Friday, February 27, 2015

The control freak!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

"Sleepy" Dan Lett whacks "Dr. Jaws Glover" and the Harper government!

Li case exposes ugly truth about Tories

Would rather punish the mentally ill than provide help and support

By Dan Lett
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The doctors of Vince Li have recommended he be given more freedom. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

The ugly truth has been revealed.

Like many observers, I have always assumed the Conservative government's efforts to more harshly punish citizens found not criminally responsible for their crimes because of mental illness was part of a cynical but deliberate strategy to pander for votes.

The theory is pretty sound. There are many votes to be had by demonizing NCRs (which is unjust), portraying them as a threat to public safety (which is empirically untrue) and prescribing new, tougher sentences to make society safer (which they don't).

It makes sense for the Tories to play this card now, with a federal election expected this year. Yes, it's a bunch of hooey, but it's hard to deny the political benefits.

However, recently an alternate theory has arisen. Specifically, the possibility the Tories actually believe the nonsense they are spouting.

Case in point: Heritage Minister Shelly Glover, Manitoba's senior federal government representative, issued a statement Tuesday denouncing a decision by the Criminal Code Review Board to allow Vincent Li -- found NCR for the 2008 murder and dismemberment of Tim McLean -- to move to a secure mental-health hospital in Winnipeg and have unescorted passes.

Li's physicians stated he is a low risk to reoffend, is very good at taking his medication and has not suffered any further hallucinations. In other words, he poses no threat.

Glover was incensed by this. "It is unacceptable that dangerous and violent offenders are released into our communities," Glover said, echoing comments last year, in which she said giving Li greater freedoms was an "insult" to McLean's family.

It has always been disappointing that Glover puts so much effort into misrepresenting NCR protocols. As a former police officer, you would think Glover would have a either a healthy respect for the law, or at least a deep understanding of it.

That doesn't seem to be the case. Even with proof Li is not a threat, Glover and other federal Tories have made it their cause to oppose every stage of his treatment.

Listening to Glover and others rage against Li, I've now come to the conclusion this isn't a ploy. It is, in fact, exactly how and what they think.

Last year, when the Li story was top of mind for many Canadians, I had an opportunity to talk with Glover and other prominent Conservatives. I asked them if they wanted to honour the victims and give their families greater meaning in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, why not involve them in a new campaign to improve mental-health services?

Imagine the families of victims standing alongside federal ministers, announcing substantial new government funds to expand forensic mental-health services, improve access to psychiatric care and educate the public on the reality of mental illness. Would this not give grieving families a positive purpose and an opportunity to honour their loved ones with the knowledge more was being done to prevent similar tragedies?

In each case, the answer from Glover and other Tories was the same: NCRs are criminals and must be punished. Moreover, that punishment was really the only valid response.

It is only possible to come to this conclusion by ignoring or dismissing all of the relevant facts to the contrary.

Of course, in addition to ignoring all the facts, you have to come from a place where the satisfaction of punishing someone not responsible for their behaviour is the only public policy goal. Not making society safer. Not making this a more just society. Just punishment for the sake of punishment.

You can see this in the much-celebrated Not Criminally Responsible Reform Act, a law written by the Tories in response to the Li case. The new act requires NCRs deemed high-risk to get court approval for release. Currently, those decisions are made by the Criminal Code Review Board.

Does this law make society safer? No, not really. Does it make it harder for NCRs to be released? Not exactly. It does, however, create the impression the government is getting tougher, which is probably enough for now.

Glover surely knows any decision on Li's release is being made on the basis of scientific and legal facts, and with full consideration of public safety. Ranting about the injustice of that system, while ignoring all the facts, is simply unacceptable, to use Glover's own words.

To be perfectly honest, it was easier to respect Glover and her Tory colleagues when it seemed as if their efforts to keep Li incarcerated were more political strategy than deeply held beliefs.

Unfortunately, the awful truth is now evident: Glover and the Conservatives believe what they are saying. And it's ugly.

How many people are there in Manitoba who have been found NCR for a criminal act?

There are 110 NCRs in Manitoba. About 75 live in the community, and the rest are in the psychiatric unit of Health Sciences Centre or the Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

Did all NCRs commit violent, gruesome murders?

No. NCRs involve a wide range of crimes. Only a small portion committed violent crimes.

Do NCRs, once they are released, ever reoffend?

The recidivism rate for criminals released from the corrections system is very high -- estimates range from 40 to 50 per cent. For NCRs, the recidivism rate is between 10 to 15 per cent. However, for those NCRs hospitalized for the most violent crimes, the recidivism rate nationally is almost zero. In Manitoba, no NCR responsible for a killing committed another violent crime after being released. The majority of "crimes" committed by NCR upon release are violations of the conditions of release: failure to take medication, leaving the jurisdiction without permission, failing to abstain from drugs or alcohol.

Can NCRs be released into the community after a period of time or do they stay locked up in hospital?

The goal, following a finding of NCR, is to eventually reintegrate that person into society. However, to receive a release order, the Criminal Code Review Board must be satisfied there is no threat to the community, there is no ongoing threat to the person found NCR, and all of the supports needed by that person in the community are available.

Who decides if and when an NCR is ever released from hospital?

Authority for release of an NCR falls to the Criminal Code Review Board in each province. The boards hold annual hearings on anyone admitted to hospital under an NCR order and accept submissions from attending psychiatrists, mental-health workers, lawyers representing the accused person, the Crown and victim-impact statements.

Is the opinion of a psychiatrist the final word on release of an NCR?

No. Rather than relying on the discretion or opinion of any one psychiatrist, the mental-health system relies on two internationally recognized protocols for measuring the probability of violence in psychiatric patients. These protocols have been very accurate in assessing potential threat and are used in mental-health systems around the world.

Can a person found NCR for an act of violence be forced to take medication?

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms prevents the Crown from forcing anyone to take medication against their wishes. However, the board makes medication a condition in all release orders, with no exceptions. An accused person can refuse, but they will not be released.

Still, how can you ensure an NCR is taking medication once released?

Once found NCR, that person is under the supervision of the forensic mental-health system for, in most cases, the rest of their lives. Release conditions demand NCRs report regularly to mental-health workers, or get regular visits at home. In instances where there is any concern about a person's ability to manage medication, a release order will specify it is to be administered by injection. This ensures regular contact with a health-care professional. Failure to take medication almost always triggers readmission to hospital.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2015 A5

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"MeUndies Martin"

Good Day Readers:

Instead of soliciting public funds to pay his defamation lawsuit because he was too stupid to shoot off his Big, Fat mouth in the House of Commons where he enjoys immunity from prosecution, he should use his new found fame to market a new line of underwear. What about, Ouch My Ass is Too Big!

Clare L. Pieuk
L. S. comes calling after Pat Martin underwear video goes viral

By Laura Stone
Politics Feporter

Wednesday, February 25

OTTAWA – When Pat Martin stood up in the House of Commons last week to jokingly explain that he left a vote because his underwear was too small, he didn’t expect Los Angeles to come calling.

But fame is an unpredictable beast.

The NDP MP says L.A.-based underwear manufacturer, MeUndies, called his office immediately after a video of his vote in the Commons went viral, asking him to star in an advertisement on the company’s website.

“They wanted a 30-second testimonial that they’d put on their website… I’m wearing my undies, making the world safe for democracy,” says Martin.

“They thought it would be cute I guess, to have this politician saying don’t risk missing a vote because your underwear don’t fit, and making the connection that wearing this brand of underwear is somehow good for democracy,” he says.

“It’s actually quite clever.”

They’ve even sent him a couple of samples, naturally. Or what’s known in L.A. as a “swag bomb.”

“When something comes onto (Parliament) Hill, it’s got to go back to customs and be cleared by security. So it’s taken a few days to get here,” says Martin.

The company, which bills itself as “the world’s most comfortable underwear,” features a video of Martin on itsFacebook page. “What do you think? Should we send him a pair?” it asks.

But alas, Martin says he’s turned the offer down.

READ MORE: Lunch with NDP MP Pat Martin – back on the front bench, but not as angry (he hopes)

“They offered all kinds of inducements to do it, and I told them I can’t take money for that,” he says.

The company says it offered to donate underwear to homeless shelters in Martin’s Winnipeg riding.

“We never offered Pat, himself, money to be our spokesperson. From the genesis of this idea, we were asking him how we could appropriately donate to a cause/organization of his choice in exchange for the mentioned PSA-style video,” Robbie Wiedie, the content manager/SEO at MeUndies, wrote in an email to Global News.

But Martin says he eventually decided against it.

(He still wants companies to start donating underwear: “I would encourage this company or others to send some of their seconds if they like and we’ll distribute them to the needy.”)

“The guy was going to fly up from L.A. last night… to tape this thing. So it just got to be too much. I really don’t want that going viral either,” says Martin.

“I don’t want that to be my legacy, being associated with my underwear.”

The offer was further complicated by the company founder’s links to asbestos – an issue Martin has campaigned against for years.

Martin, who worked in an asbestos mine in the Yukon, once gave a press conference on the subject featuring a puppet named Toxic Timmy.

A Google search by the NDP revealed MeUndies co-founder Jonathan Shokrian pleaded guilty in 2013 to violating the U.S. Clean Air Act relating to an asbestos-removal project. A Linkedin account says he is still with the company. Follow-up questions about Shokrian’s asbestos conviction have not been returned.

“That’s a big issue for me, and I’m not going to be associated with anybody associated with that,” Martin says.

“That was one of the things that helped us make our decision not to bother.”

Wiedie, from MeUndies, says the company offered to make a donation to the cause in order to defend workers’ rights, but Martin’s team felt it was too risky.

“We’d still happily work with him. Our hope was to turn his silly moment into something actionable, proactive, & meaningful. We also invite him to model for us, should he like to do so,” Wiedie wrote.

And it wasn’t just L.A.: Martin’s colleagues also saw news pieces about the video on MSNBC, the BBC and as far away as China and Romania. Martin says he also got six calls from Japan to go on a slapstick-style show.

“The Japanese TV was relentless,” says Martin. “They wanted me to come on their crazy TV show.”

As for the free underwear samples – they’re already en route to Parliament Hill.

So, will Martin still try them on?

“Sure why not? I’ll run it by the ethics commissioner first I think.”

Update: an earlier version of this story said Martin asked the company to donate underwear to homeless shelters. In fact, the company offered.

Has "Martin-itis" spread to the Harper government?

Martin-itis: Buying cheap underwear on sale at The Bay that's too tight restricting blood flow to the brain causing you to say the damndest things.

Good Day Readers:

The greatest public concern should be that proper checks and balances are in place. Those responsible for monitoring Vince Li immediately become aware if he's not taking his meds so remedial action can be taken. In the meantime people like Shelly Glover needs to shut her face. Unfortunately, "Jaws" is CyberSmokeBlog's Member of Parliament. God she's an embarrassment!

Clare L. Pieuk
Glover rails against release
'It's the polar opposite of enlightened thinking:' Martin

By Mia Rabson
Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Joe Bryksa/Winnipeg Free Press

Ottawa - Manitoba's senior cabinet minister says the possibility the mentally ill man who beheaded Tim McLean may soon be released into the community is why her government passed a law to designate such people as dangerous and keep them locked up.
Glover released an emailed statement late Monday, saying she was
responding to a review panel hearing in which Vince Li's doctors at the
Selkirk Mental Health Centre recommended he be allowed to move first
to Winnipeg's Health Science Centre's locked mental-health ward, and be
given unescorted passes to go out into the city. They say he should
eventually move to a high-security group home in Winnipeg.

"Our government stands firmly by our legislative changes through the Not
Criminally Responsible Reform Act and points out that this is exactly when
we made them, Glover said.

"Our government has worked hard to ensure that those who break the law
are held accountable for their actions;that penalties match the severity of
crimes committed; and that the rights of victims come before the rights of
criminals. It is unacceptable that dangerous and violent offenders are
released into our communities, when they pose a threat to society. We made
changes to the Not Criminally Responsible Act to ensure that dangerous
offenders at risk of reoffending are kept behind bars where they belong."

The law introduced in 2013 and implemented last year, was brought about in
large part, because of the Li case. It allows someone found not criminally
responsible to be designated by a court as high-risk to reoffend. If this
designation is given, the person can't be released from custody until a review
board has a court revoke that designation. It can also deny unescorted passes
to the person

Victims of the person must also be informed when the NCR person is
released and told of their living arrangements.

Although the government intended the law to be used retroactively, Li's
lawyer said Tuesday it will not affect Li because he was not designated
as high-risk when he was found not criminally responsible for
McLean's death.

Li killed McLean in 2008 during a schizophrenic episode on a bus near
Portage La Prairie while travelling between Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Since 2010, he has been allowed various privileges, starting with escorted
walks on the grounds of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre followed by
escorted trips into Selkirk and for the last year, unescorted trips.

Neither the federal Liberals nor the federal NDP wanted to respond to
Glover's comments, however, Winnipeg NDP MP Pat Martin said they
do a 'terrible disservice" to decades of work trying to eliminate the
stigma of mental illness.

"We thought we had turned the corner on mental health awareness,"
he said.

We have a senior political minister setting the tone." It's the polar
opposite of enlightened thinking."

Reproduced from the Winnipeg Free Press publication February
25, 2014

Monday, February 23, 2015

There's a new sheriff in town ..... old boys everybody stay calm!

Good Day Readers:

Law societies and the Canadian Judicial Council are under increasing pressure these days to fix their broken/flawed business models that define how complaints are managed due in large part to a lack of meaningful layperson (you know the great unwashed taxpaying masses who get stuck with the bills) involvement. They're still seen, and rightly so, as organizations of lawyers, by lawyers and for lawyers. In the case of the CJC it called for written submissions from anyone with a interest and is scheduled to release it's long awaited recommendations. More layperson involvement is expected to top the list. Ms Dangerfield would do well to follow suit.

CyberSmokeBlog's Recommendations for "The Sheriff"

1. Beware the creeping old boys network

She's been at the LSM long enough to know where the closets filled with skeletons reside and the land mines are buried. Students of law societies will tell you the real power is to be found in its various committees. Prior to her successor Allan Fineblit becoming CEO in 1998, veteran lawyers will tell you it was very much an old boy's network.

Mr. Fineblitt did much to dismantle it. "Sheriff's" biggest challenge could well be that it makes a comeback and hijacks her agenda. She'd do well to keep in mind the two guiding principles of Organizational Behaviour 101 - always watch your back and always have backup.

A slightly frazzled lookingKristin Dangerfield in 1998 before the makeover. She was largely the point person for the Manitoba Law Society that came under heavy criticism. Although the rumours were rampant and wide spread about the late Jack King posting nude photographs of his wife (Lori Douglas) the LSM did nothing because it had received no formal complaint. Here at CyberSmokeBlog we affectionately like to refer to her as "Blanche."

2. Re-educate yourself on self-reps

"Another major issue is the growing numbers of people who choose to represent themselves in court. Not only are they likely doing themselves a disservice from a representation point of view, they are also causing largely unnecessary delays down the line because they're unaware of how the legal system and various procedures work."

You need to familiarize yourself with the work of University of Windsor Law Professor Dr. Julie Macfarland. Her research and effort on behalf of self-reps over the past three years or so has been leading edge and ground breaking. CSB recommends if you and your staff haven't already subscribed to her regular newsletter (free) you do so (The National Self-Represented Litigants Project).

3. Begin a review of The Legal Profession Act of Manitoba especially section 79 (1) and (2)

4. Section 79(1) and (2) need to be clarified

A couple weeks ago CyberSmokeBlog attended a disciplinary hearing at which the Chair of the three member panel went to great lengths to advise the public of 79. They also noted that any witnesses who were former clients of the accused also not be identified. Where is that covered in Section 79? The Law Society of Manitoba needs to spell out in much greater detail precisely what can be reported at its disciplinary hearings.

This section provides for up to a $2,000 fine and or 6-months in jail for any individual to identifies an accused lawyer prior to a finding of misconduct - $10,000 for a mainstream news outlet. That's totally unnecessary and draconian. The 6-month possible jail sentence moves it into the realm of a criminal offence.

5. Initiate a top down bottom up review of the Manitoba Law Society

Law Societies like the Canadian Judicial Council are widely viewed, and rightly so, as organizations of lawyers, by lawyers and for lawyers. As such they are monopolies. Where is the meaningful layperson involvement in the disciplinary process? There is none.

Good Luck Sherrff!

Clare L. Pieuk

Law Society CEO set to tackle access-to-justice issues

By Geoff Kirbyson
Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kris Dangerfield is the new CEO of the Law Society of Manitoba. (John Woods/Winnipeg Free Press)

There's a new sheriff at the helm of the Law Society of Manitoba, but she doesn't need to worry about learning a new route to work.

"I had to turn left when I walked in the door instead of right," said Kris Dangerfield, who has taken over as CEO of the legal profession's regulator in the province after years as its senior general counsel.

She has replaced longtime CEO Allan Fineblit, who resigned last fall to return to private practice at Thompson Dorfman Sweatman.

Dangerfield, who worked in private practice for more than a decade before joining the Law Society in 1998, is well-versed in the issues that will be coming across her desk.

In her previous role, she was responsible for discipline, including prosecuting lawyers for professional misconduct or incompetence and providing legal advice to various committees or the CEO.

"I find the regulation of the legal profession to be incredibly interesting and there's a very broad range of issues to deal with. (The CEO role) gave me an opportunity after being here for 17 years to tackle some new issues that I hadn't been engaged in and to look at things from a different perspective from the other side of the office," she said.

The biggest challenges facing Dangerfield and regulators across the country are globalization, the constantly changing legal landscape and access to justice, she said.

For example, she said there are far too many people whose income levels are too high to qualify for legal aid, yet too low to be able to afford their own lawyer.

It's the Law Society's job to come up with solutions, which could include lawyers forming partnerships with other professionals, such as psychologists or accountants, so a broader range of services can be provided to the public at a reasonable cost.

Another major issue is the growing number of people who choose to represent themselves in court. Not only are they likely doing themselves a disservice from a representation point of view, they are also causing largely unnecessary delays down the line because they're unaware of how the legal system and various procedures work.

"Eighty-five per cent of (legal) duties that could be handled by a lawyer aren't," she said.

"Everything takes much longer. Something that ordinarily would take one or two days might take a week or two. That can be very challenging for the courts and the profession."

Regulation gets even trickier when dealing with online legal resources, such as Legal Zoom, which continue to grow in popularity and are based in other jurisdictions, she said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 7, 2015 A12

Friday, February 20, 2015

What you need to know about ISIS

Good Day Readers:

At times you really have to wonder whether western leaders and their policy makers have taken the time to study ISIS to understand what it's all about albeit twisted?

The following article by the Atlantic Monthly Magazine's Contributing Editor Graeme Wood is the most comprehensive CyberSmokeBlog has encountered by an investigative journalist.

 He is to be congratulated for such a fine, well-researched and written piece. Because it's quite long here's the link:

Clare L. Pieuk
What ISIS Really Wants

The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here's what that means for its strategy - and how to stop it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Attention Winnipeg Centre constituents: Your Member of Parliament wears cheap, ill-fitting underwear!

Good Day Readers:

Watch Thomas Mulcair at the end of the video shaking his head as if to day, "I can't believe such an idiot is an NDPer."

CyberSmokeBlog asks voters of Winnipeg Centre do you really want to re-elect a politician who can't even buy the right size underwear? Perhaps he should show up not wearing any. Where is it written MP's have to attend parliament wearing underwear? Could underwear too tight be the reason for some of his beyond asinine comments recently in the House?

Clare L. Pieuk
Pat Martin says tight underwear led him to leave seat during vote

NDP MP from Winnipeg says he had to leave seat in House of Commons because he can't sit for long

Thursday, February 19, 2015

MP Pat Martin had a somewhat uncomfortable explanation for a brief absence from his seat in the House of Commons on Thursday morning.

The Winnipeg Centre representative voted on a procedural motion to adjourn debate, then left his seat for a moment. 

Storify: A brief Twitter rundown of Pat Martin's tight underwear issue

When Conservative MP Royal Galipeau asked deputy speaker Joe Comartin if a vote still counts if an MP leaves while it's being counted, Martin stood up to offer his explanation.

"I can blame it on a sale that was down at the Hudson's Bay [Company] – they had men's underwear on for half price. I bought a bunch that was clearly too small for me and I find it difficult to sit for any length of time," he said.

"I apologize if it was necessary for me to leave my seat briefly, but I did not mean to forfeit my right to vote."

After a mix of cheers, applause and laughter from the benches, Comartin was forced to rule on whether Martin's vote would count.

"Let me try to deal with this with at least some seriousness, we all understand that we have to be in our seats at the time the motion is read ... the member for Winnipeg Centre was in his seat at that time. He did step out of his chair for a very short time and was directed by me to sit down again," Comartin said.

"I didn't understand the explanation at the time, that he subsequently gave … can't say I really understand it at this point."

Comartin then said that since Martin was in his seat when the vote was read and also when he voted that his vote was able to stand.

Later, on CBC News Network's Power & Politics, Martin allowed that tight briefs were only part of the story.

"Some Conservative MP got his knickers in a knot, I think, about the fact that I stepped away from my chair for a couple of seconds, and so, you know, I believe that his point of order was tongue in cheek and it warranted a cheeky response," Martin told host Evan Solomon, while admitting that a sale of 50 per cent off is like "catnip to a Winnipegger."

"But ... that's not why I left my seat in the House of Commons, I left to go and have a chat with the Speaker and I think Mr. Galipeau overreacted heavily by saying I should forfeit my vote for having the temerity to ask the Speaker a question during a vote," Martin said.

"It was a cheeky answer to what I thought was a cheeky question," Marin said. "But it begs the question, I mean, a lot of the grumpiness in the House of Commons might be traced to the fact that MPs are buying one size too small in their knickers."

Martin said that in the end, at least his vote was allowed to stand.

"Let's face it, I was caught with my pants down for stepping away from my seat briefly," Martin said.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Loon Mountain arrives in Boston ,,,,, is it coming to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Newfoundland-Labrador?

Another dummy Judge!

Ottawa judge rapped by Ontario top court for visiting dating website

Superior Court Justice Timothy Ray invited lead assault detective to chambers to discuss case

Monday, February 16, 2015

An Ottawa judge who created a bogus online dating profile and told a detective that information from the website could have been used to "hang" a female complainant has had his knuckles rapped by Ontario's top court.

In ordering a new trial for a man acquitted of sexual assault, the Ontario Court of Appeal found Superior Court Justice Timothy Ray had violated basic legal principles.

"The conduct of the trial judge while his decision was under reserve as well as his statements to the officer about that conduct were improper and created a reasonable apprehension of bias," the Appeal Court said.

"(This) taints the verdicts of acquittal."

The situation arose in December 2013, when the Ottawa judge retired to consider an appropriate sentence for a man he had just convicted of simple assault — but had acquitted of sexual assault.

Documents show he sent a note to the lead detective, Erin Lehman, saying he wanted to see her in his chambers.
On her arrival, Ray asked if she had gone on — the dating website on which the complainant and accused had met.

According to court documents, Ray told the officer he had created a fake online profile the previous night before he delivered his verdict, pretending to be a gay man.

"He then told me that if defence had done the same thing, she would have been able to 'hang' the victim with all of the information available," Lehman said in an affidavit.

Lehman said Ray had asked the bailiff to summon her "discreetly." She also said Ray had suggested they have lunch or grab a coffee one day.

Ottawa Judge used 'irrelevant stereotypes,' Ontario's top court rules

Crown lawyer Vikki Bair wrote in an Appeal Court filing she was "shocked" by Lehman's account, calling the incident "very disturbing."

Ray later declared a mistrial on the convictions, admitting to an "error in judgment." However, he insisted he had based his verdicts only on the evidence, and had gone online "out of curiosity," court documents show.

"I was faced with a great number of very personal questions," the judge said. "I then logged out."
Ray also said he was only trying to point out to Lehman that people using the website have to disclose information that could be useful to investigators or defence lawyers.

Either way, the Appeal Court was not impressed.

"He conducted his own research into a website that had been the subject of evidence at trial while his decision was under reserve — contrary to the basic principle that judges and jurors must make their judicial decisions based only on the evidence presented in court on the record," the Appeal Court said.

The court also criticized Ray's views about using website information to "hang" the complainant as well as comments he made in his reasons for judgment. Among other things, he used "irrelevant stereotypes" to judge the complainant, the Appeal Court said in its decision released Friday.

Those comments included his opinion that the complainant did not appear to be an abused or insecure woman.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Like a little kink eh?

Fifty shades of legal liability - legal risks of kinky sex

By Tamara Tabo
Friday, February 13, 2015

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the much-hyped movie Fifty Shades of Grey releases in theatres nationwide today. The movie reportedly grossed $3.7 million in early release on Wednesday. It’s based on the novel of the same name, the novel that introduced frank sexual discussion of sadomasochism, bondage, and domination to the book clubs of middle-aged, middle-class women the world over. Thanks to Fifty Shades, your mom now knows what “BDSM” stands for, even if you really hope that she didn’t before. A blockbuster movie based and a bestselling book go a long way toward legitimizing BDSM as a mainstream sexual preference.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

All aboard Air F..k One with "Crooked Finger Bill!"

Bill's libido threatens to derail Hillary - again

By Maureen Callahan
Saturday, February 14, 2015

She hasn’t even announced, but the question has already resurfaced: Will Bill Clinton’s baggage derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes?

Just a few weeks ago, reports broke that Bill Clinton had flown at least 11 times on “The Lolita Express” — a private plane owned by the mysterious financier and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. According to Virginia Roberts, who claims to have been one of Epstein’s many teenaged sex slaves, Clinton also visited Epstein’s private Caribbean retreat, known as “Orgy Island.”

Is Bill Clinton's baggage going to derail Hillary Clinton's presidential hopes? (Photo //Wireimage)

“I remember asking Jeffrey, ‘What’s Bill Clinton doing here?’ ” Roberts said in 2011. The former president, she added, was accompanied by four young girls during his stay — two of whom were among Epstein’s regular sex partners. “And [Jeffrey] laughed it off and said, ‘Well, he owes me a favor.’ He never told me what favors they were.”

Clinton also spent years traveling and partying with Ron Burkle, a billionaire bachelor with a penchant for very young girls. Clinton spent so much time on Burkle’s private plane that it came to be known in Burkle’s circle as “Air F—k One.”

And that is to say nothing of Bill’s solicitation of mystery donors, the concerns about financial malfeasance at the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, Bill’s racially charged verbal gaffes during Hillary’s 2008 bid and the alleged longtime, serious mistress that diverted Hillary’s presidential campaign from larger problems.

To be clear, none of this is ancient history, affairs and misbehaviors that the nation has absorbed and seemingly forgiven. These are ongoing compulsions, tugs toward self-destruction that look to destroy his wife instead.

Bill never stopped being Bill.

'I can't control him'

Bill and Hillary at a St. Louis campaign rally in 1992. (Photo: Getty Images)

"Bimbo eruption” entered the lexicon in 1992, coined by then-candidate Bill Clinton’s aide Betsey Wright, who’d long seen Bill’s other women come and go. Yet during his first presidential campaign, Bill and Hillary shrewdly navigated the reports of his longtime infidelity, just as they would during the Monica Lewinsky scandal and resulting impeachment.

In the years since Bill left the White House and Hillary’s own stature has soared, the subtext of their narrative has been successful: Whatever the true nature of their marriage, that’s between them — which is fair when the issue is monogamy between consenting adults.

Monica Lewinsky in 1998. (Photo: Getty Images)

But when you’re running for office as the first female president of the United States — who, by the way, has spent her entire life advocating for women’s and children’s rights — and your husband has spent years consorting with at least one known pedophile who ensnared girls as young as 14 into his private sex ring, it’s a potentially insurmountable liability.

As it is, Bill supposedly was the reason Hillary initially declined then-President-elect Obama’s offer to be secretary of state.

According to John Heilemann and Mark Halperin’s 2010 book “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime,” Hillary told Obama that she was most worried about the damage Bill could do.

“You know my husband,” she said. “You know I can’t control him, and at some point he’ll be a problem.”

Also reported in the book was the existence of a “war room within a war room” during Hillary’s campaign. It was devoted solely to tracking down reports of Bill’s womanizing. What did they learn? Here, in the midst of his wife’s historic campaign, Bill was involved in a serious relationship with another woman.

This, according to “Game Change,” was Hillaryland’s nightmare: “What everyone who signed up with Hillary feared each waking day.”

Hillary took another hit when Claire McCaskill, the prominent Democratic senator from Missouri, weighed in on Bill’s reputation on “Meet the Press.”

"I think he's been a great leader but I don't want my daughters hear him." Senator McCaskill told "Meet the Press" to which Hillary reportedly responded 'f..k her.'(Photo: AP)

“I think he’s been a great leader,” McCaskill said, “but I don’t want my daughter near him.”

“F—k her,” Hillary said.

McCaskill endorsed Obama.

It was Bill’s close relationships with Burkle and Epstein, however, that were Hillary’s true threat. In an exposé published in Vanity Fair’s July 2008 issue, Todd Purdum — husband of Bill’s former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers — wrote of the former president’s depraved, “motley crew” of wealthy hangers-on and enablers.

Clinton had been close with Burkle, a self-made billionaire, for well over a decade. Burkle, 62, had long kept his private plane stocked with girls as young as 19, and according to author Mark Ebner, Burkle was well-known as a longtime patron of high-end prostitutes. In an excised chapter from his biography of Paris Hilton, which he later posted online, Ebner wrote that Burkle and billionaire Ted Field hired Hilton, among others, to fly to Vegas for sex.

“We would party pretty hard,” a source told Ebner. “Paris got naked, and the girls would get naked . . . There were times when you would have Ted or Ron come down, and they would pretty much pay for girl-on-girl action . . . They’d pay to watch girls going at it.”

Another member of their circle was Steve Bing, a wealthy playboy with a private jet. (Bing is best known as the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s child, and Hurley was later linked to Clinton by her ex-boyfriend Tom Sizemore. Hurley has denied an affair.)

Billionaire Ron Burkle (above) and Steve Bing (below) were two known playboys whom Bill Clinton ran around with. Burkle's private plane came to be known within the circle as "Air F..k One." (Photo: Getty Images)

Bing is a businessman and film producer. (Photo:Getty Images)

One former Clinton aide told Purdum that Bill’s seedy social circle was, at best, perplexing. “I just think those guys are radioactive,” the aide said. “I stay far away from them.”

In the run-up to Hillary’s 2008 bid, other aides and associates were alarmed by even more rumors: that Clinton had hooked up with actress Gina Gershon on Burkle’s jet; the sightings with a powerful Canadian businesswoman; the random one-night stands while traveling. Purdum wrote that an executive ran into Clinton, Bing and a gaggle of gorgeous young women in an elevator in Manhattan. He was shocked to see an ex-president in such company. “I don’t know what the guy was doing,” he reportedly said, “but it was so clear that it was just no good.”

By 2010, Bill’s friendship with Burkle was publicly done. Though Bill had made an estimated $15 million while working as Burkle’s pitchman, he’d begun distancing himself in 2007 and formally severed the relationship after Hillary was up for secretary of state.

In the aftermath, three of Bill’s aides went to the press — presumably with his assent — to claim that Burkle still owed Bill $20 million but that Bill had chosen to take the high road and walk away. Burkle, who rarely gives interviews, sat down with Bloomberg Businessweek to make his feelings about the former president clear.

“When Clinton left the presidency, he had to make money, and there were certain limits on how he could do it,” Burkle told the magazine. “In [some] ways, it was the dumbest thing I ever did.”

He also said that of the two of them, Bill was the liability. “If someone wanted to embarrass him,” Burkle said, “I got thrown in too. I got all that for free.”

Flights with Epstein

Court documents against Epstein show that he once had 21 private email addresses and phone numbers for Clinton and an aid. (Photo: Patrick McMullan: Getty Images)

Why would a man with Bill Clinton’s history cultivate friends like these? This is, after all, the candidate whose campaign was nearly derailed by the emergence of his longtime mistress, Gennifer Flowers, in 1992. Then came Paula Jones (claiming sexual harassment), Kathleen Willey (same), Juanita Broaddrick (rape) and, most famously, Lewinsky, the White House intern whose liaisons with Clinton led to his impeachment.

Paula Jones (right) accused Bill of sexual harassment. And Gennifer Flowers came out as his longtime mistress during his campaign in 1992. (Photo: DMI; Reuters)

According to Lewinsky’s testimony in the Starr Report, Clinton told her that he’d had “hundreds of affairs” early on in his marriage, but now he was trying to be faithful. That, she said, was the reason he gave for ending their relationship.

The former president has also been rumored to have had affairs with Barbra Streisand, Eleanor Mondale, Sharon Stone and most recently with a woman code-named “Energizer” by his Secret Service detail.

Bill’s decision to befriend Epstein, however, seems uniquely self-destructive.

Epstein, 62, is often called a self-made billionaire, though his actual net worth remains undocumented. He began his career as a teacher at Dalton before leaving for Bear Stearns and then going into business for himself as a financial adviser. According to a 2002 profile in New York magazine,  Epstein only took clients who invested at least $1 billion and gave him complete control of the money.

Bill poses with Nevada prostitutes Barbie Girl (left) and Ava Adora at a charity event in Los Angeles in March. (Photo: Facebook)

Epstein is also a career collector of mega-rich, mega-powerful friends: In addition to Bill Clinton, Epstein has socialized with Stephen Hawking and Prince Andrew.

Virginia Roberts, who filed an affidavit in Florida federal court, claims that she was groomed by Epstein’s longtime companion Ghislaine Maxwell, daughter of the late media mogul Robert Maxwell, to become one of Epstein’s many underage “sex slaves” when she was 15 years old.

Now 31, married and a mother of three, Roberts claims in court documents that Epstein later forced her to have sex with Prince Andrew three times, once as part of an 11-person orgy.

“Epstein and Maxwell trained me to do what they wanted, including sexual activities and the use of sexual toys,” she says in court documents. “The training was in New York and Florida, in Epstein’s mansions. It was basically every day and was like going to school. I also had to have sex with Epstein many times. I was trained to be ‘everything a man wanted.’ ”

Prince Andrew has denied Roberts’ claims. Roberts also stated she never saw Bill Clinton having sex with anyone.

According to the 2002 New York profile, Epstein became friendly with Bill when the former president was shopping around for a free private plane ride to Africa. Along for the trip were the actors Kevin Spacey and Chris Tucker.

Flight logs show that Bill Clinton flew on Epstein's private plane at least 11 times, including once when a soft-core porn star was on board. (Photo: Gregory P. Mango)

Flight logs show that Bill Clinton would later fly on Epstein’s private plane at least 11 times — several with Maxwell on board, and at least once with a soft-core porn star. Roberts has also said that Clinton visited Epstein’s private “Orgy Island” several times. Court documents show that Epstein had 21 private email addresses and phone numbers for Clinton and an aide.

In 2005, Palm Beach police responded to a complaint filed by a woman who claimed her 14-year-old daughter was lured to Epstein’s mansion. There, the girl was forced to undress and massage Epstein and was paid $300.

In all, it’s believed Epstein had 40 victims in Palm Beach alone. The Daily Beast reported that some of Epstein’s victims claimed he imported girls from Europe and South America, and that three were 12 years old. They were a treat to himself for his birthday.

Epstein hired a team of lawyers — among them Ken Starr, Bill Clinton’s old nemesis. In the end, Epstein pleaded guilty to just one count of soliciting an underage girl for prostitution. He served a year under nominal house arrest.

Bill Clinton cut ties with Epstein 10 years ago, but the emergence of these flight logs raises serious questions. Since leaving the White House, Bill, now 68, has repositioned himself as a humanitarian, distinguished elder statesman and supportive husband, softened by a quadruple bypass in 2004, his daughter’s marriage and the birth of his granddaughter last year.

The old Bill, the quaint letch, was meant to be left behind in the 1990s. But clearly, that was never the case. If anything, Bill seems to have become more reckless.

In 1998, at the height of the Lewinsky scandal and looming impeachment, he managed to save his own presidency in large part because Hillary stood by him. In return, he was meant to do what it took when it was her turn to run.

If, on some level, he wanted her to lose the nomination, he did a great job. What became clear to Hillary’s camp through the 2008 campaign, according to “Game Change,” was that Bill Clinton would do whatever he wanted to do. His blow-up right before the South Carolina primary, in which he called Obama’s anti-war stance “a fairy tale,” led to her crushing defeat.

“On garish display,” the authors wrote, “was Clinton violating the cardinal rule that was supposed to govern his conduct from the start of Hillary’s campaign: Don’t overshadow your wife.”

And so it begins, again

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Can you see a pudgy, out of shape Stephen Harper making a buzzer beating 15-foot jumper much less a 3-pointer from outside the arc? Justin Trudeau perhaps ..... Thomas Mulcair no way!

On the cocktail circuit with "Wink Cassidy" and the "Sundence Girl" from the hole-in-the-wall gang!


Regarding your recent posting about how no one appeared to be imbibing their faces off at Sir John A. MacDonald's 200th birthday celebration, that certainly doesn't hold for these two. Warren "Wink" Winkler and Beverley "Sundance Girl" McLachlin.

Chris Budgell

Dear Mr. Budgell:

Thank you for this. At least former Ontario Chief Justice Warren Winkler seen holding what appears to be a glass of (hopefully) chilled white wine has got it right Any sommelier/wine steward/oenologist will tell you that's the correct way. As for Beverley McLachlin it looks as though she has a glass of red wine so she's safe - at least for now.

The photograph was taken at a bi-annual gathering of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Legal Studies (Canada's "ancien regime?) which has another scheduled for later this year. Wonder what it costs taxpayers to send these people on this junket?

Clare L. Pieuk

Should the Canadian Judicial Council be forced to take a judicial ethics course at the National Judicial Institute?

Good Day Readers:

Did the CJC's Senior Legal Counsel/Executive Director Norman Sabourin unwittingly identify the exact problem when he said:

"The council is determined to ensure that any allegation (emphasis CyberSmokeBlog's).of inappropriate conduct by judges is taken seriously and reviewed fulsomely, with sanctions to follow in appropriate cases. This is what took place in the Matlow matter."

See, all you have to do is make an "allegation" against a judge and The Council's machinery is unleashed upon the judge and in public too!

Mr. Sabourin shown here at the 200th birthday celebration of Sir John A. McDonald for the glitterati. He is Board President of (Disneyland over) The Rideau Club.

What's amusing is pictures posted on the internet of the event do not show anyone holding a drink. With all due respect, politess, and delicatess wasn't he a bit of a lush. He would'n have approved of no one imbibing.

Clare L. Pieuk
Canadian Judicial Council under fire by federal judge

Retiring Superior Court Judge who was subject of public inquiry hits out at the Canadian Judicial Council's "terrible" multi million dollar investigative process.

By Olivia Carville/Staff Reporter
Thursday, February 12, 2015

Just months off retirement Superior Court Justice Fed Matlow says he is in a position to publicly criticize the Canadian Judicial Council's disciplinary processes. (Keith Beaty/Toronto Star)

A Superior Court judge has attacked the body that investigates complaints against federal judges in Canada, calling for an independent review into its “horrendous” disciplinary system.
“I wish that the role of the Canadian Judicial Council were re-examined carefully. My experience has made me lose faith in the integrity of the process,” Superior Court Justice Ted Matlow told the Star.
It is a rare move for a federal judge to hit out against the regulatory body, but after three decades on the bench, Matlow said he was retiring with no faith in the council.
In 2008, Matlow was the subject of a million-dollar public inquiry where the council backtracked on a recommendation to strip him of his job.
An initial five-member panel found Matlow’s involvement in a citizens’ battle against city hall was at odds with his role as a Superior Court judge and rendered him unfit for office.
But then a full public inquiry, made up of 21 chief justices and associate justices from across the country, overruled the decision. The full council found Matlow, 74, guilty of misconduct for using his judicial title for personal gain and “intemperate” language, but said this did not warrant his removal from the bench.
Matlow claims he was found guilty of “trivial” things and that his actions never amounted to judicial misconduct — he says the council overruling its own decision proves there are problems with its processes.
“I did not speak out earlier because I feared that I might be met with further consequences. I now have only 15 days to work and I no longer have reason to fear any retaliation,” he said.
Norman Sabourin, the council’s executive director, defended the council’s actions and said some of Matlow’s criticisms were “certainly surprising.”
“All council members who reviewed the matter came to a view that Justice Matlow engaged in behaviour unbecoming a member of the judiciary,” Sabourin said.
The council “is determined to ensure that any allegation of inappropriate conduct by judges is taken seriously and reviewed fulsomely, with sanctions to follow in appropriate cases. This is what took place in the Matlow matter,” Sabourin said.
Speaking publicly for the first time since the inquiry, Matlow said his 33-year judicial career was shadowed by the council’s “horrendous” public investigation into his involvement leading a crusade to stop a condo development in his Toronto neighbourhood.
“In my case, I think they did a terrible job. My case should not have consumed the time, effort and money that it did,” Matlow said.
“The whole thing was crazy.”
After reading a Star investigation highlighting the council’s secretive complaints process, Matlow said he felt obliged to go public with his own concerns before retiring.
“If a judge receives a bribe, robs a bank, or does terrible things, like insults litigants or sexist things, then I think that would legitimately lead to recommendation for removal,” Matlow said, but he questioned being stripped of office for challenging a neighbourhood development.
As a law student, Matlow was a driving force in the abolition of the death penalty. As a federal judge, he presided over some of the biggest fraud cases in the country and was praised in the media for going to extreme lengths to expose suspected police corruption in his courtroom. He has been the editor of a national law journal since 1977.
Matlow wants a full review of the council’s powers, ordinary people sitting on its inquiries, more transparency into its processes and said judges who are found guilty of misconduct should not automatically be entitled to have their legal fees paid by taxpayers — as is the case under current legislation.
Had his case been dealt with “intelligently and sensibly” it never would have proceeded, he said. “Even at worse, if I had used intemperate language, it did not justify getting me to go on a leave of absence for two years, while paying my $300,000 salary, and then spending millions of dollars to try and get me removed from the bench,” he said.
Matlow has estimated the full cost of his inquiry to be up to $4 million, but Sabourin disputed this and said he would be surprised if the cost exceeded $1 million.
At the end of the public inquiry into Matlow, several members of the council were of the view that he should still be removed from office, Sabourin said.
“The decision of the council was that no recommendation for removal should be made, on the basis that Justice Matlow belatedly acknowledged that his behaviour had been inappropriate,” Sabourin said.
Matlow got into trouble over his role in the early 2000s leading a community group that fought to stop a condominium complex being built on his dead-end street in Forest Hill. He lobbied politicians (including the attorney general) and tried to stir up media coverage against city hall, claiming the project was illegally authorized because it had grown in size and exceeded zoning bylaws.
Matlow continued to preside over legal cases involving the city during his fight. In 2005, when he ruled against the city in a high-profile but unrelated case, he was also privately continuing to push for media coverage of the condo battle. The city’s legal department filed a complaint to the judicial council claiming he was biased.
The council convened a panel, which reviewed the complaint and found that Matlow’s “inexcusable” misconduct rendered him unfit for office.
The panel said his activities, which included publicly suggesting city officials had been devious, stupid and dishonest, breached a judge’s ethical responsibilities and diminished public confidence in the impartiality of the justice system.
A full council inquiry was then called where the majority overruled the decision to strip Matlow of office. He was found guilty of misconduct for offering legal advice to the community group, for using intemperate language in the media, such as claiming city hall’s lawyer should not have passed law school, and for using the prestige of office to advance his private interests.
The council found Matlow’s “inappropriate and unacceptable actions” placed him in a position incompatible with the due execution of office, but it said the test for recommending his removal from the bench had not been met.
Matlow is one of only 11 judges to have faced a public inquiry in Canada — representing fewer than 0.5 per cent of all complaints lodged with the council.
He was ordered to comply with binding conditions, including apologizing to the city’s legal department, the attorney general and others, undergoing a judicial ethics course at the National Judicial Institute and seeking approval from the council before participating in any public debate in the future.
Matlow said he wrote the letters of apology, but he never knew what he was apologizing for. The ethics course he was ordered to attend was not available for more than two years after he returned to duty, which, Matlow said, defeated its purpose as a rehabilitation program.
“I acknowledge that I probably went overboard in some of the things that I said, but so what? That’s not judicial misconduct,” he said.
Despite everything that happened, Matlow said he still believes he had the right to fight against the condo development and that he could not have lived with himself if he had not.
“I never denied I did all of the things that were alleged. My defence was that I was entitled to do it,” he said. “I thought I had a legitimate right to say that the city was doing something wrong and just because I was a judge, it didn’t mean I should roll over and just let it happen.”
During the investigation, the council did not address the question of whether or not he was right in his fight against the city, Matlow said.
Ironically, the proposed condominium was never built. The parking lot on the corner of Thelma Ave. is still there.
Olivia Carville can be reached at