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)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Great Uncoupling

The war in Ukraine is about a number of things: language and culture; nationalism; buffer zones; resources; and even bees. It has become the playground for a hybrid proxy war between the "East" and the "West". Like the Lend Lease program of World War II between the US and Britain, Russia now appears to be supplying arms to rebels in East Ukraine while trying to remain officially neutral. On the flip side of the coin, the US and allies have openly supplied the Ukraine government with money, arms, and reportedly soldiers - or private military  contractors. To be clear, there are no innocent parties here. There is also no right or wrong side. This is about one thing - interests.

It is also extremely naive to look at the Ukrainian civil war as a one-off. An isolated conflict on the bridge between Europe and Asia. It is far more than that. In fact, the Ukraine conflict is the final tremor in the "Great Uncoupling". To understand what's happening to the world one needs to go back to the early 1990's and the "fall" of the Soviet Union. The question is: Did the Soviet Union lose the Cold War, or did it simply change tactics and create the "Gold War". In other words, did the Soviets, and as importantly the Chinese, decide a military standoff was a flawed strategy, and the better strategy was to beat the West at its own game - namely financially.

When the Berlin wall fell, Russia and China became "quasi-capitalist" societies. By which I mean, fundamental governing structures remained in place, but production of goods and services changed somewhat. Western countries, and particularly Western corporations, began to rely on cheap Chinese goods to drive their economies, and endless supplies of Russian natural resources to feed their production. Over time, the West accumulated huge trade deficits with the East, and more importantly huge debts to cover it. The debts were financed by the East. Now China is on the verge of becoming the largest economy in the world. Similarly, Russia is the great energy warehouse for Europe. Both have highly developed space programs, defence programs, and technology in general.

Fast forward to 2010, and the World Economic Conference in Davos, Switzerland. At the conference both Russia and China insisted on a new "world reserve currency". They argued that, especially after the collapse of the US economy in 2008, that the US currency was no longer strong enough to fit that roll. They were turned away. However, it didn't end there. Now enter the Ukraine crisis.

The United States reaction to the Ukraine crisis has been to financially act against Russia. However, that has suited Russia's purpose. It's given Russia the reason it needed to secure itself from financial instability. It also gave Russia the excuse it needed to take the next major step in the "Gold War" - namely, isolate the indebted countries of the West from the demographic market places of the East. Russia and China immediately started this process by creating, in a sense, a sheltered monetary union between themselves. Firstly, the massive gas deal between them was to be paid in their national currencies - not US dollars. That is the blue print that each country wants, not just for each other, but also the non-aligned BRIC countries like India, Iran, Brazil and the like. By way of example, India's most recent purchase of a Russian aircraft carrier. Another important development was Russia's moves on "card transactions". Russia took steps for credit card companies that essentially make Western cards useless in that market, and even created its own chip technology for cards.

The lesson to learn from these actions is quite simple: Now that Russia and China have the West in an indebted position they aim to starve Western production of markets. For example, Russia and China are creating their own "IMF". They will lend, etc to the developing world in competition with the already existing IMF (which they see as Western dominated). The currency involved with their IMF will be the Chinese Yuan - not the US dollar. Their primary market will be the BRIC countries - which also have the largest demographic markets for consumption of goods. The West will be faced with a limited market for its goods - a market dominated by heavily indebted countries, whose debt is primarily owed to the East, and whose populations are the fastest aging in the world.

In other words, the "Great Uncoupling". The splitting of the world into two camps: North America and Europe vs the rest of the World. The old Soviet Bloc, China, and BRIC versus the rest. The end of the "New" World Order, and the beginning of another. It's a financial war that the West cannot win. On every level, strategically or tactically, the West can not win in a financial war. Largely, a position it placed itself in by losing the discipline that gave it rise in the first place, and the inability to recognize the nature of the financial war since the 1990's. Living far beyond its means, and being helped along the way by those that were only too happy to help it along the way.

So, in many ways Ukraine will be the litmus test of each sides power. Will the West challenge Russia's counter moves in Ukraine with military force? It's abundantly clear that Russia is prepared to do so. It's far less clear that the West has the appetite, or even the means, financially or otherwise, to do so. Will the West simply recognize the apparent inevitability of its financial outflanking, or will it fight til the last man? In a world of mutually assured destruction a nuclear war seems out of the question. Will the West see a large scale conventional war as their one and only last hope? Not likely. The Russians and Chinese, not to mention countries like India or Iran, would be at least their equals. The great irony is that, frankly, the West is no longer in a financial position to fight a large scale war, while the East's debt is minuscule in comparison. yes, we live in a world of ironies at the moment. We also live in a world on the edge - on the edge of divide. At the end of a pseudo World Order, and on the verge of a quite different World Order. But for now, we are on the cusp of the "Great Uncoupling".


Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Decline of Danny Williams

There was a time when Danny Williams' controlled the collective mind of Newfoundland and Labrador - those days are over. While premier he wrapped himself tightly in the provincial flag, while disgracing the Canadian flag. He put gas on the fire of Newfoundland nationalism. I say Newfoundland nationalism, because Labrador nationalism is a kettle of fish he doesn't see as fitting into the picture. For those that don't know, Labrador nationalism is to get the hell out of the province of "Newfoundland and Labrador".

He fanned the flames of already well entrenched anti-Quebec feelings in the province. Blaming Quebec for holding the province down - everything from the Upper Churchill to the Labrador border to transmission rights. Yes the province got screwed on the Upper Churchill, but was it Hydro-Quebec that did it, or a collection of European business men (Brinco) and a then premier who bought 100,000 shares in Brinco hoping to become rich (Smallwood)? Perhaps it was all the above, but Quebec saw his vitriol. Transmission rights were treated in a similar vein. Quebec approved transmission rights for the province, but insisted Newfoundland and Labrador pay for the cost to increase the lines capacities,etc. Williams wanted it for free. He turned them into the bogyman, while in reality it was simply him being too cheap to pay the additional costs. And on it goes. He was the fan of hate. The provocateur. The identifier and the answer all in one.

People generally, and widely bought into that vision. Fueled by sudden oil wealth, britches were extra large. No one ever stopped to tell the people that, despite the oil wealth, the province still only made up 1.5% of Canada's GDP. No, according to Williams and company this was Canada's newest and coolest province that was at the top of the country. In truth, Newfoundland is the oldest settlement in North America (500 years old), and despite joining Canada only 65 years ago, many of its ways follow those time lines. Sure it is cool and has a grove, but so do other places in the country as well. Simply put, Williams exaggerated to the maximum the province's good things, and trivialized the negatives. It created a false impression, and people bought into it.

Things have changed now. 11 years since the start of Williams' reign as premier, and about the same for the oil boom, people are becoming jaded - not without reason. $18 billion dollars in oil income has essentially evaporated. The civil service was increased by 25% (locally known as the "buddy boom") while the gross provincial debt actually grew a billion or so from where it was in 2003. Now the province sees massive cuts in that same civil service. Programs are being trimmed or cut everywhere. There still remains about 300 water boil alerts in rural municipalities across the province. The public roads are literally worse than most third world countries that have pavement. Taxes and prices have skyrocketed as local inflationary pressures from spending like a drunken sailor smashed against the economy. In other words, many people have felt the costs of the "oil boom", but not the benefits.

Essentially, Williams set the economy on fire by dumping billions of taxpayers dollars on building-type infrastructure. The biggest and most gruesome being Muskrat Falls. The PCs had to rein in all that "good times" spending on schools and the like to save up for the 35% down payment the feds required to grant a loan guarantee to build the dam. Now, suddenly, there were layoffs, cancelled programs, healthcare problems, education problems, road problems...the list goes on. Next will be the billion needed for the Hebron partnership that Williams insisted on. But, before that, will come the public pensions.

Williams, during the great spending spree, never took care of the non-sexy stuff like funding the pensions. The only real money he put into the pensions was the $2 billion Paul Martin advanced on the Atlantic Accord, and that was only because it was written into the deal that the money had to be used to reduce the province's debt. Now, as is the case in all our lives, the ignored bill has become the pressing bill. This year Standard and Poors threatened the province with a down grading of its credit rating, because the pension debt had grown into a monster. In fact, since Williams came into office, it has tripled. That $18 billion is all but gone, and the pension bill now approaches half that figure. The cold reality, or the "party is over" hangover, has gripped the province. People are looking around themselves at their grossly over valued housing that is not selling quite like it used to; at that property tax bill that has tripled for that over valued house; at the programs they once took for granted being scaled back; and at that pension they always knew they would need being threatened. Now they are mad. Betrayed. Disillusioned.

That is where the fall of Danny Williams comes in. Like many before him, the grand savior is now being seen in a different light. No longer is his word gospel. No longer is his position without reproach. Many still fondly remember him with the good old days, but a growing number are also associating him with the province's "missed opportunity". Why? Because he didn't do the non-sexy things. He didn't bother with the fundamental responsibility of government, to look after the welfare of its people, but rather he took care of business's business. The cloak of secrecy that he brought in to shield Nalcor, and other government operations is now under intense scrutiny. The bond of trust he had with the people is shattered.

Williams' once untouchable reputation as premier is now only too human. Two very clear examples should make this crystal clear to any casual observer. The recent by-election in which he campaigned for a week straight for his friend Danny Breen in Virginia Waters was one. This district fell to the Liberals despite being former premier Dunderdale's seat, and despite Williams' own personal week long crusade. In the recent past, Williams would only have to show up for a quickie hand shake photo op, and the candidate was guaranteed to win - sprinkled as he or she was with Danny dust. Didn't work for Breen. He lost. Williams claimed he was called in because Breen was sitting at twenty something percent, and that his involvement brought the race to within 40 votes of winning. The truth, as just stated, is Williams mere presence was not enough to save the PC seat or his friend.

Then there was Frank Coleman. The first premier-elect in Canada to be investigated by an Auditor General and resign before he was even officially sworn in. Another friend of Williams. Another friend down. Many believe, as do I, that Williams orchestrated Coleman's run for the leadership. Yet, it failed spectacularly. The entire spectacle played out on provincial and national TV. The embarrassment for the province unprecedented. Williams claimed he had nothing to do with Coleman's "coronation" as leader and "was-to-be-premiership", but almost nobody believes it anymore. The golden touch has turned into the poisoned chalice.

Then, just yesterday, Williams and Brian Tobin presented together at the NOIA conference in St. John's. Afterwards, the media interviewed them both together. The questions were put to Williams. The general theme of the questions: "Are you still going to be involved in politics and the new leadership race for the PCs?" He was quite firm in his reply: "No". He was going to just be quiet now and stay out of politics, much to the apparent relief of Tobin beside him. However, that was short lived. During the same interview he publicly attacked anyone who "publicly shit on Nalcor" - the most political of all bodies in the province.  

"There is a group out there that every day just keeps pounding away...they've all got the same background, they all come from the same origination, for want of a better term, even though it's 30 or 40 years ago. And they're out there just pounding away at us just for the sake of pounding..."

Now, apart from sounding a wee bit paranoid and disturbed, the quote illustrates a few things. It shows that Williams still would rather attack the messengers than contemplate the message. It shows that Williams is still unable to understand the basic tenants of democracy - like the freedom of speech. It shows that Williams is all about getting his own way. In other words, he hasn't learned a thing. Maybe it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks? Either way, the mesmerized audience that once followed closely and unquestioningly at his feet has woken to the reality of the betrayed.


Monday, June 9, 2014

Ukraine - the Bee War

Lately, as some of you may know, I've been closely following the events happening in Ukraine. There are a number of reasons for that. Firstly, it is a conflict that has significant geopolitical ramifications that can potentially affect all of humanity - including us of course here on the Rock. Secondly, it involves military tactics which, as a retired infantry officer, I find personally interesting. Finally, I believe there is a need to cast a light on conflict from time to time in order to avoid atrocities against civilians.

The conflict itself has been portrayed by both sides as a sort of "clash of belief systems". On the Ukraine side the separatists in East Ukraine are simply puppets of the Russian government, and in many cases Russian forces pretending to be locals. On the Russian side the Ukraine forces are "neo-nazis", who took power from an elected government, and who are intent on persecuting the Russian populations of East Ukraine. That pretty much sums it up. However, as the saying goes: Truth is the first casualty of war.

In fact, the war in Ukraine has its origins in, believe it or not, the honey bee. The little insect that carries a massively important role - feeding us. The bee pollinates crops, and without bees we starve. That sums it up. Bees are so important in fact that Russia had to export bees to the US, because the US bee population was in radical decline. Russia blamed the decline of the bees on genetically modified crops (GMO). Specifically, Russia accused Monsanto of killing off the bees by use of a neuro-toxin, derived from nicotine, in its crops. The issue boiled over when, last year, US President Obama passed a bill that has been nicknamed the "Monsanto Protection Act". Essentially, a bill protecting Monsanto from civil suits in the US over it's use of GMOs. Putin was so infuriated with Obama he made John Kerry wait for three hours for a scheduled diplomatic meeting. Putin also indicated that the issue could lead to world war.

Ukraine fits into this picture as the "bread basket" of Europe. It's massive fields and rich soil have made it a market for Monsanto, Cargill, and Dow. Until now, companies like Cargill produced seed in Ukraine, but not GMO seed. That is banned by Ukrainian law. The prominence of GMOs therefore stopped at the Polish border - some distance from Russia. The European Union itself had banned GMOs, but that has since changed - and that is key.

With the overthrow of the previous President, based primarily on not agreeing to sign an EU association agreement, the new authorities in Kiev have been pushing toward signing the agreement. That agreement will require Ukraine to allow practices like GMOs. That places GMOs right on Russia's border, and directly affects the purity of its crops and, more importantly, the famous Russian honey bee. Yet it seems like such a small thing to bring the world to the brink of war over. However, look at the ramifications of it.

If the Russians are correct, and certainly all scientific research supports the view that bees are dangerously declining in population, then crops will fail due to lack of pollination. If crops fail then people starve. The big question would be: Have companies like Monsanto developed GMOs that don't require pollination? If that were true, it would leave the ability to feed the population in the hands of very few. In this case, US multinationals. Naturally, one would assume, the Russians and Chinese in particular, and perhaps many others, would consider this a threat to their national interests.

It is noteworthy that, until recently, the Chinese had negotiated an agreement with the Ukraine government to lease 10% of the country's farmland for a period of fifty years. Part of that deal included building a massive bridge from mainland Russia to Crimea. The area of Ukraine that was to see this Chinese lease? The Ukraine province of Donetsk. The Chinese also ban GMOs from their country and food chain. The deal fell through, and just a month ago the Chinese announced they were cancelling their commitment to build that new massive land link from Russia to Crimea. On the flip side, Monsanto, Cargill, etc are going full force in Ukraine. Monsanto has promised a new $150 million facility to produce non-GMO corn there. Where are Cargill, Monsanto's etc plants and prospective plants located? You guessed it  - the Ukrainian province of Donetsk.

Now many observers have looked at the Ukraine situation and asked themselves why is Putin so invested in Ukraine? Why has he sent Russian special forces into Luhansk and Donetsk to organize and train locals, and to actually fight the Ukraine army? Why do these rebel forces keep receiving supplies of equipment and volunteers from Russia? Why does Russia allow its border to be used? The reason it seems is quite clear. The Donetsk province, with Slavyansk as its strong point, is strategic for a reason. Not because Russia wants to rebuild its empire. Not because it wants to protect the Russian language or Russians living there. It is strategic, because without the province of Donetsk the Ukraine government, Monsanto, etc cannot implement a GMO strategy in the country. That is the chess game unfolding between Russia and the West.

Putin has apparently stepped back from an outright invasion of east Ukraine to an alternative strategy. That is, "make all the moves you want with the EU, the US and GMOs Ukraine, but I will hold the one piece of ground that you need to implement that strategy. Without Donetsk, all your agreements and efforts are for nothing." Putin has adopted a strategy of irregular forces, for now, that suits his purpose. He will make sure they get whatever they need to defeat the Ukraine forces in Donetsk, and to a lesser extent in Luhansk. The casualties among civilians will be high under such a strategy, and that is unfolding now in Donetsk in general, and in Slavyansk  particularly. It is in effect an asymmetrical war strategy designed to hold the province of Donetsk.

Meanwhile, the Ukraine government is faced with deciding whether or not an asymmetrical war with Russia in Donetsk and Luhansk is worth it. On the one hand it may lose that war, and both provinces, and also its GMO backer's interests. On the other hand, if it manages to defeat the "rebels" and pacify Donetsk and Luhansk it almost certainly means a Russian invasion. That is the chess match under way. In a strange twist of coincidence, Ukraine's newly elected President Petro Poroshenko owns a massive chocolate corporation named "Roshen", that is apparently in a relationship with Monsanto to develop a "frost resistant" cocoa been crop to grow in Ukraine


Whatever your perspective on this conflict is, the role of the lowly honey bee is one worth considering. Is Ukraine really about all the silly twists and turns, or is it a very dangerous game of business?

Friday, June 6, 2014

Frank Coleman and Lies of Omission

What to say on the Frank Coleman/Humber Valley paving story? It's a story of greed, politics and deal making. A tale that one might expect to read from yesteryear, but not in today's "transparent" world of politics. An agreement founded in such arrogance, and so contemptuous of the people of the Province, that you couldn't be blamed for having a hard time believing it could happen today - even given the murky waters of Newfoundland politics. Yet, here it is.

It starts with a sudden coup in the Premier's Office as Kathy Dunderdale is forced from office by a caucus revolt - that was January 22, 2014. The, on February 11, former premier Danny Williams stepped out of the shadows and smeared the position of PC leadership candidate Bill Barry:

"Bill Barry would definitely not have my support. Absolutely not... He indicates that he's interested in privatizing energy..Nalcor, Hydro, he has an interest in privatizing health care, and he has an interest in privatizing education. Well, he doesn't stand for anything that I support, so Bill Barry is off my list. That's probably the clearest thing I can tell you."

Barry's response was direct, but diplomatic:

"Unfortunately, he (Williams) talked about a letter I sent to caucus which, in my view, he totally mischarasterized (sic). I certainly didn't say Nalcor would be privatized and health and education would be privatized. That's not what I said at all."

Barry's response was tame, because he should have called Williams' comments outright lies, with the somewhat obvious purpose, given the context of the rest of his commentary, to destroy Barry as a PC leadership candidate. These were the first shots so to speak.

By sheer coincidence no doubt, two days later Frank Coleman is interviewed by the Telegram on "rumors" he may be running for the leadership. It's actually a most interesting and foreshadowing interview as it turns out. Coleman's comments then:

" It (running for leadership) depends on me having a fairly robust discussion with my partners in the businesses that I am involved in about if I do make a run at this.."

" I am heavily involved (in the business) and there is a bunch of things we are in the middle of, and we are trying to work our way through."

" There is a bunch of things I'm working through...if they transpire the way I hope they do, great. If they don't, it will be somebody else's mantle, not mine."

Cryptic, very cryptic words given the time and what was about to transpire. Coleman admits several things here: 1. That his running for leadership depends on "working things through" with his businesses; 2. That the conversation involves his business partners; and 3. That he is personally working these things through. A man very deeply involved. Now consider, at this very moment in time, his business Humber Valley Paving (HVP) is in trouble with its largest contract - the $19 million paving contract for the Trans Labrador highway. He is losing money, had to get a year extension to complete it, and had personally guaranteed the performance bonds to finish it. In other words, Coleman was a man in a serious bind. Can it possibly be that the words he says above do not refer to such a bind? A reasonable person would conclude they refer to the exact situation Coleman was facing with his government contract, the bonds and HVP.

Then, the very next day no less, Coleman contends he resigned as President and CEO of HVP. That's odd for a number of reasons, the least of which being: Why would the President and CEO of a company, that had just admitted he was "working things through" suddenly resign the next day? Is it reasonable to think that a man with his name on a $19 million bond, and with that company apparently unable to finish the job, would simply walk away from control of that situation on blind faith that something might come down the road to save him? Not only is that unreasonable, it simply defies imagination. The only logical conclusion is that he knew the issue would be resolved in his favour.

Then, on March 10, Coleman contends he resigned as a "director and shareholder". His words. To my knowledge, there is no way to resign as a shareholder. The only logical interpretation of that statement is he sold his shares in HVP. Considering his controlling interest in HVP, that can only mean he sold the company. That begs this question: Who would sell their control of a company if that company's performance of its work on a contract (in this case the Labrador highway) could mean being personally accountable for up to $19 million of your personal wealth? Not just that. Who would buy a controlling interest in a company that was about to default (possibly) on a $19 million contract? Then there are the issues that accompany any sale of a business like: negotiations; due diligence; legal work; and closing, etc. All of this would require much more than the month timeline that Coleman has put out there officially. Again, that defies any reasonable logic.

The obvious conclusion, of a reasonable person, would be that Coleman had full knowledge that his name would be removed from those bonds before he sold his shares - which would mean before March 10. In his words: "..if they transpire the way I hope they do." Apparently they did. Three days later, Coleman's son, apparently representing the new ownership, contacted Minister McGrath to have the contract cancelled, and thus remove the need for the bonds. Seven days later the contract was dissolved and Frank Coleman was released from his $19 million bonds.

Perhaps there is a hint of the truth when, during an interview with Fred Hutton at VOCM on May 9, 2014, Coleman made the following statement:

" I've been in this race for 6 months.."

Six months. That's an interesting statement considering at the time of the interview that would put Coleman's involvement at about the beginning of December, 2013 - or just before Dunderdale was forced to resign by her caucus. For Coleman, that means he would have had to been involved in the ouster of Dunderdale in some way. After all, how could he be involved in a leadership race that didn't exist at the time? There is only one answer for that - it was a backroom plot to dump Dunderdale, and that plot had to have involved Coleman in some way. His words, not mine - "I've been in this race for six months".

The CBC uncovered all this and broke the story. At first it was reported as a $9.5 million bond. Then it was discovered to be two $9.5 million bonds, equaling a total commitment of $19 million. Then it was discovered that Coleman had to sign for the bonds personally. All of this had to be dug up by the media. Coleman never proactively disclosed any of it, even when he knew the exposure was more than was being reported, and even though he new he had personally endorsed them.

Then, as the walls started to close in on him and McGrath, the stories started to trip themselves up. Coleman refused to be forthcoming with who the new owners were of HVP. He even refused to tell the media who he sold his own shares to. He began to trip himself up in his own lies. One such example:

" I don't believe that representatives of the company dealt directly with the Minister...My son, and other members of our company would have spoken directly to the officials. This would have been a decision by officials within the department to make the decision, and they would have made recommendations to the Minister."

As it happened, that wasn't true, and Coleman's media representative got back to the reporter:

"... (Coleman) did not intend to deny that his son, Gene, spoke to Minister McGrath."

Well, it wasn't just an intention to deny the meeting, it was a statement that there wasn't one. In fact, Coleman's son did the negotiating, and was still a director, if not a shareholder as well, of HVP.

Then, on April 30, McGrath made the following statement:

"We don't want to put a company out of business, because if you take their bonds away they would easily be put out of business for future work."

That was original excuse for dissolving the contract - to save the company and its employees. McGrath added that in order to have the job done on time and budget that it was necessary to cancel the contract as going after the bonds was unreliable. That lasted until the national association responsible for bonding agencies accused the Minister of misleading the public by giving false information regarding how bonds work. Yet McGrath still had his whole save the company and the jobs argument floating. Coleman remained silent on the issue of saving the company and the jobs. He never once said the company was in trouble. In fact, he called it "a great company". He bristled at the accusations that this "great company's" bonds were traded off for his agreement to run for leadership - May 6:

" No, I did not benefit personally from this whatsoever. It is incomprehensible to me that somebody would infer that I benefited personally from this."

That was until the media disclosed Coleman personally signed for the bonds, and would have been responsible for their having to be enforced. Then, despite not having mentioned one word of this before publicly, Coleman came out and said this:

" The option that the company would have had its bond pulled is not necessarily the right conclusion to reach. The company would have had other options, either to complete the work or to sell the work."

As usual in this saga, Coleman attempts to cover one lie with another twist. His problem though is his cover story only adds significantly to the drama. Consider his words. There was no urgency to cancel the bonds. The work could be finished or sold. Take him at his word on this for a moment. If those things are all true, then why did the Minister dissolve the contract and release Coleman from the bonds? That would only benefit one person, Frank Coleman. Not the employees. Not the company. Coleman's own defence to personally benefiting was there was no need to release him - so why did Coleman's son request it and why did McGrath do it? See, that's the problem with lies. We even tell our children this as they grow up. Lies only beget more lies, and eventually they all fall. I will leave you with this last Coleman quote, which I believe is the biggest lie of all:

"I can absolutely tell you there is nothing untoward here."