E.U. Punishes Memberstates for Daring to Exercise Soverignty

Hungarian Parliament Building

(September 12, 2018), The European Union has triggered Article 7 of the Lisbon Treaty.

Many reasons were given, but it is widely believed that the main one has to do with immigration. Hungary has blatantly refused to accept forced migration quotas, and has run on a “Hungary for Hungarians” platform. While Victor Orban’s policy is extremely popular, and helped his re-election in April, the E.U. is angered at the open defiance.

Nationalism is alive and well in Europe. Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic are 4 central European nations known as the “Visegrad 4”. They are against open borders. Sebastian Kurz in Austria and Matteo Salvini in Italy recently won on populist platforms. Hungary is hardly alone.

While the E.U. professes outrage, Orban is actually running on the agenda he specifically set out to do. He sealed Hungary’s borders and stopped 99% of the illegal immigration. He has also stopped all funding for illegal migrants, and banned NGOs from aiding and abetting. While claiming these to be “human rights abuses”, it seems there is little the E.U. can do about it.

To give some perspective, there are many more legal hurdles to clear before anything actually happens. Poland, for example, had Article 7 triggered against it in December 2017, almost a year ago, see here, and also see here. Yet nothing has actually happened.

But ultimately, Hungary could lose its voting rights within the E.U. (as could Poland). Should this happen, they would be subjected to laws which they have no say in enacting or repealing.

Critics have loudly advised Hungary and Poland should just leave the European Union altogether. In 2016, the UK invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in order to begin to leave the EU. Nigel Farage of the UK, and Marine Le Pen of France openly mock the E.U. as violating the will of sovereign European nations.

More insight to the European Union and their laws will be given on a future article.

    Author’s Views

: From my perspective as a Canadian tourist, an integrated Europe and common currency does make travel, movement, and purchasing easier. However, it is disappointing to see how much sovereignty is eroded in the name of “unity”. A nation should be able to control its own borders, currency, language, culture, economy and way of life. While this union may have at one time been useful, it is undermining the autonomy and independence of the host countries.

Ontario Gov’t Using Notwithstanding Clause to Shrink Toronto City Council (Bill 5)

Ontario Premier Doug Ford. (Source: HuffPost)

Ontario’s new Conservative Premier Doug Ford is attempting to shrink the Toronto City Council almost in half (from 47 to 25 members).  The main argument is that the ever expanding size of the council does nothing to actually improve representation and effectiveness.  Rather, it just leads to increased staff and costs for taxpayers.

Faith Goldy, currently running for Mayor of Toronto in October 22 election posted a YouTube video seen HERE, commenting on it.  An amusing video.

On July 30, 2018, Bill 5, the “Better Local Government Act” got its first reading.  August 14 saw it receive 2nd and 3rd readings and be passed.  However, the Toronto City Council voted to proceed with a legal challenge against it in court.

The Council claimed that the bill violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  See HERE for a link to the text of the Charter.

On September 10, an Ontario Superior Court Judge ruled that the Provincial Government’s decision violated Section 2(b) of the Charter, which states:  Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: …… (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;”.  Specifically, the Judge ruled that the Bill violated Torontonians’ right to “freedom of expression”.

To put it in more detail, because of the ongoing Mayoral and Council elections, cutting the Council size, it substantially interfered with municipal voters’ freedom of expression and the “right to cast a vote that can result in effective representation”.

However, the Ontario Government has decided to re-introduce the Bill, and instead rely on a different part of the Canadian Charter, Section 33, which is the “Notwithstanding Clause”.  In short, this provision allows a Provincial or Federal Government to pass laws even though a Court considers them unconstitutional.  33(1) reads as follows:

 (1) Parliament or the legislature of a province may expressly declare in an Act of Parliament or of the legislature, as the case may be, that the Act or a provision thereof shall operate notwithstanding a provision included in section 2 or sections 7 to 15 of this Charter.”

To be fair, Section 33(3) of the Charter states that legislation passed this way will cease to have effect after 5 years.

The “Notwithstanding Clause” has been a part of the Charter since its inception, but has very rarely been used.

Application of Charter
32. (1) This Charter applies

(a) to the Parliament and government of Canada in respect of all matters within the authority of Parliament including all matters relating to the Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories; and

(b) to the legislature and government of each province in respect of all matters within the authority of the legislature of each province.

There is an interesting twist to this story: The Charter effects both the Federal Government, and the Provinces and Territories. (See above for Section 32). However, Canada is also governed by the Principle of Paramouncy. In short, in the cases of competing laws, the highest power will succeed. Put plainly, Federal law tops Provincial law, and Provincial law tops Municipal law. There is a good deal of logic to this, as Federal law would mean nothing if cities and Provinces could simply legislate their way aroung it.

An exception to this of course: is that the various levels of power cannot legislate if doing so steps outside their legal boundaries. Sections 91 and 92 of the Constitution spell out exactly whose powers are whose.

Hypothetically, the Federal Government could invoke “their” Notwithstanding Clause in order to override “Ontario’s” Notwithstanding Clause. But that doesn’t seem to be happening, at least for now.

A very interesting use of the Notwithstanding Clause. Shows at least the Ontario Government is serious about cutting the size of government. We shall keep an eye on it.

AN UPDATE TO THE STORY: On, September 19, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeals stayed the order of the Ontario Superior Court, effectively giving Premier Ford the go ahead to shrink Toronto City Council. An interesting note here — while the Court of Appeals did say that shrinking the Council in the middle of a municipal election was unfair, unfairness by itself is not a reason to stop Bill 5.

Other Legal Posts on TJMK

Some earlier work worth sharing:

Before starting this site up, I had been contributing to truejustice.org, CLICK HERE, for a few years. The site is well worth reading through, and contains dozens and dozens of English translations of Italian court documents and transcripts.

This is a site, edited by Peter Quennell, devoted to showing the truth to the world of murder victim, Meredith Kercher, who was stabbed to death on November 1, 2007. Rudy Guede is still serving time for her murder, while his accomplices, Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito, got off due to “judge shopping” by defence counsel.

The site attracts readers and contributors from all areas of the world, and many professionals, such as doctors and lawyers.

Here are some of the more relevant links on comparative law, between Italian law and English Common Law:

(1) CLICK HERE, for a comparison to Canadian criminal law

(2) CLICK HERE, information on perjury, and making false accusations.

(3) CLICK HERE, for bail, extradition, and other crimes.

(4) CLICK HERE, for the U.S and Canada v. Italy.

(5) CLICK HERE, for differences in criminal appeals between Canada/U.S. and Italy.

(6) CLICK HERE, differences in double jeopardy between Canada and the U.S.

(7) CLICK HERE, for a landmark ruling on rights of self represented persons in Canada.

While the ongoing murder case was of course the main focus of the truejustice.org website, there was much discussion on how different Italian law was from the British Common Law countries. As such, it was interesting to do a compare and contrast series with these different systems.

Again, the TJMK website is definitely worth a serious read, for anyone interested in knowing the full truth of the murder case.

Bake my Damn Cake — Or Else — You Should Sue the State?

Jack Philips, the owner of the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood Colorado is the owner of the infamous “Gay Cake” refusal.

Quite simply, he refused to create a wedding cake for 2 men, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, about to marry.  He reasoned that he would have to act against his religious beliefs.

Craig and Mullins filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission (similar to Privincial human rights commissions, in Canada).  It ruled against Philips, claiming religion was just an excuse to justify bigotry.

So, Philips took his case to the Colorado Court of Appeals.  The C.C.A. ruled that no religion had to be endorsed, but that service couldn’t be refused on protected grounds, such sexual orientation.

Finally, the case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which eventually ruled in the baker’s favour.  However, critics complain that the ruling was on overly narrow grounds and did not actually make much of a precident.  It wouldn’t address questions for florists, photographers, caterers, or others with a similar dilemma.  The Supreme Court did however find the Civil Rights Commission was overly hostile to Philips.

Some media background can be found here,
here, here, and here.

The ruling sparked mixed opinions.  Philips claims he has since had people calling to make ridiculous cakes, such as Satan cakes and cakes in the form of sex objects.

But now, Jack Philips is back in the news, and for basically the same reason: refusing to bake a cake for a transgender person named Autumn Scardina, celebrating the 7th anniversary of a gender change.

However, there is more than just a whiff of a conflict of interest here.  Scardina is a lawyer whose firm does cases of employment disputes.

The Colorado Civil Rights Commission has ruled that in principle this appears to be a discrimination case.  So it would seem that matters will be heading down the same road as before.

However, Philips has decided to take a new approach here: suing governor Jerry Hickenlooper and other government officials, claiming religious persecution seen .

here.

It will be interesting to see how things play out.

Author’s Views:  To disclose outright, I believe that the baker should be able to refuse or accept any deal they want, and to accept or reject any business they want.  It would be different if it were a government agency, or a monopoly.  Several questions I must ask.

(1) As for the gay couple, why not simply find another baker?  While it may be annoying to you, why not take your money and business to someone else?

(2) If you wanted others to know about this baker, why would it be necessary to sue him or go to the Civil Rights Commission?  Was the purpose to harm his business?

(3) Part of the backlash against letting gay couples marry in 2015 was the claim (derided as paranoia) that it would lead to religious freedom being stepped on.  Does this not prove that claim right?

(4) Regarding Autumn Scardina and the transgender cake: why go to this “specific” baker, when you knew about the case?

(5) Was it an attempt to get money from him and/or to further harm his business?  Or to use your law firm to make a political point?

(6) As for both the gay cake and the trans cake: do you really want the cake for your “big day” to be made by somebody you filed a civil rights claim against?  It’s not like he cares about keeping your business.

Ontario Universities Ordered to Protect Free Speech, of Face Budget Cuts

Ontario’s new Premier, Conservative Doug Ford, ordered colleges and universities across the province to come up with free speech policies.

They have until January 1, 2019 (one semester), to comply.

This is welcome news at least in principle.   Free speech must unrestricted, otherwise it no longer is free.

The original program from TV Ontario, a publicly funded show

Audio of the infamous Shepherd/Rambukanna/Pimlott/Joel recording

Lindsay Shepherd/Dave Rubin, Decemebr 1, 2017.

It will be interesting to see the policy once it is actually fleshed out, and how the schools will deal with it.

Further, will schools still be able to censor (even if on a reduced basis) by claiming that topics are hate speech or inciting violence?

It will be of interest to read up on the Chicago Principles, aka the Chicago Statement, which serves as a model for free speech and open inquiry in the U.S.

To fully understand this proposal, some backstory and context is necessary for the readers.

One of the main incidents was in November 2017, when Wilfred Laurier University graduate student Lindsay Shepherd made international news.  The Waterloo university staff had reprimanded her for showing part of a TVO clip (which was public TV anyway).

Needless to say the incident (which was recorded), caused a backlash against WLU specifically, and universities generally.  Lindsay herself made many media appearances, and took free speech/open inquiry as a calling.

Shepherd founded the Laurier Society for Open Inquiry, L-SOI, and has deliberately sought speakers with different and controversial viewpoints.   One event was a debate on pro-choice v.s. pro-life.

However, one event was cancelled when Faith Goldy was scheduled to talk, on March 20.

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/03/20/faith-goldy-talk-at-wilfrid-laurier-university-shut-down-by-fire-alarm-after-protest.html

As an aside, Lindsay Shepherd and Jordan Peterson (the prof referred to as ”Hitler”), both have legal claims pending against Wilfrid Laurier University, and the 3 staff members from the meeting: Nathan Rambukkana, Herbert Pimlott, Adria Joel.

Suppression of free speech is not at all limited to Canadian schools.    There are many examples of this happening in the U.S. as well.

(a) In 2015, Mizzou (University of Missouri), was involved in a series a race-related events.   It also involved a faculty member, Melissa Click, asking to ”get some muscle over here” to remove a journalist covering an event.

(b) In 2017, there were violent riots across Berkeley University in Berkely, California.  Berkeley holds its ”free speech week” every year.   Typically conservative and controversial speakers are invited to give new views to students.  While protests are frequent, this onethis one ended in arson, when Milo Yiannopoulis came to speak.

(c) In 2017, In Evergreen State College (in Olympia, Washington), biology professor Bret Weinstein actually caused a mob takeover of the school when he emailed that the ”day of action” was a bad policy.  This was a day where whites were to ”leave for a day”, an inversion of the ”day of absence”, where black students and faculty leave for a day.

(d) Less dramatic incidents of speakers being shouted down are  rampant throughout the news and on YouTube.  An interesting observation is that it is almost exclusively ”left-wing” protesters trying to silence ”right-wing” speakers.

Author’s Note:  This is certainly a step in the right direction.  While I certainly applaud any news the promotes and defends free speech, there are many details I would love to ask Premier Ford.  Here are a few:

(1) Will colleges/universities still be able to ban groups they do not agree with, such as men’s issues awareness, and pro-life groups?  Will they be able to weasel around this law by saying it ”protects marginalized people”?

Canadian Universities Fighting Against Free Speech and Free Association in Court

(2) Will colleges/universities still be able to ban political groups and talks it disagrees with?  One such example being University of Toronto banning the Canadian Nationalist Party, even though the founder specifically says they are not a race-based party.

U of T bars Canadian Nationalist Party from hosting rally on campus

(3) What measures will be put in place to ensure that colleges/universities can’t still suppress free speech under false claims of hate or bigotry?

(4) How will this actually be enforced?

I left university years ago.  Thankfully, as a STEM student I largely avoided this nonsense.  However, evidence of attempted suppression is everywhere.  I too despise actual hate speech and calls to violence, but false claims seem to be a convenient tactic to simply silence dissenting views from being heard. Still, this is a promising step.

Interestingly, Shepherd herself has questioned the merit and effect of “forcing” universities and colleges to adopt free speech guidelines. After all, how committed can they really be?

Chris Cuomo of CNN Defends Antifa Violence, Free Speech be Damned


(From Bearing)


(From Fox News)

Yes, this is old by the time that this post goes up.  However, just putting in my 2 cents.

Chris Cuomo, a ”Journalist” working on the American station CNN, shocked the U.S. public by defending the group Antifa.

This group showed up for ”Unite the Right 2”, in Charlottesville, where white nationalists were going to march.  This was on the anniversary of the violence last year that left 1 dead, and many injured.

However, there were only about 25 white nationalists, who left quite quickly.  But there were thousands of counter-demonstraters, seemingly with no one to stop.

Without an enemy to oppose, Antifa decided to attack members of the public, including journalists.

Antifa, short for Anti-Fascist, or (anti first amendment, as it is often denegraded), is a left wing semi-organised Communist group that has a lengthy history of committing violent acts to shut down speakers they accuse of ”hate speech” or of ”endangering others”.

While Antifa is mostly known in the U.S., there are branches of it that operate in other western countries.

Yes, preventing violence …. by engaging in violence.

Of course, this makes sense because they conflate ”ideas” with actual ”violence”.  Others speaking right leaning ideas is violence apparently.

What is truly disgusting this that Cuomo, who pretends to be a journalist, has gone full blown activist by defending the group, saying that their violence is not the same — morally — as people preaching hate.

    Author’s Views
There are very disturbing facts about Cuomo’s monologue.

First: Cuomo is a journalist, at least he claims to be.  The 1st Amendment is sacrosanct in the American way of life, enshrining free speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and freedom of association and assembly.  The 1st Amendment is something necessary to protect free speech and a free press.  How a journalist on a major news network shrugs that off is stunning.

Second: Cuomo doesn’t believe that people shouting hate should have the right to speak.  Certain people are disgusting, yes, but they do have the right to speak their vile garbage.  Words, unless they are: (1) threats; or (2) a call to violence are not actual violence.  Sickening, but yes, this is a defense to racist people.

Third: Cuomo, in his monologue, omits that Antifa routinely attacks people who are right leaning, though not white supremacists.   This happens to speakers such as Ben Shapiro, Milo Yiannopolous, Ann Coulter, and many others.  Being an outspoken conservative does not equate to being a nazi.

Fourth: Cuomo seems fairly indifferent to Antifa attacking innocent bystanders, and yes, even journalists.  Perhaps collateral damage is okay as long as the intent is good.

Fifth: Cuomo is disingenuously being selective about which violence is ”wrong”, and which is ”morally right”.  Double standards should not exist if one is morally consistent.

Sixth: Cuomo omits that Antifa has been classfied as a terrorist organization by the Department of Homeland Security.  Yes, the Feds consider them terrorists.

Seventh: Cuomo doesn’t seem to register that these ”defenders of the people” almost always conceal their faces with masks or bandannas, yet the ”bad guys” never do.  Odd.

My thought is that censorship should be a last resort, not a first.  It is very unsettling that some are completely fine with taking away people’s right to speak.  Calling someone a racist, or calling their words or ideas hate speech doesn’t make it so.   And even if it is, why start down the path of censorship?

Wise words: I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it.

Chris Cuomo is a disgrace to journalism.