Monday, August 31, 2009


Sometimes I take short cuts in my writing. I assume that everyone will make the leap with me from one thought to another without my stating the obvious step in between.

This is a mistake on my part. It is bad writing.

Twice in recent days I have spoken here about "racism" in the heartbreaking instances of missing aboriginal women in BC and Manitoba and all across Canada.

The racism which I am suggesting is NOT in the selection by lunatics and murderers of aboriginal women as victims, although that may in fact be an issue.

I am referring to the sluggish reaction of the police.

Let me be clear.

If 20 young blond white women were abducted or murdered or gone missing from Vancouver's west side, all bloody hell would break loose.

One woman was tragically murdered here in recent months and 75 police officers were assigned to the case.

Nobody begrudges the dedicated and thorough response that this shocking incident enjoyed.

But it does point up a dreadful double standard.

Three years before Robert Picton was even suspected of anything, three years before the police launched the final concerted effort that would end at Picton's farm, I had an aboriginal woman and a female Vancouver police officer on my radio show. We were talking about the native woman's missing sister. We were all suggesting that there was an awful pattern here, that some serious investigating needed to begin.

Both the woman and her sister had lived in my house with my wife and son and their two brothers many years ago when I was running a treatment centre. They were all children at the time, the children of a very wonderful woman who had spent many horrible years drunk.

Some of those children developed into citizens as adults. But one of the girls ended up on the street - a prostitute and addict.

While officials ignored the obvious, more women disappeared. They were murdered.

We are encouraged to learn from history.

But the Highway of Tears shows that we have not.

Justice delayed is justice denied.

But investigation delayed is murder.

And racism.


My recent employer of record, Langara College, is in the soup.

That's OK. Getting in the news is good for them.

The College offers many course in the so-called "Alternative Healing Arts and Practices."

Do you know anyone who has died from shiatsu, touch therapy, massage or music?

Maybe once a year somewhere on this bouncing ball we call Earth a frightened soul runs off to some ashram or other to find a "better" way to deal with cancer and makes an early exit.

But who has just about the biggest Territorial Imperative known to humankind?

The medical profession, of course.

So now the BC Medical Association, which represents doctors, is criticizing Vancouver's Langara College for training the public in therapies that are "medically useless" and potentially harmful.


Isn't one of the primary dedications of medical practice "Do No Harm?"

Can the BCMA claim as clean a track record as the many happy (possibly deluded) people who practice these sundry and colorful voodoos?

Hasn't it been demonstrated over and over again that if you believe a treatment is helping you, then it often does.

The study of "energy healing" and like courses is very much in demand. So is the practice. Patients are lining up at store fronts everywhere to partake. Herbal medicines sell in the billions of dollars world-wide.

That doesn't make it right or good science, but show me the person whose toe has fallen off after acupuncture.

The BCMA desperately needs to take a Big Pill and mind its own business.

Water Fight

$2.49 for 24 bottles of water?

Yes, kids, that's the going price in some American discount stores. Even national brands such as Aquafina are flying off the shelves for a song.

The love of bottled water is disappearing fast, as cities and other governments are cancelling their contracts and encouraging employees to drink from the tap.

Well, at least we won't have to watch one-day stubbled CEO's carrying their ubiquitous bottles to press conferences.

I still have giant bottles of water delivered to my house every month. Some of my friends point to this idiosyncrasy as one of the many signs of my oddness. So be it.

I have bottled water in the car and I take bottled water to the tennis court.

I recycle the bottles.

Am I poisoning myself? Am I poisoning the famous environment?

Search me.

And pass the bottle, will ya?