SNC Lavalin Said What?

“There’s something happening here What it is ain’t exactly clear . . ..” Stephen Stills, Buffalo Springfield While the SNC Lavalin (SNC) affair isn’t at the level of chaos in the streets or riots on college campuses in the hippie era, there are some fundamental similarities to be drawn. There is a real clash between the established political authority and the rest who are not so well-connected, the ruck of society. Canadians want to know what’s going on. Things “. . . ain’t exactly clear”. Throughout the SNC scandal the political elite, mainly the Prime Minister, have been insisting that … Continue reading SNC Lavalin Said What?

The Need to Know

Anthony Housefather holds the chair of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights, which is the parliamentary committee that heard testimony from former Attorney General and Justice Minister, Jody Wilson-Raybould and others in the SNC Lavalin affair (SNC). Now that the committee has concluded its investigation, Mr. Housefather wants to tell Canadians what he thinks they need to know about SNC. Housefather takes some pains to remind us that the Justice Committee is not a court and that his conclusions about what Canadians need to know about the findings of the Committee are his own opinion. Most Canadians I … Continue reading The Need to Know

What Is Not Wrong With Luka Magnotta?

If Luka Magnotta is indeed the murderer in the bizarre case of an online “snuff” video and corpse dismemberment, let’s hope the bastard is killed in the process of trying to elude capture and arrest. Why? The elimination by whatever means of such an embodiment of evil will spare us the agonizingly protracted trial sure to follow. In such theatrical surroundings we would likely be treated to testimony supporting the notion that the criminal is not completely responsible for his actions. The witch doctors masquerading as psychologists and psychiatrists would unfavourably influence the process of criminal justice. The stage is … Continue reading What Is Not Wrong With Luka Magnotta?

The Simple Summit

The recent Summit of the Americas in Cartagena ended on a down note. There were two issues of contention: the simple possibility of decriminalizing the illicit drug trade—as suggested by Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Columbia—and Cuba’s  representation at the summit, advocated by the Latin American constituency. So contentious were these points that the usual closing statement could not be issued. The US and Canada, represented respectively by President Obama and Prime Minister Harper, were united in opposition, effectively exercising a North American “veto”. The position on Cuba is clear enough. Cuba has not been involved in the Organization of … Continue reading The Simple Summit

Driving Distractions

During a recent drive through Alberta, Canada I was distracted by the ubiquitous highway regulatory signs warning, “DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW IN EFFECT”. On long drives (mine was 12 hours) one has opportunity to think about many things, although thinking and driving could be distracting—and possibly against Alberta law. I thought about the law itself. What does it really mean, and how will alleged breaches be prosecuted? The authorities have posted a FAQ page about the law which is both helpful and revealing. Perniciously enough, police officers are allowed considerable discretion in writing tickets for “distracted driving”. So, for example, one … Continue reading Driving Distractions

Appoint a Receiver

Five months ago I encouraged you to keep an eye on the Statutory Debt Limit in the United States. My premise is that the “debt ceiling” indicates how seriously members of the US Congress and Obama Administration take fiscal responsibility. Since then the partisan bickering has escalated while a general consensus is not whether the limit will be raised but by how much and under what conditions. It is clear that the majority of political participants cannot be entrusted further with finding a resolution. It is time to appoint a Receiver. Debt Caused By Excessive Spending First, consider why law-makers want the … Continue reading Appoint a Receiver

Moving Targets

WARNING: (It is not my usual practice to infuse my writing with profanity. It is in my view an unnecessary embellishment. There are times however when certain terms have no appropriate substitute in making a point. This article is one of those occasions.–E.P.) Among thousands of words written about the announcement by United States Attorney General Eric Holder that five of the “suspected” terrorists, until now detained at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, would be tried in civilian court in the Southern District of New York, there is one word that rarely appears: justice. Something other than … Continue reading Moving Targets

“Dummies” List Adds Clayton Ruby

Regarding my earlier post on Lucy the elephant it would appear this non-story is getting “legs“. Notwithstanding the uncommon sense of the folks at the Edmonton Valley Zoo, those who differ on grounds apparently involving their emotions, would rather take the populist route and risk the death of Lucy prematurely. Bob Barker, who “admits he doesn’t know much about elephants” is nevertheless prepared to continue to fight the “free Lucy” campaign. The involvement of criminal-defence lawyer Clayton Ruby, who has been retained by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), is a sure sign that the circus is not … Continue reading “Dummies” List Adds Clayton Ruby

The “Czar Czar”

US President Barack Obama is appointing another “Czar” to serve at his pleasure. This time it is a “Pay Czar,” who will oversee compensation matters relative to the many new government-controlled enterprises and bailed-out firms, which is fast becoming the real “growth industry” in America: i.e. corporatism, industrial policy or economic fascism. The recent count is apparently now up to 18 such non-cabinet posts. The executive practice of appointing aides with cabinet level authority has been utilized by the White House for some time and it fell to considerable criticism when George W. Bush was serving. Most of the justifiable … Continue reading The “Czar Czar”

Rags to Robes

In the apparently awful, corrupt or “unfair” country that Barack Obama wants to “change” into some sort of neo-fascist Italian or European socialist utopia, a Hispanic woman aged 54 has been nominated by him to sit on the Supreme Court of the United States. Could Sonia Sotomayor have achieved such stature in say, any other country? Notably, Sotomayor rose from a poor background in the Bronx projects where her uneducated, laborer father died when she was only 9 years old. She studied at Princeton University and graduated Yale Law. Not bad for such an awful country to allow such a … Continue reading Rags to Robes