a little under the weather

will be back soon!  :)

a little under the weather

will be back soon!  :)

Justice must not only be done, it must be seen to be done: except, perhaps, when a taxpayer tries to prosecute Kathleen Wynne – part 1

This will be a multi-part post.  As additional bits are up, I’ll edit to include the links to them at the end.

Yes, I was, yet again hanging out at the Elgin St. Court House in Ottawa on Monday, 18th of August, 2014.

No, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.  But, as a citizen of this great country of ours, I am seriously concerned about the erosion of our inalienable rights and freedoms and the ever-increasing government encroachment on these rights and freedoms and its accompanying rise in corruption.

So, when a friend emailed me to let me know that the founder of the Municipal Taxpayer  Advocacy Group, will be in court regarding Kathleen Wynne and the whole Presto mess, I was eager to go and learn for myself exactly what is going on.

As usual, it is difficult to follow what happens in court if you walk in ‘cold’ – without knowing any of the background.  Thus, I would like to present you how I see the case – what the crux of the matter is according to my never-humble-opinion, before I delve into the narration of what occurred in the courtroom.

Currently, Kathleen Wynne is the Premier of Ontario.

I know – I find it difficult to believe as well, but that is what happens when the group-think Cultural Marxist indoctrinated media does not inform the public about the real-life actions of their elected politicians.  Without accurate, impartially presented information, the voting public cannot possibly make an informed choice in the voting booth:  and we end up with people like [insert insult of choice] Kathleen Wynne as the Premier of Ontario.  But, that is a rant for another day.

Prior to being the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne was the Ontario Minister of Transportation in the Dalton McGuilty Cabinet.

While she was the Minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne had presided over the whole Presto mess.

What is the Presto mess?

The way it looks to me (and I could, of course be mistaken:  this is not a statement of fact but solely my imperfect opinion) is that a bunch of the municipalities in Ontario needed to step into the 21st century and introduce a way to pay for public transit electronically.  So, they did what they ought to have:  they opened it up to private companies to propose solutions and bid for the contract.  So far, so good.  Except that some liberal insiders decided that taxpayer funds is their personal piggy bank, so they forced TTC and OC Transpo to buy a highly inferior – but much more expensive (all those pockets don’t just grease themselves, you know) solution.  Since it was shoddy and expensive, nobody wanted it – so, the Liberal government had no choice but to threaten municipalities like Ottawa and Toronto that unless they do go with Presto, the Liberal Government will not pay them the tax money they collect on their behalf from the gas taxes nor will they forward onto them the money they promised them for subways, light rail and other such little matters.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I think it is inappropriate for any level of government to provide a private service, such as transportation (much less to usurp onto themselves a monopoly over it).  That having been said, we do live in a world where government-run public transit is a reality, so we must ensure that the process is as least corrupt as it can possibly be, given this sad state of affairs.

So, when one level of government collects non-voluntarily paid taxes (itself a form of slavery – but that, too, is another rant) on behalf of another, then threatens to withhold these funds unless the recipient levels of government enter into binding contracts forcing them to accept inferior goods at inflated prices – I am not exactly…happy.

And that is exactly what I think happened here.  Not only have OC Transpo and the Toronto Transit been forced into accepting presto, the ‘deal’ forces the municipalities to pay its bill on time – without being able to invoke penalties for late delivery or equipment failure.  Or, so a little bird told me…  This is insult on top of injury and millions more lost, wasted…

But, what is one to do about this?

Well, one concerned taxpayer (let’s call him CT) DID do something about it.

He went on a hunt for the culprit – and found an official letter sent to the Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson, from the Ontario Government, pretty much making that threat:  accept the Presto system or you’ll not get the money we are legally obligated to transfer to you.

And CT found a signature at the bottom of this letter.

Whose signature was it?

None other than Kathleen Wynne’s, the then Minister of Transportation and the now Premier of Ontario!!!

To me, this seems like the proverbial ‘smoking gun’.

I suspect that CT thought so as well, since he started a private citizen’s prosecution of Kathleen Wynne.


More to follow PART 2 , PART 3 and PART 4 of this narrative.

Living under terror is no life for children

A large number of the civilian casualties in Gaza did not die as a result of the Israeli response to the unprovoked acts of war by Hamas (both rocket fire and territorial invasion via underground tunnels):   they have died of the Hamas rockets themselves.

Do not be fooled into thinking these  rockets to be ‘mere firecrackers':  without the Israeli defensive Iron Dome and the many bomb-shelters in Israel, the Israeli civilian casualties would be much, much higher.

This is no mere conjecture but a statement of fact.

How do I know this?

From the extensive deaths caused by these rockets when they accidentally land inside Gaza itself!

Certainly, non-Israeli reports of this are scarce because even though they don’t admit this, the reporters in Gaza are reporting under duress and thus act (willingly or not) as accomplices of Hamas:  repeating in their reports only the numbers and things that Hamas wants reported, showing only the images that Hamas wants shown.  Hardly ‘journalism’…

And if that is not enough, here is an excerpt from Wikipedia (hardly a Zionist source):

“The weapons, often generically referred to as Qassams, were initially crude and short-range, mainly affecting Sderot and other communities bordering the Gaza Strip. However, in 2006 more sophisticated rockets began to be deployed, reaching the larger coastal city of Ashkelon, and by early 2009 major cities Ashdod andBeersheba had been hit by Katyusha, WS-1B[8] and Grad rockets.[9] In 2012, Jerusalem and Israel’s commercial center Tel Aviv were targeted with locally made “M-75″ and Iranian Fajr-5 rockets, respectively,[10] and in July 2014, the northern city of Haifa was targeted for the first time.[11] A few projectiles have contained white phosphorus.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18]

Hardly ‘firecrackers’!

Estimates of PTSD among Israeli children living under constant threat of being targetted by these Qassam rockets is estimated at over 50% – yet these long-lasting scars are not included in the injuries incurred by Israeli civilians…

Of course, I pity the Gazan children no less – they suffer greatly and in more ways than the Israeli children…and will continue to suffer as long as Hamas is in power in Gaza and perhaps longer:  until religious hatred of ‘the other’ stops destroying their young lives before they have a chance to get started!!!

A week ago today, there was a pro-Israel rally in Ottawa.  I would really have liked to have attended, but, alas, I was out of town and out of internet reach, and thus did not get a word of it until after it happened.  During this rally, an Israeli mother describes the effect living under constant fear of rocket attacks has had on her young family:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9kJaqlpYvE  *

The world will not be a better place until we learn to set all dogmatic beliefs and irrational faiths aside and begin to live like moral human beings!

*sorry – WordPress just updated their ‘look’ and this seems to have broken the embedding mechanism – please, follow the link!


EDIT:  More evidence of Hamas rockets being the source of Gazan child casualties is here.

John Baglow vs Connie Fournier, Mark Fournier and Roger Smith: the ‘FULL TRIAL’, day 7 part 1

Day 1 part 1 and part 2 , Day 2Day 3 and Day 4 part 1 and part 2 of this trial were covered in March, 2014 (write-ups by me at links).

Day 5 will be written up later, as writing it up may affect the trial…

Day 6 is here.

If you read the account of Day 6, you will have read that I struggled with traffic and lack of parking…

Well, today, on Day 7, I left plenty of time, altered my routes, but…  as the trial started later than yesterday, more parking lots had filed up!!!  As a result, I had to park even further away… and, if I may be blunt, I am not too good at walking.

I kept calming myself by the thought that in this particular court case, every morning, before any ‘real action’ starts, there are ‘procedural matters’ to take care of, so I was hoping not to miss much.  Yet, as I burst into courtroom #33 just a few minutes past 10 am where and when the court was due to resume, Dr. Baglow was already on the witness stand, being cross examined by ‘the CCLA guy’.

‘The CCLA guy':

‘The CCLA guy’s’  name is Steven G. Frankel:  and, despite having admitted during a conversation yesterday that he is 30 years of age, I maintain that he does not look a day over 15!!!  That is a statement on his youthful good looks – not his ‘presence':  when he opens his mouth, you can feel he is an alpha male, with all that this implies!  And brilliant!!!

If you are a fan of the legal ‘scene’, I would recommend keeping an eye on Steven G. Frankel – I predict that one day, he WILL head up the Supreme Court of Canada!!!

Here, I am going on both his presence in the courtroom and also from observing him in consultations with other, much older/more senior lawyers:  this guy is brilliant, quick and self confident.  Hands down, he is the most brilliant young lawyer I have ever (in my admittedly limited experience) seen!!!

Plus he is a fan of Zelda – just like my kids!!!  How much more awesome could one get?!?!?

Yesterday, during Day 6, when the self-represented Connie Fournier was having trouble phrasing a question properly, he just could not help himself, jumped up and, when the judge acknowledged him, offered a re-phrasing….  I think the judge really likes him, as he is intervening as a ‘friend of the court’ and in my never-humble-opinion, madam justice Polowin relies on his advice.  I suspect she sees in him the same brilliance I do….

But, I am getting ahead of myself!!!

As I got off the elevator on the 3rd floor, rushing towards courtroom #33, I could not help but be a little bit slowed down  by what I saw just outside the courtroom:  a whole pile of people, some sitting down with a protective hand on huge protective plastic crates, many others milling about nervously, wearing police uniforms – bulletproof jackets and all!

For a moment, I thought I had landed in alternate reality!!!

Note to self:  cut down on playing RPG games – it trains the imagination to go too far!!!

Then I realized that the metal detector ‘doorway’ and armed security guard was in front of courtroom #34 – not #33!!!

Later inquiry showed that in courtroom #34, Justice McKinnon was presiding over the criminal case of Regina (Crown) v. Ahmed, Misbahuddin (case # 10-30345) and that the hearing was in the 3rd of 8 scheduled weeks of hearings….

Is there not at least a touch of irony for this civil case, in which Dr. Baglow is suing everyone in sight for defamation for a 7-word exclamation that he was ‘a vocal supporter of the Taliban’, was being held right next door to the criminal case of a highly trained medical professional being tried for Islamic terrorism?

Back to the case in hand…

I burst into the courtroom with notebook and pen in hand, so as to cause as little disruption as possible.

Aside:  if, through reading my accounts, you have formed the impression that I have  difficulty being on time – you would be absolutely correct!!!  After all, I had started a small business and ran it for a decade  before my kids’ needs became great enough for me to sell it and become a stay-at-home-mom – the best, most rewarding career ever!!!!  But, I have been told that only people who completely underestimate how long ANYTHING will take would be foolhardy enough to start a small business….hence, I always underestimate how long it will take me to get anywhere….

Moments after I settled into a central seat (so as to offer me the best view of ‘everything’, I had shed my blazer.  it was warm -so warm in there!  The word ‘pressure-cooker’ came to my mind:  how much worse it must have been for all the lawyers and judge:  not only were they all clothed in black, they also wore the heavy woolen robes that differentiate lawyers, judges and court officials from the rest of us ‘unwashed masses’!

How glad was I of my plebeian status – I could shed my outer shell of clothing and reduce my heat-suffering…

While on the topic of clothing…

Connie Fournier wore a very feminine, short-sleeve blazer in spring green which was adorned by a broach made of the same navy-blue-cloth-with-tiny-spring-green-dots that her flattering dress was made of.

Mark Fournier looked fine in his blazer, black slacks and striped shirt/tie.  He was bristling with energy!

Dr. Baglow (by the way, his doctorate is in poetry – thank you, Dr. B., for letting me know) was elegant in his black suit, another open collared blue shirt and, of course, his signature spic-and-span riding boots!  A man in his prime.

For all his elegance, Dr. Baglow looked a bit flushed as I walked in – as I missed the bit that caused this, I cannot report on it – my apologies.  Mr. Frankel was in full swing!!!

Oh, how I wish I could have observed Mr. Frankel’s face as he worked his cross-examination!  But, the way the courtroom #33 is set up, there is one table for the attorneys/parties, and they sit with their back to the audience.  The judge faces us all, as does the witness, but the lectern for the attorney speaking is facing the witness box, not the audience…  Still, Mr. Frankel was dynamic and projected a presence that is hard to describe – just throw all the positive attributes you can think of at it and it will partially paint the picture.

As Mr. Frankel is intervening as ‘friend of the court’, he was suggesting different ways to help madam justice Polowin ‘get’ the blogosphere and message forums and the whole milieu.  Perhaps hooking up some visuals to the screens in the courtroom, demonstrating how things work (as madam justice repeatedly asserted she will never ever herself visit the blogosphere)…  Madam justice seemed quite happy about that suggestion and recommended this take place during the next block of days of hearings in this case.

Mr. Frankel was in full stride, getting the witness to explain the difference between blogs and a discussion forum, successfully describing in great detail just how many layers of menus one has to drill down through before one can actually see ‘comments’.  In my never-humble-opinion, this was groundwork for establishing just how nested – and difficult to come across accidentally – the ‘comments’ on various threads on Free Dominion were.

Jumping ahead – way ahead, to re-direct:  Mr. Burnet, Dr. Baglow’s lawyer, tried to  neutralize this during the re-direct (when the lawyer gets to ask his client questions to neutralize the cross examination):  Mr. Burnet went to ‘hyperlinks’ and just how easy it is to embed them into text – and that they will take you to the precise page, without all the nesting….  It took madam justice Polowin a lot to try to understand this – much back and fort, questions, answers from lawyer, plaintiff (witness) and all that – until Mr. Frankel pointed madam justice to a section in his own submission which deals with the jurisprudence on hyperlinks and explains the mechanism.

A bit of humour:  Mr. Frankel used the example of Montreal Canadiens hockey team for this – as a true-born Montrealler!  Madame justice responded that though she, too, is a born Montrealler, she is a Boston Bruins fan – as her longtime boyfriend was from Boston….  Yes, it was an illustrative example – but it also injected a bit of humanity into the hearing….

Much of the next bit of cross examination was designed to demonstrate to the judge just how internet forums worked.  The post ‘Yokels with pitchforks’ was used as an example…


More coming later today…






having technical difficulties

I have the write up of day 7 of the Baglow vs. Fournier, Fournier & Smith – but am having technical difficulties posting it….my apologies, I will try again tomorrow!

Leicia and The Jews

From an email I received from a friend (sorry, I do not know the author to credit…):
It’s a shame the Jews are still suffering today, and suffering a great deal from the EU, including UK.
It’s a crazy world we live in.
Hi Everyone. Here’s something very interesting about  Leica, a well known German company and
what happened to the Jewish people employed by it just before World War 2
The Leica is the pioneer 35mm camera. It is a German product – precise, minimalist, and utterly efficient. 
Behind its worldwide acceptance as a creative tool was a family-owned, socially oriented firm that, during the Nazi era, acted with uncommon grace, generosity and modesty. E. Leitz Inc., designer and manufacturer of Germany ‘s most famous photographic product, saved its Jews.
And Ernst Leitz II, the steely-eyed Protestant patriarch who headed the closely held firm as the Holocaust loomed across Europe, acted in such a way as to earn the title, 
“the photography industry’s Schindler.”
As soon as Adolf Hitler was named chancellor of Germany in 1933, Ernst Leitz II began receiving frantic calls from Jewish associates, asking for his help in getting them and their families out of the country. As Christians, Leitz and his family were immune to Nazi Germany’s Nuremberg laws, which restricted the movement of Jews and limited their professional activities. 
To help his Jewish workers and colleagues, Leitz quietly established what has become known among historians of the Holocaust as “the Leica Freedom Train,” a covert means of allowing Jews to leave Germany in the guise of Leitz employees being assigned overseas.
Employees, retailers, family members, even friends of family members were “assigned” to Leitz sales offices in France, Britain, Hong Kong and the United States, Leitz’s activities intensified after the Kristallnacht of November 1938, during which synagogues and Jewish shops were burned across Germany.
Before long, German “employees” were disembarking from the ocean liner Bremen at a New York pier and making their way to the Manhattan office of Leitz Inc., where executives quickly found them jobs in the photographic industry.
Each new arrival had around his or her neck the symbol of freedom – a new Leica camera. 
The refugees were paid a stipend until they could find work. Out of this 
migration came designers, repair technicians, salespeople, marketers and writers for the photographic press. 
Keeping the story quiet The “Leica Freedom Train” was at its height in 1938 and early 1939 ,delivering groups of refugees to New York every few weeks. Then, with the invasion of Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, Germany closed its borders.

By that time, hundreds of endangered Jews had escaped to America, thanks to the Leitzes’ efforts. How did Ernst Leitz II and his staff get away with it?
Leitz, Inc. was an internationally recognized brand that reflected credit on the newly resurgent Reich. The company produced cameras, range-finders and other optical systems for the German military. Also, the 
Nazi government desperately needed hard currency from abroad, and Leitz’s single biggest market for optical goods was the United States.

Even so, members of the Leitz family and firm suffered for their good works. A top executive, Alfred Turk, was jailed for working to help Jews and freed only after the payment of a large bribe.

Leitz’s daughter, Elsie Kuhn-Leitz, was imprisoned by the Gestapo after she was caught at the border, helping Jewish women cross into Switzerland . She eventually was freed but endured rough treatment in the course of questioning. She also fell under suspicion when she attempted to improve the living conditions of 700 to 800 Ukrainian slave laborers, all of them women, who had been assigned to work in the plant during the 1940s. (After the war, Kuhn-Leitz received numerous honors for her humanitarian efforts, among them the Officer d’honneur des Palms Academic from France in 1965 and the Aristide Briand Medal from the European Academy in the 1970s.)
Why has no one told this story until now? According to the late Norman Lipton, a freelance writer and editor, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for its heroic efforts. Only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the “Leica Freedom Train” finally come to light.

It is now the subject of a book, “The Greatest Invention of the Leitz Family: The Leica Freedom Train,” by Frank Dabba Smith, a California-born Rabbi currently living in England .
Thank you for reading the above, and if you feel inclined as I did to pass it along to others, please do so. It only takes a few minutes.
Memories of the righteous should live on.

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