Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Beyond Panama: Big Accountants, Banks, Law Firms in ‘Systematic’ Tax Ring


A new analysis of thousands of leaked documents by the Tax Justice Campaign has found that Hong Kong, the UK, Switzerland and the US are among the leading bases for big banks, accountancy and law firms which act as intermediaries in moving money and assets around the globe.

The 'Panama Papers' consisted of 11.5 million leaked documents from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca, detailing how the corporate service provider helped create 214,488 offshore entities around the world in order for companies and people to reduce their tax liabilities in many countries.

Taken together with other leaks obtained by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists — including those concerning the Bahamas — the Tax Justice Campaign says it has found links with major financial services and legal firms which throw the net wider than the Panama Papers leaks of April 2016.
"What I think wasn't appreciated fully at the time, but is becoming increasingly clear, is that this isn't just a story of egregious behavior. It's systematic. What we see in the Panama Papers now is a pattern of the selling of secrecy by intermediaries, which include the biggest accounting firms, many of the biggest banks and law firms. This is absolutely part of the financial globalization that's come to exist, rather than some small, marginal activity, as it is sometimes portrayed," Alex Cobham, Research Director, at the Tax Justice Network told Sputnik.  (more...)


Related:

Teacher had sex with 13-year-old girl, court hears


A 13-year-old boarding school student and her teacher had sex in a hayloft, a barn, a tennis court, his bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen and even the principal’s bedroom, a trial heard Monday.

“He told me I was a good girl,” said the former student, now 45. “It was kept secret.”

Former physical education teacher and school handyman, Giancarlo Marchi, 50, has pleaded not guilty to gross indecency and sexual intercourse with two vulnerable female students in the 1980s.

The alleged crimes happened while they lived at Bay Point Academy, a private boarding school that operated out of Innisfil, and later moved to Orangeville.

The school at a lakefront century home catered to children with emotional and behaviour problems. Along with routine studies, the children cleaned barns, fed horses, cleaned house and took boxing lessons.  (more...)


Background:

Verdict expected today in Toronto pastor's gross indecency trial


KENTVILLE, N.S. -- A verdict in the gross indecency and indecent assault trial of prominent Toronto pastor Brent Hawkes is expected today in Nova Scotia.

Hawkes, a high-profile rights activist who officiated at former NDP leader Jack Layton's state funeral in 2011, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The charges stem from events in the mid-1970s, when Hawkes was a teacher in his mid-20s in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.

The trial has heard emotional testimony from a middle-age man who said Hawkes led him down a hallway naked during a drunken get-together at his trailer and forced oral sex on him in a bedroom when he was about 16 years old.  (more...)


Background:


Monday, January 30, 2017

How does someone remain a school board trustee after calling a mother the 'N-word'?


How can a trustee who reportedly called a black mother the N-word still have the moral authority to advocate for quality education and properly communicate with the public?

Nancy Elgie, a trustee with the York Region District School Board (YRDSB), used the racial slur toward Charline Grant, a black mother with a son in the YRDSB, during a public meeting back in November. Elgie has recently apologized, a gesture for which the mother of three says she is thankful, but Grant maintains that an apology does nothing to address the issue of systemic racism in schools.

Now Elgie is back in headlines after failing to attend a board meeting in which dozens of parents presented a petition calling for her resignation. Instead, the trustee sent in a letter calling what she did "plainly unacceptable."

To some, Elgie's ownership of what she did should exonerate her of further scorn. She is, according to the portraits painted of her in various media, an 82-year-old widow. The incident, as several papers noted, was preceded by a head injury sustained only a few months earlier. And she does not, according to her son, "have a single racist bone in her body."  (more...)


Background:

I'll be fine with a little help from my (Nazi) friends


Red states, blue states, and divorce


Why are divorce rates higher in religiously conservative “red” states and lower in less religiously conservative “blue” states? After all, most conservatives frown upon divorce, and religious commitment is believed to strengthen marriage, not erode it. Even so, religiously conservative states Alabama and Arkansas have the second and third highest divorce rates in the U.S., at 13 per 1000 people per year while New Jersey and Massachusetts, more liberal states, are two of the lowest at 6 and 7 per 1000 people per year.

Evangelicals and divorce. For a new study appearing later this month in the American Journal of Sociology, Demographers Jennifer Glass at the University of Texas and Philip Levchak at the University of Iowa looked at the entire map of the United States, going county by county, to examine where divorces occurred in 2000 and what the characteristics of those counties were. Their work confirms that one of the strongest factors predicting divorce rates (per 1000 married couples) is the concentration of conservative or evangelical Protestants in that county.  (more...)


Sunday, January 29, 2017

More sex abuse victims come forward claiming to have been abused by paedophile athletics coaches

Darrell Bunn is at the centre
PAEDOPHILE athletics coaches are feared to have preyed on youngsters at UK clubs.

At least two women claim to have been targeted.

It has raised concerns of a sex abuse scandal similar to that which swept football last year.

The latest revelation comes after we told how a woman was suing UK Athletics for failing to protect her from a paedophile coach.

The Sun on Sunday has been told at least one other woman has contacted lawyers over alleged abuse by another coach.  (more...)

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Is tax avoidance at the heart of Ireland’s economic miracle?

Coming out of the economic crisis Ireland was one of the best performing economies, with GDP growth rates of 8.5% in 2014 and an extraordinary 26.3% in 2015. But how much of this economic activity was real, and how much a fiction created by Ireland’s tax haven status? A new paper by Heike Joebges of the University of Applied Science in Berlin considers the evidence.

While the European Commission has praised Ireland for its remarkable economic rebound after the crisis, Professor Joebges concludes that this recovery might not be as impressive as thought.

Firstly, much of the statistical economic boom in  Ireland over the last couple of years has been the result of a change in the way national accounts are calculated. But even if we strip out the accounting changes, Ireland would still have shown GDP growth of 5%, an impressive improvement. However, here there are some issues too.

Ireland is an economy dominated by foreign companies. According to official figures foreign controlled affiliates provide almost 50% of employment in the country and 80% of exports (90% of manufacturing exports). This, combined with Ireland’s status as a tax haven, makes Irish GDP figures particularly vulnerable to profit shifting.

Because of Ireland’s low tax regime it is advantageous for companies to try to report profits in Ireland. Through transfer pricing, which involves the Irish subsidiary overcharging other parts of the company based elsewhere for goods and services, profits can be moved from the rest of the world to Ireland.

However, this kind of internal profits shifting does very little for the domestic workforce. Indeed, in some cases headquarter companies based in Ireland may not be employing anyone at all. Wages do not increase because the Irish subsidiary is making more money.  (more...)


Background:

The Fight for Transparency: Lessons for Canada

History's most infamous financial criminal -- Martin Bormann
The glittering towers and spartan offices of this international financial capital hold billions of illicit offshore dollars — money belonging to countless anonymous company owners who came here to evade taxes and finance fraud, money laundering and terrorism.

That established model of corporate concealment, adopted by Canada, has met its end in Britain.

Last June, Britain became the world leader in exposing tax cheats by requiring corporate registrations to include the names of the real company owners — or “persons with significant control” — and listing the records in a database that anyone can view for free online.

The British model, while still new, has been hailed as groundbreaking for disarming the most essential weapon for tax evaders: secrecy.

“The objective is to drive illicit money out of the U.K.,” says Donald Toon, the U.K.’s economic crime director. “A publicly open accessible register is valuable. It is valuable because of transparency.”

Britian’s top financial crime cop considers corporate ownership secrecy, “a threat to the economic security of the U.K.”

The Canadian government has displayed no such sense of urgency.  (more...)


Background:

Anyone want to trace Nazi flight capital into Canadian corporations? Crickets.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Education minister orders troubleshooters to probe York school board


After months of scandal, Ontario’s education minister is taking “urgent action” and sending in two troubleshooters to investigate allegations of widespread racism and other problems that have rocked York Region’s public school board.

The move, announced Thursday by Minister Mitzie Hunter and first reported by the Star, will also look at trustee accountability and how to improve relations with the parents and community — and whether trustees and the director of education “are fulfilling their legislated duties.”

“When there are concerns that are raised, we cannot shy away from those concerns,” Hunter said in an interview, adding the drastic step is needed to regain public confidence in the province’s third largest school board.

“We have to ensure that the leadership is responsive and is addressing the concerns that are raised.”

The newly elected chair of the troubled board, Loralea Carruthers, welcomed the move, acknowledging it is “clear that there is a lot of hard work the board must do to regain public trust.”  (more...)


More coverage:





Background:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Snow Washing: Canada is the world's newest tax haven


Canada is quietly emerging as a popular tax haven for the global elite, who create shell companies with figurehead directors to evade or avoid taxes, a Toronto Star/CBC-Radio Canada investigation has found.

“Canada is a good place to create tax planning structures to minimize taxes like interest, dividends, capital gains, retirement income and rental income,” reads a 2010 internal memo from Mossack Fonseca, the law firm behind the massive Panama Papers leak of 11.5 million documents detailing global tax avoidance and evasion.

It’s called “snow washing” — using Canada’s prudent reputation and solid economy to make suspect transactions seem legitimate. A sprawling international tax avoidance industry is increasingly touting Canada as a jurisdiction for hiding wealth.

And the Canadian government has made it easier than ever for criminals and tax cheats to move money in and out by signing tax agreements with 115 countries — the greatest number in the world.

Another key reason is that Canada’s corporate registration systems — federally and provincially — are shrouded in the same kind of secrecy that exists in tax havens such as the British Virgin Islands, Panama and the Bahamas.  (more...)


Further reading:


Freemasonry, Gnostic Luciferianism & Paganism


A very revealing exposition of the mindset prevalent at my alma mater -- and propagated into the local corporate  and political culture.


Former boarding school student testifies of alleged sex abuse


Weeping on the witness stand, a woman testified how she was repeatedly abused sexually in 1986 by a teacher at a private boarding school for kids with emotional and behavioural challenges.

“I would be startled awake in the night and I was being penetrated,” the woman, who cannot be identified, said.

She was 14 at the time and a Grade 8 student at the Bay Point Academy in Innisfil.

“It was always the same ... he would say, ‘Shhhhhhh, you’re just having a bad dream,’” the complainant told court.

She said the teacher would also take another “vulnerable” girl from her dormitory and carry her to his room.

Physical education teacher Giancarlo Marchi has pleaded not guilty to gross indecency and having sexual intercourse with two female students.

Marchi worked and lived at the school, which operated out of a century-old home owned and run by his mother, Caroline Marchi.  (more...)


Background:

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

York children deserve better


Many families at the York Region District School Board are fed up.

They are frustrated with the Board’s inadequate response to serious issues of racism and discrimination.

The stories are well known by now and a clear pattern has emerged. Children have been discriminated against in the classroom – by teachers and by fellow classmates – with no proper follow-up by school administrators or by the board. Families have been ignored in their efforts to raise these issues. Board policies have either not been followed, or poorly communicated. The Board’s own head of equity, Cecil Roach, wrote a scathing letter describing a “culture of fear” and described feeling sidelined in his efforts to do his job.

Ontario’s Education Minister Mitzie Hunter was right to demand an explanation from the Board for this mess. Community members and organizations have been waiting to hear how it would respond.

Not surprisingly, we have been sorely disappointed in a response letter that has now been circulated by the Board. Rather than acknowledging and “owning” the problem and setting clear corrective measures in place, the YRDSB’s response is a weak effort to deny and defend.  (more...)


Related:

How could a toxic culture take root in Canada's largest urban centre?


The consequent social, economic, and ethical problems continue to erode our supposed culture of tolerance and equal opportunity. A eugenic undertone poisons the discourse of our leaders. No child's future should be sabotaged by a closet Nazi. It's time to uproot these demons with refined manners and saccharine voices.

York trustee Nancy Elgie missed meeting where parents called for her to resign over racial slur


The York Region District School Board trustee who used a racial slur regarding a student's mother missed Tuesday night's meeting as dozens of parents presented a petition calling for her resignation.

Instead, Nancy Elgie, who is in her early 80s, submitted a letter to the board in which she said wanted to explain her actions. It expanded on the letter of apology the trustee from the Town of Georgina had written to Charline Grant last week, in which she admitted to using "a racial slur" when referring to the parent of three black children who attend York district schools.

Grant alleges that Elgie called her the N-word, something that the trustee has not directly admitted.

"I can only imagine how upsetting this incident was to Ms. Charline Grant ... and to other members of the black community, who have suffered systemic racism for far too long," Elgie wrote in the letter released at the board meeting Tuesday night. "It is plainly unacceptable that anyone in public office would use such a word to describe another person."

The trustee alleges, however, that "her words came out horribly wrong" while she was speaking with a colleague in November about the concerns Grant had raised regarding prejudicial treatment of her children at school.  (more///)

Britain as a tax haven? It already is


LONDON — As Britain readies itself to trigger Article 50, it appears to have given up on seeking EU allies for the negotiations to come, threatening instead to turn itself into a full-blown tax haven. This is a worrying sign of the number of paddles with which Prime Minister Theresa May has equipped herself for the planned expedition up Brexit creek.

As many of those sitting across the table from the British prime minister know, turning the U.K. into a tax haven will cause more damage inside the country than it will across the Channel. Indeed, if the May government carries out its threat to be a bad neighbor, it is the remaining 27 EU countries that stand to benefit.

Tax havens share three broad characteristics: financial secrecy, which allows companies to hide their income and assets from those who might wish to tax them; loose tax rules and low tax rates, which provide incentives for companies to shift profits to the haven; and loose financial regulations, which provide mechanisms facilitating the laundering of funds.

By these measures, the U.K. is already well on its way to becoming a tax haven. Britain has long off-shored its secrecy to the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories, places like the Cayman Islands, Jersey and the Isle of Man, rinsing the funds of traces of their origins before they flow to the City of London. If this network of secrecy is considered as a single entity, it sits at the top of the Tax Justice Network’s financial secrecy index as the biggest threat to global financial transparency.  (more...)


Related:

Say buh-bye to your bad neighbor.

Trump’s Taxes May Stay Hidden, No Matter What Senior Aide Says


A senior adviser to President Donald Trump sought to clarify her remarks about the president’s tax returns on Monday in a statement that leaves open the possibility that Trump will never release them.

Kellyanne Conway, who managed Trump’s successful election campaign, said unconditionally on Sunday that Trump would not make his tax returns public. Then, on Monday, she posted on Twitter that Trump is “under audit and will not release until that is completed.” Her Monday statement echoed the justification Trump has offered since February 2016 for not releasing his tax documents.

In practical terms, that may mean the public never sees Trump’s returns while he’s in office. That’s because the Internal Revenue Service has administrative procedures that make the president’s tax returns subject to mandatory examinations every year. If that procedure remains in place, Trump might remain under audit throughout his presidency.

A White House spokesman didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment. The IRS press office didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail asking if the procedure will continue going forward.  (more...)


Related:

Financial fandance

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Westmount will pay up to $2.5 million in hockey-coach sex-abuse case

Director and writer Matt Bissonnette
The city of Westmount will pay up to $2.5 million to victims of sexual abuse at the hands of the late John Garland, a former director of Westmount’s parks and recreation department, in a proposed class action settlement agreed to unanimously by Westmount city council and abuse survivor Matthew Bissonnette.

Bissonnette was 12 years old when Garland, then his peewee hockey coach, began inviting him to his home and encouraging him to engage in sexual acts, and the abuse continued almost weekly for two years, Bissonnette claims in court documents. He believes Garland preyed on one or two young hockey players in this way every year for many years, and that authorities at the city of Westmount knew or should have known it was happening.

Westmount Mayor Peter Trent said the city investigated and realized the evidence was compelling. At a joint news conference with Bissonnette and lawyers for both sides, Trent announced a proposed settlement and apologized to Bissonnette and any other victims of Garland, on behalf of the city of Westmount.  (more...)


McLaren to plead guilty


BELLEVILLE - Jaclyn McLaren, a teacher accused of dozens of sex-related crimes, is set to plead guilty to some of the charges at her next court appearance.

The Stirling woman appeared briefly in court Monday morning alongside her lawyer, Pieter Kort, where court heard the case was coming to a resolution.

Justice Stephen Hunter noted this case has been “pre-tried at great lengths” and a plan for resolution had been reached.

McLaren will appear in court again on March 7 where she will enter guilty pleas to some charges. It is not known which, or how many, charges she will plead guilty to.

Also on that date, it is expected that a sexual offenders report, authored by Kingston-area doctor Dr. Anthony Eccles, will be requested, as will a pre-sentence report.

It will take approximately 10 weeks for the reports to be authored.

Hastings County assistant Crown Attorney Lynn Ross said further reports — regarding which programs and counselling will be available for McLaren once in custody — may be requested at the next court date.

She described the case as “difficult” and “sensitive.”

McLaren’s plans to plead guilty will spare the victims involved from having to testify at a trial, Ross noted.

“And she will receive credit for that,” she said.  (more...)


Background:




Monday, January 23, 2017

Fake news, propaganda and threats to journalism


Threats to journalism and journalistic autonomy come in many forms. At the most extreme, journalists are directly threatened, intimidated and, all too frequently, harmed by political actors seeking to influence the ‘information environment’.

As a form of coercion, aimed at controlling what journalists write and say, threats and attacks can be understood as a form of propaganda: as a kind of ‘propaganda of the deed’ they function not only to silence individual journalists but also to send an unequivocal message to other journalists.

More common forms of propaganda involve approaches to shaping perceptions and actions through the manipulation of information. Although of a different scale to threats and killings, their effect can also be profoundly damaging to the autonomy of journalists. Understood by some to refer to any form of persuasive communication, most definitions of propaganda throughout the 20th and 21st century have recognised that, at some level, propaganda is a form of persuasion that works via manipulation and subversion of the rational will.  (more...)


Related:




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Saudi Child Sex Abuse and Trafficking and links to US

President George W. Bush meets with Prince Bandar bin Sultan
The Arabian Peninsula inhabitants have long been involved in purchasing slaves. Up until recently, most of these slaves were purchased in Africa. With the advent of oil wealth the Saudi princes have been able to extend their slave purchases throughout the world. This has enabled the Saudi princes to become more selective and specialized in their tastes for slaves. The Saud family continue to be the prime purchasers on the international slave trade and are known as high end buyers. The Saudi Arabian Government continues to refuse to sign the United Nations treaties on slavery or other human rights issues because they do not want to be subject to their provisions. They will not sign extradition treaties even with Washington. They constantly declare they are free of slavery but will not allow international scrutiny. We will deal with the kidnapping of US male and female children by Saudi princes and their associates in this issue. We will substantiate the pattern of abuse using documented occurrence where the princes and their associates have been caught.

Source:

Related:


Saturday, January 21, 2017

Hero Who Exposed CIA Infiltration and Manipulation Of Media Found Dead


In this video, we talk about the recent death of the Top German journalist Udo Ulfkotte who exposed how the CIA was creating fake news and manipulating media stories. We go over exactly what Udo uncovered and the ultimate sacrifice he made telling the world the truth.

Full interview https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yp-Wh77wt1o
Church Commission Hearing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDCfTIapds0
Heart Attack Video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSEnurBApdM
Anderson Copper Confronted https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aZA8dww_Fo

Bacground:


Related:


Has anyone else noticed the scarcity of decent Catholic journalism?

York Region school board trustee apologizes after using racial slur


York Region District School Board trustee Nancy Elgie has apologized after using a racial slur to refer to a black parent, but the parent says the apology doesn't do enough to solve the problem of systemic racism within the board — and is calling on its director to step down.

Charline Grant received a letter from Elgie earlier this week in which the trustee admitted to using the slur — which Grant says was "the N-word" — in reference to her on Nov. 22, apologized and committed to equity training. The letter also states that the word isn't one she normally uses.

"There is no excuse for what I said, only the explanation that I was clumsily trying to refer to your concerns as reported in the media, not to you personally," Elgie wrote in the letter, a copy of which was provided to CBC Toronto.

"As soon as my brain registered what I had said, I was overcome with shock and dismay. I felt heartsick and deeply ashamed to have said something so hurtful – even unintentionally – and so foreign to the values I have held throughout my entire life. It also sickened me that I could have reinforced the systemic racism that so many have experienced in our society."  (more...)


More coverage:


Teacher accused of child porn offences facing more charges


More charges have been laid against a Saskatoon high school teacher accused of child pornography offences.

Rhett Lundgren was arrested Thursday on possession of child pornography, sexual exploitation, luring and breach of undertaking charges by officers with the Saskatchewan Internet Child Exploitation Unit. He appeared in Saskatoon Provincial Court Friday to face the possession and breach charges.

The possession charge was laid after police say child pornography was found on devices seized from him during an earlier arrest in December. The sexual exploitation and luring charges relate to a 2009 incident in Red Deer, Alta., involving a student at the school where Lundgren was a teacher at the time.

The 39-year-old Lundgren, who was a full-time work education teacher at Walter Murray Collegiate in Saskatoon, was charged in early December with two counts of arranging to commit a sexual offence against a child between eight and 10 years old and one count of attempting to access child pornography. He’s since been suspended without pay by Saskatoon Public Schools.  (more...)


More coverage:

Background:

Friday, January 20, 2017

Look on the Bright Side: Francis Made Us Forget All Our Other Problems

Or: The Vatican Bank and Money Laundering


Feudalism arose in the 8th and 9th centuries in Western Europe. Wealth was obtained from the toil of the peasants working the land. When Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor by the pope in 800, he was named protector of the Church and granted the Church great power. He also gave the hierarchs ownership of large tracts of land. Another example: In 1066, William the Conqueror gave over a quarter of the land in England to the Church, binding the country to Rome as well as France.

When Western Europe divided into Protestant and Catholic states, the Church lost land. In the French Revolution and the succeeding movements for democracy and nationalism, the Church lost more land. By the mid-19th century, the pope owned only the Papal States, a wide swath of territory which transected the Italian peninsula which he ruled over as a feudal lord.

Italy was divided into various kingdoms and duchies. When Italians waged war to unite their country into a democracy, the pope mounted an army to fight along with other monarchists in holding his land. Italian’s won their political liberation in 1870 and the pope lost the last of his temporal power.

The Church had other means of income besides landholdings. In 1509, Erasmus wrote The Praise of Folly expressing the popular discontent about corruption in the Church including the widespread practices of simony, which is charging fees for the performance of religious acts such as masses and sacraments, and the purchase of ecclesial offices and positions. And as we all know, Martin Luther’s objections included many legitimate injustices, but the most onerous was the selling of indulgences. Indulgences were the Church-granted remission of time spent in purgatory as punishment for sin and could be obtained through penance, prayer and good works. When the pope decreed that indulgences could be purchased, even the usually docile and obedient laity understood that God’s justice shouldn’t be for sale.

Peter’s Pence was revived in 1859 and was linked to appeals for military support. These donations had begun in the seventh or eighth century in England and were a type of tribute collected from the laity for the pope as their monarch. The new Peter’s Pence came from “both clergy and laity, the rich and powerful, including the pretender to the French throne, Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, Austrian archdukes, and Roman princes, as well as the poor.” In addition, Catholics from all over the world volunteered to fight in the pope’s army.

Being dependent on the generosity of others did not sit well with the popes and their curia (the bureaucracy running the Vatican) during this period. So when Benito Mussolini’s offer of $1 billion (in 2006 dollars 3) and independent sovereignty for the Vatican City State in return for the Church’s support of his dictatorship was made in 1929, the deal was accepted.  (more...)


Related:





Thursday, January 19, 2017

Cayman Islands Holidays: Snowstorm – tax havens and organised crime today

Al and pals
Organised crime has had a long association with tax havens.  As our own Nicholas Shaxson wrote in an article The truth about tax havens, the Bahamas was set up as a secrecy jurisdiction by Meyer Lansky, none other than Al Capone’s lawyer. When Lansky was thrown out he moved to nearby Caymans. It is easy to see the attraction, loose laws and financial secrecy make the laundering of the proceeds of crime much easier.

But how much do governments and police forces include tackling tax havens in their thinking of modern organised crime? Not much according to two experts on the issue Mary Young and Michael Woodwiwiss.

Currently the UK government spends a significant amount of its development aid in countering organised crime, but appears to have little scientific understanding about what exactly that is. There is also little transparency about where that aid money is going.  (more...)


Related:



Cayman vacationer

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Another TDSB student speaks out about alleged unchecked bullying at school


Eight-year-old Jahero Bogle is a bundle of creative energy. He loves school, but not what’s been happening with some of the other kids.

“One time a kid kicked me in the stomach four times,” he said in a matter-of-fact tone.

One of the worst incidents was when two kids wrapped a skipping rope around his neck.

“He’s told me on many occasions that he wants to die instead of go to school,” Jahero’s mother Natasha Bogle said.

She became tearful when talking about seeing the red mark on Jahero’s throat, which was left by the skipping rope.  (more...)



Read more:

Background:


So, the Gay-Straight Alliances solved everyone's problems

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Ex-pastor, principal of religious institution charged in sex assaults

Don't stand so close to me
GUELPH-ERAMOSA TOWNSHIP, Ont. – Police have laid sexual assault charges against a former pastor and the current principal at a religious institution near Guelph, Ont.

Provincial police say they began investing allegations of sexual assault believed to have taken place between 1981 and 1986.

They say the alleged offences took place at the Elora Road Christian Fellowship Church and the Elora Road Christian school, which are both in the same building.

Church founder and former pastor Henry “Henk” Katerberg, 80, has been charged with sexual assault on a child under 16.

Police say 66-year-old Arend “John” Dekorte, the current school principal and teacher at the time of the alleged offences, is facing two counts of the same charge.

Police are urging anyone with information on the case to come forward.

Source:

University of Lethbridge goes to human rights commission over prof accused of anti-Semitism


The University of Lethbridge says it is lodging a complaint with the Alberta Human Rights Commission about a longtime professor accused of espousing anti-Semitic views.

Anthony Hall was suspended without pay in October following comments he made in online articles and videos suggesting there was a Zionist connection to the 9/11 attacks and that the events of the Holocaust should be up for debate.

The university says its board of governors reviewed whether a complaint was warranted and justifiable.

"From the findings of that assessment, the board has decided to proceed with a complaint to the Alberta Human Rights Commission against Dr. Hall for publishing statements, alone and in collaboration with others, that could be considered hateful, contemptuous and discriminatory," it said in a statement Monday.  (more...)



Hmmmm... a nativist neo-pagan? That's the alt-right alright. Appropriation of aboriginal culture? They've been doing it to Catholics for years. Gestapo general Reinhard Gehlen was an evangelical minister. How did we get to the neo-Catholic mess we're in today? That's the real conspiracy.

Chris Spence pleads for second chance after losing teaching licence for plagiarism


Chris Spence says he’s “still reeling” over being stripped of his teaching licence a month ago because of plagiarism, and that he has already paid “a heavy price” for his mistakes.

The former director of education with the Toronto District School Board also says he believes his very public disgrace that began four years ago could be a lesson for kids on how to face mistakes and “the ability to get back up after you’ve been knocked down.”

“I am a work in progress, I’m a flawed human being,” Spence, 54, told the Star Monday, a month after the Ontario College of Teachers removed his licence.

“The fact of the matter is in life everyone’s going to face failure and defeat. And I’m staring it right in the face right now. And I want to demonstrate to all those kids that you can overcome adversity and you can get back up and you can make contributions. And it really starts by taking ownership.”  (more...)


More coverage:

Truth is, Chris, thousands of kids imprisoned in that system think it's hell, too.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Stark inequality: Oxfam says 8 men as rich as half the world


DAVOS, Switzerland - The gap between the super-rich and the poorest half of the global population is starker than previously thought, with just eight men, from Bill Gates to Michael Bloomberg, owning as much wealth as 3.6 billion people, according to an analysis by Oxfam released Monday.

Presenting its findings on the dawn of the annual gathering of the global political and business elites in the Swiss ski resort of Davos, anti-poverty organization Oxfam says the gap between the very rich and poor is far greater than just a year ago. It's urging leaders to do more than pay lip-service to the problem.

If not, it warns, public anger against this kind of inequality will continue to grow and lead to more seismic political changes akin to last year's election of Donald Trump as U.S. president and Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

"It is obscene for so much wealth to be held in the hands of so few when 1 in 10 people survive on less than $2 a day," said Winnie Byanyima, executive director of Oxfam International, who will be attending the meeting in Davos. "Inequality is trapping hundreds of millions in poverty; it is fracturing our societies and undermining democracy."  (more...)

Hundreds of university students find sugar daddies online, negotiate average $2,700 a month allowance


Facing staggering debt, hundreds of Alberta post-secondary students are logging on to a website connecting them with “sugar daddies” who can provide them with a monthly allowance and gifts in exchange for negotiated relationships.

But student advocates warn such arrangements can be fraught with peril, exposing them to potential exploitation or abuse with few avenues to disentangle themselves from a bad situation.

Matchmaking website Seeking Arrangement this week released its rankings of Canadian universities that have had students sign up in search of financial aid. Equating relationships to a business deal, the company said clients hammer out financial arrangements with benefactors ahead of time, leaving the expectations of such an accord between them.

In 2016, the University of Alberta topped the list for new sign-ups in Canada, with 138 new students logging on. The boom in new members at the Edmonton school brings its total number of members (determined by those using their university emails) to 422, ranked the seventh most of all Canadian post-secondary institutions.  (more...)

Grant for needy kids should be used as intended

TDSB director of education John Malloy
Last year, the Ontario government gave the Toronto District School Board about $144 million in grants to help level the academic playing field by providing supports to kids least likely to succeed: those from low-income or single-parent families, immigrants and others at increased risk of not graduating.

This kind of investment has the potential to have an enduring impact. The evidence that demographic factors shape educational outcomes is overwhelming. If governments are going to even begin to break the cycle of poverty and ensure equality of opportunity, investments like Ontario’s Learning Opportunities Grant, which is meant to fund breakfast programs, homework clubs and other educational interventions, are essential.

Assuming, that is, the money is used as intended. But a new report from Social Planning Toronto, a non-profit community organization, shows that in Toronto, that’s no safe assumption.

A significant portion of the grant money, some $61 million, was diverted away from at-risk TDSB students last year to other budgetary needs of the cash-strapped school board. As so often happens, in a time of scarcity, it’s the most vulnerable who are being asked to wait.  (more...)


Darwin has no place in the classroom.
Further commentary:

And, out in the hinterland:

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Carnal classroom capers rampant


Sexually-tormented teachers seemed to unleash their lust by the barrelful last year.

Across the globe, teachers were intent on breaking one of society’s most absolute taboos: educators shalt not have sex with students.

Particularly if they’re underage.

Toronto sex therapist and television host Rebecca Rosenblat told the Sun that today’s sexualized culture might be to blame — or it could be something deeper.

“In a nutshell, we’re breaking taboos and fuzzing out the lines, regardless of their impact,” Rosenblat said. “Another point could be trauma re-enactment — where an individual re-enacts what happened to them — it’s conceivable that many of these people experienced something similar and normalized it.”

Nevertheless, teaching temptresses are on the rise.

Here are some of the teachers charged or convicted for having sex with their students in 2016.  (more...)


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Media and Disinformation: Herman, Hunter, Stockwell


Edward Herman, Jane Hunter, John Stockwell speak on a panel at the Institute for Media Analysis conference at Harvard.

Edward Herman is an economist and media analyst. He is professor emeritus at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of many books, including The Myth of the Liberal Media. He is author with Noam Chomsky of Manufacturing Consent, one of the most important books on the media ever written.

Jane Hunter is the author of the book Israeli Foreign Policy: South Aftica and Central America and the editor of Israeli Foreign Policy Journal.

John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA officer to go public. During his 13-year tenure at the Agency, he was involved in operations in the Congo and Vietnam. As Director of the Angola Task Force, he ran the secret war in that country. He is the author of In Search of Enemies and The Praetorian Guard.


Teaching certificate revoked after sex incident


The teaching certificate of former District School Board of Niagara teacher Christine Ann Collini has been revoked after she was found guilty of accusations of professional misconduct, including the sexual, physical and emotional abuse of students.

Collini's actions were the object of a three-member disciplinary committee hearing of the Ontario College of Teachers last summer, following interactions with two students in 2012.

The panel's decision was summarized in December’s issue of Professionally Speaking, the magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers.

At the June 7, 2016 hearing, the disciplinary panel received a statement of uncontested facts surrounding the case and a plea of no contest.

Collini, who started her employment with the DSBN in 2000, did not attend the June 7 hearing, nor did she have legal representation. She did prepare written submissions.  (more...)


More coverage:

Sweden: As a world champion athlete, I can give a voice to other child abuse victims

Viljo Nousiainen (left) and Patrik Sjöberg
Shortly after releasing my autobiography, in which I spoke about the sexual abuse I had suffered as a child from my athletics coach Viljo Nousiainen, I gave a public reading in Sweden. Afterwards I was approached by a 93-year-old man who had been in the audience, and I will never forget what he told me. “I’m going to read the book, give one to my wife and one each to my children, and then I’m going to tell them what happened to me when I was 10 years old,” he said. “You came out with this in your book. I’ve been ashamed all my life and was ready to take it to the grave, but now I’m going to tell my family.”

It shows there are no time limits on talking about something like this, and that’s one reason why the accounts that were so bravely given by several former footballers late last year are so important in Britain. In my case, I waited 30 years to recount what had happened. Many people have been, and are, in the same situation, so it’s very encouraging to see high-profile athletes come forward and give confidence to others who have suffered similar experiences.

Nousiainen stopped abusing me when I was 14, and after that I tried to forget what happened for many years. But I was an angry kid, and have been angry all my life. I had a successful career in the high jump, winning a World Championships gold and three Olympic medals, but I’ve done things I’m not proud of and wanted to explain why. In my case, I could at least let out my anger through sport, but I have received emails from guys who have ended up in prison – in some cases for killing someone. I’m sure that rage is the result of being abused during childhood.  (more...)


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