Pubdate: Tue, 18 Dec 2007
Source: Williams Lake Tribune, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Williams Lake Tribune
Author: Michael Atwood



Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11 in New York, the politics of North
America have moved further and further to the right.

The "Conservatives" of Stephen Harper had their origins in the Alberta
Reform Party of Preston Manning-the extreme religious right-wing,
which became the Canadian Alliance and then became the new
Conservative Party. Harper was strongly influenced by the American
system of government, and when the corrupt Liberal Party began to
crumble they were replaced by the Conservatives who immediately
reaffirmed Canada's commitment to George Bush's war in Afghanistan.
Although some support Canada's  involvement, I do not. Like Vietnam
and the war in Iraq, it appears to be a war that cannot be won.

We can now clearly see a much different Canada than anyone expected.
Corruption is widespread, both in politics and in the law enforcement
agencies. Karl Schrieber's testimonies are showing us how crooked
politicians can be. But we already knew this through the Gomery
inquiry. The police chiefs of Vancouver and Victoria were both removed
for "improper conduct." There were some 90 investigations into
improper conduct by police officers in the past year, and, in the news
most recently, the deaths due to the use of  the taser, a
futuristic-type weapon that hits its victims with 50,000 volts of

Due to their agitated condition, many of them die from cardiac arrest.
With new repressive laws, increased surveillance and security
throughout North America, and the support of the media in the
conditioning of the general populous, we are approaching the George
Orwell vision of "1984"

The government cannot solve the social problems of crime,
homelessness, poverty, or drug abuse. They don't really want to solve
these problems, because they don't really like these people. The
intolerance, and/or prejudice that motivates their actions comes up
with solutions like building more prisons, and giving offenders longer
prison terms. Maybe if governments created labouring work for young
people with all their "beetle money" there would not be so much crime
and drug abuse, but instead the money is going towards strategies that
are being formulated for Campbell and his Liberals, while the forests
deteriorate and millions of dollars in timber rot and decay.

The new laws introduced by Stockwell Day include cannabis as a
dangerous drug, even though it would not be on a list of the 10 most
dangerous drugs in our society. However it definitely would be near
the top of a list of medicinal plants that are of benefit to mankind.
Marijuana helps to alleviate the symptoms of arthritis, rheumatism,
asthma, cancer, glaucoma, menopause, and the stress of living in this
prejudiced and money oriented society. Now for dangerous drugs,
consider alcohol and tobacco.

Think of the chaos in society if these two drugs were made illegal.
Instead, governments make huge revenues on the sales of these
products. I watched a discussion on the news in which Larry Gray,
ex-coroner, mayor, and top cop in the city, said that he supported the
decriminalization of marijuana.

Almost everyone he knows smokes pot he says, and it is no big deal.
The courts are clogged up with these cases. His opponent was promoting
the idea that it was organized crime, preying on our youth that must
be incarcerated for long periods of time.

Prisons are for dangerous and violent people, not for those with drug
and alcohol problems, which accounts for some 80 per cent of the
charges that come before the courts. Work camps would be an
appropriate solution for dealing with individuals who are non-violent
offenders. This would be a chance for them to get healthy, get clean,
and develop new resolve to put their lives back on track. Everyone has
a story, and it is a time to try and help human beings, not to
persecute and prosecute them. Government should fund the social
programs that are providing solutions.

Create work for our youth in forest and environment reclamation. There
is so much that could be done. There is a group locally who would like
to run the Cariboo Lodge as a residence for the homeless and those in
poverty. What a good idea. Why can't this community start to show some
empathy and compassion for those less fortunate.

Not everyone can be a person with special skills or a mover  and
shaker. When we start to consider that all people deserve a chance in
life, then there will be less anger and resentment in our society, and
less drug abuse, violence, and crime. Sending more people to jail, or
letting them die in the streets is certainly no solution.


Williams Lake
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