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June 16, 2014

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis – Just Another Tyrannical Douchebag?

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Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis: if you can’t handle being mocked stop being a politician. Mocking and ridicule come with the territory so either get a thicker skin or get yourself a new job. Wasting police resources to harass those who oppose you is the act of a tyrant, not a mayor.

Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis was so worried about a parody Twitter account with all of 50 posts and 50 followers he sent the Peoria Police Department on a 3-week chase of the heinous offender who created @peoriamayor (now defunct).

Bizarrely, three separate judges signed off on warrants for this case; one warrant for the Twitter account information, another for the ComCast subscriber information and the third was a search warrant for the home identified by the user’s IP address as identified by ComCast.

Violating the rights of this mere citizen is not only condoned but demanded by Mayor Jim Ardis. Freedom of Speech exists only for Jim Ardis, I suppose, and not for any of the citizens he presides over.

When police finally found the man responsible for mocking their mayor, one Jonathan Daniel, they descended like good little Police State thugs, with all the might they could muster. Since Jonathan Daniel committed no crime they dug through his possessions (illegally) until they found some marijuana.

They arrested Jonathan Daniel’s roommate, charged him with possession and held him on $3,000 bail, after seizing iPhones (2), XBox game controllers (2), private mail, digital memory cards and “drug paraphernalia”, whatever that means.

Presumably one of the cops needed new XBox controllers for his own system? Can’t imagine how else they can rationalize the seizure…

The only reason Daniel faced criminal charges at all is they had to charge him with something… how else do they justify this massive waste of police time and resources?

The crime of mocking one’s mayor is… well… no crime at all. Freedom of expression protects we mere citizens from such attacks by the overzealous minions of the state, or at least they ought to and that’s the point behind the lawsuit filed by Jonathan Daniel.

Jonathan Daniel says police, acting under the specific direction of Mayor Jim Ardis, violated his civil rights.

From March 9 through March 19, 2014, Mr. Daniel tweeted from a Twitter account, @peoriamayor, which used a picture of Jim Ardis (“Ardis”), the mayor of Peoria, as the account’s avatar. Displeased with the content of the tweets, Defendants embarked on a plan to shut down the account and identify and punish its creator in violation of his constitutional rights. As part of Defendants’ plan, Peoria Police Department officers searched Mr. Daniel’s residence, seized his personal property, reviewed personal information on Mr. Daniel’s electronic devices and in his mail, and arrested, detained, and interrogated Mr. Daniel purportedly for the crime of false personation of a public official.

Good for Jonathan Daniel for standing up for himself in the face of such blatant abuse of power.

If there is any sense of actual justice left in Illinois (and I wouldn’t bet on it given 3 separate judges issued search warrants in this case) then Jonathan Daniel’s win will be a slam-dunk.

 

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June 4, 2014

Gunsmith Bruce Montague, Dr. Henry Morgentaler and Abortion Law

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That may seem an odd title but it will make sense shortly.

The Ontario Court of Appeal released its decision in R. v. Montague, 2014 ONCA 439, in which the government’s desire to seize Bruce Montague’s complete firearms and ammunition collection came to its unjust conclusion.

Ontario’s Court of Appeal heard arguments for and against the forfeiture of over $100,000 of firearms and ammunition on November 15, 2013. At that time they reserved judgment to give justices Feldman, Gillese and Tulloch time to rationalize the State’s cash grab.

Justice Feldman, writing the appeal court’s unanimous decision, took 32 pages to explain seizing Montague’s entire firearm collection and ammunition was not only constitutional, it was also rational and proportional to the “crime” Bruce and Donna Montague committed.

For those unfamiliar with this case, Bruce Montague traveled across Canada for 18 months seeking arrest for violating Canada’s Firearms Act. Being a man of principle he believed, as I do, that Canada’s Firearms Act violates the rights of those mere citizens who dare own firearms.

Montague believed a constitutional challenge of the Firearms Act would result in the court declaring it unconstitutional, forcing the government to write a more sensible and rational law, one that does not violate our constitutional rights.

So why did Bruce Montague allow both his business firearms license for his gunsmithing business and his personal firearms license expire?

To answer question that I need to step away from Bruce Montague’s case and go to Dr. Henry Morgentaler, the abortion issue and the legal term “standing”.

Prior to this ruling, section 251.9 of the Criminal Code,allowed for abortions to be performed at only accredited hospitals with the proper certification of approval from the hospital’s Therapeutic Abortion Committee.

Three doctors, Dr. Henry Morgentaler, Dr. Leslie Frank Smoling and Dr. Robert Scott, set up an abortion clinic in Toronto for the purpose of performing abortions on women who had not received certification from the Therapeutic Abortion Committee, as required under subsection 287(4) of the Criminal Code. In doing so they were attempting to bring public attention to their cause, claiming that a woman should have complete control over the decision on whether to have an abortion.

Abortion was illegal when Morgentaler first opened his Toronto abortion clinic, except in very specific cases and with very specific permissions required. Morgentaler disliked that, and wanted to challenge the constitutionality of Canada’s abortion statute but an individual cannot challenge a law, any law, unless they have what in legal terms is called “standing”.

This means unless the law will adversely affect you personally you have no right, or “standing”, to challenge the legislation. In other words, unless you are charged with breaking the law you have no standing to challenge the law in court.

So Henry Morgentaler broke the law. Repeatedly and across the country. He opened an abortion clinic, performed illegal abortions until police arrested him and charged him with a crime. He then posted bail and repeated the process in another process until his case eventually landed before the Supreme Court of Canada.

The Supreme Court struck down Canada’s abortion law, leaving Canada with no law on abortion at all to this day.

Henry Morgentaler is hailed a hero for his fight for “abortion rights”. He was awarded the Order of Canada “for his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations.

In other words, for daring to violate Section 251 of the Criminal Code of Canada in order to make his point in court.

Without violating that law Henry Morgentaler did not have “standing” to challenge its constitutionality, which brings me back to Bruce Montague.

The issue the courts consistently refused to acknowledge is Bruce Montague specifically and deliberately broke the law in order to challenge the constitutionality of Canada’s Firearms Act, just as Henry Morgentaler did with Canada’s abortion law.

At every level of our justice system, from the Ontario Provincial Police (who used Bruce Montague’s gunsmithing services themselves) and Crown prosecutors to the trial judge, superior court judges and Court of Appeal judges, every single one attempted to paint Bruce Montague as a danger to society; a threat to the nation and a potential terrorist.

Not a single person in the entire justice system ever acknowledged Bruce Montague’s very public protests across the nation or his repeated and public statements against the Firearms Act.

Montague_PlacardThey simply branded him as a terrorist, a threat to public safety, and mainstream media outlets did what they do best; they parroted the party line on Bruce Montague even while running photographs of his public protests alongside their “articles”.

For example, the Court of Appeal in 2010 made this ludicrous statement, as though Bruce Montague actually intended to violently overthrow the government.

In September 2004, acting on the authority of two search warrants, the police seized more than 200 firearms and related devices, together with in excess of 20,000 rounds of ammunition and boxes of military­ related books and associated paraphernalia from the Montagues’ home. Many of these weapons were discovered in a hidden storage room in the basement of the house. It is fair to say that the quantity and nature of the seized arsenal of weapons and associated items may have been sufficient for a small-scale insurrection.

No, it is not.

Bruce Montague’s sole desire, as he stated repeatedly and publicly across the nation, was to challenge the constitutionality of a law he felt violated his Charter Rights and Freedoms. He was not preparing to mount a “small-scale insurrection“.

At no point would any level of our justice system acknowledge, just as the Ontario Court of Appeal refused to acknowledge in Monday’s ruling, that Bruce Montague could not challenge the constitutionality of a law without “standing”; without breaking the very law he disagreed with and be charged with a crime.

Henry Morgentaler did so and we rewarded him with the Order of Canada, citing “his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy”.

Bruce Montague’s “determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy” earned him 18 months in prison.

He also forfeits his life savings in firearms and ammunition (valued at over $100,000) and that still isn’t enough punishment as far as the government is concerned.

The Government of Ontario, under Ontario’s civil forfeiture law, will now steal the Montague’s family home and acreage valued at roughly $250,000.

By the time our government is done with Bruce and Donna Montague they will be penniless, homeless and jobless, and Canadian judges dare call this “justice“?

Only to fascist thugs who refuse to face the most fundamental fact of this entire case: Bruce Montague used civil disobedience in order to challenge the constitutionality of a bad law.

Anyone who believes Bruce Montague deserved to spend 18 months in prison, forfeit his entire life savings and now forfeit his home and acreage on top of it all clearly checked their humanity at the door.

Yes, I mean you, James McKeachie.

It is in no way “proportional” to the victimless paper crime committed by Bruce Montague. He refused to renew his firearms license. He refused to obtain registration certificates for his firearms. For this he will lose everything he worked his entire life for, including the beautiful log home he literally built with his own two hands.

[50] Some Canadian case-law has held that forfeiture will not be cruel and unusual punishment for someone who deliberately chooses to commit an offence that puts the particular property at risk, regardless of the value of the forfeited property in comparison to the gravity of the offence: see Turner v. Manitoba, 2001 MBCA 207, 160 Man. R. (2d) 256; R. v. Spence, 2004 NLSCTD 113, 238 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 259.

[51] In this case, it is most unfortunate for the appellants that they chose to challenge the firearms licensing laws by putting all their firearms at risk. However, in my view, the fact that it was their deliberate action that put so much property at risk is not the full reason why its forfeiture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment. It is because the forfeiture consequences cannot be viewed as grossly disproportionate or even disproportionate at all.

As I said earlier, there is no way to challenge the constitutionality of a law in Canada without breaking that law so you have “standing”.

That is not a choice to put your entire life savings, home and property “at risk”. It’s a decision to challenge an unjust law that unfairly penalizes Canada’s most law-abiding citizens: legal gun owners.

Seriously… who else must pass repeated police background checks and notify the government within 30 days of moving residences or face 2 years in prison?

Certainly not rapists and child molesters.

Forcing them to register is a violation of their civil rights.

Gun owners however, as evidenced by Bruce Montague’s case, have no civil rights. Rendering him penniless and homeless is a rational and proportional punishment for the crime of refusing to obtain a firearms license.

[59]Considering all the factors as they apply to the facts in this case, it cannot be said that the cumulative forfeiture of these weapons would outrage community standards of decency so as to amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

So says the Ontario Court of Appeals, who clearly don’t listen to the Montague’s community members or anyone in Canada’s vast firearms community. Every one of us are outraged at this cruel and unusual punishment that rendered the Bruce and Donna Montague penniless and will soon render them homeless as well.

But once again I forget; we’re gun owners. We are not part of the “community standards of decency“.

We’re lower than rapists and child molesters.

 

 

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May 31, 2014

Civil Asset Forfeiture is “not traumatic” for defendants says Phil Tawtel

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My wife, bless her heart, cuts out articles from the newspaper for me. I’m sure she thinks she’s doing me a favour, but most of the time the articles she cuts out just make my blood boil, such as the article she cut out for me the other day titled “BC Forfeiture Office Defends Its Record” by Ian Mulgrew.

In Mulgrew’s article the head of of BC’s Civil Asset Forfeiture Program, one Phil Tawtel, pontificated at great length why he and his office perform such a “valuable service” to we mere citizens of British Columbia.

Mulgrew’s article containing Tawtel’s defense came in the wake of a number of high-profile civil forfeiture cases where the director had to backpedal. As stated in the article,

Over the past few weeks, Tawtel’s office threw in the towel against David Lloydsmith, a disabled Mission electrician fighting the seizure of his house. The BC Court of Appeal rejected the [civil forfeiture] office’s appeal of a lower court ruling that it defend a series of Charter breaches that occurred in the 2007 RCMP investigation into allegations Lloydsmith was growing marijuana.

While recognizing the law’s aim, the court worried about the imbalance between the province’s immense resources and those of defendants who don’t qualify for legal aid and may not have even been charged with a crime, but face complicated legal proceedings that could cast them dearly.

Since that decision, the director also settled two other cases in the media eye – one involving an older Burnaby couple whose property was in jeopardy despite a criminal court ruling that a forfeiture would be excessive, and another against a Nelson-area acreage owner who had not been charged [with any crimes].

Phil Tawtel believes, it appears, that every mere citizen of British Columbia is fair game, that we are cash machines he can withdraw from as he pleases.

Targeting individuals who have no connection to organized crime or gangs is just part of the job, and it serves them right for coming to his attention, or so his attitude says. In defending his zealous “interpretation” of BC’s civil asset forfeiture law he said,

How does the director apply fairness and proportionality? Certainly, from Day 1 that is o our mind, from day one when we are looking at a file… that’s key to us.

Really? It doesn’t look that way to anyone outside your office.

However, to answer your question on “fairness and proportionality” I would suggest, Mr. Tawtel, that you ask yourself this: If you were the one whose home your office is about to steal, would you think it was fair and proportional to the crime with which you were never even charged?

There is the answer to your question, and the honest answer of it is a far cry from your current belief.

The former Edmonton RCMP investigator said that some of the Charger breaches “on the surface are not egregious and its worth… seeing how it plays out.

Such a cavalier attitude towards the Charter Rights of we mere citizens is frightening. Launching civil forfeiture proceedings are no big deal… he says… we just want to see how it plays out.

Let me translate…

The Almighty State decreed through civil forfeiture legislation it can steal any property from any individual any time it wants. If I launch civil forfeiture proceedings against you it’s no big deal as you will have your day in court to explain yourself.

And a massive legal bill but that’s okay; it’s Phil Tawtel’s whim to see how your case “plays out”. Your suffering is inconsequential and of no relevance.

We mere citizens of British Columbia have good reason to be terrified. Power that great wielded without accountability is nothing if not traumatizing to the poor souls crushed under its weight.

Phil Tawtel does not see it that way, of course.

Far from traumatizing defendants, as lawyers claim, litigation provides an opportunity through the discovery process for them to explain, as in “I know what the police told you, but here is my side of the story,” Tawtel said. Though he added, “You often can’t get there and get their information until well after litigation has started.

Clearly Mr. Tawtel believes that, as a representative of government, he can do what he wants, when he wants, to any mere citizen. If we know what’s good for us we will simply bend over, muffle our cries of pain and say thank you when he’s finished.

Claiming civil forfeiture proceedings do not “traumatize defendants“, I’m sure Mr. Tawtel would view that far differently were it his home attacked by a BC Civil Forfeiture Office seizure order. He would suffer a great deal of trauma at that point. I’m also positive it will take such an action happening to him before Mr. Tawtel will grasp his actions against people, like a disabled electrician, are egregious, severe, cruel and yes, traumatic in the extreme.

They are making people’s lives a living hell for the period of the litigation and possibly forcing them into a settlement when they know it’s so difficult to prove they haven’t engaged in any wrongdoing,” fumed Lloydsmith’s lawyer Bibhas Vaze.

(Defendants) throw up their hands and give up. It’s really outrageous.

The Process Is The Punishment.

Suffer extortion by government decree or lose your home entirely.

As Bruce and Donna Montague’s case in Ontario proves, this is all about money and nothing else.

The Montague family home and acreage, valued at roughly $250,000 faces a seizure order under Ontario’s version of civil forfeiture, its Proceeds of Crime Act. In the Montague’s case government thieves graciously offered to “settle” the case if the Montagues agreed to pay $50,000 in extortion… er… I mean “settlement” fees.

But losing the home you built with your bare hands, as Bruce Montague did, to government extortionists is “not traumatic“, says Phil Tawtel.

Uh huh.

Mr. Tawtel, it appears, requires a new dictionary.

As disabled electrician David Lloydsmith’s lawyer stated it is impossible to “prove a negative”. You cannot, for example, prove a fish does not live in the stream running in front of your home. You can only prove it does when you find one. The absence of observable fish does not prove there are no fish.

The trouble with bullies is they never view themselves as bullies.

They always believe their actions are justified. That is even more true when the bully is civil asset forfeiture and those prosecuting the case get paid only when they are successful in seizing assets, as is the case here in BC. The financial incentive to go after any and all cases crossing your desk is overwhelming when your salary is tied directly to how many forfeiture cases you win.

I call it an environment ripe for abuse, which is precisely what is happening here in British Columbia, and that must change.

BC should follow Minnesota’s lead and reform its forfeiture laws so a criminal conviction is required before government can go after property through civil asset forfeiture. As I recently wrote:

Kudos to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton for signing this into law the moment it hit his desk.

This reform turns civil forfeiture on its head; something long overdue. Current legislation in every other jurisdiction, including here in Canada, requires you to prove you did NOT do something, rather than requiring the State to prove you committed a crime.

If you agree enforcement of BC’s civil asset forfeiture law is out of control then I urge you to speak with your MLA immediately and demand BC’s civil asset forfeiture laws are reformed to the Minnesota civil forfeiture standard.

You can read more about that standard here:

Minnesota Gets Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Right

 

 

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March 12, 2014

Solar Power and Rainwater Collection Declared Illegal?

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Special-Magistrate-Harold-S.-Eskin_PFTR

We’re told endlessly that we must be responsible for the energy we use; that we must be energy-self-sufficient; that the world as we know it will literally come to an end of we don’t buy into the eco-frenzy.

I have no issue with being energy-self-sufficient. In fact I completely agree with the philosophy.

Twenty-five years ago the power company wanted an exorbitant amount of my money in return for sending me an electricity bill each month. I told them to pound sand. I installed solar panels almost immediately and have run my home on them ever since.

Cut to Cape Coral, Florida, where Robin Speronis, a 54-year-old former real estate agent, had a judge declare her solar panels and rain-water collection system illegal.

From Living Off The Grid:

Speronis, a former real estate agent, decided to adopt an off the grid lifestyle in the home she owns after her husband died after a long illness. She cited her faith in God and desire to be self-sufficient.

It was an interest in empowering myself, like we did when we got off the health care system,” she said. “I wanted to look at every other part of my lifestyle and say, do I need this? Is this of value to me? If it went away tomorrow, what would I do? The more I got into it, the more exciting, the more of an adventure it became.

Then came the bureaucrats and with them their deeply ingrained fervor for “following the rules” and their highly illogical sense of injustice.

Last November a bylaw code enforcement officer showed up at the Speronis home and promptly tried evicting Robin Speronis from her own home.

The reason? Robin refused to use public utilities.

At the root of the case is an outdated and idiotic requirement that every home must be connected to the city water system. This dates back to the time when the city deemed using well water a sin and forced everyone to use the city water system.
The Cape Coral city bureaucrats now claim dominion over the skies and the water that falls freely from them. Collecting rain water is now considered a violation of this outdated (did I mention idiotic) city ordnance too.

Her case ended up in court, where Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin made an utterly absurd ruling.

While declaring the bylaw regulations of Cape Coral redundant and unreasonable, Eskin ruled simultaneously that Robin Speronis violated both local city codes and the International Property Maintenance Code, which unilaterally declares any home without grid-sourced electricity and running water is “unsafe and unsanitary“.

In a word… Hogwash.

Speronis’s case should be a wakeup call for anyone living off the grid. The International Property Maintenance Code and similar regulations are on the books in many parts of the United States and Canada.

Speronis refuses to bow to the city’s demands, though, even while they force liens on her property and continue to issue more fines associated with her ‘violations.’ She is able to appeal the judge’s decision, which would allow her to carry on with her sustainable lifestyle.

She has said, “We have a long, long road to go. I’m sure justice will prevail.”

Living in harmony with nature is now a crime?

I can’t wait for the eco-freaks to catch onto this story.

They’ll surely shred Special Magistrate Harold S. Eskin with his own stupidity, and rightfully so.

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January 6, 2013

Ian Thomson’s Interview with SunTV’s Brian Lilley

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Ian-Thomson-Acquitted

The day after Ian Thomson was acquitted of bogus unsafe storage charges in Welland, Ontario, Brian Lilley from the SunTV show Byline interview him. Here is that interview.

If you are able to help Ian Thomson with part of his outstanding $30,000 legal bill for defending himself against charges that should never have been brought in the first place, please send your contributions payable to:

Ed Burlew, In Trust
16 John Street
Thornhill, Ontario L3T 1X8

 

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January 4, 2013

Ian Thomson found NOT GUILTY of safe storage charges

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Ian-Thomson-Acquitted

January 3, 2012

Ian Thomson of Port Colbourne, Ontario, was found NOT GUILTY by Justice Colvin in a 45-minute decision that finally takes the weight off the man who had the audacity to defend his life from masked men trying to murder him in his home while he slept.

It’s a case that should never happened.

Police should have commended Thomson for his restraint in firing warning shots over the heads of the men who tried to murder him, not arrest him on bogus safe storage charges.

Crown Counsel should have declined to prosecute because it is not in the public interest to proceed with such an asinine case.  Then again, Crown Counsel should have charged the men who tried to kill Ian Thomson with attempted murder too… something they just couldn’t bring themselves to do.

Naturally, when the Crown Counsel’s head is stuffed this far into his own behind, he won’t accept the decision of the court.  Long before the decision came down today, January 3rd, Crown prosecutors made it very clear they would appeal the decision if it didn’t go their way.

I truly do not comprehend the mindset of police and lawyers who would rather see a man dead, burned alive, than defend his life against masked men trying to murderer him.

It makes no sense to me.

Unless, that is,  I accept the fact that police and crown prosecutors, at least in Ontario, do not believe we mere citizens of Canada should be “allowed” to defend our lives in the face of imminent and mortal danger.

It’s fine for them, of course… just not for the rest of us.

The sheer hypocrisy of this is, well, disgusting.

Let me leave you with a few thoughts I wrote almost a year ago in an article titled “Vigilantism vs Self-Defense: Why Bob Rae is a buffoon completely out of touch with reality

…in the early morning hours of August 22, 2010, Port Colborne, Ontario resident Ian Thomson used a legally-owned and registered handgun to fire warning shots over the heads of the three murderous cretins (no relation to our former prime minister) who were attempting to kill him by burning down Mr. Thomson’s home with him inside it.

The police and Crown prosecutors have decided that saving his own life is not acceptable behaviour.  Instead, Crown prosecutors seem to be content that Ian Thomson should have dialed 9-1-1 and then promptly died at the hands of his attackers, like a good little sheeple.

A police officer actually had the gall to say that Thomson was able to retrieve his firearms “too quickly”, therefore he was obviously guilty of the unsafe storage of firearms.

It’s an asinine comment and an even more asinine conclusion to draw.  Ian Thomson’s life was in immediate and imminent danger from three men caught on video cameras screaming death threats and tossing Molotov cocktails at his home.

It was only his ability to retrieve his firearms and fire a couple of warning shots to scare off his would-be murderers that allows Ian Thomson to be alive to suffer the abusive prosecution he is currently facing, not to mention the moronic comments of that policeman and now Bob Rae.

This is beyond absurd.  If an inmate inside a maximum security prison can use a concealed weapon to kill another inmate according the the Supreme Court of Canada (R. v. Kerr, [2004] 2 S.C.R. 371, 2004 SCC 44), then why can’t a man with no criminal record and a legally-owned firearms defend his life against three men actively trying to murder him?

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October 26, 2012

Charges Dropped Against Moses Mahilal: Is this Crown Prosecutors discovering Common Sense, or merely protecting their conviction rates

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When I heard the news earlier today that all charges against Moses Mahilal were dropped I was both shocked and elated at the same time. It’s incredibly uncommon for Ontario Crown Prosecutors to do the right thing… or to be more specific, to correct the injustice they have already perpetrated by laying charges against the victim of a crime in the first place.

As you may or may not remember, Moses Mahilal lives with his girlfriend Sarah Walsh and Sarah’s mother Kimberly Walsh in Etobicoke, Ontario. In July 31, 2011 the couple came home late to discover the door open and an unknown pair of shoes at the bottom of the stairs. Upon further investigation and after grabbing a kitchen knife to defend himself, Moses found the home invader hiding behind Sarah’s mother’s bedroom door.

A fight ensued and the home invader, one Kino Johnson, was stabbed a couple of times before running away. He was ultimately arrested by police, yet Crown prosecutors wasted no time taking the wounded home invader’s word as Gospel before charging Mahilal with a crime: aggravated assault.

If convicted Moses Mahilal could face up to 14 years in prison. That’s a serious penalty for the “crime” of defending yourself and your loved ones from a repeat offender like Kino Johnson.

Johnson had previously been convicted of break and enter five times before this. God only knows how many crimes like this he had committed but wasn’t convicted of.


Holiday gifts at up to 90% off!
As I wrote back on September 4th under the title “Ontario’s Crown prosecutors insist upon confusing self-defense with assault“,

Imagine you are out with your girlfriend for the evening. You have a lovely time together and come home in the wee hours of the morning, only to find your front door wide open. Your girlfriend’s mother lives with both of you so your concern for her safety immediately goes into overdrive.

This being Canada you’re not legally allowed to carry a firearm, so you run to the kitchen and arm yourself with a kitchen knife, the only defensive tool close at hand. While you hear nothing, your girlfriend’s mother’s bedroom is upstairs and as you round the corner you stare in horror at what’s sitting at the bottom of the stairs.

In a bizarre twist your home invader has had the courtesy to take his shoes off before ransacking your home.

Running upstairs you discover the intruder hiding behind your girlfriend’s mother’s bedroom door. He attacks you and you defend yourself with the knife you grabbed in the kitchen. The home invader is injured in the struggle, seriously, but your girlfriend’s mother is safe and that’s all that matters.

God only knows what could have happened had you not arrived home when you did.

You call the police who come and arrest the home invader… and then they arrest you for the “crime” of assaulting the man who invaded your home.

Exactly what country is this again???

Defending-Yourself-Should-Not-Be-A-Crime-in-Canada

Sure doesn’t sound like Canada, does it? At least not the Canada I want to live in.Matt Gurney had a great writeup in the National Post where he explains quite clearly that the process is the punishment.

On Thursday, the Crown suddenly dropped the charge against Mahilal, saying that it had reviewed the evidence and there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction.That’s great news for Mahilal. But it does raise the question why he was charged at all, and why the Crown needed so long to conclude that the entire legal proceeding — including last months’ pretrial hearings — was a waste of time.

In Ontario, it is police who lay charges if they determine there’s a reasonable prospect of a conviction. The Crown takes it from there. But it’s been more than a year. Was this the first moment the Crown could find to declare that they wouldn’t pursue the case? Think of the court resources wasted, not to mention the stress on Mahilal and the Walshes, during that period. And then there’s the money Mahilal spent defending himself against a hopeless prosecution.

But Mahilal wasn’t tried. He was partially tried, and then the Crown gave up. It can only be concluded that he never should have been tried, even in part, at all.

Gurney goes on to explain how this case is pretty much the textbook definition of self-defense.

Mahilal’s case is clear cut. He found an intruder in his home at night, and defended himself with force against that intruder. His actions are clearly covered by the Criminal Code’s Section 34, which allows people to use force in self-defence if they believe they have no choice and that they are under direct threat. Finding someone in your home at night certainly fits that definition. Indeed, short of being attacked by an axe-wielding madman straight out of a Hollywood thriller, it’s hard to imagine what could fit the definition better.

Now at first glance it would appear that Crown prosecutors in this case have re-discovered their long-lost common sense and dropped all charges against Moses Mahilal.

Yeah, maybe at first glance… but upon a closer examination here is what you will find:

Crown prosecutors “reviewed the evidence” and found there was “no reasonable prospect of a conviction.

In other words, they gave up, but not before penalizing Moses Mahilal both emotionally and financially.

The process is the punishment.

This isn’t common sense rearing its head at all, as Crown prosecutors in Ontario seem pathologically incapable of admitting they’ve made a mistake. This is merely the repulsive self-interest of Ontario’s Crown prosecutors rearing its ugly head.

They will not admit they were wrong in bringing charges against Moses Mahilal in the first place… Not a chance. This is merely a case of Crown prosecutors realizing their precious conviction rate was in jeopardy if they moved forward against Mahilal.

That being said, I’m delighted they dropped the charges against Moses Mahilal… regardless of their reasoning…

But wouldn’t it be nice if these boneheads could get the concept of self-defense through their thick skulls BEFORE dragging someone through the court system for no reason?

Oops… I forgot…

The process is the punishment.

 

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October 9, 2012

Freedom of Speech: The 27th Annual George Orwell Free Speech Awards

guilty-until-proven-innocent

Imagine you are the parents of three young children.

Imagine one of those children runs and falls into your precious little girl, landing harshly on her head.

Discovering your child’s injury, you rush your child to the hospital where you expect your child will immediately receive the medical attention she requires.

Never in your wildest nightmares would you believe that this act, caring for the well-being of your child, would be the beginning of a 4-year nightmare at the hands of medical professionals, Child and Family Community Services, the RCMP and the criminal justice system.

It is utterly inconceivable that you would be arrested, interrogated for hours while police ignore your pleas to find out how your injured child is; you are charged with criminal charges and have your children taken from you and placed in foster care… all based on the word of a social worker and a doctor.

Both you and your wife cry your innocence to anyone who will listen.  Nobody does.

Presumption of innocence?  Not a chance.  This is Canada, where presumption of innocence died long ago.

Police tell you that you will never see your children again unless and until you tell them “the truth” about what you did to your child.   The problem is that nobody wants to hear the truth as it doesn’t fit with their pre-determined conclusion of your guilt.

A fourth child is born during this horrific tribulation and to your horror that child too is stolen from you by government workers drunk with the power of the state.

Paul and Zabeth Bayne

That is the barest outline of the nightmare BC’s Paul and Zabeth Bayne lived through at the hands of a system that refused to accept the truth: they never harmed their child.

For a full description from Zabeth Bayne herself, watch the video below as Zabeth and Paul Bayne are awarded the George Orwell Free Speech Award for 2012 by Victoria lawyer and Free Speech advocate Douglas Christie.

Now, why is a couple who were put through hell by a government agency deserving an award for Freedom of Speech?  It’s not for the ordeal they went through, although that was truly horrific; it’s for how this brave couple responded to their persecution.

They fought back.

They patently refused, at every turn, to accept the presumption of guilt heaped upon them by every level of government and our justice system.

They won.

After their family was finally reunited after 4 long years apart, the Baynes decided they were not willing to allow their ordeal to happen to another mother and father.

They founded an organization, Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation, to educate parents, health care workers, police and government bureaucrats in the realities of childhood traumatic injury and to the simple fact that there are many, many more explanations for childhood injuries other than what some doctors, bureaucrats and legislators would like to believe.

Evidence Based Medicine and Social Investigation was founded in the wake of their victory against a system that presumed them guilty.

They now host an annual conference bringing together parents, doctors, police and legislators in an effort to educate them all, so that the nightmare the Bayne family lived through won’t happen again.  (Visit their Facebook page)

Here is the Canadian Free Speech League’s Douglas Christie presenting the 2012 George Orwell Free Speech Award to the Bayne family and Zabeth Bayne’s own recounting of their horrific story.


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September 4, 2012

Ontario’s Crown prosecutors insist upon confusing self-defense with assault

Moses-Mahilal-under arrest
Moses Mahilal

Moses Mahilal is accused of assaulting the man who invaded his home and threatened his girlfriend’s mother’s life.

Imagine you are out with your girlfriend for the evening.  You have a lovely time together and come home in the wee hours of the morning, only to find your front door wide open.  Your girlfriend’s mother lives with both of you so your concern for her safety immediately goes into overdrive.

This being Canada you’re not legally allowed to carry a firearm, so you run to the kitchen and arm yourself with a kitchen knife, the only defensive tool close at hand.  While you hear nothing, your girlfriend’s mother’s bedroom is upstairs and as you round the corner you stare in horror at what’s sitting at the bottom of the stairs.

In a bizarre twist your home invader has had the courtesy to take his shoes off before ransacking your home.

Running upstairs you discover the intruder hiding behind your girlfriend’s mother’s bedroom door.  He attacks you and you defend yourself with the knife you grabbed in the kitchen.  The home invader is injured in the struggle, seriously, but your girlfriend’s mother is safe and that’s all that matters.

God only knows what could have happened had you not arrived home when you did.

You call the police who come and arrest the home invader… and then they arrest you for the “crime” of assaulting the man who invaded your home.

Exactly what country is this again???

That’s precisely the question Moses Mahilal asked himself as he sat in a jail cell, under arrest for the “crime” of self-defense and defending the life of his loved ones.

(more…)

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July 2, 2012

Does the Yukon Territory really need a pseudo-police department to deal with drug dealers, bootleggers and prostitutes?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Does the Yukon Territory really need another layer of bureaucracy to do the job the RCMP is already paid to do?  Apparently, the answer to that question is a resounding YES! according to Yukon’s Parliament.

If that shocks you, you’re not alone.

“There oughta be a law!  What?  There already is?  Since when?”

We already have laws against drug dealing, bootlegging and prostitution.  These laws have been on the books for decades, yet the Yukon Parliament, in its unfailing quest to be “seen to be doing something”, decided another layer of bureaucracy was the answer; that somehow this new layer of pseudo-cops would deal with the evils of society once and for all.

Yeah, okay.  Looks like someone’s been drinking the Koolaid again.

One more law, one more bureaucrat or one more bureaucracy is never going to stop mankind from breaking the Mankind’s laws.  If all it took to stop crime was another law, then murder would have been banished from the Earth back in the days of Moses.  God did command “Thou Shalt Not Kill”, didn’t he?

The trouble is not with the commandment, but with the recipients of that commandment.  In other words, the trouble is with Man and the wickedness of his own heart.

Don’t bother telling that to the Nanny State Ninnies of the Yukon Parliament though.  Nope, these yahoos know infinitely better than we mere mortals about what will finally rid our communities of the scourge of drugs, or whatever the scourge du jour might be.

On May 24, 2006 the Yukon Parliament proclaimed the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act (SCAN) under the bizarre premise that “one more law” will solve the problem.  It’s no surprise that this legislation is the spawn of the late Todd Hardy, the former NDP Leader.  The NDP is nothing if not the proponents of the Nanny State in all her glory.  That’s not speaking ill of the dead.  It is speaking ill of the stupid policies he advocated, however.

To quote the Whitehorse Star:

Hardy brought forward the initiative amid the growing concern nothing could be done about known drug houses, if the criminal system was not able to secure the necessary evidence for a conviction.

SCAN allows officers to build a fact-based case that doesn’t need to meet the same test as a criminal case, but allows the court the breathing room to make obvious assumptions based on such things as the number of visitors and when they’re visiting.

Did you catch the important idea there?

A lower burden of proof than is required for a criminal conviction.

The trouble with this do-gooder law is that it actually removes the police from the crime-fighting equation.  Instead of calling the cops to report a crime, now Yukoners are encouraged to call this new bureaucracy instead.  Once a complaint is received, the do-gooders will waste countless hours (not to mention taxpayer dollars) “investigating” the complaint.

Here’s the stupidest part of this legislation.  SCAN investigators have no power to make an arrest.

So why bother?

Good question.

The legislation gives rise to what is termed a “Community Safety Order” which can force a homeowner or tenant to

vacate the property on or before a date
specified by the court, and enjoining any
or all of them from re-entering or re-occupying it;

It can also force a homeowner to terminate a lease agreement and even close the property down and order it to remain vacant for up to 90 days.

That is precisely what happened in the case of Marius Moustakas in May of this year. Mr. Moustakas was ordered removed from the home he owns for 90 days because SCAN investigators claim he was “engaged in the illegal sale of alcohol and drugs.”

Documents submitted to the court say

“The neighbours agreed that this interfered with their business and, or, peaceful enjoyment of their properties. They also expressed concerns for their safety and security, and the general safety of the public.”

Now, please don’t misunderstand me.

I am NOT in favour of drug dealers or bootleggers living next door, nor am I in favour of prostitutes plying their trade where my kids and grandkids play.  That’s not because these people are inherently “bad”, but because their activities are inherently dangerous both to themselves but more importantly to those innocent bystanders who may be in the way when things go south.

Criminal actions bring with them a willingness to hurt others if that will advance the criminal activity.  Drug dealers have proven they are very willing to hurt other people if, for example, they do not pay or are infringing on their perceived “territory”.  I’ve not heard of many average citizens killing someone over an unpaid debt, but the news is rife with cases of drug dealers who killed people for all kinds of reasons, both real and imagined.

The problem with the the Safer Communities and Neighbourhoods Act is not only that it removes the police from the crime fighting equation but also that it removes our Common Law protections in favour of expediency.

A person should be presumed innocent until proven otherwise, beyond a reasonable doubt, in a court of law.

Is it inconvenient to have to prove someone has broken the law beyond a reasonable doubt?

Absolutely.  It’s incredibly inconvenient.  However if we want to live in a nation that is anything other than a Police State, that is how we must remain:

Innocent until proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt, in a court of law.

Expediency and convenience can never be the reason we violate someone’s Rights and Freedoms.

If we’re willing to violate someone else’s rights today because it’s “convenient” or “expedient” to do so, what else will we be willing to do tomorrow in the name of The Greater Good?

 

 

 

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February 22, 2012

New Hampshire, the “Live Free or Die” state just murdered freedom

nh_license_plate-live-free-or-die

New Hampshire has as it’s state motto the phrase “Live Free or Die“.  If you’re a normal, thinking American you might be forgiven for believing that New Hampshire actually believes in that motto.  In reality, New Hampshire officials, or at least their police, hate the concept so boldly embraced on the state’s license plate.

Anyone doubting that might want to talk to 61 year old Dennis Fleming of Farmington, New Hampshire.  (I’d tell you to ask Carl Drega but they killed him.)

Dennis came home on Saturday, February 18th, 2012 to discover his house had been broken into.  Then he saw local drug addict and criminal Joseph Hebert climbing out of the window of Dennis’ neighbor’s home.

Dennis Fleming yelled at the burglar to stop and then fired a shot into the ground.

“I had drawn my gun … I had a bypass last year, I have a bad knee, bad back, I don’t want this guy to come at me,” he said Monday. “I yelled, ‘Freeze!’ and fired my gun into the ground.”

Not being a complete moron, Hebert stopped and remained frozen until police arrived.

That’s when the motto Live Free or Die had another nail pounded into its coffin.

You see, as well as arresting the criminal for breaking and entering two homes, the police decided to arrest the victim of the crime, Dennis Fleming, as well.  Then they seized all his firearms.

You’d think that a state that had “Live Free or Die” as its state motto would comprehend the concept of freedom. Sadly, this is not the case.

To quote Fox News,

Calls seeking comment from Farmington Police Department Chief Scott Roberge were not immediately returned.

Let me explain it for the freedom-challenged police and prosecutors in New Hampshire.

Freedom includes the right to protect yourself, to protect your property, and it also implies you ought to do the right thing for your neighbor as well.  You know, just like Dennis Fleming did for his neighbors.

(more…)

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February 11, 2012

Vigilantism vs Self-Defense: Why Bob Rae is a buffoon completely out of touch with reality

bob-rae

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae is the perfect Liberal.  He hates his fellow citizens and believes the State should, indeed MUST be all-powerful, especially when it comes to a monopoly of force.  It is the state and ONLY the state who should be able to use force to repel attackers, not mere citizens.

For those of us of the lesser class, i.e. not a Liberal politician or a Prime Ministerial wannabe, and who must rely on ourselves and not armed bodyguards of the state, the Ian Thompson case takes on very special significance.  If he is convicted of the unsafe storage charges he currently faces, then the rest of us too, are doomed, should our lives be threatened as his was.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you’ll know that in the early morning hours of August 22, 2010, Port Colborne, Ontario resident Ian Thomson used a legally-owned and registered handgun to fire warning shots over the heads of the three murderous cretins (no relation to our former prime minister) who were attempting to kill him by burning down Mr. Thomson’s home with him inside it.

The police and Crown prosecutors have decided that saving his own life is not acceptable behaviour.  Instead, Crown prosecutors seem to be content that Ian Thomson should have dialed 9-1-1 and then promptly died at the hands of his attackers, like a good little sheeple.

A police officer actually had the gall to say that Thomson was able to retrieve his firearms “too quickly”, therefore he was obviously guilty of the unsafe storage of firearms.

It’s an asinine comment and an even more asinine conclusion to draw.  Ian Thomson’s life was in immediate and imminent danger from three men caught on video cameras screaming death threats and tossing Molotov cocktails at his home.  It was only his ability to retrieve his firearms and fire a couple of warning shots to scare off his would-be murderers that allows Ian Thomson to be alive to suffer the abusive prosecution he is currently facing, not to mention the moronic comments of that policeman and now Bob Rae.

This is beyond absurd.  If an inmate inside a maximum security prison can use a concealed weapon to kill another inmate according the the Supreme Court of Canada (R. v. Kerr, [2004] 2 S.C.R. 371, 2004 SCC 44), then why can’t a man with no criminal record and a legally-owned firearms defend his life against three men actively trying to murder him?

Interim Liberal Party Leader and Chief Fantasy-land Dweller Bob Rae believes that what Ian Thomson did is best characterized as “vigilantism”, making Bob Rae about the only Canadian who is this mind-numbingly stupid.

(more…)

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October 12, 2011

Trash Police March on Homes

garbage-police

From our friends in the UK comes a tale of environmental woe:

Robin Hood always feared the Sheriff of Nottingham, but always managed to get the better of him. Robin robbed the rich to give to the poor. The people of Nottingham, UK need Robin back soon because the local Sheriff’s department have found ways to rob the poor to give to the rich.

In 2010, the Council of Nottingham issued 227,680 warning letters to people who breached the waste refuse regulations. They followed this with 45,186 official statutory notices threatening fines and issued 1,200 penalty notices stating that the fine had been issued. People can be fined up to £1,000 for putting trash out on the wrong day, incorrectly sorting material for recycling and, unbelievably, placing the trash in the wrong place, which can be less than one foot from its desired location! Environmental responsibility is one thing, but this is ridiculous.

Homeowners under Attack

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August 5, 2011

Intruder invades a man’s home, but it’s the home owner who gets charged with aggravated assault

dibujo-12

In what’s becoming a disgusting and disturbing pattern across Canada, it’s once again the law-abiding citizen that is being charged, not the criminal.  Ontario police and Crown prosecutors appear to have an incredible bias against anyone actually defending themselves, their loved ones or their property.

This is just the latest in a long line of legal obscenities to grace the front pages of newspapers across Canada.

This time it’s a 28-year-old man who was walking his girlfriend home when they discovered someone had broken into her home.  Believing his girlfriend’s mother was inside, the boyfriend searched the home to see if she was all right and happened upon the home invader instead.

What ensued is enough to strike terror into anyone faced with similar circumstances, and I’m NOT talking about the fight that left the home invader stabbed and in hospital.  HE got what he deserved.

I’m talking about the the fact that this man has now been charged with aggravated assault.

“The man was charged because it is alleged the stabbing was excessive,” said Toronto Police Constable Tonyo Vella. “It is alleged that he stabbed the man a number of times. He’s fortunate to be alive.”

And moronic cops and prosecutors who feel safe making that judgment call the next morning really ought to be ashamed of themselves. (more…)

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July 15, 2011

Lawrence Manzer case ends abruptly in a mistrial

Lawrence-Manzer

What a bizarre end to a case that everyone, me included, expected would tell us just how far the government thinks we are allowed to go in protecting ourselves, our homes, our families and our neighbours.

I had a long talk with Laurie Manzer yesterday afternoon, once he returned home from court.  While he is greatly disappointed that the case did not give us a clearer idea of what the government considers reasonable when protecting ourselves and our neighbours, he is also greatly relieved that the huge weight hanging over his head for the past year is finally gone.

(news video from Burton TV below)

Because Crown Prosecutor Paul Hawkins chose to charge Lawrence Manzer as a summary offence, keeping a jury out of the picture, there were certain rules and timelines in place.  Adding to the complication was the fact that Hawkins dropped the initial charge against Manzer, then 7 months or so after the “incident” decided to re-charge him with a separate offense.

A summary charge must be placed within 6 months.  In Manzer’s case, that didn’t happen on the second charge.  Judge Andrew LeMesurier ruled that since there was no agreement by Mr. Manzer to allow the time extension, his Charter Rights had been violated and he declared a mistrial.

“I declare a mistrial,” LeMesurier said as Manzer’s supporters clapped and cheered loudly. “Mr. Manzer, you are free to go.”

(more…)

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July 9, 2011

Freedom of Speech means the freedom to criticize government without fear of being sued

SLAPP Lawsuit

Freedom of Speech means the freedom to criticize government, ALL levels of government, without fear of being sued into oblivion.  Governments, of course, can’t stand most criticism, and the small government of the Union Bay Improvement District (UBID) is no exception.

This merry little band of morons decided that the solution to one of their ratepayers expressing her displeasure with the District government was to sue her for defamation.  This is what we call a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, or SLAPP as they are more commonly called.

The whole point of a SLAPP lawsuit is to silence critics of government or corporations by forcing them to defend massive lawsuits. It’s tough to criticize government when your life savings is now being spent on a lawsuit, right?

In the case of Mary Reynolds, a 60-year-old blogger who resides in the District, it meant defending herself against a lawsuit filed by the District in their efforts to stop her from criticizing their actions.

Unfortunately for the Union Bay Improvement District, lawsuits like this are against the law.  In 2009 B.C. Supreme Court Justice Nicole Garson wrote in her ruling in Dixon v. Powell River (City), 2009 BCSC 406:

“It is antithetical to the notion of freedom of speech and a citizen’s right to criticize his or her government concerning its governing functions that such criticism should be chilled by the threat of a suit in defamation.”

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July 7, 2011

Lawrence Manzer goes on trial one week from today

Lawrence-Manzer-2

Lawrence Manzer goes on trial one week from today in a case that should never be before the court at all.  The only reason it is appears to be the local RCMP’s hatred of someone doing their job and Crown Prosecutor Paul Hawkins‘ hatred for a decent man doing the right thing when the RCMP won’t.

Hawkins certainly doesn’t seem to have a problem with actual violent criminals or dangers to society being set free; something he does on a regular basis, according to news reports I was able to find recently.  He’s sure got it in for Lawrence Manzer though, that much is clear.

One week from today the trial will go ahead at:

Burton Court House
23 Route 102 Highway
River Road, Burton NB
(Mailing address): P.O. Box 94
Oromocto, NB
E2V 2G4

If you live in the Oromocto area, I would urge you to show up on Friday, July 14th to support one of our military veterans as he faces injustice right here in Canada.

In an email he sent me earlier today, Lawrence Manzer said:

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