Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Was at a secret covenant ceremony tonight... ok, it wasn't really a secret - but it felt a bit covert... and was really fun. Four warriors abandoning the world and all it's ways for the fullness of what God has for them in the Salvation Army.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Dan Rather doc on Downtown Eastside to air Tues.
Glenn Bohn, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, February 15, 2008
VANCOUVER -- A Safe Place to Shoot Up is the title of a Downtown Eastside documentary airing this Tuesday on Dan Rather Reports, a cable-TV news show hosted by one of the world's most respected television journalists.
Rather, the former anchor of CBS News, notes that the 7,000 drug injection users in Vancouver's poorest neighbourhood have a hepatitis C infection rate that's comparable to Botswana's.
He highlights the city's harm-reduction initiatives and takes his viewers into InSite, the nurse-supervised clinic near Main and Hastings where addicts are encouraged to inject illegal drugs without sharing needles, to slow the spread of deadly diseases like HIV/AIDS.
The city has "a landscape studded with snow-capped mountains, multimillion-dollar condos, cradling a downtown that's home to one of the worst urban blights in North America," the well-travelled Texan declares in the program.
Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan is introduced as "the first quadriplegic mayor of a major North American city."
"Nobody wants to be a drug addict," Sullivan tells Rather.
"I have talked to many people with drug addictions, and they all want to be healthy," says the mayor, who has confirmed that, before he was mayor, he bought heroin for a female prostitute and bought crack for a man and allowed the user to smoke the crack in Sullivan's van.
"They all want to be clean," the mayor says. "I tell you: I do not want to be a quadriplegic. I would do anything to stand up, but that's not gonna happen. That's not my life. So, I need help managing my disability, just like those people with drug addictions need help managing their disability."
Rather also explores the question of whether the city's highly visible drug problem in the Downtown Eastside will remain unchanged before the start of the 2010 Winter Olympics, now just two years away.
Rather notes that a former Liberal federal government allowed InSite to open in 2004, but that the current Conservative government is threatening to close it because Conservatives believe the clinic encourages drug use.
"For now, the federal government in Ottawa has granted InSite a stay until July, but they refuse to speak to us about their official stance on the project," Rather says.
"So, Vancouver has its work cut out for it over the next two years as it prepares to host the 2010 Winter Olympics, and the clock is running," he concludes.
"But unlike host cities of the past, which have swept their derelict residents to the edge of town, away from the limelight, Vancouver is trying to address its urban ills with a different cure that they call a harm-reduction approach, which allows addicts and prostitutes to take control of their own problems."
Sullivan tells Rather the standard response to those kinds of social problems is to put unwanted people on buses and take them away.
"I'm absolutely committed that won't be Vancouver's response," vows Sullivan, who is seeking re-election this fall.A Safe Place To Shoot Up premieres on HDNet - a digital cable channel - this Tuesday, at 8 p.m.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
Apology to the Stolen Generations a step towards restoration
(from the Australian Christian Lobby)
Since taking office, the new Government has been working on an apology to the Stolen Generations. There has been an encouraging development this week as the Liberal Party, under Brendan Nelson's leadership, has decided to support the apology. Such bi-partisan support is very significant.
Please contact your Federal MP and Senators and thank them for supporting this historic apology to the Stolen Generations. The apology is due to be made on February 13 as one of the first acts of the new Parliament.
Under the policies which led to the Stolen Generations, large numbers of mixed race children were systematically removed from their families between 1910 and 1970. ACL believe it is right for our national leaders to say sorry for the dislocation, sadness and family breakdown that these policies caused to indigenous families and communities, the effects of which are still being felt today.The wording of the apology is not yet known. ACL hopes that it avoids excuses, is specific about the attitudes and actions that caused harm, acknowledges the pain caused as a result, and seeks restoration of the relationship. At the same time it should not shift blame or guilt to those well-intentioned agencies and individuals who participated in a genuine belief that they were acting in the interests of the children.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I was at an anti-gambling form today.
Really well organized and inspiring.. the City of Bendigo is trying to fight against more pokie machines being forced into their community... why?
1. it exploits the poor (the gaming organizers know that the economically challenged are most likely to be caught in the trap of easy and quick cash).
2. it's like poison.. gambling itself is addictive... its not just SOME people with a problem... the product of gambling is unsafe and uncontrolled - by nature it's destructive
3. it creates a normalizing function on society - where people start thinking it's completely normal for parents to spend their extra cash on the false hope of a quick buck - WHEN it's NOT!
4. a community or a society could never repay the debt that gambling creates... in communties... the cost to families and society is much higher than a simply economic chart... but even in simple economic terms... gaming takes revenue for community development out of communities!!
I'm calling on all governments everywhere to look at gambling critically. Its a short-term, lie based cash cow that wants to rob people of dignity and society of compassion. Time for some creative, colourful option of re-distribution and develpment funds that aren't taking much needed from the poor!
This was the decision of a great group of people in bendigo (including the mayor's desire)... and I pray it will be the decision of wise and responsible people everywhere! Get involved.