Speech codes limit the right to free speech

Update 2018 12 31: Rewritten to incorporate two sections, “Comparing Facebook to other utility-access services,” and “FB must not have the right to censor” 

I’m no longer confused.
I became confused when I heard the word ‘service’ used by these agencies: Revenue Canada Service, Canada Postal Service, Telephone Service, Civil Service, Provincial-, Municipal-, City-, Public Service and Social Media Service.
That is not what I thought ‘service’ meant, but today I heard two farmers talking.  One of them said he had hired a bull to service a few cows.
BAM!!! It all came into focus.

—With apologies to Anonymous

Speech codes limit the right to free speech and to freedom of expression.  Who gave Facebook the right to act as judge, jury and executioner, to be a lawmaker, to issue the rules, to enforce, monitor compliance, judge adherence, hand down punishment for non-compliance and administer punishment accordingly?  Why did Facebook assume the powers of legislator, police, judge, jury, and jailer?

In some fashion, the powers that Facebook wishes and began to impose are being used by other social media corporations, too.  YouTube most definitely does.  That means that, collectively, all of the social media services will eventually do so, when one of the largest sharks swimming in the tide pool of public opinion, Facebook, is permitted to gobble up the right to free speech and prevent the little fish swimming in the tide pool from using Facebook to hitch rides that Facebook had offered.

Comparing Facebook to other utility-access services

Facebook without doubt offers a utility-access service, comparable to those offered by utility-access corporations for access to water, natural gas and electric power. Facebook explores and exploits a niche in the utility-access market, an opportunity that it saw and jumped to employ when Mark Zuckerberg realized how popular the initial launch of it was in 2004.  It caught on like a wildfire in dry grass on a windy day in California. 

Many people jumped to what was being offered by the novel, new-age utility-access service, the simplification of getting in touch with relatives and friends, the opportunity to make new friends, faster.  Facebook made that possible by nothing more than to offer convenient, user-friendly access to a utility network that would carry interpersonal communications from one individual to another, some or many individuals.  Facebook offered user friendly access, friendlier than anything closely comparable had been.

The new Facebook utility-access service brought the promise of the global village a lot closer to reality, within reach of many who longed for it.  In some ways it was like bringing water to the thirsty, electricity to those who wish to be able to read after dark, natural gas to those who can no longer look for the nearest forest to cut down and haul back home the firewood they need for cooking or to heat their homes. 

When Facebook launched its utility-access service, it was a eureka-moment every bit as monumental as was permitting private individuals access to a road-network that could not be accessed before, as convenient as installing private phones in every home compared to having prior access only via pay phones that could be a few blocks or even miles away from home.  So far, so good.  After all, unlike the construction of utility networks that many utility corporations and governments at many levels had to design, engineer and build over the span of many decades and even centuries, Facebook did not have to do much.

Facebook merely provided convenience of access to an existing communication network that others had laboured by the sweat of their brows to put into place over the span of generations.  What Facebook thereby did was comparable to:

  • Enabling readers of books and newspapers to use eye glasses for reading;
  • Providing home owners with instructions for conveniently operating their heating furnaces and cook stoves:
  • Providing home owners with the ability to use programmable thermostats to control their furnaces;
  • Training people to use intelligent remote controls for their televisions, and thereby
  • Enabling billions of owners of smart phones to use the latter as devices for convenient, speedy access to the Internet, giving them quick and easy contact with their friends.

Just as in each case of those examples of utility-access service use and improved user-friendliness, Facebook offered convenience, more convenient access to, and a user-interface for, a utility network, the telecommunication network that was in place, to which new Facebook users in virtually all cases were already connected.  So far, so good. Facebook had put together an application, a social media service that became popular.

Now comes the problem that makes Facebook different from the providers of any other utility-access service in the history of mankind.  Imagine what would happen if all utility-access service providers were to follow the precedent set by Facebook.  No one would be satisfied with having,

  • A natural gas utility-access corporation cut off the natural gas, to boot without warning, when one is cooking a steak, a roast, a chicken, a filet of sole, or anything other than veggies;
  • A water utility-access corporation cut off the water when one intends to shower with a friend;
  • A paper-supply company – offering writing pads or printing paper – dictate what words or expressions may be recorded or printed on the paper they sell and cut off sales and deliveries of their products if a violation of their undocumented “community standards” were to happen, plus prevent the printed products (letters, newspapers or books) from being sent out by the user to their destinations.

As surely as travel restrictions in the USSR and in the Hitler regime constrained the right to freedom of movement for individuals who were regarded a danger to the State, so does Facebook censorship constrain the right to freedom of expression for those whom Facebook deems to be in violation of its nebulous rules of conduct laid down in its unpublished, non-legislated, uncontrolled, unauthorized “community standards” Facebook cooked up.

FB must not have the right to censor

Why should FB have the self-assumed right or obligation to tell anyone what sort of words, sentences, messages or images their utility-access service must be used for? That is not the only concern we must have about what Facebook is setting a precedent for. 

Precedents – once set – will be used, time and again.  We must be very concerned that the precedent set by Facebook will be used time and again, for anything that may serve to constrain interpersonal conduct, for anything that constitutes or is part of any human conduct!  Just leave it up to innovative corporations or any sort of lawyer to find ways to make that happen, to follow Facebook’s lead.

Without doubt, we do not wish to have governments, bureaucracies, and corporations impose speech codes that constrain, restrict or prohibit free speech and freedom of expression.  It does not matter how badly or for what reason any of them want to have the power to do so and what methods they wish to use to impose their power.

The more a government uses its power to restrict and censor freedom of expression, the more totalitarian it is.  The extent of restrictions on freedom of expression is not the only but a very good measure of the extent of totalitarianism in any regime.  What business do corporations out for profit have to seek and impose the power to limit free speech and freedom of expression?

What purpose is being served in spending countless hours and literally hundreds of millions of dollars discussing (in anyone country), designing, implementing, administering, and monitoring adherence to rules for the promotion and safeguarding of free speech, when a corporation can undo those enormous efforts in a flash?  Facebook provides the means for transmitting an ever-increasing portion of everyday exchange of interpersonal communications in which the exercise of freedom of speech is being shackled.  It is being shackled through Facebook or any comparable corporations out on self-imposed missions to re-engineer society, and, in doing so, Facebook and other social media corporations are more Draconian, and ever more and faster so, than even oppressive governments are.

The next section discusses the subject, Individual rights and freedom of expression vs identity politics and censorship.

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Facebook : legislator, police, judge, jury, and jailer

Facebook becomes a contender in the realm of the business of the law.  That is not a good state of affairs.   Facebook assumes the roles of police, judge, jury and executioner, even that of the legislators (legislators means lawmakers, our legally elected, legal representatives, who “hammer out the laws” that our employees – the police, the judges, and our jailers and executioners of our system of jurisprudence – install, monitor adherence to, judge the quality of performance on and administer, are put in charge of performing the duties required to ensure that punishment ordered by judges is administered properly).    Facebook takes on all of those roles and the duties that come along with them by assuming power over and control of interpersonal communications in a very large sector of human discourse in the whole world. That will force us a long way from established legal and legislative practices that evolved during the course of many thousands of years of civilization.

The assumption of the new Draconian powers that Facebook exercises over a large part of humanity in all of the world is a significant achievement for a corporation that began to offer its services on February 4, 2004.  The assumption of those Draconian powers did not pose much of a problem, initially.  The powers that FB assumed for itself evolved gradually but at an enormously quick pace, much faster than anything comparable ever did in the history of mankind.  They grew and keep on growing ever larger and more oppressive, much like those do that the UN or the EU wish to put into place.  Such powers are presumptuous, whether installed and executed by any non-elected, nongovernmental, corrupt, bureaucracy, or by a public social media service run by a corporation out to make astounding profits.

The extent of the Draconian powers used by all organizations having them depends on the rate of growth of such powers.  That rate of growth is substantial but also substantially different with respect to whether the organizations wishing to have the Draconian powers are bureaucracies or corporations.  The growth rates for their respective Draconian powers differ enormously.  There is a good reason for that.

The UN bureaucracy (founded in 1945) and the EU bureaucracy (its first foundations were laid in 1948) acquired their powers through time-consuming negotiations with mostly democratic nations.  Facebook is a corporation with a vested interest in avoiding all negotiations with all governments, because democratic governments are seen as a hindrance to speedy progress and to growth of profit.  Circumventing of all negotiations with democracies ranks high on the list of priorities of corporations such as Facebook.  That is all the more so because the impact of the services they offer grows at a much higher rate than the understanding that the politicians and bureaucrats of the democracies have who need to be able to comprehend a very important circumstance.  It is extremely dangerous and destructive to give a corporation that offers services to the public the ability to exercise its power without any guidelines or supervision that those guidelines are being adhered to. 

The next section will address the problem that speech codes limit the right to free speech.

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Turning moral traditions topsy-turvy

The drive for re-education, to turn established moral traditions topsy-turvy, is a convoluted road to travel.

The FB-reality of that is that the use of bad and inappropriate language of the gutter variety is good, while even to insist only slightly on that established, more conservative traditions that society came to hold dear must be regarded as being in bad taste, wherefore it is verboten.  Things become very difficult and confusing, when good becomes bad and bad becomes good, when it may be that either or both are verboten, especially when it appears that good things may at times be verboten, while bad things (things that were judged bad hundreds and even thousands of years ago) are hardly ever considered to be bad but most often good.  The confusion that causes seems to be a deliberate aspect of the social engineering that Facebook is eager to bring to civilization. 

It is difficult for old dogs to learn new tricks.  It is especially hard for an old dog to learn that the new trick he is to learn, that to have a moral universe that he has come to appreciate and even to love with his whole heart, is to be turned topsy-turvy and to be adhered to.  I taught a dog or two during my life and learned, that to confront any dog with such absurd notions is the most effective means of spoiling him.

Don’t take me wrong!  FB did not ever tell me that I had done anything wrong (except for telling me, now and then, that something I remarked did not meet Facebook’s “community standards”), or that anything I had posted had violated proprieties other than their “community standards”. It’s just that it is hard for old dogs to learn new tricks, especially when all or most of the tricks they know are suddenly made to do a 180. This dog is 82 years old, and even the youngest dog has a tough time learning tricks for which the instructor gives instructions that flip to being diametrically opposed to all he has learned since he was born, even if a young dog doesn’t have to unlearn anything.  Such a crazy thing is not merely contrary to the nature of dogs, in general, it is even against human nature!

To be accused in the Facebook reality of being politically incorrect can have a range of consequences, some of which can be severe.  An offense may involve having pointed the finger, maybe once or maybe once too often, perhaps not at someone but at an organization, a government or society, for having done something remarkable, annoying, harmful and not merely annoying but enormously harmful to humanity, fathers and families, perhaps even to the whole environment and the globe. 

In such a case, finger-pointing may well be deemed not merely impolite but politically incorrect.  The pointed finger that raised Facebook’s ire may not even be directed at anyone or anything other than that it pointed out an idea that may or may not be politically correct although nevertheless wrong. It may involve nothing other than to express dissatisfaction with any aspect – no matter how trivial or inconsequential – of anything at all and no one in particular.

That sort of political incorrectness falls without a doubt into the category of thought crime, but that does not matter much.  If Facebook doesn’t like it, a thought crime can or will be used to apply a judgment.  No finding of “guilty” will be announced, nothing more will happen than that the designated, unsuspecting offender will suddenly find that he no longer can use Facebook.  There may or may not have been a notification sent to the individual judged to be an offender.  That notification then states merely that a comment or posting violated FB community standards.

Even though several times I tried to catch on to what the FB community standards imply and demand, I never succeeded.  Anyone who ever tried to figure it out soon found that the FB community standards are hopelessly nebulous, convoluted and lacking clear directions. They would not have the chance of a snowball in Hell to measure up to the standards of evidence in a court of law.  Nevertheless, Facebook refers to them when justifying why they found someone guilty of violating them and deserving of being sent to “Facebook jail” (if Facebook should happen to tell the alleged offender, who receives his punishment before even knowing he did anything wrong), meaning that Facebook will ban them from using the services Facebook offers, for various lengths of time, ranging from a few hours to a life time.  No court in the world could solve that dilemma, not in a year full of Sundays, but Facebook insists that its community standards are just the thing for judging how individuals must conduct themselves.

Nevertheless, whether or not any of that should be done by basing Facebook’s decision on its ill-documented “community standards” should be left up to the individual doing it, and it should be left to the “accused” to feel whether the accusation should be ignored or to let it bother them, with the range of possible outcomes extending all the way to taking the accusers to court.

The range of the emotions and reactions following a perceived insult in the past extended to where they led to duels by swords, foils, handguns and other means intended to kill the accuser who was often right and had to die on account of it.  Challenges involved rituals, the drop of a hat, the slapping with a glove of the face of the challenged, knocking a chip of the shoulder of the challenged or of the shoulder of the challenger (with the first of the contenders to succeed with knocking the chip off the shoulder of his opponent being the challenger, a dubious distinction in the ensuing brawl).

Today, those extremes are no longer legal.  Instead, we amended laws as well as civil and criminal court procedures, in efforts designed to economically devastate accusers, whether those are right or not.  Thereby we ensure that judges, prosecutors and other attorneys, lawyers and adjuncts of the legalistic industry are not deprived of a rich source of income that they intensely crave.  After all, they too must feed their families, pay bills and pay back loans. Having accusers and accused try to settle things out of court by killing each other was therefore a powerful incentive for the advocates of the legalistic industry do get such attempts ruled to be illegal, and they achieved that aim.  That was a great boon to the business of the law.  With Facebook throwing its hat into the ring, things are becoming unnecessarily complicated once more.

Consider the next section, Facebook becomes a contender in the realm of the business of the law, being self-appointed Legislator, police, judge, jury, and jailer.

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Sniffing butts is impolite

Sniffing butts is impolite.  Sniffing butts is a No-No.  I know that it is, because my parents and my oldest sister (17 years older than I) told me so, a long time ago, without any help or nudging from Facebook.  It was in 1939 when that happened.  Facebook had not yet come on the scene. It made its first appearance 75 years later, in 2004.   Humanity had managed fairly well until then to catch on to the rules of politeness and of political correctness, without Facebook’s help.

Still, being blessed with an analytical mind and fairly early in my life, before the invasion of Poland by Hitler’s Armed Forces, the Gestapo and the SS, between the time when I had started to play with the other kids in the neighbourhood, but before I had begun to attend Kindergarten, I had learned how to determine the source of farts.  Believe me. It’s true. (The simple fact of it is that even little kids know where farts exhaust.  When they are quite small and laugh about it, older people even think that is cute.  Most people who had children know that, and those who don’t, didn’t pay attention to their kids.)

If I remember correctly, it was when many of my oldest brother’s friends filled up our fairly large kitchen, talking, while standing around, waiting for my dad to hand out a few drinks of schnapps, in celebration of a job well-done. 

They had come to spread the sand and laid the patio blocks on it, with which to pave the sidewalk from the street, past the entrance to the house, and the space between the house and the small barn that had been built behind it.  It had been a fairly big job. I know, because 14 or 15 years later, after the war, I had to redo the laying of those blocks (they had settled in places, allowing puddles to form).  When I did the job, after hours and on weekends, it took me about two weeks to do what my brother and his friends from the Reich Labour Service had done in a day when I was 3 or 4 years old.  To get it done in a day was worth a celebration.

As those young men were standing around and talking, in our kitchen, someone remarked “Man, who let that one go!” (A piece of advice, if you should happen to have done it, always divert attention by saying something like that. Always blame someone else, right?) I soon found out what they were talking about but also, that no one was willing to admit to having done the deed. 

There was enough room amongst all those legs through which I had to navigate, but I was the right size for the job, able to do it without bending, and I began to investigate.  I went to sniff butts and soon announced who the originator was of the smell that had caused the frantic opening of the windows.

Proud of having achieved my objective, I pointed my finger and announced “He did it. He farted!”  I remember that the young man denied it (I imagine that the colour he turned helped to give him away, I wouldn’t have known), with my accusing finger-pointing at him giving him no escape.

My oldest sister told me instantly and quietly: “Walter, you are right, but you shouldn’t and mustn’t tell about such a thing when it happens!”  That was that, and I learned from it.  I learned at a young age that, to point at someone for having done something remarkable because it was not enjoyable is impolite.  Still, there come instances in every life when finger-pointing is a civic duty and must be done.  Consider the next section.

Being politically incorrect is verboten.

Being politically incorrect is verboten. I know it is, because Facebook told me so.

That was after I had remarked on the trustworthiness (or better, the lack of it) of climate science or the poor quality of social research relating to families and fathers or some such things.  Facebook told me (ever so politely, as Facebook invariably is about such issues), that they were always open to teach me about what the desired community standards should be when I make comments that perhaps fall short of meeting such standards.  That was not the first time Facebook insinuated such, apparently in the hope that I will figure it out what it takes to be politically correct.

Facebook has “community standards” that they wish to be used, and they wish others to accept that their self-assumed role as arbiter and judge of the propriety of the quality of human discourse is correct, politically correct.  I know that, because they insist often enough that established ethical traditions that were distasteful are the new normal, and that what was once regarded as good is now bad.  That poses a problem for many and me who consider themselves to be old dogs and therefore find it very hard to adjust to the Facebook-reality.   

Look at the next section.  It describes some of Facebook’s efforts to change the world, to do its part in bringing about the New World Order, by Turning moral traditions topsy-turvy.

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Fall asleep in democracy – Wake up in dictatorship

Who falls asleep in a democracy will wake up in a dictatorship.

— Otto Gritschneder
(when asked why he wanted to publicize
the system of terror in German military justice under the Nazis)

Introduction

This article series addresses free speech, freedom of expression, Facebook censorship (allegedly measured against Facebook’s infamous “community standards” and thereby justified), identity politics, and the number of identities that identity politics must cater to. (A linked index is shown after the following image.)

Being loved 400 times on Facebook

Being loved 400 times on Facebook

Index

It is true, I must admit it.  With the pointing-out of it coming from Facebook, their telling me of all the loving of those three images during the past little while is very touching, especially because of one thing.  It surprised me that Facebook chose those images.  The three images Facebook chose to praise for the loving they got are not exactly politically correct, most definitely not the articles those images are linked to.  Is Facebook getting a change of heart, drifting towards conservative territory, or are the algorithms it employs not quite up to its liberal aims?  Is Facebook doing what it takes to create a better democracy?  Is it trying to create a global democracy or a global dictatorship, a tyranny of multiple identities, by means of promoting identity politics?

Facebook (apparently bent on creating an ideological dictatorship) had often told me before, and the last time was just a few days ago, that perhaps I would benefit from being shown a thing or two, by learning more about the FB “community standards”. (Well, Facebook did not exactly come close to telling me that, but – ever so politely – appeared to have hinted that my way of communicating my opinions to others should give me reasons to be apprehensive of repercussions, without Facebook actually stating anything I could put my finger on.)

Therein is a story that I will tell here: Sniffing butts is a No-No.


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Peace on Earth – Good Will to Men

Update 2018 12 31: Added quote from opinion piece by Danielle Smith, the table for Canadian federal transfer payments (Alberta and Quebec, 2013 to 2017), and information on Canada’s involvement in two world wars.
Update 2019 01 02: Added bar charts for Canadian Federal transfer payments (Quebec and Alberta, 2013 to 2017, provincial totals and per-capita amounts).

It’s the season to be jolly, and what does that have to do with the price of oil in Alberta?

Peace on Earth and the price of oil in Alberta

Nevertheless, war is an opportunity for employment and profits.
War is good business. Invest your sons.

h/t to: Rick Garza

Yes, but what Col. Wilkerson reports is not news. It has been known for many years. He is not the first but merely one of the last in a long string of people to lament that it is deplorable to be involved in promoting wars for the wrong reasons. Col. Wilkerson is also not the first but merely one of the last to identify that, in spite of the US being involved in a war for trumped-up reasons, the US is still merrily pursuing one military action after another and continues its military engagement in the Middle East and elsewhere, time and again.

Now, if Col. Wilkerson were to identify why the US does so, that would be great, but, although the reason for that is not as well-known, it is nevertheless the primary motivating factor. That is, military engagements cost money. The military engagements by the US in the Middle East (and everywhere else it does so, by the way) cost vast amounts of money and cause a lot of misery.  That is good for business.

Col. Wilkerson points out that one percent of Americans suffer and sacrifice for the 99 percent who need to be kept safe.  He is more than a bit light on that, where the one percent do the suffering and sacrificing, they cause damages to the localities and the locals that is orders of magnitudes greater.

What is it with the claims that the military actions and wars fought by the US in other parts of the world are being fought for the safety of the US? To insist that they are is ludicrous. That is well-known but hardly ever, if at all, discussed in the MSM or any media.

The primary reason military actions are being started and perpetuated is greed, the pursuit of profits by arms manufacturers in the US and elsewhere. Arms manufacturers have no allegiance to home and country. They have no allegiance to anyone or anything and worship no one but Mammon.

No one should have any illusions that the arms industry in the US is the only one to do so. The arms manufacturers in the US merely comprise the largest hotspot of arms manufacturing in the world.

What good would arms manufacturing be if there would be no demand for arms? Nothing creates demand for arms as well as does the starting and perpetuating of wars. Using the arms where they are being produced is bad for the business of producing them there. The smart thing to do is to use them elsewhere.

Certainly, to use arms elsewhere causes much misery and destruction, but that is there and not at home.  It produces more business opportunities for the home industries, the need for more arms to be produced, and the opportunity of opening up markets for reconstruction. That is good for the country in which the arms are being manufactured. That country, with the ability of keeping its manufacturing base secure, will of course exploit the opportunities for supplying the market for reconstruction that its tradition for starting and perpetuating wars elsewhere created. Halliburton and any other comparable corporation operating internationally, while not involved directly in military operations, can tell a thing or two about that.

Therefore, war is good business, invest your sons.

WWI: The War That Changed Everything, is a good example of how the international arms manufacturing industry benefitted by cashing in on a global free-for-all.  As the Prager University video accessible at the preceding link shows, a local brawl between the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Serbia soon escalated to a global riot.  That gave all of the industrial nation’s arms manufacturing industries a chance to cash in. 

Shortly after the end of that war, in 1918, they all had another chance at it.  In 1939, WWII started and continued what the first had not finished, but on a substantially greater scale.  If anything, the video not only understates the scale of both of those wars, because it identifies only some of the major players in both, it does not even touch on the involvement of Japan in WWII, even though the Brits played a small part in the Pacific, while the U.S. fought the Japanese expansion back throughout the Pacific.  Perhaps the fact that WWII brought the beginning of the end of the British Empire has something to do with the oversight of the important aspect that, if it would not have been for the U.S., all of the Pacific region would have become and stayed part of the Japanese Empire.

All of that shows that the U.S., even though only a late-comer (although a deciding one) in both wars,  isn’t the only country engaged in exploiting the business opportunities created by the demand for arms.   

The omission of the war in the Pacific is not the only omission in the Prager University video (mind you, it is mainly about WWI, but how can there be a world war that does not involved all of the world?).  Amongst a large number of omissions, it also neglected to mention the involvement of large parts of the British Dominion that were no longer part of the British Empire by the start of WWI, foremost Canada, Australia and New Zeeland, for example.  Canada needs to be mentioned, most certainly, as it owes much of its industrial expansion and modernization to the need to manufacture arms and military supplies for WWI and WWII, at the relatively small price of sacrificing the lives of only 40,000 and 37,000 men respectively, a small price for the economic returns it reaped.  Those returns were not temporary.  They left a lasting impression, a substantial capability to manufacture arms looking for a market.

Canada has a fairly large sector of its economy involved in the production of arms, for export to other countries. Nevertheless, Canada provides an excellent example of why – contrary to received wisdom – the business of arms manufacturing (and exporting the products therefrom) harms Canada’s economy, even though Canada’s arms-manufacturing industry is profitable and safe from interference by outside forces.

Canada has a reputation of being a peaceful country.  Canada does not fight wars, at least not on its own turf.  Everyone knows that.  Therefore, Canada religiously restricts its participation in military actions entirely, except for those that take place far away – as far away as possible – from Canadian shores.

For example, Canada exports annually a billion dollars worth of arms (mostly armored vehicles) to Saudi Arabia. In return, Canada imports annually about a billion dollars worth of oil from there. One may think that is good business, and that would be correct. It puts a lot of bread and butter on the tables of the Canadians in Quebec and Ontario who produce the arms. Roughly half of Canada’s population resides and works in Quebec and Ontario. Therefore, federal politicians support trade deals that ensure a good state of health for Canada’s arms exports. After all, at least half of Canada’s politicians (actually more, but that is another issue) represent Quebec and Ontario (to what extent they represent the voters or themselves is an issue worthy of much discussion).

Well, Canada has no need to import oil. It is potentially self-sufficient with oil production. Canada’s oil is produced in Western Canada, primarily in Alberta. Alberta has about nine percent of Canada’s population and an a proportional share of Canadian voters.

There is no oil pipeline from Alberta to Quebec and Ontario. There is insufficient capacity of the oil pipeline from Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia.

Western Canada has plenty of oil pipeline capacity for exporting to the US, to where customarily most of the oil produced in Canada was shipped.  It used to be that virtually all of the oil required in Quebec and Ontario was imported from the US. Incidentally, initially, when Alberta’s oil industry emerged, there was much lobbying and pressuring by the US to prevent the construction of an all-Canadian pipeline from Alberta to Central Canada. That is the way things stayed and remain until today.

Thanks to the large-scale application of fracking, the US is now essentially self-sufficient with its oil production (it has become a net-exporter of natural gas). That drives down the prices for Canadian oil exports. The US is the major market for Canadian oil exports (about 80 percent). Prices for Canadian crude oil fell as low as $10 a barrel during the past few weeks. Now comes the clincher.

Canada is missing out on $80 million dollars a day ($30 billion a year) of net revenues for oil it would like to but cannot export. That is because Canada cannot supply its own oil to itself where oil is needed, and because it cannot export enough of what it can easily produce to satisfy the demand market in the Pacific region. Nevertheless, Canada’s federal politics aim at preventing the construction of sufficient pipeline capacity to Central Canada and to the Canadian West Coast. Not only that.

Canadian federal policies constrain tanker traffic in Vancouver to prevent the export of Canadian oil to the Pacific region. On the other hand, Canada does all it can to keep the trade deal going that exchanges Canadian arms for Saudi oil imported at Canada’s East Coast, a trade that is worth a billion dollars a year, just to keep voters in Quebec and Ontario happy, so that they will vote half of Canada’s politicians back into office in the next elections.  Does anyone think that Quebec and Ontario voters will not put Trudeau and his party back into office, or that Alberta voters are clamoring to vote for Trudeau’s Liberal Party?

Well, here is how that works.  It is not what the Liberal Party can do for you, but what you can do for the Liberal Party.  Vote the Liberal Party into office, and the Liberal Party can do all that is needed to make sure that the voters voting it into office have jobs.  A lot more jobs are involved in making armored vehicles than in producing oil, thinks the Liberal Party.  Even if the production of oil is far more profitable, what good will it do for the Liberals to make sure that Albertans have jobs producing it?  Albertans don’t vote Liberal!  The Liberals know that.  Albertans know that they don’t vote Liberal and have good reasons not to, while the Liberals have good reasons not to do much or anything to help Albertans, as long as Albertans and the other hicks in the sticks in the West, traditionally seen – especially in Ontario – as hewers of wood and drawers of water, keep the federal transfer payments coming.  The latter, once the federal contributions for Alberta are taken into account, amount to a net benefit of $22 billion a year for the Feds, from Alberta alone, with Quebec getting fairly substantial chunks of the loot.

“In 2017, according to Statistics Canada, the federal government generated $50.3 billion from Alberta taxpayers and only spent $28.5 billion in Alberta — a net transfer to Ottawa of $21.8 billion. Albertans pay more in federal taxes than we get back in federal spending. It is this difference that goes in part to support the equalization program.

Meanwhile, the federal government generated $53.7 billion from Quebec taxpayers and spent $70.1 billion in Quebec — a net transfer to Quebec of $16.4 billion.

To suggest that rich Quebeckers are somehow shouldering the burden of equalization is absurd. Quebeckers don’t pay anything into equalization because the province receives more in overall federal spending than Quebeckers pay in federal taxes. The extra money comes from taxpayers in other provinces, with Alberta taxpayers paying the largest share.”

Source: “Alberta needs a firewall, the sooner the better
Danielle Smith, 2018 12 28, Calgary Herald

Canadian transfer payments: Quebec and Alberta

(Cdn$ ‘000,000’ omitted)  Even a farmer who is not too bright knows:
Feed the cow you intend to get milk from.

Bar charts showing provincial totals and provincial amounts per capita are contained in appendix.

Armored vehicles for the Saudi’s and for anyone else whose credit is good (if not, then the losses are written off) provide jobs and the desired voters in Ontario and Quebec, the more than half of the voters that bring the Liberals back into office, time and again.

Armored vehicles keep the world at peace.  The war by Saudi Arabia against Yemen is a good example of how well that works, isn’t it?  On the other hand, what has oil – especially that dirty oil from the Tar Sands in Alberta – ever done for Canada, other than to cause global warming?  

Certainly, with Alberta going ever deeper into debt, it will eventually become a net recipient of transfer payments (no one knows where those will come from, because all of Canada will be broke) but first things first!  This is politics, not economics!  The transfer payments are still coming, right?  They will keep coming for long enough to give the Liberals another chance to get elected.  

Arms from Canada to keep the world at peace, keeping Western Canadian oil in the ground to help to clean up global pollution,  surely, who wants to blame the Liberals for doing an excellent job?  

Politicians are a consequence of a deeply rooted system of greed and its consequences. The international arms trade is an unduly large motivational force influencing the greed that controls local, national and international politics and economics.

It is not reasonable to saddle one or more politicians in Canada, the US or anywhere with the blame for the undue influence that the arms industry and the arms trade have on the workings of national and world economies. It would be far more reasonable to figure out ways by which that undue influence can be rooted out at the source.

Nevertheless, politicians can be and almost invariably are opportunistic enablers.  We, the people, make that possible.  The politicians we elect are enabled to do good and bad, but the politicians – and we who elect them – are not the only players in the game of “Peace on Earth and Good Will to Men.”

A government is not the expression of the popular will, but rather the expression of what a nation’s people are willing to endure.

— Kurt Tucholsky

Appendix


#PeaceOnEarthAndThePriceOfAlbertaOil

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Posted in Economy | Comments Off on Peace on Earth – Good Will to Men

Social Justice Warriors lack Objectivity, Knowledge

If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.

—Camille Paglia, in Sexual Personae

When self-respecting social justice warriors (SJWs) wish to deprecate social conditions in the past, they never measure them by the social standards and circumstances that prevailed then. SJWs look at things the politically correct way. They:

  1. Always measure the past in terms of today’s social standards, in terms of victims of oppression and of oppressors, as otherwise they would make an objective assessment of how things were;
  2. By no means ever mention – let alone give credit to – those who did the most to make it possible to lift people of both sexes and their children out of squalor, starvation and poverty;
  3. Always, time and again, highlight the suffering that women and women’s children were objected to;
  4. Never mention that running water and sewer systems (designed and built by men) – not so much vaccines and improved medical technology (which men invented, promoted, produced and caused to be implemented) – brought an end to massive, devastating epidemics;
  5. Constantly bring to mind the terrible suffering inflicted throughout history on women and women’s children through war, famine, deadly starvation, diseases and living conditions;
  6. Never, ever mention or even allude to the role that men played and the sacrifices men made in fighting for home and country;
  7. Most definitely do not thank men for making countless sacrifices when bringing about scientific discoveries, inventions, fabrication, construction, improving, maintaining and repairing things that improved living conditions for all;
  8. Don’t give men credit for designing, constructing, maintaining, repairing, expanding and constantly improving,
    • Increases in agricultural productivity
    • Mining of minerals and fossil fuels that made possible the
    • Cessation of the destruction of the environment through replacing of the burning of trees and the killing of whales with the
    • Ability to put fossil fuels into use for the generation of, and increase in the wide-spread ability to make affordable and much cheaper energy available to all, along with the
    • Bay Bridge Celebrates 79th Anniversary of Groundbreaking

      Bay Bridge Celebrates 79th Anniversary of Groundbreaking


      Roads, railroads, tunnels, bridges, airlines and airports, shipping lanes and harbours, telecommunication (from signalling by optical means (e. g.: smoke signals) through telegraph and then telephone over wires and eventually radio and TV via electromagnetic waves, to establishing a global network employing fibre-optic cables and the transmission of light to carry signals,  and employing satellites that enable us to have global positioning systems,  weather observations and communication via smart phones that enable essentially everyone on Earth – through a few touches of his fingertips –to reach in an instant anyone else.  All of which and more brought about the
    • Progressive elimination of starvation and the twenty-fold reduction in the number of annual rates of fatalities due to natural disasters, during the interval from 1900 to 2010.  Nevertheless and in spite of that, SJWs
  9. Will not, under any circumstance, give men any credit for having thought of and made reality the things that doubled the average lifespan of people in the world since the beginning of the 20th century and for having made people wealthier and much more comfortable, to boot. “From 1750 to 2009, global life expectancy more than doubled, from 26 years to 69 years, global population increased 8-fold, and incomes increased 11-fold.” (Indur M. Goklany,  ‘Humanity Unbound : How Fossil Fuels Saved Humanity from Nature and Nature from Humanity‘, 2012 12 20, Cato Institute; Policy Analysis No. 715, p. 7)
you can blame men for *everything*

… and give them credit for nothing.

Still, we give the feminist SJWs a free hand with blaming men for everything bad that happens and has happened, sit back and watch what develops. Regardless of the outcome, and that is a parody of social justice, the reality remains that,

If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts.

—Camille Paglia, in Sexual Personae

That is immutable.  The extent of the meaning expressed in the next quote can vary. It can be changed.  It relates to the power and extent of ideological totalitarianism that rules us absolutely or not so much:

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.

— George Orwell, in 1984

That leads to this: 

A government is not the expression of the popular will, but rather the expression of what a nation’s people are willing to endure.

 — Kurt Tucholsky

Lastly,

Who falls asleep in a democracy will wake up in a dictatorship.

— Otto Gritschneder, 
(when asked why he wanted to publicize the system of terror in German military justice under the Nazis)

The influence of social justice warriors on social evolution is an outcome of mob rule.


#SJWsLackObjectivity

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Posted in Censorship, Environment, History, Propaganda Exposed, Things men do | 4 Comments

Prostitution : Monkey Business

The practice of prostitution was part of monkey business already 30 million years ago. Inevitably, it became part of the human way of life.

“Nobody ever saw a dog make a fair and deliberate exchange of one bone for another with another dog. Nobody ever saw one animal by its gestures and natural cries signify to another, this is mine, that yours; I am willing to give this for that.”

Adam Smith, ‘Wealth of Nations’

Well, guess what.  Adam Smith was wrong about that.

Keith Chen’s Monkey Research

The preceding quote is at the beginning of Keith Chen’s report on his Monkey Research. His research suggests that Adam Smith was wrong about the allegation that humankind’s knack for monetary exchange belongs to humankind alone.

A NY Times Magazine article reported on Keith Chen’s Monkey Research and states, “The capuchin has a small brain, and it’s pretty much focused on food and sex.”

The article describes how Ken Chen and his associates taught their monkeys about money and the value of money to make purchases. They conditioned one monkey to become altruistic, another to become a selfish jerk. Chen and associates then released the altruist and the jerk into the community of other monkeys and observed what happened. They saw predictable reactions that one would expect from humans under comparable circumstances.

The researchers observed their monkeys develop the concept of budgeting, measured the monkeys’ reactions to price shocks and wealth shocks, fake money, inflation, budgeting, relative value of different goods, gambling, potential wins and potential losses. They saw their monkeys adhere “to the rules of utility maximization and price theory,” display behaviour characteristic of loss aversion, even stealing.

Sex for money is prostitution

The research identified a surprising aspect.  The monkeys grasped the concept of the fungibility of money.  It can be used to buy anything.  In their cages, the monkeys had nothing other than themselves, money, food and sex to buy or barter.  It appears that the monkeys did not develop bartering.  Still, they did something that is, involving money, quite natural and easily obtainable under such circumstances.

“Chen saw something out of the corner of his eye that he would later try to play down but in his heart of hearts he knew to be true. What he witnessed was probably the first observed exchange of money for sex in the history of monkeykind. (Further proof that the monkeys truly understood money: the monkey who was paid for sex immediately traded the token in for a grape.)…” «
Full Text of Article

The study, titled “How Basic Are Behavioral Biases? Evidence From Capuchin Monkey Trading Behavior“, can be read here.

Dr. Keith Chen’s Website

Findings contradict feminist dogma

Obviously, the observation of monkeys exchanging money for sex clashes with the popular, feminist narrative.  That is, “All sex, even consensual sex between a married couple, is an act of violence perpetrated against a woman.” — Catherine MacKinnon 
Read more at All Heterosexual Sex is Rape, and All Men are Rapists

None of that precludes altruism as the motivator when sexual transactions of an interpersonal nature take place. Benjamin V. Hubbard determined that more than a hundred years ago. He asserted that feminists say:

“That love without marriage is holy, and that marriage without love is illegitimate.” and 

“That only a narrow soul would object to an intimacy between its mate and an outsider when the giving of love to the hungry was a real charity.”
Read more from Bejamin V. Hubbard on feminism 

Conclusion

Keith Chen’s monkey research suggests that, already 30 million years ago, the practice of prostitution was part of monkey business.  It was inevitable that prostitution became part of the human way of life.

It seems that prostitution is:

  1. Older than humanity;
  2. Part of human nature and customs since time immemorial, therefore
  3. The feminist notion that ‘All Heterosexual Sex is Rape, and All Men are Rapists’ is baseless.

By human standards and common sense, rape is a relatively rare crime.  Rape is the taking by force of what can be obtained through negotiation and trade, via purchase or barter.


#ProstitutionMonkeyBusiness

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Posted in Economy, Propaganda Exposed | 2 Comments

Social media campaign for Cyntoia Brown

Anyone who has not heard of Cyntoia Brown, lately, is probably not active on any of the social media, but who needs justice, law and order, when the will of the mob will be a much more liked substitute?

Cyntonia Brown, public interest, Jan. 1, 2017 to Dec. 11, 2018
Raising public awareness of the Cyntoia Brown Case

I use Facebook. Yesterday, the trickle of Facebook notifications clamoring to have Cyntoia Brown treated lightly, that I had been receiving during the last few days, increased to a flood. A lot of people wanted to get my attention that I had been doing my best not to give.

Cyntonia Brown, public interest, Dec. 4 to 11, 2018
The Cyntoia Brown case – Re-fanning the flames of awareness

I knew nothing about Cyntoia Brown, decided this morning to check out what the tsunami of publicity was all about and found that, if anything, the mainstream media were not a good source of information on the case. CNN and ABC published a few articles on the case, but those were far from being objectively informative.  From there the quality of the media sources deteriorated, to sources that I don’t usually use as sources of reliable information, and worse.

The renewed wave of public awareness and concern about the case made me curious.  What was so special about this case of murder, that the level of public awareness and concern about it, a single case, would demand half and more of all the attention that the public was willing to direct to close to 20,000 murder cases a year in the US?

If the usual media sources fail to provide objective and complete information that lives up to journalistic standards, why not bypass them all and go directly to a reliable source of politically correct information, that will point to sources, Wikipedia

What I learned from a good number of sources

There is a wide range of opinions. Some maintain that Cyntoia Brown,

  • Is an innnocent victim of circumstances involving, amongst others, being sex-trafficked as a minor;
  • Had to defend herself against being raped and – in fear for her life – felt forced to kill her rapist;
  • Took her victim’s money – not knowing what she was doing, whereupon she
  • Was unjustly tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison (which, in Tennessee, results in a minimum term of 51 years).

Given that I have no access to court transcripts or witness reports in her case, I have to make do with what Wikipedia has on offer regarding the case.  A different picture emerged: Cyntoia Brown,

  • Was born of an unknown father to a mother who consumed alcohol while pregnant and was a crack addict while she raised her daughter;
  • Was given up for adoption at age 16;
  • Ran away from her adoptive mother at age 16;
  • Decided to choose a job as an adult, in the time-honoured profession of a prostitute;
  • Contracted for a night of sex (at the price of US$150) with her victim-to-be;
  • Shot her victim in the back of the head, while he was sleeping, using a handgun she happened to carry in her purse;
  • Took another US$172 of her victim’s money;
  • Took her victim’s money, firearms and a vehicle, as well as a Ford F150 pick-up truck, all of which she then took back to her pimp;
  • Was arrested, indicted, tried as an adult for murder in the 1st degree and sentenced to life, whereupon 
  • She had, ten years later, a parole hearing, with the members of the parole board split three ways

Fanning public awareness

It now appears that pop-media figures, notably Rihanna and Kim Kardashian, wish to use the case of Cyntoia Brown to bolster their flagging public appeal, by generating public awareness and sympathy for Cyntoia Brown’s case. Google Trends gives a fairly good indication of how well that social-media campaign is working out, which leaves innocent bystanders with a puzzle.

Mob justice or law and order

Why does anyone think that fanning a massive media campaign that appears to be once more gathering momentum will serve justice by substituting mob appeal and public pressure for equitable justice? Will self-appointed, non-elected arbiters be reasonably good substitutes for elected and respected judges and state governors? If that is the case, then why not work to abolish law and order, to substitute a system of mob justice administered through trials by social media, so as to put the administration of justice directly into the hands of the people?

Who needs justice, law and order, when the will of the mob will do – triggered and steered by people who make profitable careers out of attention seeking?


#SocialMediaCampaignForCyntoiaBrown

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Posted in Judiciary, Media Bias, Propaganda Exposed, Single-Parent, Women's Violence | 2 Comments

Mercenary ‘victim’ uses parking lot theatrics

Mercenary ‘victim’ uses parking lot theatrics, without a doubt in the hope to make financial gains.  Be careful, when driving a car in a parking lot.  Ensure no one can accuse you of having hit a pedestrian.   Perhaps that is too much to hope for, but protect yourself.  Use a dashcam and make sure it is running all the time.

video of someone running at a car, jumping on the hood of it, and busting the windshield of the car, so as to fake having been hit by the car.
Faking being hit by a car

Government, law, jurisprudence and justice go together.  We hope that the first three lead to and result in objective justice, but nothing is perfect.  Objective justice can at best be nothing more than the most objective justice obtainable under the circumstances.  Under the worst circumstances it may be nothing more than outright tyrannical, absurd, capricious and unjust.  Objective justice does not necessarily possess all of those and more attributes but at least one or more.

There seems to be no clear gradation of the extent of objectivity of justice.  That is throughout the range of forms of governments from tyranny to democracy.  At the democratic end of the range, the outcomes of cases where justice is sought vary greatly with time and location.  That is true even for cases with equal extents of severity of specific crimes or transgressions.

The range of crimes brought to trial does not include all crimes.  Many crimes go undetected.  In many crimes no perpetrator is ever suspected, found, indicted and brought to trial.  On the other hand, a good number of criminal trials involve cases where no crime took place.  Still, a perpetrator got fingered and brought to trial in those cases without a crime. 

That can happen for a variety of reasons.  The most obvious one can be that an accuser is looking for financial gain, compensation for injuries that he claims he suffered but did not.  Whether such a claim will succeed depends on the quality of the evidence that is presented to support the claim.  It depends on what level of credibility is demanded by the court in which the claim is heard and will be judged. The outcome of any claim, false or not, depends even on whether the accused or accuser shows up at trial.

An accused party may not show up at his trial, without having given a good reason in advance of his absence.  If so, that virtually assures that a judgment against the accused will be handed down.  Conversely, if an accusing party does not show up for a trial in which the accusation is to be judged, it is virtually certain that the accusation will be dismissed.  Nevertheless, there can be other reasons for a dismissal of charges, before a scheduled trial begins.

In the beginning of the 1960s I worked in Korea. A lot of things were different there from what I had experienced.  I do remember people warning me about a specific principle of Korean law.  It was that, if one felt obliged to help to save someone from committing suicide, one could and most likely would be held legally responsible for the welfare of the individual he had saved.  If one were to drive a car, it would often happen that people would lay down on the pavement, waiting for a car to hit them, but, even more importantly, in the hope that a driver of a car would stop to inquire what was wrong, thereby to assume legal responsibility for the individual laying on the pavement. 

That seemed crazy to me, out of this world.  Little did I know that the same mercenary ‘victim’ approach would routinely come to be seen as an opportunity for unjust enrichment in Canada.  The peculiarities, vagaries and demands of Canadian jurisprudence prevent me from providing exact details of what happened in the following example.

Parking lot theatrics for monetary gain through exploitation of government services

In the summer of 2018, a friend of mine made a left-hand turn into a lane between two rows of parked cars.  That happened in the parking lot of a grocery store.  She was driving at the speed of about one or two miles per hour.  An individual on foot passed her on the passenger side of her car.  The ‘victim-to-be’ flopped herself down in front of my friend’s car.  My friend stopped her car, without having her car touch the ‘victim’.

The ‘victim’ on the pavement began to scream, “Is my head bleeding? Is my head bleeding?” My friend got out of her car.  She looked at what the
‘victim’ on the pavement was doing.  She saw that nothing was wrong with her, sat down in the car and waited for what would happen next.

Some friends of the drama queen on the pavement showed up and called the police and emergency services.  The police and an ambulance came, to check what the ‘accident’ was all about.  My friend handed over her driver’s licence and insurance card for examination by the police.  She received them back, along with a ticket for a traffic violation involving the making of an unsafe left turn.  The ticket gave an option to pay the fine or to show up at a specified court date and location.

My friend showed up on the specified court date, pleaded “not guilty” and received a date for a court hearing.  She went to court on that new date but had by then not yet received copies of the police’s accident report and related documentation.  (That was even though she had called the appropriate authorities and reminded them to make certain to send the required documents). 

We waited for her case to come up and heard the judge pronounce a good number of judgments before my friend’s turn came.  In about six or seven of the roughly 30 cases presented, the accused made no appearance, either in person or through a lawyer.  Deadlines for paying the fines were set, with pronouncements of the severity of jail sentences if no payment would be made by the deadline. 

Upon being asked, my friend told the judge that she was ready for her case.  The prosecutor said he was not.  He had not received any of the information he had requested from the police.  He had been unable to determine the reasons for that.  On account of that he asked that the case against my friend be dismissed.  The judge ruled accordingly, that the case was dismissed, telling my friend that she was free to go but would be welcome to remain and watch the rest of the proceedings.  We did that, until the court adjourned for a discussion and for lunch.  We left for home, much relieved.

Was justice served?

My concern now is, although the law was without a doubt administered correctly, whether in my friend’s case justice was served.

After the court hearing, my friend called a number of people involved or interested in the aftermath of the court hearing: the neighbour who had offered to drive her and her car home after the ‘accident’ that wasn’t, the insurance company’s accident investigator, and others whose interest in the case better remains undisclosed, because there is still a civil court claim in the works for an amount of damages and compensation that is unknown to my friend.

My impressions of those remaining aspects of the case are purely hearsay and don’t have the hope of a snowball in hell to be admissible (let alone stand up) in court.  They are these:

  • The police feel that the ‘victim’ staged the accident;
  • Witnesses think the ‘victim’ staged the accident;
  • The emergency response team found no evidence of any injuries received by the ‘victim’;
  • The hospital to where the ‘victim’ was taken for a more thorough examination found no evidence of any injuries received,  but
  • The ‘victim’ lawyered-up and is pursuing a claim for compensation, of which a portion will likely be paid.

Without a doubt, everything is being done according to the letter of the law, but there is no doubt that the gaming of Canadian jurisprudence for financial gain is a very real, profitable concern.  That does justice a disservice.  Not only that, but thousands of dollars worth of time and services by a large number of individuals and agencies have been, are being and will still be spent by many in catering to the consequences of a claim of self-inflicted ‘injuries’ that are in the range from at most extremely slight and undetectable to non-existent and imaginary.

Expected outcomes

This is my assessment of the final outcome to be expected in this case: 

The cost of the consequences of the allegations into which my friend and many other parties had been unsuspectingly dragged will run into many thousands of dollars.  The undeserving ‘victim’ will skim off from that as much as she can.  She is quite likely to be able to do that.  The money is there for such cases.  All it takes is an allegation and the gumption to stick to them.  We all have to pay, through higher insurance contributions, increased taxes and lost time.

Will my expectations be met?  The next two years or so will tell whether they are on the mark.  It seems that the only thing open to question is how much more the cost of this case will amount to before it is over.  I will provide updates as new information becomes available.


#FakingAnAccident

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Posted in Corruption, Economy, False Allegations, Judiciary | 6 Comments