Sunday, August 01, 2010


Is Conrad Black a "changed man"? If he's seeing the world in a clearer, fairer light, can we rise up to that challenge and put him to work?

This long holiday weekend has meant time to read things I might ordinarily skip. For instance, the publisher of National Post is talking about Conrad Black being a "changed man" because of his ability to actually change his mind. I wondered ... so I read 3 columns about, or by, Conrad Black.

This bit stands out. Lord Black had been in the slammer for 28 months when  he wrote, as follows: 

... I would not meet the usual definition of a socialist, and many of my students acted unwisely and unscrupulously to get where they are.

But many are victims of legal and social injustice, inadequately provided for by the public assistance system, and over-prosecuted and vengefully sentenced. The greater competitiveness of the world makes the failures of American education, social services and justice unaffordable, as well as repulsive.

In tens of millions of undervalued human lives, as in the consumption of energy and the addiction to consumer debt, the United States pays a heavy price for an ethos afflicted by wantonness, waste and official human indifference. In other advanced countries, the custodial system is dedicated to the sort of work that has almost accidentally flourished here.

It has been my good fortune to be well-received in some learned and distinguished places, and I am always grateful for considered applause, but never more so than when complimented by my students on receipt of my advanced tutor’s certificate at our graduating ceremony here a couple of months ago.

It is unjust that I am here at all, and I hope not to be here much longer, but I have rarely been more delighted than when formerly surly and sluggish students embrace me when they learn they have graduated, as they hasten to telephone or email their families. This unbidden sojourn has given me a taste of the rewards of teaching. 

It pains me to verge on platitudes, but life’s rewards do sometimes come in strange ways and unexpected places.

Read more HERE.

I couldn't help thinking how valuable he might be, if he turned his attention to helping all the people in the nation called Canada, now that he does understand.  Because frankly, I don't think Harper in Ottawa or Campbell in Victoria, understand the first thing about our people. 

Just wondering ... of a long, holiday weekend.  - BC Mary.

I have never seen a clearer example of criminality functioning comfortably within government (in this case, the Ontario provincial government):

The Ontario Tories say what was illegal becomes legal under their Tenant Protection ™ Act
It is unusual to say there is some "criminal intent" in writing a law, but what else could one say about Section 141 of the Tenant Protection Act?

This section says that if a landlord has gotten away with an illegal rent, illegal rent increase, or other illegal charge, and you have not caught it and filed an application against it within one year of the date of the illegal charge, it becomes . . . legal !

Check HERE for the original comment.


Well, consider Vander Zalm re the HST, and Rafe Mair in general. We DO need somebody experienced in the news/propaganda business to take on BC by the horns and show that truth is very profitable, and any dignity can be redeemed by sincere public-mindedness and effort.
And one who could get the attention of the US media, no less, and is erudite enough in law and political philosophy as well as in business and self-promotion to do an amazing job of it.

I can't believe he wouldn't want to savage Mulroney over Airbus; he's worn shackles himself for lesser crimes than Lyin' Brian's; but imagine if he were to do that in Harper's, The Atlantic, or even The Nation, and on BC Rail and BC Hydro/Accenture and so much more, and take down the media lockdown as well as the publication ban with one fell swoop. He's in the US; even from jail he can break a Canadian publication ban with impunity.

Conrad, are you listening?
The USA Judge in Conrad's case wouldn't take kindly to his breaking a criminal code offense in Canada eg. the publication ban imposed on the Basi/Virk/Basi case.

You all will have to wait for another saviour of our rights to an open and transparent trial.
Aw, Jeepers man (8:02),

did you really say "You all will have to wait for another saviour ..."

and can you tell us truthfully that you're not employed by the Public Affairs Bureau of Campbell Propaganda?

Must've been a sale on head-sized Paper Bags, or some such thing. Sheesh.

"Just keep movin' along, folks, ain't nuthin' to see here ..." so help me hannah, is this the best we can do for ourselves?
Harper and Campbell don't understand Canadians??? I beg to differ, I think they understand Canadians very well.

It's their motives and intentions we must castigate Mary, not their ability to understand.

Their objective is short-term and self-centered. That's always the way with dictators and bullies.

Sure, ultimately it's stupid for them to ignore the longer-term picture and the citizens as a whole, but THEY DON'T CARE about the citizens of the regions they rule. They care about their own welfare, and that's where Canadians come in. We're so docile, so nice, so loathe to demand real accountability, that Harper-Campbell can get away with just about anything.

Most Canadians are just placidly and blissfully ignorant of what's being done to them. The media of course ensure this. Ever wonder why the MSM so often prefaces any news item about the next election with "no one wants an election"? That's because if they say it often enough, and with enough authority, well, stupid people will buy it. Exactly how onerous is it for us to vote anyway??? If voting's so awful, then let's just do away with it altogether! Yet, people fall for this all the time.

This media campaign to make us think elections are somehow bad allows someone like Harper and his Teeny Minority to govern as if they have a majority.

By the way, the same tactic is being used by Harper to get rid of the Long-form Census. Tell us it's so awful giving all that private data, and we'll go along with it. YET if you just download the long form yourself, you'll see there aren't any invasive personal questions. Also, the media forget to say that these forms are submitted anonymously, so there is no invasion of privacy. Yet our healthcare information goes to a U.S. company that is bound by the U.S. Patriot Act to reveal the personal healthcare information of British Columbians.

Last point, but an important one. The real reason the CRAP party (I prefer to refer to acronym they briefly gave themselves until someone spelled it out for them) want to get rid of the long-form census is simple. They don't want this kind of statistical data collected and disseminated because others can use it to refute the CRAP's next schemes. Instead the CRAP would like to rely on polls (which can be easily manipulated simply by the type and wording of questions).

By the way, the CRAP party's data collection machine is one of the most robust and sophisticated yet. So, if we allow the long-from census to be destroyed by Harper, we will be giving up our statistical intelligence and replacing it with whatever the CON'S (I also like that acronym) machine spits out.

Let's not lose our statistical intelligence folks; we've lost just about everything else.

So no, it's not Harper-Campbell's lack of "understanding of Canadians" that is at play; quite the contrary. It's their motives and goals that we should be focussing on.

I differ with you (no begging) very firmly, CC.

When you pile all the blame upon Canadians for being "placidly and blissfully ignorant of what's being done to them", you're using a line right out of the Harper-Campbell hymn book.

You're letting the Presstitutes off the hook.

All the blame goes onto the citizens

You even let Harper-Campbell off the hook because (I paraphrase) Canadians are too stupid to recruit an army, buy the pitchforks, and start the revolution.

I've walked out of lectures (and sermons) which lay blame upon the citizens (or congregation) who have done their best to live decent lives.

You contradict yourself because, at the heart of what you suggest, is that the workers should take control of the factories, and the electorate should seize the power of the Legislature.

I don't believe for a moment that this is your suggestion ... you've simply fallen into a trap: blame the victims. It's so easy. Thank the Presstitutes for those lessons.

Conrad Black (as an example of power) has been brought down, down into an understanding of the human consequences of "not knowing, not caring".

Harper? Campbell? Not for a bleeding moment. Because they don't really know -- or feel -- the pain of the average person. No clue.

I think you should read Conrad Black's column again.
Dear C.C.,

Thank you for your personal note, it's greatly appreciated.

Today I'm in pain from head to toe and believe me, sometimes we have to walk in other people's shoes before we understand what they suffer and how bravely they carry on ...

It's yet to be revealed: whether Conrad Black actually taught all those inmates who, in turn, taught him about "life" ...

but I say: if it is true,
and if Lord Black has discovered a genuine concern in his ow heart for the citizens of the world, then I'll throw my tuque in the air and hobble around doing the Victory Dance of Joy.

Will you join us??
The USA Judge in Conrad's case wouldn't take kindly to his breaking a criminal code offense in Canada eg. the publication ban imposed on the Basi/Virk/Basi case.

There's a certain judge in Maui didn't have any problem at all with a sitting politician's violation of an offence that is a clearly criminal matter in Canada.

US judges do not make decisions based on what or what is not law in Canada. And in the US, the 1st Amendment would very pointedly trump any anti-free speech procedure/law in Canada, especially if someone's lawyer pointed out that there was no legal precedent for that measure, i.e. the unasked-for court ban.

And such a case would quickly draw the attention of the US media....many of whom would revel in defying the orders of a judge appointed in the neighbouring constitutional monarchy, the shoddy and corrupt relic of the British Empire that it so clearly is. Canadians may not have any respect for their rights, but Americans do for theirs.

Even simply the arguing of the legal case that might result from Lord Black's change of political/media agenda would put a spotlight on Basi-Virk that the PABsters and other Liberal Party spin doctors simply could not handle, or stifle, or fold, spindle, or mutilate.

And there's no publication ban on Mulroney-Schreiber, or BC Hydro/Accenture et al., nor is there really any on the fact that CP and BNSF protested the bidding process was illegal/tainted or that the CIBC World Markets and Charles River Associates were untendered and apparently also heavily contrived. What's before the courts is the OmniTRAX "arrangement"; all else is incidental fact, but can not be definitely said to be "before the courts".

For the corrupt sale of BC Rail to be "before the courts", that would mean that those indicted would be the elected officials and corporate executives who contrived the deal and participated in the conspiracy to hold the fraudulent bidding process.

Saying that all that's under the publication ban is like saying that the weather on December 28, 2003 is also under the publication ban. Incidental facts are not covered; though ACJ Mackenzie, Very Special Prosecutor Berardino, and the Liberal Party spin machine would like to pretend that they are.

To repeat, the illegal dealings of the Liberal Party machine/government with the major railways, including CN, are actually not YET before the courts; the argument that they are is utterly specious. And as shallow and vapid and false as anything else that this fiasco of a court proceeding is about.

OmniTRAX/Pilothouse/BVB are before the courts. CP's criticisms of the bidding process technically aren't.

The publication ban is not only unprecedented, it is ill-defined.

I'm sure Conrad would agree; and quite eloquently so if we were to put this to him....

And would US courts muzzle him? I doubt it VERY much, because of the constitutional issues presented.

What you're trying to say, which is utterly ludicrous, is that ACJ Mackenzie's jurisdiction extends across the 49th Parallel.

What a crock. And I'm sure the American media, right and left, would wholeheartedly agree.
Mary, I find it hard to believe that you would fall for Convict Black's POOR pretense of being some kind of reformed person.

For starters, though he has been able to hire the best legal talent to get out on bail pending resolution of the issues under appeal, he wouldn't even qualify for parole as he HAS NOT been willing to even entertain the notion he did anything wrong, i.e.

This is the conundrum of the truly innocent man like Donald Marshall, no confession/admission of guilt - NO PAROLE!

"It is unjust that I am here at all, and I hope not to be here much longer"

Though he has stated it more blatantly at other times, that he was attacked by democrats, jealous business rivals etc. he was found guilty of numerous charges, and I frankly don't understand how he even got bail (other than having the bucks and being part of the "elite") as the most serious charges against him WEREN'T even part of the appeal to the Supreme Court the Obstruction of Justice charges. These are pretty difficult to refute since we've all seen him slogging boxes of documents out of the Hollinger Offices in violation of normal procedure and current injunctions at the time - kinda like Gordo having files destroyed that were subject to discovery during the last election.

Thus no matter how the fraud charges are resolved, it is difficult to see how the Obstruction charges can be overturned unless all copies of the surveillance tapes mysteriously disappear.

I also wonder just what it is that he is "teaching" other prisoners, as I doubt many of them suffer from literacy problems. After all he isn't in the kind of place full of gang bangers, Aryan Nations and assorted thughs and rapists. He is in jail with a bunch of white collar criminals, accountants without ethics, stock scammers, those who rob with a fountain pen rather than a six gun, and most of them have not only high school, but post-secondary degrees and MBAs, the must have credential these days for the aspiring white collar rip off artist and high stakes embezzeler. Hell if Ken Lay wasn't sitting on a beach in the South Pacific sipping a Pina Colada, they could be cellmates.

AGT sez he would have helped Conrad with the boxes, I wish he had and was on camera too, and was denied internet privileges as he shared a cell with Conrad. Cuz AGT sez Connie brought all this money to save Canadian Journalism. Well he brought in a lot of money to destroy Canadian journalism, but it was mostly OP money (other peoples's) and he and Babs made a career of spending all these other people's money on their grotesque bloated lifestyle.

I'm fine with Conrad not being allowed in Canada, but think George Galloway and Colonel Ann Wright (USAF retd.) should be allowed across the border.

Perhaps if Lard Black goes back to jail, they could send him to a real jail next time, one where he can't ever sleep on his stomach but where there will be all kinds of people he can help with their literacy, if he can stop them from beating the crap out of him long enough. He fits in the spa jail where he has been incarcerated, he would be a punching bag in a real jail - or learn some humility in a hurry!
Aw, Sweetie at 5:05,

here's what I said:

"but I say: if it is true,
and if Lord Black has discovered a genuine concern in his ow[n] heart for the citizens of the world, then I'll throw my tuque in the air and hobble around doing the Victory Dance of Joy."

Mary, I understand your concern, but I think you missed a fair bit in my posting at 1:40 pm.

You said: "When you pile all the blame upon Canadians for being "placidly and blissfully ignorant of what's being done to them", you're using a line right out of the Harper-Campbell hymn book.

You're letting the Presstitutes off the hook.

All the blame goes onto the citizens.

First, I did not blame citizens for everything.

I put blame squarely on Harper-Campbell for their motivations and their objectives. In fact the whole point of my posting was to disagree with the notion that somehow, Harper-Campbell just didn't "understand" Canadians. (On that note, it seems you and I were on the same wavelength after all.)

And, I did castigate the media for aiding and abetting H-C in the hoodwinking of the public.

Now, that aside, I agree with your concern that often it's the victims or the powerless who are blamed for circumstances not within their control. But it's also true that sometimes people need a good wake-up call.

Surely you might admit that a wake-up call is warranted for many citizens in Canada? All one has to do is look at the voting record here in BC. Fewer than half of eligible voters bother to cast a ballot.

My message to the public is: Use it or lose it. That applies to our democratic rights as well as our powers of intellect and discrimination.


ps Thanks for the personal note, and my thoughts are with you coping with such pain.
This quote most effectively encapsulates my concern about the general apathy of Canadians (yes, many people are exceptions, but they are nevertheless in the minority):


Edmund Burke (January 12, 1729 – July 9, 1797)
Thanks for your patience, CC. But let me try again, from a different angle, because I believe very strongly in the triumph of good teaching.

Teaching must be positive. Tell someone how good they are, and give them a tip on how to be even better, and watch them progress.

Tell people how lazy they are, how stupid, how they need shaking up, and how they're leading the triumph of evil, etc., and you turn people away in despair.

It's a questions of images and concepts: be aware of what people will take away from a conversation. I want people to start their days feeling good about their choices.

Anyone who gives me an unrequested "Wake Up Call" is likely to get a swift punch in the nose. Tell me why I should wake up, and what I can do to help matters ... a whole different story.

Not sure I've said this clearly ... but I think we've learned one simple fact: good people are on the side of those who are doing their best, whatever way they can, to improve things.
Canadian Canary,

Good heavens, you deserve all the sympathy and support in the world.

What a nightmare.

If you decide you'd like that summary of your story to appear on this blog, let me know. It might help.

Peace be with you.
Canadian Canary,

I do understand your need for extreme caution at this time,

and we'll do our best to support you (not thwart you).

I hope you'll smile a little when I remind you that this is the very point upon which Conrad Black achieved his epiphany, and began to understand exactly how the system works.

I'm willing to give him the opportunity to prove himself as being concerned with the dire consequences a corrupt system has upon its innocent victims. He talks about that ... and (hate him or not), we should listen. Remedial action by Lord Black would be a monumental improvement over the kind of things you're describing. That was my original point.

Courage, my friend.
Actually, I don't discount the possibility that Conrad Black may have indeed had an epiphany. Truly, I don't. His psyche is completely different from that of the sociopathic Harper-Campbell duo.

The manner in which Conrad Black expressed his sentiments was entirely believable, unlike the bilge Harper-Campbell and their "finger puppets" spew (Susan Riley wrote an excellent column recently entitled "Harper's one-man rule wreaking havoc" from whence I obtained the finger puppet description. Actually I now think of them as "sock puppets". Gives me a little merriment in an otherwise dark and challenging road.:

Susan Riley's column can be found at:

She can be contacted at:

Maybe she might be interested in taking on Gordon Campbell's Python-like death grip on BC??? Maybe you might want to add her to your list of media people who just might be interested in training their lenses on the corruption flourishing in BC? Just a thought.

Cheers, CC
Susan Riley's column is a revelation.

Highly recommended.

Susan Riley wrote an excellent column recently entitled "Harper's one-man rule wreaking havoc" from whence I obtained the finger puppet description. Actually I now think of them as "sock puppets".

Just to note that "sock puppet" is a Wikipedia term for someone running a parallel account from the same IP address (socket, i.e. "sock"). I tend to extend the term to refer to people who are clearly political/p.r. agents pretending to be innocent intervenors from distant places but whose edits are too clearly political in nature to be so. Running unauthorized sock puppets, by the same-IP address definition, is a big no-no and can result in permanent blockage of that IP address.
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