Monday, 8 August 2016

Toomas Karmo: DDO&P Karen-and-Toomas Reconciliation Project

Individuals, including M.Gandhi, practicing Satyagraha against the British Raj, in the 1930 Salt March.  Detail cropped by me, Kmo, from a Wikimedia Commons photo in  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha



Quality assessment:



On the 5-point scale current in Estonia, and surely in nearby nations, and familiar to observers of the academic arrangements of the late, unlamented, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (applying the easy and lax standards Kmo deploys in his grubby imaginary "Aleksandr Stepanovitsh Popovi nimeline sangarliku raadio instituut" (the "Alexandr Stepanovitch Popov Institute of Heroic Radio") and his grubby imaginary "Nikolai Ivanovitsh Lobatshevski nimeline sotsalitsliku matemaatika instituut" (the "Nicolai Ivanovich Lobachevsky Institute of Socialist Mathematics") - where, on the lax and easy grading philosophy of the twin Institutes, 1/5 is "epic fail", 2/5 is "failure not so disastrous as to be epic", 3'5 is "mediocre pass", 4.5 is "good", and 5/5 is "excellent"): 4/5. Justification: There was enough time to make most of the desirable points. 


Revision history:



  • UTC=20160810T1509Z/version 3.0.0: Kmo updated his report on correspondence with Jason Cherniak, by displaying his e-mail from a few minutes ago, from Kmo to the pertinent public authorities. This was a mail he did not send to Jason Cherniak. 
  • UTC=20160810T1437Z/version 2.1.0: Kmo made a substantive revision, amplifying his concluding argument (regarding the municipal importance of a reconciliation).  
  • UTC=20160809T1431Z/version 2.0.0: Kmo corrected an unfortunate clerical error, which had caused him to display his two letters to Councillor Hog in the wrong chronological order. He also made a few tiny, nonsubstantive tweaks. He retained the right to make further small, essentially cosmetic, essentially nonsubstantive tweaks, as here-undocumented versions "2.0.1", "2.0.2", "2.0.3", ... , over the ensuing 48 hours.
  • UTC=20160809T0002Z/version 1.0.0: Kmo uploaded base version, while retaining the right to make further small, essentially cosmetic, essentially nonsubstantive tweaks, as here-undocumented versions "1.0.1", "`1.0.2", "1.0.3", ,..., over the ensuing 48 hours. 


[CAUTION: A bug in the blogger software has in some past weeks shown a propensity to insert inappropriate whitespace at some late points in some of my posted essays. If a screen seems to end in empty space, keep scrolling down. The end of the posting is not reached until the usual blogger "Posted by Toomas (Tom) Karmo at" appears.]



1. Background of My Correspondents


My Open Letter to Town Counciul on 2016-08-01 or 2016-08-02 on this blog, in response to the 2016-07-22 Facebook criticism of me by Town Councillor Karen Cilevitz, elicited private 2016-08-02 or 2016-08-03 or 2016-08-04 e-mail responses, first  from Town and Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg,  and a little later also from local lawyer Mr Jason Cherniak. 

This turn of events reflects a degree of praiseworthy credit on both individuals. 

Councillor Hogg's involvement is initially surprising, since she is just one Town Councillor among many, and is representing a ward not containing the David Dunlap Observatory and Park (DDO&P). 

I do, however, note with gratitude that one of the few good remarks to be made in our Chamber on the DDO&P conservation file got made by none other than Councillor Hogg, in the early stages of our case. When it looked as though the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada Toronto Centre would be digging themselves in at DDO, the Councillor noted their weak credentials in astrophysics research, saying into her desk microphone that DDO would now house "Canada's largest back-yard telescope". 

Jason Cherniak's involvement is more to be expected, given his previous involvement in Karen's legal work, particularly as documented by me under timestamp "UTC=20141216T162316Z" - not on this blog but instead in that drabber repository which is  http://www.karen-vs-toomas-blog.ca

Councillor Hogg and Mr Cherniak are evidently doing what they can to support their joint friend, Karen, in praiseworthy personal loyalty to her - whether at Karen's urging or even (this is to my mind also conceivable) independently of any urging from Karen. 


2. General Legal Status of E-Mail Traffic  

One might think that, as a general matter in law, both the sender and the recipient of a letter are individually free to publish it, with neither of the two sides legally empowered  to restrain the other. This indeed is what I myself thought up to 2016-08-03, as a person untrained in law. 

As of 2016-08-03, however, on doing some hasty Web research, I find the legal position unclear. Many on the Web opine, in this way and that, back and forth. The best discussions I can find, in my admittedly brief hunt, are two from outside Canada - for the USA at http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2011/02/sixteen-things-writers-should-know..html,  and for the UK at http://copyright4education.blogspot.ca/2010/11/fair-use-v-fair-dealing.html

To cut a convoluted story short, I summarize what I think is the current state of legal knowledge and legal ignorance. Here I write subject to correction from the appropriate authorities (notably Ontario's Attorney General, Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, and our three levels of police): 

  • A person in Ontario, "I.M.Sender", who sends a letter, holds copyright in its contents, and therefore is legally free to publish the letter.
  • There is no applicable legislation, and also no applicable case law, directly and explicitly either establishing or extinguishing the legal right of an Ontario person, "I.B.Recipient", to publish an e-mail which she or he has received, whether from an elected official (such as Councillor Hogg) or from a private individual (such as Jason Cherniak). - Maybe a legal right to publication has been implicitly granted by the copyright holder, I.M.Sender, in the act of transmitting - i.e., in the act of ever-so-kindly giving I.B.Recipient that letter, to have and to read and to cherish and to ponder and to archive. Maybe not. 
  • In the case where I.M.Sender is an elected official or a public servant, an authoritative ruling could conceivably in future come from an arm of government, such as Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner, even in the absence both of clearly applicable legislation and of a clearly relevant past court case. 
  • What if I.M.Sender is a private individual? Now what rights does I.B.Recipient have or lack? Although many - for instance, Ontario's Attorney General - can opine, nobody knows what rights are possessed or not possessed by I.B.Recipient, as a person to whom the private writer I.M.Sender has so generously made the gift of a letter, until either (a) clearly applicable legislation has been enacted or (b) a clearly relevant case has been tried in court. 

On the basis of  this legal analysis, I here do two things. (1) I paraphrase, and quote selectively from, the letters I received (staying within the usual copyright-law concept of "Fair Use" - even though I did go so far as to say on this blog a few days ago that I intended to publish incoming correspondence on the blog, thereby issuing what one might think to be proper warning). (2) I quote directly the letters I myself sent (as is clearly my right, being the holder of copyright in my own epistolary compositions, in all their prolix and verbose glory).

3. E-Mail Traffic Involving
Town and Regional Councillor Brenda Hogg



Councillor Hogg wrote to me that the relationship between Karen and me had for quite some time been under strain, and that since Karen's disagreement with me was of a private rather than of a public character, she (Councillor Hogg) would not be getting involved.

To this I replied as follows:

Coordinated Universal Time (= UTC = EST+5 = EDT+4): 20160803T141049Z


Dear Councillor Hogg,


Thank you for taking the trouble to write
(your e-mail, copied below).

Yes, you are correct in saying that the
working relationship between Karen and
me has been strained for some time. The
strain in fact dates back to 2011. That
was the year in which Karen undercut the
Richmond Hill Naturalists by entering
into the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB)
confidential mediation process, while surely
aware that the Naturalists' own lawyer was
advising against entering it. The process,
which the Naturalists' own lawyer rightly
characterized as a trap, culminated in
2012 with Karen's signing the OMB Minutes
of Settlement, in her then capacity as head
of the "DDO Defenders". The Minutes provided
for the destruction of about 32 hectares of
DDO&P greenspace, much of it forested.

I must, however, respectfully put a
dissenting opinion onto record, both for you and
for the people you have correctly cc'd, upon
reading your phrase "private, personal matter".

I plan in the four-hour UTC interval
20160809T0001Z/20160809T0401Z to be putting
my correspondence with you, and with any
others who may be joining in, onto my server
space http://toomaskarmo.blogspot.ca (also
known as http://toomaskarmo.blogspot.com).

Quite apart from my duties to the welfare
of this municipality, it is advisable that
I do this because I am thereby liable to
be helping people outside Canada (as I
now explain).

I have in the last couple of weeks noticed,
to my astonishment and delight, that I am
getting a readership from that historically
troubled jurisdiction which is Russia. In
recent days, the number of Russian pageviews
has indeed roughly equalled the number from
a country always interested in my blog,
the USA.

As you and I both know, the municipal
culture of Russia has historically been
unhappy. It would help if my readers in
that historically troubled part of the
world can see on my blog some appropriately
robust civic debate - even as you and I
acknowledge, in due humility, that democracy
here in Canada appears by several indicators
to be a little less robust than democracy
in those benchmark jurisdictions which are
Switzerland and Finland, and whose examples
would be still more helpful for Russia than
Canada's could presently be.

I accordingly respectfully take the trouble
to rewrite your letter for the benefit
partly of you and your Town Council colleagues,
but more especially for the benefit of my
emerging Russian readership, in the terms
which I think would best fit our case:

((MODEL_LETTER))

Dear Mr Karmo,


The working relationship between you and
Councillor Cilevitz has been strained for
some time now.

(A) I must, writing to you as a Town
Councillor, resist the temptation to
characterize this as a private, personal
matter.  An example of a private, personal
matter would be a quarrel over something
unconnected with Karen's public life -
say, hypothetically, a quarrel in which
you accused her on the telephone of
bad parenting, or of bad cooking, or of
bad gardening, and in which (it always
takes two sides to make a quarrel) she in
turn angrily accused you of undermining
her private household authority. Your matter, I
affirm in concurrence with you, is fully
public - concerning, as it does, one of the
weightiest Canadian heritage- conservation
cases in recent years; and conducted,
as it was, by Councillor Cilevitz not on
a private-seeming Facebook page but under
one showing the banner "COUNCILLOR, WARD 5,
RICHMOND HILL".

(B) But I draw your attention to a
standard distinction in the logic of
obligation, between the obligatory and
the merely permissible. While it would
be permissible for me to broker a peace
between you and Councillor Cilevitz, it is
not obligatory for me to do so. My public
duty is adequately discharged by my standing
aside, letting others on Town Council act. I
would have a positive obligation to act
only if - which you and I cannot believe -
I was somehow uniquely capable of brokering
the sought-for peace; in other words if I
was somehow - contrary to facts manifest
to you and me - better able to act in this
particular matter than anyone else in our
Town Council.

Please do not take my response as a
harsh rebuff.  It is simply a neutral
acknowledgement of realities.

And please do not hesitate to contact me if
(as seems unlikely) you see something I am
uniquely and distinctively able to do for
you in my capacity as a Town Councillor.

Brenda Hogg

((/MODEL_LETTER))


I am not here asking you to agree with
the model letter. I merely enter it into
the public record, therewith (unless you
yourself advise otherwise) considering
our present line of correspondence
satisfactorily concluded.



Sincerely,


Tom



Councillor Hogg in turn replied, saying that she did not give me permission to quote or rewrite anything I received from her at any time. 

The bar on rewriting is evidently inappropriate, since if taken literally it means that I am not free to report even in paraphrase what she has e-mailed to me. She cannot have meant this seriously, as an elected official whose salary comes out of our taxes. 

I did not, however, address the (not-possibly-serious) bar on rewriting, and merely replied as follows to her reply: 

Coordinated Universal Time (= UTC = EST+5 = EDT+4): 20160803T163523Z


Dear Councillor Hogg,


(1) I think, admittedly as a person untrained in law, that you are not
legally empowered to block my publishing your correspondence to me. I
believe that anything you choose to e-mail me, in your capacity as a
Town Councillor,  is incapable of being retroactively rendered
confidential by you.

(2) I further think you are not legally empowered to bar me from
replying to any e-mails you may today or at any future time wish to
send me, and from publishing my replies.

Please have the Town's legal department contact me if I err in on
either of these two legal points. If I do not hear from the legal
department by the end of this week, I will assume my analysis to be
correct in both points.

Nevertheless, in deference to your feelings and sensibilities, and as
an act of gallantry on my part, I will reproduce your letter to me on
my blog only in paraphrase - in other words, reporting it without
quoting it. If you change your mind and prefer me to quote it, do
please get in touch quickly.

Although your response is today guided by emotion, I do not propose at
this time to raise a complaint about you with the Integrity
Commissioner. I proceed instead from the Roman principle "de minimis
non curat lex". Unless I am contacted by the Integrity Commissioner by
the end of this week, I will assume my application of "de minimis" in
your file to be correct.




Sincerely,


Tom


Councillor Hogg acknowledged  receipt of this UTC=20160803T163523Z communication from my desk promptly and tersely,  without making further comment, and did not send follow-up letters to me. 

I infer from Councillor Hogg's falling silent that the Town's legal department has no objection to my legal analysis. 


4. E-Mail Traffic Involving
Local Lawyer Jason Cherniak


Not long after Councillor Hogg wrote, Jason Cherniak e-mailed me a warning, saying that I was using an e-mail list to attempt to "market" my "website" and my "other various causes". He said that my actions were in violation of "Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation", and demanded that I remove him from my list. He additionally expressed a conjecture, which I quote verbatim here with regard to the Fair Use provisions of copyright law, mindful that his exact words may be of interest to legal scholars or to legal regulators:  

I  suspect that you also do not have explicit authorization from anybody else on this email list to contact them with your promotional and marketing emails. Thus, it is illegal for you to include them on your email list as well. 

He concluded saying that if I did not, in his words, "cease and desist", he would report me to the spam-prevention authorities. 

To this I replied as follows:

Coordinated Universal Time (= UTC = EST+5 = EDT+4): 20160804T145958Z




Dear Jason (= Jason Cherniak,
member of Bar of Ontario)
(with cc
lawsociety@lsuc.on.ca, attorneygeneral@ontario.ca),




0. Preamble
^^^^^^^^^^^

Thanks for your legal warning, copied below.

This is rather scary - especially since
as a rather impecunious autistic person,
untrained in law, I would be doing my own
legal work if you hauled me into court.




1. Anti-Spam Statute S.C.2010 c.23
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^^^
Putatively Irrelevant
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I do not want to break the law. But
I don't see how I can be "marketing"
anything, since am no more seeking my own
personal commercial gain than any other
impoverished activist is. Indeed I have
lost the bulk of my life savings trying,
in vain, to save 32 hectares of urban
David Dunlap Observatory and Park
greenspace, in the teeth of your client or
former client Councillor Karen Cilevitz.

Included in what you say I am "marketing"
are my "various causes". Here, however,
I think the Archbishop and Papal Nuncio
will agree I no more guilty of anything
than anyone can be who, acting from
conviction, is advocating for
one thing or another - if I am "marketing"
in pleading that greenspace be saved, so must
human-rights activists, for example, be, in
pleading that Syrian refugees be saved.

You refer to anti-spam legislation.

Unless you advise me to the contrary, I will
assume that you have in mind S.C. 2010,
c.23, "An Act to promote the efficiency
and adaptability of the Canadian economy
by regulating certain activities that
discourage reliance on electronic means
of carrying out commercial activities,
and to amend the Canadian Radio-television
and Telecommunications Commission Act, the
Competition Act, the Personal Information
Protection and Electronic Documents Act and
the Telecommunications Act".

On looking briefly at S.C. 2010, it seems
to me (admittedly, as a person untrained
in law) that it lacks relevance to my
case. In 6(1), we find
the key provision of the statute:

((QUOTE))
  It is prohibited to send or cause
  or permit to be sent to an electronic
  address a commercial electronic message unless/.../
((/QUOTE))

A key term in this key clause is
"commercial". I am writing to you from
philosophical and political conviction, not
from commercial motives. The statute further
explains "commercial electronic message"
at its paragraph (2), in terms which exclude me:
"offers to purchase, sell, barter or lease
a product, goods, a service, land or an
interest or right in land"; "offers to
provide a business, investment or gaming
opportunity"'; "advertises or promotes
anything referred to in [the two just-cited
clauses]"; "promotes a person, including
the public image of a person, as being a
person who does anything referred to in any
of [the three now-cited clauses], or who
intends to do so".




2. My Writing to You Licit
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
in Light of
www.cherniaklaw.ca Phrasing
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I think you will join me
(perhaps Monday, once you have recovered
from your current state of upset)
in predicting that the Archbishop and
Nuncio will find it reasonable for me
to write to you, as a person interested
in politics. Your homepage, 

at http://www.jasoncherniak.ca
begins with the words

((QUOTE))
    Jason Cherniak
  Richmond Hill Community Activist
((/QUOTE))

(while admittedly continuing,
"Thank you for visiting this page.
I am now focusing on my legal business,
Cherniak Law Professional Corporation").

The reasonableness of my writing to you
is perhaps further reinforced by your
further phrasing at
http://www.jasoncherniak.ca/contact/

((QUOTE))
Please feel free to contact Jason:

Jason@CherniakLaw.com
((/QUOTE))

There is nothing at
http://www.jasoncherniak.ca/contact/
asking your readers
to refrain from contacting you in the
absence of authorization.




3. My Core Point Reiterated-in-Paraphrase,
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^^^^^^
and Amplified
^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Let me try to make my core point again,
for enhanced clarity, in different but
essentially equivalent words, amplifying
a little: in calling my e-mails "spam",
you have strayed into trying to discourage
my use of e-mail in expressing political
ideas to politicians (such as your client
or former client Councillor Karen Cilevitz)
and persons close to the world of politics
(such as you, both in your capacity
as a past or present representative of
Councillor Cilevitz and in your capacity
as a high-profile circa-2014 contender
for the federal Liberal nomination in an
Ontario riding).

While you are of course free to stray in
this way - even straying into the citing
of a statute which upon inspection proves
inapplicable - I am for my part free to
object, contesting your citation. Such
to-and-fro debate is part and parcel of life
in an open society, in which the freedom of
debate is fostered and cultivated.




4. My Proposals for Defusing Our Situation,
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
^^^^^^^^^^^^^
Restoring Our Mutual Peace
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

I kinda-sorta think that the
following model letter is what, as a
member of the Bar, you meant to
be writing, and what the Benchers
at the Law Society of Upper Canada would
have recommended that you write had you
this week been lunching with them:

((MODEL_LETTER))
Dear Tom,

While (a) there is nothing in law to stop
you from sending me mass e-mails, and while
(b) I explicitly promote myself as a community
activist at
http://www.jasoncherniak.ca,
and while (c) I explicitly welcome incoming
e-mails in the words "Please feel free
to contact" at
http://www.jasoncherniak.ca/contact/,
nevertheless I find your particular mass
e-mails becoming a little hard on my nerves.

Could I, therefore, please now ask you to
stop including me in your mass e-mails?

I will take your answer
to be "Yes, sorry about this, I will
stop," unless you advise me to the
contrary, by e-mail or phone,
by lunch time on 2016-08-08 (MON).


Suspecting you and I see this thing
in the same way,


Jason
((/MODEL_LETTER))

To make your life as pleasant as
I reasonably can, I will take it,
**UNLESS** you write to me again by lunch
time on 2016-08-08 (MON), that you agree
with the various points in this present
communication, and in particular agree with
the tenor of my just-displayed model letter
- even though today, 2016-08-04 (THU) and
2016-08-05 (FRI), you might be fuming over
a couple of things, the model letter included.

By being silent, you will be indicating
that my model letter is to your Monday mind
not hopelessly bad, and that I can take it
as more or less encapsulating your sober
second, Monday-lunchtime, assessment of our
mutual situation.

At some point in the
afternoon of 2016-08-08 (MON), I will
then perform the necessary keystrokes
for taking you off my mass-mailing
distribution list.

As a useful lesson in civic,
perhaps especially for my
emerging (freedom-minded?)
readership in Russia,
I will publish your scary
e-mail warning to me, and this present reply
to you, at
http://toomaskarmo.blogspot.ca/,
in the evening of 2016-08-08 (MON) -
unless, indeed (this is unlikely) you
provide me with some legal argument barring
such blog publishing. You will not like
such blogging, but it is part of life in
an open society.

If it helps a little,
do note that I am proposing to blog-publish
with little or no added sermonizing. I
would apply the maxim "Res ipsa loquitur."

I am now hoping you will fall silent, and will
not send me further scary e-mails, liable to
cause anxiety and distress at my end. When
lunch on 2016-08-08 (MON) is over, I expect
I will be breathing a sigh of relief.  Your
silence will be a solid indication to me and
the blog-reading public (as of Monday evening)
that you meant well and intended to cause no
distress.

It will be appropriate for you LATER to come
round to my place for coffee, so that we can
talk about politics in one way or another,
seeing what things we can agree on. Perhaps,
for instance, we will find ourselves taking
congruent, and appropriately critical, views of
Donald Trump and of the Canadian Tories. It is
additionally possible that we will find
ourselves agreeing on the imprudence of Brexit.

Coffee is best set up by waiting a few days
after 2016-08-08 (MON), and then calling me
on my usual number (647-267-9566). If I do
not hear from you on the phone, I will not
greatly worry, however. I realize that
you are busy with your law practice, and that
dealing with me and my autism is sometimes
enough to vex even the saints. You may, therefore,
find yourself falling silent for the time being -
perhaps not phoning at all, and perhaps phoning
some weeks, or even some months, from now.




Sincerely,
hoping all this is more or less okay now,



Tom


I followed up on this by writing the federal anti-spam authorities, at spam@fightspam.gc.ca, and the York Regional Police, at info@yrp.ca, with cc's to Jason Cherniak and myself, and additionally the Law Society of Upper Canada (at lawsociety@lsuc.on.ca) and the Attorney General (at attorneygeneral@ontario.ca): 

Coordinated Universal Time (= UTC = EST+5 = EDT+4): 20160804T151330Z


Dear Federal Spam-Reporting Authorities:

A member of the Bar of Ontario, Jason Cherniak, has in a scary e-mail
accused me of breaking the law.  I don't think this is accurate, and
indeed I think that Jason (we know each other a little) has been
carried away by emotion. But to be safe, I think you should put me
under investigation. If I am indeed in the light of your investigation
breaking the law, please get in touch. All the relevant correspondence
is appended herewith.

You can if necessary (I very much hope this will not prove necessary)
phone me on 647-267-9566.

I am also, for prudence, copying the York Regional Police, in case
they think I have to be put under investigation, or in case they think
they have to keep an eye on Jason, or in case there is something else
they think they should be doing. (I very much hope they, like you
yourselves, will judge it appropriate to stay out of this thing,
contacting neither Jason nor me.)


Anxiously,


Dr Toomas (Tom) Karmo


Further correspondence from Jason arrived at approximately UTC=20160809T2202Z.

This I handled by sending the following e-mail (to relevant public authorities, but not to Jason):  

Coordinated Universal Time (= UTC = EST+5 = EDT+4): 20160810T144812Z


Dear
spam@fightspam.gc.ca, info@yrp.ca, lawsociety@lsuc.on.ca, attorneygeneral@ontario.ca:


Having heard nothing from lawyer Jason
Cherniak at the end of last week, or over
the weekend, or on Monday, or in the morning
and afternoon of Tuesday, I assumed that he
had put his case to rest.

Early Tuesday evening, however, at about
UTC=20160809T2202Z, there was a fresh
e-mail from him, which I display below. He
writes, "I restate my view that your emails
constitute spam and I demand that you
remove me from your list".

I removed Jason from my list in the
afternoon of 2016-08-05 (FRI).

As you can see from his e-mail of
approx-UTC=20160809T2202Z,
Jason makes his fresh allegation of spam without
rebutting my argument that (a) the only even
putatively relevant legislation is S.C.2010
c.23, and that (b) even S.C.2010 c.23 proves
on inspection to be irrelevant.

Jason also writes (as you can see),
"I continue to disagree with
every assertion that you make."

Taken as a whole, this e-mail seems
to me - admittedly, as a person
untrained in law - to be an inappropriate
communication, of a kind that might in some
readers cause distress and anxiety.

Unless otherwise directed, however, I
will assume that I should not proceed to
a formal complaint at the Law Society of
Upper Canada. I will indeed assume that
I should not proceed to any action at all
(beyond sending you this present e-mail,
and displaying this present e-mail
on my blog without displaying Jason's
approx-UTC=20160809T2202Z mail).

I recommend that this present e-mail from
me to you be regarded by all of you merely
as a note-made-into-file.

If I do not hear from you (and I very much
hope I do not hear from you), I will assume
that I have acted correctly.


Sincerely,


Toomas Karmo

3. Concluding Remarks, on Gandhian Satyagraha



Today as in the already-cited work under timestamp "UTC=20141216T162316Z" at that drab repository which is http://www.karen-vs-toomas-blog.ca, I appeal to the Gandhian "Satyagraha" concept of reconciliation. I in essence now repeat my 20141216T162316Z points:

(a) I have a self-perceived, at core Catholic, vocation to public witness. 

(b) It is accurate to describe this vocation as one in which I light a candle, illuminating the general landscape in a dark time, and inaccurate to describe this vocation as one in which I merely direct a searchlight at some personal target - as the unpleasant police helicopter, for example, might direct a searchlight beam at some fleeing miscreant. 

(c)  It is consistent with my description-of-vocation for me to proceed on the basis of Gandhi's "Satyagraha", or "truth force", concept. In this framework, one does not proceed to court action or other forms of public action through the desire to humiliate perceived enemies, but solely from the desire to give witness to truths, and indeed in a deeper sense to Truth itself.  The summary of this framework at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyagraha is for our purposes sufficient:

The essence of Satyagraha is that it seeks to eliminate antagonisms without harming the antagonists themselves /.../ A Satyagrahi therefore does not seek to end or destroy the relationship with the antagonist, but instead seeks to transform or "purify" it to a higher level. 

(d) In my specific case, the truths to which I witness are the twin importance of the natural environment (in this concrete case, of the forest environment) in the communal life of a town and of science (in this concrete case, of astrophysical science) in the cultural life of a nation. Witness to this pair of truths logically entails a concomitant witness to the importance of a town's conserving its woodland and of a nation's conserving its science-research capability.

(e) It is appropriate and correct for Karen, Councillor Hogg, Jason Cherniak, and all others to call my attention to any past, present, or future deficiencies in my commitment to the Satyagraha outlined under heading "(c)" - as, for instance, would be the case if I were to stray, in the manner of a politician on the electoral hustings, into self-promotion.  Such an allegation of deficiency is appropriately argued, with evidence and logic, in the public forum, in writing, at appropriate length.  Such a written allegation of deficiency thereupon makes upon me a legitimate claim either for written public rebuttal or (as the case may be) for a public, written, act-of-contrition and a public, written, declaration of purpose-of-amendment.

Finally, I note that I have no desire to quarrel with anyone - not even with the DeGasperis and Muzzo families, even as I recoil in alarm from their record both in Municipal court (in the circa-2009 DDO&P tree-felling case) and in criminal court (in the 2015/2016 drunk-driving case of company director's nephew Marco Muzzo), and even as I recoil from from their possibly legal, and yet manifestly unethical, pillage of a 32-hectare urban greenspace. I a fortiori have no desire to quarrel with Karen. 

It takes two sides to make a quarrel. I'm not in the quarrel game. 

I have already indicated, and will now reiterate, that the means for a reconciliation between Karen and me are not hard to find. As potentially helpful intermediaries we have Dr Ian Shelton and his wife Dr (Mrs) Tuba Shelton.

We also have the local newspaper editor Ms Marney Beck. I have already noted on this blog that Ms Beck has herself, helpfully, called for a reconciliation.

And perhaps above all we have the legally trained, patient Ward Six Councillor, Mr Godwin Chan.

We do not have to get a reconciliation in place this week. We should, however, achieve it in time for the September reconvening of Town Council.

DDO&P will be prominent on the agenda then, and many of us (I included) are liable to be stepping up to the podium microphone.

Still more importantly, the Town is liable be embarking on DDO&P problem-analysis work of some kind in September, even outside the Council chamber. It is important that this work proceed in a tranquil atmosphere, with all relevant Town residents correctly engaged, and speaking easily and freely in the appropriate committee room(s) with all relevant Town Councillors, as people welcome to the municipal table. (If relevant residents get shunned by the Town, then further problems arise: here, it will then be said, is a municipality playing favourites, contrary to the Municipal Code or cognate legal instruments.)

If a reconciliation cannot be effected, it would be appropriate for Karen to excuse herself from that impending September work on the DDO&P file. But such a process of self-recusation would weaken our Council, since it would cause Karen to be perceived as a poor team player, willing to harbour grudges.

Councillor Chan, and others: can you help now? 


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