Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Mike Duffy Case

The Mike Duffy Case

 {Lap-Dog Journalism.  Hi-Jacking Your Head.  Eating Your Soul }part II

Written by Robin Mathews

One: It doesn’t touch the real matter of guilt or innocence. Two: It avoids the basic question about the trial. “It”… is the conventional press and media.

One:  The trial is about the guilt or innocence of Stephen Harper – not Mike Duffy, and not the Senate of Canada.  Almost without question the “creator” of the historical event called Mike Duffy is Stephen Harper. And the creator of “passer-to-Mike-Duffy-of-a-cheque-for-$90,000.00, Nigel Wright”, is Stephen Harper.  Hi-jacking your head, the conventional press and media mentions neither of those things.  It huffs and puffs about … anything else.

A basic question about the trial – never even hinted – is fundamental. Is it a “show trial”, a mockery of justice conducted full in the face of Canadians?  Or is it real?  Eating your soul, the conventional press and media thunders and wonders about minutiae of the event.  It doesn’t ask the basic question: Is this all a fraud?  Is the trial of Mike Duffy on 31 counts … a fraud, a show trial, political game-playing?

Remember, the investigation has been conducted and the trial set on foot by (what I call) the lap-dog RCMP under the direction of the lap-dog Bob Paulson, Commissioner.  He has given evidence of being a complete Harper flunky, I would say.  History is full to the brim of “police chiefs” (given one name or another in history) who serve the boss, only (caring nothing about justice).

Evidence that the boss is being served is the idiocy of the Nigel Wright position.  Staring the conventional press and media in the face is the principal charge in the case: that Mike Duffy received a bribe of $90,000.00 in the form of a cheque written on his own bank account and handed to Duffy by Nigel Wright.  But Nigel Wright is NOT charged with paying a bribe!

Beyond the realm of belief – the Canadian public is invited to believe that a bribe can be received that is not paid! 

I wrote about that insane matter earlier, wondering in my solitude if perhaps I had missed an obvious point that everyone else writing about the matter had seen?  And then Duff Conacher, lawyer, founder of Democracy Watch and seventeen-year-long fighter for democratic procedures in Ottawa, was interviewed on CBC.  What stood out for him about the trial?  Without hesitation, he said it was the situation of a bribe being received that had not been paid!

In my opinion the Harper forces are so confident of coming events they believe they can pull off “the bribe received but not paid” act and get away with it. They believe they can protect Nigel Wright because they believe (in my opinion) that everyone – prosecution, defence, press and media, political parties, and the judge are all on side.

If the counsel for the Defence doesn’t shred Nigel Wright on the witness stand, challenging the charge against Duffy and forcing concentration on the matter for hours or days - and if the judge brushes the issue aside whatever Defence counsel does to expose Nigel Wright– then (I say) we will know the trial is a fraud and a farce: fixed in advance.

[NOTE: Democracy Watch is going to conduct a case against the Conservatives in Ottawa for bribery on this matter.  They have asked for financial help. Google ‘Democracy Watch: Harper PMO Prosecution Fund’. This column was finished when I went to my email  and found the message from Democracy Watch, and the impending case for bribery. Think of contributing.]
The question of the judge opens another matter never mentioned by the conventional press and media (or the political parties).  Why is there no jury in this trial?  Where is the jury?  One of the most important political trials in Canadian history is being conducted by judge alone, not by judge and jury.

This is a case in which “the people of Canada” absolutely need to be represented in the form of a jury of ordinary Canadians selected in the normal fashion used to create juries in Canadian practice.  What is going on?  Why have we not heard from the conventional press and media on this matter?  Guess why not?

In the normal course of trials the defendant or defendants may choose trial by judge and jury or trial by judge alone. The lawyer for someone charged is always (because of experience) very important in making the choice.  The choice – in political trials – is always strategic, political, power-soaked, and full of dangers for future employment. 

IN THIS CASE Canadians must ask if there has been a spoken or unspoken, open or tacit agreement to avoid having representatives of the people of Canada in the trial? Their presence could be very embarrassing, and so we must ask if there has been an “agreement”, however much unspoken?

A jury is a wonderful and magical body.  It very soon is keen, aware, alert, watching, assessing … asking the judge for clarification, noting false moves, intuiting honest responses ….  In fact, a jury is often most important – not only because it provides the accused with a fair trial – but because it keeps the judge from selling out.  The judge can use every ruse, every con-trick in the trade to “instruct” the jury.  But the jury alone says “guilty” or “not guilty”.

Canadians need to know that in some major trials there are really HUGE illicit spoken or unspoken agreements.  In the BC Rail multi-million dollar case, investigation began about 2001 or 2.  In 2003 a wholly illegitimate Special Crown Prosecutor was named who worked with RCMP until 2007 to shape charges against three lower-level provincial employees, and then he conducted the pre-trial and the trial until 2010.

Because he was appointed in flagrant violation of the legislation covering the appointment of Special Crown Prosecutors NOTHING that he did in the case was legitimate.  The investigation after 2003, the pre-trial, and the trial all made up a hugely expensive farce and fraud.

I personally informed or knew who personally informed (1) the Attorney General of B.C., (1) the Defence lawyers involved in the case (3) the Chief Justice, the Associate Chief Justice, the judge on the case (4) the NDP,  (5) and the conventional press and media that the Special Crown Prosecutor’s appointment invalidated everything about the trial. 

NONE would act to close up the trial, cause the Liberal government of Gordon Campbell to fall, and force an election (to say nothing of criminal and other charges that might arise). The conventional press and media would not even report the fact of the illegitimate appointment.

Another very interesting set of events occurred in that trial which is relevant to the present trial in Ottawa.  The judge on the pre-trial was Elizabeth Bennett who was carefully observing the legal principle that defendants must be given all (possible) evidence required in order to be able to conduct an effective defence.  Judge Bennett (in my evaluation) was being too honest (for some).  She had to be removed.  And so the Stephen Harper cabinet promoted her out of the trial to the Appeals Court of B.C.  Her replacement, in my view, was more what the Gordon Campbell (and Stephen Harper) governments wanted from a judge on the case.

NOTE CAREFULLY.  Defence had chosen trial by judge alone because Defence believed Bennett would conduct an honest hearing of the case in trial.  The replacement judge was a very, very different story, presenting at least major uncertainty for the Defence.  And so the Defence juggled every ball in the court to change from judge alone to trial by judge and jury.  In the brief time the trial was conducted (before being blasted out of existence) I could see the real magic of an honest jury at work. 

[Note that in the $33 million Alberta civil case being conducted by Jessica Ernst against Encana Corporation and the Alberta Regulatory body for fracking violations, the judge first on the case was promoted by the Harper Cabinet to the Alberta Appeals Court.  (No reason was given that I know of.) By the merest chance the Chief Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta, Neil Wittmann, “volunteered” to take over the case … and did. He then ruled that bodies like the fossil fuels regulatory body of Alberta may act outside the Charter of Rights and Freedoms!  And so Jessica Ernst must bear the cost of application to be heard by the Supreme Court of Canada, and if granted a hearing, Ernst must bear the cost of a Supreme Court procedure for what I believe is a vexatious ruling by Justice Wittmann.]

A “judge alone” case is being tried in Ottawa on a matter that is of concern to every Canadian.  Why no jury is a burning question – but it is only one among burning questions the conventional press does not want to ask.

This is Part Two of the series: “Hi-jacking your head.  Eating your soul.” It asks if the preparation of the case against Mike Duffy has been fraudulent from the beginning.  It asks if the conventional press and media are purposefully avoiding the real questions.  It asks if there has been a spoken or tacit agreement to shape the trial in a way that defeats the fair administration of justice.  It asks why the trial of Mike Duffy is not a trial by judge and jury.  It states that the trial is not about the guilt or innocence of either Mike Duffy or the Senate of Canada, but about the guilt or innocence of Stephen Harper, prime minister of Canada.  The column asks central questions that the conventional press and media in Canada refuse to ask. Why do they refuse to ask them?  

Written by Robin Mathews


The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hi-Jacking Your Head. Eating Your Soul. The Conventional Press and Media in Canada.

Hi-Jacking Your Head.  Eating Your Soul.  The Conventional Press and Media in Canada. (Part One)
 Written by Robin Mathews

Catch hold of the thread anywhere, and it pulls you into a web of unsavoury power relations.  Begin with the large article by Gary Stephen Ross in the latest (April 2015) issue of The Walrus. (That’s the chic, out-of-Toronto mag that - of course - wants to look like The New Yorker and/or The Atlantic Monthly.)

The article is called “TEAM AMERICA”, [not “TEAM U.S.A.”] and it’s about how everything good and exciting and new and dynamic and positive and constructive and solid and forward looking and fine in Vancouver, B.C. is (if we will look carefully) the product of wonderful, gracious, generous, giving, thoughtful, imaginative, productive, grateful, and - especially - selfless U.S. immigrants. The superiority of U.S. persons is assumed throughout.

It is a fantasy… a fantasy offered as the absolutely, completely real.

[The Walrus is richly supported by CAPP, Enbridge, Suncor, The Government of Canada, RBC, etc.]

Catch hold of the thread anywhere …. The editor-in-chief of The Walrus worked, formerly, for the National Post as a member of its editorial board.  That paper was created by the person who is probably Canada’s most famous ex-con.  The paper was not created (primarily) to make money, I say, but to make the country hospitable to Reactionary, Neo-Liberal, One Per Cent policies and social structure.

The paper lost money for years and years (and may still do so).  Any normal capitalist entrepreneurial undertaking would have been shut down.  Not the National Post.  It wasn’t created to make money, but to propagandize for the anti-social, repressive forces in Canada.  Stephen Harper is one sign of its success. 

I remember free copies piled up at the doors of Canadian universities; free copies in hotels; free copies…everywhere.  In 2000 Black sold the paper to Izzy Asper.  Between the two of them (many say) they took the level of journalism in Canada to an abysmal, historic low.  Marc Edge, (2007) in Asper Nation, tells almost all one needs to know about Izzy Asper … though there is, doubtless, much more to tell….

The Walrus has ex-National Post officer, Jonathan Kay as editor-in-chief, and “American” Kyle Carsten Wyatt as managing editor.  Who else but Jonathan Kay – writing in the same issue containing “TEAM AMERICA” – could have the barefaced, undiluted courage to write that  (Stephen Harper in power) “we now have intelligent policy debates  - about, say, health care or national defence or taxes…?”  Who but an alumnus of the National Post could write “whatever you may think about the way Stephen Harper has changed Canada” (Kay doesn’t say “in spite of him”)… “we have become a richer, more interesting, and less insecure country than we were just a decade ago.” (??)

 Jonathan Kay writes two magazine pages of that kind of factually dubious, apparently baseless, “Harper hymn book” nonsense.  One can imagine Jonathan Kay – in a former time and place – writing: “We here in the Death Camps have a great deal to be thankful for.”

He writes that two decades ago - for any Canadian wanting “a career in law, real estate, medicine, high tech, or the fine arts - it was a given that you needed to head south.” Pardon? In the time he is referring to thousands of Canadians stayed home and built admirable careers in those fields, without even thinking “south”.

The article by Gary Stephen Ross should be an anti-climax after Jonathan Kay.  It isn’t.  U.S. immigrants, according to Ross, deeply in love with Canada, are not making a new kind of Canadian city of Vancouver, but “a new kind of North American city”.  Of course.

Nowhere … nowhere … does Ross mention that – just perhaps – the U.S. influx into Vancouver (and Canada) has sometimes had negative effect, has sometimes served purposes other than the well-being of the locals.

Nowhere does Ross suggest something was happening before the U.S. arrivals.  Before the major twentieth century U.S. influx theatre was flourishing in Vancouver, artists like Bill Reid, Jack Shadbolt, B.C. Binning, (and Emily Carr in Victoria) were hard at work.  Ron Thom, Arthur Erickson were creating “West Coast”, suggesting a British Columbian approach to architecture.  John Avison directed the renowned CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra, and the “Stage” series on CBC radio (out of Vancouver) did nothing but win top North American awards for radio drama (no TV yet), year after year, against all U.S. comers.  UBC graduates and Vancouver-trained nurses were sought widely - and in the U.S. especially - because of the superiority of Canadian education.

Only by accident does Ross let slip that a great many of the U.S. arrivers came (and come) with sacks of gold over their shoulders (to buy their way in?).  As immigrant David Beers of Tyee admits, the people from the U.S. are mobile “and they come with more financial and social capital than most”. Moreover, one immigrant tech entrepreneur admits “tech workers here earn less than in Silicon Valley” (meaning ‘I can pay them less’). There’s more not mentioned.  Some throw their weight around to get special treatment.  Some connect to U.S. wealth … and use that connection for advantage.  Some play on Canadian Colonial Mindedness, claiming innate U.S. superiority….

And then there’s the history-long attraction that “do-gooder” Imperials feel for Colonial Life – where they can have status, rank, easy living, social prestige, special room made for them always in employment, visits “home”, and the chance to commune with local wogs on a basis chosen of … almost … equality.

Do U.S. immigrants in Canada get sweeter treatment from immigrant U.S. philanthropists than Canadians do?  Ross tells us that when David Beers came to B.C. and set about creating thetyee.ca, he got $190,000 from the B.C. Federation of Labour.  Did he not – as well – (not mentioned by Ross) get significant support from a “local” U.S. immigrant philanthropist? If so, why aren’t we told?

U.S. people who came to Vancouver are not always what Ross wants them to seem.  Stan Persky (“essayist and teacher”) was among the U.S. group that blithely decided to wipe out B.C. and Canada in calling for a “Pacific Nation” – from Alaska through California.  Jim Green befriended ‘knowing’ people and “wrote a history of the Canadian Seamen’s Union”.  Ross doesn’t report it is one of the most unreadable books written in Canadian history (and certainly deserved an Order of Merit from the CIA for that).

Warren and Ellen Tallman did NOT “open wide the stuffy, cloistered rooms of mid-century CanLit”.  They did their best to wipe out CanLit and replace it with U.S. Lit. The 1963 Vancouver Poetry Conference (Warren’s baby) featured ten U.S. poets … and one Canadian.  The Tallmans were central to an anti-U.S. imperialism battle that hasn’t ended, engaging the energies of many resisting Canadians, one of the most colourful being top Canadian poet, (the late) Milton Acorn.

The flat-out errors of Gary Stephen Ross are extraordinary. One of the biggest laughs is his quotation from a U.S. immigrant Anglican who tells him that “many of the most successful business guys in this city vote Liberal.  Can you imagine an oil billionaire in Texas voting Democrat?” That little story is told to show how progressive ‘business guys in this city’ are.  But since Gordon Campbell became premier of B.C. (2001) (and followed by Christie Clark) B.C. has been known nationally as Far Right, Neo-Liberal, sell-out, and deeply friendly to Stephen Harper … who appointed Campbell Canadian High Commissioner in London.

The province of B.C. is, perhaps, moreover, the most corrupt in all Canada.  If real investigations were done into the corruption of the last fourteen years in B.C., the jail system (I argue) would need major expansion to accommodate people from B.C. corporate boardrooms, major political offices, and RCMP top echelons. U.S. immigrant entrepreneurs in “Liberal” Vancouver have quietly cheered or held their noses while (I insist) B.C. Gas, BC Rail, part of BC Hydro, and almost all the river systems of B.C. have been placed mostly corruptly into private hands in B.C. or delivered mostly corruptly into the hands of U.S. Imperial interests. Meanwhile U.S. immigrants in Vancouver, apparently, have been happily “voting (progressively!) Liberal”!

Finally, a reader may notice Ross repeatedly mentions how this or that U.S. immigrant moves easily into UBC or SFU.   Not a word from Ross about the fact that a major fifteen-plus year battle was conducted to force hiring of qualified Canadians in their own universities, often against vicious U.S. professorial resistance. The largest foreign group taking for granted jobs in Canada are theirs is from the U.S.A.

Canadian Sociologists fought a bitter battle for ten years to get well-qualified Canadians hired in Canada instead of (largely) people from the U.S.  It took years to see Canadian students in a majority admitted to graduate school Sociology classes – in the place of U.S. students! In Canada! In the early 1970s I sat in the office of the Chairman of English at UBC, a U.S. immigrant.  We were meeting because he had refused to see me, and the UBC Alma Mater Society executive told him things would get very hot for him if he didn’t talk to me about hiring at UBC.

Robert Jordan spoke Imperiously (down) to me, treating me, a Canadian wog, curtly, suggesting that, some years hence, the English Department at UBC might get to the point of hiring fifty per cent Canadians.

In 1985-86 (fifteen years later) The Canadian Association of University Teachers declared SFU in Violation of Academic Freedom for militantly attempting (with presidential support) to keep out a qualified Canadian (who had been passed by the SFU Qualifications Committee and the Dean of Arts). The U.S. group at SFU didn’t like the Canadian’s concern with “literary and cultural nationalism” in Canada, and spent organized months, loudly and publicly, trying to prevent his arrival.

Among that group of U.S. immigrants were those who’d describe themselves as one of the following: Left, progressive, philosophically open, socially responsible, intellectually superior, and/or morally incorruptible. But – true U.S. imperialists all – they were willing to ignore all decency, legality, and due process in order to deal brutally with one upstart colonial possessing Canadian expertise (alien to them).

The eight page article about Vancouver and its U.S. immigrant population by Gary Stephen Ross in the April The Walrus (to my mind) is wild, irresponsible fantasy. If that article and the fantasy editorial (“Editor’s Note”) by Jonathan Kay are the kinds of things readers will see in future, my advice is ‘go somewhere else’… or choose to have your head hi-jacked, and your soul eaten, as in the April issue.

Your head is hi-jacked because you get propaganda that is a wild fabrication of history presented as real history.  Your soul is eaten because the propaganda elevates U.S. immigrants falsely, paints them as superior, diminishes Canadians, falsifies present reality and shapes history to make it a fabrication. The uncritical reader is rudely thrust into the mock-world of the conventional Canadian press and media where fact and truth are the last things valued, and grovelling before (in this case, foreign) power is the order of the day. 

Written by Robin Mathews


The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open