"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday, 6 February 2016

LEGEND IN MY TIME

Last week, Charlie Rose said twenty-million had watched the interview wit Sean Penn. My first thought 
...I was one of them ... If I needed it, it put me and my blog into perspective. 

Second thought  ....how do they come up with the figure of twenty-million? 

 I gave up on that.

Yesterday, an issue in the U.S. Democratic nomination race were fees paid to Hillary Clinton for speaking engagements to the business community in excess of $200.000.

Journalists deemed it a problem because ordinary people have difficulty understanding why a person
could be paid so much for speaking to their expertise. 

thought...what are they talking about?

Ordinary people have no problem getting their heads around sports stars and teams making millions from their prowess. The money comes from the pockets of ordinary people in ticket sales and marketing  paraphernalia that fans are only too willing to buy. Adulation knows no bounds for people who need to have excitement in their lives. Like most of us. 

started a conversation in the blog with the comment I had tried not  to become invested in Hillary's campaign.

The  challenge is enormous.  The prize may be unattainable. 

Her courage has to be phenomenal and  stamina super human.

The strength of the organisation rallied behind her is hard to imagine and can only be matched by the power of the force ranged against her. 

I have watched world history unfold and repeat itself many times in my lifetime. 

This battle is epic. 

I have nothing but profound admiration for the woman who has taken it on. She is a serious candidate.
It could be her destiny. I hope to see it.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

QUALIFIED AGREEMENT

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE TENSION IS UNBEARABLE": 

The only eminently qualified presidential candidate from either party is Hillary Clinton.

The rest are all wackos, shysters and religious zealots - a good description of most Americans, especially when you throw in assault weapons.

22:02 - don't listen to her voice, read what she has to say.

Do you switch to Fox? Another group of wackos. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 4 February 2016 at 11:18

******************************

If credentials matter, Hillary Clinton is miles better than the rest .

The inexorable grind of prejudice keeps on truckin'

Bernie Sanders has a compelling message. He encourages people to believe they might have a say 
In their future. 

To be sure, wackosshysters and religious zealots are prominent in the race. 

I don't agree  they are representative. 
 
They are just noisier and more strident. Like bullies everywhere. 

They  have more T.V., Radio stations and other news outlets to lend credence to greed and arrogance
and ignorance. 

But they don't have the stage all to themselves. There's a more than favourable balance of intelligence and insight and depth. 

 I have to say,I find the drama of American politics captivating. 

No script has  more authentic dialogue. Few actors play their roles with greater skill than American politicians, writers and journalists.

Canadians may be a kinder gentler society or the contours may just be slightly more blurred.  

We have no grounds to be dismissive or condescending. 

Greed and arrogance and lack of social conscience may be just as prevalent though slightly less evident. 

In the last Ontario and federal elections, both wins were by default. 

People who should be offering to serve...don't.

Mediocrity is an affliction we endure. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

THE TENSION IS UNBEARABLE

I have tried not to become invested in Hilary Clinton's presidential nomination race. It's so tense and 
so hard.

She won  the Iowa caucus according to the rules. Now it's argued she lost and Senator Bernie Sanders the real winner. He wants to "examine the paperwork" like he can't deal with the hard fact. 

The word moral enters the picture.

On the Republican side the Trump, in second-place, claims the to be the real winner.with no less bombast than before. And no more ability to deal with reality than Bernie Sanders. 

The real Republican winner did indeed have a Howard Dean moment. 

In less than reverential terms  he bawled out to  crowd;  "God Bless Iowa" .

Who calls upon the deity to bless the greatest number of votes  in a truly unholy process.

CNN has a frequent guest named Hugh Hewlettt. He has a show iof his own called....Hugh Hewlett's Show. 

Mr. Hewlett is an avowed admirer of the Trump genius. 

Last night, he looked directly into the camera and made a statement against Hilary that made my skin crawl. 

Don Lemon, the CNN host made a feeble attempt to discount the statement. 

I wish I hadn't seen that.  I'll be so glad when it's over. 

Except what will I do then for excitement ?

Monday, 1 February 2016

WHEN A LAWYER IS RETAINED THE GAME BEGINS

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A QUESTION REMAINS": 

18:32
This may come as a shock to you but the defendants did not initiate this lawsuit. I would not expect them to pay for it out of their pockets because they were sued as councillors.  
Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 1 February 2016 at 

*********************************************************
So .....what was being initiating when George  Rust D'Eye was retained by the former Mayor to advise   strategy to control a Councillor who persistently exercised judgement and authority as an elected representative. 

The  night of the melodramatic announcement of an "Emergency"   Mr. Rust  D'eye spent fifteen minutes  in the Council chamber  to convince me I should not attend the meeting 

Despite  my request for disclosure, the purpose of the meeting had been withheld. 

 The solicitor informed me I I would be in Conflict  should the matter  lead to litigation. I might hear something to my pecuniary advantage. 

First he  asked ...had I retained legal counsel? 

Why would I do that? I asked. 

Oh I'm not suggesting it  .....he responded hastily.

My presence,it seemed,  was not welcome at a meeting where the purpose was to advise on a political strategy to a faction of the  Aurora political body that did not include myself. 

As a Councillor I had a right to attend any meeting of council. So I went despite Mr. Rust D'eye's effort.

Logic dictated if the meeting created conflict for one side of potential litigation, it  did  for the other as well. 

Sauce  for the goose is sauce for the gander. 

Before amalgamation in 1999 ,Mr. Rust  D'Eye was Metro Toronto's  chief solicitor. Elimination of the boroughs and Metro created a redundancy of municipal public servants and a resultant glut of
municipal  consultants. 

The Mayor had encountered Mr. Rust  D'eye at an annual municipal conference the year before. 
Apparently she had confided in him the problem she was having with a Councillor who had opened up a line of communication with town residents  on social media. Mr Rust D'eye had a solution to offer. 

It was  clear from his comments  to persuade me not to attend and hear his advice, Mr. Rust D'eye anticipated litigation  to ensue.

That was the start of things. 








Sunday, 31 January 2016

A QUESTION REMAINS

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE PUZZLE ALWAYS COMES TOGETHER": 

Evelyn, in the post that you deleted you mentioned something about a $100,000 payout. May I ask, who is being made to pay $100,000 to whom?: 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 28 January 2016 at 15:04

*******************************

According to the last communication from the defendants counsel  payment to settle costs  will be 
received by  Phyllis Morris ,Evalina MacEachern,Wendy Gaertner ,Stephen Granger, Al Wilson and John Gallo  $100,000.  

The defamatory statement ,written by a lawyer, signed by the above named , read into the public record ,posted on the town's world wide web site where it remained for sixteen months and published in two newspapers  was all paid for with tax dollars....yours and mine .

After five years and  completion of a five week long trial, instead of instructing the jury  the judge  dismissed  them instead and allowed the defendants to change their defence, on paper, no public process, no witnesses called , no cross examination. Authority to do what they did was argued. 

Previous defense before the jury was that I am a person motivated entirely by greed and my objective was to obtain a legacy for my children. 
  
Nineteen  months  later  in inquiry at the court, the file was described by court employees as stagnant; 
stored  in the archives 

Finally , a thirty-nIne page decision, singularly lacking in judicial reasoning  was delivered. 

The complaint  was dismissed,  ruled  more or less  on the new defence of authority  to publish and broadcast world wide a  signed statement of recrimination against myself. 

A claim for  defendants's costs was forwarded in an area of $429,000. 

My decision was to process a certificate to appeal the decision. 

Failure to act could have meant  seizure of  my home  and  assets frozen. 

The final agreement was to withdraw the appeal and pay  $100,000. 

The last communication spelled out  names of the defendants as recipients of the settlement.  

On September 9th 2014, a Vice President of the town's insurance company appeared as an invited delegate at a Council meeting. He  disclosed  $840,000. had been expended on behalf of the defendants of the litigation. 

He also informed Council the normal process was for defendants to settle without a trial. 

Insurance premiums were increased  that  year by 30% to recover the outlay. 

The town's policy premiums  are paid from the town treasury. 

From taxes...yours and mine. 

My legal  counsel has advised, the defendants will not receive the  settlement fee of $100,000.
March 26th  is the deadline for payment. 

Whatever....a question remains....














Saturday, 30 January 2016

BY THE WAY.....HERE AND THERE...THIS AND THAT

I Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "THE PUZZLE ALWAYS COMES TOGETHER": 

Attending the same educational facilities may be a part of it, but very small. A lot of it has to do with party affiliation. All judges are appointed by the government of the day, and judges used to be lawyers. 

Posted by Anonymous to  Our Town and Its Business at 28 January 2016 at 20:15

*********************************

They were not sued as Councillors. The complaint included Abuse of Authority...Abuse of Public Resources...an denial of Charter Rights. No elected representative at any level has authority to do 
what they did.

The  above comment suggests a connection between judges,lawyers politicians and family connections and echoes several comments about  an  "Old Boys CLub"

I always considered the justice system in a class removed from politics. If I hadn't lived so long, I would have gone to my grave with the illusion intact despite all the signs and portents.

Being a  municipal councillor provides a glimpse into many sectors of society. Like a fly on the wall. 

The hospital board gives a glimpse into medical association politics

Similarly the  Public Health Board 

The list is extensive. Police Services board , Fire Protection Committee...etc.etc.

All are fiefdoms with associations and executives elected to promote,protect and advance the interest of members.The larger the membership,the greater the political clout. 

In municipal, provincial and federal elections, support is hawked about to the highest bidder.

The police discipline code prohibits members  from promoting a party or candidate but they get around that by naming a separate organisation for the purpose.

Early on I chaired the police committee of  Aurora . I attended the annual conference of Police Governing Authorities  in Toronto and was elected to the executive for the next term.I always had an opinion to express.

Half the executive were Judges from cities in Ontario the other half council  members.

Except for C.O.Bick of Toronto. He was an optometrist with the title of Magistrate  to fit the status of Chair of Toronto Police Commission. 

 Regions were created and Judges chaired all regional boards. For a time. 

A provincial study by the Ontario Police Commission, (a body similar to the Ontario Water Resources Authority , the Ontario Municipal Board, arm's length and  a-political ) concluded the affinity between judges and police created a conflict. Judges were no longer appointed to chair police governing authorities, 

York Region had the last judge /chairman when I was  a member of the Police Governing Authority. He continued until retirement from the judiciary at seventy-five . He refused to cast a vote on any matter before the board .He was quite the fashion dandy and enjoyed sharing tidbits of  luxurious vacations and his personal lifestyle with board and administrative members. 

I re-call that aspect of his conduct because I was surprised by it and little else was remarkable. 

It's a dead giveaway. 


Friday, 29 January 2016

SIMPLE AND SENSIBLE AND SURPRISINGLY SENSATIONAL

Last week Sean Penn was a guest with Charlie Rose. The interview was two hours, spread over two shows. At the start  of the second ,Charlie stated the previous hour had been watched by the  largest audience of any in T.V.history. Twenty million people ,world-wide had watched . 

Sean Penn had interviewed a Mexican drug lord.... in hiding after a peculiar escape from a Mexican jail... The actor wrote a five-thousand word article for Rolling  Stone magazine and came under considerable criticism for his effort.  

Charlie Rose was merciless in his challenge. 

Why did you do it ? What was your objective .....were questions repeated over and over. The answer was strong and consistent. 

The decades long, government multi-million dollar war on drugs is a failure. Thousands have died and hundreds of thousands more are in jail. Still the government does not turn attention to the demand for drugs. All sectors of society are tragically affected. Society is complicit in the problem. 

The actor felt his objective had failed. Public attention focussed elsewhere. 

The interaction between host and guest was great television. Intense  drama about a major problem growing worse. 

Most interesting for me was that, Mr. Penn's claim he  does not attempt to provide answers. He does not tell readers what to think. 

He sets out what he has learned and leaves it to readers to form an independent conclusion.

As information grows and changes, conclusions evolve and solutions can adapt.

How simple and sensible is that ?

I take  great comfort from the logic . Despite that  Mr. Penn declared his objective had  failed. 

Watching the  bad reality  show passing for the Republican Presidential nomination and similar puerile political  performances  closer to home ,one might easily despair .

The beacon of light from the earnest endeavor of Sean Penn, Charlie Rose  and a growing number of others like them is enough to give us hope.