Sunday, December 31, 2017

UK Police Corruption: Freemasons are blocking reform, says Police Federation leader

freemasonry police corruption accountability politics unions

Reform in policing is being blocked by members of the Freemasons, and their influence in the service is thwarting the progress of women and people from black and minority ethnic communities, the leader of rank-and-file officers has said.

Steve White, who steps down on Monday after three years as chair of the Police Federation, told the Guardian he was concerned about the continued influence of Freemasons.

White took charge with the government threatening to take over the federation if it did not reform after a string of scandals and controversies.

Critics of the Freemasons say the organisation is secretive and serves the interests of its members over the interests of the public. The Masons deny this saying they uphold values in keeping with public service and high morals.”  (more...)


Friday, December 29, 2017

Culture war in our schools

education gender ideology culture wars

A culture war is on in Manitoba’s public educational system, particularly in universities that used to be all about “higher education.”

Recent evidence from the University of Toronto, Wilfred Laurier, and a number of other Canadian universities shows that, in the soft disciplines (Arts, Humanities, Social Work, Education), what is going on is more likely indoctrination than education.

The Faculty of Education of the University of Manitoba is on the forefront of political indoctrination. The Faculty selects 45% of incoming students on the basis of self-identities. Applicants can identify themselves as gay, multi-sexual, Indigenous, physically handicapped, mentally disabled, and non-White.

Those belonging to one or more of those so-called “marginalized” groups receive special treatment in seeking admission to the teachers’ education program. Will students lie when saying they belong to a “marginal” group? Why not, no one checks to see if their claims are true.  (more...)

Teacher who allegedly compared student to 'crackhead' no longer a board employee

accountability bullying education immigration misconduct

A substitute teacher who allegedly compared a Grade 6 student to a "crackhead" no longer works with the Toronto District School Board, a spokesperson told CBC on Wednesday, but it's unclear if he could end up in front of a classroom again.

The development follows a reported incident at Norman Cook Public School late last month, when the teacher allegedly responded to a question about an English assignment with what Abigail Francis, the boy's mother, believes was nothing short of a racist remark.

The class had been assigned a poetry project called "All the places we love." When 11-year-old son Isaiah asked for clarification, the teacher allegedly responded, "It means like home sweet home. Or maybe for you, in a dark alleyway like a crackhead."

Francis told CBC Toronto earlier this month that one of Isaiah's classmates encouraged him to file a report.

"If I had gone up and asked the same question, he wouldn't have said that to me because I'm white," the classmate told Isaiah, according to Francis.  (more...)


How to identify a crackhead

Thursday, December 28, 2017

US targets 'Thieves-in-Law,' Russian mafia royalty

business corruption crime Russia gangs

Washington (AFP) - US authorities moved Friday to blacklist one of Russia's oldest and most notorious organized crime gangs, the so-called "Vory v Zakone" or "Thieves-in-Law."

The group emerged from the Soviet Union's brutal gulags and its members are now kingpins in an underworld network that has spread far beyond Russia.

Those prisoners who agree to live by its code on the outside, and are "crowned" with its secret tattoos, now operate in cities from East Asia to the United States.

Authorities have targeted the Thieves before, but the Treasury's designation of the entire network as a "Transnational Criminal Organization" is the first measure that treats them as a single group.

And in doing so, Washington seems to be confirming that the threat posed by the fabled "Russian mafia" from the former Soviet republics is a more organized one than previously supposed.  (more...)


It’s time to address the double standard about tax havens

accountability business corruption politics tax havens

Canadians hate tax havens. This is according to a poll recently conducted by Environics Institute that showed 90 per cent of Canadians believe tax havens are morally wrong, while 87 per cent believe their use should be banned. And Canadians are right to be upset; tax avoidance robs countries like Canada of billions of dollars in annual revenue.

A practice once shrouded in secrecy, tax avoidance has been brought to the fore by high-profile leaks like the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. And in their wake, the federal government has insisted the Canada Revenue Agency will be more aggressive in its fight to bring back lost Canadian tax money. But we’re doing it wrong: by going after smaller and often poorer jurisdictions with incessant tax compliance regulations and threats of blacklisting, tax avoidance isn’t curtailed, and the main culprits are not held to account. That’s because the countries who are the worst offenders aren’t the most typically vilified targets, like Bermuda, the Isle of Man, and the Bahamas—they’re some of our close allies and partners.

Indeed, while the phrase “tax haven” often conjures images of tropical locales that stash billions behind the cloak of secrecy, some of the biggest players in tax avoidance and financial secrecy are closer than we realize. Switzerland tops the list of the Tax Justice Network’s financial secrecy index—and the United States comes in third. European Union (EU) member states Germany and Luxembourg also fall in the top 10. In contrast, Bermuda—the small island nation at the centre of the Paradise Papers—is the 34th most secretive country. More tellingly, Bermuda ranks well behind the United Kingdom (15th) and Canada (29th). With the exception of the Cayman Islands (ranked fifth), no other small island nation typically associated with being a tax haven made it into the top 10.

It’s clear we can’t talk about clamping down on tax havens and financial secrecy without going after members of the G20. Real change will only come if both domestic tax laws and regulations are changed and the countries that are seldom portrayed as tax havens—despite hiding billions in assets—are also included. Otherwise, countries like Canada, U.S., and EU member states are simply advocating for a tax-haven double standard.  (more...)

Windsor mom offers cautionary tale after a woman accused of luring her son into sex

abuse boys crime education misconduct pedophilia rape

She is a 36-year-old married woman, with children in high school and elementary school.

He had just turned 14 and had been dating her daughter.

One day, after she summoned him to the parking lot behind the Windsor Islamic Centre, they had sex in her car, the boy told police.

She spent that night in jail.

The Windsor woman, who is not being identified to protect the identity of her alleged victim, is charged with sexual assault, luring, sexual interference, invitation to sexual touching and making sexually explicit material available to a child. According to the police investigation into her relationship with the boy, she had sent him naked pictures of herself and other sexually charged messages.

The boy’s mother, interviewed Wednesday, said there’s a myth in our society that sexual predators are exclusively male. “You don’t hear so much about women,” she said.

“I’m a super-paranoid parent,” she continued, offering the cautionary tale to other parents that if her child could be preyed upon, others can, as well.  (more...)


abuse boys crime education misconduct pedophilia rape

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

UK: Government admits 'losing' thousands of papers from National Archives

accountability corruption politics

Thousands of government papers detailing some of the most controversial episodes in 20th-century British history have vanished after civil servants removed them from the country’s National Archives and then reported them as lost.

Documents concerning the Falklands war, Northern Ireland’s Troubles and the infamous Zinoviev letter – in which MI6 officers plotted to bring about the downfall of the first Labour government - are all said to have been misplaced.

Other missing files concern the British colonial administration in Palestine, tests on polio vaccines and long-running territorial disputes between the UK and Argentina.

Almost 1,000 files, each thought to contain dozens of papers, are affected. In most instances the entire file is said to have been mislaid after being removed from public view at the archives and taken back to Whitehall.

An entire file on the Zinoviev letter scandal is said to have been lost after Home Office civil servants took it away. The Home Office declined to say why it was taken or when or how it was lost. Nor would its say whether any copies had been made.  (more...)

A secret society guards its secrets.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Haunted: Honey Sherman was ‘ultimate connector’ with ‘best Rolodex in the country’

When Honey Sherman asked to meet Aubrey Dan, son of her billionaire husband’s bitter rival, Leslie Dan, she arrived in his boardroom with a ball cap on, ready to pitch a project that would bring them together.

It was in the early 2000s. Their families had been business rivals since “the heydays of the ’80s,” Aubrey said. But when Honey arrived for lunch at his office for the midday meeting, she appealed to their common ground.

“We both come from the drug industry,” Aubrey said.

The idea Honey had was a Jewish-focused community service for those struggling with addiction. And when she spoke, Aubrey remembered, she spoke warmly. So the project began, and the unlikely pair “just clicked.”

Barry and Honey Sherman were found dead in their North York home on Dec. 15. Police call their deaths “suspicious.” He was 75, she was 70.

Tales of Barry’s pharmaceutical empire as the founder of Apotex often position his wife as a secondary character. But Honey was involved in his success from the early days.

After connecting with Aubrey, the pair’s professional relationship gave way to a personal one that drew her husband into the mix.

By the end of the Shermans’ lives, the two men and former rivals would be sending emails back and forth about the ideal formulations to put medical marijuana into a pill.

Friends describe Honey as a powerhouse in her own right: a strategic voice on charity boards, straight to the point about her opinions, practical, and modest despite her affluence.

“She was the ultimate connector,” said Marilyn Sinclair, Honey’s vice-chair at the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre.

Bernie Farber, who worked with Honey on several projects over the years, said she probably had “the best Rolodex in the country.”

The couple’s story began simply, as Barry Sherman wrote in an unpublished memoir: “In August 1970, I met Honey Reich.”

She was 23 years old to his 28. She was newly graduated from the University of Toronto with an arts degree from New College and an education degree from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.  (more...)

A New College girl... I knew many of them.  I entered that college just as Honey graduated.  The college was modeled after New College in Oxford and named after it.  The primary financial backer and founder of the college were Canada's freemasons. Some of the students were sons and daughters of Ontario's highest ranking freemasons.  A professor of the college was an Eastern Star recruiter and inducted many of the students into the lodge.  I was solicited myself, in a very heavy-handed manner.

The college was also close to the drama around Henry Morgentaler's abortion clinic. If one wonders why Morgentaler could establish an illegal abortion clinic just off the University of Toronto campus without being arrested and shut down, you can thank the freemasons.  I recall the nursing students resident at the college being rounded up for field trips to that clinic.  The abortion lobby had many boosters in that place.

It is not surprising that Honey's life partner became a purveyor of death.  The drug RU-486 manufactured and distributed by the Sherman's firm, Apotex, is a chemical evolution of Henry Morgentaler's deadly toolkit.  Thousands of souls of murdered babies must have haunted Honey for many years.  Perhaps they are asking her now -- why?



I've been struggling with the conjunction of Honey Sherman's gruesome end, New College, and my experience of the technocratic milieu  in that place as an undergrad. My study of brainwashing and mind control is largely motivated by what I experienced at New College. It makes me wonder if Honey had any abortions while a student at the college, considering that she mostly had miscarriages during her marriage to Barry and that New College was abortion central at the university.  I wonder if a brutal abortion can induce the trauma required to produce a programmed mind-controlled slave.  I wonder how New College has followed her throughout her life among Canada's elite.  And, I wonder why so many professors, dons, and students at the college were either Americans, or the sons and daughters of refugees from Axis countries.  Here is a reading list for curious readers:

How to Ruin Your Christmas: ‘Black Pete’ Christmas Tradition Is Dividing the Netherlands

The Netherlands has a tradition of white people dressing up in ‘blackface’ to celebrate Christmas. Black Pete is the character they’re portraying. His costume may also comprise exaggerated red lips, a curly afro wig, and huge gold earrings.

At celebrations, Black Pete accompanies Santa Claus, as his bumbling helper.

Known locally as Zwarte Piet, Black Pete is slowly being phased out in some Dutch cities. But, the majority of the country continues on with the tradition. And while Dutch people of colour are sick of the overt racism, white nationalists are now feeling threatened.

On November 18, three busloads of Black Pete protesters were stopped on a highway by a group of right-wing nationalists blocking the road. The demonstrators were on their way to the town of Dokkum to protest the Santa Claus arrival ceremony, which features the racist figure.

The police arrived 15 minutes into the standoff. However, the protesters reported that officers spent the next half hour chatting with the nationalists. By the time the demonstrators arrived in the city, they were told it was too late to hold their council-sanctioned protest, as it was a safety issue.

A week later, ten members of the Pro Black Pete Action Group stormed a primary school in the city of Utrecht. Dressed as Black Pete, the members of the group entered classrooms handing out stickers and flyers.

The group had targeted the school as it had ceased including Black Pete in its Christmas celebrations in 2015. When teachers asked the intruders to leave the premises, they responded by telling some of the members of staff to go back to their own country.  (more...)

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Montreal company named in U.S. sanctions list

accountability transparency business corruption fraud

A Montreal-based company has been placed on a United States government sanctions list that bans Americans from doing business with it.

Emaxon Finance International, which was legally headquartered in Montreal, was placed on the list due to its connection with Dan Gertler, an Israeli billionaire and one of “13 serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors” facing sanctions, the U.S. Treasury Department said on Thursday.

U.S. residents, citizens and corporations are legally barred from doing business with companies on the sanctions list and any U.S. assets held by those companies are frozen.

According to Quebec’s enterprise registry, Emaxon Finance International’s corporate registration was cancelled in July, after it failed to file annual declarations with the provincial government for two consecutive years.

The company’s sole listed shareholder is DGI Diamonds Ltd., an Israeli firm owned by Gertler.  (more...)


Anti-poverty activist files $1 billion class-action lawsuit over bread price-fixing scheme

A 71-year-old anti-poverty activist has filed a $1-billion class-action lawsuit against several grocers after Loblaw Companies Ltd. and George Weston Ltd. revealed Tuesday that they participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement for more than a decade.

Irene Breckon, president of the Anti-Poverty Coalition in Elliot Lake, Ont., regularly bought loaves of Country Harvest bread at a No Frills grocery store.

When she heard that Loblaws was offering their customers a $25 gift card as a gesture of goodwill, Breckon said she was outraged.

“When I first thought about it, I thought a $25 gift card for 14 years . . . is nothing,” Breckon told the Star on Saturday night.

“My biggest concern is that these people have been overcharged for all those years for such a basic necessity in life. Bread is a staple and many people need it. I’m hoping these corporations get punished and I’m hoping that people will receive better reimbursement.”  (more...)


Saturday, December 23, 2017

War Criminality: A Blank Spot in the Collective Memory of the Ukrainian Diaspora

history war crime Ukraine diaspora nazi fascism accountability

This paper tackles the touchy question of atrocities committed by Ukrainians during the Second World War as a component, or rather its absence as a component, of the identity consciousness of the Ukrainian diaspora. The paper goes very much against the grain of that diaspora’s current consensus. In fact, I am trying to write here a text that is indigestible for that consensus, that is aimed at dissenting from it and creating a space for dissent. I have not conducted an exhaustive study of the relevant texts of the diaspora, but that is hardly necessary for a paper such as this. Instead, I have concentrated on current electronic media and recent years of The Ukrainian Weekly, supplemented with a retrospective sampling of articles from Svoboda and the volume on Ukrainian-Jewish relations that came out of an important conference held in 1983.

Anyone who consults the media, especially the electronic media, of the Ukrainian diaspora in North America cannot but be struck by how much attention it devotes to the issue of suspected war criminals. This has been going on for some time. The press, and Ukrainian-diaspora scholarship as well, followed with concern the workings of the Deschênes Commission, which was struck in 1985 to investigate war criminals in Canada. The press also closely followed the American and Israeli legal proceedings against Ukrainian-American John Demjanjuk, who was suspected of being the sadistic camp guard known as “Ivan the Terrible.” Diaspora press accounts depicted the trial as a travesty of justice. It has also portrayed the search for war criminals more generally as a witch-hunt, harming almost exclusively innocent people and tarnishing the reputation of Ukrainians as a whole. There has been almost no attempt on the part of the Ukrainian diaspora to confront the issue of war criminality in a less defensive and more soul-searching manner. (The few exceptions will be mentioned below.)

Instead, there persists a deafening silence about, as well as reluctance to confront, even well-documented war crimes, such as the mass murder of Poles in Volhynia by the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA) and the cooperation of the Ukrainian auxiliary police in the execution of the Jews.  (more...)


Two legacies, one dark mystery: Toronto elite reeling after violent deaths of Barry and Honey Sherman

Before the speeches started at Thursday’s funeral service, before Barry and Honey Sherman’s family took the stage, there was a recital: Each of Us has a Name, by the Israeli poet Zelda.

“Each of us has a name,” Eli Rubenstein, the religious leader of a small Toronto synagogue read aloud, “given by our sins and given by our longing. Each of us has a name given by our enemies and given by our love. Each of us has a name given by our celebrations and given by our work.”

The memorial service, packed with 6,000 people — including some of the most powerful business leaders and politicians in the country, and broadcast live on television — gave the family an opportunity to present the version of their parents’ legacy they want people to remember when they hear their names. Those eulogizing them painted a picture of the couple as generous souls who loved giving their wealth away, Barry concealing a heart full of warmth and love beneath a gruff exterior.

On full display at the Toronto convention centre that hosted the ceremony, in the eulogies from friends and family and in the whispers and demeanour of the mourners, were the grief, anger, fear and confusion that remain in the wake of the Shermans’ sudden, violent deaths.

On stage, the Shermans’ son Jonathon threw barbs at the media for reporting an early theory offered by police sources that the deaths had been either a double suicide or a murder-suicide. The family’s apparent dissatisfaction with the police has led them to embark on their own quest for answers, organizing a parallel private investigation.

The National Post has learned that a second set of autopsies was conducted by a private pathologist before the couple’s burial. The results have not been released, not even to the coroner’s office.

The family has retained a lawyer and a private investigation firm, and family members have taken steps to enhance their personal security.  (more...)

What the odds-makers say:


The Sherman's, and my, generation was very much shaped by the aftermath of WWII and how it was resolved, or not resolved. The pharmaceutical and other industries were playing fields for much post-war and cold war contention. That contention continues to this day.

Former Scarborough music teacher accused of sexually exploiting a student

music teacher abuse rape pedophilia misconduct crime Catholic education

A man who used to teach music at Catholic high school in Scarbourough is accused of sexually exploiting a student.

Toronto Police officials say the charges were filed late last week but word of the arrest only came out on Friday.

60-year Michael Geremia was a teacher at St. John Paul ll Catholic Secondary, near Highway 401 and Morningside Avenue, from 1990 to 2012.

A former student has come forward with allegations that Geremia sexually exploited her on several occasions between July 1997 and May of 1998.

The student was 16 years old at the time.  (more...)

More coverage:

Friday, December 22, 2017

Loblaw, George Weston facing backlash over bread price-fixing scheme response

Loblaw Companies Ltd.'s attempt to mitigate potential damage from an investigation into an alleged industry-wide bread price-fixing scheme through its admission of guilt and gift card offering has been met with backlash from skeptical consumers and indignant competitors alike.

Loblaw and its parent company George Weston Ltd. revealed Tuesday they alerted the Competition Bureau after discovering a 14-year-long bread price-fixing arrangement. As a gesture of good will, Loblaw is offering customers a $25 gift card that can be used at its grocery stores across Canada.

"This conduct should never have happened," CEO Galen G. Weston said Tuesday.

"The gift card is a direct acknowledgment of that to our customers. We hope that they'll see it as a meaningful amount that demonstrates our commitment to keeping their trust and confidence."

However, some early visitors to the sign-up page have expressed concern that the bare bones site looks like a phishing attempt by savvy scammers.  (more...)

Let them eat cake?

Famed conductor Charles Dutoit accused of sexual misconduct

music misconduct rape abuse crime

Three opera singers and a classical musician say that world-renowned conductor Charles Dutoit sexually assaulted them — physically restraining them, forcing his body against theirs, sometimes thrusting his tongue into their mouths, and in one case, sticking one of their hands down his pants.

In separate interviews with The Associated Press, the accusers provided detailed accounts of incidents they say occurred between 1985 and 2010 in a moving car, the two-time Grammy winner's hotel suite, his dressing room, an elevator and the darkness of backstage.

The women accuse the 81-year-old artistic director and principal conductor of London's Royal Philharmonic Orchestra of sexual misconduct on the sidelines of rehearsals and performances in five cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Saratoga Springs, New York.

"He threw me against the wall, shoved my hand down his pants and shoved his tongue down my throat," retired mezzo-soprano Paula Rasmussen recounted of an incident she said occurred in his dressing room at the LA Opera in September 1991. She refused to ever be alone with the Swiss-born conductor again, she said.  (more...)

'The numbers are alarming:' Music teacher faces charges of luring, sex assault

music education rape pedophilia crime internet abuse misconduct

CALGARY — A former Calgary music teacher accused in May of using a false identity on social media to meet young girls faces dozens of sexual abuse charges after an additional 19 complainants came forward.

Christian Allen Sarile faces 49 charges involving 22 girls. Police believe the offences happened between 2009 and earlier this month.

“The numbers are alarming and it’s been a pattern of behaviour,” Calgary Police Staff Sgt. Melanie Oncescu said Thursday.

“It’s certainly the largest in terms of charges laid that I’ve been involved with and in reflecting back I can’t think of another circumstance where we’ve laid this many charges against one individual…this many victims.”

Sarile, 27, is charged with sexual assault, sexual interference, extortion, invitation to sexual touching, communicating for the purpose of obtaining sexual services, making sexually explicit material available to a child and luring a child under the age of 16.

“He wasn’t engaging as a teacher. It is believed that the man would use social media sites posing as a young teen male and asking to meet young girls. He would ask them to chat through various social media platforms and would offer cash or items in exchange for sexual favours,” Oncescu said.

“He would try to befriend people on social media sites so he would have a friend and then he would try to engage their friends.”  (more...)

More coverage:

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Board member of anti-racism agency fired amid accusations of Islamophobic commentary

racism CTS-TV Evangelical Islam politics immigration

A board member with the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, an arms-length federal government agency established to counteract racism, has been fired amid concerns over what Muslim advocacy groups have described as “Islamophobic commentary” and her “public association with purveyors of hateful propaganda.”

Christine Douglass-Williams has been a board member since 2012 and her dismissal was confirmed on Wednesday to foundation chairperson Albert Lo. He said he was notified by the Ministry of Canadian Heritage, which is responsible for the foundation.

Lo said he was not provided with an explanation for why Douglass-Williams was dismissed. But a government source told the Star she was removed because of several troubling comments she has made online which “do not reflect the goal of the foundation.”

“They do not work to eliminate racism or promote inclusion,” he said. “That’s why her contract has been terminated.”

The Star has attempted to reach Douglass-Williams by email and social media. She has not yet responded but confirmed her dismissal to the Canadian Press

In August, the Canadian Press reported that Douglass-Williams’ position had come under review after she published an essay in May about her visit to Iceland with Robert Spencer, the founder of Jihad Watch.

Spencer has been characterized as an “anti-Muslim extremist” by the Anti-Defamation League and is considered “one of America’s most prolific and vociferous anti-Muslim propagandists,” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a civil rights organization that tracks extremism.  (more...)

Reminiscent of Michael Coren's chameleon-like behavior -- is there a connection?

An appeal for cool heads:

Hollywood producer Gary Goddard accused of sexual misconduct by 8 former child actors

boyes homosexuality pedophilia Hollywood crime abuse
In an October 2015 photo, Goddard is pictured with a model of a Macau
casino his firm designed.
To the young male actors in his retinue in Santa Barbara in the 1970s, Gary Goddard was an exalted figure. A successful former theater prodigy, Goddard returned through his 20s to direct and mentor child actors in his hometown, vowing to bring the most talented with him to Hollywood. He attracted a constant orbit of devoted boys others referred to as the “Goddardites.”

But the seemingly idyllic setting of privilege and promise had a dark edge for several members of the theater group. Four decades later, many of them say they have been haunted by their encounters with Goddard.

Since actor Anthony Edwards wrote in an online essay last month that Goddard sexually abused him as a pubescent actor in Santa Barbara, seven others from the theater group told the Los Angeles Times that their former mentor molested or attempted to molest them as boys.

They describe Goddard’s advances as ranging from straying hands on thighs during lulls in a production or fondling in a darkened Disneyland ride, to repeated incidents of sexual abuse during a troupe’s overnight stays in a statewide tour. In addition, Edwards and another former theater student said in interviews that a classmate who has since died, Scott Drnavich, told them that he was sexually assaulted by Goddard as a boy.  (more...)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

CUPE Ontario is shocked and appalled that OMERS pension plan is investing in tax havens

accountability offshore tax havens business unions politics
Fred Hahn, CUPE President
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 20, 2017) - The revelation that the public sector pension plan, OMERS has been using tax havens to avoid their tax obligation has come as a shock to CUPE Ontario that represents the largest group of the pension plans membership. Tax avoidance is no way to fund a pension plan, says Fred Hahn, the union's president.

"No worker wants their retirement pension to be funded at the expense of community services or the wages of other workers," says Hahn. "As we age, our need for public services like health care actually go up. We still need our roads and bridges, we want good schools and child care for our grandkids. It is not acceptable that our pension plan is trying to avoid paying the very taxes that fund the services we need."

CUPE members make up 40 percent of the members in the OMERS pension plan, that is one of seven pension plans mentioned in the Paradise Papers.

"It's simply false to say that a pension plan has to practice unethical investment behaviour in order to make the necessary financial returns to meet pension needs of our retirees," says Hahn. "It is absolutely unacceptable that our pension plan is complicit in the corporate world view that it's ok not to pay taxes."

"The current corporate culture that believes making money is more important than what money is used for has left workers struggling and has eroded the quality of our public services," says Hahn.  (more...)


accountability offshore tax havens business unions politics

Enema Action: The Koch Family’s Nazi Nanny

 . . . . he [Fred Koch] was enamored enough of the German way of life and thinking that he employed a German governess for his first two sons, Freddie and Charles.  At the time, Freddie was a small boy, and Charles was still in diapers. The nanny’s iron rule terrified the little boys, according to a family acquaintance. In addition to being overbearing, she was a fervent Nazi sympathizer, who frequently touted Hitler’s virtues. Dressed in a starched white uniform and pointed nurse’s hat, she arrived with a stash of gruesome German children’s books, including the Victorian classic Der Struwwelpeter, that featured sadistic consequences for misbehavior, ranging from cutting off of one child’s thumbs to burning another to death. [That’ll learn ’em—D.E.] The acquaintance recalled that the nurse had a commensurately harsh and dictatorial approach to child rearing. She enforced a rigid toilet-training regimen requiring the boys to produce morning bowel movements precisely on schedule or be force-fed castor oil and subjected to enemas. [“Shitzkrieg?—D.E.] 
 The despised governess ruled the nursery largely unchallenged for several years. In 1938, the two boys were left for months while their parents toured Japan, Burma, India, and the Philippines. Even when she was home, Mary Koch characteristically deferred to her husband, declining to intervene. “My father was fairly tough with my mother,” Bill Koch later told Vanity Fair. “My mother was afraid of my father.” Meanwhile, Fred Koch was often gone for months at a time, in Germany and elsewhere. 
 It wasn’t until 1940, the year before the twins were born, when Freddie was seven and Charles was five, that back in Wichita the German governess finally left the Koch family, apparently at her own initiative. Her reason for giving notice was that she was so overcome with joy when Hitler invaded France she felt she had to go back to the fatherland in order to join the Fuhrer in celebration. What if any effect this early experience with authority had on Charles is impossible to know, but it’s interesting that his lifetime preoccupation would become crusading against authoritarianism while running a business over which he exerted absolute control. . . .

Quote from:

Trump may have emboldened hate in Canada, but it was already here

hate racism fascism immigration politics Islam Canada Donald Trump

The world will not soon forget Nov. 8, 2016. It was the day billionaire and former reality-TV star Donald J. Trump was elected president of the United States.

To the dismay of many, Trump’s divisive politics won the hearts and minds of millions of American voters.

North of the border, Canadians scratched their heads and wondered how someone with such a hateful political platform — rife with overtly racist, xenophobic and sexist sentiment — could have been elected leader of the free world.

The general consensus was that such rhetoric could not — and would not — resonate with Canadians. Yet during his first year in the Oval Office, Trump’s hateful sentiments not only resonated with American citizens, but with some Canadians as well.

Canada saw a rise in right-wing extremism in 2017, from anti-Muslim flyer campaigns on university campuses to the presence of extreme right-wing groups such as Proud Boys, La Meute and the Three Percenters, as well as the slaying of six worshippers at a Quebec City mosque.  (more...)


hate racism fascism immigration politics Islam Canada Donald Trump

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Millions of Canadians have pension money offshore — without knowing it

pension tax haven bankruptcy accountability Canada transparency
Hassan Yussuff, president of the Canadian Labour Congress, says it's contradictory
for the federal government to pledge to fight the abuse of tax havens while, at the
same time, Canada Pension Plan money is invested in them.
Palm-fringed islands, balmy weather, luxury yachts moored in azure waters — offshore tax havens conjure up a wonderland for the well-heeled and their wealth.

But a CBC investigation based on the Paradise Papers leak has found that millions of ordinary Canadians also have an interest in money parked in tax havens — almost certainly without knowing it.

Seven of the country's so-called Big 8 pension funds, representing more than 25 million workers, have used tax havens as they invest Canadians' retirement savings, according to records in the huge leak of offshore financial documents made public last month.

This revelation underscores a delicate quandary. On the one hand, pension funds need to make enough money to ensure they can pay benefits to an aging population, and using tax havens for investments abroad can help the bottom line. But it raises questions about whether Canadians' retirement money is underwriting an offshore industry that undermines tax fairness and transparency.

The pensions' high-profile offshore dealings include the 407 Highway north of Toronto, which the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought a 40 per cent stake in — partly through an entity in Bermuda. Or the high-speed rail line from London, England, to the Channel Tunnel, which a pair of Canadian pension funds owned until earlier this year via a shell company in Jersey, a tax haven in the Channel Islands.

None of the pension plans would say exactly how much of their revenue is generated by investments through tax havens. In response to questions from CBC, almost all of them pointed out that Canada doesn't tax pension plans on their investment income, so their use of tax havens makes no difference to federal or provincial government coffers.

But other countries have different tax rules, and some Canadian pension funds acknowledged that offshore investment structures help them legally minimize their tax burdens abroad. Some even said it's their duty to do so in order to maximize savings available for retirees.  (more...)


pension tax haven bankruptcy accountability Canada transparency
That's your pension, folks

Monday, December 18, 2017

Nazi Medical Experiments and the Pharmaceutical Industry

nazi medicine crime contraception abortion research science

The pseudo-scientific experiments carried out by doctors on Jews, Gypsies and other genetically inferior inmates at over 30 concentration camps and ghettos were carried out under the guise of practical applications for the Germans. One type of experiment was aimed at facilitating the survival of Axis military personnel.The second category of experimentation was aimed at developing and testing pharmaceuticals and treatment methods for injuries and illnesses which German military and occupation personnel encountered in the field. A third category of medical experimentation sought to advance the racial and ideological tenets of the Nazi worldview.

Scientists also tested a number of methods in their effort to develop an efficient and inexpensive procedure for the mass sterilization of Jews, Roma, and other groups that Nazi leaders considered to be racially or genetically undesirable. .According to some testimonies, a total of 178 different types of experiments was performed.  (more...)

A particular sponsor and beneficiary of these experiments was I.G. Farben:

nazi medicine crime contraception abortion research science

I.G. Farben was a German conglomerate of eight leading German chemical manufacturers, including Bayer, Hoechst and BASF, which at the time were the largest chemical firms in existence. When Hitler came to power in 1933, I.G. Farbenindustrie AG faced the question of how to position itself vis-à-vis this new government. In the 12 years of the Nazi “Third Reich,” the attitude and behavior of I.G. Farben was characterized by swift adaptation to the political parameters inside Germany; this included firing Jewish employees and setting of war production as a top priority. I.G. Farben also actively participated in shaping National Socialist policies domestically and abroad – such as the appropriation of related enterprises in the conquered territories and the massive employment of forced laborers.

I.G. Auschwitz, was founded in Kattowitz on April 7, 1941, and was intended to be the largest chemical factory in Eastern Europe. In addition to German skilled workers and forced laborers from all over Europe, increasing numbers of prisoners from the Auschwitz concentration camp were deployed at the gigantic construction site in Auschwitz. In 1942 I.G. Auschwitz built its own corporate concentration camp, Buna/Monowitz.

After the defeat of the Third Reich at the International Military Tribunal held in Nuremberg, the United States, as the occupying power, conducted trials against the top officials of three major industrial concerns- Krupp, Flick, and I. G. Farben. The I.G. Farben Trial was the largest of all industrial trials. All defendants were indicted for planning and waging of wars of aggression, conspiracy for this purpose, economic plundering, and forced labour and enslavement of prisoners of wars, deported persons, and concentration-camp inmates.  (more...)

This historical legacy is an indictment of a whole industry, with ramifications that continue to haunt us today:

nazi medicine crime contraception abortion research science
The death of an abortifacient salesman

Could Honey have read this article?

I knew the son of an Austrian Nazi officer who studied at the University of Toronto's Institute for Aerospace Studies. There certainly were connections to Germany's post-war Nazi milieu. Did Sherman fall into this boy's club during his studies in "rocket science"? Did it influence his business in the pharmaceutical industry?

Sunday, December 17, 2017

The Secret Treaty of Fort Hunt

Making the world safe for Nazis
William Shirer closed his 1960 masterpiece, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, with the judgment that the Nazi regime “had passed into history,” but we cannot be so confident today. On the contrary, the evidence as of 1990 is that World War II did not end as Shirer believed it did, That Nazism did not surrender unconditionally and disappear, that indeed it finessed a limited but crucial victory over the Allies, a victory no less significant for having been kept a secret from all but the few Americans who were directly involved.

The Odessa and Its Mission

Hitler continued to rant of victory, but after Germany’s massive defeat in the battle of Stalingrad in mid-January 1943, the realists of the German General Staff (OKW) were all agreed that their game was lost. Defeat at Stalingrad meant, at a minimum, that Germany could not win the war in the East that year. This in turn means that the Nazis would have to keep the great preponderance of their military forces tied down on the eastern front and could not redeploy them to the West, where the Anglo-American invasion of Italy would occur that summer. Apparently inspired by the Soviet victory, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced at Casablanca, on January 24, 1943, their demand for Germany’s unconditional surrender and the complete de-Nazification of Europe.

Within the German general staff two competing groups formed around the question of what to do: one led by Heinrich Himmler the other by Martin Bormann.

Himmler was chief of the SS (Schutzstaffel, “protective echelon”), the blackshirted core of the Nazi party that emerged as Hitler’s bodyguard in the late 1920s and grew into the most powerful of the Nazi political institutions. After the failure of the attempted military coup of July 20, 1944, which wounded but did not kill Hitler, the SS seized all power and imposed a furious blood purge of the armed services in which some seven thousand were arrested and nearly five thousand killled. The SS was at that point the only organ of the Nazi state.

Himmler’s plan for dealing with the grim situation facing Nazism found its premise in Hitler’s belief that the alliance between “the ultra-capitalists” of the U.S. and “the ultra-Marxists” of the Soviet Union was politically unstable. “Even now they are at loggerheads,” said Hitler. “If we can now deliver a few more blows, this artificially bolstered common front may suddenly collapse with a gigantic clap of thunder.” Himmler believed that this collapse would occur and that the U.S. would then consider the formation of a new anti-soviet alliance with Nazi Germany. The Nazis Would then negotiate “a separate peace” with the United States, separate from any peace with the USSR, with which Germany would remain at war, now joined against the Soviets by the United States.

But Martin Bormann, who was even more powerful than Himmler, did not accept the premise of the separate-peace idea. Bormann was an intimate of Hitler’s, the deputy fuhrer and the head of the Nazi Party, thus superior to Himmler in rank. Bormann wielded additional power as Hitler’s link to the industrial and financial cartels that ran the Nazi economy and was particularly close to Hermann Schmitz, chief executive of I.G. Farben, the giant chemical firm that was Nazi Germany’s greatest industrial power.

With the support of Schmitz, Bormann rejected Himmler’s separate-peace strategy on the ground that it was far too optimistic. The Allied military advantage was too great, Bormann believed, for Roosevelt to be talked into a separate peace. Roosevelt, after all, had taken the lead in proclaiming the Allies’ demand for Germany’s unconditional surrender and total de-Nazification. Bormann reasoned, rather, that the Nazi’s best hope of surviving military defeat lay within their own resources, chief of which was the cohesion of tens of thousands of SS men for whom the prospect of surrender could offer only the gallows.

Bormann and Schmitz developed a more aggressive self-contained approach to the problem of the looming military defeat. the central concept of which was that large numbers of Nazis would have to leave Europe and at least for a time, find places in the world in which to recover their strength. There were several possibilities in Latin America, most notably Argentina and Paraguay; South Africa, Egypt, and Indonesia were also attractive rear areas in which to retreat.  (more...)

The world seen through Nazi spectacles?

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Escaping Toronto school system's "pipeline to prison" requires change

Imagine you’re acting as a judge, with a young person’s future in your hands, but no one trained you to be a judge.

So you do what you think might help this young person. You expel him from the school system, sending him to a special school where he can get extra attention he needs.

School trustees at disciplinary hearings have done this hundreds of times in Toronto. Many students they banish are black, and many never find their way back to regular schools.

Toronto’s public school board faces deserved anger after the news 48 per cent of students it expels are black.

(Toronto’s Catholic board dodges attention because it doesn’t collect race-based statistics, but soon it’ll have to.)

Close observers say repeat discipline offenders get caught in a “pipeline to prison.”  (more...)

Mom launches $240M lawsuit against school board after girl restrained

An Etobicoke woman has launched a $240-million lawsuit against the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, claiming battery, infliction of mental suffering and negligence after her 11-year old daughter allegedly came home bruised and beaten after staff used restraints on her.

Last April, Karen Marr told CityNews she had pulled her daughter Charlie out of school because she was being restrained “every day or every other day.”

Charlie has a severe intellectual disability that results in a cognitive delay, and Marr enrolled her in a special education class with partial integration in the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board, although she lives in Toronto.

Mother and daughter started the long commute last year, staying with Marr’s mother in Haliburton, after Marr was advised Kawartha could best address Charlie’s needs.

Charlie’s records from February, however, show she is regularly put in a restraints by a group of teachers.

Reasons include “not allowed to do something she wanted to do” and “setting events that occurred before school.”  (more...)


Friday, December 15, 2017

High-profile Liberal donor found to have swindled millions in immigration scheme

Justin Trudeau greets Paul Oei at a luncheon in Richmond, B.C.
VANCOUVER — In the tightly-knit world of Vancouver’s wealthy Chinese immigrants, Paul Se Hui Oei stood out for his ties to some of Canada’s most powerful politicians and his mastery of cultivating guanxi, or personal relationships, that attracted legions of Chinese clients eager for his assistance in gaining a legal foothold in Canada.

But behind closed doors, the authorities say, Oei, a prominent immigration consultant and philanthropist, ran an elaborate fraud scheme, pocketing millions from investors, including many Chinese citizens led to believe their investment would help them secure permanent residency in Canada. Instead, the authorities say, he spent the money on luxury cars, beauty pageants and donations to political parties.

“Everything he said were lies,” said Chen Wei, a Chinese immigrant who testified earlier this year in a case against Oei before a British Columbia Securities Commission panel. Chen’s family invested $1 million in Oei’s project, according to hearing transcripts.

On Wednesday, the British Columbia Securities Commission ruled Oei, who denied the allegations, had swindled nearly $4 million from investors.

Oei and his companies “misappropriated these funds and used them for their own purposes and not as the investors were told they would be used,” the panel stated. Oei declined to comment.

British Columbia is trying to shed its reputation as a hotbed of financial crime and to curb international money laundering at its casinos, a practice the provincial attorney general said was known as the “Vancouver model.”  (more...)