Friday, September 19, 2014

Harpernomics 101

Abbott and Costello come to a Winnipeg courtroom!

Good Day Readers:

For being so stupid both should have been convicted. Manitoba Public Insurance is going to have fun sorting out this one!

Clare L. Pieuk
Two men acquitted in drunk driving case

Tough to know who was behind wheel: Judge

Mike McKntyre
Friday, September 19, 2014

It was a drunk-driving crash with a strange twist -- police say two drivers were behind the wheel of the suspect vehicle.

Both Winnipeg men walked free after a judge ruled there's too much confusion about the circumstances of the incident to safely convict either of them.

The Free Press obtained a written decision from Court of Queen's Bench Justice Karen Simonsen that outlines the February 2011 incident and her recent not-guilty verdicts.

Ajit Harry was allegedly driving a Honda when it ran a red light and slammed into a Suzuki at the intersection of Bishop Grandin Boulevard and Dakota Street. His friend and passenger, Rajinder Ganda, was accused of switching places with him once they had come to a stop about 450 metres away.

Harry and Ganda were arrested near the scene, thanks largely to several witnesses who chased down their slow-moving vehicle and held them for police.

Harry was charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm against both Ganda and the female driver of the Suzuki, who both suffered minor injuries. And the wounded and extremely intoxicated Ganda was charged with driving over .08 for being in the driver's seat after the fact.

During his testimony, Harry denied ever driving the car -- which belonged to his mother -- saying Ganda was to blame for the crash.

None of the witnesses could say with certainty it was Harry in the driver's seat at the moment of impact.

Harry denied being intoxicated, saying his eyes were bloodshot as a result of the "noxious fumes" that came from the airbag deploying.

He also blamed his slurred speech on stress connected to head trauma he'd suffered in a decade-old accident. Harry did admit to hiding a half-empty bottle of vodka that was inside the car, which he claimed Ganda had consumed.

"Some aspects of Harry's evidence are concerning," Simonsen wrote in her decision. "Parts of his evidence, while not incredible, seemed somewhat convenient."

She also noted Ganda's blood was found all over the passenger side of the car -- not the driver's side. Still, the judge said she was left with no choice but to acquit Harry based on the high standard of proof needed to convict because "the totality of the defence evidence raises a reasonable doubt as to whether Harry was the driver."

That wasn't the only problem.

"Even if the Crown could establish that Harry was the driver, Harry's evidence raises a reasonable doubt on the issue of impairment," said Simonsen.

As for Ganda, there were similar issues. Witnesses said he was behind the wheel for a very short period following the crash, but not before or during it as Harry had claimed. And the car never moved. The judge said there were doubts whether Ganda ever had "care and control" of the vehicle or simply slid into the driver's seat in his drunken, injured state.

One of the bystanders who chased the duo down described it as follows: "Ganda was belligerent and rude, and he had slurred speech. He had blood on his shirt in the chest area. He got out of the vehicle and was staggering. At one point, he sat in the driver's seat."

When police arrived, both men were standing outside the car. Ganda was swearing at Harry, telling him "not to say anything." Police initially treated him as the driver, and blood-alcohol tests showed he was at .37 -- close to five times over the legal limit.

No blood-alcohol tests were done on Harry.

Ganda never admitted wrongdoing, and without any witnesses blaming him -- aside from his co-accused, Harry -- the judge ruled it would be dangerous to convict.

"Ganda was in the (driver's seat) for only about 10 or 15 seconds. He had just been involved in an accident," Simonsen wrote.

"When I consider all of the evidence, I am satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that Ganda did not intend to set the Honda in motion."

The Crown has until next week to choose whether to appeal Simonsen's decision. To date, no paperwork has been filed with the Manitoba Court of Appeal.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 19, 2014 B3

The Decision

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Scammed by a lawyer and a law society?"

Good Day Readers:

These are very troubling cases for a few reasons. Because CyberSmokeBlog has had no dealings with the Law Society of Upper Canada it will restrict its comments to the experience of Ms Forsythe other than to say both the LSUC and the Law Society of Manitoba have a commonality - both are working from a seriously flawed business model.

Unfortunately, as frequently happens with laypersons, Carrie Forsythe was not aware of a link on the LSM website which tracks Disciplinary Case Digests going back to 1996 alphabetically arranged. There she would have quickly found that on November 25, 2011 Mr. Gorlick was found guilty on one count of a Breach of Chapter 2 of the Code of Professional Conduct (Quality of Service). He was fined $1,500 plus assessed costs of $3,000. The Disciplinary Panel included Jon van der Krabben (lawyer), Mark Toews (lawyer), Suzanne Hrynyk (public representative).

BTW, according to CyberSmokeBlog's calcalus there have been 124 disciplinary hearings since 1996 covering everything from Conflict of Interest, Incompetence, Breach of Accounting Rules and far, far beyond. Of these 22 are identified only as Members A-F meaning they were acquitted. There are approximate 1,800 lawyers in Manitoba - some would say 1,800 too many.

Secrecy - The Star Chamber

It's instructive to follow the disciplinary process. The following comments are based on CSB's experience with the Law Society of Manitoba. Presumably it much the same for the Law Society of Upper Canada.

A complaint will be reviewed by a disciplinary lawyer(s) and a decision made whether sufficient evidence to proceed exists. If so, a Citation will be issued to the lawyer documenting the count(s). This is not public information although there is nothing preventing the media from publishing it but the lawyer concerned would have to provide the copy and cannot be identified.

Beware Section 79 (1) (2)

The Manitoba Legal Profession Act sets out what the Law Society here can and cannot do. The media must always pay particular attention to 79 (1) (2):

No Publication Before Conviction

79(1) A person who publishes or broadcasts the name of a member in connection 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,

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of not more than $2000. or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or both; and

(b) in the case of a corporation, to a fine of not more than $10,000.

Liability of Directors, Officers and Employees

79(2) If a corporation commits an offence under this section, an officer, director, employee or agent of the corporation who directed, authorized, assented to, participated in or acquiesced in the commission of the offence is also guilty of an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of not more than $2,000. or to imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, whether or not the corporation has been prosecuted or convicted.

Doesn't that have the feel of a 16th century England Star Chamber? And remember law societies have subpoena powers. It's with good cause they're called the world's most powerful trade unions.

The Pending Disciplinary Hearings List

Given the aforementioned, all the public can do is go to the law society's website to keep an eye on the PDHL Currently 7 "all stars" are listed. For reasons unknown, Barry Gorlick (a former Canadian Bar Association President 1998-99) appears twice both recorded as November 5 and 6. The first lists counts of Breach of Integrity, Failure to Serve Client the second Misappropriation..

Originally, he was scheduled to appear earlier this year (March) but was subsequently sine die-ed (indefinitely adjourned).

The Lawyer Lookup

You can also access the Lookup which shows Mr. Gorlick as suspended but no effective date is provided.

The Oath

The final act before a lawyer is licensed to practice is a Call to the Bar ceremony. Here's the rigamarole for the Law Society of Upper Canada. Presumably, Manitoba's is very similar if not identical.

The link ( at page 24 says:

21. (1) The required oath for an applicant for the issuance of a licence to practise law in Ontario as a barrister and solicitor is as follows:

I accept the honour and privilege, duty and responsibility of practising law as a barrister and solicitor in the Province of Ontario. I shall protect and defend the rights and interests of such persons as may employ me. I shall conduct all cases faithfully and to the best of my ability. I shall neglect no one’s interest and shall faithfully serve and diligently represent the best interests of my client. I shall not refuse causes of complaint reasonably founded, nor shall I promote suits upon frivolous pretences. I shall not pervert the law to favour or prejudice any one, but in all things I shall conduct myself honestly and with integrity and civility. I shall seek to ensure access to justice and access to legal services. I shall seek to improve the administration of justice. I shall champion the rule of law and safeguard the rights and freedoms of all persons. I shall strictly observe and uphold the ethical standards that govern my profession. All this I do swear or affirm to observe and perform to the best of my knowledge and ability.

The Verdict
You be the judge and jury readers. Based on the facts presented by Ms Tomilson in her piece, do you think the legal establish has maintained the principles as outlined in the above oath or do newly minted lawyers simply pay lip service to words on a piece of paper to be quickly and conveniently forgotten?

Never forget the golden rule when dealing with politicians and especially lawyers. "Caveat emptor - buyer beware - still rules!

The Only Solution

Canadian law societies need to do what Britain did a few years. It took away the regulatory-disciplinary function of law societies and gave those powers to an independent, third-party government agency. Until or unless that's done you will have ongoing conflicts of interest - judges judging and protecting judges (the Canadian Judicial Council) and lawyers judging and protecting lawyers (the Law Societies of Upper Canada and Manitoba) and injustices such as you read about in the Kathy Tomlinson Go Public article shall continue.

Clare L. Pieuk
Go Public: Clients feel scammed as alleged lawyer misconduct kept quiet

Tens of thousands of dollars lost by small clients who trusted whom to hire

Kathy Tomlinson
Monday, September 15, 2014

Clients of two lawyers accused of serious misconduct are outraged over being kept in the dark about their lawyers’ records, which they said derailed their cases and cost them thousands.

“I got scammed by a lawyer, and the law society told me he was fine. That’s what really hurts a lot,” said Vancouver resident Angelika Opic. She hired Toronto lawyer Michael Munro after being led to believe he he had a clean record by the regulator

Toronto lawyer Michael Munro faces charges of lying to a client and failing to account for $37,000 of that client's fees, among other allegations. (Toronto Star)

Winnipeg resident Carrie Forsythe hired lawyer Barry Gorlick after he was recommended to her by another lawyer who knew Gorlick’s discipline record but didn’t tell her.

“I was told there was nobody who could look after me better. That’s a quote,” she said.

Both Munro and Gorlick have since been suspended over unrelated cases.

$25,000 gone

“I just thought he was laughing at me. I just thought I’d been made a fool of,” said Opic, who lost $25,000 after hiring Munro in December to contest her mother’s will.

She said she was heartbroken — then shocked — when her mother died and left the family home to her brother in Ontario.

Winnipeg lawyer Barry Gorlick is under suspension, facing serious charges of misconduct. (Canadian Bar Association)

Opic said her mother had dementia, and her signature on her last will and testament is very shaky. The will left Opic $60,000, far less than the value of the home. She is adamant her mother would not have done that if she had been of sound mind.
“She really wasn’t herself the last five years,” said Opic.
Before hiring Munro to contest the will, she contacted the Law Society of Upper Canada, asking about his record. She was told he was in good standing.
“I thought I had done my due diligence,” Opic said.

No warning
She wasn’t told Munro had been under heavy scrutiny since 2012, because of eight serious complaints against him.
When Opic hired him, he had already been warned by the law society he was facing suspension for failing to co-operate with investigators.
Even so, he took almost half the money her mother left her as a retainer. He originally asked for her entire inheritance.
Submit your story ideas:
Go Public is an investigative news segment on CBC-TV, radio and the web.
We tell your stories and hold the powers that be accountable.
We want to hear from people across the country with stories they want to make public.
Submit your story ideas to Kathy Tomlinson at Go Public
Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter
“With respect to financial matters, I will require a retainer in the amount of $60,000. You should deposit the retainer into my trust account,” Munro said in a December 8 email, a month before his suspension.
When Opic told him she couldn’t stomach sending that much, he settled for $25,000.
“That’s more money than I made last year. I think I made $18,000 last year. Because I was still looking for work,” said Opic. “I am a medical secretary. I wish I would have gone into law.”
Munro even pretended he was still working, after being suspended in mid-January.
“I will be in touch in the course of the next two or three weeks,” Munro wrote to Opic on Feb. 11. The email was signed “Michael Munro, Lawyer.”

'Hire another lawyer'
Opic said he did no work on her case. She found out about his suspension in April, when his phone was disconnected. She called the law society next.
“I started crying, and I said what about my money, what about my case?” said Opic. “[She was told] I am sorry, we can’t help you here. You will have to hire another lawyer.”
Regulators don't proactively inform clients directly, even after lawyers are suspended, beyond the original complainants. Instead, that information is posted on law society websites.
The law society makes no apologies for not warning Opic about the imminent suspension when she called in December. It told Go Public its investigations have to reach a “critical point” of evidence-gathering first.
“Until then, public disclosure of the investigation is not in keeping with common law principles that mere allegations are not sufficient to conclude there is guilt,” said a statement from the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Munro stands accused of failing to work on cases, lying to one client and failing to account for $37,000 of that client’s fees. He didn’t show up for recent law society proceedings on his case.

Law society knew plenty
Other former clients told Go Public Munro simply disappeared. Brent Jesperson paid him $60,000 in 2010 to handle a suit against a doctor.
“Michael stopped all communication suddenly [in September 2013]. I called the law society about my concerns,” said Jesperson, who lost touch with Munro for good in December.

Angelika Opic, right seen here with her mother, hired Toronto lawyer Michael Munro to contest her mother's will. (Angelika Opic)

“No mechanism seems to exist to warn prospective clients that complaints or concerns are before the law society. New potential clients could not know their retainers were at risk.”

Gilbert Roy paid Munro $4,000 last year to file a suit against the same doctor.

“I was waiting for him to file the statement of claim. He never did,” said Roy.

“I trusted two people and I got screwed twice. I trusted the doctor and then I trusted him. But it seems like nobody cares.”

Several clients, including Opic, have applied to the law society’s compensation fund. It won’t say how much — if anything — they could get back.

“We cannot speculate on the likelihood or amount of compensation to claimants,” said the law society statement.
Questionable recommendation

Meanwhile, in Winnipeg, Forsythe said she feels as if the legal community conspired against her.

The lawyer Gorlick was recommended to her in 2012 by former law society bencher Jon van der Krabben.

“I thought he had my back. I thought he was protecting me and I asked for his advice,” said Forsythe.

Van der Krabben failed to tell her he chaired a hearing the year before, where Gorlick pleaded guilty to professional misconduct, for failing to work and communicate on a client’s case over several years.

“This really added insult to injury in my situation,” said Forsythe.

She gave Gorlick’s firm, Monk Goodwin, $5,000 to file a lawsuit over a mouse infestation in a house she bought. Gorlick never did file her claim. Emails show he made several excuses.

During that time, he was again under investigation, for failing to communicate with another client, as well as a serious charge of misappropriating a client’s fees.
'He made a mistake'

Van der Krabben told Go Public that when he recommended Gorlick he didn’t think his previous misconduct was of “significant concern.”

Former law society bencher Jon van der Krabben recommended Winnipeg lawyer Barry Gorlick a year after he chaired a hearing where Gorlick pleaded guilty to professional misconduct. (The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education)

“He made a mistake and paid for it. To follow your logic, it would be imprudent to enter into a motor vehicle if someone who had previously been convicted of speeding was the driver,” van der Krabben said.

Forsythe said Gorlick’s firm also didn’t tell her anything was amiss, until he was suspended this year.

“Not one of them — not the law firm, not the law partners — ever recommended that I look somewhere else or that this guy may not even be able to finish,” said Forsythe.

She has hired another lawyer to restart her case, which she said was hurt by the delay. She had to push Gorlick’s firm for months to get a $3,000 refund.

Gorlick refused to talk about any of this, citing client confidentiality. He faces a hearing on the charges against him in November. His former firm told Go Public the “matter is closed.”
More transparency promised
The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is promising easier access to lawyer discipline records when reforms are brought in next year.

“We have developed a strong commitment across the country to make our discipline processes much more public, open and clear in terms of what we are doing,” said Darrel Pink, a Nova Scotia lawyer on the national discipline standards committee.

However, serious complaints and investigations will still be kept under wraps until a lawyer is charged or suspended pending charges.

“We will not publish information about complaints that are not prosecuted,” said Pink. “None of us, I don’t think anybody, would want to hold someone accountable for something that was ultimately dismissed.”

Federation statistics show there were more than 10,000 complaints filed against Canadian lawyers in 2012. That same year, 60 were suspended and 42 disbarred.

Submit your story ideas to Kathy Tomlinson at Go Public

Follow @CBCGoPublic on Twitter

Trash the little buggers!

Good Day Readers:

Next time you're delayed on a commercial flight because of a tardy parliamentarian you have three options:

(1) Find the nearest dumpster to throw them in along with an old tire but remember don't .... on them it's against the law to .... on a parliamentarian

(2) Locate the nearest trash receptacle with their mug on the side and squeeze their fat taxpayers' ass through the opening

(3) Don't let them board the plane

The preferred option is (1). Remember you paid for their ticket.

Clare L. Pieuk

Angry passengers throw Pakistani politician off plane after getting stuck on tarmac waiting for him for two hours

Salman Masood
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pakistani Interior Minister Rahman Makik at Chaklala airbase in Rawalpindi on September 12,2011. (Aamir Qurashi/AFP/Getty Images)

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Flight delays are nothing unusual at Pakistan’s ailing state carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, long hobbled by political interference, a bloated staff and epic financial losses.

But the delayed departure of one flight on Monday caused several enraged passengers to mount a virtual mutiny and eject one politician and block another from the plane before it could even take off.

The incident occurred at the Karachi airport when Rehman Malik, a former interior minister best known for his colorful ties and erratic pronouncements, turned up two hours late for a flight to Islamabad.

The state airline often delays flights to accommodate tardy politicians and senior bureaucrats, which is seen as one reason for its patchy operational performance.

So you want to become a Supreme Court of Canada Justice ... eh? Screw "Helicopter Pete" MacKay and "Homer" Harper better check first with Rocco "The Wrecking Ball" Galati!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A self-snitch line for Stephen Harper and the Conservatives!

"Hello, Auditor General of Canada? This is a Conservative Party appaRATchik. Have I ever got some dirt for you on the Conservatives - more big, fat, juicy salacious scandals!"
Tax agency sets up snitch line for own staff
Steve Rennie
Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Canadian Revenue Agency headquarters in Ottawa is shown on November 4, 2011. (The Canadian Press/Sean Kilpatrick)

OTTAWA - The taxman wants to know if any of his own are up to no good.

That's why the Canada Revenue Agency is in the process of setting up a self-snitch line.

The so-called internal fraud and misuse reporting lines would give agency staff a way to confidentially report any concerns about their colleagues.

"Internal fraud and integrity lapses pose a serious threat to the organization's objectives and reputation and to the morale, productivity and well-being of its employees," the agency says in a new contract document.

"To mitigate the threat, it is vital that the CRA takes all reasonable measures to safeguard the assets, resources, information and reputation of the organization from fraudulent activity and inappropriate conduct by its employees."

Three Canada Revenue Agency employees were among seven people caught up in a sweep by the Mounties earlier this year.

Charges laid include bribery of public officers, conspiracy, fraud, breach of trust by a public officer and fraud against the government.

Since 2008, 15 people — including eight former Canada Revenue Agency officials — have been arrested as part of an investigation called Project Coche.

Back in 2010, The Canadian Press obtained internal reports showing the agency had trouble with employees who wasted their work days surfing the Internet, setting up sports pools, sending chain letters, promoting illegal substances, sharing offensive cartoons and running pyramid schemes.

But some staff may be wary about bringing their concerns to a supervisor, the agency says.

Others may fear their covers could be blown. There's no guarantee of anonymity under either the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act. That means any information gathered over the course of an investigation into wrongdoing is accessible — although personal information would most likely be blanked out in any documents released under those laws.

"While the CRA holds its 40,000 employees in the highest regard, the agency must be prepared to address rare instances of misconduct so that we can preserve the integrity of the tax system and remain accountable to the ethics and values that form the heart of our mandate," agency spokesman Philippe Brideau wrote in an email.

Employees will have the option of calling a toll-free hotline, sending letters through the mail or lodging their concerns through a website, he added.

Tipsters won't get any special rewards for turning in their colleagues.

"This system is integrity-based rather than rewards-based, and is currently scheduled for implementation by March 2015," Brideau wrote.

This isn't the first time the agency has set up a snitch line.

A hotline to try to catch people who may be hiding money offshore has been up and running since January.

The Offshore Tax Informant Program offers tipsters a cash reward of up to 15 per cent if the agency collects more than $100,000 in taxes owed. The downside? The reward money must be claimed on the tipster's income tax.

There's also a third snitch line that's focused on domestic tax fraud and pays no rewards.

Follow @steve_rennie on Twitter

Monday, September 15, 2014

How quickly Stephen Harper forgot!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Jeezus Your Honour if you really feel the need to have a pee in public at least go hide behind a large tree!

Judge suspended for 2012 intoxication

Grant Rodgers

Friday, September 12, 2014

(Photo: The Register)

A southern Iowa judge has been suspended without pay for 30 days after findings that she arrived for work at the Henry County Courthouse intoxicated and, in a separate incident, urinated on a street.

Fort Madison-based District Associate Judge Emily Dean was drinking a "colorless liquid" on May 9, 2012, while her court reporter was driving her from Fort Madison to Mount Pleasant, according to a ruling Friday from the Iowa Supreme Court. Dean fell asleep in the car and when she arrived at the courthouse an employee in the county attorney's office convinced her she could not work.

Later that day, Dean was taken to a hospital intensive care unit for "severe alcohol intoxication" and stayed for three days. The Iowa Commission on Judicial Qualifications suspended Dean the day after the incident so that the Iowa attorney general's office could conduct an investigation.

"On that day, Judge Dean did not promote public confidence in the independence, integrity and impartiality of the judiciary and did not perform her duties competently or diligently," the Supreme Court's order said.

An investigation found other incidents, including a May 2012 report that a woman driving a car owned by Dean's husband had urinated in a public street. The resident who filed a complaint followed the car back to Dean's mother's residence; Dean admitted in a letter that she "could not remember what happened and could not deny" the report, according to the ruling.

Dean was allowed to go back to work in November 2012 after a hearing where Dean called a substance abuse counselor to testify about her progress in dealing with her alcoholism, according to the ruling. The counselor testified that Dean attended Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and her husband also testified that she'd made a "complete 180 degree turn" since the May incident.

In an application for discipline filed with the court, the commission on judicial qualifications asked for a three-month suspension for Dean. In its ruling, the Supreme Court noted that there were no previous complaints about the judge and that she'd made significant steps to deal with her alcoholism. "Judge Dean has confronted her disease and now has demonstrated a deep personal commitment to recovery," the ruling said. "She appears to have overcome the denial, recovered from the embarrassment, recognized the depth of the problem ... and most importantly has been able to establish the kind of supportive framework associated with successful recovery over a lifetime."

Elaine F. Gray, Dean's attorney, said the judge has been in recovery for over two years.

"The Supreme Court was tasked with entering a disciplinary order that didn't leave the public wondering whether they were protecting their own or otherwise giving preferential treatment to Judge Dean," Gray wrote in a statement.

Does the "Ray Rice Syndrome" exist in the Canadian Football League?

Good Day Readers:

The Ray Rice case has opened a lot of eyes on several levels not just by drawing attention to the issue of domestic violence but do celebrities, such as professional football players, receive preferential disciplinary treatment not only from their leagues' (NFL and CFL) but does it also extend to the courts. In the case of Mr. Rice the answer can only be a resounding "YES!"

But what about Canada is there any reason to think we're better? You need not look far to begin to wonder. Currently former Cincinnati Bengal/Miami Dolphin player Chad "Ochocinco"Johnston (Remember him?) is currently on the roster of the Montreal Alouettes after a 2012 conviction for assaulting his now former wife.

Before that, then former NFLer Ricky Williams (New Orleans Saints/Miami Dolphins - multiple league drug policy violations) was allowed to play (one season) for the Toronto Argonauts before returning to the Dolphins.

More recently, Cleveland Browns wide receiver like Ricky Williams tried to play in Canada after multiple drug policy infractions but was refused. At least this time around CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon has announced Ray Rice he will not be allowed to play here until after (assuming it is) his indefinite suspension is lifted.

The Canadian Football League and Domestic Violence

CyberSmokeBlog has started researching what will soon appear as a series of postings about the situation in Canada. It will focus on a particular case for a couple reasons:

(1) Being in Winnipeg it will allow CSB ready access to The Law Courts and the almost 500 public domain court filings that date back to the case's genesis in March of 2004. To this day the legal remnants are still before the courts (child custody issues)

(2) CyberSmokeBlog believes it's a poster child for what's wrong with family court not only here but everywhere one looks.

Clare L. Pieuk

"I'll be back" but you've been terminated "Hasta la vista baby!"

Good Day Readers:

This is hilarious. Can you imagine if a provincial Premier or Prime Minister were divorced while in office? They could then simply reach for a can of spray paint to "touch up" their portrait hanging in the Legislature or House of Commons. Hummm, good idea/bad idea?

Clare L. Pieuk
Arnold had Shriver scrubbed from portrait

Tara Palmer
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Photo (Associated Press)

He scrubbed her from his heart!

Arnold Schwarzenegger was so hot to erase any memory of his marriage to Maria Shriver that he had her face scrubbed from his official portrait as governor of California — and he didn’t even care that the hastily done job was a sloppy mess, The Post has learned.

California Capitol insiders were shocked to see that a small picture of the former first lady that had been part of the ex-governor’s 6-foot-high oil painting was no longer visible when the work was unveiled Monday at the Sacramento statehouse.

Shriver’s face originally had appeared on a small lapel pin that Schwarzenegger wore as he sat for the painting in 2003.

The Shriver picture was covered over by an ugly smudge of blue paint, which was so poorly applied, it couldn’t be ignored by statehouse staff.

“Whoever touched it up did not do a very good job,” Capitol tour guide Richard Granis told The Post. “It was softball sized, right there on his left lapel.”

It is easy to see the sloppy removal of Maria Schriver from Schwarzenegger's lapel when the portrait is under direct light. (Photo: Associated Press)

Another Capitol staffer pointed out that the “splotch” lacked the matting of the rest of the portrait, which was done by renowned Austrian artist Gott­fried Helnwein. “That’s what makes it especially noticeable,” said the staffer.

Many in Shriver’s and Schwarzenegger’s orbit had been holding their breath before the unveiling ceremony Monday — anxious to see if he would keep her smiling mug on the painting.

The concern came after The Post broke the news last week that she’d had an affair with her husband’s campaign strategist Matthew Dowd.

It’s not clear when the Governator terminated Shriver’s face from his portrait, but the amateurish nature of the touch-up make some staff think it was done recently — and in haste.

Schwarzenegger’s marriage to Shriver — a Kennedy family member and former TV journalist — imploded when she discovered in 2010 that he fathered a love child with their maid.

Meanwhile, The Post reported Shriver — whose divorce from the action-movie hero is not yet finalized — also strayed, by openly carrying on with Dowd when he was working on the Governor’s 2006 re-election campaign.

Maria Shriver Schwarzenegger laughs during Arnold's inauguration in 2007. (Photo: Associated Press)

Shriver was recently seen with the political aide at cousin Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s wedding to actress Cheryl Hines in Hyannis Port, Mass.

A rep for Schwarzenegger didn’t return a request for comment.

Additional reporting by ­Emmett Berg in Sacramento

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Interviewer to Mike Tyson: "What am I going to do you ask you little piece of .... eh? Shut the .... up or I'll punch you in your big ugly nose you a-hole!"

The Harper government's sex hotline!

"Hello, Mr. Harper? Is spanking, tickling or torturing a parliamentarian having sex?"

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"I should be allowed an extra 5 minutes ....." You go girl time to whip those perverted asses!

Good Day Readers:

Hopefully, Ms Bedford will carry through with her thinly veiled threat to name parliamentarians who have used the services of a sex trade worker. Perhaps the best approach would be to sprinkle a few now across the landscape like Johnny Appleseed but wait until the election writ is dropped to blow her wad. Jeezus, voters will be scrambling to see if their Member of Parliament made the "honour roll."

Can you imagine what the political dynamic could look like in the leadup to the next federal election? Trials underway for Mike Duffy, possibly "Hurricane Pam" (Wallin), Patrick Brazeau, Mack Harb, possibly Nigel Wright, Bruce Carson, possibly Arthur Porter - did we miss anyone? That Stephen Harper sure knows how to pick winners.

Juxtaposed on that all star cast would be Terry-Jean Bedford list of parliamentarian perverts. Lest we forget, it was "Helicopter Pet" McKay who publicly stated anyone who uses the services of a sex trade worker is a pervert.

Committee Chairman Senator Bob Runciman and especially some of his parliamentarian friends and colleagues may woe betide the day he didn't give Ms Bedford that extra 5 minutes.

Clare L. Pieuk
Terry-Jean Bedford kicked out of prostitution bill hearing

Sex worker who won Supreme Court challenge claims to know of federal politicians who use prostitutes

Kady O'Malley
Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Retired dominatrix Terri-Jean Bedford was escorted by security out of a Senate committee meeting after refusing to heed the chair's warning that her allotted speaking time had run out — but not before threatening to make politicians "forget about Mike Duffy."

The woman who won a Supreme Court challenge to Canada's prostitution laws told committee members that the government's proposal to criminalize buyers of sex would "make Canada the laughingstock of the world."

And she issued a veiled threat.

Watch an excerpt of Terri-Jean Bedford's testimony

"If this law passes, I'm going to make you guys forget about (suspended senator) Mike Duffy. Because I got more information and proof on politicians in this country than you can shake a stick at. I promise."

Bedford was invited along with other witnesses to share her thoughts on the Conservative government's response to last spring's landmark Supreme Court decision.
But, less than halfway through a question and answer portion, Bedford was admonished by Senator BobRunciman, the committee chair, for exceeding her allotted time for a response and she responded angrily.
"You've given lots of other people lots of time. I have 30 years of your abusive laws, so I should be allowed at least an extra five minutes to talk about it."
"You pet everybody else on the back, but when you know I've got a bombshell to deliver you want to try to avoid me at all costs," Bedford said.
When Bedford tried again to make a point about the costs of her legal battle, Runciman adjourned the meeting and security escorted her out.
Outside East Block, surrounded by reporters, she reiterated her opposition to the government's proposed prostitution bill rewrite.
"They're on the attack against strong, independent women who can think for themselves," she said.
Asked whether she knew of any current MPs or senators who use sex workers, Bedford said, "What do you think?"
"I'm not going to answer any more stupid questions."
Bedford later issued a statement in which she apologized for losing her temper.
"I was barely able to read my speech because I was so angry at the government for parading victims with repeated irrelevant information and then organizations who were shilling for government handouts on which they are dependent," she said.
"The shameful use of victims by the government in this process, and their disregard for life by ignoring court findings, refusing to listen to their own legal staff and refusing to answer questions from legitimate sources made me snap."
She added that she's already heard that some people "are sympathetic to the points that I made," and even her outburst.
"The truth will win out," she concluded.

'Fundamentally flawed bill'

Bedford, one of the three applicants behind the legal challenge that brought down Canada's prostitution laws last December, was testifying before the Senate legal and constitutional affairs committee on Wednesday afternoon.  
Her co-appellant, Valerie Scott, also appeared before the committee on Wednesday, although not as part of the same witness panel. Scott is the legal co-ordinator for Sex Professionals of Canada.
Although Scott and Amy Lebovitch, who was also part of the challenge, testified before the House justice committee in July, Bedford did not.
She did, however, follow those hearings closely, according to her blog, and predicts that the proposed law will ultimately fail in court, even after it was amended to narrow the ban on public communications to cover only areas in the vicinity of schoolyards, daycares and playgrounds.
"Changes to or removal of clauses from a fundamentally flawed bill are irrelevant," she wrote in July. 
"It is flawed in its intent. It will be flawed in its implementation. It is flawed as to whether it is itself legal or constitutional. It is flawed in that it will make things worse for women. Its passage will be a victory for human traffickers and organized crime."

Another court challenge could take years

It could take up to a decade to get a final Supreme Court ruling on the constitutionality of the government's prostitution bill, according to criminal defence lawyer Graeme Hamilton.
Hamilton was one of several lawyers to testify before the Senate committee Wednesday morning.
He pointed out that the Bedford case required 25,000 pages of evidence, and predicted that it could take several years to collect a similar dossier to challenge the new law, if passed. 
The estimate came during an exchange with Liberal Senator George Baker, who also quizzed justice officials about the constitutionality of the bill.
Senators heard from a panel of former sex workers turned anti-prostitution activists, several of whom shared their personal stories of what, by their accounts, amounted to under-age sex slavery.
Although strongly supportive of the bill, the "survivors," as they call themselves, have also called for further amendments to remove all provisions that would criminalize sex workers themselves.
The hearings are scheduled to wrap up on Thursday afternoon.
The bill is currently awaiting final House approval, and is expected to be officially referred to the Senate later this fall.
The full list of witnesses scheduled to testify on Bill C-36, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (Canada v. Bedford) on Wednesday:
  • Casandra Diamond, Director (BridgeNorth)
  • Graeme Hamilton, Representative (Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers)
  • Leo Russomanno, Member and Criminal Defence Counsel (Criminal Lawyers' Association)
  • Megan Walker, Executive Director (London Abused Women's Centre)
  • Nana Yanful, Representative (Canadian Council of Criminal Defence Lawyers)
  • Larissa Crack, Founder, Director (Northern Women's Connection)
  • Natasha Falle, Founder (Sextrade 101)
  • Cheryl Link, Assistant Director (Northern Women's Connection)
  • Diane Matte, Coordinator (Concertation des luttes contre l'exploitation sexuelle)
  • Bridget Perrier, Co-Founder, First Nations Educator (Sextrade 101)
  • Terri-Jean Bedford, Respondent/appellant on cross-appeal, Canada v. Bedford (As an individual)
  • Janine Benedet, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of British Columbia (As an individual)
  • Frances Mahon, lawyer, Sack Goldblatt Mitchell LLP (As an individual)
  • Gwendoline Allison, Lawyer, Foy Allison Law Group (As an individual)
  • Trisha Baptie, Community Engagement Coordinator (EVE (Formerly Exploited Voices now Educating))
  • Georgialee Lang, Lawyer (As an individual)
  • Valerie Scott, Legal Coordinator (Sex Professionals of Canada)

"It's all about the money all the time!" ..... Kevin O'Leary

Good Day Readers:

In watching the Ray Rice story dominate the airwaves Kevin O'Leary's words come to mind. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is a vastly over compensated figurehead eunuch the real power behind the throne is the league's wealthy owners. During his tenure their total take of revenues has gone from $6 billion a year to $9 billion so why wouldn't they choose to retain him? He's also a convenient fall guy when things go wrong.

Little ....-ball TMZ was able to get a copy of the brutal assault of Janay Palmer by footballer Ray Rice yet the Commissioner with enormous resources at his disposal couldn't? Huh? His explanation to the media was beyond feeble/lame. Even"Mr." Rice's lawyer had a copy while lobbying Roger Goodell for a lighter penalty for his client. At any time did Mr. Goodell ever say, "Give the league office all information in your possession regarding the incident and we'll review the matter?"

Then there's Ms Palmer. As little as a month or two after the assault she marries Ray Rice. Go figure. What more of a wake up call does she need? Then she blames the media for the predicament she and her "husband" currently find themselves. She doesn't sound as though she's particularly bright.

As for Roger Goodell he's at the beck and call of the league's ownership it and it alone will decide whether he goes or stays. If their revenue share continues to grow he'll stay. Sad but true.

The following is posted on the TMZ website:

The NFL NEVER contacted the casino to request video of Ray Rice brutalizing his fiancee ... TMZ Sports has learned. Commissioner Roger Goodell made his disciplinary decision in the dark, which raises the question ... Is that the way he wanted it?

Sources connected with the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City tell TMZ Sports ... NO ONE from the NFL ever asked for the video inside the elevator ... video that was compelling enough to get Rice instantly fired.

Sources who worked at the casino at the time of the incident tell us ... if the NFL had asked for the video, they would have gladly complied. Former employees have told us someone with an affiliation to the NFL saw the video, but we are now certain that someone was not from Goodell's office or the core NFL executives.

Without video ... Goodell blindly justified the initial 2-game suspension, based on the only evidence they had - from the two people in the elevator, who called it mutual combat.

Multiple sources tell TMZ Sports ... the casino made a copy of the elevator surveillance video for police. We're also told Rice's lawyer had a copy of the video, which he got in the criminal case.

An NFL source tells us they requested "any and all information" from law enforcement in the criminal case but got nothing because it was a pending case. But the NFL had other options ... namely going to the casino or Rice's lawyer - but the NFL never bothered to ask.

BTW ... it may sound crazy for Rice's lawyer to voluntarily hand over the video, but the NFL had a lot of leverage ... in the form of severe penalties if Rice didn't ante up the tape.

So the question ... does the NFL have incompetent investigators, or was it just easier to protect a player and turn a blind eye to video that would have forced Goodell's hand? Both scenarios are pretty disgusting.

Read more:

Clare L. Pieuk