Monday, August 24, 2009


You've heard of VANDU?

That's the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, a "group" of junkies who, through repeated appeals to the blinkered and lazy liberal press, have claimed some legitimacy for themselves as spokespersons for somethingorother.

Real agenda?

We want to shoot dope. Now fuck off and leave us alone.

Well, turns out VANDU has a Vancouver Island cousin, hanging about mostly in Victoria.

It calls itself SOLID, the Society of Living Intravenous Drug Users.


That's to distinguish itself from SORDID, The Society of Really Dead Intravenous Drug Users.

Now SOLID has considerable traction in out capital city. They squawk and folks listen. Why I don't know, but they do.

Seems Victoria is a mighty small and cozy place.

Because a woman named Shannon Turner is not only the director of public health for the Vancouver Island Health Authority, but she is also the committee chair for the Needle Exchange Advisory Committee.

Busy, busy, busy. Not to mention conflicts of interest. But hey...

Now, SOLID and Shannon have a melodramatic little issue on their hands.

The famous needle exchange (as bad an idea as has ever come down the pike) is supposed to open on Princess Street.

But the junkies - oh, I'm so terribly sorry - the intravenous drug users who have every right in the world to use illegal drugs and break into my home and car to get goodies to resell so they can be intravenous drug users - those good people, they want the new needle exchange to be on Pandora Street.

But, oops.

The Pandora site is smack up against an elementary school and the Conservatory of Music.

Although this is not reported in today's news piece, it is also cheek-to-yarmulka with Temple Emanu-el, Canada's first and oldest synagogue.

Now, I have two very personal reasons for being truly against the needle exchange being anywhere near this proposed location.

Two years ago, I performed a one-man play at the Conservatory. The whole experience was wonderful. On the off chance that I have to go back, I do not want to step over and through crazy using drug addicts to get to work. Nor do think young men and women who are wired on Mozart and Mahler should have to run this gauntlet.

My paternal grandfather, Rabbi Marcus Berner, was the Rabbi for many years, some decades ago, at Temple Emanu-el.

I would like to say, "Rest in peace," but that will be difficult with crazy using addicts pissing on your door stoop.

Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot. Israel is a pariah and a Nazi state and addicts have a medical problem and their rights. What have I been thinking?

Just a question or two before we all go out to play?

How far have we descended into the madness that we take non-groups like VANDU and SOLID seriously?

Why do we give free needles to filthy lying cheating manipulating non-tax-paying thieving addicts but not to seniors with diabetes?

And there's this:

"The high number of drug addicts in Victoria could be attributable to Victoria's soft stand on drug crime, Sgt. Hamilton said."


You think?


As dreadful as humankind can be, it is still not often that I learn something truly horrifying.

Today was different.

Geoffrey York, writing in the Globe from Johannesburg, reports about 5 year old child workers picking tobacco in places like Malawi. These children, working 12 hours a day, are poisoned by the nicotine and suffer relentless and painful injuries and diseases.

For what?

So that some fool in South Carolina or Creston can light up a Lucky Strike and some exec in New York can fuel his corporate jet?

Free enterprise at its best. Letting the markets determine everything in life. The Fraser Institute and every body's Board of Trade writ large. The Bottom Liners in charge.

Make that the Bottom Feeders?

Much of the tobacco industry was stationed here in North America, but with slave and child labour available in Africa for less than $5 a month, the landscape has changed.

No doubt the Princes of Industry who run these atrocities have families.

The compartmentalized mind is a wonder to behold.