Friday, November 2, 2007

Astonishing Statement from Al Jazeera

This is an astonishing video.

Here is a powerful statement that was broadcast on Al Jazeera television.

The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles. Watch it ASAP because the link may not be active for long.

and watch it all the way through it full 5 minutes.

Our thanks to Jonathan Baker for this.


Dear Minister Tim Christensen,

Have you no shame, Sir?

The Ministry is hopelessly underfunded. There are not enough case workers to prevent children and infants "in care" (God help us.) from injury, abuse and death.

And you spend $560,000 on Victoria office renovations?

$40,000 for design consultancy and $8,500 for a totem pole?

Do you know what your job is?

Do you know what your family name means and responsibility it carries?

I want to hear your rationalization on this one. I can't wait to be told that I don't really understand the "big picture."

Get out of "public service." You sully the very notion.

David Berner

This is the Sickest Yet...You Can't Make up Stuff This Evil


The Australian Injecting and Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL), the national peak body representing the state and territory drug user organisations and issues of national significance for people who use or have used illicit drugs, is proud to support and celebrate International Drug Users Day on Thursday 1 November 2007.

“Across Australia, a range of events will be held including local barbeques, information sessions and media campaigns” said Ms Madden, AIVL’s Executive Officer. “Additionally, events will be held across the globe including campaigns in the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Russia along with many other countries. The range of activities being held is extremely diverse. For example, in Warsaw a spiritual eucharist will be held to coincide with a candle light march in acknowledgement of local monks who provide harm reduction and support services for street-based outreach workers”.

One of the main aims of the day is to acknowledge the positive contribution people who use illicit drugs have made have made to public health policy and practice. The involvement of people who use illicit drugs in Australian public health policy over the last 15 years has resulted in Australia maintaining one of the lowest rates of HIV/AIDS in the developed world amongst people who inject drugs. “Australia’s much heralded low rate of HIV among people who inject drugs could not have been achieved without two equally important ingredients - the implementation of best practice harm reduction approaches and the direct involvement of people who inject drugs in the form of peer-based organisations and programs” Ms Madden stated.

International research evidence shows that harm reduction approaches including needle and syringe programs (NSP), safer injecting education and opioid substitution programs have not only improved the health of people who inject drugs but they have done so in a highly cost effective manner. Between 1991 and 2000 the Australian Government has saved more than $370 million due to their investment in NSP and the associated prevention of tens of thousands of HIV and hepatitis C cases. “There are very few if any public health initiatives that could demonstrate such a clear and significant return on the Government’s investment” stated Ms Madden.

Despite the positive contributions made by peer-based drug user organisations over many years, individuals who use illicit drugs continue to be marginalised, stigmatized and criminalized by society. Such treatment benefits no-one and often results in negative outcomes for people who use illicit drugs, their families and ultimately the entire community. “We believe the slogan on the International Drug Users Day postcard perfectly sums up what the day is really all about… Drug users are people. Drug users have families. Drug users are part of your community.”

On International Drug Users Day 2007, ‘just say no’ to treating people who use illicit drugs as second class citizens.

For further information on International Drug Users Day, please contact Ms Annie Madden, AIVL Executive Officer on (02) 6279 1600 or mobile 0414 628 136.

Australian Injecting & Illicit Drug Users League (AIVL)
Phone: (02) 6279 1600
Fax: (02) 6279 1610

Transclunk Bosses Use Cars - We Pay

Our good friend Martin snet this one in.

TransLink executives rack up hefty car expense bill

Friday, November 02 - 05:15:00 AM News1130 Staff

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) - Executives at TransLink have racked up more than $150,000 worth of car expenses in 2006, and you paid for it.

There are 14 members of TranLink's executive team. CEO Patricia Jacobson racked up the biggest bill. She spent more than $14,000 on her car.

Chief Officer Robert Kind had the second highest bill, spending more than $13,000. And Director of Communications, Ken Hardie, ran up the third-highest bill. Even though he doesn't lease, he receives a car allowance of more than $6,000. Including gas, repairs and insurance, he spent more than $13,000 keeping his 1997 Chrysler Cirrus on the road.

Jacobson isn't making any apologies for the fact that the publicly funded TransLink subsidizes car use for its executives.

Stay Home

"One in every 3 persons over the age of 70 admitted to hospital is discharged at a higher level of disability than before they got sick."

That's all you need to know.

Now, when will our governments get wise and start paying for home care which is 100 times cheaper and more effective than hospital care?

Blather & the Nutty Mayor

I could care less about Dan Blather. Never was a fan, never believed his act.

BUT...if he wants to come to Vancouver and point out the Nutty Mayor that the safe injection site is "state-assisted suicide," well, that's all right with me.

Teachers' Federation Utterly Self-Interested

The BCTF continues their fight against standardized testing.

I just want you at BCTF to know that 98% of all British Columbians completely disagree with you.

MInistry is truly Sick

The continuing coverage of the hearing into the foster parents is almost unbearable. One can hardly read it.

But if that isn't sickening enough, how about the news that while children in care are being abused and killed because there are not enough workers and other resources, the Ministry of Children & Families just spent more than HALF A MILLION DOLLARS TO RENOVATE THEIR VICTORIA OFFICE!

That included $40,000 for a design consultant and $8,500 for a totem pole.

The current Minister is the inappropriately named Tom Christensen. Write him.

Where is Safe?

The crazy life is getting much too close for comfort.

Wednesday night a man was gunned down in a Vietnamese restaurant at 33d and Victoria. I was across the street at a Chinese restaurant about one hour before that incident.

On the same night (Halloween), 5 different assaults took place on the west side of Vancouver (12th & Alma, 4th and Wallace, West Boulevard, etc.).

This is where I live.

I just want to thank the mayor and the Police and the parents and the social workers and the Immigration department for making my world so safe.

Smoke Free Hospitals? That Took a Lot of Thought and Bravery

The day I came out of VGH after having an angioplasty (June 7, 2005) I was waiting by the emergency door for my son to pick me up.

In three minutes, I watched 3 losers with IV drips and casts and the like emerge from the bowels just long enough to light up.

Today, the hospitals announce that they will be smoke-free. Duh? What took these idiots so long?

Hingis Gone - Bye Bye, have a Nice Tantrum

How can you test positive for cocaine and claim "100% innocence."

This is the story of Martina Hingis, the star who has just retired (again) from professional tennis.

Bye, Bye, Baby, Bye Bye.

I have never been able to watch this harridan for a minute.

She has from the beginning been a hateful, smiling, beaming, spoiled brat, who just happens to also be a racist, bigot, homophobe and fascist.

She has famously ragged on about the Williams sisters, who replaced her during those dreadful, dull years when she was No. 1. Her comments were worthy of a Louisiana sheriff, circa 1923.

Then when she was defeated by Amelie Mauresmo, a completely out-of-the-closet lesbian since she was 19, Hingis famously cracked, "Well, it's like playing a man!"

Which is a strange remark from a girl who was specifically named after Martina Navratilova, probably the most boldly "out" athlete of the past century.

I will be so happy to never have to look at this toothy smile again.

How Many Books Will the Loonie Buy Me?

I buy books.

Mostly, these days, I buy from

The price is cheap and the delivery is swift (a week, a week and a half) and reliable.

Otherwise, I usually buy from Book Warehouse. Price, period.

Every so often, I buy from Hager's Books in Kerrisdale, an old-fashioned one-of bookstore, where the ladies who run the shop actually know both their stock and their customers. Imagine that!

Almost never buy from Chapters. Rude, cold, boring, unknowledgeable and they expect me to stand in a line to give them money. Only Safeway gets that concession for me.

But mostly, they are expensive.

The only other exceptions are Munroe's in Victoria, where I feel I just have to bring home a book souvenir and the several wonderful little book shops on Salt Spring Island.

Now Wal-Mart has announced it will recognize the Canadian Dollar in its book pricing. Good.

More Dating

The last time Hollywood writers went on strike, the horror show known as "Reality TV" was born.

Now, TV, ever a wasteland, is now one endless howl of "The Bachelor," (Can someone dare to try to explain this one to me?) and people losing weight and crying.

So, now, the writers are poised for another strike.

The studios will be laughing all the way to the bank and you and I will be renting more videos and reading more books,

Unfortunately, the writers have more than a legitimate complaint.

Hollywood is all about power (My dick is bigger than your dick, Dick.)

And writers have always been at the bottom of the heap.

The classic Hollywood joke goes like this:

When the head of Warner Bros. says to you, "This is the best first draft I've ever read." what he really means is, "You'll never work in this town again."

Shirley Horne

This is a tune I love done by Tony Bennett...but this is so darn good too, isn't it?

Donovan - Universal Soldier