Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the
round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're
not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify
them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change
things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the
crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that
they can change the world, are the ones who do.

Steve Jobs
US computer engineer & industrialist (1955 - 2011)

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Don Dunphy Dies for Politics in Newfoundland

                                                                   Don Dunphy

Don Dunphy died for expressing his pain and suffering in a small rural community in Newfoundland at the hands of the Premier's personal security force. In other words, he died over politics. He had just finished having Easter Sunday dinner with his daughter when, at about 230 pm, a solitary plain clothed member of the Premier's personal body guard arrived at the Dunphy home in a plain black SUV, with smoked black windows - the Premier's own personal government vehicle. From that moment til the moment several shots rang out remain unaccounted for. The only witness was the man that pulled the trigger ending Mr. Dunphy's life - and voice.

Mr. Dunphy was injured at work. The compensation board abandoned him, but he refused to go quietly. He became engaged in social media, mostly Twitter, and attempted to make a difference, He tweeted on many things, all generally centered on social justice. On Good Friday he sent a series of tweets to Premier Paul Davis, and a cabinet minister Sandy Collins. Sandy Collins had just sent out a public tweet expressing his satisfaction about cruising with the premier, in his car, listening to a song whose message was enjoying the sunshine. Mr. Dunphy, suffering as he was and had been for many years, replied to the public tweet of Collins:

5 tweets that would end his life. Someone on the premier's staff contacted a member of the premier's bodyguard, and two days later a sole officer appeared on Mr. Dunphy's driveway. The tweet originally put out by the provincial media originally showed just the last tweet, which mentioned the words "dead" and "hurt". However, social media quickly found the entire set of tweets, and the story line began to change. The string of five tweets, representing the full conversation, clearly show anyone who can read English that Mr. Dunphy was not threatening anyone. Not the premier. Not anyone. Instead, it was simply the response of a long suffering man responding to a system he felt had ignored him and, simply put, he was upset that these two politicians were enjoying a carefree ride in the country while he suffered. Nothing more. Nothing less. That was his only crime.

Was there evidence a crime was being committed, or going to be committed? No. Was there cause for the premier's body guard to be at Mr. Dunphy's home? No. So why was he there? Given the politics of intimidation in this province, the most likely answer was he went to the Dunphy house to intimidate a man into silence. What evidence is there of that? Well, first of all, unless the premier's political staff is illiterate, and the body guard is illiterate, there was no cause for any police action. None. Zip. That is the biggest clue, but there are others. The use of the premier's own personal black SUV. The use of the premier's own bodyguard. The leaks about who pulled a gun on who first - despite no "official" comment. The fact that a sole officer went to "investigate" a "non-crime" without any other witnesses. From my own experience, an eerily similar situation to the time 4 years ago when Minister Wiseman sent his personal Executive Assistant, a self-proclaimed member of the Newfoundland "backroom", to threaten me with personal destruction if I allowed my name to stand in the PC leadership race. This ended far  more seriously for Mr. Dunphy, but the bones of the matter are very similar.

The question remains, was Don Dunphy lawfully killed by a member of his premier's bodyguard. There is no question he was killed. There is no question who did it. The question remains was it lawful. I would argue it was not. An officer of the law cannot pull over your vehicle, let alone enter your property without "cause". There was no cause. There was no threat to the premier. None whatsoever. The only reason that officer was at the Dunphy home was to intimidate. If you don't believe that, well, then you have to believe the premier's office and the bodyguard can't read English. What is the more likely? It's clear what is the most likely. Now, local media and talk shows were very quick to decry speculation about the death of Don Dunphy. That's typical of politics in Newfoundland. Silence the outrage. If you speak out you will be labelled as "playing politics". It's a form of control used here all the time. Don't speak out, even when it's as obvious as the nose on your face.

If you do speak out you become the problem. You are scapegoated. The original issue becomes obscured in charges of political opportunism. You have an axe to grind. You are a disturber of the shit. It doesn't matter that what you say makes perfect sense, or is a perfectly normal opinion. If it shakes the foundations of power in Newfoundland it must be silenced. Don Dunphy shook that system more than he or anyone else apparently realized. He was silenced. Silenced by his own government. But, in his death, Don sent a message that he could not send in life. It lead the national news. It splashed from coast to coast. An injured worker, ignored and marginalized by a government in this country that suppresses political opposition. That was the message Don was trying to send in life. That was the message his death sent to the entire country.


  1. one is immediately forced to wonder...... Our premier is an ex Police much paranoia existed on the enforcement side of this affair... will the real facts ever be know( improbable to unlikely).. how much standard police protocol.. had been adhered to .... legally and technically was a warrant required .. to enter the premises..why was the officer travelling alone.... was the officer in fact out side of his jurisdiction.....a very sad fate for a CITIZEN who deserved better .....

  2. Facts are that politicians are greedy and corrupt. That's not new news. Newfoundlanders are treated like dog scat in the treads of their fancy shoes. This poor fella was fighting for what was his and the squeaky wheel got the wrong kind of attention. The fact that he pulled a gun (loaded or not) on an officer (especially after all the shootings this year) was a very stupid idea. (unless it was planted... but I doubt his "tweets" crossed that line). But I do completely agree that the wealthy do not know how difficult it is for hard working poor people. Newfoundland has it really bad. But you think our Government cares? They should... but they seriously don't. They don't work for the people, they work for themselves.

  3. From M Porter

    Anybody else read the tweet this way?
    The man was not using proper grammar or punctuation but it is clear that the word dead in his tweet was paired with prick. He was insulting the MHA's by calling them prick-dead, a new version of numb-nuts and a silly insult, but not a threat. The police should not have been there and wouldn't have been, had they any decent reading skills.

  4. Do you think Don pulled a gun? I don't.. Was he scared! Hell yea! Why was there only 1 Officer? shouldn't there have been 2?

  5. There's a folk-song going round that serves as a take on the shadiness of this whole affair. There are local variations, but it's basically Woody Guthrie's old classic, 'Pretty Boy Floyd', with new lyrics and tuned to a lower key.


    If you’ll gather ’round me, children
    a story I’ll relate
    ’bout the martyr Donald Dunphy
    and his most horrid fate

    It was on an Easter Sunday
    in the town of Mitchell’s Brook
    when an officer called on Dunphy
    who was reading his Good Book

    The officer had been sent there
    side-armed and in plain clothes
    by the office of the premier
    who thought a threat Dunphy did pose

    The premier was a sly one
    who cleared debt through bent designs
    forcing cyclists to wear helmets
    or be faced with paying fines

    The policeman sent to Dunphy’s
    was no stranger to a debrief
    His new boss had been his old boss
    when Premier Davis had been chief

    The officer came a-knockin’
    and dear Donald showed him in
    Dunphy offered him coffee
    and a big ol’ friendly grin

    Then the officer drew a pistol
    and took aim at Dunphy’s head
    He said, “This is the way it works, Don:
    If we want, we can have you dead”

    “You are a rabble-rouser
    and a pain in the behind
    You expose our system’s failings
    and our boss has been maligned”

    Well, Dunphy reached for his ol’ rifle
    and nodded towards the door
    But the officer pulled his trigger
    and laid dear Donald on the floor

    Then some mouthpiece wrote a letter
    which the cops leaked to the press
    But the public weren’t so jaded
    that they couldn’t see through the mess

    Now the martyr Dunphy’s pardoned
    — his name in lore shall dwell
    While the pricks who planned his murder
    shall burn in Christian Hell


Comments are welcome that contribute to the discussion or foster further debate.

In the interests of ensuring that people take responsibility for their own words, individuals can make comments using their Blogger ID or OpenID.

Profiles should be open to the public and reveal an e-mail address so that people may contact the commenter directly.

Anonymous comments, including those from people using fake, apparently fake identities, or profiles without contact information may be deleted. Spam will be deleted as soon as it is identified.