Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What's a little crime among friends and associates

Liberal leadership candidates, especially Mike de Jong and Christy Clark, do not see evidence or indicators of wrongdoing in the sale of BC Rail and they are untroubled by bribery and corruption involving government political staff and the Agricultural Land Commission. Therefore, a full inquiry would be too expensive, take too much time and be too distracting.

Following another memo revelation from Alex Tsakumis, Ian Reid notes at The Real Story:
"The memo purports that Kinsella was working directly with Campbell, Martyn Brown and David MacLean at CN on the BC Rail sale. That tight group also happened to be the chief fundraiser, chief strategist, campaign manager and Leader of the BC Liberal Party in both 1996 and 2001."
Along with colleagues Falcon and Abbot, de Jong and other BC Liberals are the crew charged with administering justice, law enforcement and gambling in British Columbia. Therefore, none of us should be surprised by stories like this:

'Dirty' money suspected in B.C. casino deals
"Millions of dollars flowed through two B.C. casinos in the spring and summer of 2010 in what the RCMP believes may have been a sophisticated scheme to launder money from the drug trade . . ."
Why BC Liberals Love Gambling
"This government has a gambling addiction second to none -- it cannot stay away from the blackjack tables and slot machines because it desperately needs the money just to pay off its bad debts -- B.C.'s massive $1.8 billion deficit.

"Preach abstinence, bet the house?

"When it comes to gambling, Premier Gordon Campbell neither knows his limit nor plays within it -- he needs to apply for "problem gambler" status so he'll be banned at the casino doors."
Organized Crime and Money Laundering in British Columbia
". . . Excluding the lucrative narcotics market, British Columbia is recognized as a centre for the manufacture of counterfeit currency and credit cards, multi-level marketing and pyramid schemes, prostitution, illegal gaming, with its associated crimes of loan sharking to robbery, and numerous other signature offences of organized crime. . . "
Suspected money laundering at B.C. casinos under reported
". . . the B.C. Lottery Corp. has been under-reporting suspected money laundering at the province's casinos for years.

"Documents show casino workers routinely observe dozens of suspicious financial transactions each year, but only a fraction are reported to the federal agency that tracks money laundering."
Casino expansion at BC Place may lead to increase in organized crime
"Before it was disbanded last year, the RCMP's Integrated Illegal Gaming Enforcement Team (IIGET) gave a number of warnings about the presence of organized crime at casinos in the Province. Now, as Vancouver prepares for public hearings on the BC Place casino - set to be the province's largest - the now-defunct unit's warnings are spurring questions about a potential rise in criminal activity and the ability of police to cope. . ."
How B.C. became a world crime superpower
". . . Add it all up, and you can't help but see British Columbia for what it is — a key hub in the world of international organized crime. For all its natural beauty and its Birkenstock reputation, police now put Vancouver on par with New York and Los Angeles when they talk of cities in the grip of criminal syndicates. By some estimates, criminal activity amounts to roughly seven per cent of the province's total economy. . ."
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6 comments:

  1. Norm, are you suggesting there is something illegal going on in our highly paid & highly managed Casinos ? If we listen to Rich Coleman, he & Michael Graydon have everything under control, " Coleman said he has “not had at any time contacts from our people in the enforcement side saying there is a specifically high ratio of issues around organized crime in B.C.’s gaming sector.” He added people from other jurisdictions, including Las Vegas, have told him B.C. has a “very good” system for monitoring gambling activities. “You’ve always got to be on top of it, but I don’t think we leave any stones unturned,” he said."
    Norm, we can all rest easier knowing good old Rich is on top of the situation along with his thousand dollar a day boss Mr. Graydon.

    Guy in Victoria

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  2. That more like $1,500 a day for Graydon by the way. And, as we've seen before, plenty more when he leaves or gets fired.

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  3. Here's an excerpt from an American blog assailing the two-party concept in that country. I think it has tremendous parallels to the situation here in BC.

    Just switch BC Liberals for Republicans and the NDP for Democrats when reading the piece. As for the continued concerns about organized crime infiltrating BC, well there's precious little difference between "organized" and "corporate" when it comes to crime. And state-run gambling casinos pretty much bridges what, if any, gap remains.

    Here's the link to the full article:
    http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_left_has_nowhere_to_go_20110102/

    And, here's an excerpt:

    ‘The Left Has Nowhere to Go’

    By Chris Hedges
    Posted on Jan 3, 2011

    ... “The more outrageous the Republicans become, the weaker the left becomes,” (Ralph) Nader said when I reached him at his home in Connecticut on Sunday. “The more outrageous they become, the more the left has to accept the slightly less outrageous corporate Democrats.”

    "Nader fears a repeat of the left’s cowardice in the next election, a cowardice that has further empowered the lunatic fringe of the Republican Party, maintained the role of the Democratic Party as a lackey for corporations, and accelerated the reconfiguration of the country into a neo-feudalist state. Either we begin to practice a fierce moral autonomy and rise up in multiple acts of physical defiance that have no discernable short-term benefit, or we accept the inevitability of corporate slavery. The choice is that grim.

    ... "The closure of the mechanisms within the power system that once made democratic reform possible means we stand together as the last thin line of defense between a civil society and its disintegration. If we do not engage in open acts of defiance, we will empower a radical right-wing opposition that will replicate the violence and paranoia of the state. To refuse to defy in every way possible the corporate state is to be complicit in our strangulation.

    “The left has nowhere to go,” Nader said. “Obama knows it. The corporate Democrats know it. There will be criticism by the left of Obama this year and then next year they will all close ranks and say ‘Do you want Mitt Romney? Do you want Sarah Palin? Do you want Newt Gingrich?’ It’s very predictable. There will be a year of criticism and then it will all be muted. They don’t understand that even if they do not have any place to go, they ought to fake it. They should fake going somewhere else or staying home to increase the receptivity to their demands. But because they do not make any demands, they are complicit with corporate power.

    “Corporate power makes demands all the time,” Nader went on. “It pulls on the Democrats and the Republicans in one direction. By having this nowhere-to-go mentality and without insisting on demands as the price of your vote, or energy to get out the vote, they have reduced themselves to a cipher. They vote. The vote totals up. But it means nothing.”
    ...more

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  4. Why is the mainstream media not interested in the BC Rail story?

    Couldn't possibly imagine why.

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  5. Norm,
    Have a listen to Mike Smyth interview CC between 12:35 and 1:00 today; also listen to John McComb's show between 3:35 and 3:45 for some debunking of what CC said (by AGT, I believe).

    There are some folks actually committing journalism at NW.

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  6. I heard John McComb Tuesday on NW after George Abbot's half-hearted discussion about a partial examination by an independent party. McComb made much sense in dissecting Abbots' foolishness. McComb is in a better league than most of his colleagues at that station.

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