Monday, April 7, 2008

Not My Hero

It is very possible that Samantha Mohan is a lovely person.

But does she deserve a "Heroes" award for 15 years of handing out clean needles to addicts?

That is exactly what will happen next week thanks to the BC Persons with AIDS Society.

All of the evidence is that the clean needle programs have NOT scotched or reduced the spread of HIV and other diseases. That, in fact, the numbers continue to rise geometrically.

What Mohan has been doing for 15 years is sad, ineffective and an atrocity.

She has been helping addicts to stay stupid.

There are many people here in BC who have been quietly helping addicts to get clean and walk away from needles and bottles and pipes and they are unsung heroes.

Mohan is herself a kind of addict. She NEEDS those grateful, grasping hands reaching out to her so that she can feel wanted. But at what a cheap price!

When Immigration gets it Wrong, They really get it Wrong

Now we have a 23-year old Rwandan refugee claimant who has been a public menace since he arrived here at the age of 14.

Last week he terrorized a mother and her daughter and all for $15.

He should have been deported ages ago, but for sexual assault charges that are still standing and must be dealt with.

Send this dreadful excuse for a human being back to his village.

Let's get Civil

I was out of town and missed the wisdom of the sages, like Mike Harcourt, on what constitutes a civil society.

But I can tell you this:

First, I was disappointed to see the Sun's choice of commentators/editors - The Usual Suspects.

Second, as I see so much of the Rudely Uncivil Society on a daily basis, I hold out not much optimism for healthy, positive change.

Yesterday, I was walking across a pedestrian crosswalk in the parking garage at YVR. I young kid was parked firmly in the middle of the crosswalk, with miles of empty concrete where he could park legally and without getting in any one's way.

When I pointed this out to him ("Please move off this crosswalk."), he started shouting hysterically at me, "I'M SORRY!!!"

Earlier in the day, I was at a family celebration in a downtown hotel. I smiled at one of the other guests. She glared at me.

The civil society has not only a long way to go; it has an almost impossibly long way to go.

Susan on the Civil Society

To The Editors Re: Civil Society - fact or fiction? SUN - April 5/08

In a civil society, Small Businesses and the families that operate themshould not have their life's work expropriated by the government and hugecorporations. Small independant businesses are the heart and soul of ourcommunities - to be cherished and supported.The Canada Line and all it's government and corporate partners have turned ablind eye to the agony caused by excavating the length of Cambie Street forthe past 2 and a half years, and are hiding in part, behind a lack oflegislation.Jane Bird the CEO of the Canada Line project, defended their position torefuse any and all financial relief by saying "there is no existinglegislation that requires it" and "as a society, we may want to have aconversation about whether to compensate".We most certainly do.In a civil society, when governments use their powers to confiscate valuefor the common good, such as when they build multi-billion dollartransportation projects with taxpayers money - individuals must becompensated. If all the impacts of these mega-projects cannot be adequatelymitigated with factored in compensation and financial support, then theprojects should not proceed.All of us who face this preventable financial ruin expect the City, theProvince and all the Canada Line partners including TransLink with theirrecently announced $408 Million dollar 'slush Fund', to do the right thing.Our life's work is at stake, along with our faith in government to act withintegrity.We expect full compensation and legislation to ensure that citizens areprotected, and that this despicable situation never happens again.And, in a civil society, small businesses should not have to take theunthinkable step of taking their government to court to achieve this.As Stephen Hume said in his piece, 'let's hold society to higher moralitythan economic self-interest'.

Susan HeyesHazel&Co3190 Cambie Street604 687-0721

New Tune?

With mild apologies to Roger Miller, "David in North Burnaby" has written a clever little ditty to the addicts and their helping friends who have taken over the town.

See it (on David's blog) and sing along with it here.

High Priorities for the Police

7 seconds of Chuck

Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968)