money?"

Mr. Pieuk:

In answer to your question regarding practice fees for the Law Society of Manitoba, the following can be found on its website:

Option 1 - Lump Sum Payment Plan

Practising Fee $= 1,375
Education Fund Contribution = $100
Reimbursement Fund Contribution = $100
Locker Renewal Fee = $0.00
Law Corporation Permit Renewal Fee = $0.00
GST = $78.75
Total Due on or before April 1, 2010 = $1,653.75

Option 2 – Instalment Plan

First Instalment = $787.50
Administration Charge $75.00
Locker renewal fee = $0.00
Law Corporation Permit Renewal Fee = $0.00
GST = $43.13
Due on or before: April 1, 2010 = $905.63

Second Instalment = $787.50
GST = $39.38
Due on or before: October 1, 2010 = $826.88
The non-practising fee for the practising year ending March 31, 2011 is in the amount of $105.00
($100.00 + $5.00 GST)

Send cheques

So, for the bargain basement price of $1,653.75 Manitoba lawyers get defence of their monopoly and protection of their unprofessional conduct which can be paid in installments no less!

Must be nice .....

Dear VJH:

As always on behalf of our readers thank you very much for another enlightening e-mail. Loved your closing statement.

CanLaw ( lists 1,841 Manitoba lawyers in its index. Using that number and the LSM's annual membership fee, if our arithmetic is correct, yields a cool grand total of $3,044,553.75 annually to protect us. Payments are due on April 1 but we don't know whether that's significant.
Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand's personal taxpayer financed defamation lawyer Murray ("Gestetner") Trachtenberg late at night in the basement of his law office using his Law Society sanctioned licence to crank out more frivolous, vexatious Statements of Claim!

Clare L. Pieuk

News Flash: Martians infiltrate Colorado!

We're "Rockers!"

Good Day Readers:

These are the kinds of comments one would expect from an American Tea Party candidate.

Our travel advisory warning for anyone planning to visit Newfoundland:

(1) Don't refer to Newfoundlanders as "mainlanders" those are Nova Scotians - they're from "The Rock"

(2) Premier Williams is very popular so don't criticize him in the presence of a cabbie otherwise you could find your ride suddenly terminated.

Clare L. Pieuk
Email about Williams's mental health questioned
Liberal communications director mentioned syphilis in 2009 email
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
CBC News

Craig Westcott was hired in October as the communications director of Newfoundland and Labrador's Liberal Party. (CBC)

The Newfoundland and Labrador government is questioning the judgment of the new communications director of the Opposition Liberal Party.

On Wednesday the government released an email that Craig Westcott wrote to the premier's office in 2009 asking whether Danny Williams had any illness that was affecting behaviour.

Westcott, a journalist at that time, questioned if Williams was either mentally ill or in the later stages of syphilis.

"A growing number of intelligent and observant people were growing concerned [about the premier's actions]," wrote Westcott.
The office of Premier Danny Williams did not respond to an email it received in 2009 asking whether Williams was suffering from an illness that was affecting his behaviour. (CBC)

The email was written in February 2009 when Westcott was editor of Business Post magazine.

"Please excuse the nature of this question … but it may be germane given the premier's behaviour," wrote Westcott. "It has been suggested to me that Mr. Williams is bipolar. Another person has suggested to me that he acts as if he is suffering in the later stages of syphilis.

"Is the premier being treated for a mental illness, or any illness that might influence his behaviour and the handling of his office? I realize that normally this would be a private matter. However, he is the premier of the province, and if his behaviour is the result of an illness, the subject is relevant to the public welfare."

Westcott became the provincial Liberal Party's communications director last week.

The premier's office never responded to the email, but government sources said Wednesday that now that Westcott is in politics, it was fair game to release the email.

In an interview with CBC News Wednesday, the acting leader of the provincial Liberals said the email was meant to be a joke.

"[The government] obviously must feel threatened that we've hired someone who doesn't always agree with the premier," said Kelvin Parsons. "It was a joke. It was a lark by Mr. Westcott."

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A license to print money?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Keep your bedroom antics private - a nation doesn't need to know!"


Although the Law Society offers a myraid of professional development and education programs, etc. and, of course administers the Bar Admissions Program, the main benefit - many lawyers would say the ONLY benefit - is the actual license to practice law.

On this view, the Law Society of Manitoba is analogous to a medieval trade guild: members pay for the privilege of supporting an organization which muscles out the competition.
Dear Anonymous:
Thank you very much for writing. Anyone know how much the annual dues are for a life membership in this exclusive little private monopolistic club with a licence to print money?
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Pot's not racist dummies it's the police!

Lucia Graves / HuffPost Reporting

Gross Racial Disparities In California Pot Arrests
October 28, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO -- Attorney General Eric Holder ruffled some feathers with his recent promise to "vigorously enforce" marijuana prohibition in California even if the state ballot initiative seeking to legalize marijuana passes on November 2.

He might have some trouble with fair implementation: Studies show minorities are much more likely to be arrested for pot possession in California than whites, even though minorities are less likely to smoke pot.

A recent report by the Drug Policy Alliance found that from 2006 to 2008 "police in 25 of California's major cities arrested blacks at four, five, six, seven, and even 12 times the rate of whites." The City of Los Angeles, for instance, "arrested blacks for marijuana possession at seven times the rate of whites," even though young white people consistently report higher marijuana use than blacks or Hispanics, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

In the last 20 years, California authorities made 850,000 arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana. There's no reason to believe the disparity in arrests is confined to the state.

Indeed in New York City, under the leadership of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, pot arrests have skyrocketed -- and roughly nine out of ten people charged with violating the law are black or Latino.

On Wednesday the DPA released a second report highlighting the disparities between white and Latino arrests in the Golden state. Findings showed that from 2006 to 2008 "major cities in California arrested and prosecuted Latinos for marijuana possession at double to nearly triple the rate of whites." In San Jose, the third largest city in the state, police arrested Latinos at more than twice the rate of whites. Glendale, California -- where Latinos make up only 17 percent of the population of almost 200,000, but 30 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession -- had the highest Latino arrest rate of the 33 cities surveyed.

The report's authors cautioned that the findings should not be attributed to racist cops.

The disparities documented in the report are the result of routine police practices, not the result of racists cops here and there," Stephen Gutwillig, state director of the Drug Policy Alliance, told reporters on a conference call Wednesday. "This is a system-wide issue."

The report's authors, led by Queens College sociologist Harry Levine, have noted that marijuana possession arrests can have serious consequences, creating permanent "drug arrest" records that can be easily found on the Internet by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies, licensing boards and banks.

Several weeks ago, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law, effective in January, which downgrades possession of an ounce or less of marijuana from a misdemeanor to an infraction. But Gutwillig said the new legislation will not eliminate the problem.

"The recent downgrading by the governor which lowers the penalty from a misdemeanor to an infraction is absolutely a step in the right direction," he said. "But targeting of Latinos will continue."

Keep your bedroom antics private - a nation doesn't need to know!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "The Manitoba Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas sex scandal - two lawsuits down one to go!"

Dear Mr. Pieuk,
(1) Upon reading the articles about this latest development, I’m not surprised. The lawsuit against the firm was tenuous at best. I do applaud Mr. Walsh for his comments though. All involved should have been reported, and I agree, that there is question as to whether or not King’s actions constituted criminal harassment.
(2) I doubt that the Law Society of Manitoba will have the cojones to address this issue as it should. Considering that they have not so much as issued a reminder to the membership regarding the standard of conduct that is to be expected, I doubt they will take action against King. Lawyers have no business governing themselves – nor do the police, nor judges, nor teachers, nor doctors. Expecting professions held to a higher standard of conduct to impose discipline on themselves, knowing that as individuals they could be subjected to the same discipline, is like letting the inmates run the asylum. The LSM and the CJC both have an opportunity to reinstate the faith of the public in the legal profession, but I fear both will fall far short of public expectations.
(3) Trudeau’s famous quote, “The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation,” has been bandied about in defence of the behaviours of Douglas and King, but when the behaviour does not remain in the bedroom, and instead is put into the public sphere, indeed, potentially invading every home in the nation through the internet, does the state not have an obligation to hold those responsible accountable? Can a person have faith in a lawyer that makes sexual advances? Can we believe that there are real consequences for that conduct? Have we regressed to the 1950’s when it was okay for women to be objectified and vulnerable people taken advantage of by those in positions of power?
(4) If neither the LSM nor the CJC have the guts to stand up for the victims of persons in power, to whom can victims turn? “Follow the rules! Attend to protocols! Offenders will be disciplined!” Those are the promises made, and it’s time for governing bodies to make good. Examples need to be made that show the public this type of conduct, being shoved into the homes of the nation through the internet, will not be tolerated. That the boundaries of common sense, basic respect, integrity and honour are still valued in our society, and those who offend those boudaries, will be stripped of their status. A message needs to be sent - keep your private business in your bedroom, or suffer the consequences.
I, for one, do not believe that morality and ethics of society have fallen so far as to condone the actions of Douglas and King as acceptable. I only hope that the LSM and CJC do not prove me wrong.
Veritas Justitias Honoris
Dear VJH:
Thank you very much for another well-considered letter. To respond:
(1) Nor were we. Yes, agree Mr. Walsh's comments were rather insightful.
Could it not be argued all three were indeed reported, problem is, it would appear "the authorities" chose not to do anything other than try to keep everything quiet
We're currently undertaking some research on Alex Chapman's new lawyer Paul Walsh. Suffice it to say for now it looks as though he's been a frequent visitor before the LSM's Disciplinary Committee
(2) Sadly we too agree the Law Society probably does not have the collective cojones to face this issue head on and do something meaningful. Here's a revolutionary idea. Why not appoint bright, articulate highly experienced laypersons with tons of common sense but no law degree to disciplinary committees? On a 5-member panel, for example, two would fit this profile
Until or unless such is done, in our view, The Society's mandate can only "purport" to represent the public interest. Only then will everyone be reassured the LSM is serious about significant change. It's time to re-invent yourself
(3) Society gives significant power to people in these positions and with it comes added responsibility. It is simply not enough to be above the law you must also appear to be so. Problems can only befall individuals in these positions unable to keep their bedroom antics private
(4) Because of the Douglas-King-Chapman debacle Manitoba's judiciary has taken a significant credibility hit such that it almost feels at times as though they're the oned on trial
It will be interesting to see how the Law Society handles its investigation of Alex Chapman's latest complaint the findings of which are due out next week . Sadly, we expect another weasely-like decision
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

Expensive bosom buddies!


Toronto’s first Victoria’s Secret opens in Yorkdale Shopping Centre

Victoria's Secret Angels Erin Heatherton, Adriana Lima and Chanel Iman open the store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre on Wednesday. (Tannis/Toohey/Toronto Star)

Tracy Nesdoly
Special to the Star

Victoria’s Secret, the U.S.-based mega lingerie chain known for its sexy catalogues and nearly naked fashion shows, has finally come to Canada. It opened its first Toronto store Wednesday at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

Indeed there are no mere models for Victoria’s Secret. All the dirty work such as store openings in barren outposts like Edmonton (where the first store outside the U.S. opened on August 12) or Toronto is done by supermodels rather than dreary company officials.

Brazilian beauty Adriana Lima, at 29 one of the oldest and longest-serving of the Angels, wielded the oversized scissors to cut the hot pink ribbon, flanked by models Erin Heatherton and Chanel Iman, who is so long and lean she was asked if she eats. Yes, often, she said. “Food is so great for energy!”

That none of the three was wearing lingerie we could see came as a slight disappointment. In fact, all three were fully clothed in jeans and t-shirts and Lima even wore a jacket.

They did, however, reveal the secrets under their demure t-shirts.

The slight Chanel Iman was wearing Miraculous, which promises to pump a girl up two full cup sizes.

“It’s the bra my friends and I wear to go to parties,” she said. “It makes the most of something I might not have. Loads of cleavage and loads of bust.”

Lima, meanwhile, is an Incredible girl. The chain’s newest collection is a gravity-defying miracle of engineering that comes, as any Angel will tell you, in three styles, is seamless, “embraces” you rather than digging into your back, and has self-adjusting, hardware-free straps. The whole thing moulds to your body like it belongs there.

But, Victoria’s Secret isn’t only about lingerie. If you want mere underwear and practical support, go to the Bay, conveniently located across the hall from this new bastion to bras and knickers.

No, Victoria’s Secret’s special sauce is sex appeal, or, as all three Angels uttered in almost identical language, “feeling good in your own skin,” “loving your body no matter what shape or size,” and “treating yourself to something a little lovely” to celebrate that body confidence.

The black-walled, chandelier-lit boudoir look comes as a dark and mysterious surprise to those of us weaned on the white and bright Victoria’s Secret stores in many a mall across the border.

While there is a smattering of comfy cotton knickers and proper pyjamas in this shop, you can’t see them from the front. This place is less girl next door and more femme fatale, with boned and glittery corsets and a plethora of bras and panties in leopard prints and black lace.

Sex sells, and maybe confidence does too.

But what becomes an Angel most? Between interviews, booked in 10-minute increments, speed-dating style, Lima was busy scooping up not corsets or demi-cups but rather roomy cotton pyjama bottoms and oversized sweatshirts from the collegiate collection, Pink, tucked in half way to the back of the store. Seems sex is fine, but it’s important to be comfy, even for Angels.

The illegal immigrant flowers?

Whatever happened to the MMF's land claims case?

“We are disappointed but we were by no means defeated,” said President David Chartrand of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF). “Based on the history of lower court aboriginal land-related decisions we had expected this outcome. It was also understood that no matter who won, this was going to go to the Supreme Court.” (July 8, 2010)

Good Day Readers:

We first became aware Canada's Chief Justice would be giving a lecture later today at the University of Manitoba's Faculty of Law when it was posted on the Winnipeg Free Press website a few hours ago.

That, in turn, lead us to wonder what's the current status of the court challenge has an appeal been filed yet? Is there a deadline? Anyone know?

David Chartrand's statement creates a misleading impression it's a slam dunk the SCC will automatically consider the lawsuit when, in fact, it chooses those cases to be reviewed. Admittedly it's hard to conceive the country's highest court turning down a case of this magnitude. After all lest we forget in an August 18, 2001 article by Winnipeg Free Press reporter David O'Brien (Billions ride on defining 'Metis') Mr. Chartrand was quoted as saying:

"It's not a question of if, it's just when we win. We think the case is open and shut."

We've always been a big fan of Chief Justice McLachlin who, in our view, can more than hold her own against her American counterpart John Roberts.

It is our belief this site can have a dramatic positive impact on those who read it as we suspect Chief Justice McLachlin does - one need only look at the before and after pictures.

Then there are those on whom it has had a negative impact such as Murray Trachtenberg (; David Chartrand's personal taxpayer financed $250 hourly defamation lawyer who sadly has gone from bad to worse it that's possible.

Speaking of the devil as the expression goes David Chartrand seems to have slid off the edge of the earth lately - we should be so lucky! To the best of our knowledge he was completely silent on the issue of the long gun registry during the debate that raged a few weeks ago an issue, one would think, of significance importance to our Metis citizens. The only public comment we're aware of was from Metis Member of Parliament for St. Boniface and recently appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the new Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs (John Duncan) Shelly Glover who came out strongly during a Winnipeg CBC Radio interview in favour of scrapped it.

Since receiving slightly more than "a whopping" 3,500 votes from the Federation's almost 53,000 members in this year's June election it's as though he has disappeared. Could he have possibly undergone an identity change and be hiding out in the witness protection program? Anyone seen or heard from him?

Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk

The "Leave it to Beaver" look is back ladies!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Reefer madness then and now!

Ryan Grim HuffPost Reporting

Proposition 19 Opponents Veer Off Into Paranoia
October 27, 2010

The opposition to California's marijuana legalization measure is veering off into paranoid and delusional terrain in the final days of the campaign, echoing some of the more bizarre anti-pot themes more common in the early part of the 20th century when the film "Reefer Madness" worked to persuade Americans of the dangers of the drug.

The no campaign's website greets visitors with a photograph of a wrecked car and an overturned school bus, presumably filled by children killed by a stoned driver.

"On average, a drunk driver kills someone every 45 minutes," warns the campaign's website. "Recreational marijuana use in fatal crashes will increase if Prop. 19 passes. It will be legal for a driver to get high right before taking the wheel. It will also be legal for passengers to smoke pot as they drive on the freeway or in your neighborhood."

A new Chamber of Commerce radio ad warns that in a dystopian, post-legalization world a Californian could be maimed in a car accident caused by a stoned driver and then treated in the hospital by nurses high off their gourds -- all of it perfectly legal if the proposition passes, according to opponents. (The Service Employees International Union, the state's largest union of nurses, is one of the measure's biggest backers.)

Or, warns the ad, California businesses could lose millions in federal money for breaking drug laws and employees could come to work blazed with impunity.

The strategy reflects desperation on the part of opponents, according to an internal Chamber memo obtained by HuffPost. "I have experienced a great deal of difficulty in getting members of the business community to understand that the marijuana initiative on the November ballot (Proposition 19) is more about making it illegal for employers to have a marijuana free workplace, than it is about removing criminal penalties for possession," California Chamber CEO Allan Zaremberg wrote in an memo to Chamber members.

"The Chamber has just completed an extensive survey to determine the likelihood of prop 19 being passed by the voters and what arguments are most persuasive. First of all, without an opposition media campaign there is a very strong likelihood that it will pass. Most voters have made up their mind on whether marijuana possession should be illegal and there seems to be a majority of likely voters who no longer think i[t] should carry criminal penalties. On the other hand, though, when voters are told that employers would not be able to control marijuana use at work, proposition 19 is opposed by a majority of voters," he added, going on to say that the Chamber spent its own money on the survey because the campaign is strapped for cash.

The proposition, which had been leading in the polls, is now trailing. Zaremberg didn't immediately return a call requesting comment.

Of course, driving while impaired is and will remain illegal. Coming to work high would violate workplace policies except perhaps in Silicon Valley or the NBA.

"Imagine coming out of surgery, and the nurse caring for you was high, or having to work harder on your job to make up for a coworker who shows up high on pot," says the Chamber ad. "It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes."

The ad goes on. "Employees would be allowed to come to work high, and employers would be unable to punish an employee for being high until after a workplace accident," it cautions.

"It's just stupid to suggest people could legally show up to work high," said Michael Whitney, a spokesman for the Just Say Now campaign, which is backing the measure. "It's no more of an issue than someone showing up at work drunk, and would be handled the same way."

The language of the initiative is written to prevent employers from firing workers for smoking pot in their free time. If the proposition passes, according to the California Legislative Analyst's Office, "employers would retain existing rights to address consumption of marijuana that impairs an employee's job performance."

The ad is just as misleading when it comes to the charge that it would be legal to drive while high. The LAO concluded that "the measure would not change existing laws that prohibit driving under the influence of drugs or that prohibit possessing marijuana on the grounds of elementary, middle, and high schools."

The latest survey has Proposition 19 behind in the polls.

The Chamber's opposition to the measure is counterproductive to its overall job creation mission. "I thought the Chamber was supposed to be all about creating jobs and helping small businesses. If so, they should be supporting Prop 19, which will create thousands of jobs and stimulate California's ailing economy," said Tom Angell, a spokesman for the Yes on 19 campaign.

Give Snooki lots of candy!

Chip-in-puck next?

NFL in discussions about using chip-in-ball technology
Tueday, August 3, 2010
By Patrick Johnston

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The National Football League (NFL) are in discussions about employing chip-in-ball technology to help rule on contentious touchdown and first down calls, German manufacturer Cairos Technologies has told Reuters.

"Yes, we are talking. There is a demand in American Football," Cairos sales director Mario Hanus told Reuters in a recent interview on the sidelines of the Soccerex Asian forum in Singapore.

The NFL would not deny or confirm the talks. However, a spokesman for the league said on Tuesday that they are looking at expanding their use of technology.

"We are always exploring ways in which we can be innovative with technology to improve our game and our fans enjoyment of the game," spokesman Michael Signora said.

Currently NFL team coaches are able to use video replays to challenge two contentious calls a game.

Cairos have been bidding to have their technology used in soccer to help rule on dubious goals when there is doubt about the ball crossing the goalline.

The debate was re-ignited during the World Cup in South Africa after a shot from England midfielder Frank Lampard, in a second round match against Germany on June 27, landed a meter over the goalline after hitting the bar but was not spotted by the referee or his assistant.

So far soccer lawmakers, the International Football Association Board, have rejected the use of the technology leading Cairos to look at other sports who could use their expertise.

Coming to Canada?

"Calling all sports fans! Calling all sports fans! Now here this! Now hear this!"

He can always return to making prank telephone calls and eating birthday cake!

Films, politics, books? What next for Schwarzenegger?
The Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, talks with soldiers during a visit to Wellington Barracks, in central London on October 14, 2010. (Credit: Reuters/Leon Neal/Pool)

By Jill Serjeant
Tueday, October 26, 2010

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - "I'll be back" has been Arnold Schwarzenegger's catch-phrase for more than 25 years.

And next week, when Californians elect a new governor, it will be just two months until the movie action hero turned politician leaves office and is back on the job market.

Schwarzenegger, 63, has been coy so far about his options. But with a resume that includes champion body builder, politician, environmental campaigner and star of movies like "Terminator" and "True Lies", he has the world at his feet, Hollywood insiders and political analysts say.

"People still love Arnold. He can choose whatever he wants. He's got nothing left to prove, all the money in the world and the world of choices available to him," veteran Hollywood publicist Howard Bragman told Reuters.

In his most detailed response to the "what next?" question, Schwarzenegger said in a "Tweetcast" last week that he planned to give speeches, write a book or two (he has never done an autobiography), and continue fighting for the environment.

As for returning to movies; "It depends ... if someone comes with a great script, with a great idea. Will I still have the patience to sit on the set and do a movie for three months or for six months, all of those things? I don't know," he said.

In a tantalizing aside, he said he recently met with "Terminator" and "Avatar" director James Cameron, and would make some sort of an announcement soon.

The self-styled Republican "Governator" is ending his seven years in office with only a 22 percent popularity rating among Californians who are tired of double-digit unemployment and massive budget deficits. But his global appeal -- both politically and as a celebrity -- remains largely intact.

Although his Austrian birth rules out U.S. president, political analyst Allan Hoffenblum sees a possible appointment in the Obama administration, perhaps on environmental issues.

"I think that is a very viable possibility, especially if (U.S. President Barack) Obama does badly in the November congressional elections, he may want to reach out to moderate Republicans," said Hoffenblum.

Washington Versus Hollywood

Elective politics is likely not on his horizon, pundits said. The highest Schwarzenegger can go now is the U.S. Senate, but an opening may be two years away, assuming California Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein decides to step down.

Besides, says USC political analyst Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, "I don't see Arnold Schwarzenegger as having the temperament that allows him to become one of 100 on the Senate floor.

"It would not surprise me if he models his post governorship after (former U.S. President) Bill Clinton and moves onto the national or international stage with his own foundation, focusing on environmental issues," she said.

Schwarzenegger would have little trouble being hired by Hollywood. He is still fit and resuming action roles would be "like riding a bike", an industry insider told Reuters.

Films, politics, books? What next for Schwarzenegger?
By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Producers point to the $250 million-plus box-office of "The Expendables" this summer, in which Schwarzenegger had a cameo role alongside old-timers Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis.

Unlike Stallone, Schwarzenegger does not write, produce and direct, producer Mike Medavoy said. "But if the right role comes along, I am sure Arnold can fulfill it. He is unique."

Bragman said Schwarzenegger might fare better as a tongue in cheek action man. "He can't pretend he is 35. He has got to wink at the concept, joke about his arthritis or something."

But a TV comedy series could work. "It could be a spoof on himself, with him playing an ex-governor, hanging round the house with nothing to do, and driving his wife crazy. I think it would be hilarious!," Bragman said.

Whatever comes next, one thing seems certain, say people who have followed his career. He will land on his feet.

"He is one of the brightest guys I ever met. He has a history of making nothing but good decisions, and I see no reason why any of that will change," said one Hollywood insider who asked to remain anonymous.

(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Sandra Maler)

More American style campaign madness!

Murray Trachtenberg - from the ridiculous to the sublime!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Our policy on internet anonymity!"


Nor do I have anything to add. It is a landmark decision, whose likely benefit for you will be to make it even less possible for Murray Trachtenberg to get his requested relief of a court order identifying anonymous contributors to your site (which, admittedly, was so absurdly improbable as to be beyond discussion in the first place).

Dear Anonymous:

Thank you for writing. For our readers benefit we should explain in Manitoba Metis Federation President David Chartrand's personal defamation lawyer Murray Trachtenberg's Statement of Claim at page 3 paragraph 2(a) it says:

"An order prohibiting the defendants from causing to be published on the internet website or any other internet website any message, letter or article purporting to be from any individual other than themselves unless that individual's actual legal name is published together with the accompaning message, letter or article."

Have you ever heard of anything so asinine, in fact, it's "beyond asinine" - unfortunately, that term to describe it has yet to be invented otherwise we'd use it. Imagine being required to place a notice on our main page in box car sized letters:


What website/blog in the universe faces such a restriction - we'd be the first! Talk about an appeal to The Supreme Court of Canada in light of its recent ruling on this issue - the Justices would have a good laugh!

But it doesn't end there. Supposing we were to commence a lawsuit against Counselor Trachtenberg under the applicable provisions of The Canadian Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, as well as, The Canadian Constitution for knowingly, deliberately, vexatiously, frivolously, sandalously and maliciously attempting to violate the freedom of speech and expression of a blog. What do you think the likely outcome would be?

We predict if Mr. Trachtenberg insists in having this provision included in his S/C the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench trial judge and jury will laugh him out of the courtroom as he so richly deserves. For such lawyering he should be brought before a disciplinary committee of the Manitoba Law Society!

What were you thinking Murray Trachtenberg or were you? Nice try though in misusing the law in an effort to harass, bully, intimidate and threaten us.

Clare L. Pieuk

The supreme court porn judge?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Peed in our Corn Flakes did we?

No Judy No has left a new comment on your post, "Told you so ..... gloat, gloat, gloat!"

I hate to p..s in your Corn Flakes here but... the video embedded here (thanks for that) predates the blog posting referenced by about two months.
Dear NJN:

Thank you for writing with the heads up. Please don't be consumed with guilt. Others have peed in our Corn Flakes so we don't expect you'll be the last.

Clare L. Pieuk
P. S. Please excuse us NJN as we go off to enjoy another delicious bowl of Corn Flakes. Hopefully, you haven't peed in that one too!

The Manitoba Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas sex scandal - two lawsuits down one to go!

The all star cast of characters!
Good Day Readers:
A couple quick points about today's hearing. It's interesting to note three different justices have presided over each one that has taken place to date although we don't know whether any signanicance should be attached to that.
Second, Mr. Chapman was represented by a Winnipeg lawyer today unlike last time when his counsel was from out of province.
And this is the really interesting one. It will be instructive to read the Law Society of Manitoba's findings next week on Alex Chapman's latest complaint against Mr. King. There are those who have taken the position the LSM's handling of his original 2003 complaint was less than stellar - and that's being kind.
Sincerely/Clare L. Pieuk
Man in judge controversy fights to save lawsuit
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
CBC News
Jack King accuses Alex Chapman of violating a 2003 confidential settlement and is suing on claims his privacy was breached. (CBC)

A man embroiled in a controversy over nude photos of a Manitoba lawyer who is now a judge is back in court in Winnipeg.

Alex Chapman is fighting to keep his $10-million lawsuit against lawyer Jack King from being dismissed.

King is the husband of Lori Douglas, whom Chapman was also suing before dropping the $7-million claim in September.

Chapman has also dropped the $50-million claim he had against the Winnipeg law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.

He filed all three lawsuits on Sept. 1, claiming he was harassed and suffered emotional distress when King tried, but failed, in 2003 to get him to have sex with Douglas.

At the time, both King and Douglas were partners at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.

Douglas was appointed a judge of the Court of Queen's Bench on May 19, 2005, and then appointed as an associate chief justice of the Court of Queen's Bench on May 14, 2009.
The lawsuit against Lori Douglas was withdrawn but the Canadian Judicial Council is still investigating a complaint against her by Alex Chapman. (CBC)

Chapman first met King in 2002, when he retained the lawyer to handle his divorce.

Chapman claims King showed him sexually explicit photos of Douglas, naked in various forms of bondage, in chains, with sex toys and performing oral sex.

At some point, Chapman claimed, King also directed him to an interracial porn website devoted to interracial sex, particularly between black men and white women.

When his divorce was concluded, Chapman filed a complaint to the managing partners at the law firm. Soon after receiving the complaint, King left the firm and signed a confidentiality agreement with Chapman.

Douglas has temporarily stepped aside from her duties as a sitting judge but remains with the court in an administrative capacity.

The Canadian Judicial Council is also investigating a complaint Chapman filed against Douglas.

Release signed
King's lawyer, Bill Gange, noted in court Tuesday that Chapman was paid $25,000 as part of the confidentiality agreement.

As well, Chapman signed a release, promising not to take legal action against King, his partners or the firm.
Alex Chapman is seeking $10 million in a lawsuit filed against lawyer Jack King. (CBC)

Chapman was also required not to discuss the matter and to destroy all emails, photos and other materials sent to him by King.

Chapman kept the material, but after seven years of silence decided to go public with his allegations at the end of August, telling CBC News he felt distraught about the matter.

As a result of Chapman providing the pictures to other individuals, King has filed a lawsuit for invasion of privacy.

Chapman tried to repay the money by cutting King a cheque last month for $25,000.

Gange told Court of Queen's Bench Justice John Menzies Tuesday that Chapman can't sign a release then bring legal action. The release is complete defence against any action, he said.

Also, Chapman's statement of claim was filed more than seven years after the 2003 settlement, extending beyond the six-year limit under the Limitation of Actions Act, Gange argued.

Lawyer Paul Walsh, who was representing Chapman on Tuesday, argued the release is void and unenforceable and offends the law society's code of conduct because the payment and confidentiality agreement is essentially "hush" money.

All lawyers involved in the 2003 agreement had an obligation to report King's misconduct to the law society, not draw up the release, Walsh added.
He also said Chapman was not under the impression that his legal rights had been compromised by the release.
Menzies questioned that argument, asking then why Chapman is not suing the lawyer who represented him at that time for getting him into a bad arrangement.

Menzies has reserved his decision on whether the lawsuit against King will go ahead.

Meanwhile, the Law Society of Manitoba will announce next week how it will respond to a complaint filed by Chapman against King.

"The more things change, the more they remain the same!"/"Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose!" ..... Jean Baptiste Alphonse Karr

Good Day Readers:

There's nothing quite like wacky California politics. There are 6 candidates running to replace current Governor and former Terminator, Exterminator or whatever it was he used to be, Arnold Schwarznegger come November 2nd.

The two leading contenders are current State Attorney General and former Governor Jerry "Moonbeam" Brown and former eBay Chief Executive Officer and billionaire Meg Whitman shown above. In a recent Forbes Magazine poll of the world's 14 self-made women billionaires Ms Whitman ranked fourth with a cool $1.3 billion. She has already spent over $140 million on her compaign mere pocket change.

Given the current prominence of Proposition 19 we're surprised Moombeam hasn't resurected this little gem showing the Exterminator enjoying his birthday cake at a party.

Or what about this little gem, Moonbeam, from "Detective John Kimble?

Clare L. Pieuk

What we can learn from California!

Good Day Readers:
California has been much in the news lately for a few reasons - its crushing debt load, in some cases wacky politicians and judges, water supply issues but most recently Proposition 19.
Here's a fascinating expose/analysis by Ed Kilgore Special Correspondent for The New Republic on the power of the proposition. Perhaps politicians here of all stripes and levels would do well to read it.
Sincerely, Clare L. Pieuk
Fired Up?
Ed Kilgore
Special Correspondent
October 26, 2010California's ballot-initiative system has a way of touching off culture wars that dwarf the buzz surrounding mere state and congressional elections. (Think of Proposition 8 or Proposition 187.) But even by California standards, this year’s Proposition 19 is becoming something of a legend. In case you haven’t heard, Proposition 19 would legalize the possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana, while enabling the state and/or local governments (in theory, at least) to license and tax larger commercial pot-growing enterprises. The initiative has been hailed not only by Californians with a taste for cannabis, but by economic boosters, who hope it would transform California by creating a massive new growth industry that solves the state’s chronic fiscal problems.

In fact, there's so much interest in Proposition 19 that polls show nearly everyone in California already knows about the initiative—without advocacy groups spending more than a few dimes. As Firedoglake’s Jon Walker explains:

According to a Field Poll (PDF), as of mid-September, a remarkable 84 percent of likely voters in California know that prop 19 is on the ballot. Among that same group, just under 40 percent had heard about Prop 23 and Prop 25, two other important measures to be decided this November. For a historic comparison, look at the numbers for 2008′s Prop 8, California’s hotly contested anti-gay marriage initiative, from around roughly the same time in the election cycle. A Field poll (PDF) from mid-September 2008 found that only 70 percent of likely voters had heard that Proposition 8 was on the ballot.

Even more impressive than the generally high awareness of Prop 19 among voters is how nearly every likely voter under 30 has heard of Prop 19. Looking at the cross tabs (via the Sacramento Bee) from this Field Poll, we see 94.4 percent of likely voters under 30 have heard or read about Prop 19. (To give you an idea of how broad this awareness is, that 5.6 percent who is unaware is probably greater than the poll’s margin of error for that subgroup.) Almost no politician in the country has name recognition among young voters anywhere near 94.4 percent.

This phenomenon is making it extremely difficult for political analysts to gauge support for Proposition 19 via traditional means. For one, the marijuana-legalization initiative has not generated the kind of epic pro and con spending that usually has a major effect on voter attitudes. The most prominent opposition group, Public Safety First, had spent about a quarter-million dollars as of October 16, the California equivalent of pocket change—something all the more remarkable when you consider that virtually every major statewide candidate has gone on record opposing the initiative. The biggest spender on the pro side, a medical-marijuana dispensary which may be positioning itself to become a major commercial pot retailer in the future, has spent under a million dollars. Until yesterday, neither side had run TV ads. Meanwhile, about $120 million is being spent on other California initiatives, including around $37 million on Prop. 23 (pro: $9 million; anti: $28 million), which would suspend the state’s landmark carbon-emissions law; $25 million on the far less sexy Prop. 25 (pro: $8 million; con: $17 million), which would abolish the two-thirds requirement for passing a budget in the state legislature; and even $5 million on Prop. 22 (pro: $4 million; con: about $1 million), which involves an arcane system whereby the state “borrows” local transportation funds.

Three recent polls have shown support for the measure dropping into negative territory: Reuters/Ipsos (43 percent 'yes' / 53 percent 'no'); PPIC (44 percent 'yes' / 49 percent 'no'); and L.A. Times/USC (39 percent 'yes' / 51 percent 'no'). SurveyUSA still has the initiative with majority support at 48 percent to 44 percent, but it also shows opinion trending negative. But because of the unusual nature of Proposition 19, many analysts are loath to take them at face value.

They are concerned that numbers might be skewed by something like a stoner Bradley Effect—Nate Silver has dubbed it the 'Broadus Effect,' after Snoop Dogg—in which marijuana-legalization supporters tell interviewers they don't favor legalized pot when they actually do. (With the Bradley Effect, racially-motivated voters won't admit to pollsters that race would affect their votes.) There's some evidence that this is occurring, since the anonymous robo-poller SurveyUSA—which would be least likely to skew in this way—shows the strongest levels of support for the initiative.

But there are factors pushing the other direction too. One possible explanation for the polling trend is that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s apparent effort to undercut Proposition 19, by pushing through legislation that all but decriminalizes small-scale pot possession, has worked. This new law, which Schwarzenegger signed on September 30, makes possession of under one ounce of pot an “infraction” punishable by a $100 fine—significantly less than the average California speeding ticket. This may have deflated support for Proposition 19 among voters who are less motivated by the desire to fire up a doobie themselves as by concerns about the injustices caused, particularly against minorities, by criminal sanctions on the use of marijuana.

Another possibility is that voters were affected by the publicity surrounding U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s assurances that the feds will not let California license commercial marijuana operations. This statement makes the economic and fiscal arguments for Proposition 19 a great deal weaker.

And finally, it may be that softer support for Proposition 19 has been revealed by likely-voter screens—which pollsters usually introduce closer to Election Day, and which tend to focus on an electorate that is older and whiter than the registered-voter or “all adults” samples typically applied earlier in the electoral cycle.

Only on election night will we know the voters' true intentions. No one should be that astonished if Proposition 19 passes, and it may well be that the pro-legalization youth vote can rescue a few notable Democrats in very close races. As it is, Jerry Brown appears to be pulling away from Meg Whitman in the governor’s race, despite or maybe even due to eMeg’s astonishing campaign spending; and Barbara Boxer is maintaining a small but steady lead over Carly Fiorina. Yet, by the same token, it would be a little foolish for Democrats to rest all their hopes on a last-minute, unpolled surge of pot-smoking youngsters at the polls: They've been burned that way before.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Star Chamber?

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "A message for Veritas Justitia Honoria!"

Dear Mr. Pieuk:
I have been reading your blog, but due to my obligations as a working stiff and the expectations of capitalist society, I fear I had to turn my attentions to the demands of the establishment (and my wife) and have been engaged in the duties associated with a paycheque. I am well and I hope you are also.
However, I haven’t just been resting on my laurels.
After reading the anonymous posting directing me to the Queen's Bench file, I did return to the Registry and went through the pocket in detail. Indeed, this divorce is a mess, and it is very difficult to learn much without attending at the Courts. I thank you for your efforts, but it seems unlikely to me that the report was not available due to the CJC’s investigation. It is far more likely that the file was with a judge because, according to the Registry, there was an appearance pending on the file. Files are routinely forwarded to the judiciary prior to an appearance for review in anticipation of a hearing. Without knowing the basis of the hearing, one can only speculate the purpose for said hearing, and the pocket on this particular file is very difficult to follow. It is frustrating work.
I need to perform more investigation, and so I continue to seek …
Veritas Justitias Honoris
Dear VJH:
Thank you very much for another informative, well-written letter. We should mention we had telephoned the Queen's Bench Registry to find out if the file for which you're searching was available. In the past we've made the mistake of trundling off to the Law Courts Building only to discover a particular file or document was not available.
Oh we agree, this kind of research can be fraught with frustration. Ever get the impression sometimes the courts are more concerned with process than evidence?
Sorry for temporarily withholding the last three paragraphs of your e-mail but this was done for strategic reasons in consideration of a couple meetings we have pending shortly. We'll be saying more a little later.
Regarding "your favourite institution" the Law Society of Manitoba, we can pass a little information on to you and our readers. As you know, their disciplinary hearings are supposedly open to the public. We have been asked by a Defendant to attend their's in our capacity as a citizen journalist/blogger. Because we believe this case has the potential to go internet viral, much like the Douglas-King Chapman debacle, we have agreed. However, we should stress the two cases are in no way related save for a certain similarity in process. Recall at the time Mr. Chapman first approached the Law Society to complain about Mr. King's behaviour (2003) his lawyer was Robert Ian Histed. In that lies a procedural common denominator although Mr. Histed is not the lawyer cited in this latest complaint.
On October 5 of this year we attended a meeting at the LSM with senior officials to educate ourselves on what can and cannot be reported. For example, Section 79(1) of the Legal Profession Act which governs The Society's operations states:
"A person who publishes or broadcasts the name of a member in connetion with a complaint, investigation or charge before the member is found to be incompetent or guilty of professional misconduct or conduct unbecoming a lawyer or student is guilty of an offence and is liable, on summary conviction, in the case of an indivudual, to a fine of not more than $2,000 or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or both."
Notice the Section is silent on the issue of the name(s) of complainant(s). Unfortunately, when one askes for clarification and an interpreation the refrain parroted is, "We can't give you legal advice." Also, apparently, under certain situations a hearing can be closed to the public so now we have to try to find out what those are. It's like a cat and mouse guessing game or a good fencing match.
We can tell you, however, a pre-hearing conference will be scheduled shortly (we plan to attend) and a prosecutor recently appointed although it would appear there could be related issues. Sorry but that's as far as we can go at this time. As you well know, we're dealing with a Star Chamber-like organizational culture.
Perhaps some day we should collaborate on writing a book. Laugh as you will but the former publisher of the Toronto Star (Joseph E Atkinson) established an annual fellowship to fund research projects on topical public policy issues leading to a series of articles in the newspaper after which the writer(s) are at liberty to develop them into a book. Something to consider.
Keep up the great research you're doing. We need more of this!
Sincerely, Clare L. Pieuk