August 21, 2005

Criminality, Governance & Control -- Drugs, Criminal Gangs, Guns, Violence, Terrorism & Its Funding, and What to Do About Them

"There are no borders when it comes to crime."

The Long Arm of Uncle Sam -- A growing number of U.S. crimebusters are operating in B.C. in a cross-border crackdown Kim Bolan, Vancouver Sun, August 20, 05

The U.S. Attorney prosecuting three Canadians in the cross-border drug tunnel case will ask a Seattle judge next week to seize the B.C. property on which the tunnel was constructed.

A court order would mean the little piece of Canada on Zero Avenue would be surrendered to the U.S. government if property owner Francis Devandra Raj is convicted on trafficking charges, regardless of whether individuals or banks in Canada have an outstanding claim on the Langley land.

[. . . .] In July, B.C. pot activist Marc Emery and two associates were arrested at the request of U.S. authorities who accuse him of selling marijuana seeds over the Internet to Americans. The arrest came despite the fact that Canadian police had ignored Emery's activities for years.

[. . . .] "The Emery case is a telling case in this sense -- there were DEA agents on Canadian soil operating purportedly with the approval or under the supervision of the Vancouver Police Department, but when it became necessary to record phone calls placed by U.S. agents to Emery's seed store, the U.S. agents returned to American soil in order to record those conversations. Perhaps the reason is because those agents would be prohibited by law from doing so on Canadian soil."

RCMP Staff Sergeant Paul Marsh said from Ottawa that it is natural to have more cross-border cooperation when crime has become more global.

"Criminals are more networked than ever before,"
Marsh said. "Obviously we are going to maintain Canadian sovereignty. Investigations that are conducted in Canada are Canadian investigations. We will provide support to our American counterparts and that is extremely important that we support each other . . . .

There are no borders when it comes to crime. [. . . .]

Search: sovereignty issues , under the direct supervision of Canadian , smart border accord

Criminals have no borders. If they get caught in Canada, they receive only a slap on the wrist and off they go. This liason seems to be a good thing when it comes to cross border crime. Crooks should know they won't have a safe haven.

In Canada, the penalties are less severe, or not really used (get less jail time than they could by law), or the ones involved get out early, et cetera. Of course, if our government ever admitted there is a massive criminal/drug/grow-op/gang problem in Canada, maybe they would actually make certain actual sentencing--as opposed to talking about it--had a negative effect on this. Until then, well, if I were a parent trying to protect my child from drugs and gangs, I probably wouldn't have a problem with this. Our government is remiss in not actively working to end the present situation with drugs / gangs / criminal gangs and a related problem, funding terrorism. International terrorism is funded by drug money. Osama bin Ladin apparently is funded by money from Aghani heroin trafficking. I have read this but the link was part of something I lost in a computer crash so you'll have to search for it.

There are two related articles in the newspaper:

* Cross-border war on fraud: U.S. and Canadian officials cooperate in battle against telemarketing scams. A4

* Drugtunnel to be sealed The tunnel linking the U.S. and Canada will befilled with dirt and gravel next week. A4

I realize that there is room for debate here concerning that fine line over which a sovereign nation must not allow others to step, and that debate will occur, I suspect; however, until our government gets serious about the dangers of violent drug gangs and what is happening with our young (Think Toronto's guns and gangs, for example), I can go along with this, with two provisions:

* It is given a time limit after which it would be reviewed

* That a Parliamentary oversight committee with equal numbers of members from the governing side and from the official opposition be charged with monitoring it and reporting to Parliament with any dissenting opinion noted in the report so that real debate could occur

* That the committee not have the governing party (Liberal, at present) gerrymander the committee by choosing the chairman, and making other adjustments they have learned and use(d) to their advantage

* That this committee be able to investigate and to respond to citizens who believe they are being targeted by a government which may to be using this to target citizens who are simply voicing dissent or opinion, especially against the government

I would prefer a government which cared about something other than being re-elected, Canadian government(s) which would admit what is happening in our country, and take strong action against it.

Is the problem with Stephen Harper that those (of and related to governing) who have ignored the obvious criminal activity and insecurity of our borders, if it would mean they had to admit there is a problem and if it would detract from money making, see a change if he becomes Prime Minister? That Harper might actually change this situation? And so they enlist the usual suspects to blacken Harper? I suspect so.

Report: Bad guys using tech to increase profits... Global National, August 19, 2005

Criminal Intelligence Service Canada (CISC), the federal agency that updates Canadian cops with the latest in criminal trends, has released its annual report, citing the increased use of technology by criminals to increase profits.

Not to be confused with CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service -- Canada's spy agency), CISC is a network of criminal intelligence experts from police and government.

With the release of today's annual report, CISC says it will also be monitoring Canada's natural resources industry for possible criminal infiltration, after warnings that Canadian organized crime figures may potentially exploit Canada's diamond industry for criminal purposes.

It also says organized crime is using the latest in computer technology to increase profits. [. . . . ]

CISC report

Videos worth watching and listening to:

Organized crime and knockoff goods video

You may have to use just this for the link:

Organized crime and street gangs

Organized crime and port security or

Gangs joining forces -- Sharing territory, tactics is more productive: report -- "swapping gang colours for business suits" James Gordon, CanWest, August 20, 2005

[. . . . ] RCMP Deputy Commissioner Peter Martin said criminal elements are less territorial now, and instead are operating as "businesses" that exploit "market niches" wherever they are found.

While stereotypical crimes such as drug and gun dealing are still prevalent, they are increasingly supplemented with less obvious illegal activities such as DVD counterfeiting, environmental waste dumping and child pornography distribution.

"There is some turf war going on, but you'll find more co-operation as [groups] do that," Deputy Commissioner Martin said. "It makes them more effective, and it's much more challenging for law enforcement to address that."

In addition, some criminals have learned that blending into society is the best way to avoid attention from both the neighbours and police.

"Gone are the days when organized crime ... figures were recognized by the fedoras and trenchcoats," said Ottawa police Chief Vince Bevan, adding the new uniforms often consist of business suits and T-shirts.

Rapidly changing technology is another issue that continues to dog law enforcement, Chief Bevan said.

"[Organized criminals] spend lots of money, they have the technical expertise, and they hire people who are very tech-savvy to keep ahead of us in that regard," he said. He called current legislation governing police ability to snoop online "archaic."

His comments came a day after Justice Minister Irwin Cotler announced the federal government will soon introduce "lawful access" legislation, which would force Internet service providers to turn over clients' personal information and allow law enforcement to intercept encrypted e-mail, text messages, voice-over-Internet communications and other advanced technologies.

While Canada's spy agency, CSIS, and the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police have been lobbying hard for lawful access for years, privacy advocates argue it puts far too much power in the hands of officers.

Chief Bevan called on Mr. Cotler to bring forward the legislation as soon as possible and put police and criminal gangs "on even footing."

Of course, I want police to have access to the bad guys and to put them away, BUT, think of how the governing power has used power inexorably over the last 30-40 years to consolidate the Liberal Party and its friends in power and positions, to destroy individuals' lives. Think of whistleblowers such as Robert Reid, Brian McAdam, Beaudoin of the Business Development Bank, et cetera.

Do you trust this government with this kind of power?

I suspect the answer is a resounding NO, NO, NO! I think this is the kind of wide-ranging power that will simply consolidate the Liberal government's control and give it the power to destroy all who question it, all who write negatively about it, all who cross it. Think of their own Stephen LeDrew, for example. (Search this site: LeDrew and CCRA )

This government cannot be trusted with power. It is too corrupt -- in spirit, if not in fact. But other views have validity also. Read and form your own.

As for access to everyone's email, check Small Dead Animals for a link to how to protect your privacy -- another link I lost in a pc crash. However, it was from Aug. 20 or 19 and should be easily found.

How to prevent the germ collections and biological know-how from being sold or stolen.

Soviet Germ Factories Pose New Threat -- Once Mined for Pathogens in Bioweapons Program, Labs Lack Security Joby Warrick, Washington Post, Aug. 20, 05

ODESSA, Ukraine -- For 50 years under Soviet rule, nearly everything about the Odessa Antiplague Station was a state secret, down to the names of the deadly microbes its white-coated workers collected and stored in a pair of ordinary freezers.

[. . . . ] After decades of operating in the shadows, the labs are beginning to shed light on another secret: How the Soviet military co-opted obscure civilian institutes into a powerful biological warfare program that built weapons for spreading plague and anthrax spores. As they ramped up preparations for germ warfare in the 1970s and 1980s, Soviet generals mined the labs for raw materials, including highly lethal strains of viruses and bacteria that were intended for use in bombs and missiles.

The facilities' hidden role is described in a draft report of a major investigation by scholars from the Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. The main conclusions of the report, which was provided to The Washington Post, were echoed in interviews with current and former U.S. officials familiar with the labs. Most scientists who worked in antiplague stations in Soviet times knew nothing of their contributions to the weapons program, the report says. [. . . . ]

[Pneumonic] plague, caused by breathing the bacteria into the lungs -- is highly lethal and is considered a weapon of choice for germ warfare or bioterrorism

Search: lack of modern biosafety equipment , located in downtown areas , "Sonia Ben Ouagrham, who coauthored the Monterey study with Zilinskas and Alexander Melikishvili." , "David Franz, panel chairman and director of Kansas State University's National Agricultural Biosecurity Center." , Plague, or black death , scores of interviews and visits to more than 40 antiplague institutes and field stations


Growth of a Secret Soviet System
A Steady Supply of Virulent Strains
Under-funded, Under-staffed and Unsecured

MLAs disclose investments By Russ Francis, Publish Date: 18-Aug-2005 or Google's cache

[. . . . ] In her April 13 statement, [BC] Finance Minister Carole Taylor revealed owning shares in Canfor, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, HSBC Holdings, U.S.-based restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro, and Toyota, as well as five mutual funds. Although she disclosed no sources of income, Taylor did reveal an interest in a property on Heron Place in Whistler. [site of the 2010 Olympics]

[. . . . ] And Environment Minister Barry Penner revealed in his statement, which he filed last March 18, that he held shares in Telus, along with gas company Terasen Inc. As well, Penner disclosed owning shares in Vancouver-based mining company Garibaldi Granite Corporation, and in two oil-and-gas income trusts, Enerplus Resources Fund, and Shining Bank Energy Trust. [. . . . ]

Did you ever wonder why a politician would spend so much--think Belinda and what she spent, reported variously but running as high as $3.7-million--to get a job in Parliament which pays, relatively, so little? Of course, it would not be access to knowledge of future development plans in areas the average person is not thinking about. It wouldn't be access to the big money individuals who, for a little knowledge, will cut you in in some way? I am not stating this is the case with these MP's but it does seem that the most successful MP's and MLA's somehow make money, lots of money.

Is it time to limit election spending and advertising severely? To end the temptation to use money to determine the result? To end it all? Start afresh. End the ability for candidates to use exorbitant amounts of money to get elected so we might have decent, ordinary Canadians elected to public office. Good people cannot afford to run at present. (I've been told it costs $25,000 just to run for a chance to run for local office. Check. I may have mis-remembered. )

Instead of scripted media /media controlled presentation of candidates, end it too; it is too politicized at present. Mainstream media who live off advertising from whoever wins and gets to hand out government advertising contracts, have a vested interest in helping to elect whoever will keep them getting the government contracts. The same applies to business contracts salted by government with taxpayer money. End all tax and taxpayer $$$ giveaways to preferred businesses which create an uneven playing field.

For electioneering, have each candidate prepare a website with nothing but text (maybe 1 or 2 pictures) in which the candidate presents his philosophy and leanings, his plans for when he is elected and let him bring to the public's attention any information he wishes to share. No fancy graphics, no videos, no way to spend money other than on a text page. Let him visit his own community functions but let the rest of the country learn about him/her by their own efforts.

Let citizens, who care enough to study the issues and proposed action from each candidate, read and then vote. Our system is much too corrupted by money. Then institute a strict two term system (See post on "nannyism" below which does not agree. It is debatable, certainly.), with all the candidate's assets placed beyond his/her reach in a blind trust run by an equal number of supporters and opponents. That might clean up the potential for corruption.

Make the over 3000 appointments (scroll down for article), which are now the purview of the PM, subject to Parliament, to Parliamentary oversight and interviews with the prospective candidates, including court appointments which are, presently, highly politicized, IMHO. That's just for starters. The citizenry need to take all the potential for corruption out of elections and governance. Now, you suggest something better. I am sure mine is not the answer but at least we should be allowed input and debate.


Here we are confronted by the dreaded social disease of nannyism, the irrepressible urge toward do-good coercion. The nannies are all around us now, attempting to ban smoking in outdoor areas, including New York's vast Central Park, working to eliminate one schoolyard game after another, including dodge ball (too violent), tag (hurts feelings by turning kids into targets), and just about any game with winners and losers (competition douses the cooperative ethic, and losers can be traumatized for life). 8/29/05, John Leo

Do you ever get tired of being told what is good for you and then some agency/government uses coercion/force/control to make you behave the way they want?

"Every man's dies a suicide", I believe Winston Churchill said. Well, I want to do it my way for myself. So do others.

If I want to drink/eat/smoke/whatever myself to death, leave me alone to do it. As for the pervasive extension of the rights of those who, for example, do not drink or smoke (but don't want you to smoke, so work to ban smoking), what about the junk food they consume? Do I have a right to say they cannot because I can't stand the sight of it, the greasy smell of it in malls, and furthermore, they leave the litter around -- maybe on my property?

MADD sounds fine in theory -- at first -- but I prefer the idea of the individual using common sense and suffering the consequences which has a tremendous hindering effect. If I know that I may kill someone by drunk driving, I will probably drink at home. I don't want MADD who are unelected to have so much power to coerce as they seem to have.

Nor should municipal governments be able to tell a private businessman whether or not he may have smoking in his establishment; they always decide NO, it seems. Let individuals choose their own poison and places where they consume it.

As for gambling, personally, I hate gambling for money with a passion now, though I did win ten dollars in a poker game once, so I am not against a friendly family or friends game with pennies or nickels or the like. With the advent of government and global / international gambling companies, however, I have begun to hate it for the harm that I see is the result, to families and even those within my acquaintanceship sphere. Gambling alone at poker machines has no redeeming social / bonding qualities that I can see. Church bingo games used to cost very little and provide older people with a reason to get together and to support the church at the same time. Now, big money and big governments are involved. Gambling as it is today is simply a means of fleecing those too addled or naive to realize that the only ones who really win are the companies who own the machines, the venue, the online resources, and the governments who tax them. Too many families are negatively affected.

However, I could probably be persuaded that a fool should be able to lose his money in any way he chooses IF SOCIETY DOES NOT HAVE TO PICK UP THE TAB and IF GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT INVOLVED and IF GOVERNMENTS ARE NOT IN ANY WAY CONNECTED WITH THE BUSINESSES INVOLVED. That last part is almost impossible to stop, I suspect, given the expertise so rapidly learned by those who wish to make money enough to be corrupted.

The present situation allows gambling to be too readily available to the average citizen and it is so easy for those in power to be corrupted by the money to be made. I have no answers that make sense to me.

Maybe if the government actually plowed the tax money into something of value for all citizens, it would be minimally acceptable, but you know it goes to . . . well, you fill in what you think.

In view of what I wrote about term limits above, note this sentence from the above article: "Hidden nannyism would include all sorts of political uplift, including term limits . . . ." So am I a nanny? Probably. Many of us likely are. But we do need more people to tell us so, to question the overweaning power of those who want to "help" us which inevitably involves curtailing someone else's freedom to do what that particular "helping" group is not interested in doing or taking part in.

Control, Control, Control

Fear for Grit White North -- Powerful Liberal ruling regime menace to freedom of ordinary Canadians Licia Corbella, Aug. 21, 05 via Newsbeat1

"Any needless concentration of power is a menace to freedom."
-- Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower

[. . . .] According to Duff Conacher, coordinator of Democracy Watch, an Ottawa-based watchdog agency, says Canada's prime minister has the power to appoint more than 3,000 people to positions, including to the federal and supreme court, to tribunals, agencies, key watchdog positions, the head of the RCMP, presidents of Crown Corporations, immigration and refugee board members, senators, and of course, our head of state, the Governor General.

[. . . . ] In other words, the entire Supreme court will consist of Liberal party appointees pushing through a Liberal agenda, even though the ruling Liberals have never won more than 41% of the popular vote.

According to Larry Gordon, executive director of Fair Vote Canada, never did Canadian voters' wishes become so distorted as during Jean Chretien's three elections.
[. . . . ]

Search: the day before the now-disgraced George Radwanski , federal tax department , "The ruling-party members, supporters and donors,"

Link for the rest.

Irwin Cotler, Min. of Justice and "what the Liberal vision of justice is in this country"

Liberals firing blanks on crime Linda Williamson, Aug. 21, 05 via Newsbeat1

[. . . . ] Police tell us their efforts against gangs and guns are constantly hampered by courts that release the gangsters back to the streets with just a slap on the wrist. If the laws already on the books, which call for "mandatory" time for firearms offences, aren't being enforced, the obvious question becomes, why not make them tougher and make them stick?

Well, Sun reader James Osborne, of Innisfil, took the trouble to put that question to federal Justice Minister Irwin Cotler himself. I'm indebted to Osborne for forwarding Cotler's response to me -- it offers a highly revealing glimpse into the mind of the Liberals' top legal man in Ottawa; so much so that I'm reprinting it here: [. . . . ]

Next time you wonder what the Liberal vision of justice is in this country, turn back to this letter for handy reference.

My personal opinion of the Liberal concept of justice is that they decide much ad hoc and how it will impact on them and their grasp on power. They appear not to have much in the way of principles that are enduring. (See Gomery/ADSCAM/Sponsorship fund for a start. There is more.)

And, by the way, why is a teenager's name so sacred that it cannot be associated with horrendous crimes in the news but the name of any man who is "accused", not convicted yet, mind you, of sexual assault, which may range from an unwanted pat on the butt to actual rape, gets his name revealed in the newspaper for all to see immediately? No matter that later he is found innocent, the mere association of his name with this charge means his reputation has been ruined. I have read of male teachers faced with this from very aware teenaged girls who know how to use it or threats of it to blackmail . . . and other women are not unknown to have used this, as well.

Truth is the issue John Crosbie, Aug. 21, 05

[. . . . ] In his [pollster Allan Gregg] view, the Liberal strategy of doing everything they had to do to weather the crisis -- making a budget deal with the NDP, handing a cabinet job to Tory defector Belinda Stronach, announcing billions in additional spending -- appears to have paid off. The poll shows the Liberals at 36% support, the Conservatives 28% and the NDP 17%.

[. . . . ] Are Canadians prepared even to contemplate the return of Martin's government to office with this record of failure and lack of care about the need for honesty, truthfulness, morality, ethics and idealism in public service and political life?

There is meat in the middle. Search: the RCMP reported

Personally, I feel a world-weary cynicism about this government and those associated with its continued hanging onto power.

Why is OPEC immune? Ariel Cohen, Aug. 21, 05

Ariel Cohen is a senior research fellow and William Schirano is a researcher at the Davis Institute for International Studies at the Heritage Foundation.

It's a move anyone outraged by high gasoline prices would applaud -- a nonprofit labor group suing the Organization for Petroleum Exporting States (OPEC).

That was in 1978, though -- and the lawsuit failed. A U.S. appeals court threw it out three years later, noting that OPEC's member states enjoy immunity from prosecution under the Sherman Antitrust Act. Congress recently had a perfect opportunity to change that -- and wasted it.

In June, the Senate approved an amendment to let the federal government sue OPEC. It was a welcome first step toward reestablishing the free market in this strategically important sector. Indeed, this long-overdue move could have pointed the way to a second step: allowing private antitrust suits against OPEC. But the amendment failed to survive House-Senate negotiations over the energy bill.

The real losers are American consumers. [. . . . ]

Search: NOPEC


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