Saturday, December 7, 2013

Will freedom of expression come to Canada?

OCLA's principled letter to the AG of Ontario...

By Denis G. Rancourt

Political agents across the left-right spectrum in the USA, including left public intellectual Noam Chomsky, positively advance the USA as being the modern society with the greatest protections for free speech.

In the USA, expression of opinion is absolutely protected, as is all expression except in limited areas (LINK):

Criticism of the government and advocacy of unpopular ideas that people may find distasteful or against public policy are almost always permitted. There are exceptions to these general protections, including the Miller test for obscenity, child pornography laws, speech that incites imminent lawless action, and regulation of commercial speech such as advertising. Within these limited areas, other limitations on free speech balance rights to free speech and other rights, such as rights for authors and inventors over their works and discoveries (copyright and patent), protection from imminent or potential violence against particular persons (restrictions on fighting words), or the use of untruths to harm others (slander). Distinctions are often made between speech and other acts which may have symbolic significance.

Canada, on the other hand, has not been so fortunate. It is stuck with a far more backward remnant of the common law tort of defamation (LINK):

Libel law developed in an ancient era which we would today consider backward, tyrannical and repressive. It is rooted in 16th and 17th century criminal statutes protecting nobility from criticism. Cases of political libel and eventually damages actions were handled by the infamous Star Chamber until its abolition in 1641. By the end of that century, many elements of the common law of libel we would recognize today had been established.

Under the common law of defamation in Canada, when a plaintiff claims defamation for some insult or opinion, then damages and malice are presumed (malice of defamation versus express malice), and the defendant has the onus to prove his or her innocence based on strictly limited defences allowed in the common law.

In Canada, the courts had the occasion to significantly reform the common law of defamation when the legal landscape was changed by the introduction of the 1982 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, but have steadfastly refused to do so, in ruling after ruling.

Instead, incremental changes have been installed that further entrench the common law of defamation in its egregious reverse onus stance, such as the new "responsible journalism" defence -- introduced with great fanfare, after most other common law jurisdictions (UK, Australia, etc.) had seen this particular light.

The common law tort of defamation is the only cause of action which assumes damages without any requirement to prove damages in the court. Other torts that address harm to reputation, such as the tort of malicious falsehood, do not assume damages.

Is there any hope that freedom of expression will ever come to Canada?

I can report recent evidence that may justify some hope: THIS RECENT LETTER of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association (independent from the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, and the CCLA position on the same matter) to the Attorney General of Canada's province of Ontario.

OCLA's letter is strong and principled. OCLA is refusing to ignore the elephant in the room.

Thus, there is hope. This (OCLA's letter) may be a start that could lead to the downfall of the Star Chamberesque jurisdiction of Canadian courts in matters of individual expression?

Denis G. Rancourt is the Self-Represented Litigants Workgroup Coordinator of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. He is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He practiced various areas of science which were funded by a national agency, has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. He has self-represented himself in several courts and tribunals: labour relations board, access to information appeals, municipal court, Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, Court of Appeal for Ontario, and filed motions at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Made in Canada legal system costs policy precludes access by design

By Denis G. Rancourt

The express policy and practice of legal costs payable by the losing party of any and all litigation steps in a Canadian legal action are unjust by design, and preclude access to justice, yet the Canadian legal establishment has been morbidly and steadfastly silent about this systemic perversion.

By a straightforward application of Foucaultian institutional analysis, one is required to conclude that the unstated true purpose of the Canadian legal system's costs rules and costs policy is to frustrate and deny access to the less financially endowed party in any legal battle, or to both parties of limited means when such is the case.

Chief Justice of Canada Beverley McLachlin goes on and on about the problem of limited "access to justice", with oblique references to high legal costs and to the increasing pressures on the courts, but without ever a word regarding the policy framework and judicial practice that are the root cause precluding access to justice.

In the Canadian judicial mind it is an article of faith that the legal system's motives are pure, and that this purity is actuated by constantly improved policy and practice that need not be subject to overriding critical analysis.

In the mind of the Chief Justice, "access to justice" is frustrated by growing legal costs and increasing demand for court services, often verbalized by legal practitioners as "the self-represented litigant crisis", without any hint that established rules and policies of the courts may actually be a structural cause of the problem.

Here is how it works.

In any given litigation, there are typically several intermediate and preliminary "steps" or "motions" heard before the court. These motions are to determine procedural matters such as discovery of the evidence, limits to discovery, refusals to disclose relevant documents, whether there is a cause of action (legal reason to sue), whether the court has jurisdiction over the matter, whether any claim constitutes an abuse of process, whether the action itself is an abuse of the court process, questions of court process transparency, and so on.

For every such step or motion, the costs rules impose that the party losing the motion must immediately pay the legal costs of the winning party for litigating the motion. Note that these are the legal costs of litigating (paying lawyers), not any damages or contractual awards sought in the action.

In this way, a party can be forced to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs before the action is even set down for trial, irrespective of the actual claim for reparations in the action.

Obviously, this paying-for-motions rule immediately creates a situation where a party with deep pockets can financially exhaust any opponent, especially since the opponent is also paying his/her own legal costs. The possibility alone of this tactic should be enough to cause the legal system to implement strict rules and oversight preventing any costs-based procedural bullying by dominant parties. But such is not the case. The whole thing is left to the discretion of the motions judge, without requiring evidence of actual costs, and without a right to appeal the costs decision.

That is correct. A judge's costs decision, for a single motion, can be over one hundred thousand dollars, more than the great majority of awards in actions, yet the costs decision is not based on any evidence, only on a lawyer's cursory claim (written submission), and the decision carries no right of appeal. How is that for an exemplary system without safeguards? One cannot even know how much the opposing lawyer actually charged his/her client for the services for which costs are claimed, as that is considered top secret ("solicitor-client privileged").

But, for the sake of argument, let us assume that there is no need to appeal costs decisions because motions judges never make mistakes, and let us assume that lawyers never lie about costs, not even when no verifications are possible, and let us next examine the system's highest-level policy rational for requiring that a party losing a motion pay the legal costs of the winning side, in addition to its own legal costs.

The overriding policy principles at stake with costs of litigation steps are described in a judgement of the Supreme Court of Canada: British Columbia (Minister of Forests) v. Okanagan Indian Band, 2003 SCC 71 (CanLII).

There is a hierarchy of policy principles for awarding legal costs of such interim litigation steps.

The first policy principle is that costs are "to indemnify the successful party". That is, compensation for the expense to which the successful party has been put. Simply put: A non-party to the action cannot be indemnified, and if there is nothing to indemnify then no costs are due.

The second policy principle (which is arguably secondary, and which came later in the common law) is that interim costs also serve to discourage both parties from bringing unnecessary litigation steps that have low worthiness.

That's right. Forcing the losing side to pay costs of the winning side is advanced as a way of reducing unnecessary litigation steps. Clearly, however, it is a mechanism for reducing unnecessary litigation steps solely when the litigation is between equal opponents. Otherwise, it becomes an instrument of intimidation and coercion. In any battle where one side can take a loss where the same loss on the other side is more debilitating for the other side, the dominant side will benefit from the attack. Thus, litigation behaviour is eminently predictable with unequal opponents, yet this escapes all the brilliant legal minds that dream up these policy developments and rationalizations.

Indeed, the law is often (and selectively) blind to logic that is correctly anchored in the social reality of power. Within the majestic equality of the law, its gatekeepers rationalize the second policy principle in terms of an objective that is only attainable in the ideal circumstance of equal opponents, and that, otherwise, has the opposite effect.

Put another way, when applied to unequal opponents, the policy can only have its alleged effect if the judge is able to and does make perfectly just decisions on motions, irrespective of the quality of the legal arguments, the depth of the presented evidence, and the social status of the lawyer (within the legal profession), which is virtually never. (It's not called an adversarial system for nothing.)

By design, the costs policy of paying the opponent's costs on motions won by the opponent financially rewards one party for having the financial resources and connections to hire high status lawyers, while financially punishing the other party for not having the financial resources and connections to hire equally high status lawyers.

The above policy analysis is not rocket science (my scientific papers are amply cited by NASA scientists), yet, somehow, the genius gatekeepers of the legal system conclude the opposite effect to arise from the system's costs rules, in the face of the known and obvious mechanisms at play, and without any basis in empirical studies.

To continue, the second policy principle includes the proviso that interim costs should not be so high as to unduly discourage worthy motions, or so high as to prevent a party from pursuing a worthy action to trial.

In order to accomplish the above described and other policy objectives, while being blind to the actual effects of awarding motions costs to the winning party, the legal system in Ontario, Canada, has devised a gradation of costs scales. The lowest scale is the "partial indemnity" scale, and it is intended to be the common scale in practice, directly aimed at addressing the first two policy objectives (indemnity, and moderate discouragement). Practice directives and case law have the partial indemnity scale tentatively corresponding to 60% of true costs.

The idea, therefore, is that just the right costs fraction will achieve the balance between stopping unreasonable motions and not precluding access to trial, while providing some (partial) indemnity.

This is, of course, a fiction. Within the majestic equality of the law, its gatekeepers have found that it is entirely consistent with the policy objectives that "partial indemnity" correspond to 60% of whatever the particular lawyers are charging. With unequal opponents, the dominant side hires expensive lawyers whereas the weak sides hires inexpensive lawyers or is self-represented. Thus, the policy objective is necessarily turned on its head by the application of the rule.

And the court goes so far as to codify this. In the sharp mind of the motions judge, it is pure reason that a client that hires expensive lawyers needs to be indemnified more than a client forced to use inexpensive lawyers having less gravitas with the court.

There you have it. "Partial indemnity" is structurally tied in quantum to how much the party spends on his/her own lawyers. This is an additional mechanism ensuring that the wealthy are rewarded for being wealthy, while the less wealthy are punished for being less wealthy, at every litigation step in the process. 

To add insult to injury, the courts long denied self-represented litigants any costs at all, using the logic that no indemnity is required since no lawyers were paid to do the legal work. (Read that again.)

Only recently* has this common law posture been changed in the case law. Now self-represented litigants are compensated according to lost wages. Of course if the litigant is unemployed or loses his/her job in the process of the litigation, then there is again "nothing to indemnify". While any self-represented litigant who makes as much as a high status lawyer would probably not be self-represented. (*Fong, et al v. Chan, et al, 1999 CanLII 2052 (ON CA); Skidmore v. Blackmore, 1995 CanLII 1537 (BC CA))

The system's position on costs to self-represented litigants especially makes a mockery of the second policy principle, and states that a self-represented litigant's legal work in wining a motion is worthless in terms of value to be indemnified.

To add injury to the insult added to the injury: If a dominant opponent has a non-party (such as the corporate or government employer of the private litigant) voluntarily paying all of its legal costs, then the court, guided by the majestic equality of the law, expressly sees no reason that the dominant opponent would not be indemnified. That is for the case where the non-party funding is disclosed, but there is no requirement to disclose such funding.

So, "indemnity" is the foremost policy principle but the court does not require disclosure of whether or not there is actually something to indemnify. And when it is disclosed that there is nothing to indemnify, since a non-party is voluntarily paying the bills of the dominant opponent, then the court will often pull out the second policy principle to ensure that the weaker opponent gets a good beating.

To add insult to the injury on the insult on the injury: In a recent case where an unemployed self-represented litigant had provided sworn evidence of his impecuniosity to the court, and where the dominant private litigant (a law professor) had her legal costs entirely and voluntarily paid by a non-party corporation, the judge found that the self-represented litigant must pay costs at the highest partial indemnity rate of the winning party's expensive lawyers because, in the words of the court (at paragraph 34), it is "important to avoid a situation where a person without means can cause responding parties to incur substantial legal costs without any financial consequences."

Just to be clear: In other words, a person without means must suffer the financial consequences of a partial indemnity costs award to a rich opponent in order to preserve the policy principle that the litigant without means should not bring or defend a motion that he/she will lose. Tadaaa. A person without means must be punished beyond his/her means for seeking procedural justice and losing, even if the other side has not incurred any costs.

Let's try stating it again: A party without means cannot, in the process of litigation, cause a rich opponent to incur costs without financial consequences, even if the rich opponent does not incur any costs. -- Yet, the only reason that large legal fees are charged is because there was a substantial legal question to address... And the only reason that the judge heard lengthy submissions and wrote a lengthy decision is because there was a serious legal question that needed to be determined... Otherwise, the judicial motions gatekeeper is not doing his/her job.

There is no right to appeal even that kind of extreme case, but a motion for leave to appeal (special permission to appeal) has recently been filed, which attempts to point out the policy contradictions, to the Court of Appeal for Ontario... If the motion is lost, costs will again be due to the winning party.

The third policy principle has an express punitive purpose. It is to punish overtly abusive practices such as making obviously unsound arguments, needlessly lengthening a process, being uncooperative with the judge, misleading the court, and so on. In such cases, a lawyer can be personally charged for costs of the other party, if the lawyer is at fault. These policy objectives are intended to be met by so-called "substantial indemnity" and "full indemnity" rates.

Again, even the punishments are scaled to the amounts spent on lawyers. Thus, by design, a rich party is punished less (in money amount) than a poor or self-represented party, for the same punishable offense.

One can see the pattern: The wealthy party, when punished (if ever), is forced to pay the meager legal costs of the impecunious party, whereas it's "only fair" that the wealthy party, on winning, be indemnified at the highest rates allowed, by the impecunious party, when there is nothing to indemnify because a non-party corporation is voluntarily funding the private litigant.

In conclusion, the entire costs policy and costs rules in Ontario courts are a shameful travesty, largely upheld by the Supreme Court of Canada, with no indication whatsoever that the legal system has any consciousness of the systemic and structural discrimination that is perpetrated in every litigation step of every action between unequal opponents.

This is in all likelihood not an accident of momentary blindness. The only reason that some discomfort is now being expressed by the Chief Justice of Canada and others is because corporate clients have driven legal fees through the ceiling, which increasingly exposes the unconstrained viciousness of court costs policies against increasing numbers of self-represented litigants. Overall, however, the system will clearly not allow financially disadvantaged individuals to seek and obtain justice. The Courts have never been and will never be for the lower castes, except for the the pro bono show cases, carefully selected to be benign regarding any challenge to the establishment, that justify the Rule.

The author welcomes any feedback to correct or improve the above arguments, prior to further development of these ideas for broader publication.

Denis G. Rancourt is the Self-Represented Litigants Workgroup Coordinator of the Ontario Civil Liberties Association. He is a former tenured and Full Professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He is known for his applications of physics education research (TVO Interview). He practiced various areas of science which were funded by a national agency, has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, and has written several social commentary essays. He is the author of the book Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight Against Racism. He has self-represented himself in several courts and tribunals: labour relations board, access to information appeals, municipal court, Superior Court of Justice for Ontario, Court of Appeal for Ontario, and filed motions at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

This is how the highest court works, in Ontario, Canada

From "U of O Watch":

Osgoode Hall -- Court of Appeal for Ontario

The Court of Appeal for Ontario heard and decided the appeal of the champerty motion in the St. Lewis v. Rancourt case on November 8, 2013.

The Court dismissed the appeal without wanting to hear the responding parties (St. Lewis and University of Ottawa), and ordered costs against the Appellant (Rancourt).

The responding parties asked for "partial indemnity" costs of $29,950.66 (St. Lewis) and $19,890.75 (U of O), almost $50,000.00. They got $20,000.00 and $15,000.00, respectively. The costs decision was made immediately after the endorsement (i.e., written decision/reasons) for dismissing the appeal was read by Justice Alexandra Hoy, Associate Chief Justice of Ontario.

Rancourt spoke in French, which was translated for the two responding lawyers, Richard Dearden (representing St. Lewis) and Peter Doody (representing the University of Ottawa).

During Rancourt's presentation to the Court, which lasted approximately 35 minutes, he made the following arguments, and other points.

A.    The University and St. Lewis have a champertous agreement, which is against the law in Ontario

[A champertous agreement is one where the maintaining party pays the legal costs of the plaintiff in order to share in the proceeds of the action.]

Key and undisputed facts are:
  1. The University is paying all the legal costs of the Plaintiff (St. Lewis).
  2. The Plaintiff has the written intention to give half of the punitive damages obtained from the action to the University.
 The Ontario statute An Act Respecting Champerty prescribes:
"All champertous agreements are forbidden, and invalid."

Therefore, lower court Justice Smith made an error contradicting the law, in being silent on Rancourt's request that the champertous maintenance be ordered terminated.

COURT: The Court found that there was not a champertous agreement since (the uncontradicted sworn evidence of the Plaintiff and of university president Allan Rock is that) the Plaintiff unilaterally decided to give punitive damages proceeds to the University.

B.    A lower court judicial bias complaint was never heard on its merits and is a ground for appeal

Rancourt sought to have a motion for reasonable apprehension of bias of lower court Justice Beaudoin judicially determined on its merits. The lower court circumvented this motion from ever being heard. A lower court leave to appeal to the Divisional Court was denied by leave judge Justice Annis.

Since the Supreme Court of Canada has determined that a bias complaint is heard either at the lower court when it is made, or on appeal, and since the champerty motion is tainted with bias, the reasonable apprehension of bias of Justice Beaudoin is a ground for appeal.

The enumerated evidence for reasonable apprehension of bias of Justice Beaudoin included (see affidavit of evidence HERE-LINK):
  1. A terms of reference contract between the judge and the University of Ottawa, for a scholarship fund in the name of the judge's son.
  2. A boardroom named after the judge's son at the BLG lawfirm, which represents the University.
  3. A media article, recognized by the judge on the court record, in which the judge expresses the personal and emotional importance that he attributes to the scholarship fund, and to the boardroom at BLG.
  4. The fact that the judge recused himself rather than accept his responsibility to determine the reasonable apprehension of bias question, by alleging bad behaviour of the Defendant (Rancourt), in the way the request to bring the bias complaint was made, without taking action to correct the alleged bad behaviour.
  5. The fact that the judge threatened the Defendant (Rancourt) with contempt of court (a criminal charge), if Rancourt continued to advance his request, his argument.
  6. The fact that at no time prior to the hearing at which the judge recused himself did the judge mention his ties to the University of Ottawa or the BLG lawfirm.
  7. Other affidavit evidence (LINK).
Therefore, Rancourt argued to the Court of Appeal: If it is permitted for a judge hearing a request for determination of a reasonable apprehension of bias to recuse himself without making the determination, and for the given reason of the behaviour of the requester in making the request, then we have crossed a line into a new and dangerous territory where the integrity of the court is threatened.

COURT: The Court of Appeal found that since the lower court leave judge, Justice Annis, had denied leave by finding in his reasons that this was not a case where reasonable apprehension of bias could possibly arise, the Court did not need to consider the ground of reasonable apprehension of bias.

C.    The Plaintiff decided to sue after she was granted the University's funding of her lawsuit

Rancourt presented several streams of evidence, which the lower court had denied as not admissible on incorrect technical grounds (and/or apparently ignored), showing, he argued, that the Plaintiff (St. Lewis) decided to sue only after the University funding was granted without limit and without conditions.

This is vital because, in establishing the abuse of maintenance, prior intent to sue is determinative, Rancourt argued, based on case law.

For example, Rancourt read a February 14, 2011 email from St. Lewis to university president Allan Rock, about the February 11, 2011 blogpost that is at the center of the defamation lawsuit (see Factum HERE-LINK):

Hi there Allan,

I make it a practice to delete the communications from Mr. Rancourt and have done that in this case. It has spared me a great deal of aggravation in the past.

Do let me know if you want me to do anything. I will happy to fit into whatever strategy you decide but until then I intend to make no comment.

Do take care,

COURT: The Court of Appeal found that the lower court judge had plenty/sufficient evidence to conclude that there was no maintenance and champerty. The Court did not state whether or not the denied evidence would have made a difference.

For more links to background documents (e.g., all Facta) go HERE-LINK.
For all the court-filed documents in the whole case go HERE-LINK

Commenter Steve C. said this:

I know the courts aren't perfect, but this is getting absurd.

I don't understand how they can make decisions that seem so illogical and potentially damaging.

If I understand the logic of the CAO correctly, it finds there to be no champerty or maintenance, because the plaintiff and the body funding the appeal [lawsuit] said there was none; and contradicting circumstantial evidence doesn't warrant consideration.

It also found there to be no need to review evidence that there was reasonable apprehension of bias in decisions of a trial judge, because a lower court ruled that none could exist in the case, even though the judge recused himself for becoming biased as a result of being accused of appearing biased. Am I even getting this tortured logic right?

Yes, you are.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Saudi doctors lose appeal of dismissal of University of Ottawa lawsuit -- media article, judgement, and commentary

Dr. Khalid Aba-Alkhail (left), and Dr. Waleed AlGhaithy

The Ottawa Citizen has reported this short story: HERE.

The actual Court of Appeal for Ontario judgement is HERE.

Well there you have it. The claimants were simply never allowed to be heard in the Ontario courts regarding how they were treated by University of Ottawa administrators. Plain and simple denial of access to justice. Straight up. Is anybody paying attention?

The "Neuroleaks" emails constitute a textbook example of evidence for bad faith, of the type that should be written up in law school curricula, yet the "Neuroleaks" evidence was not known by the claimants until after all the internal University tribunals were done, yet the Ontario courts "found" (that's the legal term) that all the evidence was considered by the internal University tribunals... Both the Superior Court of Justice for Ontario and the Court of Appeal for Ontario "found" (by some process that defies reality) that all the evidence had already been considered by the internal University tribunals. No it had not. Just look at the documents filed with the courts, or the fact that a motion was won by the claimants in judicial review at the Divisional Court to introduce the new "Neuroleaks" evidence after the internal University tribunals were done, or all of this chronologically reported in the media, the same media that do not hiccup at this latest October 18, 2013 Court of Appeal judgement:

[13] Finally, the appellants argued that the trial judge erred in finding that they are relying on the same facts as in the discipline proceedings. They pointed to certain emails that they say were either not before the tribunals or not taken into account by them because there was nothing the tribunals could use them for. This position was disputed by the respondent.

To this observer, this means that the courts can and do make up the facts. In addition, the media and legal researchers clearly don't scrutinize the courts! What's the point of having a so-called open court principle in Canada if no one dares to scrutinize the darn courts? Incredible.

Well, HERE, again, is a copy of some of these "Neuroleaks" emails. Judge for yourselves. Read the six emails at that link. If your hair does not stand on end, then you are pathologically cynical. How the judges could have overlooked such administrative misbehaviour (that is putting it very politely) which ended the careers of a star neurosurgeon (weeks from being certified) and of two interns in cardiology, is, well, not what one expects in a free and democratic society.

The behaviour of the courts in Ontario, in this case, has the effect of condoning the egregious behaviours of administrators at the University of Ottawa, and it produces a striking denial of access to justice in which claimants, whose careers were ruined, are simply never heard on the full evidence and on the merits of their arguments.

The claimants never had their day in court. We must ask the question: Is that because they are Saudi?


First posted on U of O Watch: HERE.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Google Scholar page about activist teacher Denis Rancourt

The new Google Scholar author profile and citations page for Denis Rancourt is here: LINK.

How Medical Deception, Oppression & Hierarchy Influence Our Health -- video

EBTV presents host Evita Ochel ( with special guest Denis Rancourt in a dialogue about the modern landscape of science, medicine and health. The specific focus is how oppression and hierarchy influence our health.

Link to first episode with Denis, "The Controls and Confines of our Obedience Based Education System":

Specific topics and points covered in the video include:

1. What role science plays in creating our health and offering solutions for our planet and society. (1:50)
- dispelling the myth that science is our "saving grace"
- the effects of the dominance hierarchy in our society
- the practice of keeping people ignorant about their own body and health

2. What the number one priority of the medical establishment is. (5:55)
- influences of personal gains and professional stakes

3. Exploring what Denis shares as the 1st apical lie by omission: which does not admit that the predominant causal determinant of an individual's health is the individual's real and perceived place in the society's dominance hierarchy. (7:20)
- both animal and human findings show that direct oppression from hierarchy has a direct physiological effect on the body of the individual
- lower hierarchy placement links to poorest health and longevity

4. Examining the correlation between lower and higher hierarchy placement. (11:40)
- the role of our perception of ourselves and our perceived placement within the societal hierarchy
- how certain homeless people or people in poverty can have good health

5. The role of food and healthy diet on our health. (16:20)
- who benefits from healthy food the most

6. The health impacts on the "alpha male" or those at the highest level of the hierarchy. (18:30)
- the role of class structure and cohesion

7. The phenomenon of individual self-destruction in societies. (20:25)
- the modern suicide rates in our society
- the benefit of discovering and application of the authentic rebellion
- the importance of finding the resources within to help yourself
- the role of community, connection and authenticity

8. Exploring what Denis shares as the 2nd apical lie by omission: the "voodoo lie" of the false scientific foundation of its professional practice which does not admit that most of medical research used to justify the recommended "treatments" is wrong and that consequently the "treatments" are ineffective at best. (26:28)
- the role of meta research in the field of science and medicine
- the professional and economic motivations within the medical system
- the downfall of being personally invested in major work and research
- the consequences of our personal disconnection from our own body
- the need for a system-wide patient re-education
- the created dependency on medical professionals

9. The flawed charity and organization system that is looking for the "cure". (37:00)
- the financial funding of the medical establishment by the people
- the need to learn how to create a good quality of life
- the need to address the cause of disease at the root level and eliminate that
- the need to shrink the disparity between the rich and poor

10. Examining the relationship between poverty, healthy eating and obesity. (40:30)
- the role of food in providing a source of pleasure
- the root cause of oppression and the self-destructive instinct in causing obesity
- the necessary role of personal rebellion against oppression
- the role of walking as the most powerful solution for physical, mental and emotional well-being

11. Exploring what Denis shares as the 3rd apical lie by omission: the secret that establishment medicine (in North America) is itself the third leading cause of death, after cancer and cardiovascular failures for which medicine is of little use. (48:30)
- the current number of deaths due to medical error, as well as unintentional accidents
- the pros and cons of the medical system
- the core lifestyle habit risk factor for disease

12. The effects of oppression in childhood on our health and well-being. (55:45)
- the importance of consciousness and personal empowerment
- the need to stand up to our own oppression and overcoming
- macro and micro levels of oppression in our life, such as our relationships
- the importance on focusing on our own solutions, rather than trying to save the world

13. Closing tips and advice for freedom of oppression and personal empowerment. (1:02:30)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Wrongheadedness of scientific consensus fetishism in climate politics

By Denis G. Rancourt

It pains me to have to write this. It would pain me more to let it go without some kind of a fight.

In this post, I pick up a recent "blowhard" peer-reviewed experts' article [1] published by a most prestigious publisher and show that its two presumed-established starting assumptions -- that global warming is directly perceivable in increasing extreme weather events, and that there is a scientific consensus on global warming -- are at best groundless, and wrong, if the evidence matters at all.

Consider a recent article published in Nature Climate Change, entitled "The relationship between personal experience and belief in the reality of global warming" [1]. The authors of the paper lament:

Moreover, despite widespread agreement among climate scientists that human-caused climate change is occurring only two-thirds (66%) of Americans adults correctly understand that 'global warming is happening', and nearly half of these are only 'somewhat sure' (42%) or 'not at all sure' (5%) of their answer; moreover, only a third believe that they or their families will be harmed.

The authors go on to tentatively explain this US phenomenon as:

Current theories of cognitive science suggest that learning about abstractions requires analytical information processing, which involves cognitive effort-- a scarce commodity, which people expend sparingly.

Given the degree of certainty that these authors possess in complex areas that my own feeble (and scientifically trained) mind has difficulty evaluating, I decided to look up their main supporting references. After all, the reviewers at the Nature publications are no slouches when it comes to insisting that one cite the most reliable sources.

For their introductory statement:

Climate change is affecting every region by increasing the frequency and/or intensity of heat waves, droughts, precipitation, floods, hurricanes, and forest fires, and through impacts on ecosystems and species, including human health.

our authors cite Karl et al. [2], which is the 2009 Report of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP). The latter Report is a large collaborative efforts to review the relevant published articles in order to draw conclusions (sound familiar?). This Report's 2nd key "finding" is:

Climate changes are underway in the United States and are projected to grow. Climate-related changes are already observed in the United States and its coastal waters. These include increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows. These changes are projected to grow.

In making this finding, the 2009 Report prominently relies on Kunkel et al. [3]. My survey of the data presented by Kunkel et al. shows me that the data itself is highly uncertain in two regards:
  1. It has broad statistical distributions, having widths that are greater than any theoretical (i.e. regression fitted) trends, and 
  2. It is subject to large systematic and uncontrolled uncertainties arising from the historical changes in measurement coverage (number of stations, geographical coverage, local climate effects, and so on), and methods.

Indeed, the chapter by Kunkel et al. is full of objective disclaimers such as:
  • "However, the heat waves of the 1930s remain the most severe in the United States historical record back to 1895."; 
  • "There is less confidence in data prior to about 1950."; 
  • "The data used to examine changes in the frequency and severity of tornadoes and severe thunder storms are inadequate to make definitive statements about actual changes."; and so on.

So we see how the definitive statement of our authors [1] that "Climate change is affecting every region by..." is anchored in some rather complex and tenuous real data buried several levels deep into government-funded review reports. The lead authors making the said claim work for a "Centre for Climate Change Communication". What do you expect them to say? And do they have the expertize to critically appreciate measured field data and statistical uncertainty theory? (I do.)

Our authors' [1] underlying assumption (in opposing 'personal experience' and 'belief') that global warming can be seen and experienced is, well, ludicrous. My own contribution to this public debate is illustrated in this media video: [4].

"Widespread agreement among climate scientists"

Next, I examine our authors' [1] claim that there is "widespread agreement among climate scientists that human-caused climate change is occurring", by examining their source: Anderegg et al. [5].

I have been critical of the scientific bandwagon artifact in global warming publications since my February 2007 essay "Global Warming: Truth or Dare?" [6][7]. The renowned late historian of science and technology David F. Noble provided a historical perspective on the "peer review" process and on the funding of science professionals, as an antidote to the excesses of "this new orthodoxy [which] is an exaggerated reverence for science" [8].

Furthermore, the said scientific bandwagon artifact has been formally described as the "Gold Effect" and is thus a well known phenomenon in the sociology of modern science [9]:

The Gold Effect is the phenomenon in which a scientific (often medical) idea is developed to the status of an accepted position within a professional body or association by the social process itself of scientific conferences, committees, and consensus building, despite not being supported by conclusive evidence. The effect was described by Professor T. Gold in 1979.[1] The effect was reviewed by Drs. Petr Skrabanek and James McCormick in their book Follies and Fallacies in Medicine.[2] The Gold Effect is used to analyze errors in public health policy and practice, such as the widespread use of cholesterol screening in the prevention of cardiovascular disease.[3]

In their book, Skrabanek and McCormick describe the Gold Effect as: "At the beginning a few people arrive at a state of near belief in some idea. A meeting is held to discuss the pros and cons of the idea. More people favouring the idea than those disinterested will be present. A representative committee will be nominated to prepare a collective volume to propagate and foster interest in the idea. The totality of resulting articles based on the idea will appear to show an increasing consensus. A specialised journal will be launched. Only orthodox or near orthodox articles will pass the referees and the editor."

Thus, in the light of what is known about the sociology and funding of the modern science enterprise, and in the light of the gargantuan financial interests at play in global warming politics [10], it is difficult to view the work of Anderegg et al. [5] as anything else other than either remarkably naive or remarkably crass. Let's see...

First, Anderegg et al. acknowledge, based on their own data, that there is not a scientific consensus on the the IPCC primary conclusion that "anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for 'most' of the 'unequivocal' warming of the Earth's average global temperature over the second half of the 20th century".

Second, they view this absence of a scientific consensus as a problem in need of a solution [5]:

Because the time line of decision-making is often more rapid than scientific consensus, examining the landscape of expert opinion can greatly inform such decision-making.

And their "solution" is to give little weight to the voices of scientists with which the majority of scientists do not agree (using their particular ad hoc "credibility" criterion) [5]:

This extensive analysis of the mainstream versus skeptical/contrarian researchers suggests a strong role for considering expert credibility in the relative weight of and attention to these groups of researchers in future discussions in media, policy, and public forums regarding anthropogenic climate change.

Who are these "contrarians"? Anderegg et al. [5] consider that, based on their study of 1,372 researchers, the "contrarians" are climate scientists who have published at least 20 scientific articles in climate science. Anderegg et al. find that their "contrarians" have typically each published between 20 and 250 articles about climate science.

But Anderegg et al. [5] find that the "contrarians" comprise only 1 researcher of the top 50 climate researchers, and only 3 researchers of the top 100 climate researchers. Here Anderegg et al. rank researchers according to the number of climate publications, and they ascribe number of climate publications (listed by Google Scholar) as equivalent to "expertise".

Are the top researchers those who have published the most papers? How many papers did Albert Einstein publish? (Very few.) Several researchers studied by Anderegg et al. published as many as 300-900 papers. These are astronomical numbers of publications that can only arise when one is head of a large and well-funded research group in which the group director puts his/her name on every paper. By comparison, consider that a modern Ph.D. program typically leads to only 3-5 substantive papers authored by the Ph.D. candidate. One does not publish 900 peer-reviewed papers by expressing "contrarian" interpretations, in a world where, by definition, most reviewers are not "contrarians".

More realistically, although not stressed in their article [5], Anderegg et al. show in their Figure 1 that 63 of their 270 climate scientists that published between 20 and 50 climate papers were "contrarians". That is, 23% of climate scientists who published 20-50 climate papers were "contrarians". Clearly not a consensus. In science, such a proportion of "contrarians" is more correctly qualified as an active and hotly debated field. Only government-funded review panels (made up of the government-funded "top" scientists) would have one believe differently.

How can we evaluate the "credibilities" of the "contrarians"? Anderegg et al. [5] argue that they "have likely compiled the strongest and most credentialed researchers in CE [convinced by the evidence] and UE [unconvinced by the evidence] groups", and that credibility is reliably measured by number of climate papers and number of times climate papers are cited by other scientists.

Anderegg et al. [5] find (their Figure 2) that the top 50 "contrarians" (UE) have only between 20 and 250 papers each (with one exception at 650 papers), whereas the 50 top warmists (CE) have between 300 and 900 papers each. To me this simply means that the most highly funded climate researchers all advance that they are convinced by the evidence that "anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for 'most' of the 'unequivocal' warming of the Earth's average global temperature over the second half of the 20th century". This impeccable correlation between apparent degree of funding and interpretation of the evidence would merit some research. Never mind...

Anderegg et al. [5] go on to explain that citation number further confirms that the "contrarians" have low credibility, however the actual data of Anderegg et al. show, instead, and again, an active and hotly debated field: The single most cited paper for each of the "contrarians" is cited an average of 105 times, compared to 172 times for the warmists. When one considers that there are fewer "contrarians" and that they are apparently less well funded, one has to be somewhat impressed that their papers are cited so frequently. One can justifiably argue that their citation numbers constitute evidence, in the demographic and economic circumstances, that their papers are scientifically "better".


The good news is that the common sense of the American people is alive and well. It is remarkable that in an "advanced democracy" the population does not entirely fall prey to the science of service "experts", fed to it by most of the establishment. Americans excel at self-defense against manipulative intellectualism.

Those, like our authors Myers et al. [1], who follow Anderegg et al. [5] in suggesting that scientists be ignored and that "the debate is over", based on the larger publication numbers of those scientists expressing the dominant view, are calling for a return to the dark ages. Science is not an exercise of representative democracy. Although polluted by politics, and led by money, science, in principle, is a search for truth that only works if there are "contrarians", and if those "contrarians" have a voice and an influence.

Yes, "contrarians" can be incompetent attention seekers, but they are also talented and principled scientists. Warmists can be scientifically mediocre funding seekers, and they can also be simply wrong.

Personally, I am baffled that any trained scientist with some knowledge of field measurements (i.e., measurements in the field), Earth systems, and statistical analysis could be "convinced by the evidence" that "anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for 'most' of the 'unequivocal' warming of the Earth's average global temperature over the second half of the 20th century". Especially in the further light of recent analyses of the failures of all climate models regarding the "non-warming" of the last 20 years [11]. This week's hot air from the IPCC changes none of this.

Denis G. Rancourt is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa, Canada. He practiced several areas of science which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He has published over 100 articles in leading scientific journals and many social commentary essays. Several of his papers are highly cited in environmental science (link). His self-published 2011 paper "Radiation physics constraints on global warming: CO2 increase has little effect" has been downloaded more than 1000 times (link).


[1] Myers, T.A. et al., The relationship between personal experience and belief in the reality of global warming. Nature Climate Change, 2 December 2012, DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1754.

[2] Karl, T. R., Melillo, J. M. & Peterson, T. C. (eds) Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2009).

[3] Kunkel, K.E., P.D. Bromirski, H.E. Brooks, T. Cavazos, A.V. Douglas, D.R. Easterling, K.A. Emanuel, P.Ya. Groisman, G.J. Holland, T.R. Knutson, J.P. Kossin, P.D. Komar, D.H. Levinson, and R.L. Smith, 2008: Observed changes in weather and climate extremes. In: Weather and Climate Extremes in a Changing Climate: Regions of Focus: North America, Hawaii, Caribbean, and U.S. Pacific Islands [Karl, T.R., G.A. Meehl, C.D. Miller, S.J. Hassol, A.M. Waple, and W.L. Murray (eds.)]. Synthesis and Assessment Product 3.3. U.S. Climate Change Science Program, Washington, DC, pp. 35-80.

[4] Peter Lavelle (host), Cross Talk: Franken-Climate, Russia Today, 2 November 2012.

[5] Anderegg, W. R. L., Prall, J. W., Harold, J. & Schneider, S. H. Expert credibility in climate change. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 107, 12107-12109 (2010).

[6] Rancourt, D.G., Global Warming: Truth or Dare?, Activist Teacher, 27 February 2007.

[7] Rancourt, D.G., Some Big Lies of Science, Activist Teacher, 8 June 2010.

[8] Noble, David F., Regression on the Left, Climate Guy, 30 May 2007.

[9] Wikipedia. Gold Effect. 27 September 2013.

[10] Noble, David F., The Corporate Climate Coop, Activist Teacher, 1 May 2007.

[11] Fyfe, J.C. et al., Overestimated globalwarming over the past 20 years, Nature Climate Change, vol. 3, September 2013, pages 767-769.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Two Authors that Medical Schools Avoid

And whose works should be part of the foundation for a rational and evidence-based medicine...

By Denis G. Rancourt

The two researchers and authors to which I refer are:
In particular, I have in mind their remarkable books:
  • Follies and Fallacies in Medicine (Skrabanek, with co-author McCormick) [1], and 
  • Unhealthy Societies - The Afflictions of Inequality (Wilkinson) [2].
Skrabanek exposes the widespread ineptness and delusional incompetence of the modern medical profession. He does not cross the line of explicitly stating that medical practice does more harm than good but, nonetheless, the reader is left with a realistic mistrust of the inner workings of the mind of the medical doctor. The book opens a window into "the present state of our ignorance", rather than continue the lie that doctors diagnose and prescribe without doing harm [3][4].

Wilkinson, in his chapters 9 and 10, does a review of the extensive research, on both human and non-human animals, which establishes that the dominant and causal factor for health in First World countries is stress (i.e., the physiological responses to stress) from being at the lower end of society's dominance hierarchy.

When we consider the depth, logic, and insight of authors such as Skrabanek and Wilkinson, it is a wonder that their ideas are not the core of medical training, that medical training is not leading a radical criticism of itself, and that individual practitioners can be so indifferent to the Lie. The usual model of professionalism, status, and maintenance of self-image is clearly at work [5].

When we consider that medical practice incorrectly identifies and "treats" false causes (so-called "risk factors") of mortality (Skrabanek, and Wilkinson), combined with the overwhelming evidence that the major killers (heart disease and cancer) are mainly affected by dominance stress (Wilkinson), that medicine can do virtually nothing for the major killers (Skrabanek), and that medical interventions themselves are very often lethal [3][4], then it is a wonder that the modern practice of medicine is legal.


[1] Skrabanek, Petr, and McCormick, James, Follies and Fallacies in Medicine, Whithorn, Tarragon Press, xii + 171 pages, 1998 (Third Edition).

[2] Wilkinson, Richard G., Unhealthy Societies -- The Afflictions of Inequality, London, Routledge, 1996, xi + 255 pages, 1996.

[3] Rancourt, Denis G., Do medical doctors improve health?, Activist Teacher, September 9, 2013.

[4] Rancourt, Denis G., Is establishment medicine an injurious scam?, Activist Teacher, November 21, 2011.

[5] Rancourt, Denis G., On the sociology of medical meta-science: Exposing the Truth supports the Lie, Activist Teacher, November 16, 2011.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Do medical doctors improve health?

By Denis G. Rancourt

It is a serious question. If any other profession caused a fraction of the death rate due to medical interventions, then that profession would be prohibited from practicing until a full coroner's inquiry was ordered and completed. But not the medical profession. It kills with impunity, without any real oversight.

The numbers are staggering. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM, of the National Academy of Sciences of the US) published a first authoritative institutional report of medical errors, which disclosed that between 44,000 to 98,000 US citizens were being killed each year by medical errors.[1]

These numbers do not count the equally large death rate from "non-error" adverse effects of medicine.

In her brilliant article of 2000, the late Dr. Barbara Starfield reviewed the medical literature, in the light of the IOM report, and reported that the best estimate of total deaths from medicine in the US was between 230,000 and 284,000 deaths per year.[2]

That was in 2000, and the US population has increased by approximately 11% since then. It is reasonable to assume that the death rates from medicine have remained constant since 2000, which is not contradicted by any study or report. In fact, a detailed study published in 2010 showed no measurable improvement since the IOM report of 1999.[3] This means that presently in the US medicine kills between 250,000 and 310,000 US citizens per year, every year.

These deaths are entirely avoidable, since they are caused by the practice of establishment medicine. This means that halting the practice of medicine would save the lives of over one quarter of a million US citizens every year. Approximately 1000 lives would be saved each day that medicine is not practiced in the US. This is equivalent to the death rate from a large skyscraper collapsing every day.

The corresponding death rate is between 80 and 100 deaths per 100,000 per year. This death rate from medicine is the third leading cause of death in the US, after diseases of the heart and cancer. The other leading causes of death (bronchitis, stroke, non-medical accidents, Alzheimer's, diabetes, influenza/pneumonia, kidney failures, suicide, infections, liver failures) all have individual death rates that are far smaller than the death rate from medicine.[4]

As a percentage, the practice of medicine causes approximately 10-12% of all deaths in the US, compared to diseases of the heart (24%) and cancer (23%). Medicine is a major killer. Yet there is virtually no research funding to find a "cure" for the adverse affects of medicine. By comparison, mega research dollars are spent fighting diseases that medicine has proven itself ineffective at fighting.

The reality of the lethal side of medicine is such that medicine should have the onus to prove that it does more good than harm. If medicine were put to the test, proving its worth would be a difficult task: So-called meta-researchers who critically examine the published claims of benefits from medical drugs and procedures find that most medical research is wrong.[5]-[9]

An institutional analysis reveals an air-tight system in which the medical profession preys on the most vulnerable and kills patients at an alarming rate, without being able to demonstrate a net benefit, from the majority of its lucrative interventions, on the most desperate individuals in society (those with terminal illnesses).

Medicine is good at trauma interventions (car accidents, heart attacks) but may do more harm than good against the leading causes of death, and it is itself a leading cause of death.

All this leads me to suggest that the medical profession is unable to regulate itself, or objectively judge itself. It is in urgent need of external regulation and/or boycott or something. It should be stopped in most of its functions until we figure out how to disarm it.

One collapsing skyscraper per day! If Bush were around, he could start a war against medicine. And that would be more sane than any Obamacare. No public health policy makes any sense unless it deals with the third leading cause of death head on.


[Related article::: "Is establishment medicine an injurious scam?"]

[1] Kohn L. et al (eds.). To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1999.

[2] Starfield B. Is US Health Really the Best in the World? Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), 284, 2000, 483-485.

[3] Landrigan C.P. et al. Temporal Trends in Rates of Patient Harm Resulting from Medical Care. New England Journal of Medicine, 363, 2010, 2124-2134.

[4] For death rates which do not correctly account for deaths from medicine, see the annual National Vital Statistics Reports, such as the report entitled "Deaths: Final Data for 2010".

[5] Ioannidis, John PA, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, 2005, PLoS Med 2(8): e124. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124

[6] "Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science" by David H. Freedman, The Atlantic, 2010.

[7] Ioannidis, John PA et al., Replication validity of genetic association studies, Nature genetics, 2001, 29(3), 306-309.

[8] Ioannidis, John PA, Contradicted and initially stronger effects in highly cited clinical research, JAMA: the Journal of the American Medical Association, 2005, 294 (2), 218-228.

[9] “On the sociology of medical meta-science: Exposing the Truth supports the Lie” by Denis G. Rancourt, 2011.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Global Economic Model of War::: Understanding Syria and more

War museum, Ottawa, Canada

By Denis G. Rancourt

Following a quick survey of macro-economic indicators which are readily available on the web, from such public sites as the CIA, WTO, and so on, one can readily posit a clear and predictive model of war. (All numbers in this article are expressed in trillions of US dollars, such as 1.0T for one trillion US dollars, as an amount, or as a rate per year, as per the context.)

On observing the planet from space (using a macro-economic telescope), the first and most glaring observation arises from a look at net exports, which clearly show a single and dominant global empire, the USA. It has, for many decades, had a negative annual net export, of -0.63T, or so -- far greater than that of its closest "rival", and former dominant empire, the UK, with -0.14T.

This means that US military projection (over 1000 military bases world wide) and power is such that the US can maintain steady and long-term extraction of wealth from the rest of the world towards itself, no questions asked.

Only a country which is a participating satellite of the empire can share in the spoils of the global extortion project and consistently report a large negative rate of net exports. Notably, the UK (-0.14T), and France (-0.07T). (In this regard, it is no accident that the governments of the UK and France are the most willing partners in the US's present call to destroy Syria; more on this below.)

There are also momentary localized cases of large negative rates of net exports in post-war financial invasions, otherwise known as re-constructions financed by the empire (in the broad sense, including the financiers). But that is part of the accompanying phenomenon of how the empire profits from war itself.

For the system of extortion to function, the empire must maintain two parallel instruments: its military apparatus, and its financial apparatus based on the US dollar as world currency for the purchase of the main strategic commodity, which is energy. Only the empire can print the money that is needed to access the ability to develop or expand. A threat to the US dollar is a sufficient reason for war. Both Libya and Iraq had taken concrete steps to circumvent the US dollar as the operational currency, prior to their destructions. An attempt to circumvent the US dollar in buying or selling oil is an attempt to escape the empire's control, and this cannot be tolerated.

As long as the US dollar is needed to buy and sell the key strategic commodity, the US controls the relative value of other currencies, and as long as the US prints the money, it controls world finance and uses the global financial instrument to enslave all those without military protection, or without the sense to know better (i.e., jurisdictions with puppet leaderships).

Financial extortion is a tremendous tool. World national debt is 56.3T or so. The US debt is only a fraction of this at 11.6T or so. Interest on the national debt is low for "stable" states protected by the empire, and high for "unstable" states being consumed by the empire. The world revenue from interest on national debts can be estimated to be at least 1T (per year), and possibly as much as 10T or more from all loan sources. This is comparable to or greater than the gargantuan world revenue from oil and gas, presently at 4.5T.

Based on history, it is more than reasonable to posit that the empire's wars are driven by profit, that is, by an insatiable desire to extract as much stolen wealth as possible as quickly as possible, and to control territory to ensure continued extraction. Next, I examine the consequences of this assumption.

If the militarily superior empire is driven, as it has always been in terms of its military campaigns, by instant wealth gratification and conquest, then, in order to predict wars, we search for where wealth can be found and stolen. Wealth comes in many forms, such as slave labour, and natural resources, but one form is, more than any other, a strategic commodity: fossil fuel energy.

In the present technological and economic context, fossil fuel is incomparable as a strategic resource. It is the most accessible source of development and growth. Without it, a civilization slows and loses its ability to compete. Control energy supply and you control development. By cutting supply, you can bring an economy to its knees.

It is well known, for example, that the Afghan war is in large part about pipeline geopolitics, in view of controlling China's access to energy. To an empire, territory is important for two reasons: the resources that it contains, and the transportation routes that it sustains.

In the case of Afghanistan, there is also the formidably profitable drug trade, now controlled (and, to some degree, exploited) by the empire. The world illegal drug economy is estimated to be between 1.5T to 5T (per year), comparable to oil and gas. Whereas these drugs are not a major strategic commodity, the empire must control the illegal drug economy in order to prevent any competitors or resisters from accessing the corresponding easily-earned mega-revenues. This explains the so-called US "war on drugs". It of course has nothing to do with US public health.

In a nutshell, in the empire's mind, non-compliant and counter-allied states, such as Iran and Syria, cannot be allowed to benefit from and to control significant oil resources, in an area where China could secure protected land access to these resources. The war in Syria is nothing if it is not a predictable march forward by the dominant global empire. The sectarianism on the ground is as significant a motive, from a macro-economic perspective, as the war propaganda spewed out by the empire's sock puppet politicians and disinformation media is truthful. Sectarianism without financial and military support on either side has a way of turning into negotiated accommodation.

In addition to its geopolitical objectives, war also has its immediate dividends for many in the empire. The destroyed territory (infrastructure, population, etc.) must be "reconstructed", as a compliant serf state, using the empire's financing, and re-building enterprises, all leveraged via the continued world pillaging elsewhere. The sick and dying or diseased population needs expensive prescription drugs, and so on. World spending on prescription drugs is approximately 0.95T (per year), and this is a major high-profit sector in the empire's operations. The interest rates on reconstruction loans will keep the invaded population subservient and exploited for decades.

The main high-profit services and commodities include: prescription drugs, illegal drugs, fossil fuels, ultra-cheap labour, debt financing, and so on, all related to non-essentials to which entire First-World populations are addicted. These economic areas, consequently, are represented by the corporate players that have the greatest influence within the empire, and that most generously contribute to political campaign funds, and to post-political lucrative prize-positions for former politicians and their family members.

Medium-profit economic sectors such as domestic manufacturing and services can hardly compete for influence, and have a much reduced voice compared to the industrial era. Behold the era of the US war economy empire.

Basically, the empire's behaviour is entirely predicted by a mafia economic model of geopolitics. To be fair, however, mafias have ethical rules regarding killing an opponent's family and such, whereas the drone-wielding USA empire has no such rules.

By comparison, from a macro-economic perspective, military spending in China (0.17T) and Russia (0.09T) is defensive against the military spending of the US and its client/satellite states -- US (0.68T), UK (0.06T), Japan (0.06T), France (0.06T), Saudi Arabia (0.06), ..., Australia (0.03T), Canada (0.02T) -- since their net exports are positive: China (+0.20T), Russia (+0.14T).  The net exports of the US's main war partners are of course negative: UK (-0.14T), and France (-0.07T).

There can be no surprise that the US's most willing war partners will always be the UK and France. Such are their macro-economic structures. They have satellite war economies, a status Canada is working hard to fully achieve.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

CODZ: Opposing the US Zionist state's intimidation of academics

Oh boy, can you hear the loud voices of protest from the ranks of tenured professors against the imposition of Zionism doctrine in US academia..., not! There are small seeds, which are reminders that sanity is still barely rooted on the sterile ground of the continent's intellectual farms. One such seed is CODZ.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Controls & Confines of Our Obedience Based Education System -- video

Published on Aug 22, 2013
EBTV presents host Evita Ochel ( with special guest Denis G. Rancourt ( in a dialogue about the limits of the current education system.

Denis is a former tenured and full professor of physics at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He practiced several areas of science (including physics and environmental science) which were funded by a national agency and ran an internationally recognized laboratory. He is the author of over 100 articles in leading scientific journals, social commentary essays, and his book "Hierarchy and Free Expression in the Fight against Racism".

General topics discussed in the video episode include:

1. Denis shares his story of why he is no longer a professor at the University of Ottawa. (1:30)
- how Denis discovered the true nature of the system
- the impacts of confronting the system

2. What the larger framework and pretext was for Denis' dismissal from his position as a professor. (6:00)
- the inside political story

3. The role of transparency and secrecy in governing organizations. (9:20)
- the political endeavour of educational systems

4. The helpful and harmful role of mainstream media in Denis' case. (11:20)
- the corporate ties of mainstream media
- the media blackout of certain topics

5. How awareness influences obedience and indoctrination within the education system. (16:15)
- the role of awareness, as connected to action
- the importance of "praxis"
- the symbiotic combination of reflection and action
- the importance of finding authentic rebellion

6. Denis shares his views and opinions about the shortcomings of the current education system. (21:00)
- the oppression of the education system
- the battle between hierarchal system and the individual
- the atomization and destruction of the individual
- the importance of gaining independence as an individual, and consciousness about one's own oppression

7. Inspiration to face our own oppression. (28:20)
- the role of whistleblowers

8. The limits of the curriculum forced upon teachers and students. (31:15)
- the necessity of natural exploration and interaction within the scope of learning
- Denis shares an example from his teaching methods to promote true learning

9. The limits of the grading system and standardized testing. (39:00)
- inadequacy of appropriate measurement of understanding through testing
- the importance of feedback that is student-centered
- the benefit of authentic dialogue between teacher and student

10. The increasing trend of students not pursuing post-secondary education due to not wanting to participate in the education system. (45:00)
- the economic control over education
- the forced certification for many jobs
- the alternative paths, which do not necessarily require post-secondary education

11. Denis shares some solutions and advice for teachers who wish to be part of the education system and contribute positively. (50:00)

12. Denis shares some solutions and advice for students who are part of the education system. (54:00)

13. Denis shares his next steps, work and projects. (57:22)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Towering economic separation erodes the effectiveness of public opinion activism

By Denis Rancourt

A good street demonstration is not what it use to be, in terms of its impact. Likewise, petitions and letters to politicians just don't cut it any more. A YouTube video can, in rare cases, get a cop investigated and put on paid leave, but that is about as far as it goes. Don't think about systemic changes.

There is tremendous opinion opposition to injustices of all kinds but none of it seems to matter.

When the wealthy are so wealthy that they live in separate realities, completely disconnected from the middle and lower classes, and even from the upper middle class, then there is no vehicle of social pressure to be equitable towards others. The wealthy become untouchable and buy political power to serve their own desires.

There is undoubtedly a causal link between towering mega-salaries and mega-profits of international entities and their top managers and overseers, on the one hand, and the ineffectiveness of public opinion activism, on the other hand.

The more the elite are financially able to live in a separate and independent universe, the more this elite is indifferent to the howlings of the lower strata of the economic pyramid.

In any plutocracy such as ours, the ratio between the wealth of the elite and the economic means of the average worker is the best indicator of the extent to which complaints and opinions from the basement can have any influence at all in the penthouse. The higher the ratio of, say, executive salaries to worker salaries, the greater the mistreatment and dissatisfaction of ordinary people, and the more stunning the examples of individual injustices.

One might have the impression that public opinion activism boosted by mainstream media coverage can be somewhat effective, but this is merely an impression. The mainstream media is entirely a management tool of the elite. Allowed stories are approved messages to the managers, who know to apply cosmetic methods while preserving and strengthening the status of the elite. A particular incident of injustice may be treated, but without in any way threatening business as usual. The opinion fire is put out in such a way as to apply a chill on any more demands.

The single most effective financial policy change to increase democracy and justice in our society, would be to roll back the obscene salaries and bonuses of the elite, and the obscene profits and capital mobilities of their corporations. The more the ruling (real and corporate) persons are connected to others, the more fairness becomes a norm.

This is because economic isolation breeds contempt. The more the wealthy are wealthy, the more they can buy out, directly and indirectly, all the players in the institutions, that might otherwise create some equity in following public pressures. The more the wealthy are wealthy, and the more managers' salaries are high, the less public pressures are pressures at all.

There is a direct and causal link between towering economic separation and social and civil injustice. If the mayor of the town and the town councilors do not live in the town, then the townsfolk cannot expect to have much say in municipal management policies. Wealth gaps and towering wealth disparities are poison. Extreme class separation enables extreme class oppression.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Denis Rancourt's physics paper about planetary warming has been downloaded more than 1000 times

Denis Rancourt's radiation physics paper of 2011 has been download in its free-access pdf form more than 1000 times from the non-profit site

This paper is arguably the clearest and most accessible, yet rigorous, paper to describe the fundamental physics (radiation balance) of Earth's surface temperature phenomenon. It corrects textbook errors about interpretation, and obtains the actual mean surface temperature from first principles, using only known physical constants.

It may be the most downloaded physics paper about the Earth's surface temperature.

One physicist web commentator said:

Have you seen DGR in action ?

A recent post on ICECAP is a real winner: Jun 05, 2011 Radiation physics constraints on global warming: CO2 increase has little effect By Denis G. Rancourt, Former physics professor, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

Follow the link to a 22 page article which is a tour de force of simple physics demonstrration. DGR's presentation puts me in mind of Pauling or Feynman lectures in my Caltech days. At least cruise over the hard stuff and savor the commentary. This guy is a keeper prof who got sideways with authority at U of Ottawa and was canned. My kinda guy!!!

Hunter Paalman
Walnut Creek, CA