Saturday, August 30, 2008

Let's Watch the New Community COurt Carefully...and Pray for It

Vancouver has a new community court, which is scheduled to open September 30th.

That's the good news.

All the rest is not bad, but it certainly raises some serious questions about this new hope in dealing with drug addiction, mental illness, homelessness and chronic criminality.

First, let us look at the "team," that will be on hand.

A Provincial Court judge, a coordinator, a Crown counsel, a defence lawyer, a Vancouver police officer, sheriffs, court clerks, probation officers, forensic liaison workers, a forensic psychiatrist, a nurse, health-justice liaison workers, employment assistance workers, a victim services worker, a B.C. Housing support worker and a native court worker.

From this phalanx of "experts," each accused will be given - hold onto your hats - "a case management team."

Oh, my god.

I've seen "case management teams" at work in hospitals, seniors homes and social work and I pity the poor rube who is being "helped" by such.

This is no doubt a boon for the "helping professions," but what it will mean for the slobs it is meant to serve remains to be seen.

Now, let us look at the so-called "outcomes." (I remember the first time I ever heard that absurd word. I had already helped hundreds of addicts, alcoholics and ex-cons move on to lives of sober citizenship. I literally didn't understand the word. But it sure sounded important.)

Dispositions can range from community service, to orders to seek substance abuse or mental health treatment, to jail.

Uh...substance abuse or mental health treatment WHERE?

If real facilities do NOT exist, what meaning do such sentences have?

We welcome this important new initiative.

But we do so with healthy scepticism and some practical questions about how to transfer the intent from paper to the sidewalk.

Too Many Polls

The newspaper tells us that the Liberals and the Tories are "neck and neck in poll."

In B.C., the Conservatives lead 45% to 25%.

That's more like it.

How quickly so many have been to demonize Harper and his crew.

For what?

The Sponsorship Theft? No, that was Liberal.

The inaction on countless important files, like crime, addictions, first nations...No, that was Liberal.

How quickly they forget the most corrupt federal government we have ever had.

How quickly they rush to elect the greatest parliamentarian, Joyce Murray, in a recent by-election. Yikes!

Harper is not my idea of great coffee company.

But he has quietly been doing a reasonable job of managing the shop.

There are actually breathing, sentient human beings who want Stephane Dion???

The mind boggles, and then boggles again.

And again.

Judge Craig Nails it Again

Judge wallace Craig has written an excellent piece in last Wednesday's North Shore News about the deeply felt contrast between Canadians at the Olympics and criminal Canadians at home.

It is called, "Our Home and Naive Land," and you can read it here.

Victor is Not Mile High

My friend, Victor, disagrees with me substanially on the worthiness of Barak Obama.

His thoughts follow below:

On the evening Braaak was trying to mollify Clinton's female support base, he forgot it was also the anniversary of women's suffrage. Instead, he tried to channel Martin Luther King. Complete with paper mache pillars.

The thing is, Liberals are so intent on being earnest that they tend to miss the obvious. How else could one explain that Michael Moore, a lib darling and a man with the girth of a small planet, could make a documentary on health care that would be gushed over by earnest Libs.

There is a saying and it's not mine. It goes "Earnest is just another word for stupid that went to university."


I can't wait to see the Dems start savaging Sarah Palin. It's started already. First, they agonize because Ms. Piggy in a Pantsuit lost the nomination because she's a woman. Now they're going to go on the attack against a woman.

Palin has a son going to Iraq on September 11.

As an old media guy, I just drool to think about what I could do with that as a media clip. Try this.


I can't wait for the Sarah Palin- Joe Biden debate. When she's finished with him, we can call him Joke Bidet.

This is not the first time a great orator with foggy background, little experience and a messianic message addressed a stadium filled with 100,000 rapturents. It happened in Nuremberg in 1934. Oh Shut up. I'm not comparing these two people on moral grounds, Of course the politics of the two men are oceans apart.

But I would have thought , that after 70 years, we would have learned that great speeches don't mean great leaders.

If I were asked to name the greatest media savvy leader today, hands down it would be Vladimer Putin. Do I support him? No, stupid. But has he ever looked foolish in a single photo, quote or clip? Nope. He is a master of image management.

Putin understands the maxim that media are like puppies. To wit, " they are excitable, poorly trained and they suck up to authority." And he knows how to toss them doggy biscuits.

Would you want him as your leader?

Popcorn time. Settle down and watch the show.