Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 10:06 AM
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I discovered to my amazement the other day that the very notion of "Four Pillars" reaches way back into history and across many cultures.
The Four Pillars of Christianity:
Devotion to Mary
Devotion to Jesus
Education through Joy & Hope
Devotion to the Church
The Four Pillars of some wacky group which call itself the Church of Euthanasia are: Suicide. Abortion. Cannibalism. Sodomy. Go figure.
The Four Pillars according to one James MacDonald are:
Preaching God's word, without apology
Lifting the name of Jesus in worship
Believing in the power of prayer
Sharing Christ's gospel with boldness
And the Four Pillars of Islam are: fasting, prayer, alms-giving and a pilgrimage to Mecca.
So far so good. Sort of.
Now to Vancouver's famous Four Pillars Coalition.In theory or according to their Official Spin, the pillars are: harm reduction, enforcement, prevention and treatment. But as we all well know by now, there is only one pillar and three utterly unattended match sticks. No money goes into prevention or treatment and in the last few days, we have seen City Council refuse to give the Police more money for more officers.
But forget all that.
What is now most interesting to me is to look carefully at the Official Spin website and note the following:
There are dozens upon dozens of individuals, companies, corporations, non-profit societies and government agencies and departments involved. All this human freight! All this energy and thought and care and concern! All the meetings and interfacing and interacting and sharing and integrating. IT'S GREAT! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!
Just one little, humble question - Can they point to ONE human being who was a using dope fiend, who is now a non-using admitted addict, living clean and sober? ONE?
And the answer, boys & girls, is no, they cannot. NOT ONE.
Yet, I began with me and 2 aboriginal men fresh out of the B.C. Pen in 1967, and we can point to hundreds of clean and sober human beings as a result of our hard and human and hopeful work.
And we integrated with no one. We were too busy doing our necessary work.
Here's my suggestion: call their Number One resident genius, to whom they are paying in excess of $90,000/annum, Donald MacPherson at 604-871-6040 at City Hall, or email him at email@example.com and ask him to name one human man or woman that they have helped live clean and sober.
That means without methadone or free heroin or free pills. It means clean & sober.
Posted by David Berner at 5:42 PM
Must leave the house early this morning...but later today, 2 posts on The Four Pillars. Stay tuned.
Posted by David Berner at 7:23 AM
Monday, February 26, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 9:39 AM
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Bob Ransford loves Richmond. He was born and raised in Richmond. He actually lives in Richmond. He asked Malcolm Brodie to run for office and helped Brodie get elected in a bi-election in 2001 and then again in 2002. Today, Ransford is heartbroken.
“Richmond is drifting. The City has a corporate vision, but it was crafted by the bureaucratic and political elites in City hall without any public by-in. The only way the elites can achieve their corporate vision is to spend whatever it takes in pursuit of their goal of making Richmond ‘the most appealing, liveable and well-managed community in Canada.’ It is costing us dearly in every way.”
Nothing focuses Ransford’s angst more clearly than The Richmond Speed Skating Oval for the 2010 Olympics. The Oval is a colossus. It is the grandest construction project of the 2010 Olympics and the costliest single project assembled by a Richmond government. Here’s how the official City of Richmond website describes the project:
The Richmond Oval will be home to long track speed skating during the 2010 Games. The Oval is being built by the City of Richmond at a budgeted cost of $178 Million. Post-Games, the Oval will be a centre for sports and wellness. It will boast ice, hardwood and indoor turf surfaces. It is located on 32 acres of City owned land along the banks of the Fraser River. Site clearing and construction have begun and completion is scheduled for fall, 2008. The Oval will qualify for ongoing funding from a $110 Million Legacy Trust to offset operating costs.
The Straight has discovered “the rest of the story.”
[Check our insert below for a quick primer on how the City of Richmond has been handling other issues.]
The Oval is reported regularly to be “on time and on budget.”
Originally slated for November 2007, completion has been moved first to April 2008, then fall, 2008. Drive by. To date, it looks like a pile of sand.
On Budget? The oft-quoted $178 Million covers the Oval and the underground parking garage. Never mentioned are the following costs, necessitated entirely by the Oval. Purchase of CP Lands right-of-way (estimated $12M); River Road realignment (est. $7M); Hollybridge Way widening to 4 lanes ($?); Lansdowne Road widening and extensions ($?); new north-south local roads, as yet undetermined ($?); public art; Plaza ($5.2M), travel and consultation $1.5M), and ongoing daily staff time ($?). The true cost is already well in excess of $200 Million and climbing. The Torino speed skating facility was built for $100 Million.
As for the $110M Legacy Trust, that is the capital, not the interest, some portion of which Richmond might acquire. Richmond City Manager George Duncan admitted to me in a recent meeting at City hall that the City might get only $1.9 - $3M annually, even though they continue to trumpet the $110M figure at every opportunity. The Legacy Trust Board has yet to meet.
Who is running this project? John Furlong is the public face of the 2010 Olympics. Who’s in charge of the Oval?
We asked City Councillor Bill McNulty if there is a Mr. Oval.
“No. I guess it’s City Manager George Duncan by default.”
Peter Webster, a developer and seasoned sportsman at local and international levels, is a member of the Oval Steering Advisory Committee. We asked him who’s at the helm.
“George Duncan. But he has so many other issues to deal with: works yard, the firemen, people on stress leave.”
Is there one person who is Mr. Oval?
Shouldn’t there be?
Adds Bob Ransford, “There is no Mr. Oval. To be Mr. Oval, you would have to be a champion. To be a champion, you would have to develop community will, you have to communicate with people.”
Ransford continues, “The Oval began behind closed doors – a megalomaniac idea – the brainchild of a small group of people looking for nothing more than self-aggrandizement. Unfortunately, they also had the keys to the taxpayers’ vault. George Duncan has the world’s biggest Lego set and unsuspecting taxpayers have given it to him.”
One need only study Duncan’s official credit card receipts to witness how carefully he spends taxpayers’ dollars. Aside from a dazzling catalogue of restaurant and hotel charges in almost a dozen locales worldwide, witness only these 3 entries made on December 15, 2005:
Lufthansa- Skyphone, calls to staff in Torino, Italy, $93.82, $117.28 and $11.73.
These 3 calls made, presumably on one flight, must have been of the highest priority.
Duncan confirms that all the Oval project managers and senior staff report to him.
“In the end,” he told The Straight, “the buck stops with me at the administrative level, and at City Council at the political level.”
We asked Bill McNulty if City Council ever challenges Duncan about how he spends public money.
“No. The public views us as a spendthrift council. The Mayor should provide direction, but he doesn’t appear to want to know details. He just wants the Oval built.”
McNulty, Webster and Ransford all have concerns about the lack of hired expertise and a staff that are struggling to operate above their levels of competence.
McNulty offers this impression of one of the many oversees staff trips. “I’ve asked are the experts involved? The staff and council are just not experienced. You see, we’re playing ball with the Big Boys now and most of our people have come from Parks and Recreation. I don’t have any problem with travel, but are the right people going? In Torino, we were there to look at long track skating – that’s what the Oval is about. But instead we had one ticket for long-track and 5 tickets for hockey. We weren’t there to look at hockey.”
Webster questions the leadership.
“City staff doesn’t use the expertise they have around the table. Frankly, I wonder if they know what they’re doing. This is the showcase piece, and they’ve never done anything like this before. The communication from the staff is not good. Look, I’m involved in a small project, about $13 Million, and I talk my guys every day and I get a piece of paper to look at several times a week. It’s a huge step to move from municipal, recreational concerns to a world-class facility. Frankly, staff finds it hard to accept that there are people smarter than them. On the Steering committee, we have doers in the real world, but there are no entrepreneurs on staff. One senior staffer was managing a swimming pool before this.”
Ransford is even more sanguine. “They’ve hired a raft of new people for the bureaucracy. There’s no check on spending at all. But they haven’t hired any experts, people who could really help, because they believe that they are the experts.”
We point out to Duncan that many see him as the undeclared leader. He says, “Look, I’m the guy who went to Council and recommended the 3 advisory committees. I was the one who raised the name of Dr. Roger Jackson as an important contributor and recommended that we hire outside project and construction managers. I’ve just become the lightening rod for any criticism that arises. ”
Bruce Rosenhart, a Vancouver communications consultant and a Richmond resident, is another member of the Oval Steering Advisory Committee.
“The committee is only concerned with the Oval structure, not with any extraordinary costs, like parking, art, the road diversion, and CP Rail. This must not be a white elephant. Richmond has traditionally been seen as Vancouver’s poor second cousin, as a ‘tail-end Charlie.’ The Oval is the architecturally defining facility for Richmond. The only serious question I have is does anyone on council or anyone on staff have a real over-all vision for Richmond?”
Sport BC, the umbrella organization for more than 80 sports groups and 800,000 active participants in the province, has been in discussion with Oval staff for some time now about how they might cooperate on facilities and programs post-Olympics.
After dozens of meetings with Oval staff, Sandra Stevenson, the President and CEO of Sports BC, now asks, “Where is the leadership? Who is the decision maker? I’ve spent too much time exchanging information. How are we modelling a shared vision? It’s not apparent to me. What is apparent is that it’s all about power and control.”
Local Unions are incensed with the Oval project on at least 2 important levels. It was revealed through a Freedom of Information that George Duncan signed an agreement guaranteeing labour peace during the Olympic period. Because the City has a clear obligation to consult with the union on such matters, the union has filed a grievance with the city. Quite simply, Duncan didn’t have the authority to make those assurances. As well, the unions are raising important, and unanswered, questions about security. Asks a union official, “Who is doing security for the Olympics? The FBI, the CIA, CSIS? Will our members be marshalled? And who is checking security levels on the people who are actually constructing the project?”
A recent Steering Committee meeting in July was cancelled. The reason given was that there was nothing to discuss. Six meetings were cancelled last summer.
McNulty says, “This is a huge project. There’s always something important to discuss.”
Webster agrees, “The process has never functioned smoothly. They changed the schedule mid-stream. They only call the meeting together when they think it’s important. The last meeting was cancelled, because they said there was nothing important to discuss. When there’s $178Million and less than 1200 days, there’s always something important.”
Duncan responds that the people who complain are the same people who have themselves missed recent meetings.
How is Richmond City Hall functioning these days with all the Oval excitement in its midst?
Duncan estimates that 10% of his day is taken up with the Oval. Yet he spent 2 1/2 hours with The Straight on a recent morning and churns out Oval-related e-mails and memos by the basketful.
McNulty despairs, “The city is on hold because the Oval is a full-time project. We’re trying to run a city, but this is a full-time project.”
Ransford is a development consultant with over $300M in developments to his credit. He reports, “Today when you go into city hall to deal with some local project, they tell you, “Oh, we can’t do that; everyone’s working on the Oval!” This is an exact repeat of the Tall Ships episode. “We can’t do that; we’re working on the Tall Ships!””
But City Manager George Duncan insists that the work of the city hasn’t stopped. “When we received complaints that some of our staff had told people they were busy with the Oval, I went to council and secured additional funds to bring in more people to deal with the extra work load.”
Was this added to the Oval budget?
“The full scope of the work,” admits Duncan, “costs more than the $178M for the design and building of the Oval. But these things – like re-aligning River Road – have been in our plans for years.”
Moving these roads and re-working the riverfront, however, have all been precipitated by the Oval?
Duncan readily agrees. “Exactly. We have a Land Acquisition Budget, for example. We don’t have to take the money from anywhere else.”
Ransford questions the entire enterprise. “How will we pay for the construction of the Oval? We still don’t completely know. How will we pay to operate the facility after the games? We don’t really know. And will the community be a better place when all is said and done?”
Webster is equally discouraging. “We have no concrete information. We have no business plan. We have no marketing plan. We have no financial plan.”
Where are we today?
Webster shrugs, “I have no idea.”
In letters dated July 13 and August 2, 2004, Bob Ransford warned Mayor Malcolm Brodie of the potential for the current state of affairs.
“Does the public not have the right to know the general details of the bid before you make it? Should not the scope of the project – magnitude of public investment in land, capital cash requirements and guarantees, public uses, etc. be known in advance?
This is now the central focus of everyone at City Hall, and [everything else] has been superseded by the City’s new “Olympic culture.” Shouldn’t we be discussing as a community whether we want to make this shift in focus before we make it?
We are not getting a long-term vision or building on our strengths. Instead we are living in a dream world, where more exciting projects eclipse the mundane.”
Is the Mayor listening? Are Richmond voters listening?
INSERT for THE STORY OF “O”
This is the land of “Nothing Proved. Nothing Solved. Let’s move on.”
ITEM: The Tall Ships. An official City report, dated Feb. 13/03, states “the cost for the Richmond Tall Ships 2002 was in the range of $3-3.5 Million when the contribution of staff was included.” The Straight is in receipt of credit card statements showing staff buying cell phones, for example, at retail prices in excess of $300 each (with $100 leather cases), when the City clearly has a customer relationship with a major cell supplier.
ITEM: Jose Mario Ferreira filed a BC Supreme Court lawsuit in 2001 against the City of Richmond and five of its employees. He alleged private contractors sold city owned goods and that his employer, the City Works Yard, was regularly guilty of double and triple billing, misuse of sick time, and personal use of city credit cards. He further alleged that he was called “rat,” “nigger” and “faggot’ by colleagues and subjected to humiliating treatment and harassment by colleagues when his claims were made public. The City argued that this was a case for labour relations and human rights and not the courts. To date, there is no known resolution.
ITEM: Firefighters. Stories of harassment and sexual shenanigans on the part of Richmond Firefighters were front-page news across the country this spring. Resolution? Responsibility? Criminal charges?
ITEM: Women on Stress Leave. Several female City staffers went on stress leave shortly after returning from Torino. Why?
ITEM: Rabbits. Yes, rabbits. Behold the Year of the Great Richmond Rabbit Explosion. The critters, multiplying in biblical proportions and munching every veggie in sight, have baffled the planners at City Hall. The planners are talking.
ITEM: Casino crime. Loan-sharking, extortion and kidnapping are taxing the capacities of Richmond’s RCMP. No practical solution or additional resources cited to date.
ITEM: Massage Parlour mayhem. Housewives Against Prostitution in Richmond trumpets, “We know that a lot of prominent citizens frequent the dozens of massage parlours licensed by the City of Richmond.” The City responds that it has stringent bylaws. Then, why so many massage rooms? Who is using them?
ITEM: Number 3 Road. After spending upwards of $80 Million to completely redesign Richmond’s central thoroughfare only a few years ago, the City has now torn up #3 Road to accommodate the new RAV line. How much has this lack of foresight and bad planning cost the taxpayers?
ITEM: Garden City Lands. For over 25 years, the city has coveted this parcel. VANOC wanted to build the International Broadcast Centre there and then let Richmond take it over for use as a Convention centre. Richmond fumbled the package. The Broadcast Centre has gone to downtown Vancouver, and Richmond will pay more than $4 Million for less than half the original lands.
ITEM: Minoru Arenas. City managers floated a trial balloon, which was quickly popped by long-time residents. Councillor Harold Steeves, who is also the Parks Chair, said, “Some staff felt that we could do away with the arenas and put everybody down at the Oval.” Added Councillor Bill McNulty, “I’m not so sure staff realized that they would get opposition from sports men and women who have been fighting for facilities for 30 years in this community.” Who was consulted?
ITEM: Tables for Ted. On Aug. 3/06, The Richmond Review published a letter to the editor from a local couple, “Apparently some citizens are more equal than others.” They describe a dinner and concert evening in which the best tables are reserved for Ted Townsend, the front-line PR man for the City, and his friends. Did Ted pay? Did the City? Why can’t others get front row tables?
ITEM: A complainant gave me the following list: Hoes, spades, rakes, toilet paper, lamps, accessories, oil, fixtures, coffee, tarpaulins, electric power tools. These were among the items crowding her garage. She was in the midst of an acrimonious divorce. She claimed her husband had stolen these from the Richmond Works Yards where he had been employed for many years.
“Everyone does it; why not me?” was his rationalization.
She blew the whistle. Eric Gilfillan, then Director of Operations for Richmond Public Works (since left City employ with a total payout of $459,637.40, including Early Retirement incentive, vacation, gratuity and banked overtime) attended. So did RCMP officers Peter de Vries and Philip Yuen. All agreed that some materials resembled municipal equipment. Unfortunately, there were no City Of Richmond stamps visible. End of case.
Her second list chronicled what she believed to be unacceptable behaviour from her husband and his colleagues at Richmond Works: Personal use of municipal equipment and vehicles, sleeping in municipal vehicles during work hours, lengthy personal telephone calls at work, stalking her in municipal car, harassment of her by Works Yard employees, using company discount card for personal purposes, cover-up in helping each other to steal, inappropriate items and pornography at work, inappropriate use of petty cash, and instructions from supervisors to do no work.
Panels were struck, discussions were held. Nothing proved. Move on.
ITEM: This summer a 17-year employee of the Works yard, discovered selling yard materials for his own personal gain, was given the option for early retirement. Within a month of that incident, a second employee was caught red-handed in the same infraction, selling yard materials for personal profit. This employee was not fired or criminally charged. This employee was docked one day’s wages. This employee is the son of the Yard boss.
Posted by David Berner at 9:22 AM
Saturday, February 24, 2007
I am trying yet another method for uploading daily audio posts without spending a small fortune. Please click the site below and let me know in the COMMENTS below if you can hear this sampler. If so, we are on to the next step...daily audio posts that you can listen to while doing toher work and auto-loading thro RSS to your ipod.
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Friday, February 23, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 3:29 PM
Why this enormous and often corrupt industry needs and gets the tacit and willing support of organizations that claim to be news gatherers is beyond me. Shall we be simple and just call it MONEY?
The headline today continues the Public Lie: ONE IN SIX North American adults suffer from clinical depression.
This is simply not true.
The so-called gay community managed for a while to convince the public that one in ten persons was homosexual. This is not true.
And so it goes. "Special interests" like the Pill Pushers, who after all have a patina of science and legitimacy on their sides, can corral the public airwaves and spew out this offending nonsense at will. The purpose is simple: SELL MORE PILLS.
No doubt there are many Canadians who are blue, and many Canadians who are miserable, and even many Canadians who might accurately be diagnosed as "clinically depressed." But for every one of those poor souls, there are dozens of sad men and women who are almost casually diagnosed by their doctors as clinically depressed, given their soma tablets and sent into pharmoblivion.
I'm sorry, but is GlaxoSmithKline or Merck or Pfizer paying for this latest onslaught of advertorial hogwash?
Posted by David Berner at 8:41 AM
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Our new TV Series, "Sick F**K is a go!!!
The meeting with Fox executives took exactly ten minutes. They said they had never heard such an explosive pitch. That usually translates as, "You'll never work in this town again." But, in this case, it meant not a pilot, not 3 sample hours, but the full commitment by the network for 13 complete seasons. This is unheard-of, precedent-setting and, well, mind-blowing, what can I say?
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Posted by David Berner at 8:37 AM
Good news and bad news.
The bad news first: Guy builds a tree house for his two young sons. Looks great - the tree house, not the guy. Guy looks OK, but this is about the tree house, right? Guy knows a bit about architecture and design, so the tree house looks like Noah's Ark.
City Hall shuts him down. Rules, permits, fees, yadda-yadda-yadda, the usual soul-destroying, initiative-killing crappola.
Now the good news, seems the Wicked Witch of the West (Side) who is, of course, the complaining neighboooor, has shown rare courage and actually identified herself. Her name is Janice McShane. Or was that Jaundice McShame?
God forbid a guy should buy a house, pay taxes and build a tree house for his kids. Next thing you know the neighbooors will complain that he's not attending Presbyterian service three Sundays out of four.
Posted by David Berner at 8:26 AM
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 1:15 PM
May 11- May 26, 2007
THE TRAGEDY OF HAMLET, PRINCE OF DENMARKby William Shakespeare
Independent production of The Centre Creative Initiatives
Does Hamlet's mother Gertrude share in uncle Claudius' guilt? Does Hamlet continue to love Ophelia even as he spurns her? Is her death a suicide or an accident? Does the ghost of Hamlet's father offer reliable knowledge, or does it seek to deceive and tempt Hamlet? Is Hamlet morally justified in taking revenge on his uncle? Are Hamlet's actions just? Does he have the right to act as he does? The stakes riding on these questions are enormous, as the actions of the characters can bring disaster upon an entire kingdom. Looks like modern politics, yes?
"What is there about Shakespeare that would interest a contemporary American?" Visitors send me this question from time to time.If being a "contemporary American" means being focused on dirty TV sitcoms, greed, casual sex, big-money sports, shout-and-pout grievance-group politics, televangelism, professional wrestling, crybabies, slot machines, postmodernism, political action committees, and "war on drugs" profiteering... then the answer is probably "Nothing." If a contemporary American can still ask: "Is life worth living in a world full of wrong? And can I live well?" -- then the answer is maybe that "Shakespeare deals with basic human issues."
Director Irina Templeton
Casting Director Adam Lolacher
Producer Luke Day Production Dates: May11 - May 26th, preview night May 10th.Location: Jericho Arts Centre
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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
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Monday, February 19, 2007
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Sunday, February 18, 2007
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007
On the afternoon of Thursday, February 8, Mayor Sullivan called my home. He identified himself as “the guy in the wheel chair.” How weird is that?
He asked me to attend a discussion he was having with 20 or so people on Friday morning about his new drug initiative. I wondered aloud why he would want me there, as he is well aware that I think his ideas on this subject are batty and dangerous. He gave me some over-flattering excuse and I said I would be there.
Coffee, tea, croissants and apples were served. At each seat, there was a short agenda and a 6-page document on City of Vancouver letterhead titled, CAST, or Chronic Addiction Substitution Treatment, which took about 15 seconds to read and comprehend. It was delivered in bullet and comic book fashion, meant clearly for the kindergarten class that the Mayor and his stooges took us to be.
Stooge One is Don MacPherson, the head of the city’s drug directorate, during whose tenure of the last several years not one known addict has moved on in life, not one treatment bed has opened. Mr. MacPherson introduced Mayor Sam who spoke for about 10 minutes.
Stooge Two is David Holztman, who is now the City Authority on all matters relating to addictions, medicine and law and order. Mr. H. is steering CAST. He spent 20 minutes giving us a power point rendition of the comic book we had already absorbed in the first 15 seconds at the table.
The gist of this “exciting and progressive new” initiative is that we will give coke and meth heads free pills as substitutes for their poisons of choice. This stroke of genius is coming from a man – Mr. H. – who also praised the “alcohol maintenance” program now being run in Ottawa. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, “alcohol maintenance” means that you give an old sot a free shot of scotch every morning.
You think that we are making these things up, but we are not. This is how your tax dollars are being spent.
When the floor was opened for discussion, a man sitting next to me asked a very good question. “If we give these pills to all these addicts, how long will we be doing that?” I answered loudly, “Forever, of course. Don’t you get it?” (Later that day, Mr. H. appeared on a CBC radio program and admitted fully that “some people need to be on maintenance for life.) Then the mayor tried to deflect the question by talking about his Civil Society.
At that point I spoke up and this is what I said.
“This detestable concept reveals a fundamental refusal or inability to understand the most basic mechanics of addictions. What do addicts want? They want more. Not more children, more love, affection, books, opera or hockey tickets, housing or cars. They want more drugs. That is their singular focus. So you can give them free substitute pills at 9 in the morning all you want. But I guarantee you that by 2:15, they’ll be on the street stealing and hustling and breaking and entering just like they did yesterday. Most of you here are part of a bureaucratic agreement to accomplish nothing real, but you will spend a lot of taxpayers’ money doing it.”
At that point, I stood up, picked up my raincoat, pointed my finger at His Worship and said, “And Sam, don’t ever call me again.”
Sam smiled. He loves to get people upset. It’s just about his favourite thing on earth. That, and talking to junkies and hookers.
The most pernicious and misguided program in recent memory is now flowing like alluvial sludge from the office of Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan.
The program is called CAST, or Chronic Addiction Substitution Treatment.
The gist of this “exciting and progressive new” initiative is that we will give coke and meth heads free pills as substitutes for their poisons of choice. David Holtzman has been employed by His Worship to promote this and other grand ideas. In a meeting I attended recently, Holtzman also praised the “alcohol maintenance” program now being run in Ottawa. In case you haven’t figured it out yet, “alcohol maintenance” means that you give an old sot a free shot of scotch every morning.
You think that we are making these things up, but we are not. This is how your tax dollars are being spent.
When I suggested to Mayor Sam, Holtzman and a room full of devotees that there was a fundamental flaw in this notion, Holtzman replied that people didn’t understand Rick Hansen when he set out as well. I answered that I understood their idea perfectly, I just didn’t agree with it. But that’s how the bureaucratic, arrogant mind works – if you don’t agree with their hot box of the day, certainly you must not understand it. And to compare giving addicts free pills with the work of Rick Hansen?
Here’s why this dreadful notion cannot work.
What do addicts want? They want more. More what? Not more children, diapers, food, homes, cars, books, affection, love, fame, opera or hockey tickets. No. They want more drugs. Period. End of story.
So, give them substitute pills at 9 am. At 2:15, they’ll be in the back alley stealing and breaking and entering and hustling just like they were yesterday. All the trumped up bar graphs and statistics will not prove otherwise. The program cannot and will not work.
Can you be proud of yourself knowing that you would willingly help a human being to remain stupid and entrapped and limited and less than human? Wouldn’t you want to try to help someone escape the cycle? Even if you don’t always succeed?
The Mayor and friends, who actively dislike and attempt to debunk, treatment programs will tell you that 75% of treatment doesn’t work. They are right. But 25% succeed and those are real people who live and breathe and raise children and pay taxes and contribute to a community they used to drain. Batting 250 will get you into Cooperstown, Sam.
And how does the Mayor explain the millions of alcoholics who “manage” their disability by staying clean and sober and attending a meeting once or twice a week? He doesn’t, because it doesn’t fit his plan.
Please stay out of the addictions business, Mr. Mayor. You and your bureaucrats don’t understand the fundamentals and all you can possibly do is add to the harm.
Posted by David Berner at 3:37 PM
Posted by David Berner at 9:33 AM
Is this the height of hypocrisy?
Mr. Campbells' Global Warming initiatives may or may not, in time, prove to be legitimate or effective.
But if we can't be responsible for our own contributions, should the world have to accept our foul air?
Carole, you shame yourself.
Posted by David Berner at 9:14 AM
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
This is one of the best commentaries we've received to date. Many thanks, Eric.
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Monday, February 12, 2007
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Friday, February 9, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 12:13 PM
Lest we ever be accused of single-mindedness, here is a list, moving chronologically from today back to very first post on December 29, 2006, of subjects considered:
Olympics & The Net
Homosexuality & Tolerance
Garth Turner, Gushy Modern Politician
Needle Exchange Program
Little Mountain Care Home Dinner
Scorsese, The Desperate
Guest Rant: Victor
Your Rights, My Rights, Our Rights
Immigrants Obstacles to Jobs
Health Care Ailing
The Federal Liberals
Die Mannequin’s New Video
The Cellar Jazz Club
Pickton Trial Coverage
Delusional Mayor Sullivan
Addictions, Parts I, II & III
Martin Luther King
Lawrence of Arabia
Separating Elderly Couples
Rabbi Kisses The Devil
Michael Richards & Jesse Jackson
Posted by David Berner at 8:18 AM
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 11:00 AM
Posted by David Berner at 10:46 AM
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Garth Turner is a maverick. He was also, until yesterday, an Independent Member of Parliament. He was elected as a Conservative for the district of Halton, Ontario. However, he was thrown out of caucus by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Yesterday, he joined the Liberals. None of this should be of much surprise or even note, especially to those of us here on the Wet Coast, who continue to live with the shame of David Emerson, elected as a Liberal, sitting from Day One as a Conservative.
What makes Mr. Turnercoat's actions so pitiable was this quote, "I have found a home."
How squishy, how yukkie, how terribly 70's sensitive!
Will someone please explain to the modern politician that it is not about YOU, nobody cares about HOW YOU FEEL. It's about the citizens. It's about health care and law and order and immigration and jobs and global warming and the well-being of the community.
You self-centred, self-absorbed, selfish fools - please get day jobs and leave governance to those rare few who might be able to handle it.
Posted by David Berner at 8:10 AM
HIV incidence was 75 percent higher among daily users of Vancouver’s needle exchange program (NEP) than among drug abusers that did not use the program, according to a new study published in the latest edition of the American Journal of Medicine. Vancouver, Canada boasts the largest NEP in the Western Hemisphere.
Why has this not been reported in the local news?
Posted by David Berner at 8:07 AM
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Posted by David Berner at 1:58 PM