Monday, December 10, 2007

The Fake Task Force - BC Fools Again

I apologize that it has taken me one week to notice...but Andrew MacLeod has written an extraordinary and important piece in The Tyee ( about the latest Victoria outrage.

Health Minister George Abbott has created a new pharmaceutical task force, charged with reviewing prices. The only problem is that 5 of the 9 named, including the Chair, are all tightly tied in knots to the pharma industry.

What possible good can come from this latest charade?

Falling From Grace - Michael Vick

10-year, $130 million contract

That's where he was but a few months ago.

Today, he has been sentenced to 23 months in jail. He is pretty much penniless, in debt and horribly disgraced.

His name is Michael Vick and he was an elite athlete, a superb running and throwing quarterback with the NFL Atlanta Falcons.

His reversal of fortune has to do with dog fighting, cruelty to animals and gambling.

To see someone this good expose himself for being this bad is tragic.

Pickton Guilty - Much Still to Consider

Robert Pickton has been found guilty of 6 counts of murder. That's a good thing.

But much remains to consider.

First, he was charged with first-degree murder, but found guilty of second-degree murder, the thinking being that although he intended to kill, the murders were neither planned nor deliberate.

That would suggest the bizarre possibility that serial murderers can be spontaneous.

Next, the equally bizarre possibility exists that, although Pickton will be sentenced to life in prison, the typically unhinged parole board might some day recommend that he be released. This is most unlikely, but given the sorry state of human nature, why allow even the remote option to exist.

Then, we must consider the issue of pursuing a second trial on 20 additional murders. I believe we should do exactly that. But you can certainly have your say both in the comments to this post and in the survey to the right of this entry.

Finally, although it is most likely that Pickton acted alone in his monstrous insanity, he was hardly alone in the atmosphere that proceeded these murders. Many people, including "upstanding" and often well-known and well-placed citizens were known to favor a little fun at the pig farm on a steady basis.

Will these stories and these names ever come to light?

Addicts at St. Paul's? Really?

The news that addicts are stealing the alcohol-based hand sanitizers at St. Paul's Hospital is only the beginning of a much larger story.

Ask anyone who works at St. Paul's and he will tell you that addicts high jacked St. Paul's - particularly the emergency ward - some years ago.

You don't ever want to call an ambulance and have them speed you to St. Paul's. If you have a single breath in you, holler, "VGH!"

Addicts basically use St. Paul's ER as their private rest stop between fixes, overdoses, withdrawals and no-money-for-food-and-pills. They often use the ambulance services as a taxi service, and they do this in every large Canadian city.

I have a friend who has worked in this quagmire for years. In spite of regular attacks on his person, calls for security, and anxiety and sleepless nights, he somehow still manages to love his work. Bless his soul.

As for the rest of us, be warned. Unless you want to sit in pain amongst self-inflicted dope fiends, try another hotel.

Drunk Driving Under Welcome Attacks

We have seat belts and air bags.

Why not steering wheels that measure your blood alcohol level so that you cannot drive drunk?

No doubt there were squeals and shrieks galore from both the public and the manufacturers before seat belts and other safety devices. Even today, there are those who believe that their individual "freedoms" are compromised by having to strap on.

Nevertheless, the technology now exists and it is simple and inexpensive to embed sensors in steering wheels that measure one's blood alcohol levels. Anyone who has ever run on a treadmill is familiar with exactly this technology that gives an immediate and accurate reading of heart rate.

Heart rates are hard to come by when you've been struck by a drunk driver.

MADD is correct, as always, to pursue this worthy goal.

They are also correct to lobby against the motor company that employs Keifer Sutherland, no doing 48 days in jail for drunk driving, as their voice and spokesperson.

In Arizona, one enterprising lawman has gone even further. He is launching billboards and website with the photos of drunk drivers. Why not? I think that is perfectly useful and appropriate?
Read that story here.

Emmylou Harris - Prayer in Open D