Friday, April 27, 2012

NOW, AIN'T THAT THE TRUTH?

The following two paragraphs were sent to me in a private email from an old and dear friend who knows whereof she speaks; she might also have added that soon we will be giving smokers free cigarettes:


VANDU overtook Vancouver city council chambers for a couple of days protesting the gentrification of the DTES and mightily objecting to the loss of their open air drug market as they claim that the police are rousting out the drug dealers and they wish to be able to have their drugs available as they have for years.  They object to the increased police presence as they claim it will cause drug wars and they will have to go in search of their drugs if it is not available in their neighbourhood.  Preposterous and unbelievable.  One might ask, what is next, criminals objecting to rapists being captured and arrested, drunks objecting to road blocks and road checks as this might prevent them from committing their crimes of carnage with their death machine cars.
 
The DTES continues to practice the circus of the absurd and governments continue to aid and abet the twisted demented performance by funding and providing resources into the big vast pit of misery.
 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

We Care Deeply About Students?

My son has a long time friend who is now a school principal.

Mr. P. is furious.  He should be. And so should you.

He now has to fill in for the teachers at his school who will not coach teams or referee or help with the school play or grad ceremonies.

I am so tired of this almost annual sham of teachers going on strike just as exams, report cards, inter-mural sports and graduations all come to a spring and summer boil.

The BC Teachers' Federation claims a 73% vote in favour of this cheesy carry-on at the expense of children and parents.

I know dozens of teachers who would love to do these volunteer assignments, but are constrained from doing so because of the Fed.

There is a very profound disconnect here.

The teachers and their union no doubt have some legitimate complaints about an equally scurrilous government, but is it really necessary to be so sophomoronic and hurtful to the very people they are charged with helping?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

PASS THE TEA

Every day something ridiculous happens.

We react, and we chatter about it over coffee and we declare the world gone mad and we make dinner and watch Seinfeld re-runs and forget about it.

Then the next day, something even more outrageous happens.

And we recoil in horror, declaim solemnly over coffee and declare Life as a constant re-enactment of Alice's Mad Tea Party, make dinner, watch Seinfeld and so on.

But then there was yesterday.

A headline so lunatic, so twisted, so incomprehensible, we knew with certainty that The End Is Upon Us.

Here it is:

Condo building protested as threat to ‘drug market’ 

Pardon me while I laugh hysterically just to clear my nostrils.

OK.

Now the piece in the Globe informs us that someone wants to build some housing downtown. Pretty good stuff so far, Yes.

 

But soft, forsooth!

 

This proposed project happens to be across the street from Vancouver's single greatest cultural contribution to the world - our famous "safe" injection office, the ironically named, Insite.

 

Now you need to know that there exists in this community a non-profit society which goes by the handle VANDU. Or Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users. This is a group of active heroin users who not only believe that they have the well-born Charter right to do nothing all day but steal money and property from taxpayers so that they can use heroin, but who have so successfully convinced the wooly-headed at Vancouver City Council and the Province of BC of this right, that these austere and wise bodies annually give these suffering addicts hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars to pursue this right.

 

But I can tell you are now way ahead of this story.

 

VANDU doesn't want a fancy gussied up living place across from their free shooting place because - are you sitting down? - gentrification will upset the drug market!!!

 

Bad condo people. Bad investors in housing. Bad planners.

 

How dare you interrupt the flow of poison in our streets just to give people a place to live? Where are your values?

 

Coffee and dinner and Seinfeld re-runs may not suffice today. 

 

I may have to drink whiskey or shoot heroin or sniff cocaine to absorb this one.

 

Who needs the PNE?

I live in Vancouver. I live in a city in which one is privileged to spend every day on a circus ride, upside down and careening to the next candy-flossed madhouse distraction.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

CALL OF THE WILD

Walter Stewart, great Canadian journalist of yore, used to speak of "sweet reasonableness."

He was usually asking where it had gone.

And he never met the BC Teachers' Federation or the provincial government.

Today, we learn that "a major track-and-field meet for Surrey high school students has been cancelled and other sporting events risk the same fate as more B.C. teachers withdraw from voluntary activities, including coaching, to protest a law intended to end their contract dispute."


Oh yes.

The teachers are always quick to tell us how much they care about children.

And the government's chorus rings out, "We are Family!"
 
Sorry, folks, no cred.

When will these two adolescent bodies end their dysfunctional relationship and ADULT UP?

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gone, MIke Wallace, age 93

ALMOST FREE ENTERPRISE - ONLY IN CANADA, YOU SAY?

So, one of the conditions the Feds are imposing on Target in order for it to open stores in Canada is that it sell more Canadian authors in its book section. Oh goodie. Another store where I can walk past Margaret Atwood remainders without pausing.

But it gets worse ( or better I suppose for Canadian culture weenies). The government says that Target can circumvent this if they sell foreign books through Canadian-owned bookstores.

So, a recent immigrant from Botswana, not yet naturalized, can sell Australian novels in his bookstore because it builds Canadian culture, don't ya know.

Since January of this year, 14 temporary foreign agricultural workers died in horrific car accidents in Canada. They lived in hovels and made chump change in order to work at jobs Canadians won't do. Foreign slave labour in Canada is OK, foreign books, not so much.

This commentary was sent to me this morning from my old buddy, Victor.

ON THE LABOUR FRONT

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Get the Story Right, Please

The Vancouver Sun should be given full points for writing an editorial this morning about the overdiagnosing of ADHD.

And full demerits for completely, totally, utterly missing the point.

The piece correctly points out the shocking and destructive rise in alleged cases being reported worldwide.

"U.S. doctors’ office visits for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder rose by 66 per cent between 2000 and 2010.


Yet as dramatic as that figure is, it’s dwarfed by one from Europe: According to one German study, the number of ADHD diagnoses between 1989 and 2001 increased by an astonishing 381 per cent."
 
The editorial then blathers on for several more paragraphs without ever once paying head to Basic Rule of Journalism 104 - FOLLOW THE MONEY!

Can you say Big Pharma, boys & Girls? Can you say Novartis?
 
This story is as old as the hills and twice as deadly. 
 
Ever since some guy in a striped suit has been hawking his Dr. Winkler's Magic Elixir from cow town to cow town on the back of a covered wagon (not to mention on the Appian Way a few centuries earlier), the fearful rubes have been buying up this swamp water and feeding it to the kids.

This story is all about RITALIN, its manufacturers, it multi-million dollar marketing campaigns and the sops, gifts and kickbacks that doctors have been enjoying these last few years.
 
Money is the driver here - forget about the health of children.