Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Book review - Book review: Chopra, Shiv, 2008 - Corrupt to the Core - Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower

Book review: Chopra, Shiv, 2008 - Corrupt to the Core - Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower, (ISBN 978-0-9731945-7-9) KOS PUBLISHING INC., 1997 Beechgrove Rd. Caledon, Ontario, Canada, L7K 0N3, Tel 613-927-1049, Fax 519-927-9542, email - .

When University of Manitoba Professor John S. McCullum reviewed Harry G. Frankfurt’s book ‘On Bullshit’ he proclaimed that ‘On Bullshit’ is not bullshit. After reading Chopra’s newly released ‘Corrupt to the Core - Memoirs of a Health Canada Whistleblower’ this author wants to proclaim to the world: "This is a book about bullshit" or your taxes at work for you in Ottawa. In slow motion, yet fascinating so that the reader can not put down the book once started, Chopra allows Canadians to enter the usually secretive world of management in the bureaucracy; the abuse of Canadians by Canadians while almost nothing gets accomplished at great cost. Email by email, memo by memo, meeting after meeting managers fail to resolve issues as problems fester.

Dr. Chopra’s book deserves to become a Canadian best seller and belongs on the shelf of every public and private library. This book should be under the Christmas tree of every family in Canada this year; however, the main beneficiaries would be young recent graduates contemplating a first entry into the workplace. It should also be read by immigrants, especially professionals trying to get their credentials validated in Canada - the workplace is all about bullshitting and sycophanting a.h.! Sadly this author knows of no college or university that provides a course on the academics of bullshit and sycophanting.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Food Safety: Getting Beyond Bullshit und Überbullshit!

As a consumer, former meat research microbiologist (Canada Packers) and former regulatory microbiologist and program planner/evaluator (Health Canada), I would like suggest that it is time to stop bullshitting ( see Frankfurt, Harry G. 2005 - On Bullshit, Princeton U. Press or ) about food safety. On the one hand the official body counters inform us that there are up to 13 million cases of microbial foodborne disease and up to 500 deaths in Canada each year. On the other hand every time there is an outbreak we pretend that we never heard of foodborne disease before! Perhaps the most sickening part during the current listeria crisis was the games that were being played by various interest groups, from political parties to unions representing inspectors. It makes very little difference how many inspectors there are - food safety will ultimately always be the responsibility of the manufacturer and that includes the whole range of quality control/assurance, process development and sanitation etc. The role of the regulator will always be to create an environment where manufacturers produce foods that are compliant and represent minimal risk to all consumers - and the consumers 'R' us! Finally, past experience has shown that it does not matter whether the liberals or the conservatives are in power - bullshit appears to be the first response. In 2000 our food regulatory system send out 12 million copies of a brochure entitled "Food Safety and You" which starts as follows: "There's a good reason why the foods we eat in Canada are safe." Knowing that that is simply not true I filed an ATIP request to see why this publication was sent out to Canadians. Here is what I found out: "public opinion research done in September 1999 indicated that 'confidence in the food safety system may be eroding slightly'." Therefore $2,600,000 was spent to distribute 12 million copies of this bullshit statement. As a consumer and food microbiologist I see two major problems associated with this careless use of the term "safe." First, it shows callous disrespect for those individuals who died from these risks and essentially denies their life, and it appears unkind to their surviving relatives. Second, it is clearly credibility-destroying behaviour by the regulatory and scientific community. Is it any surprise that our credibility as scientists is being eroded? While we like to blame the media I believe that we members of the regulatory/scientific community are entirely to blame!

Presented at the:
OCTG - Ottawa Creative Thinking Group Meeting, October 15, 2008, Ottawa, Ontario
by G.W. (Bill) Riedel, PhD


Selected references:

1. Lecours, Pierre; Gilles Paquet - Communication and ethics, how to scheme virtuously, Optimum online, vol. 36(2), June 2006 - note Lecours is Project Manager at the Center for Workplace Ethics at Health Canada.

2. Neil Postman - "Bullshit and the Art of Crap-Detection", paper delivered at the National Convention for the Teachers of English on November 28, 1969 in Washington,

3. Wildeman, Alan - Mad Cow Disease in Canada: Where do we go from here, Optimum online, vol. 36(2), June 2006 - note list of participants and para. 5, page 5.

4. Berkun, Scott - #53 - How to detect bullshit - (accessed Nov. 18, 2008) August 9, 2008.

5. McGinn, Colin, 2008, Mindfucking - A Critique of Mental Manipulation, Acumen

6. Maki, Dennis, G. 2009 - Coming to Grips with Foodborne Infection -- Peanut Butter, Peppers,
and Nationwide Salmonella Outbreaks, The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 360 No. 10:949-953 ( accessed March 6, 2009)

Other presentations:

Superbugs, Phage Therapy: Getting Beyond Bullshit und Ueberbullshit!

The following headlines might have appeared in Canada:

1917: Canadian microbiologist, Felix d'Herelle, discovers natural nanotechnology, bacteriophage therapy, that can cure and prevent superbug infections and foodborne bacterial disease.

2008: Canadians continue to suffer and die unnecssarily from superbug infections and foodborne disease because Canada is too venal to approve and use natural nanotchnology, bacteriophage therapy, discovered by Canadian microbiologist, Felix d'Herelle in 1917.

While 8000 to 12000 Canadians are dying from antibiotic-resistant superbug infections annually the joke is on us, as some countries still practice technology discovered by the Canadian, Felix d'Herelle in 1917. Phage therapy uses highly specific viruses, bacteriophages, which are harmless for humans, to treat bacterial infections. Phage therapy is not currently approved or practised in Canada. According to a letter signed by a former federal health minister it can be made available legally to Canadians under the Special Access Program of our Food & Drugs Act! A discussion of phage therapy is currently very timely because of the release of the Canadian film: Killer Cure: The Amazing Adventures of Bacteriophage and the book by Thomas Haeusler entitled, Viruses vs. Superbugs, a solution to the antibiotics crisis? ( see ). Both references are available at Ottawa libraries.
This file has dramatically changed because the US Food and Drug Administration has amended the US food additive regulations to provide for the safe use of a bacteriophages on ready-to-eat meat against Listeria monocytogenes (see ). Also . The idea that ready-to-eat meat can be treated if contaminated with Listeria bacteria while a doctor could not get a pharmaceutical grade phage therapy product when faced with a patient suffering listeriosis strikes this author as absurd especially considering the recent massive recall of ready-to-eat meat in Canada due to contamination with listeria. Information is available on phage therapy treatment in Georgia , Europe ( ), or Poland - ( ) or more recently at the Wound Care Center, Lubbock, Texas ( ) .
Canada should establish 'The Superbug Victim Felix d'Herelle Memorial Center for Experimental Phage Therapy' to provide phage therapy to patients when antibiotics fail or when patients are allergic to antibiotics.

The Illusion of Change: Getting Beyond Bullshit.
The Academics of Bullshit 101

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bullshit und Überbullshit über alles!

Some people would like to compare the Walkerton E. coli-in-water crisis to the current Listeria in ready-to-eat-meats. That is not right because:

Walkerton was a crisis due to incompetence and bullshit/bovine faeces;
the Listeria in ready-to-eat-meat is a crisis due to competence and bullshit und Überbullshit.
The outcome in both cases is the same - deaths and more bullshit und Überbullshit!

"Consumer product safety is not about leadership. It is about doing the right thing!"

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Dear Stakeholder:
This routine, bureaucratic-say-nothing-bullshit acknowledgement is in response
to your letter dated XXXXXX. I am a corporate sycophant and am not authorized
to engage in intelligent information exchange with our customers who buy our products
and services so corporate staff can enjoy gainful employment and good wages - making
possible the good life! Frankly, we do not really have time to deal with letters from
our customers because we think:

* those customers who write are cranks who can never be satisfied;
* those customers who write are just out to get something for free;
* we think we know what our customers need and deserve and that is what we supply;
* frankly, we are too busy taking "Total Quality Service" courses to waste time implementing what we learn;

* we are not interested in consumer complaints as it makes our management unhappy;
* we think that you do not have enough intelligence to fully understand our services and products and that you do not appreciate the superior minds that have created them for you;
* if you really knew what goes on around here you would not waste your time writing to us; you would see your lawyer or certainly not be a repeat customer.

You can be assured that your letter has been:
* filed in file 13 (the waste basket);
* has been placed in the corporate mail system for transfer to our office closest to you for follow-up action - this usually ensures that it goes lost.

We hope this reply closes this matter to your satisfaction. Enclosed is one of our computer-readable client satisfaction survey forms. Please ensure that all ratings are indicated by using a BLACK, SOFT pencil and that the entire block is darkened.

Our corporation is dedicated to continuous improvement through the application of technology and total quality management principles. If the computer detects any written comments on the survey form, it will send it to this division, authorizing a corporate sycophant to do a follow-up by issuing another copy of this moronic, bureaucratic-say-nothing-bullshit acknowledgement!

We want to hear what you have to say, as long as you say what we want to hear!

We are not in the business of providing anything to anybody;
we are strictly in the business of making a living.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Life is a Terminal Disease!

To live today is a risky deal.
If a superbug won't get you,
the bird flu will!
You eat some food and before you know it
foodborne illness makes you throw up!
You go to hospital and soon you reel
in a bed full of Clostridium difficile!
And if you go out of doors a mosquito will
give you the virus from West Nile!
You leave the hospital and you think you are O.K.
only to find that you acquired MRSA!
For some companionship you make a spiel
only to find that now you got HIV
and now if the TB won't get you
the terrorists will!
No matter how clever your bullshit is,
only one thing is certain,
life is a sexually transmitted, always terminal disease! (

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bullshit on Bullshit und Ueberbullshit!

Secrecy is the ally of corruption,
the hiding place of incompetence,
leaders/ Fuehrers, sycophants and bullshitters!




That that is is.
That that is not is not.
However, we know not what is and what is not
and so we bullshit a lot!


There is only one thing more pathetic
than a bullshitter trying to bullshit another bullshitter
and that is a bullshitter trying to bullshit a former bullshitter;
unless it is a former bullshitter trying to bullshit another former bullshitter.


You can bullshit some of the people all of the time,
you can bullshit all of the people some of the time,
but you can't bullshit all of the people all of the time!


No boondoggler can boondoggle
No dictator can dictate
No Fuehrer can fuehr
No leader can lead
No bullshitter can bullshit
Unless s/he can surround her/himself
with a bunch of (professional) grovellers
and system sycophants willing to do the dirty work!

Mindfucking your followers
into believing your bullshit!

Reference: McGinn, C. 2008, Mindfucking, Acumen Publishing Ltd.,