Sunday, July 31, 2005

Bombers "Not Very Bright"

Update August 2 '05: From the New York Times - Pierre de Bousquet, the director of France's domestic intelligence service, known as the D.S.T: "Hard-core Islamists are mixing with petty criminals," he added. "People of different backgrounds and nationalities are working together. [...] The networks are much less structured than we used to believe. Maybe it's the mosque that brings them together, maybe it's prison, maybe it's the neighborhood."

My note: He forgot to include universities and Islamic organizations such as CAIR for example, via electronic mailings to those recieving them. These mailings create a one-sided viewpoint that Muslims or Islam is under attack because of the 'West's Islamophobia'. Gee, I wonder why...

CAIR, for example, is then being irresponsible because anything that is one-sided and out of context is 'dis-information' a.k.a propaganda. Those organizations that send such mailings don't know who is getting them or how those unknown individuals will percieve such mailings.

Update August 1 '05 : From the Associated Press - 2 more suspects detained in bombings. Authorities look for hierarchical order of command.

July 31 Post:

From the CBC: Would be bombers "dopey" and "not very bright" - Senior Official at Scotland Yard.

Perhaps the hierarchy who convinced the bombers, who may be more educated and 'religiously austere' believed the guys were 'kufar' (hypocrites) and the ideal pawns to carry out an attack. In the eyes of religious Muslims, they would have great disrespect for such individuals and probably wouldn't care much about their lives.

In any case, I've met a number of 'austere Muslims' who would commit adultery on their wives without the benefit of an Islamic marriage contract. I even know of one case where an "austere Muslim" pulled on knife on his praying brothers in a mosque because he thought one of the men shouldn't be using prayer beads. He called him a ‘kufar’; but then again, he called everyone a kufar.

It so happened; I worked as a volunteer teacher in this guy's mosque/Islamic school. One day, he and his buddy (both Algerian) used my car for a boost. When they turned on the car, the stereo turned on with it, revealing I was listening to Algerian dance music. I was questioned about my music, why was I listening to it and told I shouldn't be listening to any music except the 'duff' (a drum and the only music austere Salafist Muslims should listen too).

Later that week, on Christmas eve, my 10 yr. old went to take some luggage to the car for a Christmas trip to see my family but came back terrified and crying to let me know the car window was smashed and my stereo system stolen. While the questioning about my music and my stereo getting stolen was probably coincidental, I'm pretty sure I knew who broke into my car.

I suspected a Lebanese guy from Baalbek whom I bought my car from. He sold it to me with a stereo faceplate. When I went to pick up the car a couple of days later, the original faceplate was gone and they weren't going to replace it until I bitched.

As for the stolen stuff, I didn't have the $200 deductible to cover the repairs so none of the damage was covered or stereo replaced by the insurance company. One good thing, they didn't take the Christmas gifts in the trunk.

In any case, this guy was well known in London for auto-theft, possibly part of a ring (the London police knew him and that I suspected him, but did nothing about it). His "uncle" attended one of the mosques in town. (This story has a previous story attached to it...stay tuned to future posts)

On Constitutions - Iraq's

Update August 28 - Constitutional Drafting Committee signs Iraqi Constitution without Sunni support - CP

Update August 25 - Sunni minority still giving Constitution committee difficulty - CP
Saleh al-Mutlaq the Sunni negotiator appears to be acting in bad faith. He needs to clarify and qualify his statement: "There is a terrifying and dark future awaiting Iraq". He also appears to lack vision and an understanding of why it is important to have a Constitution. As he says: "It is important to present services for the Iraqis now, as well as to maintain security, and it is not important to write a piece of paper that all Iraqis disagree on."

Constitutions are not just pieces of paper. They are what binds a country together. The Sunni's keep rejecting federalism but they don't realize that having a Sunni autonomous region will allow them to keep their Sunni identity. They are in the minority and shouldn't expect that the whole country is going to bend to all of their demands. They are not showing an abilility to negotiate but are trying to impose fear on fellow Sunnis by making generalized statements without backing it up with sound reasoning. This only proves to show that this fellow does not have the insight to be a negotiatior. The Sunnis have also chosen not to elect their representatives, setting the stage for more dictatorship in the future.

Update August 20 - Dutch Activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali on Iraq and Canadian Constitution & Resolution with Sharia Law - From the Wall Street Journal Op-Ed Page. Ms. Hirsi was in Toronto on August 13 2005 to speak against the implementation of Sharia arbitration in Ontario - CTV

Update August 17 - Sunni's rejects Constitution Committee - CBC. My note: Typical of Sunni Islamists, they want to dictate to others what they should believe. Forcing Islam on others who don't believe in it will only serve to disunite Iraqis. The oil revenues should be dealth with first. Canada has a relatively reasonable model, although Albertans aren't in agreement with the federal government recieving a portion of their oil revenue to give to poorer provinces, it seems to work for the time being for Canada. We are still working on these issues. As for Islam, use Egypt's model, as a source not the main focus. It's the Sunni's Islamic Party that is causing the problems and probably the source in the bombings. They are showing bad faith and an inability to negotiate and will most likely be the source of violence no matter what Constitution wording is drafted. That's the way it is with Sunni Islamists - it's either their Islam or nothing, showing an incapability to accept the differences of others.

Update August 15 - Here's an excellent article by Dexter Filkins in the New York Times - it includes al Qaeda's "edict" (?) to encourage Sunni "faithful" to sabotage the Constitutional process. Something tells me that if a Constitution is agreed to at any point, al Qaeda's ideologues will use it as an excuse to attack Iraqi's no matter what. With this type of Islam, any reason is an excuse to fight.

Why don't the Iraqi legislators look at Canada's Constitution as a reference to federalism? (at least no province has taken up arms since the early 70's even if some of us want separation - Canadians aren't going to violent about it)

Update August 14 2005 - Associated Press - Kurds & Shiites will press draft Constitution w/o Sunni approval
Update August 13 2005 - Associated Press - Sunnie's against federalism

Update August 1 2005: From the New York Times. This is a very good article, which the American media should continue to follow up on. If the Iraqi Constitution is not given the time it needs to be written with all groups and religions concerned, as stated in the article, there is a great threat to civil war. (Remember the American administration said that the Iraqi's would great them with kisses and roses when they 'liberated' them? Did they? So why is the administration underestimating the possibility of future violence now?)

Why wouldn't the American government acknowledge that any future violence in the region caused by delayed framing of the most important document that a new democratic Iraqi state needs, is going to be blamed on them and the American people could face more security risks because of it? The American media should provide this information to their readers and viewers.

From Yesterday:

Over the years, I have been trying to explain Islamic law to individuals who do not understand it. I have tried to describe the Quran tantamount to a piece of ‘legislation’ or an Act enacted by our Parliaments and the Hadith similar to the ‘regulations’ that go along with a piece of legislation. Anyone who is a lawyer or knows a little about law will understand this.

I have even described the Quran as a Constitution, which is usually the highest law in a nation. I am pleased that this article from the Associated Press describes the Quran in the same manner with respect to Saudi Arabia.

Most people have no idea why it’s important to have a Constitution, a Charter or legislation and regulations. Each country adopts a Constitution that is reflective of the values of their inhabitants, which is mostly adopted from established legal traditions that developed from hundreds of years of previous cultural identities and language. (I’m going to elaborate on this in another post, I just wanted to get this article up)

The above link regarding Iraq’s Constitution that will be passed by their Parliament, the representatives of elected officials that make up the country, gives a basic understanding of how a higher law is written. In Iraq’s case, the “main source” of an established legal tradition in the region will be Islamic law (Sharia). This is in contrast to Egypt’s Constitution that uses Islamic law as “a source” as explained.

This is why it’s going to take a long time to adopt a Constitution with the appropriate wording. This is why it is important to write a Constitution that is as perfect as it can be, as any wording or lack of accommodation to minority groups and language rights is always difficult.

Just think of the problem that Canada had with the amendment to the 1867 Constitution adopting the 1982 Charter or the Meech Lake Accord. Even the 60’s in the United States the civil rights movement focused on Constitutional challenge. In the case of Iraq, any future amendments may meet with violence.

The problem that the Iraqi Parliament faces besides the wording is the interpretation of Islamic law. Will it be a Sunni or Shiite interpretation or both? What about the Iraqi Copts? Will these Christians face oppression if the Iraqi Parliament only recognizes Islamic law? What about Iraq’s Jewish community? What about women’s rights or rights of the Kurds or any other indigenous persons? The Constitution will obviously be written in Arabic, but what about the Kurdish language and the translation of Arabic into it?

While there are passages in the Quran that accommodate religious pluralism, writing a Constitution must accommodate to what extent Islamic law will be imposed on minorities of a nation that do not hold with the Islamic legal tradition.

Other Bombings Examined

U.K. authorities look into other bombings against Western democratic targets after suspected bombers show links to Saudi Arabia.

Spain's transit attack is the logical first step but Alberto Saiz, the country's intelligence director, reported from Associated Press says:

Alberto Saiz, the director of the National Intelligence Center, said in an interview published Sunday in the Madrid daily El Pais that similarities between the attacks were limited to "their outward appearance" and targeting of transport networks.

"At that point, the differences start," Saiz was quoted as saying. The July 7 group of London bombers was "small, just four people — less visible than the Madrid one."

"Two weeks later, they try a second episode of the same attack — obviously, the perpetrators are not the same," Saiz said.

"In contrast to Madrid, this gives us the sensation that they are coordinated with other groups or have direction from above — and that there is a plan," he added. "This is not an isolated group that decides to act on its own account."

Yeah right. And when Spain's bombings occurred, they immediately blamed it on ETA, the Basque separatist organization. So why should this statement be credible?

If anyone does a search on Basque separatism they'll find at least one that identifies Basques as Muslims from the height of the Islamic Empire in Spain, circa 700 - 1492 C.E. Islamists will also identify themselves with native north Americans as well, using linguistics to link Arabic native dialect to back their claims. Anything to tap into demoralized, oppressed and repressed groups to make their cause worth believing in.

While it's important for oppressed groups to take a stand for their rights to achieve a voice in democracies that becomes written in law, many Islamists have no trouble exploiting feelings of indignity to their advantage. That rage and sense of inequity becomes fodder for militancy.

There are many dawists (Islamic missionaries) in Ontario's Islamic communities that head off to jails to reach the afflicted. This is a great place to increase Islamic adherents who may already have a sense of mistrust of the system, especially if that corrections system consistently abuses inmates with cruel and unusual treatment.

If this is true, as I have only heard stories of beatings and threats of murder by corrections officers here in Hamilton, this will only be a catalyst for more violence and crime outside of the prison system (if inmates don't choose religion or some other form of change), and possibly facilitating indirectly, future adherents into a prime psychological state for militancy.

Would Be Bomber in Italy Admits Role

Osman Hussain a.k.a Hamdi Isaac admits to roled in attempted bombing - from the Associated Press

Friday, July 29, 2005

Musharraf & Madrasas

Update August 1 2005: Related article from the Los Angeles Times - suspicions over U.S.-born extremists

Pakistan's President Purvez Musharaf is cracking down on foreigners heading off to Pakistan to study in their 20,000 madrasas or Islamic schools. This announcement sparked a reaction and hundreds of students, mostly from the madrassas protested against Musharaf's decision. More from Al-Jazeera.

A note on Islamic schools. We have all kinds of private religious schools in Ontario. We even have mothers who have chosen to home school their kids. This is all fine, well and good. But are they regulated?

To the extent of any regulation, there is a set curriculum given by the school boards for parents who are home schooling, which has curriculum guidelines for each grade. Then there are some more fundamental social concerns that are not addressed in the curriculum guidelines in the grade school range. Civics. Even if it is, how is anyone to know if they were taught?

Civics teaches about our political system, our Charter of Rights, the plurality of our nation that includes individuals who do not practice religion; those who practice differing religions; those who have preferred life-styles; face unique challenges like out indigenous peoples or those who strive for gender equality.

When I was a practicing Muslim (I'm not anymore and won't go back) the women within our community were very savvy to women's issues. Many Muslim women worked hard to get the male dominated community to listen to their concerns. (I have to admit I wasn't a very patient advocate). We believed that Islam was the answer to equality. As Muslim women we participated within the community functions and activities as much as the men, most of us who were single and could come and go easily.

The women who had children were more restricted as, more often than not, the fathers of the children did not participate in raising the children and the mothers could not attend all the activities promoting Islam. This was very often the case with many of the Canadian female converts I knew. The women were the sole teachers of their children. This is acknowledged in Islamic law and encouraged by Imams.

Many chose to put their kids in public school and quite a few of them chose home schooling specifically so they could teach Islam. Those who did home school, adopted the Salafist interpretation of Islam upon their conversion, which was what their husbands practiced, usually.

In order to teach their strict for of Islam, they would need curriculum. Depending on where the books were coming from or where the Quran was coming from, or who their Imam was who gave them the books etc., these children would be getting lessons as young new Ontarians, born into our pluralistic society, about what they should think and believe about themselves in relation to others in our culture.

It all depends on what they are taught and who teaches it.

In this context it's important to consider who the next generation of Muslims will be in Canada. Will they grow up with extreme beliefs and consider acting on violent interpretations of Islam? Or will they accept that others have as much right as they do, not only to practice their religion but to make a choice not to?

If Musharaf has recognized that the schools in Pakistan are fomenting hatred and destructive attitudes towards Western democracies, will our politicians recognize too, that our Canadian children also are not immune to teaching of democratic values or hatred of belief systems other than their own?


Notice: I referred readers to Habamus Rodentum Reports in the post: A Letter to Those Protecting the Public Interest for copies of the 1994 Memorandum of Understanding, The Beck Report and other documents. I realized that those reports were archived at this blog. Those reports are now available at Habamus Rodentum Reports under the Heading The Law Society and Legal Aid

Raids in Rome Help Capture Wanted Bomber

Raids in London and Rome capture last of wanted would be suicide bombers - AP

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Myth of Moderate Islam by Dr. P. Sookhdeo

The Myth of Moderate Islam, from the U.K's The Spectator written by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, Director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity. In the words of Mr. Dithers: "Excellent"

Martin Meets With Imams

Update July 31 2005: British Ministers will meet with leaders in Britian's Muslim community to tackle Islamic militancy - Reuters

Ok folks. I just saw CTV's broadcast with Paul Martin meeting with Canadian Imams. The one who sent me for the Al-Haramain books was there, sitting very close to the PM to his right. I'm sure I recognized others. Of course I recognized Mr. Saloogee, Director of CAIR- Canada whom I had a conversation before about the bigotry against the Jewish community, but whom did nothing to address it then as it was within the scope of plurality of the religion. Or so they say or do they care?

Who is This Woman?

Who is this woman I? (It's not me). I thought I'd try an interactive game for my readers, to lighten things up. First one to guess correctly, I'll immortalize in a poem.

Here’s some more summertime reading.

I finished this short book in about two days. Not necessarily because it was short but because of its resonance. Its déjà vu. Somehow her anger is a place I knew and understood.

The book is Half-Breed – A Woman’s Burning Rage for Dignity written by Maria Campbell, a political activist with the Metis Association of Alberta.

This is Maria’s autobiography of what we now call Metis and not the obsolete “half-breed”, growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s of Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

It’s a cross between Angela’s Ashes and Broken Shackles, the Canadian story of Old Man Hensen’s journey from slavery in America to freedom in Canada written by John Frost Jr. of Owen Sound Ontario under the pseudonym, Glenelg. As an abolitionist, Frost met Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin in his travels in support of the movement.

Maria’s humorous, but oh-so-cruel narrative of extreme poverty of the “road allowance people”, the inheritors of no land and no voice, neutered almost a century before by the 1860 Red River Rebellion and the death of Louis Riel, a distant relative.

This social commentary clearly defines how systemic dehydration sucked out the spirit of the Metis from racism, internal violence, addictions, trafficking and prostitution. The highs and lows are so often it’s almost as if the reader is going through the withdrawals with Maria. At times it is too much to bear emotionally and at times becomes disappointing.

But the humor, music and laughter sustain the Metis from expiring from broken hearts. Her stories are worthy of a Spinner, beautiful aboriginal tales, yet none so as the wisdom of her Cheechum, Cree for grandmother, who occasionally uses her cane to get her point across.

Although it was written in 1973 its statement can still describe modern day aboriginal social issues.

This is my favorite passage:

“The CCF party was in power in Saskatchewan for a long time. I remember our people got into some good fights over it. Some things stand out in my memory. A member of the provincial legislature lived down the road from us. When he ran the election he promised our people relief work for which they would be paid.

One of the projects was clearing land for a huge pasture. There was very little money for fancy equipment but plenty of manpower – the Half-breeds from the MLA’s riding. He told every one who wanted a job that a truck would pick them up at the store on a certain Monday. Daddy and I drove over by buggy that day to see them. When we arrived the men were in harness like horses, pulling up stumps and trees. Dad started to laugh when he saw Alex Vandal coming towards us pulling a tree, sweating and panting. He looked at us and said, ‘Danny, did you know the new government felt sorry for us because we’re called Half-breeds? They passed a law changing our name and now we’re CCF horses’. “

Reasons to Believe

I'm feeling under the beautiful weather today, but I managed to scratch this out.

So the next question is, why did you convert to Islam? There are many reasons but perhaps there are 5 main ones.

The main one was lack of justice, legal support and corruption that didn't ensure my Charter rights were protected by going to court with bad legal advice and without a lawyer against my will. This was a direct result of the Law Society's venture into public policy in 1997 and their inability to "regulate" their own. Because of this I gave up custody of my child.

The psychological impact of this form of state oppression is still not one I can talk about, because I can't. Just imagine the state run so irresponsibly and without accountability, to the point of criminality that you have to give up your only child.

Imagine how you would feel. Imagine what level of animosity and hate you would have towards your legal system, your laws, and your country. Why not express it the only way you know how without resorting to violence? Convert to a religion that is anti-Western, against our laws to the point of putting Islamic law on a pedestal that is held above our own Charter and Constitution? That was the ultimate political statement.

Ironically, the community was so bigoted against the Jewish community, the concerted efforts of some Muslim men to promote animosity towards non-Muslim women and lack of fostering of differences of opinion of Islamic interpretation within the broader community - we were told to parrot the same clauses about a religion of peace like everyone else even though we didn't know what those clauses were we were parroting or block voting - were the reasons I started to question my decision and ultimately leave.

Premiere Harris and his farther than right attitudes towards many Ontarians. I give the Dudley George/Ipperwash crisis and his direction to the OPP and Walkerton as examples. When he was elected, I cried that day because I knew people were going to die due to his policies. They did. To me at the time, he was a threat to "security of the person".

My family. Even though we are close and have fun times, it had darkness to it. In particular, my father, who at times had a cruel streak, in many ways, did not have a protective attitude towards all his kids. When I was 3 years old, my baby brother and I watched my eldest brother get beat by my father with a 2 x 4 plank. We both were trying to stop him. I tried to fight my father back then but I was too little.

My baby brother became a fighter in grade school, failing because he was acting out. He used to point his pellet gun in my face if he didn't like something I said but around that age, 14, he was roughed up a bit, like the time he was threatened by my father with a shovel because he didn't like the way my little brother was digging the garden.

The worst was the twisted psychological torment of the family dynamics. It took me to convert to Islam for all of us to realize what role we all had. It took my eldest sister longer, just last year, to finally accept her responsibility for a lot of the psychological twists, those kind that most in the mainstream would consider psychological "abuse". (I am deliberately trying not to use the term abuse even though it is. My intention is to be matter-of-fact. I don't wish to promote a sense of pity as it fosters weakness nor do I wish to be cruelly attacked).

I was always the fighter. I was the only one to fight back when my eldest sister's clothes were ripped off her after being punched and kicked. Years later this sister I was trying to protect would attack me with an iron over $16.

Even when I was 5, when my little brother was being punished my father would take him into a room, close the door where I couldn't see what was going on or interfere. My father tried to explain to me that he needed to punish my little brother for one reason or another, but I wouldn't have it. During all of this I could hear my little brothers screams. Of course the screams were bigger in life to a young child but none the less I was tortured psychologically because I didn't know what was going on behind the closed door. I only had my imagination. Very rarely on the conscious level, I have flash backs of this screaming.

In the early 80's Barbara Frum interviewed my eldest brother for a documentary on domestic violence featured on the CBC's "The Journal". My brother was chosen because he did so well in a program for male abusers. The catalyst for induction into the program was after my brother aimed an unloaded 22 gauge-hunting rifle at his wife and their kids, my kids, because I helped to raise them at a very young age. It was the first program of its kind in Canada for domestic assaults although I'm sure of its widespread use in Canada. Barbara and my brother talked about the 2 x 4 incident.

I don't blame my father anymore because the way he grew up wasn't his fault. It was the Catholic Church, Catholic Children's Aid and the Ontario Justice system's fault. Because of their views on morality, they took my father, his brothers and sisters away from his mum, a single mother who tried to make a living in a bar after her husband - my grandfather - had died of pneumonia working in the notorious relief camps of the 1930's digging the ground for the 401, the King's Highway.

Thanks to Hamilton's Children's aid and the Catholic school they were attending, they contacted Windsor where the family had to return to face a judge who was to make a decision to take them away from their mother. My father remembers the lawyer telling him to lie against his mother. He remembers being terribly frightened. The System removed all my grandmother's kids from her custody and put them in orphanages. Later those orphanages meted out the kids as child slave labour to surrounding Essex county farmers.

My father was treated badly, beat in fact and accused of stealing a pair of boots until they found that they had been under the coal that was dumped in the basement for the winter. For stealing, his punishment was to be banished from the foster home without proof and disbelief of my father's explanation and sent out to another. In these homes her adoptive father raped his sister. His little brother was shot "cleaning" a gun in the basement of his foster family's home, or so that is the official story.

(I would like to write a book on relief camps and child slave labour in the 1930's, if anyone who reads this knows of anyone whose family went through this, please writes to me at

My father found solace in the union movement, which was very necessary considering how employers in the past had treated him. But tens of years later, he developed a Canadian AutoWorkers (C.A.W) Union mentality. When it came time for support his kids to succeed when bad things happened we were stepped on to keep us down, instead of helping us up. At times insisted some of us go on "welfare" because that's "what he paid his taxes for". (In the mid 1990's during the Harris regime, there was a hate-on for welfare recipients and supported by many of Windsor’s C.A.W members.)

Ironically, what was particularly attractive about Islam was it's religious laws on family matters. Supporting your children financially is not considered charity; it's considered a duty and an obligation. If you didn't help your family first, especially your children, it was a mortal sin. In Islam, if you didn't help your daughter before your sons, it was considered a moral sin because of the Islamic law on inheritance and the male's duty to support the women in his family.

I had an unconventional personal life. I felt I needed to be "reigned in". I only found out later this was not my fault, that Western women are ridiculed by men in many Muslim communities by refusing to marry them unless they are virgins or convert to Islam usually because they are perceived as "impure" and "unpious" and there for, aren't "good enough" to marry, especially from those facing pressure by their families.

It was recently confirmed to me that "brothers" in the Sudanese community (it could be communicated by men in other communities as well) that when something that is done to them by our government they dislike, are told to "beat their women, be bad to them (be unfaithful or pass them around) and fuck them".

I have heard too often by Muslim men, practicing and non-practicing, that women in Canada have "too much power". Yeah...that "power" is written right into the Constitution, which I have mentioned before in Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up? that Sharia law proponents are wanting to change. But I'm sure many of our own Canadian males feel the same way, including politicians, and therefore face political pressure, including from these groups, not to comply with Charter provisions that guarantee equal protection and benefit of the law for women.

Religion has a part to play in this even if they are non-practicing Muslims. Even though I like the compassionate and direct style characteristic of non-practicing Muslim men - who are usually from Arabic countries - I thought they would be more faithful if they were practicing. Well...not exactly.

I was in BIG love with a Moroccan who left me to work in America before I converted. For reasons I can't quite explain or understand yet, I converted with thoughts of him even though he was non-practicing. I articulated these things to him years later after I left the Muslim community. We both thought we understood at the time, that each didn't care for the other because of our own acculturated sensibilities. Once explained, he told me he shouldn't have left and I heard for the first time that he thought I was beautiful (even though I don't agree with him). He thought he should have said it then because not doing so just reinforced my feelings of indignity explained in reason 4.

Although my Moroccan is not in my life anymore and I am not in love with him, I still love him. He is a good person - according to my standards - and it shows that being a practicing Muslim didn't always reward one with better behavior. As a matter of fact, after 3 years practicing the religion, I found the practicing men they introduced to me for Islamic marriage, were worse in character than those who were non-practicing. Who woulda' thunk it?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

More Pharmaceutical News

Two good articles compliments of The Alliance for Human Research Protection (AHRP)

Media and Pharmaceutical companies mislead safety of drugs with advertising hype. An article from the Columbia Journalism Review reports on the media and pharmaceutical companies benefit in profits while misleading the safety and effectiveness of new drugs along with interference of investigative reports.

This article below is very important. Any medical experiments causing death, including subscribing drugs for non-approved uses by Health Canada, should have the doctors and researchers charged for criminal negligence causing death.

Research scandal forces Israel to tighten up supervision State
controller Eliezer Goldberg accused the health ministry of negligence - AP
Sharmila Devi reporting from Jerusalem

Israel is considering legislation to tighten up supervision of the health system after the country’s main government watchdog found that elderly patients and children had been used in thousands of hospital medical experiments, often without permission from their legal guardians.

The report, issued on May 8 by Eliezer Goldberg, the state controller, found the health ministry guilty of negligence and carelessness. A bill to control such experimentation is still unfinished after 8 years of work. The violations were found to be worst in geriatric, rehabilitation, and psychiatric hospitals, where some children had their eardrums deliberately pierced so that a drug could be applied. In another painful procedure, a needle was used to draw urine from the bladder for testing without health ministry approval.

“Further supervision has been undertaken to ensure that the general procedures imposed by the health ministry more than a year ago are being followed”, said a spokesman for Danny Naveh, the health minister.

Israeli hospitals are party to the 1964 World Health Organization’s Helsinki Accord, formulated in response to human experiments conducted by the Nazis in World War II.

Under the accord, patients must be fully informed about the risks involved in a medical experiment. A leading Israeli physician has called for the prosecution of doctors involved in the unauthorised experimentation.

Jacques Michel, the retired director of Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital and head of the Hadassah Medical Organisation’s Helsinki committee on medical experimentation, triggered the state controller’s investigation of 39 hospitals with a lecture he gave in 2001.

No fault was found at any of the Hadassah institutions. “Those doctors who violate the Helsinki Declaration guidelines should be punished. They should have their medical licences suspended or taken away”, Michel told the daily Jerusalem Post.

“Anyone who performs a medical experiment on someone who doesn’t or is unable to give his informed consent should be tried for physical assault.”

The controller’s report said the experiments, conducted by physicians, included genetic experiments and research studies involving drugs not certified for use in western nations.

Under Israeli law, these studies should be authorised by national Helsinki committees and the health ministry. In addition, unusual occurrences or deaths should be reported immediately to hospital authorities and within 48 h to the hospital committee that oversees experiments. The controller’s report found many deaths were reported too late. In 2003, for example, 90% of the 37 deaths of patients involved in medical experiments were reported after the required time.

The Sheba Hospital committee was unaware of, or did not report to the health ministry, 25 unusual incidents or deaths in 88 drug experiments in 2003.

Three deaths and three serious incidents took place involving congestive heart failure and two deaths involved experimental chemotherapy. The committee also authorised an experimental drug for breast cancer after doctors failed to report there were 31 unusual incidents with the same drug in other hospitals. The Ichilov Hospital was also cited in the report for faulty death reporting.

Among the faults listed in the report were: use of unapproved medicines on young children through the piercing of their eardrums and several incidents involving patients 80 years and older who were subjected to suprapubic aspiration.

This was done after a Hartzfeld director refused approval in her unit because of the risks of bleeding and infection. Two women died after the experiments.

In addition, geriatric patients had their fingers inked to give fingerprints authorising the tests even though they suffered from senile dementia. At the Wolfson Hospital, experiments were performed on the placentas of 50 new mothers without consent.

“This is a failure of a system that involves the ministry and the hospitals”, Naveh told the Jerusalem Post. “We need significant reorganisation to correct it.”

Let's Not Offend Ms. Parrish

Update October 21 '05: It seems that Canadian citizens are heading off to Iraq to fight against our allies in a Jihad. I wonder if at least one of them are Ms. Parish's constituents?

Original Posted July 27 '05:

Ah...yes. We musn't offend Liberal MP Caroline Parish because she doesn't understand what our soldiers are fighting for. Wasn't she the one that went to Iraq to flirt with SoDamn InSane? Or was that some other Liberal?

Yes, our top soldier mustn't use language to insult or dishonour Islamic terrorists. Tsk tsk. Why is that Ms. Parrish? Is it offending some of your constituents? Who wants to bet me that one of her constituents will be over in Afghanistan fighting in the Islamic cause against our Canadian soldiers?

Do us a favour Ms. Parrish, and read a book. I lived through enough animosity against the Jewish community and for Americans and 'The West' within the Muslim community I was involved with until I got sick of it and left. The rumour has it that I am in the "pay of Jews" because I left them. Of course it had nothing to do with their systemic bigotry as they are "perfect and well educated". Give us a break Ms. Parrish and really pay attention.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Codes to Live By

I'd like to thank Brigitte Proulx, Counsel Family Law Policy, Family, Children and Youth Section at the federal Ministry of the Attorney General's office for forwarding me this article on Sharia Law from the Montreal Gazzette. It's actually very healthy that this debate is going on in Ontario because the nation has become aware of Sharia law. I am relieved to know that both provincial and federal levels of government are taking this seriously and hopefully, changes to Ontario's legal system will be made.

What Marion Boyd says in this article, thankfully, is not to dismiss the concerns of women who have come seeking shelter in Canada away from those countries that impose cruel Islamic punishments for issues of a social matter. This is better than what her NDP "brother", Joe Comartin has done, and that is to publicly berate and dismiss the concerns of these women, and women in general. And the media let him do it.

Also thanking Ms. Proulx for forwarding an English translation of the Quebec National Assembly's Resolution on the implementation of Sharia arbitration, (arbitration is not legally accepted in the Quebec Civil Code anyway) but for what it's worth, can be used as "evidence" in Ontario under s. 25 of the Evidence Act.

Quebec's Resolution:

" That the Quebec National Assembly oppose the implementation of so called Islamic tribunals in Quebec and in Canada".

en Francais

Merci Quebec!

Monday, July 25, 2005

Will the Real Islam Please Stand Up?

This post has been moved to and posted under July 2008

Sunday, July 24, 2005

O.P.P Refuses to Look at Evidence

Now I know why the Ontario Provincial Police wouldn't investigate the Law Society of Upper Canada for fraud their mismanagement of public money for the Ontario Legal Aid Plan. The Orillia office that investigates fraud refused to take my evidence.

It seems that the O.P.P Commissioner is a member of the Law Society.

You won't find it directly on the O.P.P's website who the Commissioner is and after a search the address bar does not show the exact address to the Commissioner to link it to. The O.P.P home page doesn't access this information as well as information to know how to file complaints unless its done through a search.

"Commissioner Boniface earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from York University and a Bachelor of Laws degree at Osgoode Hall Law School. She was called to the Bar in Ontario during 1990, and is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada. She has served on the Law Commission of Canada."

I wonder if it's left over from this tradition? Or this one?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

To Those Working in the Public Interest

Notice: I referred readers in this post to Habamus Rodentum Reports for copies of the 1994 Memorandum of Understanding, The Beck Report and other documents. I realized that those reports were archived at this blog. Those reports are now available at Habamus Rodentum Reports under the Heading The Law Society and Legal Aid.

I’ve decided to try something a little different. I’ve long tired of the "Canadian Waltz" a dance a.k.a "the passing of the buck" by politicians and their bureaucrats (this current provincial Liberal government is very good at this, more so than the previous Conservative government, if you can believe it).

So I decided that I would post any letters I send to our politicians so everyone can take a look at it, including the opposition or others involved as public activists. Any organization that purports to "act in the interest of the public" and is legislated to do so, will also get posted.

This letter was sent yesterday to address some outstanding with the Law Society of Upper Canada and the Ministry of the Attorney General. Some of these issues were addressed rrevious letters to two federal Ministers of Justice, Martin Couchon and Irwin Cotler and to one of the Ontario Minister’s of Justice. It was so long ago I forget who it was! All dismissed the concerns. The federal Ministers ignored the concerns about the appointed judge. I guess appointments are all based on merit right? Or was it who you know in the PMO?

Monday July 18, 2005

To the following:
The Honourable Michael Bryant Minister of the Attorney General of Ontario
Mr. Malcolm Heins C.E.O The Law Society of Upper Canada
Ms. Susan Hebitchc/o Mr. W. Michael Adams, Director - Board Member, Services LibraryCo. Inc
Mr. Larry Banak Chai rThe Law Foundation of Ontario
Mr. John Pearson Director of Crown Operations, Central West Region John Sopinka Courthouse, Hamilton
The Hamilton Spectator, Editors

Dear Sirs and Madame:

This letter is regarding public access to law libraries, in particular, the law library at John Sopinka Courthouse in Hamilton Ontario. A written response by all those listed to address the various concerns responsible by each would be appreciated. A copy of this letter will be published at and any written responses will also be published.

I was disheartened to learn that the librarian, Chris Kycinsky, the Librarian at the John Sopkinka Court House in Hamilton, refuses access to members of the public who involve themselves in their own legal research.

I understand that the Law Foundation of Ontario grants funding to law libraries and that in 2003, the LFO gave $850,000 to LibraryCo. Inc, in which the John Sopinka Courthouse library, that which Ms. Kycinsky manages, is listed as an association law library receiving LibraryCo. Inc funding.

I also understand they receive money from the Law Society and have by-laws setting their policies by Convocation.Policy rules for an association law library found on LibraryCo. Inc's website lists that an "association law library is open to the legal community (lawyers, judges, law students) and "others".

Ms. Kycinsky identifies "others" as law students. I identify myself as a member of the public who is a legal advocate for myself first and second to others in the community that are marginalized deliberately by the legal community. I have been able to do all this by accessing legal information at law libraries at the universities in the cities I've lived in. In Hamilton, there is no faculty of law, therefore, no public access law library. I was told by Ms. Kycinsky to go to Toronto if I wanted to use a law library.

To give you more indication of Ms. Kycinsky's insensitivity to a class of people that cannot afford justice or legal service in Ontario and have to resort to researching law libraries for themselves; when asked if she would refuse individuals who were too poor to retain a lawyer and had to resort to doing their own legal advocacy she said "absolutely".I was also given an anecdotal story by Ms. Kycinsky that she didn't like the public using the law libraries in British Columbia, where she worked previously because they would ask lawyers for advice.

I guess generalizing gets you everywhere within the legal system. Obviously, B.C. understands the importance of allowing public access to legal information. In my experience using law libraries, I have never had to ask lawyers for advice. The opposite has actually occurred to me because I ended up having law students ask me questions and I ended up knowing more than they did!

I understand that LFO has a mandate and guidelines for giving out those grants. That mandate states: "The purpose of The Law Foundation of Ontario is to advance legal knowledge and to facilitate public access to legal services benefiting the people of Ontario". The funding criteria states: "the LFO funds projects related to Legal Aid, legal education and research and the creation and operation and maintenance of law libraries" and that those requesting grants "must show a direct benefit of the people of Ontario".

If the LFO is giving $850,000 to LibraryCo. Inc only to have one of their associate libraries turn away "others" doing research to benefit themselves and "the people of Ontario" (by way of a class of people), why does the LFO continue to give funding to these sources? Apparently, according to Ms. Kycinsky, the Hamilton Lawyer's Association over-rides the by-laws set by Convocation.

If the Law Society of Upper Canada "exists to govern the legal profession in the public interest". ( and the Equity Initiatives Department it to "ensure access to justice", by integrating "equity and diversity values and principles into its model policies, services, programs and procedures" then why is Sophia Sperdakos, policy counsel for LSUC condoning the behavior of the law libraries to deny access to legal information to the Ontarian public? Why deny them when they are in a public building such as the John Sopinka Courthouse?

I was told that lawyers fees are the sole support of libraries and the Law Society. They get no government funding. Of course, she didn't mention the Law Foundation's interest from mixed-trust accounts. So if LSUC is solely supported by lawyer's fees, how does that remove the Law Society from a conflict of interest situation? If LSUC counts on sole support of itself by lawyers fees but isn't in a conflict of interest, administering itself on behalf of the public interest, why is the fact that lawyers fees absolve LibraryCo. libraries to allow public access that would serve the public interest, especially in areas where there are no law schools? This doesn't make sense. How can lawyers fees be used to justify the LSUC's existence toact in the benefit of the public interest on the one hand and the same argument to justify non-public access that would benefit the public in another?

Is this just another case of more inadequate, out-of-touch public policy of the Law Society? Of course, LSUC did get government funding for legal aid at one time before their mismanagement of it removed legal aid out of their umbrella.So if Ms. Sperdakos stated herself that LSUC is supposed to govern lawyers in the public interest so why did she deny it when I commented that it was LSUC's mismanagement of the Plan in the early 90's causing the legal aid crisis and forcing convocation to impose draconian and violent legal aid cuts through-out the late 90's?

Instead, she chose to maintain the outdated myth that the only reason they mismanaged the money was that the government ended open-ended funding in 1994 with the Memorandum of Understanding under the Rae government, not because they were using a cash based accounting system instead of the general accepted accounting principles and somehow "lost" $100 million dollars.

We agreed to disagree that the legal aid problem was caused by LSUC's mismanagement of public revenue. $100 million dollars is still "missing" from accounts receivable on the legal aid account, left over from when the law society was managing the money. This is documented on the Auditor of Ontario's website in the Overall Audit Conclusions.

I have evidence that one of LSUC's lawyers under-represented the value of a home that had a liens on it to cover legal aid certificates to those in LSUC's legal aid accounting department.

How many other lawyers in Ontario under-represented to the Plan in the same manner? I'm thinking a lot given that there is still $100 million missing.

That lawyer's office was also the local legal aid office in the region. He is also the brother of a former federal cabinet minister and appointed to the Bench in 1998 probably with the help of the then federal Minister of Justice, Alan Rock, former treasurer to LSUC when the money crisis started.

I have evidence from another lawyer's account of what appears to be withdrawals from a legal aid certificate after her client was told there was no money left on it and could not file for divorce because of it. Her client ended up in court without a lawyer from refusal of a legal aid certificate against her will, knowing absolutely nothing until she arrived because she was given bad legal advice. That advice was go to court there will be duty counsel there (there wasn’t) and "cry in front of the judge, he'll help you". The justice couldn't care less.

(Perhaps I should post that evidence on this blog?)

There is enough documentation provided to me by the Ministry of the Attorney General's office that can be used in evidence in court (The Beck Report, the 1994 Memorandum of Understanding, both can be accessed at and the Ministry commissioned report called "A Blueprint for Legally Funded Legal Services in Ontario" see Volumes 2 & 3: "Historical and Analytical Framework and Governance of Legal Aid Schemes". These volumes can be accessed in law libraries or bought through Publications Ontario). These document LSUC's mismanagement, chose harmful public policies instead concerning itself with its own ends (that of its members) and did not in the serve in the public interest.

Why hasn't there been a forensic audit of the accounts receivable in the legal aid account? Why hasn't there been an investigation by the Ministry of the Attorney General, the Auditor's office or LSUC itself when they knew there was a short-fall of approximately $32 million back in 1996? Where is the $100 million still outstanding from collections on the legal aid account? Why hasn't a class action lawsuit been launched against the Law Society for causing so many Ontarians so much harm from over zealous legalaid area directors?

The M.O.U entered into with the Rae government wanted balanced certificate distribution to comply with the Legal Aid Act. LSUC gave legal aid directors discretion to deny certificates. It's documented in Blueprint that these area directors denied more than was instructed by Convocation's plan. In turn, they were denying mostly individuals in divorce matters and immigration. In many instances it was not timely to appeal these decisions. The class of individuals being denied were a majority women. Many women suffering psychological abuse by ex-partners were being victimized once again.

I have done a lot of research into this since 1997, the worst year of the cuts and continue to do so but I should not be forced to go to Toronto to get a book that could be available at the John Sopinka Courthouse.

Section 26 of the Charter allows additional rights than those spelled out in the Charter, which includes international law ratified in treaties. One of those treaties is the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW). I used those reports listed above in Canada's 2003 review as documentation to show that the provincial government allowed LSUC to discriminate against a majority women due to denial to legal services.

In turn, the U.N. Committee found that Canada has some serious discrepancies with its policies towards women. The U.N. says: Canada you have these problems because of the way your provinces and territories handle themselves. Ontario's legal system contributed to the U.N's concerns and recommendations which to this day have been ignored by the Law Society and this provincial government.

Because LSUC decimated the legal aid system poorer Ontarian's cannot get legal coverage for civil cases, Charter challenges, and particular family law and immigration disputes. Those who cannot afford a lawyer and therefore justice, have to turn to themselves and law libraries to understand how to uphold their legal rights. Forget lawyers. They don't want to handle most cases unless they get a large retainer and have a large dollar amount in settlement fees. And the lawyer referral service is a money grab. Any lawyer I have called from it wasn't helpful. They told me what I already knew, that I wouldnt' get a lawyer.

Where does this money go when LSUC receives it from the public?

How are low income individuals supposed to protect themselves when lawyers won't and basic rights to know and understand one's law are being denied by law libraries systematically refusing access because of their own bigoted attitudes towards low income individuals like Ms. Kycinky's and Ms. Sperdakos' which is just another form of constructive discrimination?

The new contingency law doesn't work for a legal system that believes it to be far too "superior" who "refuse to be like Americans" to use it. Lack of access to legal services forces individuals like myself and others to press private charges with their local Justices of the Peace. And if the Crown refuses carriage of those charges, even if they are supposed to uphold the administration of law and justice, then how are our guaranteed rights under s. 15 of the Charter to have equal benefit of the law protected?

There is a case right now where the Crown's office here in Hamilton won't take carriage of a private charge against possible municipal corruption and hasn't given the public a rationale why.

This is the same Crown region where "The Deal" was struck with Karla Homolka.

I have a number of private charges under various offense clauses of various legislation to be laid. Will I be struck without reasoning when it comes time to assume carriage? Not only would this affect me, but a class of individuals within Ontario who would benefit from the concerns being aired in a court of competent jurisdiction, not in some self-regulated body that does not follow their legislated obligations. And in Ontario there are enough of those.

All my information I researched since 1997 I obtained from law libraries, Ontario's e-laws and some law clinics.

I don't count on the Law Society at all to act on my behalf.

When I made a complaint about a Member of Parliament who is also a member of LSUC after openly and publicly encouraging discrimination against Muslim and non-Muslim women, dismissing their concerns and blaming "women's groups" for "over-reacting" to Ontario's implementation Sharia law in civil proceedings and in divorce cases, those in the complaints department did not immediately apply the Code of Professional Conduct, which has set rules about lawyers in public life.

The Law Society and Minister Bryant have no idea how serious implementing Sharia law could be, let alone allowing it's implementation with the system the way it is now for many women in Ontario. In particular low income immigrant women who don't know what their rights are or are being denied knowledge of them from these various systemic barriers not which of least comes from within their own communities.

I know, because I was within the Muslim community for 10 years, 3 of them being indoctrinated with the Salafist interpretation of Sharia law.And those barriers include something as banal as attempting to get a book explaining how to use U.K. judgements and legislation in Ontario courts under s. 25 of the Evidence Act to oppose Sharia Law was denied to me by Ms. Kycinsky and dismissed with lies by Ms. Sperdakos, a counsel for the Law Society's policy branch no less.

Can anyone please tell me what, exactly, is working in the public interest? Has the Law Society or the provincial government actually taken an impact study of the effects of those cuts on the Ontario public? Has either contacted individuals who have used legal aid, dealt with lawyers within that system or the law society or any difficulties they have had obtaining legal services and get their opinions on it? I have gotten the impression that no one wants to know the painful truth because they aren't interested in listening to the general public, only politicians and lawyers versions of what they think the general public say.

I hope I don't get the usual from the Ministry telling me to "go get a lawyer".

Monday, July 18, 2005

CAIR & CAIR-CAN Being Sued for $1 Trillion

This article was originally from the National Post but I found it on Northeast Intelligence Network. I am 90% in support of this law-suit because I used to "volunteer" for CAIR Canada. CAIR stands for Council on American Islamic Relations

I agree that CAIR and CAIR Canada is an Islamic propaganda tool fomenting mistrust, animosity and could have caused some individuals associated with it to become hateful as CAIR Canada would often take media excerpts out of context and send them to their list of Muslims to "verbally attack", in many cases agressively and rudely to various media outlets. I could say more on this but I would rather speak to the lawyers filing the I would consider being a witness for the plaintiff.

(For those who are wondering about my links to CAIR have a read from these posts 1; 2 ; 3 )

I remember one journalist who posted a picture of the hundreds of butts in prostration while in prayer at Mosque for an article for some paper in Washington State. I sent him a very nice letter explaining why it wasn't a good idea to show the back-ends of Muslims in prayer. He sent me an email thanking me for explaining it with manners because the others he recieved were not so nice.

From the National Post:

Complaint: "CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism."

5 January 2005-- The family of a former FBI counterterrorism official killed in the 9/11 attacks has filed suit against a Canadian Muslim lobby group, alleging it has "aided, abetted and materially sponsored" terrorism.
The Council on American Islamic Relations Canada (CAIR-CAN) was added as a defendant last week to a US$1-trillion lawsuit filed by relatives of John P. O'Neill, who died in the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

"CAIR and CAIR-Canada have, since their inception, been part of the criminal conspiracy of radical Islamic terrorism," says the amended complaint filed in U.S. District Court in New York December 30th, 2004.
The complaint claims that *CAIR* and *CAIR*-CAN have "actively sought to hamper government anti-terrorism efforts" by spreading propaganda against police and intelligence agencies, and by levelling false accusations of slander against commentators and media outlets.

"Their goal is to create as much self-doubt, hesitation, fear and name-calling, and litigation within police departments and intelligence agencies as possible so as to render such authorities ineffective in pursuing international and domestic terrorist entities." The suit contains only allegations that have not been proven in court. A CAIR-CAN spokesman said yesterday the group had not yet been served with the suit and did not want to comment until the group's lawyers and board had examined it.

The Canadian branches of three other non-profit groups are also named in the suit -- Benevolence International Canada, World Muslim League and International Islamic Relief Organization. The suit accuses them of negligence and wrongful death, alleging they were part of a network of groups, companies and individuals that supported al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11.

"What we've alleged is a global conspiracy to aid al-Qaeda which ultimately led to the tragedy of September 11," said Jerry Goldman, one of the lawyers representing the O'Neills. CAIR-CAN says on its Web site its mission is to "educate Canadians and empower Canadian Muslims" through media relations, anti-discrimination and political advocacy. It often complains about the treatment and depiction of Muslims in Canada, and says counter-terrorism measures unfairly target Muslims. It is one of several groups lobbying to abolish the process used by Canada to deport suspected terrorists.

The New York lawsuit is one of many filed since the Sept. 11, 2001,attacks that ask U.S. courts to find that al-Qaeda has been supported by a wide network of international groups that should be held accountable. The suit claims that CAIR and CAIR-CAN use "psychological warfare" and disinformation on behalf of Islamic extremists.

"They are the intellectual 'shock troops' of Islamic terrorism. In the years and months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, these organizations were very effective in helping to ensure that North American law enforcement and intelligence officials were sufficiently deaf, dumb and blind to help pave the way for the attacks on the United States. "The role played by these entities is an absolutely essential part of the mix of forces arrayed against the United States as they help soften-up targeted countries so as to facilitate and enhance the likelihood for a successful attack."

Mr. O'Neill led the FBI's counter-terrorism division and was a bin Laden expert. After retiring, he headed security for the WTC for less than two weeks before 9/11. He directed rescue efforts from the North Tower, but returned to the South Tower after the second plane hit and was killed when the building collapsed. Source: National Post

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Well, If Life Isn't Surreal Enough...

...but this story tops the cake. In my opinion it's right behind 9/11 in the surrealness factor. And as the Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said "it reaches a level of disbelief".

This very well written article in the Los Angeles Times by Josh Getlin, like a Hollywood screenplay, describes how two New York Cops, Louie Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa one leaving the service with decorations, became assasins for the Mob. (If the link doesn't work, try search under Los Angeles Times, Josh Getlin and the name of the article A Detective Story Alleging Hit Men in Blue)

Excerpt from the story:

His grandfather [Eppolito's], "Diamond" Louie; his father, Ralph "Fat the
Gangster"; and his uncle, Jimmy "The Clam," were members of the Gambino crime family.

They engaged in loan sharking, numbers running, money laundering and extortion.

Once, during a lecture at the police academy, Eppolito's class examined a chart with black-and-white photographs of New York organized crime figures, according to his autobiography.

"Hey, Louie," said a classmate, "there's a guy here with your last name."

It was a snapshot of his father.

Ya know, that kinda reminds me of our own former federal Public Works Minister, Alphonso Gagliano, you know, the one that heads the Canadian Mint and Security clearances? Hey Alphonso, there's a guy here with your last name!

Cat Tales # 2

My cat, Myrna, for those of you who have inquired, has recovered fully from her fly catching adventure, which plunged her 5 flights onto the roof below my balcony. Since then she bagged a mouse (not moose) and has been quite the frolicky kitten. My PC monitor chirps like a baby bird in a box so she pounces onto the keyboard to investigate the monitor's face, discovers nothing worth noting so gives a look and sniff behind it. Nothing. So, off to bat around some crumpled paper.

I named Myrna after a neighbour, the mum of one of my childhood friends who also minded me while my mother worked in Detroit.

Myrna the 'baby-sitter' took me with her when she visited her female friends and their kids. I enjoyed this because my mother was always working and if we went visiting, it was always family.
I can recall the radio playing late 60's music like Petula Clarke's "Downtown". This song reminded me later on of our little visits to her female friends where I used to sit up n the floor and listen to the days gossip and complaints. Myrna always listened quietly, smiling. I especially liked going to Myrna's mother's house because they would drink tea and I would get the milk and cookies.

What was so special about Myrna's mum's was the bathroom. I loved going in there. Everything was pink. The sink, the toilet, the bathtub, the rugs, the toilet cover all in fake pink fur. The soap was pink, even the toilet paper was pink. Remember those crocheted poodles that were supported inside by pop bottles? That too, was pink.

Myrna nursed a fat lip after I was "kissed" by a mosquito. She ignored the fact nor didn't make fun of me when I "pee'd the bed" on a sleep over. She also had the best toys. Hers was the only home to have an African-Canadian doll, an anonomly in my neighbourhood of practising white Catholics.
But the hard life in Windsor's Remington Park was to maintain its status quo.

About 5 or 6 years later, after the long cross country trek across Canada passing through north-west Ontario (the mosquito infested Lake of the Woods), Manitoba (muffler blew in Winnipeg), Saskatchewan (Hoppy's campground), Alberta (the badlands, my first Taco at the Medicine Hat rodeo), Vancouver B.C. (falling China town drug addicts) and the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island (sounding whales) in our orange Volkswagan Beetle, we returned to learn that Myrna had been shot dead by a jealous husband, believing she was cheating on him.

The story was more horrific for Lynnee, my childhood friend because she had seen her father come up from the basement carrying the rifle. She ran screaming to my best friend's house, terrified he might kill her too. She told us later that afternoon, she instinctively knew what he was going to do, that he was going to kill the mother of his children, his wife after so many years, after a long night of drinking.

He got away with murder by only being sentenced for 2 years. His defence back in the early '70's was "temporary insanity". Such was the value of women's lives back then.

I wasn't sure how my family would respond to me naming my cat Myrna. But I have special memories of this woman. The name seemed suitable because Myrna is known to mean "gentle one" in Latin.

Summertime Reading - Book Review

My sincerest apologies to my readers that have come to visit everyday to see if I was back online. I think, it’s safe to say I’m back blogging although perhaps not as frequently as previously because I want to work on some longer essays that require a lot of research and waiting for written responses from the powers that be.

Thanks to everyone who welcomed me back with comments etc. I appreciate them.

I want to lighten up this post a little and give my two cents on Marguerite Duras.

If you haven’t read The North China Lover or The Lover or seen that movie, I would highly recommend them. All of them. I’m not exactly sure in what order anyone would choose them but the way I approached it, without any thought, was to watch the video or DVD The Lover, then read her book titled the same and then read The North China Lover. Or just read one. Or watch the movie only, but I have a feeling no matter which or one, if your senses love the love of lovers between different cultures, you’ll find it breathtaking. In this order, The Lover and its movie blossomed sweetly by reading it this way.

Here’s a passage from The North China Lover:

"They were about to separate. She remembers how difficult, how cruel it was to speak. They couldn’t find words, their desire was so strong. They hadn’t looked at each other again. They had avoided each other’s hands, eyes. It was he who had imposed the silence. She would say later that you could have told they were in love by that silence alone, the words the silence skirted, its very pace, how it diverted them, and the game, too, the childishness of that game and the tears."

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I'm Not Back (yet...)!

Life can suck sometime...

I was hoping to get my PC up and running but ran into more snags and it's still down. Well, much has gone on with respect to news.

The Hamilton Spectator has done an awesome report on the potential conflict of interest of McMaster professors researching drugs in the department of health sciences that also work for pharmaceutical companies.

7 of the drugs that had their clinical trials conducted at McMaster with McMaster-Pharmacuetical industry researchers have been pulled from the Canadian market. 97 researchers at McMaster have the appearance of conflict of interest because they are also employed by the pharmaceutical companies. The Spec's investigative team found that McMaster did not have a transparent system that allowed them to access these relationships.

They had to find their information by researching a pharmaceutical company's website or by finding the listing of names of stock options.

Health Canada is investigating the connection of the use of drugs being prescribed for unapproved uses.

Stay tuned...