It's snowing again.
There are optimists and religionists among you who like to repeat the mantra, "God only gives us what we can handle."
Tell that to people who are tortured or who lose a limb in battle or at work or who lose a child.
Not that I should compare my current misery to such tragedies.
BUT I DO!
All my coordinates are gone.
The car hasn't seen the inside of my Bat Cave in almost 10 days. It is parked in various snow banks somewhere in a three block radius. Sometimes I just go by to say, "Hello, Little Mazda. how the hell are you doing?"
And it pleads right back to me, "Please, David, brush the snow from my roof and my windows and turn over that engine. If possible run the heater and the defroster for a while."
This morning was the first in over a week that the Globe & Mail actually arrived at my home. I have phoned their fabulous "Customer Care Service" every morning for about eight days now to have my little chat with Electronic Man. He tells me the kinds of things I can say (Like, "This is a delivery problem.") and I respond like the perfect Pavlovian Samoyed that I am. Nobody at Customer Care could tell me when they expected delivery service to resume or what the problem is or why a store 2 blocks away has its paper, but I don't have mine.
Now, rumours on the street have it that our new Mayor, Gregor Robertson is in Mexico at the moment on a holiday.
Is this true?
Why isn't he here, digging and shovelling like the rest of us?
Better yet, why isn't he here leading the clean-up and dig-out?
The same rumours have it that Mayor Robertson has actually instructed the works yard to NOT send out battalions of snowplows and other clean-up equipment.
As the story goes, Robertson feels that all those trucks would add negatively to the city's "carbon footprint."
Is this true? Is it just a rumour started by grumpy NPA folk?
If it is true that Mayor G. is in Mexico and that he has ordered the trucks to not move when businesses already battered by a disastrous economy, have now been completely shell-shocked by weather that leaves most shoppers huddling at home...if this is true, we are really in for a scary three years, kids.
Your comments and confirmations of rumours will be appreciated.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
I know a man who lives in a little cottage on Vancouver Park Board property.
His job is to look after the lawn and any amenities that may be there.
I've know this man for over 20 years now.
He told me yesterday that recently he almost lost his home, and that if he did ever lose his home, he would be...that's right, homeless.
"Why did you almost lose your home?"
"Well, I found a bunch of guys shooting up heroin in the washrooms, so I locked them out."
"You mean the Park Board almost threw you out because there were guys shooting dope in your washrooms?"
"No, not at all. They almost threw me out because I locked the doors to keep these guys out, and the Park Board wants the bathrooms open at all times."
"So why don't they provide police or surveillance or something to keep the addicts out?"
"Search me. I had to confront a violent drunk also and the Park Board was mad at me."
Talking to this fellow yesterday, reminded me that in the main floor bathroom at the Vancouver Aquatic Centre, there is a prominently displayed container in which I am encouraged to deposit my dirty and used hypodermic needles.
A friend tells me that such handy dandy containers are to be found in washrooms all over the downtown core.
As I spend as little time as possible in the cesspool known as the Vancouver Downtown core, I wasn't aware of that. (Living in Victoria for 2 weeks in November was a similar experience. The Downtown has been abandoned to the Ugly and Stupid People. Something approximating civil life can only be found in the neighbourhoods and suburbs. Yah, I know. You're going to write me and tell me that you live at Richards and Drake and it's the most wonderful place on earth. Good luck to you.)
Talking to this fellow yesterday, also reminded me that David Eby is the new Executive Director of the B.C. Civil Liberties Association.
One of the first things Eby did after taking office was give an award to what he feels is one of the best and most progressive and most helpful groups in town, VANDU.
VANDU is the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.
Several of us have suggested over the years that this group rename itself to VANDA, the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Abusers.
This so-called group is a loose collective of drug addicts, trying to behave like a labour union.
Let's recall for just a moment that, in the days of John L. Lewis, the focus of labour unions was to save nine-year-old boys from being send down mine shafts in Pennsylvania to look for lumps of coal. Forgive me for bringing something as distasteful as history into this matter. I appreciate that I am sublimely out of touch.
Mr. Eby of the BC Civil Liberties has said that VANDU - using dope fiends who argue that it is their right and entitlement to proudly use dope and that we the taxpayer should do everything we can to help them do just that - deserve recognition for their staunch (or was it stoned?) support of Insite, the so-called safe injection room.
Jean Vanier, writing in this morning's Globe, talks about the mission to create a world "where every person is seen as valuable and helped to find a fullness of life, through and in a place of belonging."
A fullness of life.
Do we value people by giving them the very thing they must escape?
Can there be a fullness of life in injecting heroin?
Is a sterile room with little shooting booths a place of belonging?
Mr. Eby, now the boss of the BC Civil Liberties Association, comes from the Portland Hotel Society, which runs Insite.
He has, in effect given himself an award for the work he has just left.
He was a curious and questionable choice for this new assignment.
BC Civil Liberties may not always have had your approval rating on some issues, but they have in the past had a deserved reputation for reasonableness and clear thinking.
Doctrinaire ideology is now at the helm.
Posted by David Berner at 10:41 AM
Just in case you were wondering about the state of our criminal justice system...
Let's check in on the famous Liberal Sponsorship Scandal, in which a few minor players were given jail sentences and none of the real mechanics behind this theft of public money have even been suggested as being culpable.
Here are some pieces taken from a Globe report this morning on the parole of Chuck Guite:
MONTREAL — Disgraced former bureaucrat Chuck Guité has won parole after serving only a small fraction of his sentence for defrauding taxpayers in the federal sponsorship program.
Previously, Mr. Guité had shown a “persistent lack of remorse,” the board wrote.
His criminal actions were the result of a “serious lack of judgment,” “cognitive distortions” and “possibly the lure of profit.”
The board concluded that Mr. Guité was unlikely to commit a violent crime upon release.
“However,” it said, “the motivation underlying your offences remains unclear.”
The man is a thief, a crook, a badger. He created accoubnts and files from thin air to steal taxpayers' money for his own greed and profit.
The motivation is unclear?
This is your National Parole Board at work.
Members of this august assembly are paid about 120 Large each year, plus expenses.
Geniuses. Ears to the ground. Fingers on the pulse.
Posted by David Berner at 10:30 AM
It is not often you learn something about any element of Canadian society asking anyone to be repsonsible about anything.
Imagine my surprise and elight when I read the following from Ian Bailey in this morning's Globe:
"Friday afternoon, three skiers and a snowboarder ducked under a boundary-area rope at the Grouse Mountain ski area, and entered an avalanche-prone area, ignoring orders from the mountain's safety patrol to get out.
Before long, the RCMP and North Shore Rescue Team were on the scene, and a helicopter search tracked down the four B.C. men – two 25-year-olds and two 24-year-olds. They have been banned for life from Grouse Mountain, and will be billed for all costs, now being tallied, related to the incident. Their names will also be circulated to all ski resorts in British Columbia."
Posted by David Berner at 10:23 AM
Just a little reminder from factoid land.
In December, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, the B.C. Representative for Children & Youth, published an update on the provincial government's "progress" in implementing recommendations from the (Ted) Hughes report in 2006.
Of 15 key recommendations she reviewed, she found none were completely implemented.
Take another foto op with you and a Bantam hockey player, Gord.
Posted by David Berner at 10:17 AM