The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing -- Edmund Burke
Saturday, September 17, 2005
"THE number of children treated for mental disorders caused by smoking cannabis has quadrupled since the government downgraded the legal status of the drug, according to a leading drug charity.
Since April last year, three months after police stopped arresting anyone found in possession of small amounts of the drug, the overall number of users treated for such conditions rose 42%, according to data from Addaction.
But it is the figure for children that will cause the greatest alarm. Addaction treated 1,575 cannabis users for psychotic problems between April 2004 and April 2005, of whom 181 were aged 15 or below — a rise of 136 on the previous year. "
"That's not what's happening. Already, inadequate access to information legislation is under attack, Parliament remains unequal to its principal task of monitoring spending and, without strong whistleblower protection or a tough ethics watchdog, only the bravest bureaucrats speak truth to power.
It's depressingly easy to add to that list. Patronage appointments, Crown corporations without adult supervision and political influence over contracting all contributed to the sponsorship scandal and all survived what was sold as a watershed transition from Jean Chrétien to Martin.
No, it's business as usual here. Who you know in the PMO, Martin's scathing indictment of cronyism and the power of the Prime Minister's Office under Chrétien, is as important now as then, and the current prospects for more oversight, more accountability, remain as bleak as an Arctic winter.
What Pettigrew suggests and Liberals hope is that voters will accept another promise to do better. Come February, Justice John Gomery will make recommendations and Liberals will find the strength to break bad habits.
And pigs will soar."
"Senior officials in Louisiana's emergency planning agency already were awaiting trial over allegations stemming from a federal investigation into waste, mismanagement and missing funds when Hurricane Katrina struck.
And federal auditors are still trying to track as much as $60 million in unaccounted for funds that were funneled to the state from the Federal Emergency Management Agency dating back to 1998. . . .
The problems are particularly worrisome, federal officials said, because they involve the Louisiana Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the agency that will administer much of the billions in federal aid anticipated for victims of Katrina."
People have a right to live without fear where they reside-these announcements were long overdue, however there is a criminal element out there that
has no regard for any of society's rules and therefore should be separated from civil society for a long time.
Unfortunately politicians seem to coddle them and make excuses for not doing aything and drag their feet.In the Toronto area alone there are about 8000 gang members.Protecting its citizens is the first duty of a government, not buck passing.Even the takedown the other day hasn't put a dent into the problem as there were a number of shootings and murders shortly thereafter.Politicians keep tossing around the hot potato hoping the media will take it off the front pages.
Since the murders aren't enough to make them act, perhaps the fact that Toronto the Good is not as safe might make tourists think twice about coming here.The hoodlums don't care where they shoot people , whether it's at Yonge and Dundas or the Yorkdale subway, both major commercial areas.Throughout all of this summer's violence the federal politicians have been silent, as if all the violence is taking place in a foreign jurisdiction.Will the media folow the cases to report how many of the latest batch are back on the streets in short order and what the sentences are for gun crimes if they are eventually convicted?
Don't count on more cops-not only that but about 30% of the officers with lots of experience and expertise will be retiring leaving a major brain ....
drain.With criminals being more sophisticated and violent, we will be left with a significant number of officers that are rookies which will lead to mistakes beng made and the criticism of the press as surely as night follows day.This is a situation that was known years ago but like most things little was done to alleviate the problems until it was too late.
"Recent announcements by Mayor David Miller that he will hire 150 more police officers next year in response to the increase in gun crimes should bring little solace to the citizens of Toronto. If anyone thinks that there will be more police officers patrolling our streets next year, they are sadly mistaken.
There are approximately 1,500 officers eligible to retire over the next two years, so if half of them leave, the Toronto Police Service would be hard pressed to replace those leaving, let alone add additional officers to its strength. This is the result of very poor planning by the police services board, who refused to add additional strength to the service over the past two years.
Chief Bill Blair has wisely brought back the Community Action Police program that I had reintroduced twice during my term as chairman of the police services board. This allows for officers to be brought in on overtime for roughly four hours, three times a week, and patrol the areas where problems are occuring.
This program adds additional money to the police budget. However, this year it appears that funds are available to support this project because there have been so many retirements.
In the past, this program, over an 8-10-week period, resulted in 900-1,000 arrests, and took many criminals off the street before they caused serious problems.
Toronto Housing properties have been the scene of a great deal of the violence in the city. Surely the management, who have apparently reduced the number of their security personnel, need to increase their security and promote co-operation with the police.
This should include a limit on tolerance of tenants who are providing comfort and support to those engaged in criminal activities.
(Sadly, such sensible ideas are lacking these days on our police services board) "
Salim Mansur-The Canadian media had precious little to say about the oil for food program until the latest Report came out.Prior to that it there were
few stories stories about it.
"What we have learned this far is not surprising. Annan has presided over an administration in New York that seems to have conceived its task as that of a public relations front for dictators and serial violators of human rights, while squeezing the UN's principal donor, the United States taxpayers, with inflated rhetoric of global responsibility to eliminate poverty in an interdependent world."
"Using its Iraqi template, the wired media's one constant is not amazing human resilience but hyped gloom. Later corrections and downgrades seldom make the headlines like their past blaring inaccuracies.
For all the media efforts to turn the natural disaster of New Orleans into either a racist nightmare, a death knell for one or the other political parties or an indictment of American culture at large, it was none of that at all. What we endured instead were slick but poorly educated journalists, worried not about truth but about pre-empting their rivals with an ever more hysterical story, all in a fuzzy context of political correctness about race, the environment and the war.
Let ghoulish CNN file suit against the government to film all the bloated corpses it can find. Let a pontificating PBS "NewsHour" conduct more televised roundtables with grim-faced elites searching out purported national racism. But few any longer trust a frenzied media whose reporters and commentators continually prove as incompetent as they are disingenuous."
"The Connecticut Post, of all places, gives the best overview of the operation in a column by Peter Urban. He points out that a single chopper of the Louisiana National Guard, on Monday after the storm hit, pulled some 250 people to safety; there were 16 other 30- passenger Black Hawks in the unit that had been stripped of seating to fly similar rescue missions. If the other choppers only saved half as many people, that one unit alone pulled out 2000 people a day.
But the Louisiana Blackhawks weren't the only rescuers. The Coast Guard was flying as soon as the hurricane passed on Monday as well and had already accounted for several thousand victims by Wednesday.
The Air Force reported 1,300 rescues and some 14,000 "transported" by Sept. 4.
By Tuesday night, the Navy's USS Bataan amphibious assault ship -cited for its inaction by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman--in fact had five choppers flying rescue missions and had pulled out several hundred people.
But those weren't the only helicopters flying. Overall, 113 choppers were in operation around New Orleans by Sept. 1, according to The Armed Forces Press Service........."