“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really. Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”

~~ Thomas Watson

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

They need work and a future and faith ... not handouts and drugs and patronization

Today I pleased to be able to present a guest commentary from Tom Birch.  A former resident of the North Okanagan, and a gentleman who states he is a "proud conservative", he now resides in the City of Prince George.  Out of everything I have read regarding the Colten Boushie** murder trial, this is by fair the most honest, and balanced.

The Boushie murder trial is tragic on many levels.

It is not about the right to defend yourself. Self-defense was not the plea. It was about whether the death was accidental due to the chaotic events created by the crime in process.

For those saying that the farmer, Gerald Stanley, had the right to kill Boushie because he was committing a crime, please stop.

It was not about race. What happened was the result of the crime in process and the question is whether it was an accident or not. Those who bring racism to this trial were already carrying it with them. And for those few who say he had it coming because he was First Nations, you have serious issues and you need to rethink your life.

This is not an excuse for political grandstanding and race baiting that undermines our judicial system. I would tell the those politicians who sink to this depth to stop but they can’t see (or don’t care about) the damage they are doing.

But these events do highlight racial issues. The tragedy began years ago when Boushie and his friends lost all hope and decided that crime was fun and somehow justified. This can happen to any young people from any racial group, but it is rampant in some bands.

The lesson here is to give them hope. To do that they need work and a future and faith ... not handouts and drugs and patronizing.  Redeeming a lost generation should be the focus.

It was too late for this young man, but if you want to do something in his memory, let it be to reach the others while there is still time.

My heart does go out to his family. Not because they were denied justice, I don’t think they were, but because they did not know how to reach their son with hope and no one was there to help. 

And now they are political pawns, being used in a way that will widen racial gulfs and make the problems for their youth even worse.

And those, as I noted above, are the comments of Tom Birch.   Got a comment to make?  This is your chance to share it now.

**  Colten Boushie was a young Indigenous man from the Red Pheasant Cree Nation, in Saskatchewan

Monday, February 5, 2018

Good news! There is finally room for a Conservative party in BC

Or I guess I could have titled this commentary after the Little Texas song, "It's Time To Be Loud and Proud"

Some might say (and indeed have done so) that it's, "Time to recruit Diane Watts as the leader of the BC Conservatives."  Well for starters, she probably isn't interested, but if she was I'd say, "Please ... NO ... the party does NOT need some one else's hand-me-down!"

Many would say that she has true conservative bona-fides, but then if that's the case, why is she a BC Liberal?   She ran as a BC Liberal leadership candidate. ... she lost as a BC LIBERAL leadership candidate ... and BC Conservatives should not even think of considering her.

I say that not simply because of what just happened on Saturday evening, on the fifth and final round of voting for the BC Liberal leadership, but rather, because of what happened six years ago.  

Sunday, February 4, 2018

When they are all gone and long forgotten, Barrett will still be remembered by many as a legend in this province and in Canada

Two giants in their own right. NDP leader Dave
Barrett being interviewed by Jack Webster

Rest In Peace Dave Barrett ... a personal reminiscence from the Sidewinder, Sandy Macdougall

I never voted for Barrett but he was a giant in BC politics, and his like will never again be seen in socialist ranks.  John Horgan, and his NDP colleagues, are panty waists compared to Barrett. When they are all gone and long forgotten, Barrett will still be remembered by many as a legend in this province and in Canada.

The first time I met Dave Barrett was when he picked me up as I was hitchhiking, from Mission to Haney, in the mid 1960s. Barrett was a Captain of the Guards at Haney Correctional Institute (a jail mainly for Young Offenders.  It later became Pacific Vocational Institute after the jail was closed)He was fired shortly thereafter for his political activities*

The John Howard Society then hired him (I also worked for them many years later), with the promise he would not campaign while he was on the job.  Following his election as Premier, he paid a visit to his buddies at the John Howard office. When asked how he managed to control his ego as the Premier, he responded, "That's easy. Everyday when I leave home for work, Shirley says, Goodbye, asshole."

I think Dave Barrett was the only MLA who ever had to be physically removed from the legislature (or some might say he was unceremoniously dragged by his feet from the chambers) for failure to apologize for comments he had made.  It was an infamous incident, and resulted in the defeat of John Parks, the Socred speaker who had ordered his removal. 

Parks replacement following the next election was John Cashore, the most decent NDP to ever hold a seat in the B.C. Legislature.

I met Barrett many times in subsequent years through politics. We obviously held diverse views, but he was a hell of a politician, and one of the most charismatic guys I ever heard speak.   

In my opinion, he will be remembered long after all of our current MLAs are dead and buried; and that could be a large part of why he was made an officer of the Order of Canada in 2005, and named a member of the Order of BC in 2012. 

* Wikipedia:
He had been fired from his job, by the provincial government in 1959, after it became known that he was running for a CCF nomination.  He had to fight for reinstatement, as at the time civil servants were barred from running for office

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Retired provincial court Judge Wallace Gilby Craig, "The Four Pillars have been reduced to a single toothpick"

This is an edited version, of a written submission, present by Sandy Macdougal (AKA The Sidewinder), at a January 31st, 2017 Public Meeting on homelessness.

In terms of sheltering the homeless, whether they are drug addicts, alcoholics, or mentally ill, I will state at the outset that doing nothing is not an option for our neighbourhood.  The status quo does an injustice to local residents and does nothing to improve the lot of the homeless.

I would also point out that this is not a matter of democracy. It is a matter of government at all levels carrying out their implied duties to maintain peace and good order in our community

The Four Pillars are supposed to include prevention, treatment, enforcement and harm reduction.  A vast array of supportive statistics usually accompany the promotion of these pillars but actual experience and observation by police and the judiciary show another side of the argument.

As stated by retired provincial court J, the Four Pillars have been reduced to a single toothpick, that being the safe injection sites.

Prior to his retirement, Judge Craig spent twenty-five years hearing cases in the provincial court facility at 312 Main Street, in the heart of Vancouver's skid road. He sat on hundreds, maybe even thousands, of drug cases.

“Proponents of the ideology of harm reduction – with their strident claims that reducing harm will bring drug addiction and related crime under control – are nothing more than self-serving propagandists,” Judge Craig stated in a column published in the North Shore News.

He continued that the mantra-like repetitive use of the words 'harm reduction' is intended to make truth out of their illusion that addiction is a manageable illness.

“It is cunning nonsense,” Judge Craig added.

Harm reduction has resulted in the promotion of unmanageable needle exchange programs, frequently unsafe injection sites and open-ended drug maintenance programs using methadone, Judge Craig added.

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian

Januray 31st at 8pm ... at Tweet from @RadioNLNews
#Kamloops mayor @ken_kchristian wants to see a rethink on the
number of free needles harm reduction staff are giving addicts, says
discarded needles creating health risk to the public.

Kamloops mayor wants fewer needles handed out to addicts


As people living near the mobile supervised injection site complain
about crime, an influx of drug dealers, and needles littering the
are the mayor of Kamloops says they have a point.

Ken Christian says mobile injection site staff are getting a little
too liberal when they are handing out supplies to addicts including
way too many needles.  Christian says addicts are then not being
careful when they are disposing their used needles.

“You know I get it. When you are addicted to opioids recycling
probably isn’t your biggest issue. Really what we are creating
now when we try to prevent blood borne disease among users
we are creating now a risk of blood borne disease among the
public. That is unfair and we have to rethink that.”

Christian says the city has a part to play in getting addicts on a road
to recovery including by helping where it can on the housing front.

In my own experience in Maple Ridge, the needle exchange program has resulted in the pollution of private and public property with discarded needles and used condoms, creating a public health risk at huge cost to the city and province.

Al Arsenault, a retired Vancouver City Police constable, told Judge Craig, “Needle exchange programs do not steer addicts away from drug use, nor, does the program serve to promote abstinence.

“Here's your needle, now don't do drugs, is a lousy way to persuade addicts to begin recovery."

Monday, January 29, 2018

THE OLD GUY said it best; "The public should not be required to subsidize any party, or individual candidate"

Very late Saturday evening ... well actually it was VERY EARLY Sunday morning, I decided to pen the piece, "He was right ... he still is ... and yet the BC Liberals choose to take this money anyway. I hope they choke on it".


It has generated several comments, sadly some come as personal only, and the individual writing them cannot be identified for reasons it could cause them problems.  Regardless, here is an interesting dialogue I've had over the past day and a half, with one of my acquaintances in BC politics

I'd share your outrage but in this case it's transitional to zero subsidies so in the big scheme of things it's not a major issue.  Lots of other issues are more important, like electing the Tory guy in Kelowna!

Sorry __ xyz __ but I have to strongly disagree.  They can spend their own money on whatever they want, but taxpayers should not have to subsidize the Liberals, NDP, and Greens.  And as I mentioned, what about anyone running as an independent?  Is it democratic that they be shut out from this money?  Transitional or not, it is not right.

You are of course welcome to your own opinions but also you should be aware that all political donations also are tax-deductible up to a certain level. (YES I knew, and was aware of, that)

BC Legislature in Victoria (image from BC Liberal caucus)
IMO it doesn't help BC Conservatives' electoral hopes for you to be ranting against electoral reform when most people want it regardless of the details of how it is done.

Choose your fights wisely and learn when to stay strategically quiet, IMO.

Now here is where it gets interesting ... apparently this individual was NOT AWARE of the amount taxpayers were dishing out thanks to the BC NDP government:

When I saw the cost numbers last night, in someone else's writing, I was shocked at the bite, so I'll walk back my position a bit.

The Liberals were grossly abusing the old system but the transition to a new one is iffy and now (Todd) Stone says he won't take the taxpayers money anyway if he wins so it's a mess.

Let me be clear, if you have not been aware of this previously