Tuesday, February 28, 2023

China's Views on United States Hegemony - Part 2 - Technological and Cultural Hegemony

In part one of this two part posting, I looked at a recent essay that appeared on the website of the Foreign Ministry of the People's Republic of China (FMPRC) which examined Washington's role as the dominant political, economic and political power in the world from the perspective of China's leadership.  The essay, entitled "US Hegemony and Its Perils" looks at five aspects of America's hegemony; political, military and economic which were covered in part one and technological and cultural which will be covered in this posting.  


1.) Technological Hegemony - Monopoly and Suppression:  In this section, the authors of the essay outline how U.S. government policies deter the scientific, technological and economic development of other nations by imposing technological and other restrictions in high-tech fields.  One prime example of this is the Section 301 Investigations mechanism which is used by the Office of the United States trade Representative under the Executive Office of the President to investigate and take action to enforce U.S. trade rights under trade agreements and respond to certain foreign trade practices.  Here is a brief outline on the retaliatory actions that the USTR can take if it deems that there has been a "trade agreement violation or if an act, policy or practice of a foreign government is unjustifiable and burdens or restricts U.S. commerce."


"To remedy a foreign trade practice, Section 301 authorizes the USTR to (1) impose duties or other import restrictions, (2) withdraw or suspend trade agreement concessions, or (3) enter into a binding agreement with the foreign government to either eliminate the conduct in question (or the burden to U.S. commerce) or compensate the United States with satisfactory trade benefits. The USTR must give preference to duties (i.e., tariffs) if action is taken in the form of import restrictions. The level of mandatory action under Section 301 should “affect goods or services of the foreign country in an amount equivalent in value to the burden or restriction being imposed by that country on” U.S. commerce."


Here is an example specific to the USTR investigation into China and technological transfer and intellectual property:



Let's look at some quotes from the essay with my bolds throughout:


"The United States monopolizes intellectual property in the name of protection. Taking advantage of the weak position of other countries, especially developing ones, on intellectual property rights and the institutional vacancy in relevant fields, the United States reaps excessive profits through monopoly. In 1994, the United States pushed forward the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), forcing the Americanized process and standards in intellectual property protection in an attempt to solidify its monopoly on technology....


The United States politicizes, weaponizes technological issues and uses them as ideological tools. Overstretching the concept of national security, the United States mobilized state power to suppress and sanction Chinese company Huawei, restricted the entry of Huawei products into the U.S. market, cut off its supply of chips and operating systems, and coerced other countries to ban Huawei from undertaking local 5G network construction. It even talked Canada into unwarrantedly detaining Huawei's CFO Meng Wanzhou for nearly three years.


The United States has fabricated a slew of excuses to clamp down on China's high-tech enterprises with global competitiveness, and has put more than 1,000 Chinese enterprises on sanction lists. In addition, the United States has also imposed controls on biotechnology, artificial intelligence and other high-end technologies, reinforced export restrictions, tightened investment screening, suppressed Chinese social media apps such as TikTok and WeChat, and lobbied the Netherlands and Japan to restrict exports of chips and related equipment or technology to China."


Here is what China has to say about how Washington abuses its technological hegemony to carry out cyber attacks and electronic surveillance which came to light thanks, in part, to Edward Snowden:


"The United States abuses its technological hegemony by carrying out cyber attacks and eavesdropping. The United States has long been notorious as an "empire of hackers," blamed for its rampant acts of cyber theft around the world. It has all kinds of means to enforce pervasive cyber attacks and surveillance, including using analog base station signals to access mobile phones for data theft, manipulating mobile apps, infiltrating cloud servers, and stealing through undersea cables. The list goes on.


U.S. surveillance is indiscriminate. All can be targets of its surveillance, be they rivals or allies, even leaders of allied countries such as former German Chancellor Angela Merkel and several French Presidents. Cyber surveillance and attacks launched by the United States such as "Prism," "Dirtbox," "Irritant Horn" and "Telescreen Operation" are all proof that the United States is closely monitoring its allies and partners. Such eavesdropping on allies and partners has already caused worldwide outrage. Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, a website that has exposed U.S. surveillance programs, said that "do not expect a global surveillance superpower to act with honor or respect. There is only one rule: there are no rules."


2.) Cultural Hegemony - Spreading False Narratives:  In this section, the authors note that the global expansion of American culture plays an important part in strengthening and maintaining its control.  Here are some quotes:


"The United States embeds American values in its products such as movies. American values and lifestyle are a tied product to its movies and TV shows, publications, media content, and programs by the government-funded non-profit cultural institutions. It thus shapes a cultural and public opinion space in which American culture reigns and maintains cultural hegemony. In his article The Americanization of the World, John Yemma, an American scholar, exposed the real weapons in U.S. cultural expansion: the Hollywood, the image design factories on Madison Avenue and the production lines of Mattel Company and Coca-Cola....


American cultural hegemony not only shows itself in "direct intervention," but also in "media infiltration" and as "a trumpet for the world." U.S.-dominated Western media has a particularly important role in shaping global public opinion in favor of U.S. meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.


The U.S. government strictly censors all social media companies and demands their obedience. Twitter CEO Elon Musk admitted on 27 December 2022 that all social media platforms work with the U.S. government to censor content, reported Fox Business Network. Public opinion in the United States is subject to government intervention to restrict all unfavorable remarks. Google often makes pages disappear..."


The essay goes on to outline the links between the American media  One prime example of media manipulation of other nations is RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty which was formed in 1949 to combat the spread of Communism in the post-World War II world.  Another is the cozy connection between the CIA and reporters from the Associated Press, Washington Post, New York Times and the Wall Street Journal (among other media outlets) as outlined in a 2014 report on The Intercept as shown in this email exchange between the CIA Office of Public Affairs and Ken Dilanian at the Los Angeles Times:



In addition, here is an interesting article from 2021 that appeared on the CATO website entitled "How the National Security State Manipulates the News Media" which outlines the threat to liberty that occurs when the press colludes with America's national security apparatus.


Here is an additional quote from the Chinese essay regarding this issue and Washington's hypocrisy when it comes to freedom of the press in other nations:


"The United States practices double standards on the freedom of the press. It brutally suppresses and silences media of other countries by various means. The United States and Europe bar mainstream Russian media such as Russia Today and the Sputnik from their countries. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube openly restrict official accounts of Russia. Netflix, Apple and Google have removed Russian channels and applications from their services and app stores. Unprecedented draconian censorship is imposed on Russia-related contents.


The United States abuses its cultural hegemony to instigate "peaceful evolution" in socialist countries. It sets up news media and cultural outfits targeting socialist countries. It pours staggering amounts of public funds into radio and TV networks to support their ideological infiltration, and these mouthpieces bombard socialist countries in dozens of languages with inflammatory propaganda day and night."


Let's close the second part of this two part posting on American hegemony from China's perspective with this quote from the conclusion to the essay:


"While a just cause wins its champion wide support, an unjust one condemns its pursuer to be an outcast. The hegemonic, domineering, and bullying practices of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games are exerting grave harm. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are unstoppable. The United States has been overriding truth with its power and trampling justice to serve self-interest. These unilateral, egoistic and regressive hegemonic practices have drawn growing, intense criticism and opposition from the international community."


We are seeing growing signs of discontent, particularly in the global south, with America's views of its exceptionalism and its bully stance when it comes to the geopolitical reality of today.  There is little doubt that the globe is evolving into a multipolar system where multiple nations and alliances of nations (i.e. BRICS) are playing a far more influential role on the world stage at the expense of Washington and its post-World War II, rules-based international order mentality.

Monday, February 27, 2023

China's Views on United States Hegemony - Part 1 - Political, Military and Economic Hegemony

An essay that recently appeared on the website of the Foreign Ministry of the People's Republic of China (FMPRC) focusses on China's views on Washington's involvement in global geopolitics since the end of the two World Wars and the Cold War.  Let's look at some excerpts from this essay, putting into perspective that the world's geopolitical landscape is evolving from a unipolar to a multipolar reality.  To keep this posting to a reasonable length, I will only focus on three of the five types of United States-based hegemony that are discussed in the essay.


The essay is titled "US Hegemony and Its Perils".  Here are the opening paragraphs with my bolds throughout this posting:


"Since becoming the world's most powerful country after the two world wars and the Cold War, the United States has acted more boldly to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, pursue, maintain and abuse hegemony, advance subversion and infiltration, and willfully wage wars, bringing harm to the international community.


The United States has developed a hegemonic playbook to stage "color revolutions," instigate regional disputes, and even directly launch wars under the guise of promoting democracy, freedom and human rights. Clinging to the Cold War mentality, the United States has ramped up bloc politics and stoked conflict and confrontation. It has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export controls and forced unilateral sanctions upon others. It has taken a selective approach to international law and rules, utilizing or discarding them as it sees fit, and has sought to impose rules that serve its own interests in the name of upholding a "rules-based international order."


As noted by the author, the "rules-based international order" exists solely to advance Washington's global agenda and punish nations and leaders who do not subscribe to the American view of the world.

Now, let's look at the first three sections of the essay:


1.) Political Hegemony - Throwing Its Weight Around:  In this section, we find a brief summary of how Washington has used its political, economic and military might to bully the world into a mold that is "acceptable":


"The United States has long been attempting to mold other countries and the world order with its own values and political system in the name of promoting democracy and human rights.


Instances of U.S. interference in other countries' internal affairs abound. In the name of "promoting democracy," the United States practiced a "Neo-Monroe Doctrine" in Latin America, instigated "color revolutions" in Eurasia, and orchestrated the "Arab Spring" in West Asia and North Africa, bringing chaos and disaster to many countries....


...the policies of successive U.S. governments toward Latin America and the Caribbean Region have been riddled with political interference, military intervention and regime subversion. From its 61-year hostility toward and blockade of Cuba to its overthrow of the Allende government of Chile, U.S. policy on this region has been built on one maxim-those who submit will prosper; those who resist shall perish.


The year 2003 marked the beginning of a succession of "color revolutions" -- the "Rose Revolution" in Georgia, the "Orange Revolution" in Ukraine and the "Tulip Revolution" in Kyrgyzstan. The U.S. Department of State openly admitted playing a "central role" in these "regime changes." The United States also interfered in the internal affairs of the Philippines, ousting President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. in 1986 and President Joseph Estrada in 2001 through the so-called "People Power Revolutions."


The essay mentions that Washington had also planned to intervene in Venezuela's 2018 election, far from m the first time that the United States has intervened in South America (think Allende/Pinochet in Chile in 1973).  The essay also misses some obvious other examples of interference including, most importantly, Iran and the overthrowing of Mohammad Mosaddegh and the installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953, a political move that has had a long history of unintended consequences.


In my opinion, here is the key paragraph of this section:


"The U.S. arbitrarily passes judgment on democracy in other countries, and fabricates a false narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism" to incite estrangement, division, rivalry and confrontation. In December 2021, the United States hosted the first "Summit for Democracy," which drew criticism and opposition from many countries for making a mockery of the spirit of democracy and dividing the world. In March 2023, the United States will host another "Summit for Democracy," which remains unwelcome and will again find no support."


The sorry state of "democracy" in the United States should be the primary concern of the ruling class in  Washington but it would appear that as long as Corporate America keeps funding Congress, decision makers consider the American electoral system to be "healthy".


2.) "Military Hegemony - Wanton Use of Force: In this section, the author outlines the use of force by the United States since it gained independence from Great Britain in 1776.  Here are some quotes:


"The history of the United States is characterized by violence and expansion. Since it gained independence in 1776, the United States has constantly sought expansion by force: it slaughtered Indians, invaded Canada, waged a war against Mexico, instigated the American-Spanish War, and annexed Hawaii. After World War II, the wars either provoked or launched by the United States included the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan, the Iraq War, the Libyan War and the Syrian War, abusing its military hegemony to pave the way for expansionist objectives. In recent years, the U.S. average annual military budget has exceeded 700 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 40 percent of the world's total, more than the 15 countries behind it combined. The United States has about 800 overseas military bases, with 173,000 troops deployed in 159 countries.


According to the book "America Invades: How We've Invaded or been Militarily Involved with almost Every Country on Earth", the United States has fought or been militarily involved with almost all the 190-odd countries recognized by the United Nations with only three exceptions. The three countries were "spared" because the United States did not find them on the map....


According to a Tufts University report, "Introducing the Military Intervention Project: A new Dataset on U.S. Military Interventions, 1776-2019," the United States undertook nearly 400 military interventions globally between those years, 34 percent of which were in Latin America and the Caribbean, 23 percent in East Asia and the Pacific, 14 percent in the Middle East and North Africa, and 13 percent in Europe. Currently, its military intervention in the Middle East and North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa is on the rise."


The essayist observes that military actions by Washington have created humanitarian crises around the world.  Since 2001 alone, operations by the U.S. military have resulted in over 900,000 deaths (335,000 of those were civilians, injured millions and displaced tens of millions.


Key to America's military might are its use of brutal methods of warfare as quoted here:


"The United States has also adopted appalling methods in war. During the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo War, the War in Afghanistan and the Iraq War, the United States used massive quantities of chemical and biological weapons as well as cluster bombs, fuel-air bombs, graphite bombs and depleted uranium bombs, causing enormous damage on civilian facilities, countless civilian casualties and lasting environmental pollution."


What is even more appalling is that these methods of warfare often end up severely damaging those that Washington sends to fight its battles including agent orange during the Vietnam War and chemical exposure during the Gulf War which resulted in Gulf War syndrome, actions that forced these veterans to fight for compensation.


3.) Economic Hegemony - Looting and Exploitation:  In this section, the author outlines how the United States uses the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency to to coerce other nations into serving its political and economic strategies.  Clearly, over the past few decades, Washington has waged economic war using a regime of economic sanctions that rarely seem to work as anticipated.  In case you were curious, here is a listing of the active sanctions programs from the U.S. Department of the Treasury website:


Some of these nations, for example Cuba, have been living under American sanctions for many decades and yet, they still aren't following the Washington-created "rules-based international order".


Here are some quotes from the Economy Hegemony section of the essay:


"The United States exploits the world's wealth with the help of "seigniorage." It costs only about 17 cents to produce a 100 dollar bill, but other countries had to pony up 100 dollar of actual goods in order to obtain one. It was pointed out more than half a century ago, that the United States enjoyed exorbitant privilege and deficit without tears created by its dollar, and used the worthless paper note to plunder the resources and factories of other nations....


The United States willfully suppresses its opponents with economic coercion. In the 1980s, to eliminate the economic threat posed by Japan, and to control and use the latter in service of America's strategic goal of confronting the Soviet Union and dominating the world..."


This is the key paragraph in this section:


"America's economic and financial hegemony has become a geopolitical weapon. Doubling down on unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdiction," the United States has enacted such domestic laws as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, and the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, and introduced a series of executive orders to sanction specific countries, organizations or individuals. Statistics show that U.S. sanctions against foreign entities increased by 933 percent from 2000 to 2021. The Trump administration alone has imposed more than 3,900 sanctions, which means three sanctions per day. So far, the United States had or has imposed economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries across the world, including Cuba, China, Russia, the DPRK, Iran and Venezuela, affecting nearly half of the world's population. "The United States of America" has turned itself into "the United States of Sanctions." And "long-arm jurisdiction" has been reduced to nothing but a tool for the United States to use its means of state power to suppress economic competitors and interfere in normal international business. This is a serious departure from the principles of liberal market economy that the United States has long boasted."


The paper continues by discussing two other types of American hegemony; technological and cultural which will be covered in Part 2 of this two-part posting.


Let's close with one of the two paragraphs in the conclusion of this essay:


'While a just cause wins its champion wide support, an unjust one condemns its pursuer to be an outcast. The hegemonic, domineering, and bullying practices of using strength to intimidate the weak, taking from others by force and subterfuge, and playing zero-sum games are exerting grave harm. The historical trends of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual benefit are unstoppable. The United States has been overriding truth with its power and trampling justice to serve self-interest. These unilateral, egoistic and regressive hegemonic practices have drawn growing, intense criticism and opposition from the international community."


American self-interest indeed.  That’s what it’s been about for the past eighty years.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Moderna's Focus on mRNA Technology

With the exception of politicians, health care officials and the mainstream media who seem to have very little knowledge about the mRNA technology being used in the COVID-19 vaccines, the history of the use of mRNA in vaccines has been fraught with issues.  Nonetheless, Moderna, one of the three main players in the mRNA space is going full bore on the use of this technology for other uses.


Here is a brief article that looks at history of the technology as quoted from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University:


Here are some quotes:


"Messenger RNA, or mRNA, was discovered in the early 1960s; research into how mRNA could be delivered into cells was developed in the 1970s. So, why did it take until the global COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 for the first mRNA vaccine to be brought to market? 


The early years of mRNA research were marked by a lot of enthusiasm for the technology but some difficult technical challenges that took a great deal of innovation to overcome. 


The biggest challenge was that mRNA would be taken up by the body and quickly degraded before it could “deliver” its message—the RNA transcript—and be read into proteins in the cells. 


The solution to this problem came from advances in nanotechnology: the development of fatty droplets (lipid nanoparticles) that wrapped the mRNA like a bubble, which allowed entry into the cells. Once inside the cell, the mRNA message could be translated into proteins, like the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2, and the immune system would then be primed to recognize the foreign protein. 




The first mRNA vaccines using these fatty envelopes were developed against the deadly Ebola virus, but since that virus is only found in a limited number of African countries, it had no commercial development in the U.S.




Remember, the COVID-19 pandemic spurred manufacturers to develop dozens of potential vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 and brought tremendous increases in funding. Some of those vaccines used traditional methods involving adenovirus as the spike protein delivery system—such as the Johnson & Johnson vector vaccine.


Thanks to decades of research and innovation, mRNA vaccine technology was ready. With COVID, this technology got its moment and has proven to be extremely safe and effective. Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is the first mRNA product to achieve full FDA approval in the U.S."


Proven to be extremely safe and effective?  Hmmm, let's see about that.  Given the widespread government and public health approval of the mRNA technology, it is interesting to note that Moderna's mRNA-1273 vaccine trial isn't scheduled for completion until December 29, 2022 as shown here:



Nonetheless, Moderna, a company with no product sales revenue until 2020 when its COVID-19 vaccine started rolling out and massive losses attributable to common shareholders as shown here:



...is going all in for mRNA technology.  


Here is a table and a graphic showing Moderna's product pipeline which solely focuses on mRNA:


The only product which is currently commercial is its mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine.  While most of its other products are in preclinical or Phase 1 trials including its influenza vaccines, the company's CMV (human cytomegalovirus) vaccine, mRNA-1647, is the second vaccine to undergo Phase 3 trials in the company's history.  With RSV being the new bogeyman in the world of health, it is interesting to note that the company's mRNA-1345 RSV vaccine is currently in Phase 3 trials with completion projected for November 30, 2024 as shown here:



One has to wonder how long it will be before the FDA approves the mRNA-1345 vaccine given the growing concern about the rapid spread of respiratory Syncytial Virus through the population in recent weeks.


I find it fascinating that Moderna is putting all of its "eggs" into the mRNA "basket", particularly given that the trials for its headline product, the mRNA-1273 COVID-19 vaccine, are not yet complete, meaning that it is unclear what potential health issues could be related to the widespread use of this technology over the medium- and long-term.  As well, the fact that Big Pharma is able to conduct its Phase 3 trials at the same time as the vaccines are being administered to the public plays well to shareholders since it helps profitability by reducing the high cost of trials during the development phase of new pharmaceuticals.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Payments to Physicians and Growing Public Skepticism About the Profession

Over the past three years, it has become increasingly apparent that many physicians are in the back pockets of Big Pharma.  Thanks to Open Payments, we have the data to prove this.


As background, Open Payments is a United States government program under the auspices of the Department of Health and Human Services.  Open Payments is:


"...a national disclosure program that promotes a more transparent and accountable health care system.  Open payments houses a publicly accessible database of payments that reporting entities, including drug and medical device companies, make to covered recipients like physicians."


Data for all of program year 2021 (January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2021) was just released in January 2023.


Here's how the Open Payments system works:


Here's a video with additional background information on the program:


Payments are reported across three major reporting categories:


1.) General Payments: Payments or other transfers of value made that are not in connection with a research agreement or research protocol.


2.) Research Payments: Payments or other transfers of value made in connection with a formal research agreement or research protocol.


3.) Physician Ownership Information: Information about the ownership or investment interests that physicians or their immediate family members have in the reporting entities.


Let's look at what Open Payments found for the 2021 program year.  Here is a graphic summarizing the findings for 2021:



Here is a breakdown of physician payments by state:



Big Pharma paid a total of $2.032 billion in 7,844,949 payments to physicians with the national mean payment being $3,823.36 and the national median being $142.93.  Here is a table showing the top ten states in order of total payments:



Here is a table showing the top ten states in order of mean payment amount:



For the purposes of this posting, we will focus on two companies; Pfizer and Moderna.  We will only look at one of Pfizer's subsidiaries; Pfizer Inc. out of New York, since it is responsible for the vast majority of payments:


1.) Pfizer:



In case you were curious, here is some background information on Peter Tontonoz who happened to be the largest single recipient of Pfizer's largesse:


2.) Moderna:

To put payments to physicians into context, let's quote from a paper by Dr. Misop Han entitled "Trends in Industry Payments to Physicians in the First 6 Years After Graduate Medical Training":


"Financial incentives and conflicts of interest have been considered important elements that may influence physician decision-making and may contribute to an increase in health care costs.  Although physicians and researchers collaborate with the pharmaceutical and medical device industry to develop products to benefit patients, increasing concerns have been raised that these relationships may affect the cost of drugs and medical devices, the quality of patient care, the integrity of scientific investigations, medical education, and clinical practice recommendations.  Substantial efforts have been made to identify, limit, and manage potential conflicts of interest in financial relationships between physicians and industry to protect the integrity of professional judgment and to preserve public trust."


Not surprisingly, since the pandemic began, medical doctors have seen their ethical ratings drop as shown on this graphic by Gallup:



In 2020, 77 percent of respondents rated physicians as high or very high compared to 62 percent in 2022, a very significant decrease.


Given the fact that many physicians proved themselves to be less than reliable and unbiased sources of information, particularly with regard to the COVID-19 vaccines, during the pandemic and the fact that Big Pharma spends billions of dollars a year to court medical doctors, it's no wonder that the public is becoming skeptical about the profession.

Monday, February 20, 2023

The Rouleau Commission Report on Canada's Emergencies Act - The World's Newest Banana Republic

With the recent release of the report by the Paul Rouleau's Public Order Emergency Commission which investigated the Trudeau government's invocation of Canada's Emergencies Act in February 2022 in response to the Truckers' Protest, I thought it was a good time to look back at how the nation's government handled one aspect of the protest; that of asset-freezing as announced with great delight by Canada's Finance Minister, Chief Globalist and World Economic Forum insider, Chrystia Freeland:


It is this three minute proclamation by Freeland that has led to very significant speculation by the non-mainstream media and significant parts of the global citizenry that this signalling a future where governments can abscond with the assets of their citizens at any time and for any reason that politicians deem necessary.


Now, let's look at some excerpts from the 2000 plus page Rouleau report concerning the freezing of the assets of both protestors and those who supported them financially.  I'm providing some background for my readers who live outside of Canada and who may not be familiar with the intricacies of what happened in Ottawa in February 2022.


On Page 72 and 73 of Volume 3 (which is quoted throughout this posting) we find this (all bolds are mine):


"The Department of Finance considered measures that could be put in place under existing federal legislation both to dissuade people from being involved in the protests and blockades and to develop an approach that would persuade people to leave without anyone getting hurt. The Department of Finance’s contributions to the Track 1 discussions originated from a February 9 memo from Deputy Minister Sabia outlining options under the Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) and the Bank Act.


The memo noted that the PCMLTFA did not apply to crowdfunding platforms and payment service providers, and that the risk that they might be misused for money laundering or terrorist financing had recently been assessed as high and medium, respectively. Bringing these platforms under the PCMLTFA regime would, according to the memo, “help mitigate risks that these platforms receive illicit funds, increase the quality / quantity of intelligence received by [FINTRAC], and make more information available to support investigations by law enforcement.”19 Such a change could be done by way of regulations, rather than amending the Act itself.


After considering what could be done under authorities contained in the Bank Act, officials concluded that there were no useful tools under that statute as it stood. This led them to consider legislative amendments that could be introduced. The memo articulated a possible amendment that would enable Cabinet to issue directives to banks, where necessary, to maintain the strength and security of the national economy or to protect national security or the safety of Canadians. Under this proposal, directives could require banks to freeze the accounts of specific persons, or alternatively require banks to review their business relationships to temporarily suspend accounts being used to further illegal activities that threatened the economy.


The Department of Finance’s view, which was shared by Minister Freeland, was that there were significant limitations with both the PCMLTFA and Bank Act options. The Bank Act measures could only apply to federally regulated financial institutions, and not provincially regulated entities like credit unions. This was significant given the ease with which money can be moved between institutions. It also raised a fairness issue in the sense that measures would apply to some financial institutions but not others.


Another concern was the amount of time it would take to make legislative amendments. The Department of Finance’s view was that action needed to be taken immediately, and the fact that these options would require legislative (or at least regulatory) amendment was a significant impediment in the minds of those considering this action.


The Department of Finance also noted that the type of asset freezing that was being considered could raise concerns, given that Canadians usually expect to have access to their funds except in rare circumstances, such as when a court orders a freeze on an account. That concern arose again when the Government ultimately implemented a freezing regime under the Emergencies Act."


Note the use of the Precedes of Crime (Money Laundering( and Terrorist Financing Act; this promotes the narratives that the protestors and their supporters were both criminals and terrorists in the eyes of the Trudeau government.


Here are further quotes from pages 82 and 83


"One CEO raised a concern about the reputational harm the banks were experiencing as a result of the actions they had started taking on their own to prevent funding from flowing to the protests. He said that there had been considerable backlash on social media and that Fox News was apparently urging people to withdraw their money from the banks.


Much of the discussion on the call revolved around the inadequacies of the existing legal framework in terms of preventing financial support for continued protests, including gaps that had already been identified by the Department of Finance. One CEO noted that obtaining court orders to freeze assets was not a solution because by the time one was obtained, money could already have been moved. Minister Freeland remarked in her testimony that it was striking that the bank CEOs were asking for more Government intervention. This was not something the financial industry would normally do."


A lie?  Who knows.

We find this on page 116:


"The EEMO (Economic Emergency Measures Order) required a range of financial institutions to freeze the assets of people involved in public assemblies that violated the EMR (Emergency Measures Regulations). It accomplished this by describing which financial institutions were subject to the EEMO; defining the types of persons whose assets had to be frozen; setting out the specific obligations that financial institutions had to comply with; and facilitating the exchange of information between financial institutions and law enforcement so that the regime could be implemented and monitored....


Under the EEMO, covered financial institutions had certain obligations with respect to “designated persons.”  A designated person was simply anyone who was directly or indirectly involved in an activity that was prohibited by the EMR. In other words, designated persons were those who participated in a prohibited assembly; who entered Canada to join such an assembly; or who provided money, property, or other support to participants in such an assembly.


In other words, potentially any Canadian who even decided to donate a very small amount of money to the protest.


Here's what financial institutions could do under the EEMO:


"The second duty imposed on financial institutions was the duty to cease dealings with designated persons. This meant that financial institutions were not permitted to deal in any property owned or controlled by a designated person, could not facilitate any transactions related to a designated person’s property, could not make available any property to anyone for the benefit of a designated person, and could not provide any financial or related services to a designated person. In practical terms, this meant that financial institutions were required to entirely cut off designated persons from the financial system. Financial institutions were to freeze all accounts of designated persons, including Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs), mortgageaccounts, trading accounts, lines of credit, and credit cards. Online payment processors could not facilitate any purchase or sale involving a designated person. Cryptocurrency exchanges could not permit designated persons to access any currency held by the exchange or allow them to convert cryptocurrency into ordinary money...."


And here's the definition of a designated person from page 118:


"Technically, the duty to cease dealings did not apply solely to individuals actively participating in the prohibited assemblies. The definition of a “designated person” was broad enough to capture people who were violating any of the EMR’s prohibitions, including the one against giving property to others to support their protest activities. This meant that individuals who donated to a fundraiser in support of protesters would be designated persons, and all financial institutions would be under a duty to cease dealings with them."


Apparently, Freeland crafted the EEMO with a two-pronged approach:


1.) cut off major financial support to the protestors (i.e. the online fundraising efforts) 


2.) cause the majority of protestors and even those who had donated small amounts to the protest to be concerned about their financial accounts.


Now, let's look at Rouleau's findings about the use of asset-freezing starting with pages 264 and 265:


"The asset freezing regime, while highly impactful on protesters, did not involve physical force or violence. By encouraging protesters to leave without having to resort to force, the EEMO sought to achieve an end to the unlawful protests that did not place the physical well-being of protesters or others at risk. It was a proportionate response to the situation as it existed as of February 14, 2022.


It was not an infringement of section 8 of the Charter for the EEMO to require listed entities (i.e. banks) to freeze property owned, held, or controlled by persons engaging in prohibited activities. While the Charter protects individuals against “unreasonable search and seizure,” the freezing of assets under the EEMO is neither unreasonable nor a “seizure” for the purposes of section 8. The Supreme Court has explained that s. 8 is meant to promote an individual’s privacy interests. It does not protect against restrictions on the enjoyment of property. Accordingly, even the taking of property by government action would not, in itself, constitute a “seizure” for the purpose of section 8 unless it were done in the context of an administrative or criminal investigation. The EEMO did not constitute a taking of the assets in question; it only required designated institutions to freeze them. This was not meant to assist an administrative or criminal investigation, but to deter people from continuing to participate in illegal protests."


...and continuing with page 266:


"The EEMO required the freezing of assets for all “designated persons,” which would include not just protesters, but also small-dollar donors to the Freedom Convoy. On the other hand, the Federal Government stated, both in February 2022 and to the Commission, that it only wanted financial institutions to freeze the assets of protest leadership and major supporters. The message conveyed by the Government was that contributions to illegal protests were prohibited and exposed the donors to having their accounts frozen but that, at least at the outset, only significant donors would be targeted.


Ultimately, I do not find that the scope of the EEMO was inappropriate. Seeking to prevent any funds from supporting the illegal protests was, in my view, a reasonable measure in the circumstances. Further, the measure was not retrospective, meaning that those who had donated to the Freedom Convoy before the Emergencies Act was invoked were never at risk of having their assets frozen.


I note that in practice asset freezing was done largely on the basis of lists of designated persons provided by the RCMP to financial institutions. There appears to be no dispute that these lists did not capture small-dollar donors or others with only a peripheral connection to the protests. This mitigated the effects of the provision."


Here's what Rouleau says about people with joint bank accounts who found their accounts frozen on page 267:


"A related scope issue that I heard evidence about pertained to joint bank accounts. An individual who had no connection to the protests could still have had their assets frozen under the EEMO if they held their accounts jointly with a protester. It is not difficult to imagine a scenario where an individual would participate in the protests without the involvement of their spouse (or, indeed, against the spouse’s wishes). It is clearly unjust for individuals with no connection to the protests to have their accounts frozen.


The difficulty, however, is that this appears to have been unavoidable. None of the parties made submissions on how the EEMO could have been structured to avoid this consequence, and I am unable to think of an obvious mechanism myself. The question then is whether the inevitable impact of the EEMO on innocent third parties rendered the measure inappropriate. Again, and not without some hesitation, I conclude that the measures were still appropriate. Excluding joint accounts from the EEMO would have allowed the protesters to easily and quickly circumvent it by using or creating joint accounts."


Here's what he says on pages 268 and 269 about the fact that there was no adequate notice given to Canadians whose accounts were frozen, noting that there was no mechanism in place to unfreeze these accounts:


"I do not accept that there was a failure to provide adequate notice. While there was no formal obligation in the EEMO for financial institutions to tell their customers about asset freezing, I do not think it was necessary to include such a rule. What was required was for protesters to know ahead of time that they were at risk of having their assets frozen if they continued in the conduct that qualified them as designated persons. I am satisfied that the police and the Federal Government went to considerable lengths to inform protesters about the invocation of the Emergencies Act and the possible consequences that they would face if they continued in their participation in the protests. Although there was less publicity with respect to the prohibition on making donations, there is also no indication that any donors had their accounts frozen."


Finally, given the almost laughable nature and foregone conclusions of this inquiry, let's close with this quote found on page 157:


"It is also important to note that I am precluded from making findings of civil or criminal liability. I am, however, permitted to make findings of misconduct. The Commission took appropriate procedural steps to permit me to make some findings of misconduct, such as sending out confidential notices in writing outlining what findings could be made, and giving parties the opportunity to tender evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and make submissions."

In other words, this was a completely pointless exercise.


"Nonetheless, I have not, in fact, made findings of misconduct for two reasons. First, it was unnecessary to do so to fulfill my mandate. Second, although I have found that certain institutions and their representatives’ conduct was, at times, ill-advised or deficient, it did not rise to the level of misconduct. Put simply, the evidence did not support such findings on issues relevant to my mandate."

And, given that he didn't even find misconduct, the exercise was even more pointless.


Of course he didn't find the Liberal government of Justin Trudeau guilty of any misdeeds; he is a long-term Liberal appointee as shown here:



...and was appointed to the position of leading the Public Order Emergency Commission by the very same government that he was investigating as shown here:



Noting that she couldn't have cared less about the reasons behind the protest which stemmed from her government's overreach during the pandemic, one of Chrystia Freeland's greatest concerns was the possibility that Canada's trading partner to the south would regard Canada as some sort of "banana republic", a warning that she allegedly received from a CEO who relayed the comment from an anonymous U.S. investor.  In my opinion, the greater long-term concern is that the findings and recommendations of the Rouleau Commission will have a far greater likelihood of damaging Canada's international reputation as a democracy and a business-safe jurisdiction.  Rouleau's more-or-less complete vindication of the Trudeau government's egregious overstepping during the pandemic as a whole and the protest in specific with their asset-freezing program will cause both thinking Canadians and the business community outside of Canada to view the nation like this:

Whether you supported the reasons behind Canada's Truckers' Protest in 2022 or not, the most important thing to learn from the crushing of a protest by Canada's Trudeau government is that, at some point in the future, a totalitarian government will use a similar mechanism of asset-freezing to punish citizens who are backing a cause that you happen to be passionate about.  It also most certainly sets the stage for actions that could be taken against citizens under a social credit score system.

Apparently, the only way that Canadian's can meaningfully weigh in on the Trudeau government's behaviour on this issue is through the ballot box.  The entire protest would have been over very quickly had Canada's narcissist-in-chief taken a few minutes to actually address the protestors and at least pretend like he cared about their concerns rather than hiding from public view.