Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Archive for September 2008

Tilting at windmills with effect

with 6 comments

I have just finished reading an advance copy of Paul Palango’s new book: entitled Dispersing the Fog: Inside the Secret World of Ottawa and the RCMP. 

Palango, who is no stranger to anyone interested in the RCMP and the problems that have befallen this national icon, walks the reader through a series of cases that have dominated the news headlines. From the Mahar Arar debacle through Project Sidewinder and up to the murder of the Mayerthorpe Four, Palango looks carefully at the reasons the RCMP keeps taking it on the chin.

But it is so much more than a look inside the travails of Canada’s national police force.  It is really an examination behind the scenes and the politicization of the RCMP to suit the needs of the real power behind the throne in Canada and he lays bare the systemic corruption that has everything to do with power and money for a small group and little or nothing to do with what is right for the country. 

Palango methodically strips away the layers of obfuscation and lays bare the fabric of lies that ultimately ensures the RCMP can never be what Canada really needs of our national police force.

I have long described the RCMP as 133 years of tradition unhampered by progress and Palango nails it as he takes the reader on a roller coaster ride through some of the biggest headlines of the last decade. 

The book, published by Key Porter Books, will be in bookstores in early November.  If you care about Canada, read this book.  Palango takes the reader inside the corridors of power and shines a light on the cockroaches that inhabit them.

The RCMP have already begun discreet inquiries to try and determine who may have given Palango information used in this book.  And that, in and of itself, illustrates what is wrong with the Force.  They are a fundamentally flawed, dysfunctional organization.  Instead of trying to fix their myriad of issues outlined by Palango, they initiated a witch-hunt to find out who let the cat out of the bag. 

Palango has done a significant service to the country with his work on this book.  He should receive the Order of Canada for his efforts.  Instead, I fear he will be attacked mercilessly for his efforts by those who believe they are entitled to their entitlements.

Wait for it, unfortunately.

Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

September 29, 2008 at 6:04 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

An affront to the brave

with 14 comments

Being Canadian means having to accept stupidity disguised as political correctness.

I have spent much of this week on planes moving between Alberta and BC and back and forth. I was making my way at Calgary Airport to the baggage carrousal the other day and I watched a number of soldiers in battle fatigues clearing security on their way to the front lines of the war on terror being waged by extreme Islamist thugs against western democracies.

In the same week as an addle-brained spokesman for the Taliban claimed they were targetting Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan deliberately in order to have an effect on the current federal election campaign, I watched as our soldiers were being subjected to physical searches by CATSA security guards with names like Ali and Mahmoud. The female baggage screener wore a Muslim head scarf.

There was something wholly incongruous and hypocritical about what I saw.

I harbour no illusions about the efficacy of airport security in Canada. There is no doubt is it little more than an expensive pantomine to create the illusion of security for the travelling public in the post-9/11 world. But, really, couldn't we really add some actual effect to the illusion?

And I have to admit that it just pissed me off to watch a Canadian soldier who has been security cleared to a level the CATSA guard could never aspire to, being searched, in combat uniform, before getting on a plane to defend this country from the religious zealots who threaten the world and are connected by faith to the very guards supposedly protecting our flying public.

Never mind Sharia and the male dominance over the female of the species, how is it possible that political correctness can trump security in this day and age?

It's an an absolute mystery and an affront to those soldiers in combat uniform heading to a war zone who had to submit to the searches.

I was ashamed to be Canadian as I watched the scene. Unfortunately, it was not the first time.

Leo Knight

– Leo Knight on Blackberry

Written by Leo Knight

September 14, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Spin bears no relation to the truth

with 2 comments

Well, election madness is upon us, whether we wanted it or not.  And one of the things we know inherently is that we are about to be subjected to spin on an unprecedented scale.

I received this email yesterday that I thought worth sharing with you.  I thought it particularly poignant.

Hi Leo,

I just watched a local news station do a story on the dirty politics between Stephane Dion and the conservative government.  They actually said that Dion wanted to “increase” the restrictions on several kinds of firearms, “including the type that was used in the Montreal Dawson College shooting.”  Then the story ends and they go on with the next really quickly to a service for those who recently lost their lives in the CF.

What many people don’t already know is that at the time that massacre occurred, those Beretta Storm’s were restricted firearms.  Now they are already prohibited, at least according to my local gun store.  As are all bullpup arms.  So how can they increase any further restrictions on a prohibited firearm?

This upsets me because they don’t bother to explain to the public the difference between non-restricted, restricted, and prohibited.  They just use an angle that serves their purpose — at the shameful expense of those victims.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could do a blog entry on firearms and this liberal spin thats been going through the news and schools.  Criminals don’t get guns by going through the RCMP, they illegally import them, or steal them from registered lawful owners because of the registry itself.  Granted, handguns have been registered for decades, but this longarm registry needs to go — and besides, you can’t hide a 44″ to 48″ rifle in your pants.  There are big lists by the NRA using real statistics to show that its better for us to be a lawfully armed society.  They show that as criminals are more comfortable with the idea that you are not armed, crime increases.  And saying that guns kill people is like saying spoons made Oprah fat.  If there weren’t guns and people were so dead-set on killing, there would be knives, and thats already a problem.  But a person who thinks of pulling a knife on a lawful citizen who might have a carry licence would think several times before doing something stupid.  You can sort in a list the States in an increasing order of gun control, and they are nearly the same states with the same order of increasing crime.  That should speak volumes, but the majority of people in Canada don’t recognize that each state have set their own laws, and the states where people are allowed to carry, there is virtually zero crime.

I do agree that in Canada there should remain laws about concealed weapons.  We should be a shall-carry instead of a may-carry society, and wear it proudly on our hip as a symbol of lawfulness.  But for whatever reason they think we’ll have shootouts and high noon duelings, even though dueling (with guns or swords) has been illegal for a very long time.  That is, mutually agreeing to a fight without fists.  Mutual agreement of any public display of violence should be against the law, and it is in regards to disturbing the peace.  But we get youtube’s of schoolyard fights and the person who never wanted to fight at all has to save face and pretend it was ok on camera.

The “40 reasons for gun control” posted around the magazines, people don’t see that it was written as a criticism for gun control.  You have probably seen it around but if you haven’t I’ll attach it below for your own humour.

Thank you very much for reading,
I enjoy reading you,
Jay Demmery

40 Reasons For Gun Control 
Significant portions of this article are excerpted from Michael Z. Williamson’s excellent and witty piece, “It’s amazing what one has to believe to believe in gun control” 
1. Banning guns works, which is why New York, DC, & Chicago cops need guns.

2. Washington DC’s low murder rate of 69 per 100,000 is due to strict gun control, and Indianapolis’ high murder rate of 9 per 100,000 is due to the lack of gun control.

3. Statistics showing high murder rates justify gun control but statistics showing increasing murder rates after gun control are “just statistics.”

4. The Brady Bill and the Assault Weapons Ban, both of which went into effect in 1994 are responsible for the decrease in violent crime rates, which have been declining since 1991.

5. We must get rid of guns because a deranged lunatic may go on a shooting spree at any time and anyone who would own a gun out of fear of such a lunatic is paranoid.

6. The more helpless you are the safer you are from criminals.

7. An intruder will be incapacitated by tear gas or oven spray, but if shot with a .357 Magnum will get angry and kill you.

8. A woman raped and strangled is morally superior to a woman with a smoking gun and a dead rapist at her feet.

9. When confronted by violent criminals, you should “put up no defense — give them what they want, or run” (Handgun Control Inc. Chairman Pete Shields, Guns Don’t Die – People Do, 1981, p.125).

10. The New England Journal of Medicine is filled with expert advice about guns; just like Guns & Ammo has some excellent treatises on heart surgery.

11. One should consult an automotive engineer for safer seatbelts, a civil engineer for a better bridge, a surgeon for internal medicine, a computer programmer for hard drive problems, and Sarah Brady for firearms expertise.

12. The 2nd Amendment, ratified in 1787, refers to the National Guard, which was created 130 years later, in 1917.

13. The National Guard, federally funded, with bases on federal land, using federally-owned weapons, vehicles, buildings and uniforms, punishing trespassers under federal law, is a “state” militia.

14. These phrases: “right of the people peaceably to assemble,” “right of the people to be secure in their homes,” “enumerations herein of certain rights shall not be construed to disparage others retained by the people,” and “The powers not delegated herein are reserved to the states respectively, and to the people” all refer to individuals, but “the right of the people to keep and bear arm” refers to the state.

15. “The Constitution is strong and will never change.” But we should ban and seize all guns thereby violating the 2nd, 4th, and 5th Amendments to that Constitution.

16. Rifles and handguns aren’t necessary to national defense! Of course, the army has hundreds of thousands of them.

17. Private citizens shouldn’t have handguns, because they aren’t “military weapons”, but private citizens shouldn’t have “assault rifles”, because they are military weapons.

18. In spite of waiting periods, background checks, finger printing, government forms, etc., guns today are too readily available, which is responsible for recent school shootings. In the 1940’s, 1950’s and1960’s, anyone could buy guns at hardware stores, army surplus stores, gas stations, variety stores, Sears mail order, no waiting, no background check, no fingerprints, no government forms and there were no school shootings.

19. The NRA’s attempt to run a “don’t touch” campaign about kids handling guns is propaganda, but the anti-gun lobby’s attempt to run a “don’t touch” campaign is responsible social activity.

20. Guns are so complex that special training is necessary to use them properly, and so simple to use that they make murder easy.

21. A handgun, with up to 4 controls, is far too complex for the typical adult to learn to use, as opposed to an automobile that only has 20.

22. Women are just as intelligent and capable as men but a woman with a gun is “an accident waiting to happen” and gun makers’ advertisements aimed at women are “preying on their fears.”

23. Ordinary people in the presence of guns turn into slaughtering butchers but revert to normal when the weapon is removed.

24. Guns cause violence, which is why there are so many mass killings at gun shows.

25. A majority of the population supports gun control, just like a majority of the population supported owning slaves.

26. Any self-loading small arm can legitimately be considered to be a “weapon of mass destruction” or an “assault weapon.”

27. Most people can’t be trusted, so we should have laws against guns, which most people will abide by because they can be trusted.

28. The right of Internet pornographers to exist cannot be questioned because it is constitutionally protected by the Bill of Rights, but the use of handguns for self defense is not really protected by the Bill of Rights.

29. Free speech entitles one to own newspapers, transmitters, computers, and typewriters, but self-defense only justifies bare hands.

30. The ACLU is good because it uncompromisingly defends certain parts of the Constitution, and the NRA is bad, because it defends other parts of the Constitution.

31. Charlton Heston, a movie actor as president of the NRA is a cheap lunatic who should be ignored, but Michael Douglas, a movie actor as a representative of Handgun Control, Inc. is an ambassador for peace who is entitled to an audience at the UN arms control summit.

32. Police operate with backup within groups, which is why they need larger capacity pistol magazines than do “civilians” who must face criminals alone and therefore need less ammunition.

33. We should ban “Saturday Night Specials” and other inexpensive guns because it’s not fair that poor people have access to guns too.

34. Police officers have some special Jedi-like mastery over hand guns that private citizens can never hope to obtain.

35. Private citizens don’t need a gun for self-protection because the police are there to protect them even though the Supreme Court says the police are not responsible for their protection.

36. Citizens don’t need to carry a gun for personal protection but police chiefs, who are desk-bound administrators who work in a building filled with cops, need a gun.

37. “Assault weapons” have no purpose other than to kill large numbers of people. The police need assault weapons. You do not.

38. When Microsoft pressures its distributors to give Microsoft preferential promotion, that’s bad; but when the Federal government pressures cities to buy guns only from Smith & Wesson, that’s good.

39. Trigger locks do not interfere with the ability to use a gun for defensive purposes, which is why you see police officers with one on their duty weapon.

40. Handgun Control, Inc. says they want to “keep guns out of the wrong hands.” Guess what? You have the wrong hands.

Written by Leo Knight

September 10, 2008 at 5:36 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

A day late and a dollar short

with 2 comments

I was sent a web link today to a recently launched website disturbingly critical of the Calgary Police Service.  I looked at the website and am very troubled not only by the content, but by the fact they have linked as though we are somehow a part of this vitriolic diatribe.  

For the record, has absolutely nothing to do with and I fervently decry any connection to anyone who would dare to publish such a site unsupported by evidence.  
In looking at the information published, little seems new.  Rather, it all appears to be a regurgitation of things that happened on former chief Jack Beaton’s watch.  Beaton deserved to be criticized and I wasn’t shy doing just that.  But he has retired and there is a new Chief Constable.  And the new Chief Constable seems, to this observer at least, to be making a lot of right moves.  
No police department is perfect and no one should expect perfection of the Calgary Police Service. But, since the departure of Jack Beaton and the installation of Rick Hanson as Chief, the CPS is in the best shape it has been in since the early 90’s. 
I don’t know who or what is behind the publication of the website but I can suggest that whoever it is is still fighting a battle that is long since over.  He or she just doesn’t seem to realize that simple truth.
There were a great many reasons to criticize the CPS under Jack Beaton.  The current effort seems to be a day late and a dollar short.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

September 2, 2008 at 1:55 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment

Business as usual for the Godfather of the House

with 55 comments

What really amazes me is that even in disgrace, former Liberal cabinet minister, Quebec party bagman and quite possibly the most corrupt politician this country has ever seen, Alfonso Gagliano, was able to extract a $500,000 loan from an obscure arm of the federal government called Farm Credit Canada to buy a vineyard, apparently.

Gagliano was the central figure in the Adscam debacle which ultimately undid two Liberal Prime Ministers, though both deny that essential and plainly obviously fact. He was also named by FBI snitch and career mobster Frank Lino, as a “made” guy and member of the Bonnano crime family.  
Is it true? I don’t know. But I do know that he had much to cozy a relationship with Augustino Cuntrera when he was the accountant for some companies of the family dubbed the “Rothchilds of the Mafia.”  He was also a founding member, along with Cuntrera, and on the executive of a “club” called the Siculiana / Cattolica Eraclea Society in the 90’s.  I also know that Lino had no reason to lie at that point.
Gagliano came out denying it all in the media claiming Italian discrimination.  Really, it’s all a plot against the Italians.  He threatened a lawsuit, but none was forthcoming.  One suspects that was because he could never allow himself to be cross-examined on the question.  Unlike our Human Rights kangaroo courts – oops sorry – tribunals, in civil court the truth is an absolute defence.
Well, the “Godfather” of Parliament no longer has his “walk and talks” out behind the Parliamentary library as he smokes his cigars.  But apparently, he is still able to reach into the bowels of government and extract his “taste” as needed.
Leo Knight

Written by Leo Knight

September 1, 2008 at 3:15 am

Posted in Crime & Punishment