Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Cure's worse than the Disease

I really wish doctors would stick to treating the sick and encouraging health.

I wish they would walk away from alcoholism and addictions where they often cause more harm than good.

Dr. Perry Kendall is the provincial health officer. In his latest dictum, he urges the government to tax booze more so that the millions raised could be put to work treating alcoholics.

Someone aught to tell this expert that the single greatest treatment program in the world for alcoholics is AA and it is free.

Millions of dollars raised in more booze taxes will be spent on bureaucrats and their desks and ipods and cells and memos and committees and on medically run programs that are statistically no where near as successful as AA.

Does the government want to help?



VIctor on Gimme Shelters

Last night I had the misfortune to catch a moment of Gordon Campbell and Gregor Robertson on the evening news making their joint announcement about homelessness. This excellent piece by my friend Victor arrived several hours before that TV soap opera. I don't know why, but I just felt a little sick watcing these two honorable gentlemen talking about homelessness and showing us their deep concern. I fear I have become dreadfully cynical now about politicians in general and these two in particular.'s good for you.

Is it not amusing how quickly and unabashedly "Global Warming Gord"
has jumped into the homeless rescue plan with dire mutterings about
record cold temperatures. Seems like only weeks ago he was warning us
that the world was warming at disastrous rates.

This kind of cynical exploitation by politicians explains a lot of the
reason why charities are telling us that donations are down. It isn't
because of the recession. Restaurants are full and you can't budge in
the afternoon traffic. I suggest there are three reasons.

1. Political Posturing

The last 4 Mayors, including Robertson, have portrayed themselves as
champions of the downtrodden. Council has functioned with an obsession
for the Downtown East Side for 10 years. If all of that government
preoccupation and money has only resulted in the situation becoming
worse, why would people be inclined to add their own cash? Compassion
in the absence of common sense is neither laudable nor practical.

2. Phony Data.

The "homeless industry" has virtually lost credibility with
progressively alarmist releases. The one that stands out for me is
Covenant House. (ConJob House). They have an ad claiming they
supported 1900 homeless youth last year. That's 5 a day, or a lot less
if some of those "homeless youth" stayed more than a day. Hardly an
epidemic. And what counts as a homeless youth/? If a snotty 17 year
old has a tiff with his parents and stays out for two nights, is he

3. Misreading Polls

The media routinely tell us that homelessness is a major concern in
all polls. Municipal Politicians have interpreted that concern as the
public telling them that they want government housing provided
indefinitely to anybody from anywhere who is on the street for any
reason. Why isn't that question asked? I suspect that much of the
"concern" registered with pollsters is a concern about being unable to
park a car without having it robbed. Irritation is being misconstrued
as compassion.

I expect there are some, who upon reading this, will conclude I'm a a
hard-nosed neocon. To them I would say that I make a living helping
First Nations struggle out of poverty. To them I would ask " What has
your fat ass done for the oppressed lately besides chat to pollsters
and drop change in the hat of a meth-head?"

Victor Godin

Life Style...such an easy phrase

If the tab for the auto bailout runs somewhere around $100 Billion, we can expect the Canadian version to cost about $20 Billion +.


Further, it is not just the taxpayers who are exposed. Turns out BMO and Scotia Bank are also seriously leveraged in this case. All of which makes for more bad news.

It has now become a daily exercise in opening the paper - How bad can it get? How low is low?


One has to live.

More, one has to enjoy life a little each day.

Yesterday we saw two coyotes roaming the Langara Golf Course. Not necessarily a happy moment for these hungry critters but fun for those of us who don't live in Lac La Hache.

Children in Safeway check-out lines are still funny and inquisitive and excited about practically everything.

Hold onto your cash, your gold and your sense of humour, Kids. These are rocky times and we will need all the fortitude and laughter we can preserve.

Hum Along with Paginini - Thanks to Gavin