Another Manntastic law footnote: the process is the punishment

Mark Steyn recently wrote:

In a couple of months, Michael E Mann’s defamation suit against me will enter its sixth year in the constipated bowels of DC justice. Given the proceduralist swamp in which the case is now mired, it is not unreasonable to assume that its ultimate disposition will consume most of my remaining time on earth: as I’ve remarked before, in medieval England trial by jury replaced trial by ordeal; in 21st-century America it’s the other way round.

And then today, we have this:

Link to ruling:

Yes, thanks to a two-year long consideration of an edit, the appellants CEI, National Review, and Rand Simberg get to file new paperwork…and may get an answer before the end of the decade…or not.

In the meantime, there’s this book to entertain you while you wait:

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Roy W. Spencer
December 13, 2018 1:56 pm

Can someone translate this from legalese to English, please?

Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
December 13, 2018 2:11 pm

“Constipated bowels of justice” is pretty clear language. 🙂

Curious George
Reply to  Albert
December 13, 2018 4:37 pm

Could the English expression be “The Swamp”?

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
December 13, 2018 2:33 pm

Justice delayed is justice denied!

Reply to  Clyde Spencer
December 13, 2018 8:20 pm

Not really. This is how courts have employment. But, in 20 years, it is over, it goes to trial with no more motions possible to consider.

U. T. Ter Bilge
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
December 13, 2018 5:51 pm

Steyn should celebrate the delay, as the audacity with which he misrepresents critics like Muller could translate into perjury or self impeachment in court.

He therefore does his erstwhile allies no good service by canting about their credentials, which count for nothing in the face of factual discovery, or cross examination, and cross examined he will be:

” what do you think of supporting a cause which you know to be bad?”
“Sir, you do not know it to be good or bad until the judge determines it. I have said that you are to state facts fairly; so that your thinking, or what you call knowing, a cause to be bad, must be from reasoning, must be from your supposing your arguments to be weak and inconclusive.
But, Sir, that is not enough. An argument which does not convince yourself, may convince the Judge to which you urge it; and if it does convince him, why, then, Sir, you are wrong and he is right.
It is his business to judge; and you are not to be confident in your own opinion that a cause is bad, but to say all you can for your client, and then hear the Judge’s opinion.”
“But, Sir, does not affecting a warmth when you have no warmth, and appearing to be clearly of one opinion, when you are in reality of another opinion, does not such dissimulation impair one’s honesty?
Is there not some danger that a lawyer may put on the same mask in common life, in the intercourse with friends?”
“Why no, Sir.
Everybody knows you are paid for affecting warmth for your client; and it is, therefore, properly no dissimulation: the moment you come from the bar you resume your usual behaviour. Sir, a man will no more carry the artifice of the bar into the common intercourse of society, than a man who is paid for tumbling upon his hands will continue to tumble on his hands when he should walk on his feet.”

Gary Pearse
Reply to  U. T. Ter Bilge
December 14, 2018 11:42 am

Bilge, you have no idea of the formidable defence that Steyn can mount. The man is a genius and his audacity knows no bounds but it won’t harm him. Michael Mann, I’m sure, began to regret his suit almost from the opening salvo from Steyn.

Rather than cower, he countersued for 20million effectively locking Mann INTO the suit! Mann can’t back down or he is faced with Steyn’s countersuit and backing down is itself the evidence for Steyn’s case. Many who know Steyn advised Mann
not to sue.

With millions of people like you, most of the media, academia, learned institutions, politicians, etc. against him in Canada, and before a kangaroo court – the very P. C. Human Rights Tribunal- in a case brought by the Canadian Muslim Council, he thrashed them mercilessly and the case even resulted in the overturning of Federal Hate Crime legislation! Even though he won, the never-to-be- the-same-Tribunal still admonished Steyn, probably out of shock. The plaintiffs realizing they were out of their depth actually withdrew! They were lucky the kangeroo didnt permit countersuits.

Reply to  U. T. Ter Bilge
December 15, 2018 8:32 am

Bilge, is your nonsense some kind of joke? If so, it’s not remotely funny.

Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
December 13, 2018 6:41 pm

The judges ruled that: (1) they had jurisdiction, (2) the lower court ruling against the motion to dismiss under the district’s anti-SLAPP Act is, in this particular case, appeal-able, and (3) the appeals court (a) upholds the lower court’s ruling against 2 of the defendant’s (Steyn and Simberg) motion to dismiss on the basis that the plaintiff (Mann) is likely to succeed and (b) overturns the lower court’s ruling regarding Lowery on the basis that it is unlikely to succeed. So I think Lowery is off the hook, Steyn gets to move forward with discovery and Simberg needs to decide what to do next.

The difficulty that the appeals court had is that they needed to evaluate whether the facts presented by Mann were sufficient to defeat the motion to dismiss under the “likely to succeed” standard of the Anti-SLAPP Act. To do this, they chose to accept the facts presented in Mann’s complaint and basically said, “these facts, as stated by Mann, satisfy the requirements under the Act and meet the “likely to succeed” standard. The trouble is that many of the “facts” presented in Mann’s complaint are under dispute. For example, Mann’s complaint says that the UEA investigation exonerated him (an example of a “fact” that the appeals court relied on in the opinion). Others point out that the UEA investigation only examined the conduct of UEA employees and did not delve into Mann’s conduct.

I think the problem with this ruling (in a general sense) is that it provides a blueprint for those who wish to engage in strategic litigation to stifle criticism while avoid a quick defeat under the Anti-SLAPP Act. If the court is to evaluate a motion to dismiss under the Act by asking the question “did the plaintiff assert facts sufficient to defeat the motion to dismiss?”, without asking the question “are the facts asserted by the plaintiff true?”, then all one needs to do is to load up the complaint with false facts. (I’m not talking about Mann here, but rather the general case. I’ll let the trial court decide whether Mann’s facts are true).

Phil R
Reply to  mpaul
December 13, 2018 8:08 pm


I’ve been following the Steyn saga and don’t necessarily understand all the legal ins-and-outs, but thank you for a short and sweet summary that I can understand. Still think it sucks…

richard verney
Reply to  mpaul
December 14, 2018 3:20 am

I do not know much about American law, but I very much doubt that your comment is correct:

the appeals court (a) upholds the lower court’s ruling against 2 of the defendant’s (Steyn and Simberg) motion to dismiss on the basis that the plaintiff (Mann) is likely to succeed

I expect that the position is that in order to dismiss, the Defendant has to establish that the Plaintiff has no arguable case. Since the Court would be dispensing summary jurisdiction, it is loathe to issue a Judgement which is final without hearing all the evidence.

Thus should a Court consider that there is an arguable case, it will not find in favour of the Defendant’s application to dismiss.

It is not easy to put a % assessment on this, but, for example, if the Court considers that M@nn has say a 30% chance of succeeding, even though this is well below the likelihood that M@nn will at the end of the day succeed, the Court will not dismiss the claim and will allow M@nn to have his day in Court, so that all evidence and arguments can be properly weighed and adjudicated upon..

Reply to  richard verney
December 14, 2018 8:23 am

The opinion covers these topics in quite a bit of detail. Its a special motion to dismiss under the Anti-SLAPP Act. The lower court ruled that the defendants didn’t meet the standard. In this ruling the court notes that for this special motion, the burden effectively shifts to the plaintiff to show that his case is likely to succeed. The court notes that this language is not defined in the Act but cites several precedents to conclude that it is not a statistical standard. Then then go on to say that: “To succeed on a claim for defamation, a plaintiff must prove: “(1) that the defendant made a false and defamatory statement concerning the plaintiff; (2) that the defendant published the statement without privilege to a third party; (3) that the defendant’s fault in publishing the statement [met the requisite standard]; and (4) either that the statement was actionable as a matter of law irrespective of special harm or that its publication caused the plaintiff special harm.” They then test Mann’s filing against these criteria (without evaluating whether the facts in Mann’s filing are true and accurate) and conclude that he is likely to succeed and therefore the special motion to dismiss is rejected. They give almost no weight to the defendants arguments.

Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
Reply to  richard verney
December 14, 2018 10:27 pm

Richard Verney, what’s up with your refusal to write the name “Mann”? I see “M@nn” and “M’ann”, but nowhere do you spell his name correctly. Why is that? Are you afraid of the results of a Ctl-f? I’d really like to know.

Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
December 15, 2018 5:44 am

It triggers the website filters or he isn’t worth the effort to write his name properly, take your pick 🙂

John Endicott
Reply to  Michael S. Kelly, LS, BSA, Ret.
December 17, 2018 11:00 am

Perhaps he think the Mann is like Beetlejuice, say or type his name too often and he’ll appear (with a lawsuit summons for defamation that will leave you in legal hell for years)

Reply to  richard verney
December 15, 2018 7:13 pm

I’m familiar with CA antiSLAPP but they are fairly uniform.
In order to dismiss a suit the defendant must demonstrate the “offending” speech was privileged or otherwise an exercise of constitutional rights. If so they then the plaintiff must demonstrate that he is likely to prevail anyway. In CA demonstrating a likelihood to prevail only requires the establishment of a prima fascie case, not an actual greater than 50% probability of prevailing. But if the first hurdle is cleared by the defendant the ability of a plaintiff to prevail is rather unlikely as privileged or first amendment speech are not ordinarily actionable.
It should be recalled the point of antiSLAPP statutes is to summarily dismiss nuisance suits designed only to silence critics, and therefore they are designed as special motions prior to the costly discovery and legal maneuverings such nuisance suits are brought for.
In this case the speech was not privileged and it can be argued it was libelous though I doubt it was. Obviously libel is not covered by the first amendment so the defendants do not have an easy ability to clear the first hurdle since Mann must presumably only make a prima fascia case of it. Failure to clear that hurdle is fatal to their motion.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Roy W. Spencer
December 14, 2018 12:07 pm

They’ve weaponized the process.

December 13, 2018 1:58 pm

I think Mark Steyn’s post is some 12 months old so we will soon be approaching 7 years in the list of the Washington DC Circuit court.

December 13, 2018 2:00 pm

“the process is the punishment”
It is certainly a crazy process, and rather unfair on Steyn, who chose not to be part of the interlocutory appeal. But neither did Mann. The appeal was mounted, in 2014, by the other defendants. And in 2016 they chose not to accept the result, but to seek a rehearing, which has now been denied. That is four years gone on unsuccessful defense appeals. Mann has no control over that.

Bob Johnston
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 13, 2018 2:48 pm

I wonder if it’s normal for there to be a 4 year delay for appeals of this sort or if there’s some other reason…

nw sage
Reply to  Bob Johnston
December 13, 2018 4:57 pm

More appeal = more clock time for lawyers. There is NO incentive for lawyers to speed up the process and every incentive to slow it down.

Reply to  nw sage
December 13, 2018 8:26 pm

In any court, criminal cases have priority, so libel cases with low priority and little social importance are subject to substantial scheduling delays. You can be ready for trial tomorrow and someone is about to get the gas chamber interrupts your plans and you get to wait.

bit chilly
Reply to  Donald Kasper
December 15, 2018 12:20 pm

especially american courts where the criminals are valuable assets once they become part of the prison work force .the majority never being given a trial, just threatened into accepting low time sentences by plea bargain against 20 years if the state has to incur the cost of a trial.

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  Nick Stokes
December 13, 2018 4:55 pm

Mann has plenty of control. He could drop the stupid lawsuit against the defendants other than Steyn and let things proceed.

Nobody said Mann had control over the appeals of the defendants, yet you rushed to post to defend him on that point. Pretty transparent.

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 13, 2018 7:48 pm

Which of course is what the defendants want, standard lawyers’ tactics, drag it out until the other side gives up.

richard verney
Reply to  Michael Jankowski
December 14, 2018 3:28 am

I consider Nick’s comment is a reasonable comment.

No one has to go to Court. For example, the counter position is also true. Steyn could avoid the process, by admitting liability and then settling by paying M@nn damages. It could be over in weeks.

Obviously, neither M’ann nor Steyn want to give up their case. There is no reason why either should be compelled to do so, and the Courts should be available to all, but unfortunately due to legal fees are unavailable to most.

I agree with others on the unsatisfactory nature of the speed of the process.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  richard verney
December 14, 2018 11:51 am
December 13, 2018 2:01 pm

What happened to the right of a speedy trial?

Reg Nelson
Reply to  Newt Love
December 13, 2018 3:32 pm

That’s only for criminal trials. I was on jury panel for a personal injury lawsuit a few years ago. The event that led to the lawsuit happened six years prior to case going to trial.

Tony Tea
December 13, 2018 2:03 pm

I read that an “En banc review is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance.” I wouldn’t have thought a shuckster dragging a Steyn through the circuit court system amounted to either unusually complex or important, with all due respect to Mark.

December 13, 2018 2:56 pm

If any newcomers here would like to understand why the accusation that Penn State’s Michael “Mann [et al] could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science” is entirely accurate, here are two experts, to explain it:

A quick explanation by Prof. Richard Muller:

A much deeper dive by Steve McIntyre:

Some additional info:

Reply to  Dave Burton
December 13, 2018 3:39 pm

Personally I always found that so sarcastic that any defamation action would fail because it falls under satire provisions.

Reply to  LdB
December 13, 2018 5:45 pm

If I remember correctly, the “offending phrase” went something like this.

Mann treats data the way Sandusky treated pre-teen boys.

Even if it weren’t satire, it still wouldn’t be actionable. No sane person would read that line and conclude the Steyn had called Mann a pedophile.

Smart Rock
Reply to  MarkW
December 13, 2018 8:23 pm

Steyn is a good writer and uses satire to make a point, more effectively (to the reader who hasn’t kept up with the intellectual atrocities of the climate change cabal) than just saying that Mann is a poor excuse for a scientist, and that he manipulates data to get it to show what he wants it to show.

Rather than reaching conclusions that the data leads him to, which is what he should be doing. Perhaps he thinks that is what he’s doing; self-delusion is normal in the upside-down world of post-science science.

So Mann felt the need to launch a suit because his “scientific integrity” was under attack. Which leads me to conclude that he’s not the one paying his legal team. If all he had was the salary of a tenured professor, he would not be doing this because he couldn’t afford it.

John Francis
Reply to  Smart Rock
December 14, 2018 4:47 pm

Of course Mann isn’t. There are several other cases too, including against Dr Tim Ball. The CC crowd has plenty of money.

Reply to  MarkW
December 14, 2018 2:54 pm


“No sane person”—there’s the flaw in the argument.

December 13, 2018 3:19 pm

I think it is time for Volume 2!

Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2018 3:31 pm

Pages 102-103 has the following:

“We need not decide whether the statement permits a finding that appellants’ conduct was
“extreme and outrageous,” because we conclude that Dr. Mann has not demonstrated that he is likely to succeed in proving that he suffered the severe emotional distress required to prevail on a claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

Pages 104-105 has the following orders:

“Dr. Mann has supplied sufficient evidence for a reasonable jury to find, by a preponderance of the evidence, that statements in the articles written by Mr. Simberg and Mr. Steyn were false, defamatory, and published by appellants to third parties, and, by clear and convincing evidence, that appellants did so with actual malice. We, therefore, affirm the trial court’s denial of the special motions to dismiss the defamation claims based on those articles and remand the case for additional proceedings in the trial court with respect to these claims.

“We reverse the trial court’s denial of the special motions to dismiss with respect to Dr. Mann’s defamation claims based on Mr. Lowry’s editorial and the claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress. On remand, the court shall dismiss these claims with prejudice. “

On July 13, 2012, Mr. Simberg authored an article entitled “The Other Scandal in Unhappy Valley,” which was published on, an online blog of CEI.

On July 15, 2012, Mr. Steyn authored an article titled “Football and Hockey,” which appeared on National Review’s online blog “The Corner.” In his article, Mr. Steyn quoted from Mr. Simberg’s July 13 article:”

Mann demanded an official apology from CEI and National Review. None came. Instead:

“August 22, 2012, Mr. Lowry wrote an editorial on National Review’s website titled “Get Lost” that re
ferred to “Michael Mann of Climategate infamy,” characterized his threatened litigation as “a nuisance lawsuit,” and included a link to National Review’s lawyer’s response rejecting Dr. Mann’s counsel’s request for a retraction. Mr. Lowry explained that “[i]n common polemical usage, ‘fraudulent’ doesn’t mean honest-to -goodness criminal fraud. It means intellectually bogus and wrong.” The editorial concluded: “[Dr. Mann is] going to go to great trouble and expense to embark on a losing cause that will expose more of his methods and maneuverings to the world. In short, he risks making an ass of himself. But that hasn’t stopped him before.” The underlying lawsuit followed.

Trial Court Proceedings: “Dr. Mann filed his initial complaint on October 22, 2012”

So in this Order, the Court concluded the case may continue against Mr Simberg (CEI) and Mr. Steyn (National Review) for their July 2012 articles, and dismissed the Mann’s claims against Mr Lowry (National Review) for his “Get Lost” response in August 2012.

Jim Gorman
December 13, 2018 4:03 pm

It’s time to take Shakespeare’s advice! The judicial system has become of the lawyers, by the lawyers, and for the lawyers and to hell with a “new birth of freedom”!

Reply to  Jim Gorman
December 13, 2018 5:47 pm

I’ve been saying for years that the primary purpose of the legal system is to enrich lawyers.
Everything else is secondary.

Richard of NZ
Reply to  Jim Gorman
December 14, 2018 1:54 am

Which play was it, Henry 4 part 2? At least the butcher had a very good name i.e. mine.

Dyspeptic Curmudgeon
Reply to  Richard of NZ
December 14, 2018 6:44 pm

But wasn’t he a dick, Richard?

December 13, 2018 4:46 pm

Well, having just read the entire opinion and given my background in the subject matter, I’d have to say that this opinion is riddled with errors of fact. Its very frustrating to see this kind of stuff. And I imagine that one strategy would be to appeal this opinion. But, I think the opinion opens the door to finally having a jury weigh in on issues such as:
(1) what exactly does “hide the decline” mean? Let’s stipulate that UEA is correct when they claim the word “trick” just means a clever way of doing something. Therefore, Mike’s nature trick should simply be interpreted, according to this opinion, as a clever way of doing something. The judges curiously tank seems to run dry at just this moment. A clever way of doing what? Well its clear from the text — a clever way of hiding the decline. What does that mean? Why did the decline need to be hidden. I have my opinions, but let a jury take a look at the evidence.
(2) Was the Penn State investigation into Climategate legitimate? Or was it, as the defendants claim, a whitewash? The opinion notes that the credibility of the sources must be taken into account. So Perhaps the former President of Penn State could testify. I believe he has completed his jail time now and is currently serving the remainder of his sentence in house arrest. So perhaps he could testify via video.
(3) The opinion relies on the NSF’s “investigation”. Was the NSF investigation independent? Did Dr Mann, as its has been alleged, have a hand in this report?
(4) And finally the big one from a defense standpoint, has Dr Mann engaged in deceit? This is something that a jury should evaluate. It affords an opportunity to examine whether Dr Mann purposefully gave Steve McIntyre false data. It allows a jury to probe deeply the question of whether Dr Mann’s claims of being a Nobel Prize winner are true. etc, etc. Let me not state an opinion here, since its not clear that such speech is protected in this new world. But I would eagerly want to see a jury’s view on this.

So all in all, I think this opinion will lead to what we have all been hoping for — a true and fair public hearing of all of the sordid history.

Phil R
Reply to  mpaul
December 13, 2018 8:19 pm


E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  mpaul
December 14, 2018 1:37 am

In my dictionairy the word ‘trick’ means ‘sleight of hand’, hiding something that had better not be seen with the explicit intention to deceive.

Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 14, 2018 8:34 am

I think the hockey team and their friends on the investigating bodies spent gallons of ink delving into the linguistic nuances of the word “trick” and never once mention the phrase “hide the decline”. Even in this opinion from the appeals court, they literally cut the citation off just before the words “hide the decline” appear. I think the focus needs to shift away from “trick”. Lets just stipulate that the term trick is used by really really smart people to congratulate themselves on their academic cleverness. Now, please explain to me what the word “hide” means.

December 13, 2018 5:15 pm

If you’re looking to read a book and haven’t read Mark Steyn’s “A Disgrace to the Profession”, put on your to-read list. It’s a treat.


Len Jay
December 13, 2018 5:16 pm

Perhaps Mr. Steyn’s frustration can be summed up by another famous (but fictional) case by Charles Dickens in Bleak House:

Charles Dickens
“Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means. The parties to it understand it least, but it has been observed that no two Chancery lawyers can talk about it for five minutes without coming to a total disagreement as to all the premises. Innumerable children have been born into the cause; innumerable young people have married into it; innumerable old people have died out of it. Scores of persons have deliriously found themselves made parties in Jarndyce and Jarndyce without knowing how or why; whole families have inherited legendary hatreds with the suit. The little plaintiff or defendant who was promised a new rocking-horse when Jarndyce and Jarndyce should be settled has grown up, possessed himself of a real horse, and trotted away into the other world. Fair wards of court have faded into mothers and grandmothers; a long procession of Chancellors has come in and gone out; the legion of bills in the suit have been transformed into mere bills of mortality; there are not three Jarndyces left upon the earth perhaps since old Tom Jarndyce in despair blew his brains out at a coffee-house in Chancery Lane; but Jarndyce and Jarndyce still drags its dreary length before the court, perennially hopeless.”

― Dickens, Charles
tags: bleak-house

Reply to  Len Jay
December 13, 2018 5:35 pm

Although Bleak House is fiction Dickens said that the inspiration for J vs J was two actual cases that were underway at the time, both exceeded twenty years!

Nigel Sherratt
Reply to  Phil.
December 14, 2018 6:35 am

Jennens v Jennens commenced in 1798 and was abandoned in 1915 when the legal fees had exhausted the Jennens estate. A dispute over a miser’s will ironically.

Joel O'Bryan
December 13, 2018 5:53 pm

Anthony, CTM, mods,

You know I try to make a good reply to Roy’s asking for English please on the legalese. My reply to him, using various formatting like blockquotes and italics to make it readable. And what happens? The post goes into the bit bucket, never to be seen again, or gone for hours at least until the mods dredge it up from somewhere. I give up.

Your commenting system now on WP sucks Anthony. Really.


December 13, 2018 6:00 pm

Is anyone capable of providing an informed opinion on the Law Business in the USA, specifically, for both state and federal courts:
1. The competence of judges.
2. The integrity of judges.
3. The competence of Crown Prosecutors.
4. The integrity of Crown Prosecutors.
5. The competence of lawyers.
6. The integrity of lawyers.

Stop laughing and hooting – this is a serious question!

Cheap shots and ridicule are not welcome – the lawyers are too easy a target, so have some personal pride, rise above the obvious catcalls and derision, and kindly try to objectively answer the above questions.

Thank you in advance for any serious, informed replies. 🙂

Ron Manley
December 13, 2018 6:12 pm

In the USA, they graduate more lawyers from law schools than engineers from engineering schools. So they have less people getting patents, and more people arguing about them.

E J Zuiderwijk
Reply to  Ron Manley
December 14, 2018 1:48 am

That appears to be an endemic disease of the English speaking world. You can substitute ‘bankers’ or ‘stockbrokers’ for ‘lawyers’. It explains in two short sentences the difference between the British and the German economies, for instance.

bit chilly
Reply to  E J Zuiderwijk
December 15, 2018 12:50 pm


Percy Jackson
December 13, 2018 6:28 pm

well objectively there are no crown prosecutors in the USA.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
December 14, 2018 2:12 am

Semantics Percy – you have prosecutors – what do you call them? My guess is “prosecutors”.

In Calgary Alberta, the Office of the Crown Prosecutor is utterly incompetent and biased, a criminal adjunct to a corrupt and extremely violent police force.


The recent judicial inquiry (below) confirms what I have been saying (and writing) for years about our out-of-control Calgary police. My analysis concluded that deceit and delay are the core practices of our City police – and that the “good” cops cover-up for their brutal and corrupt brothers rather than break ranks.

The entire police organization and its civilian review board have thus become contaminated. Regrettably, the majority of good cops don’t have the courage to clean up their own shop – everyone has their head down and nothing changes.

My business experience in the first, second and third-world leads me to suspect that we are only seeing the “tip of the iceberg”. When I saw people acting in aggressive and inexplicable ways, I investigated and often found deeper problems – their aggressive conduct was often a cover-up for petty corruption and theft. Police drug-dealing in steroids is a probability – this has already occurred in nearby Edmonton. Broader drug-dealing and associated illegal activities may be the full story.

The Crown Prosecutors and federally-appointed Justices are “in bed” with the police and appear to be intimidated or are simply colluding with them. Federal judicial appointments seems to be rewards for service to the political parties, with little regard for competence or ethics. Our Alberta provincially-appointed Judges are generally more competent and more ethical – some are good, but others are far from perfect.

Regard, Allan

By Emma McIntosh, StarMetro Calgary
Tues., May 29, 2018

CALGARY—An independent probe of the Calgary Police Service’s use of lethal force released Tuesday calls for expansive overhauls to how Alberta regulates police and investigates when officers are accused of shooting civilians.

The findings outlined a series of recommended reforms for both the city’s police and the province, flagging gaps in training and lambasting systemic delays in the investigations of fatal confrontations with police.

December 14, 2018 2:28 am

We have a serious problem here in Calgary with our city cops – they are trigger-happy bully-thugs. Their governing philosophy is shoot first and cover-up later.

In 2016 there were 10 police shootings of civilians in Calgary, whereas the average for cities our size in Canada was zero. I looked into each of these shootings and concluded that few if any were justified.

Calgary does not even have a serious crime or gang problem. Our citizens are generally unarmed. Our cops spend their time abusing and beating up law-abiding citizens (and occasionally shooting them). I suspect we have a much deeper problem of serious police corruption, and what we see is just the “tip of the iceberg”.

Here is one example – the cop-murder of young Anthony Heffernan:

Calgary police were called by a hotel desk clerk when a guest was late checking-out.

Five cops broke into Anthony’s hotel room – he was alone, drug-addled and confused, and non-threatening. They barked out orders and when Anthony did not immediately comply, they tasered him several times and then shot him multiple times in the face, all within 72 seconds.

The same cop later shot and killed quadriplegic Dave McQueen in his wheelchair. What a man!

ASIRT (the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team) recommended murder charges against the cop who shot Anthony. The Crown Prosecutor’s office refused to prosecute. Quelle surprise!

December 13, 2018 6:36 pm

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a leech?
A: After you die, a leech stops sucking your blood.

JD Ohio
December 13, 2018 7:25 pm

As a lawyer, I would say that 30% of lawyers are incompetent. About 30% are OK. 30% are good. And 10% are very good to excellent. Personally, I am always very careful when I am hiring lawyers for matters outside of my expertise. (Workers’ Compensation in the past, property law now) About 4 years ago, I received horrible advice from a New Mexico domestic relations attorney concerning jurisdiction in New Mexico. (my estranged wife had moved there). The competence of judges is generally a little bit better.

However, in some large cities the quality of judges is awful. For example, about 20 or 25 years ago, Cleveland with roughly 40 trial judges only had about 10 criminal trials in the whole year. In terms of the high rate of crime in Cleveland, that was a ridiculously low number.

My 2 cents worth.


Reply to  JD Ohio
December 14, 2018 1:57 am

Thank you JD.

I have spent five years self-represented in Canadian federal Court and I have been astonished at the incredible bias and incompetence of Queen’s Bench (federally-appointed) Justices. These Justices routinely violated Rules of Evidence and Supreme Court case law, accepting as fact newly-fabricated (and clearly identified) lies from corrupt lawyers, lies that were never properly introduced as evidence before the Court, and ruling against important case law previously established by the Supreme Court of Canada.

In Canada, this collaboration between corrupted lawyers and judges is called Fraud Upon the Court and Breach of Trust in Public Office, and it is commonplace in my experience. These Justices are supposed to be governed by the Judicial Council of Canada, but it has whitewashed their misconduct.

Similarly, the Law Society of Alberta whitewashed the egregious misconduct of the lawyers. In one case, my wife’s lawyer, a married man with children, was in a “close personal relationship” with her sister, who was also his client, and he routinely lied to the Court and fabricated stories when he was losing his case. The Justices accepted his blatant lies, and the Law Society dismissed her former boyfriend’s complaints about the lawyer’s extreme misconduct.

Some people have suggested that Justices are open to bribes and this explains their behaviour. I have heard contrary opinions from lawyers, but it is difficult to ascribe such extreme lawyer-and-judge misconduct to mere incompetence. It may be that Justices are simply hostile to self-represented litigants, but that does not explain all their bizarre decisions.

I suspect that many Justices are appointed because of their past service as fundraisers for the major political parties, especially the federal Liberals, and it may be that they never were competent lawyers and sought their judicial positions to improve their income and job security. I personally do not think that bribery is the primary reason for their bizarre decisions – I think it is judicial bias and extreme incompetence, but I could be wrong.

Coach Springer
Reply to  JD Ohio
December 14, 2018 7:13 am

You concentrate on competence to the exclusion of everything else. That is trouble to me for two reasons. Every lawyer is human. Competence isn’t everything.

Reply to  Coach Springer
December 14, 2018 12:16 pm


In the true professions – medicine and engineering, competence is paramount. We don’t get do-overs and appeals – we get it right the first time or people die.

Doctors kill them one at a time while Engineers can kill multitudes. Our professional associations don’t give do-overs either – if we really mess up, we are out of the profession, typically forever.

Here is why it matters, writ large:

Not all fossil fuels are created equal – a few have major downsides.


I received an award in March 2018 from the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) for averting a potential major sour gas disaster in SE Calgary.

The new foreign owners of the Mazeppa project were running 40% H2S critical sour gas within one mile of populous SE Calgary suburbs and had ceased the required monthly injection of anti-corrosion chemicals into the pipelines seven months earlier, which was extremely dangerous.

Fortunately, I was familiar with the project from decades ago (I was GM of Engineering for a company that formerly owned this project and about 20 others), and someone called me with this vital information. The amazing coincidence is my confidential informant did not know of my history with this project – he just wanted to talk to someone about his concerns.

The staff at the project were afraid to report the dangerous situation because they feared physical retaliation from the foreign owners, who they believed were violent thugs.

H2S is heavier than air and hugs the ground, and less than 0.1% is instantly fatal. I investigated, reported the matter, followed-up and it was made safe. I later learned that some of the critical sour gas pipelines had already experienced minor perforations and leaks.

Potential loss of life in a major discharge of H2S could have totaled up to 250,000 people, wiping out the SE quadrant of Calgary.

The reprimand by the Alberta Energy Regulator against the foreign owners is the most severe in Alberta history.

Regards, Allan

December 15, 2018 8:19 am

Good job.

Reply to  JD Ohio
December 14, 2018 12:05 pm

Canadian federally-appointed Justices are apparently appointed as rewards for fundraising and other services to the leading political parties. These Justices are remarkably incompetent and corrupted, and have little apparent knowledge of the most basic elements of Rule of Law, such as
– Innocent Until Proven Guilty
– The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
– Human Rights and Gender Neutrality
– The Rights of Children


The following describes the extreme incompetence and corruption of Canadian Federal Courts.

This note is from an eminent Canadian legal scholar – on the Extreme Bias and Incompetence of Canada’s Supreme Court:

“The rot starts at the top! [Canadian Supreme Court] Justice Abella once opined that women are victims in 90-95% of domestic violence incidents. That is the level of ignorance and bias you are up against when you go to court on something like this. This is the court that thinks that it is too much of a hardship to put a woman through a second trial after she hired an undercover cop to put a contract on her husband’s life… R. v. Ryan [2013 SCC 3]. ”


The Supreme Court ruled that it was too much of a hardship to put Mrs. Ryan through a second trial after she hired an undercover RCMP officer to murder her husband. The court ruled that she had no choice but to kill, due to “duress” because she falsely claimed that she was abused. The court also falsely criticized the RCMP for not protecting her. Other than Mrs. Ryan’s false testimony, which was accepted as true without any credible evidence by judges at all three levels of court, no evidence was provided that her husband was violent.

A subsequent major public investigation exonerated the RCMP and showed that Mr. Ryan was not violent. Mrs. Ryan was the violent partner.

Justice Beverly McLachlin, who was Chief Justice for the R. vs. Ryan debacle, has since retired from the SCC and is practising international law.

December 14, 2018 1:11 pm

It depends, and can vary from state to state. Ex. In Oregon only a judge can recuse themselves. You can ask at great risk but that’s it all you can do is appeal and wait 4 yrs for a hearing. As a consequence I have never been in courtroom where the judge has not violated the law. Supposedly they are elected, except most are appointed by Governor and almost all never are opposed. Bar association is just there to settle issues between lawyers. Assistant DAs can only be investigated by DA and DA only by attorney general and only for thier actions. So if a assistant DA killed someones or lied under oath only his boss could prosecute. If asst. Boss ordered it how likely would that be. So to sat it is of lawyers, by lasers, for lawyers is an understatement. Oh and only lawyers can be judges.

Reply to  ironargonaut
December 14, 2018 5:16 pm


The Law Business is similar here. The Law Business is by far the most incompetent and corrupt of all the professions. In many cases of litigation, your lawyer is not working in your best interest – he is working for his own benefit – to prolong the case and maximize his billable hours.

One of my friends, a wealthy professional, recently went through a divorce. The marriage lasted only two years, both husband and wife were middle-aged, both had good jobs and owned houses, there were no children of the marriage, and no real issues. The divorce lasted four years and legal bills totaled almost one million dollars. The stress on him was enormous and damaged his health.

I explained to him early in the process that his lawyer was his “least best friend”, and was racking up the hours to try to make partner in her firm. That’s what it’s all about!

There are some honest lawyers out there, typically practising business law. Litigators, however, are often working for themselves.

December 13, 2018 6:39 pm

I know of a case where two of the lawyers died before the case ended. The case involved multiple parties, but still….

Alan Tomalty
December 13, 2018 7:48 pm

Almost 1 year ago today Michael Mann promoted the new official LAW OF CLIMATE CHANGE. I quote:

“The warmer the ocean surface, the more energy that is available to intensify these storms. And the warmer the ocean surface, the more moisture there is in the atmosphere – moisture that is available to form precipitation. As the winds wrap around in a counter-clockwise manner, they bring all of that moisture northwest, where it is chilled and ultimately falls not as rain but snow. Lots of snow.

Dr. Michael Mann on Climate Denial: “It’s Impaired Our Ability to Move Forward”

As the oceans continue to warm, cold Arctic air masses collide with increasingly warm Atlantic Ocean waters. That means larger temperature contrasts and potentially stronger storms. But those warmer oceans also mean more moisture in the atmosphere, even more energy to strengthen the storm, and the potential for larger snowfalls. We might, if you’ll forgive the pun, call this a “perfect storm” of factors for intensification.

Indeed, climate model simulations indicate that we can expect more intense nor’easters as human-caused climate change continues to warm the oceans. ”


This is so patently ridiculous that it beggars belief in all of climate science. Look at this 5 year old study of the real reason that most tropical rain falls in the Northern Hemisphere. It has nothing to do with CO2 heating up the atmosphere.

“A quick glance at a world precipitation map shows that most tropical rain falls in the Northern Hemisphere. The pattern arises from ocean currents originating from the poles, thousands of miles away. The findings, published Oct. 20 2013 in Nature Geoscience, explain a fundamental feature of the planet’s climate, and show that icy waters affect seasonal rains that are crucial for growing crops in such places as Africa’s Sahel region and southern India. In general, hotter places are wetter because hot air rises and moisture precipitates out.”

“It rains more in the Northern Hemisphere because it’s warmer,” said corresponding author Dargan Frierson, a UW associate professor of atmospheric sciences. “The question is: What makes the Northern Hemisphere warmer? And we’ve found that it’s the ocean circulation.”

“Frierson and his co-authors first used detailed measurements from NASA’s Clouds and Earth’s Radiant Energy System, or CERES, satellites to show that sunlight actually provides more heat to the Southern Hemisphere.”
After using other observations to calculate the ocean heat transport, the authors next used computer models to show the key role of the huge conveyor-belt current that sinks near Greenland, travels along the ocean bottom to Antarctica, and then rises and flows north along the surface. Eliminating this current flips the tropical rain bands to the south.

The reason is that as the water moves north over many decades it gradually heats up, carrying some 400 trillion (that’s four with 14 zeroes after it) watts of power across the equator.”

CO2 is not actually warming up the atmosphere in the tropics in the southern Hemisphere.
However satellites show that sunlight actually provides more heat to the Southern Hemisphere as the above 2013 study showed. See the Frierson paper above. I hate to use computer model info to back up my argument but in this case both alarmists and skeptics agree that ocean currents do act like a conveyor belt. “The reason is that as the water moves north over many decades it gradually heats up” See above. “and then rises and flows north along the surface”. The real question is why does the water heat up? Well, the southern hemisphere has sunlight that actually provides more heat to the Southern Hemisphere. see above. Since the water rises and flows northward along the surface, the heat is coming from 2 sources now 1) the deep ocean global current and 2) the increase of sunlight on the surface in the Southern hemisphere. By the time the waters get across the equator they evaporate and this causes more precipitation on the north side of the equator.

Mann is trying to say that CO2 is heating up the atmosphere which then causes more evaporation, but he has the story backwards. Warm water evaporates faster and more than cold water. The atmosphere isnt heating the oceans. Sunlight is. Hot air rises and moisture precipitates out (see above). However you need the water vapour in the air 1st. That can only come from evaporation. And that comes mainly from warmer waters. Mann’s idea of colder climates receiving the water vapour that was caused by CO2 warming means that we have huge conveyor belts of water vapour in the sky as well. This is true. However look at the following

“A Warm Conveyor Belt is defined as a layer of air which:

originates in a relative easterly to south-easterly flow within the lower levels of the troposphere in the ridge area ahead of the front;
generally ascends pole ward (north to north-eastern direction) forming cloudiness due to the condensation of moist air;
after turning to south-eastward directions ascending motion changes to descending motion, where cloud dissolution takes place.”

This shows that “A survey by ZAMG has shown that within a period of two years over 57% of the Warm Conveyor Belts that occurred happened over North-Africa and the Mediterranean and could be subscribed to the more isolated and separated type of Warm Conveyor Belt. Of the 467 cases examined less than 70 (15%) occurred over western, northern or eastern Europe and were mostly connected to a frontal system.”
However the next sentence is the smoking gun of Mann’s fallacy.

“Usually the Warm Conveyor Belt cloudiness consists only of mid- and high level cloudiness with hardly any or just slight precipitation.”

SO MANN’S DEPENDENCE ON WARM CONVEYOR BELTS OF AIR ORIGINATING FROM TROPICS AND TRAVELLING TO NORTHERN CLIMES IN THE WINTER AND THEN PRECIPITATING OUT AS SNOW JUST DOESNT WASH. The truth is that northern hemisphere winter storms are caused by frigid Arctic air going south and NOT by overheated air going north. To be clear I am differentiating snow storms in Texas from snowstorms in northern US Canada and Russia. The snowstorms in winter in Texas get their moisture from winds from the south or west whereas the others clearly dont get their moisture from heated air from the tropics. If that was true, then we would see a hurricane season all year long, but we don’t. Hurricane season ends in November.

That is what you get when you have to make up the science as you go along to fit the facts. For 30 years now, climate scientists have been constructing their theory ONLY when the skeptics made it too embarassing to hold on the old theory. So they have to constantly add fantasies to the theory. The hard part for us skeptics is disproving all these fantasies.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
December 13, 2018 8:16 pm

The reason is that as the water moves north over many decades it gradually heats up, carrying some 400 trillion (that’s four with 14 zeroes after it) watts of power across the equator.”

Is that really 400 trillion watts (terrawatts)? IE 400 terrawat hours every hour? Or is someone confusing power and energy?

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
December 13, 2018 9:14 pm

Power = Energy / time unit
1 Watt = 1 joule/second
Energy = energy unit * time unit
1 joule = 1 watt-second
1 watt-hour = 3600 joules
400 terrawatts = 400 trillion joules / second

You mentioned terrawatt hours. if you want to measure in terrawatt hours you would have to divide by 3600. The authors gave the figure as a unit of power, not energy.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
December 14, 2018 11:25 am

It’s “terawatt”. And yes, the Sun shines ~gigawatt / km², so that’s not too much far off, couple of zeroes could easily be missed though.

4e14 would be better in my opinion.

David jones
December 13, 2018 9:39 pm

Can’t remember where I read this I’ve always liked this description of a civil suit.
A civil suit is one in which one party, the Plaintiff, seeks a legal remedy against another party, called the Defendant. They are represented in court by lawyers who argue until one party is proven discouraged or bankrupt.

Jaap Titulaer
December 14, 2018 12:41 am

I have difficulty understanding how Steyn’s comment (this: can be considered libelous.
And there are so few lines!

Doug Huffman
December 14, 2018 4:29 am

Jennens v Jennens persisted from 1798 until 1915 when the estate was exhausted for payments to legions of attorneys. Jennens inspired Charles Dickens’ Jarndyce in Bleak House when the case was only about fifty years old.

December 14, 2018 6:08 am

The legal profession is used by the government and its cronies as the modern day inquisition. They have infinite funds to force confession, but rather than the threat of torture by a red hot iron, they use the financial destruction of legal fees.

Gerald the Mole
December 15, 2018 3:17 am

Justice delayed is justice denied

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