A. Picazo: Re: Death By Pseudoscience – The Misinformation Campaign

First, a quick review of the facts: David and Collet Stephan are on trial for failing to provide the necessaries of life — for failing to seek medical care for their son in a reasonably prudent time/manner. They are NOT on trial for murder or manslaughter. Ezekiel Stephan died from bacterial meningitis, the kind which ...

A. Picazo: Legitimizing Pseudoscience: What’s The Harm?

This column ran in The National Post on March 24, 2016. After weeks of trying “natural” extracts and homemade remedies like smoothies cut with ginger root and horseradish to cure a suspected case of meningitis, 19-month-old Ezekiel Stephan’s tiny body had so deteriorated that he was too stiff to bend. Unable to be sit in his car seat, Ezekiel’s ...

Alberta Politics: What’s behind ‘Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation’ campaigns like its stunt calling for rollbacks in Alberta teachers’ pay?

PHOTOS: A typical Canadian Taxpayers Federation stunt, moved from place to place across Canada with the goal of undermining public services and speeding the race to the bottom. The picture at bottom right shows Alberta Wildrose Opposition Finance Critic Derek Fildebrandt in his previous role as CTF Alberta spokesthingy. Below: CTF Board member and anti-union ...

Alberta Diary: Canada’s anti-union lobby is at the heart of the deceptive campaign for more Temporary Foreign Workers – why’s that, d’ya think?

Canadians need not apply? Actual Canadian store displays may not appear exactly as illustrated. But the intent of the AstroTurf TFW lobby is to bust unions and weaken the bargaining power of Canadian workers. Below: Employment Minister and former Canadian Taxpayers Federation operative Jason Kenney; former Canadian Federation of Independent Business president and current “Working ...

Alberta Diary: Whatever the ‘Canadian Taxpayers Federation’ is, it’s certainly not a ‘tax watchdog’ – let’s stop calling it one!

“Canadian Taxpayers Federation” Alberta Communications Director Derek Fildebrandt dressed up for a typical CTF stunt, which the media falls for every time. Below: Mr. Fildebrandt back in the days he was part of the Reagan-Goldwater Society at Carleton University; CTF board members Karen Selick, Adam Daifallah and John Mortimer. (Thumbnail photos grabbed from CTF’s website.) ...

Alberta Diary: Shocker: Canadian Taxpayers Federation suffers 17-per-cent membership slump!

Riley Climenhaga, who has some duties as an actual watchdog despite being one of the Canadian Taxpayer Federation’s 70,000 “supporters,” watches suspiciously. Below: CTF Alberta mouthpiece Derek Fildebrandt and Operations VP Shannon Morrison.  In a stunning development, membership in the Canadian Taxpayers Federation has slumped close to 17 per cent – from six members, to ...

Alberta Diary: Minuscule Canadian Taxpayers Federation in running for ‘Turfy Award’

Former Canadian Taxpayers Federation Alberta Director Scott Hennig, now the group’s Communications VP, in a nice AstroTurf-coloured sweater at last weekend’s Ottawa conference of the Manning Centre for Undermining Democracy. Below: CTF President Troy Lanigan; CTF member … rrrrrrr … supporter, Riley Climenhaga; CTF Operations VP Shannon Morrison. When it comes time to hand out ...

Politics and its Discontents: Police Surveillance

Funny, isn’t it, that while the police generally favour video surveillance cameras as a way to prevent crime, they are not nearly as sanguine when the cameras are turned on them. Yesterday, Dr. Dawg provided a link to a story in The National Post written by Karen Selick, who discusses how it is becoming increasing ...