Saturday, January 30, 2010

Do the Right Thing, Mr. Harper

Omar Khadr may or may not be a murder, a terrorist, and a sonofabitch who is mean to babies and dogs.

But what is the point of fighting and winning wars and skirmishes in the name of fairy-tale notions like democracy and freedom and justice if we abandon all such in the execution of the battle?

Now, the Supreme Court of Canada has clearly and cleanly thrown down the gauntlet to the Harper government, challenging Canada to bring Khadar back from the legal and moral black hole of Guantanamo Bay.

In a 9-0 ruling, the court effectively dared the Harper government to ignore its finding that Canada and the United States are violating Mr. Khadr's right to life, liberty and security under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

A government is expected to take action when the court rules it has violated some one's rights.

This is not a question of being kind to criminals.

It's all about the principle, stupid.

Dream Final?

Sunday's men's final down under may present for the first time in living memory the prospect of two real court artists facing each other in a battle of speed and touch and sublime shot-making.

It's true that there have been many great and memorable moments in Grand Slam finals through the years.

When I first got hooked on the game, the rivalry of Borg and McEnroe was something special to behold. The Slugger and the Wizard. Borg was driving shot after shot as straight arrows while Johnny Mac was dipping and diving and massaging shots at hadn't previously been imagined.

But now...

Now, suddenly, we have Roger Federer and Andy Murray, the two deftest players in the game today. They are both faster than any two or three other players put together. They both can serve and volley as well as Stephan Edberg did in his prime and they both have hands apparently made of butter. In one instance in yesterday's victory over Milan Cilic, Murray actually looked exactly like McEnroe on a touch volley four feet from the net. He barely bent his knees at all (as we are all yelled at to do by our teachers), simply dropped his racquet to the floor and let the ball ping up and across the net for a sure winner. Pure McEnroe.

This may or may not be a great final. But it should be.

If both men can forget their nerves and fight like the dogs that they truly are, if Murray can get past his intimidation by Federer, if Fed can push past his own too-often too-cool and growl, we may have one of the best face-offs in a long, long time.

Who will win?

Search me.

Federer, the number one player in the world and the holder of more singles slams than anyone else in history has played flowing flawless tennis these past two weeks in Melbourne. He'll be the favorite.

But make no mistake.

Andy Murray is primed to take this one. He could do it.

Let's get serious. Super Bowl 44 isn't until next week, no one will be watching the strangley timed Pro Bowl, and this choice tennis match may be one for the ages.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Which Way is Up?

The war is ending...

But first, we will have to rejoice in killing many, many more bad guys.


This was the morning take on Afghanistan.

The Taliban are joining i n the peace talks...

And we're getting ready for a big new offensive against the Taliban.


I'm naive and stupid when it comes to little things like war and international diplomacy.

This is probably how the real world works.

But is it OK if I stay confused and bewildered?

Sorry is the Cheapest Word

I have friends who are police.

I like the police.

I am getting tired of watching the police disgrace themselves.

Here are two headlines from this morning's press:

Man beaten by Vancouver police to sue

Second Surrey Six Mountie investigated

The two stories are unrelated in specifics, but they are united by an unhappy common theme - police are straining our necessary sense of trust and good will in their motives and behaviour on and off the job.

I appreciate that police are human and like me and you they make mistakes every single day.

I appreciate that as police you are often, more often than not, dealing with garbage and crap.

Probably it could be safely argued that your job is tougher than many other employments.


But please...let's get you out of these kind of headlines.

By the way, in the first case quoted...mistaken identity. Oops, we're sorry may not cut it.

When Will We Learn? When Will We Care?

Terry Naugle of Nova Scotia was convicted of drunk driving in 1978, 1980, 1981, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1989 again, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2006 and, most recently, 2009. He never received a lifetime driving ban, at least until the 2009 charges, for which he is being sentenced next month.

Above is the first shocking paragraph of an editorial in yesterday's Globe.

Apparently, we continue to believe that driving a car is some god-given right in this country and no matter how dangerous and demented our behaviour, we may do so ad naseum.

Apparently, we continue to believe in this country that drinking booze badly is just an amusing side-bar to real life and it is to be chuckled at while we have another.

Apparently, we have no balls, no values and no political will to get real on this subject.

J.D. Salinger

"If you really want to hear about it..."

One year I traipsed around the winter campus of the University of Manitoba in my tweed great coat. I called it my Holden Caulfield.

"The Catcher in the Rye" is and was and probably will continue to be a monumental success in so many ways - as a piece of literature, a publishing gold mine and a mysteriously alluring cultural icon.

Today when students from other countries ask me what book they should read, I buy them a copy of "Catcher."

Is there a course at any school in North America that doesn't have this slender volume on its required reading list.

A few more books and short stories and then the famous retreat.

Hidden in the woods somewhere in New England, J.D. Salinger became even more famous and more sought-after.

is the N.Y. Times obit.

What's Your Sine?

Subject: Teacher Arrested
A teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a compass, a slide-rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, the Attorney General said he believes the
man is a member of the notorious Al-Gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction.

'"Al-Gebra is a problem for us," the Attorney General said. "They derive
solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute values.." They use secret code names like 'X' and 'Y' and refer to themselves as "unknowns", but we have determined that they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country.

As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to
every triangle'.

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Obama said, "If God had
wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more intelligent or profound statement by the President. It is believed that the Nobel Prize for Physics will follow.

Victor Has Room to be Peeved

I'll try to be brief.

I do contract work for Aboriginals. As part of this, I often bring
some of them to Vancouver for discussions. Many don't have credit
cards so they can't reserve hotels. No problem. I put their rooms on
my personal credit card and the Federal government pays me after. I
don't charge the Feds for this credit service. I've been doing this
for 9 years. But each time I book a room for a Native , the hotel
requires me to send a photocopy of my credit card, front and back, via
fax. These are hotels where I've done this umpteen times. No fax, no
room. If I offer to read my credit card number over the phone , the
hotel ( I could name a dozen in Vancouver) says that I could be
anybody. Ditto for trying to do it on-line. Like I said, 9 years.

So, as Desi would ask " splain this". I travel a lot. I can give my
credit card number to the reservation person in Toronto and arrive
with the assurance that my room will be waiting. I can book a plane
to Dubai on line with my card and swan up to the desk at the airport
with total assurance. Why, if I am trying to do this for somebody
else, does the hotel require a fax with photocopies of my card and

Is it because the people are Natives? What is the risk. You can't
steal a goddamn room and sneak it past the concierge.

The hotels tell me they are only trying to protect me. From what? I
always send a signed fax stipulating that my card will only cover one
room for one night. If I have paid in advance, why do they give a shit
about who actually sleeps in the bed? They're covered for Chrissakes?

Ok. I'm done.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2010



I recorded and thought that I uploaded almost 5 minutes.

What you get below is only 2:12.

Go explain.

What should follow should be obvious.

The message is that evil such as this cannot be forgotten. Nor is it to be forgiven.

It is to be clearly and painfully remembered.

Do not denigrate words by calling a local politician a "Hitler."

Hitler was unique.

There is evil before and after him, but no one like him.

And the ordinary citizens who helped him carry out his mad plans are you and me.

The Holocaust calls for vigilance and remembrance.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eye Opener


My wife's employer is shutting down the office for two weeks during the Olympic event because customers are afraid to drive to town; afraid to find parking and are now canceling appointments en mass.

This means the practice will be closed and the 6 employees including the owner will not be paid wages, yet rent is still due and bills must be paid.

This means our family will not have holidays this year, nor will we be able to afford such niceties as swimming lessons for the children.

Our family are not the only ones affected.

So when those many politicians take taxpayer paid for tickets to watch a taxpayer paid for event, think of the thousands of taxpayers who have been negatively affected by the games.

Does VANOC have a conscience at all; does Furlong give a damn? Does Gordo?

Olympic Update

1) Of course, many cities and municipalities are spending tax dollars on tickets for their councillors, employees, friends and family members.

Of course, this is wrong.

Read the story here.

2) Don't know how to smile?

No problem.

Vancouver has produced a 128-page etiquette guide.


The world's coldest, most unfriendly city is going to huggy-bear, kissy-face up overnight with a Warmth for Dummies manual.


Someone worked for months on this idiocy.

Someone paid for it.


On Monday, I smiled at a woman who was standing on a corner in my neighbourhood and daringly said, "Good morning."

She glared at me, as she was obviously assaulted by an unsolicited greeting.

Look it up in the criminal code.

Violation 32B11-14.

I added as I passed, "I am truly sorry for saying good morning."

She probably wrote the guide.

3) A friend told me yesterday that she knows someone who is being paid by VANOC to be a sort of traffic cop in BC Place.

Ready for the wage?


Yes, that's correct.


Multiply that by a few zillion employees and you'll begin to understand why the Games are so expensive.

The amateur sporting games.

Oh, there is more.

Just because BC Place isn't quite ready for the throngs just yet, don't think that our friend's friend is not being paid.

She is.

She is now being paid $45/hr. to stand by.

4) And finally, the good news.

A friend has forwarded the following:

See below for a list of free or low cost events and exciting venues to check out.


I cannot find the photo on the Globe's website.

Thus, all I can do is report what I saw this morning.

On page S3 in the Globe BC section, the paper is carrying a story about how Vancouver police will not be rushing to arrest too many people for smoking marijuana during the famous Games.


But was it truly necessary to run a half-page photo of someone smoking a joint?

No doubt this is highly amusing and knowing for everyone.

It is also irresponsible and destructive.

Ha ha ...pot is so cute, so benign, so acceptable.

Heck for many it is a cause and a life's devotion and they are seen as cultural heroes.

This half-page photo is simply a small and thoughtless part of the whole ugly drug story.

Dodge City

Poetic irony.

Who knew that drug smugglers had such a deep literary understanding and sophisticated taste. Maybe they all hail from Burnham Wood?

Some geniuses just sent a tombstone from Iran to Vancouver.

The stone was hollow and it contained many, many kilos of opium.

They fools were caught.

Not to worry.

Their lawyers will get them off on a technicality and they will be awarded a national Comedy prize.

Acquisitions & Mergers

Warren Buffet, eat your heart out.

I've just bought Saab and I'm bringing the whole operation to Burquitlam.

There are 12,000 jobs up for grabs and if you're a former bureaucrat or Cambodian refugee, come see me.

So many of my friends and family have asked me, "But why, Dave?" "Why, Dad?"


I like a car company with feeling built right into the name.

"Hey, Dave, what's your ride these days?"

"Thanks for asking, Buddy. It''s...huh, ah huh, ah huh,'s just Saaaaaaaaaaab."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pet Peeve Day

A reader has asked that I designate the odd day - and certainly this day qualifies - as "Pet Peeve Day."


Send me your pet peeves, please.

I would love to get the ball rolling and set a good example.

But it's impossible for me to name a pet peeve, other than I am peeved by other people's pets.

You see, I am a cantankerous, grouchy old jerk, who is irritated by practically everything.

My favorite quote comes from Jean Paul Sarte.

"L'enfer, c'est les autres."

Hell is other people.

Almost everything and everybody annoys the beetlejuice out of me.

Especially young people and drivers and government and book agents and my best friends, who are consistently maddening.


That doesn't mean that I'm not great coffee company or a barrel of laughs.

Just don't be late or comment on my clothes or take a call on your effing blackberry or tell me that in addictions we need a "continuum of treatment."

And while you're at it, ask that 11-year old girl who invented coffee if we can have some more brown sugar over here at this table by the drafty door.



And the point of this moment is...?

Fighter Jets to fly over Lower Mainland this week

No kidding.

Yesterday, I was strolling in the 'hood and suddenly I thought I was in a Bruce Willis movie.

See this baby?

He was following me around.

Or so I felt.

Or imagined.

I do have an elevated sense of my own importance, I know, but really, kids!

Enjoy life in Gamesistan.

New...and Very Good

Monday, January 25, 2010

Rare Good News

School or jail.

The choice seems obvious.

Yet it is only now that a local court had found the way to offer some people who break the law a chance to really change their own destiny.

Fourteen people to get a shot at a new life

Three schools offer courses for Judge Gove to allocate in court

This was the story in The Province over the weekend.

Read it and be cheered that we are at least trying something positive.

Then, follow this tale over the coming months and see how many have succeeded.

For this is only the offer and the first step, and many will fail.

But that is life and that is human endeavour and if one person succeeds, we will have done something.


The news and the stories and photos from Haiti are relentless.

So too are the "good" stories of a world jumping in to help - money, aid, supplies, food, clothing, the adoption of children and plans to try to rebuild a much better community.

But how can one absorb this idea - bulldozers pushing 90,000 dead into newly dug mass graves in the Haitian hillsides?

All praise to those who are helping in any large or small way. If you want to send a dollar, just Google something like "Haiti relief" and I am sure you will find a toll free number or website.

Here at home, I returned from a week of work in Winnipeg to learn that a lovely young woman in our neighbourhood had died.

She was the daughter of a local shop owner.

I scarcely knew her, but I knew her pop and I stopped in to see him.

There were 90,000 and they are real.

And there was one and she was real.

Grief is local and it is universal.

Familiar Ring

I confess ignorance here.

So you will forgive my being shocked by the revelation today that Canadian banks are buoyed by enormous support from me and you and our tax dollars.

At the end of 2008, the latest figures we have, CMHC had $149-billion of investments in mortgage-backed securities on its balance sheet, up from $96-billion the previous year.


Does anyone remember what happened not too many miles south not too many months ago?

Text Me

Last night over dinner, a friend pointed out that he knows many young people in their early twenties who text between 200 and 300 messages a day.

These important communications, he added, are typically of the order of "sup?"

Which roughly translated means, "And so Reginald, how is life treating you exactly these days, and how pray tell are you filling your ample time?"

The Globe editorial this morning leaps madly into the fray by suggesting that our youth are

Mesmerized by screens

Well, duh...

What, the writers ask, has ever happened to free play?

What, indeed.

Oddly and happily enough, there are more children than ever going to libraries and soccer practice and ballet lessons and the like.

But that doesn't change the fact that most people under the age of ...40?... are addicted to their cells and blackberries and TVs and computers.

Maybe they're just great at multi-tasking.

Rare Talent

Jean Simmons was one of my favorite movie actors and stars.

She died Friday at her home in Santa Monica at the age of 80.

Simmons was impossibly beautiful and she had the most lovely speaking voice.

And she was unforgettable as Sister Sharon in "Elmer Gantry."

Jean Simmons R.I.P.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Quick Court

Justice is supposed to be swift.

That notion has pretty much gone the way of the long bow and the noose.

But never fear.

VANOC conquers all.

Tourist courts to open for Games

Minor charges to be heard within 2 weeks

Which is all well and good and perfectly sensible.

But excuse the rude question.

If it was so darn easy to get all the court and police and justice ducks in a row so quickly so as to not inconvenience some drunken scofflaw from Amarillo, why can't we make that effort 365 for our own citizens?

A friend was involved in December in a comically outrageous run-in with highway police somewhere between Seattle and Portland. Guns were drawn. Not my friend's. He no pack.

He has now returned to the scene of the crime this month and must attend once more in early February.

I don't really care berry much if a law breaker guest from Allentown, PA has to get his sorry ass back here for a court appearance.

But I would like to see local cases cleared with the same enthusiastic dispatch.

By the way...

Does this mean there will be a big new neon sign at YVR - owned of course by the local native band - screaming



Leaping Lizards

My friend, Bob Ransford, contributed an excellent and thoughtful piece to the Vancouver Sun yesterday on the need for better planning in Greater Vancouver.

Give it a read.

Then, explain this mystery to me.

Two friends of mine - one lives in Shaughnessy in half a beautiful old mansion, and the other lives on 4 acres in the Gulf Islands in a log house he built with his own hands 40 years ago - have had their property assessments jump 60% this year.

That's right.


Short of discovering crude in the back yard, what could possibly justify this unholy demand for more tax money.

60% raise in one year?

They can't afford that and both are contesting this arbitrary and cruel "adjustment."

I can't.

Could you?

Should we?

The Devil's in the Details

Yesterday I wrote about City hall laying off workers - the wrong workers.

Today, our friendm Martin, shares the gruesome details:

Martino said...

The thing that bugs my wife the most about this is that not one person called or even asked what she does in her job. She oversees the busiest community centre in Vancouver (Kerrisdale) with the most programs. She is constantly overworked, with endless committees to attend, and always took on more responsibilities with a smile on her face.

Without her, there is no way to continue with the amount of programs that are currently running, which will inevitably lead to cuts. And the people who will suffer are the good taxpayers of Vancouver, who depend on their community centre to enrich and educate themselves/their children. To a lesser extent, the Community Centre suffers too, as they will lose revenue that gave it the ability to offer programs at a discounted rate to seniors and school age children.

The worse part of all this is they still expect her to represent the City of Vancouver at one of the LiveCity sites with a smile on her face. She become so cynical the last 48 hours that she thinks she'll have to resign from that, which stinks considering she supported the Olympics from day one and wanted to do her part to represent the city she was so proud of. She even turned down a great volunteer position with VANOC since the City asked that she represent the City for this event.

At the very least, the City should have hired an independent auditor who actually went out and found out what people did in their job...not some fatcat at City Hall who just wanted to balance the budget in order to keep their job.

Saw These 4 at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall in '91...Smoke!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


The whole Olympic movement needs to take a pill.

Just relax, fellas.

Stop trying to own the world and run it.

Others have a right to live and breathe.

Like the Canadian Congenital Heart Alliance, for example.

This is the group that works with people who are born with heart defects.

My mother - may she rest in peace - was such a person.

The poor old Alliance has made the unforgivable sin of having for many years now a logo with a hand holding a small torch.

The flame of the torch is in the shape of a heart.

OK, so far?

Not if you are the Canadian Olympic Committee, who never saw a sleeping dog it could let lie.

Oh, no.

COC has got to rise up and make demands and threats.

Bully much?

A billion dollar party team gangs up on a long-existing, small non-profit society that struggles daily for money and provides life-saving responses for people with critical health problems.

COC needs to drop the viagra and take up all that methadone that's lying around.

'Nuff Said

It's Not Unusual

City workers are let go and given layoff notices all the time.

What is noteworthy on any given such occasion is who and what and why and when and where.

That's why they call it W5.

In today's case,

44 Vancouver city workers get layoff notices

a friend's wife, who is a recreation community centre worker got the pink slip.

This speaks to questionable choices by a government that could very well trim lotsa fat.

But this kind of worker has an important role in the lives of young people at risk and this worker is not very well paid.

Show me a 1000 city hall workers who are very well paid to do very little and I'll be at the front of the parade cheering them on into the real work of the private sector.

Don't Believe Everything You Read

Scare Canada is running full page color ads in newspapers these days.

The ads show a plane brightly festooned in PC green and Olympic doodlings.

It's a happy aircraft.

The body of the ad is 13 "quotes" ( I must put quotes around the quotes because we have no idea if they made this up or they really are quotes from the Handful of the Happy.)

The "quotes" are all from deliriously satisfied Scare Canada flyers.


Is this your experience?

It is not mine.

I find their routing and timing for departures and arrivals consistently inconvenient, their telephone, desk and in flight service people consistently arrogant, superior and bored, and their prices ranging from incomprehensible to simply expensive.

But aside from all that they are wonderful.

So wonderful that my last five trips within Canada have been on WestJet and my next trip overseas is with British Airways.

Please comment.

You like Air Canada? You love Air Canada? You heart Air Canada?


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dying of Stupidity...and Fear...and Greed

When you get past all the other noise and confusion, one sour note rings through.

Universal health care is not a happy thought for many Americans.

The fact that close to 50 million of their fellow citizens and (maybe not) neighbours are uninsured - and therefore always one snivel away from personal and financial catastrophe - doesn't seem nearly as important as punishing a president or a party or a candidate they don't like.

Or rising to the bait of scare words like...00000...socialism. Oooooo...

That this simple goal - coverage for all - has been drowned in the cheesiest forms of partisan politics is overwhelmingly sad and disgusting.

The editorial in the Globe blames Boston voters, among others.

If Obama can save this bill and his own place in history from this mess, he will replace Cujo on the alltime save list.

Print Progress?

"Everything on the Internet should the free."

Dream on, Little Grasshopper.

The hay days of the late '90's may have come and gone with their $100 Million start-ups that folded 90 nights later, but people are still determined to make money on the net.

With ad revenues down on average 30% world-wide for daily print newspapers, it should not come as a surprise that the New York Times will try once again to get you to subscribe to its electronic articles.

This program is slated to start next year, with the fees and the dates yet to be announced.

"If the newspapers, including the Times, continue giving away their content for free while asking subscribers to pay for an edition that they get six hours later, it is a continuing foolhardy business proposition," said Joel Brinkley, a communications professor at Stanford University who worked for The New York Times for 23 years.

What all of this means for info vampires like me and you remains to be seen.

If I pay the subscription fee and I read a NY Times article, under the proposed new system I can recommend it to you.

But can I LINK it to you?

Perhaps you won't be able to open that link if you have not paid up as well.

Ah well.

The Tree People will be basking.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Audacity, Less Hope

President Obama's light is seriously dimming.

A pretty boy Republican has stolen the Boston Senate seat that has belonged to the Kennedys for decades right out from under, and partisanship is storming away at an all-time high in American politics.

Read Konrad Yakabuski's excellent coverage in this morning's Globe.

Even a grand old Democratic warrior like Harry Belafonte, speaking the other day with Tavis Smiley is disenchanted with the directions and tones coming these days from the White House.

If the health care bill is lost, Obama may have the shortest effective presidency in history.

May all of this get much better - and soon!

Mumbo Jumbo

"We strongly believe in local television and we're strongly committed to local television"


This was a Rogers executive, speaking about how their wholly-owned CITY-TV franchise is cutting local news across the country.

It always amazes me how folks like this can say things like, "We love you and we care deeply for you," as they drive the knife expertly between L4 and L5.

The irony here is that in this case, the cable operator and the broadcaster are one and the same.

Don't you love those mushy TV ads declaring that Local TV Matters?

They go out of their way to find a round black woman, who immediately suggests motherhood and professorship and intelligence and integrity all at studied once to babble on about the importance of local television.

All the while the people who have paid for the ad make all of their money buying shows in and from Los Angeles or making new Canadian drek like, "Human Target," and cutting local news.

The bottom line here is that the very sociopathds who are crying for more breaks from the government and claimning ownership of local concerns are in reality cutting jobs and information and public access.

Be clear in understanding what colossal bullshitters they really are.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Unfunny - All of Them

The Conan O'Brien-Jay Leno boredom festival has hardly been worth a comment ... until now.

A guy who teaches journalism and communications at Concordia has suggested that the smart move is for the CBC to hire O'Brien.

This fool must be an American ex-pat looking for good health care.

If he's a Canadian, he should be imprisoned for 12 years for Not Understand Much of Anything.

Don't worry.

He'll b e out in 30 days. See Below...

Alice in Courtland

A life sentence for plotting acts of terror.

Sounds good.

Or 12 years for a similarly inspired young devil.

But, as the editorial in today's Globe points out, the sentences do not say what they mean, or mean what they say.

But, hey.

The madman who shot the Pope is out of prison now and he's warned us that a) he is the Messiah and b) the end is nigh.

You think he's crazy.

How about our lawmakers.

We Are Not Alone

REAL Women of Canada

"Women Building a Better Society"

NGO in SPECIAL consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations


Ottawa, Ontario January 18, 2010

Rule by Judicial Fiat

Vancouver Drug Injection Site

The liberal-minded B.C. Court of Appeal, in order to maintain the operation of the Vancouver Drug Injection site, has had to forsake common sense by describing the site as a “hospital” which provides a “health care program”. Supervising the injection of a harmful illicit drug by an addict is by no reasonable standard, “health care”. It is a recipe for disaster since its effect is to deepen the addict’s addiction, which leads to his/her inevitable, painful death.

According to the report of the Expert Advisory Committee released in April 2008, only 5% of drug addicts in the Vancouver area actually use the site, with 95% of drug injections in the area taking place outside the site. Only 3% of addicts using this site are actually referred for treatment. Treatment is the only way in which the addict can be genuinely helped.

In addition, the addict has to obtain the drugs injected on site from illegal sources, costing approximately $350,000 annually – money invariably obtained from criminal activity. Do these politically correct judges grasp these implications?

This decision by the B.C. Court has arbitrarily relaxed Canada’s drug laws by intruding on federal criminal law jurisdiction – the purpose of which is to protect society and individual addicts, not destroy them.

Canadians deserve better than the opinion of these liberal judges who choose to rule by judicial fiat, rather than by common sense and respect for Parliament.

Please contact:

Diane Watts


(613) 236-4001

Vancouver B.C. January 18, 2009

BC Court of Appeal’s Decision on

Vancouver’s Drug Injection Site

Canada’s drug policy of prevention, treatment and enforcement is the only proven way for illicit drug use to be controlled.

However, two judges on the B.C. Court of Appeal have chosen to change this effective policy which was validly enacted by Parliament, by concluding that drug addicts supposedly “benefit” from the injection of illicit harmful drugs providing only that the injection is “supervised”. In no way can this be construed as “treatment” or “medical care” as the judges euphemistically call it, but rather this policy is a death warrant for the addict.

Under this policy upheld by the court, the addict has nowhere to go but downwards in that he/she will only require larger and ever more frequent injections of the illicit drug. It also leaves the addicts without treatment, the only genuine way to help them, because according to the report of the Expert Advisory Committee, April 2008, only 3% of addicts using the site are actually referred for treatment.

Moreover, this trendy court, by its decision, has eviscerated the federal government’s attempt to control illicit drugs in Canada. It allows the obtaining and use of illicit drugs with money inevitably obtained by the addicts’ criminal activity, and permits them to use illicit drugs with police protection. This is unacceptable.

The Drug Prevention Network of Canada strongly urges the federal government to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Good Idea - Wrong PLay

Right on, Kash.

At least the general goals are headed in the right direction.

When BC Solicitor-General announced today that he was going to do something about the unacceptably high incidence of domestic violence and deaths thereof, I am sure he won himself some new friends.

Deservedly so.

But Kash.

The exact way to not achieve anything new or useful is to ask senior bureaucrats what to do.

Remember that the old favorite definition of insanity is to keep doing the same thing and expect new results.

Well, Kash, if senior bureaucrats had something to contribute to anything, let alone a subject as specific and horrific as domestic violence, perhaps they would have already done so.

Instead, ask a panel of police, mothers, parents, children, teachers, and ordinary citizens with a splattering of common sense.

Leave the bureaucrats alone to mess up property assessments and things they truly (mis)understand.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


I will be posting my blog all through the next week (except tomorrow, Jan. 18th, whicj will be difficult bordering on impossible) but, because I will not have my computer hooked up to my Shaw cable, I cannot email each day as usual.

For those of you who cannot get through a day without A Little Berner in the Night (And you are legion! Both of you!), please bookmark the url and check in:

The email version should resume next Saturday, January 23d, if my psychiatrist decides that am ready again for human contact.

It'll be touch and go, for sure.

The Force Barks Back

Al Arsenault is a film director/producer with Odd Squad Productions Society and was a 27-year veteran with the V.P.D., upon his retirement in May 2006. He does not share the popular views on addiction and crime issues and he does not suffer fools gladly.

Hi David,

This news re the continuing status of the SIS is very distressing indeed. As I say, the rich get treatment and the poor get harm reduction. Why cannot all these learned researchers from the “Center of Excrements” come up with just even one single simple graph from the late ‘80’s to present showing the rate of change of OD deaths or drug-related infections that would prove their point of the efficacy of the SIS? Because that plotted line would skyrocket from a few % to the current astronomical levels. And yet they call it a success and the public is again mislead. This is nothing but shameful idealism leaning towards legalization passing itself off as legitimate research under a false banner of compassion. David you are so right on this issue of delivering real treatment instead of this sham of so-called Harm Reduction. All of the addicts in recovery know this. The active users do know what’s best for them- shooting galleries and free drugs leading to legalization. As you so well know, that is how the fiendish drug addict mind works. Some of the Harm Reductionists who know little about the dope simple brain, do not know that they are being mislead by the likes of drug users such as Dean Wilson, while the others are no doubt in the legalization camp, so they are merely letting the drug users suck in the public by making them believe that it is the right thing to do for them. As kind and compassionate parents, we shouldn’t give kids what they want (candy), rather we should provide them what they need (nutritious food). These addicts are being Band-Aided to death. Thank you for speaking out against this travesty.


Guest Blogger, Beth McArthur

Friday, January 15, 2010

Team Jeff or Team Colin?

For those of you waking up in cold sweats, madly humming "Somebody Else", and driving your friends buggy with obsessive musings on the Jeff Bridges versus Colin Firth Best Actor of 2009 dilemma, take heart. You are not alone. The bags under my eyes are heavier than Mariah Carey's weekend totes. For days, I've agonized over this predicament at 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 am. Call me a kook. That's just how I am. I embrace movies and fairness with equal fervour. The outcome of this thespian horse race matters to me.

The trouble is, both men are excellent. Both performances raise the status of the men's films to "Ooooh, baby!" from merely "Oh yeah."

I saw Firth's movie, A Single Man, first. Throughout, my heart bled buckets at his repressed, anguished performance as a grieving gay college professor. Afterwards, I sobbed for 45 minutes until globs of black mascara dotted my ultra suede loveseat. With hand on heart, I declared to friends, family, co-workers and complete strangers in movie line-ups that Firth would surely win the Oscar. But then, it struck me. Doesn't Firth always seem stricken in his movie and television roles? He was stricken in Pride and Prejudice. He was stricken in Bridget Jones's Diary. Was his performance here that great a stretch, acting-wise, after all? Maybe he looks stricken when he's buying toilet paper.

Then I saw Crazy Heart, a riveting character study about a drunken, brilliant, sensitive country singer played by an irrepressible Bridges. I chortled, held my breath, gasped, tapped my toes, wanted to run my fingers through his character's Kris Kristofferson-y hair as much as I wanted to flee from his puke spittle. I now felt 100% certain that Bridges was the guy to beat. He sang the songs himself, man. His character felt more real than Firth's somehow. His lovable loser was more recognizable, more tangible. You could sense his flabby, physical heft. You could smell this dude. Firth, on the other hand, seemed pristine: a Ken doll slowly crumbling.

The Golden Globe is one award that might go to Colin instead of Jeff at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association's big wing ding this Sunday, January 17. That's because the 49-year-old Firth's a Brit and foreign journalists are voters. But the Oscar will likely go to Jeff in March. The guy's as American as apple pie.

It was after almost a week of angst that I finally realized for me it all boils down to: who will most appreciate an Oscar? Which man will be happier, and look happier, to win an Academy Award? And which man's win will delight the gleaming audience to the rafters? The answer to all these questions is, of course, Jeff Bridges.

I want to see Jeff Bridges's big handsome, 60-year-old face light up, his cheeks dimple, and those crinkly baby blues sparkle. I want to see an extreme close-up of beautiful Susan Geston, Bridges's wife of over 30 years, crying in the audience, followed by a slow pan to brother Beau, also weeping. I want Jeff to thank his late father Lloyd Bridges in his Oscar acceptance speech. I want Jeff to say "far out" or "right on" for the boomers watching. I want the entire Kodak Theater audience to rise as one to celebrate this American son, a man who's given and given and given, goddamnit, to movie goers and TV audiences for over 40 years without once donning a reindeer sweater.


Update as of January 16th: Jeff Bridges won the Critics Choice Award for Best Actor the evening of January 15th. He will host the Grammys 2010 on January 31st.

Of course, the lovely irony is that Robert Duvall, who won a much-deserved Oscar for his role as a broken, alcoholic country singer in the great Horton Foote story, Tender Mercies, is co-starring in Bridges' new film.

We Can Dream, Can't We?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Very Important Post from a Real Expert

Gerry writes:

Here's an interesting tidbit of anecdotal information.

In a class of about 30 people attending an addictions seminar I teach, I asked how many of the participants knew someone who was currently or in the past involved with a methadone program.

9 people raised their hands.

I asked of those 9 people if they knew whether or not those people who were on methadone were abusing other drugs at the same time.

All 9 people raised their hands.

I then asked of those 9 people if any of those folks they knew to be on methadone were breaking the law to be able to buy the drugs they were abusing.

Guess what?

All 9 raised their hands.

Why is this slice of reality not the same slice of reality presented by the harm reductionists? I'll leave it to you to figure out why.

Humpty Dumpty at the Helm

I was wondering this morning...

What if my children were still little?

How could I explain to them - without causing nightmares - that the world is quite mad, that much is upside down and hanging by a thread from the ceiling, that illusion rules the day, the official story is almost always a lie.

Not a great world vision is it?

But listen to today's evidence.

“I think what the Conservatives ought to be doing now is funding harm-reduction strategies instead of paying for more lawyers. They should accept that harm-reduction strategies are an essential part of any substance-abuse strategy and should not appeal this further.”

Michael Ignatieff.

“With this second consecutive decision in favour of Insite, I hope the federal government will drop its legal efforts so that we can go back to focusing on Insite for what it is – a harm reduction facility that saves lives and improves health outcomes for those living with addictions."

Gregor Robertson.

Here's the problem.

These two great Canadian leaders actually believe what they are saying.

They are wrong and mistaken and all the real evidence completely contradicts their sentiments, but this is now hook, line and sinker, the official story.

This is what everyone is being badgered into believing.

Yes, here's the good news, kinder.

98% of all the people with whom I have ever spoken on the radio, in print, on the Internet and in public know that this story is a sham, an emperor's new clothes if there ever was one.

The photo says it all.

This is our enlightened strategy.

A kit to keep stupid.

Show me the lives saved.

You can't.

Did I mention that our leaders actually believe this myth?

Certainly we have learned over the ages that if you mutter a phrase long enough and often enough, it does have a hypnotic effect and, over time, seems to bring on its own meaning.

Well, Michael and Gregor and all the clever people in charge of things, try this little mantra on for size....

real treatment real treatment real treatment real treatment real treatment real treatment real treatment real treatment