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Sep 15, 2014

Contents

“Treating poverty works like medicine” Dr. Gary Bloch
“Treating poverty works like medicine” Dr. Gary Bloch
                                                                                    Interview by Sean Condon (Megaphone)
  Dr. Gary Bloch is a doctor who prescribes tax returns, welfare payments &government subsidies. A native of Vancouver and a family physician in Toronto’s inner city, Bloch struggled for many years to find solutions for the poor health of his low-income patients. But after repeatedly listening to his patients tell him how their poverty was the barrier, he decided to start helping them fill out government subsidy forms.
  Almost immediately after starting to help them claim income assistance (IA)  benefits, Bloch saw a positive impact on his patients’ health. Now he’s advocating that health practitioners across Canada help impoverished patients increase their income by helping them claim I.A. benefits they are entitled to but may not be receiving.
 It seems obvious that having more money can translate to a healthier lifestyle. But in the world of public health, it’s taking time for the idea to take hold, particularly as it pertains to dealing with low-income communities. It’s not technically a doctor’s job, after all, to assist someone in filling out an application for disability assistance. The more Bloch speaks publicly about his findings, however, the more doctors realize how important income is to the overall health of their patients, and especially how poverty impacts health.
  As British Columbia continues to face the highest poverty rates for both children and adults in the country, Bloch’s message has never been more pertinent. A family physician with St. Michael’s Hospital and chair of the Ontario College of Family Physicians’ Committee on Poverty and Health, Bloch recently shared his perspectives
with Megaphone.
Megaphone: Why did you decide to treat poverty as a disease?
Gary Bloch: Throughout my career, I have worked predominantly with people who live in poverty, and I have seen, over and over again, the kind of health conditions that affect people who live in poverty. It became obvious, quite quickly, that the traditional medical approach was not enough, such as counselling about good diet or prescribing the recommended drugs. It just didn’t seem to cut it.
  People didn’t seem to get better, people didn’t seem to believe they were going to get better, and people knew that [simply eating more nutritious food or taking new medication] wasn’t the right intervention for them. It felt like something was missing. It pushed me to think beyond what the traditional medical approach taught me to do and the most obvious piece that jumped out at me, and it didn’t take a brain surgeon to figure this out, was the impact of people’s poverty.
  That is where traditional medical thinking started to be challenged. There is something about poverty itself that causes people to be sick—some combination of living in extreme stress and the impact that has on peoples’ body systems and hormone levels. There are even changes in the way peoples’ genes are constructed that they can pass on to future generations.  This is where I started to think, this is how health practitioners need to think about this: as an illness, as a disease in itself. Something we should be treating directly if we really want to see our low-income patients’ health improve.

MP: How does the stress related to poverty affect peoples’ health?  
GB: I tend to see people in my office with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, different cancers, as well as acute health conditions. People come in with those conditions in a more severe state by the time they come and see me, and they come in younger.
  The fact that I have seen it over and over again shows that there is something going on there, and it presses me to say, “What can we do? How can we as doctors start to treat this, beyond just putting band-aids on these problems?” And that’s obviously where we start to talk about moving upstream, about finding the root cause of these
conditions, and again poverty keeps pushing its head up.
MP: British Columbia has the highest child poverty rate in Canada, at 18.6 per cent. Research has shown that
poverty has a particularly strong impact on young peoples’ health. What are you seeing?
 GB:  When you look at the evidence around poverty in kids, it brings an increased sense of urgency about how to deal with poverty as a health issue. Kids who are poor tend to have a higher prevalence of asthma, tend to get sick more often, tend to miss school more often because of illness, and tend to have higher instances of behavioural issues.
  Research has shown that kids who grew up in poverty show an increased prevalence of heart disease later in life. Just the fact of having grown up in poverty put them in that risk, and decades later, whether they still live in poverty or not, they still felt the health impacts of having grown up in poverty. That is pretty scary stuff when it
comes to dealing with childhood poverty, and definitely raises a sense of urgency.
MP:  You prescribe income to deal with these health impacts. What does that look like at your clinic?
GB: Once we accept that poverty is a disease we need to figure out what the treatment is, and the most obvious
treatment to me is looking at increasing peoples’ income.
  One piece is just to get patients to fill out their tax return, because the impact of that can be huge. We’ve seen people gain thousands of dollars a year in benefits just by accessing those basic benefits available through the tax program. Many people in poverty don’t fill out those tax returns because they figure, “I’m not paying tax returns, so what’s the point?”
 Another piece is knowing the high impact benefit programs, such as child benefits and disability benefits. When you sit down with someone and piece together their history, it opens up doors like you wouldn’t believe and can lead to thousands of dollars in increased benefits.
  For someone to go from basic welfare supports onto disability supports is almost a doubling of income, &that process is wholly dependent on a healthcare provider doing a good job on filling out an application. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about in terms of prescribing income—and I’ve got to say there is very little that is more satisfying about my job then helping someone double their income. I see the benefits immediately.
  When people go from programs like welfare to disability, which doubles their income, I see them come back & their mood is better, they look brighter, their stress levels are down, they are eating better, they are taking care of themselves better, and their general sense of well-being improves and it happens almost overnight, within a couple of months of being on that increased income.
  The most advanced idea of prescribing income is at my practice at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. We have now hired someone specifically to help low-income patients increase their income, an income security specialist. This is not something you see generally in health settings, but this is a Ministry of Health funded position, and very explicitly its goal is to help improve income. We are studying this, so hopefully the research will come out and we will see what kind of impact it has, and if it works then perhaps this kind of thing will start to spread beyond where we are now.
MP: Are you seeing other physicians pick this up?
GB: There has been a really strong response in the physician community, and we are in an upswing stage right now. Every doctor hears their patients’ stories about what it means to live in poverty and knows that poverty affects health. What everyone doesn’t necessarily accept is whether or not it is a physician’s role to deal with that poverty and that’s the piece we are pushing. Part of the reason that physicians don’t assist with poverty is because they don’t know what to do with it, so what we are offering is a set of very easy-to-implement tools, and that’s where we start to see physicians and other health providers respond.
  I think this is a sign that this is etching towards the mainstream. Are we quite there yet? No, but we are on our way. Proving there is a health impact is not an easy thing to do. We look at things like our income security specialist and ask, ‘Is there a difference in income outcomes and health outcomes to patients who have access to these types of physicians, and those similar patients that don’t?’ I think that type of evidence, if it shows a positive impact, will really start to push this agenda farther in the medical community.
MP: You have been consistent in saying that these clinics are necessary, but there also needs to be a change in government policy to effectively address poverty. How can you mobilize doctors to challenge governments to make these changes?
GB: I’ve always been explicit about the fact that I don’t think physicians prescribing income is the answer to poverty. I think it helps those individual patients, which is wonderful: it helps the patient/physician relationships, and in a small way improves health in those settings. But the bigger statement it makes to physicians is that poverty is something that should be on our plate, and this is an issue we should be advocating.
  My hope is that physicians will move towards pushing for the higher levels of governmental changes that we truly need to deal with poverty. Poverty is a structural issue, it’s a societal issue, and it’s something that needs to be dealt with big-level programs and big-level changes. What we have seen with other big issues that were once considered social and were then taken on by the medical community—smoking is a big one—is that having doctors and other health providers push them has a huge impact. I hope the healthcare community will treat poverty in that way, and I would like to see doctors speaking with government, speaking with policymakers, and collaborating with anti-poverty advocacy groups from all different sectors.
  I hope that the more this is accepted in mainstream medicine, the more we will see physicians speaking up about these issues in a very strong way. I think that that will have an impact.
  You know, for whatever reason, when doctors speak, people, society, and governments seem to listen.


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HOPE IN SHADOWS VENDOR TRAINING

HOPE IN SHADOWS VENDOR TRAINING  (Required for both experienced vendors and those new.)

  I hope you’ve had a great summer and are excited about the upcoming training & Hope In Shadows season.  
  We’re very excited to unveil the calendar & get the sales season started. We’re planning to launch on October 1st!
 As a returning vendor you are invited to specific training sessions in September that are designed with your experience in mind.
  To get the most from Hope In Shadows training please make time in your schedule to attend one of the following:

September (for experienced vendors)                                   
Wednesday, September 24 @ 3 PM                                        
Friday, September 26 @ 1 PM                                                
Friday September 26 @ 3 PM                                                   
Monday, September 29 @ 1 PM                                             
Tuesday, September 30 @ 10 AM

October (For both old & new)
Thursday, Oct 2 @1 PM
Thursday, Oct 2 @ 3 PM
Friday, Oct 3 @ 1 PM
Friday, October 3 @ 3 PM
Monday, Oct 6 @ 1 PM
Monday, Oct 6 @ 3 PM
Wednesday, Oct 8 @ 10 AM                                       
Wednesday, Oct 8 @ 3 PM
Thursday, Oct 9 @ 10 AM
Wednesday, Oct 15 @ 10 AM
Friday, Oct 17 @ 1 PM
Monday, Oct 20 @ 1 PM
Tuesday, Oct 21 @ 10 AM                                                      Monday, Oct 27 @ 1 PM

        All trainings will be held at the Hope In Shadows and Megaphone office: 121 Heatley.
 To secure your spot at a training session please call us at the office: 604-255-9701 ext.  136, email misha@megaphonemagazine.com or come in and RSVP.
  If you come for a training session that you have not registered for you may be turned away if it is full.
   We look forward to the training and can’t wait to have you hit the streets with this year’s Hope In Shadows Calendar!

                            Carolyn Wong - Hope in      Shadows             


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THE GREAT BETRAYAL – THE COST OF RESPECTABILITY

THE GREAT BETRAYAL – THE COST OF RESPECTABILITY

  With the end of the Chinese Exclusion Act, new beginnings arose for the formerly despised Chinese. The tainted baggage of mixed race association would be replaced with the wholesome identity of racial uniqueness.
  The intent of the Exclusion Act was to reduce the numbers of Chinese in the population. To this end, every means was directed against the source of potential births--Canadian-born women who befriended Chinese men. Drastic policies were implemented. The federal government designated the provinces to carry out their racist policies; white women were not permitted to work in Chinese restaurants. In British Columbia Indian women were included.
  The Chinese Exclusion Act reinforced the 1914 marriage to aliens law. A woman who married a Chinese man lost her citizenship—she couldn’t vote or hold a government position; if she left the country she couldn’t get back in. Some officials refused to issue a marriage license.
  Police would spy through the barely closed blinds of the window of a Chinese house where white women could be seen. It would be raided and declared a bawdy house (brothel). The RCMP would declare such establishment an opium den. The women would be arrested as “found ins” and charged as prostitutes.
  Ground in the dust of infamy is the mercenary whore who preyed on discarded men without sexual partners.  It became the folklore that persists to the present day. The assault has been so profound that women have not raised their voices to protest the violation of their character and unjust imprisonment.
                                                                                                                                            By Velma Demerson

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Flamenco Dance Workshops

     Flamenco Dance Workshops at
       Carnegie Community Centre!
           Saturdays Sept. 20 to Oct. 25
                            2 – 5 pm
                          (except Sept. 27, 3 – 6 pm)
                   In Carnegie Theatre

This workshop is part of an ongoing series of Flamenco, which is an exciting and fiery form of dance and music from Southern Spain. At these classes, expect to hear new kinds of music and learn percussive hand clapping (palmas).  We will have occasional guest guitarists and singers join us as we explore this expressive art form.
Get ready to shout 'Ole!'
Kelty has enjoyed sharing her love of flamenco with the Carnegie community for the last three years. She was a flamenco dancing Minotaur in Vancouver Moving Theatre's 2010 production of The Minotaur Dreams: The Downtown Eastside Labyrinth Project. She is involved with the Heart of the City Festival, organizing the Barrio Flamenco concert series celebrating the power of artists and artisans in the Downtown Eastside.

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CARNEGIE LEARNING CENTRE
 CARNEGIE LEARNING CENTRE

   THURSDAY, OCTOBER 2ND
        FROM 11 AM – 1 PM


COME AND CHECK OUT ALL THE GREAT
                THINGS WE OFFER
          IN THE LEARNING CENTRE:
1-ON-1 TUTORING IN ENGLISH & MATH
ESL;  ASL;     COMPUTER INSTRUCTION;
CRAFTS, GAMES, POETRY, STORYTELLING
                  AND  MUCH MORE


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From the Library

From the Library

  On Saturday, September 27th Bruno Vernier has been invited to present a workshop at the Carnegie Theatre called “Community Currencies” from 1pm – 2:30pm.  Vernier has been studying currencies worldwide, including conversations with Bernard Lietaer (originator of the Euro).  Vernier will discuss what makes community currencies like social credit, crypto-currencies like bitcoin and gift economies like potlaches different from legal tender and from each other, and what to anticipate in the future for daily living.    – Your Carnegie Librarian, Natalie

 To read up on the topic of currencies and economics, we have here at Carnegie:
Canadian Coins – Charlton Standard Catalogue (2013, 2014 Reference) – 737.05C48c
A concise guide with details of design, composition, weight, size and edging for Canadian coins from the 1800s to the present.

Fight Back: 81 ways to help you save money and protect yourself from corporate trickery (2013) by Ellen Roseman – 332.024 R81f
Roseman is considered Canada’s leading consumer advocate, and she has compiled 81 tips from her advice column and blog for people to better deal with banks, avoid fraud, and be savvy.
Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything (2005) by Levitt & Dubner – 330.01 L66f
This New York Times “politically incorrect” bestseller involves storytelling and fact to reveal deceit, secrets, and myth within western culture and economy, from cheating schoolteachers to manipulative real estate agents.
Occupy Money: Creating an economy where everybody wins (2012) by Margrit Kennedy – 332.4 K36o
In a time where interest and inflation has caused our monetary system to result in bail outs and breakdown, Kennedy believes that there needs to be a return to a grassroots movement.  The book intends to offer clear language that will serve people, instead of people serving money.  Kennedy is noted as an outspoken
critic of the current economic system.
                                   

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The New Cold War: Part One

         The New Cold War: Part One

     In the last few months, one newscast after another has attacked Russia and its steely president, Vladimir Putin. "This is the new Cold War," a man I know says. "it's just like old times." So let's look back for a moment at those old times.
     The first Cold War started in about 1947. It pitted the United States of America against the then-communist ruled Soviet Union. These two countries were then the most powerful nations in the world. They were allies in World war II that just ended in 1945. Helped by other countries like Great Britain, Canada, India and Australia, the U.S. of A. and the Soviet Union had defeated, in the world war just ended, Nazi Germany, militaristic Japan and fascist Italy.
    Yet soon afterwards, the U.S. and the Soviets were at loggerheads. "An Iron Curtain has fallen across Europe," said the former British and World War Two Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The Iron Curtain Churchill said lies "from Stettin on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic." This communist-imposed Iron Curtain, Churchill claimed, must be rolled back.
     So the first Cold War began. The U.S. of A. led the western allies in this war. The U.S. president Harry Truman brought back the military draft for young men. The U.S. planted 750 military bases around the world. Now its army swelled again to 1.3 million soldiers. And for the next 44 years or so, wars erupted in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.
   Nearly all these terrible conflicts involved U.S. troops or armies of America's allies fighting Soviet allies. Even when the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin died in 1953, the Cold war just rolled on.
   Yet then in 1991 it was over. The Soviet Union splintered into 14 separate republics, the biggest of which was Russia. Right next door to Russia was the Ukraine which had Ukrainian-speaking people in its western regions & Russian-speakers in eastern parts.
    Then there were the six counties which had been Soviet allies and Soviet dominated since 1945. These six that included East Germany, Poland and Hungary were now supposedly free. Meanwhile American pundits and leaders celebrated. "We won the Cold War," they said over and over again. "Socialism and the Soviet Union are history." The Cold War is over, others proclaimed. But it wasn't.
     As said before, when the Cold War ended in 1991, Soviet troops marched out of East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. "Free, free at last," African American leader Martin Luther King Junior predicted for his people at the great civil rights march in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Citizens of the six formerly Soviet ruled countries may have felt the same in 1991.
     Yet soon most of these countries slid into the American or now-reunited German orbit. Hungary, Poland and a few others joined NATO or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Economic Union. Soon nuclear missiles, supplied by the U.S., popped up in many of these countries. All the missiles were aimed at Russia. This fact broke the promises that the U.S. government had made to Russia after 1991.
     In the republics that had once been part of the Soviet Union, America flexed its muscles here too. The small now-countries of Latvia and Georgia moved into the U.S. orbit. Soon fighting broke out in Georgia between Georgian and Russian troop. Many of the former republics became total U.S. allies. Yet the Ukraine did not.    So after 1991, elections either put a Ukrainian speaking president in power or a Russian speaking president. The Ukrainian speakers looked to Europe and favoured bringing the Ukraine into the European union. The Russian speaking presidents wanted to form an alliance with Russia.
    Meanwhile the U.S. poured millions of dollars into the Ukraine through its National Endowment for Democracy, or the NED. "This allows us to do legally what the CIA did illegally," said U.S. senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan in effect in 1986 when the U.S. government set up the NED. Funds from the NED helped form pro-European groups inside the Ukraine. Yer Russia in 2000 now had a tough new president in power, namely Vladimir Putin. And unlike his hapless predecessor, Boris Yeltsin, Putin was tired of the U.S. planting missiles all around his country, and interfering in the Ukraine. This former KGB agent lamented the collapse of the Soviet Union and wanted Russia to flex its military muscles too. He started to rebuild his country but along dictatorial lines.
     "Putin restored order inside Russia,' one Ukrainian told this author. "But not law and order."
    Soon the stage was set for a big power clash in the Ukraine. The new Cold war was about to begin. Yet not all the blame for this can be put on Russia's shoulders.

                                                     By Dave Jaffe

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Town Hall Meeting on Mental Health:

Town Hall Meeting on Mental Health:
The Task Force Report: There & not there(!)

  In 2013 Vancouver's mayor & the chief of police announced the formation of a Mental Health Task Force. It had good PR: “needed to address multiple levels of the marginalised population; included professionals, experts in health & law & order, social workers, service providers and even mental health consumers. The first meeting had about 40 of such people but weighted perhaps 8 to1 in favour of those with 'economic stakeholder' figuring in.  More on this point as this article proceeds.
  From the perspective of all being paid to be part of this task force the models & initiatives centred on setting up differing streams of care, most along the prevailing, well-intended medical paradigm with isolation, delegating authority to bring the individuals categorised as Seriously Addicted & Mentally Ill (SAMI) into the system in a more direct, streamlined way and aggressive care teams to make it all work
  Now, what all this actually means is: Police are assumed to be capable of deciding if you are behaving in a manner that indicates a mental health problem. If you disagree with their reason for stopping and/or questioning you about anything.. if you appear upset or aggressive or overly anxious/nervous, or are pro-testing any tactic used against what you perceive to be your best interests by, say, a landlord or anyone part of the new 'gentry' (i.e. As in gentrification!) the police can apprehend you under Section 28 of some Mental Health Act. They can take you to a newly renovated section of St Paul's Hospital Emergency and have you kept for 48 hours as a mentally disordered person, dangerous to yourself or to others. There are now nine emergency psychiatric beds open in a forensic ward, meaning you can't leave if you've been admitted. Any interviews with psychiatrists (& maybe doctors & social workers too) are mandated to include a cop in the room at all times. Ostensibly this is all part of a new regimen to get your needs assessed and set up with supports - like having a nurse visit  daily after discharge to inject you with doctor or court-ordered psychiatric drugs, to provide whatever treatment the professionals deem relevent.
  Step back now. Consider why this is happening: #1 reason for most of outside solutions imposed or brought to bear is the desire of those with vested interests. The members of the Downtown Eastside community are regarded as undesirable by the newly resident gentry. We cannot be met head-on with mass arrests or swept up through a military-style clearing-manoeveur. We cannot all be killed; we cannot all be evicted or made homeless and we cannot be shut up.
  Herb Varley related the strategy here as akin to that shown in the Art of War by Sun Tzu, where trying to defeat an enemy directly with a first&final blow isn't advisable. The tactic is to then 'cut at the corners.' In the models contained in the Task Force Report, the response to the new gentry's dissatisfaction with their neighbours & people met in daily life is to give power to the police & all those involved with dealing with us to brand us as crazy & force enough dope/medication on us to keep the most or even moderately egregious docile and out of sight. To scatter all the mentally ill, whether rightly or wrongly labeled as such, throughout the city, to take away any feeling of community and destroy any cohesiveness we have amongst ourselves, with friends, places that are part of home and things that daily life offers in our home.
  How extreme is this.. how paranoid or off-the-wall?
  Consider what is not being done. First & foremost, how can there be such an aggressive & well-funded approach to a “mental health crisis” declared openly to the world, & not a word about the Housing Crisis?!
How, in all these models, treatment options etc and especially in all the recommendations contained in the Task Force Report, can any result be deemed working when those on the receiving end have no safe, decent, affordable domicile. Why are not the causes of mental illness and severe, serious addiction not at the root of all (or any) suggested response.
 Victoria Morning Bull spoke of the ever-present impacts of colonialisation, residential schools, family dys function leading to alcoholism, addiction, mental illness and more. Treating the symptoms of this without dealing with the societal disparities is just pissing in the wind.
  Phoenix Winter spoke knowingly, her perspective a result of going through the system as one marginalised. She spoke of how having to use shelters or get assistance now requires you to divulge private medical or addiction history, to answer intrusive and irrelevant questions that are an affront to your dignity. On the surface such are preferred in terms of 'need to know' but the data are made part of records put to uses having nothing to do with the sought support.
  Ann Livingston condensed “a 2-hour presentation to 10 minutes” when showing what the words & actions of all the departments of the “Aggressive Care Team” approach look/sound like when viewed objectively without the cheerleading of the cops & shrinks and gentry.
  Jean Swanson spoke briefly about the real crisis in housing, not to divulge the secret no one knew but to give a bit of light. Decent, safe, affordable housing, places with a bathroom & maybe a kitchen, social & filling the needs of low-income people on welfare and pensions.
  Harold Robbins spoke of the mental impact of living without the means to get through yesterday; psycho-logical disparities and self-deprecation adding to the stress of being legislated to perpetual poverty.
  Karen Ward, hosting with Herb, made an excellent assessment of all the vested interests & 'stakeholding solvers' in saying that everyone, including severely addicted & mentally ill targets, need friends, good income & housing... understandable without conducting studies, surveys, getting grants, writing reports or setting up Task Forces. Address causes & solutions'll be simple.

                            By PAULR  TAYLOR
P.S. The Mental Health Task Force Report is going to City Council on Wednesday September 17. Contact the Carnegie Action Project at 604-665-2105 to get your name in to speak to Council and/or a ride there.


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World Leaders Call for Widespread Decriminalization
Citing Failed War on Drugs, World Leaders Call for Widespread Decriminalization
Global commission condemns "harsh measures grounded in repressive ideologies"
                                                                                                        By Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams staff writer
  In the face of a failed War on Drugs, a global commission composed mostly of former world leaders recommended on Tuesday that governments decriminalize and regulate the use of currently illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and psychedelics.
  "The international drug regime is broken," reads the report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy, whose members include former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan; former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz; former justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and former high commissioner for human rights at the UN Louise Arbour; and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, as well as the former presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Portugal.  "[O]verwhelming evidence points to not just the failure of the regime to attain its stated goals but also the horrific unintended consequences of punitive and prohibitionist laws and policies."
   Punitive drug law enforcement has done nothing to decrease global drug use, the Commission says in "Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work" (pdf). Instead, such policies have fueled crime, maximized health risks, undermined human rights, and fostered discrimination — all while wasting tens of billions of dollars.
In place of these "harsh measures grounded in repressive ideologies," the commission recommends that world governments:
1. Shift their focus from enforcement to prevention and harm reduction;
2. Ensure equitable and affordable access to "essential medicines" like opiate-based pain medications;
3. Stop criminalizing people for drug use and possession;
4. Rely on alternatives to incarceration for non-violent, low-level participants in illicit drug markets such as farmers and couriers;
5. Look for alternatives to militarized anti-drug efforts when going after organized crime groups;
6. "Allow and encourage diverse experiments in legally regulating markets in currently illicit drugs, beginning with but not limited to cannabis, coca leaf and certain novel psychoactive substances;"
7. Use the upcoming major review of drug policies by the UN General Assembly, scheduled for 2016, as an opportunity to open debate on true reform.
   Implementing such reforms "is necessary because global drug prohibition, the dominant paradigm in the last 40 years, has not only failed in achieving its original stated objectives, which was to reduce drug consumption and improve health worldwide, but it has, in fact, generated a lot of harm, including an AIDS and hepatitis epidemic among people who use drugs and social violence and infiltration of democracies with narco-traffickers and the birth of a few narco-states in the world," commission member Michel Kazatchkine, UN Secretary General Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS Eastern Europe & Central Asia, said in an interview with The World Today's Eleanor Hall.
He continued:
 “We're promoting a model similar to let's say what exists with tobacco. That is, put government in control: in control of who produces the drug, of the quality of the drug, on how and where it is sold, to whom it is sold — for example, forbid it to people less than let's say 18 years old or whatever.  Take back control of that market and therefore reduce, not only the violence, but also reduce the health and social harms that the current international regime has generated.
  Experts called the report groundbreaking. In a statement, Drug Policy Alliance Executive Director Ethan Nadelmann said, “The import of the Commission’s report lies in both the distinction of its members and the boldness of their recommendations. The former presidents and other Commission members pull no punches in insisting that national and global drug control policies reject the failed prohibitionist policies of the 20th century in favor of new policies grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. There’s no question now that the genie of reform has escaped the prohibitionist bottle."
   In its report, the Commission acknowledges that reshaping the global discussion on drugs will be a challenge:
The obstacles to drug policy reform are both daunting and diverse. Powerful and established drug control bureaucracies, both national and international, staunchly defend status quo policies. They seldom question whether their involvement and tactics in enforcing drug policy are doing more harm than good. Meanwhile, there is often a tendency to sensationalize each new “drug scare” in the media. And politicians regularly subscribe to the appealing rhetoric of “zero tolerance” and creating “drug free” societies rather than pursuing an informed approach based on evidence of what works. Popular associations of illicit drugs with ethnic and racial minorities stir fear and inspire harsh legislation. And enlightened reform advocates are routinely attacked as “soft on crime” or even “pro-drug.”
But the 2016 UN General Assembly Special Session — and the time between now and then — is seen as an opportunity to overthrow that status quo. Several Latin American leaders, including Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos and Guatemala's Otto Perez Molina, have already called for a paradigm shift on international drug policy.
"2016 will be the beginning of years, perhaps decades, of debate on new drug conventions," Arbour said at the New York press conference marking the report's release. The conversation was already beginning on Tuesday, under the Twitter hashtag #ControlDrugs.


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THE RULER OF THUMBS & OFFTIMEing
THE RULER OF THUMBS & OFFTIMEing
Like walking your dead dogs on a fine winter’s day you notice you’re dragging not walking them people getting very out of the way soon Institution Blue will become the colour you hate the most, like a well-paid athlete punching his girlfriend in the head his suspension span will not equal the crime his attention span will go missing overtime now married the next beating will be shown coast to coast, like a ventriloquist with rage lodged in his throat will quietly go home wash up grab some hope it’s time to shut his partner up again, thank the sewers are free of spousal abuse but inside cars & houses slaps & shoves & so many ways to make a noose when you married didn’t you agree to depend & defend? As if beating the darkness wasn’t enough for you is it the Ruler of Thumbs who provides the tools to destroy so many groups of two..
When you’re lucky enough to find a soul-mate you think ‘what could go wrong’ wil evil violent selfish & corrupt people ever cease to exist other life forms in other solar systems watch the Earth channel It’s a Number One program “not to be missed” I might not be the brightest light but I know abuse is bad/love is good the Thumb people have known all along like using a Me & Alic closed for business calling cards smash some windows bring home the prettiest shard don’t hide your pain it just turns into grief eventually, like the next generation not knowing book of matches from the Bible book of Numbers in a couple decades will anyone/thing change? I truly wonder if we’re already in hell be damned all you stormsellers & affliction finders & thuglite selfishists what could go wrong other than everything & this really being our hell for all eternity.
                                   By ROBERT McGILLIVRAY
PS: A couple hundred years ago give or take a man could beat his wife with strap or belt but its width couldn’t be wider than the width of his thumb. Now you know the rule of thumb! It’s scary these things are still done…

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5 NUMBERS ABOUT THE CHILD CARE CRISIS IN VANCOUVER

5 NUMBERS ABOUT THE CHILD CARE
CRISIS IN VANCOUVER

- Here are five numbers you need to know about the child care situation in Vancouver:

$1063 per month
The average cost of childcare for toddlers in Vancouver according to the West Coast Family Information and Referral Fee Survey for licensed child care. The rates can go as high as $1750 per month.

3 years
The wait time for child care services at UBC for toddlers between 12 months and 2.5 years old. Essentially, parents would have to apply for a spot before they become pregnant.

21 years
The number of years the Liberal Party of Canada has been talking about a national child care plan - for 13 of those years, the Liberals were in Government and didn't act.

15,000 children
The number by which BC's child population is expected to grow between 2013-2016, according to the Coalition of Child Care Advocates BC.

9+ years
The number of years some parents and grandparents have to wait in order to be reunited with their families here in Canada - during which time many of them could have helped their families with childcare.

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COME OUT AND BE A PART

COME OUT AND BE A PART OF AN EXCITING NEW FEATURE THIS YEAR IN

THE HEART OF THE CITY FESTIVAL 2014
A MYSTERY PLAY

“WHO STOLE THE SPIRIT OF THE CARNEGIE”
AN ORIGINAL PRODUCTION by “no mercy productions”
We’re looking for aspiring playwrites, actors and musicians who want to explore their theatrical talents.
All workshops to be held on Friday afternoons.
Playwriting workshops:
Friday, September 19th   classroom 2 (3rd floor)   2 -4 pm
Friday, September 26th seminar room(3rd floor) 2 – 4 pm
Friday, October 3rd  classroom 2 (3rd floor)  2 – 4 pm
Rehearsals:
Friday, October 17th   Carnegie Theatre  4 – 6 pm
Friday, October 24th   Carnegie Theatre  2 – 4 pm
Dress rehearsal:
Friday, October 31st classroom 2 (3rd floor) 2 – 4 pm

Performance:Friday, November 7th  2 – 4 pm, in the theatre
For more information call Adrienne @ 604-569-4310
adriennegmac@hotmail.com

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Fossil Fuel Blues – To our Great Grandchildren

Fossil Fuel Blues –
To our Great Grandchildren

I got the fossil fuel blues,
My gauge is just above E.
And the radiators boiling,
But there’s no water ‘cept blue.

I took a walk outside,
Left my fam’ly back home,
Just to find a muddy puddle
That we could boil.

I got the fossil fuel blues,
But Shell and Exon are closed
And there’s a dust storm coming
Not more than half mile away.

I took a walk downtown,
All the stores were closed.
So I walked down to the shoreline
Where the river used to be.

I got the fossil fuel blues.
Where did all the water go?
Oh, if I just only once knew
What I know now.

I took a walk tonight
Just a-looking for the moon,
But the dark was black as coal
With the fossil fuel blues.

                           glg  2014





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Consequences

Consequences.

Thirty four years and more, I carried the load.  Never wanting to complain bitch or scold.
A week before his birth I put out my hand, to protect him from a vicious kick.
My hand was injured so for weeks.   But he was saved from a premature end.  
 I loved him dearly and for 11 months nursed him to my breast.   
 Always giving him what he needed and wanted and demanded.   All his life it was the law.
Occasionally asking of him some small favor.   Always getting the negative in return.
Will you help me with this or that.   No I don’t want to he would cry out.   Never once thinking that others have needs that need
to be met.   Always selfish and me me me. Oh so negative he loved to be.  
 To keep the peace he got his way.   To punish a child is have them taken away.    
 I was a wage slave, but never in my days of provider, did I have him go without.   Most important he never knew want.   
 I looked ahead all the time.   Turning a dollar from a dime.   
How could I meet his needs in the future?    Hockey, toys, games, travel, summer camps education, he had to have them all.   And every month I set aside for him no matter how my income was large or small or none at all.   
 For leaving him with not enough was not an option at all, being a good parent I sacrificed all.   
 Month by month his savings grew, money that would see him through any school.   He graduated from high school and could not wait to have a ball.   Going to any school was not for him the following fall.   The money I had saved was lost, yes all, because a good time in Toronto was to be had that fall.   So the savings went for the education and future.   But to suggest they
be spent as earmarked would have made him bawl.   His tantrums are never to be taken lightly you know.   That is his law.  
 He went his way as the wage slaves do, because he did not want to go on to any more school.   The plan was work just enough to survive, but have no plan to keep one alive.   Smoking tokes till his mind could no longer think, he moved rapidly
into paranoia, hearing voices and on the brink.   
I bought him vitamins to cure the problem & a juicer to cleanse the toxic body dear.   Even gave him enough to live on for a
year so he could work on getting well. But he chose to prefer keeping his hell. He threw away the juicer, told me to go to hell.   
 His anger grew and paranoia too.   Homeless for a year or two.   
I give him a ticket to my home.   Say get paperwork done before you roam.  
He just cried out his usual cry.   Don’t try make me do what I don’t want to do or I’ll die.   So he came for a nice short stay.   
Then to get paperwork I had to again pay his way.   
 Nearing the end of my years of income, when needed money to save for me is most in need.   I find myself looking after someone still who only knows selfish greed.   I am told day and night to get away, and how I am crap is all he has of me to
say.   He breaks my things and slaps me around.   His hate and anger to the world knows no bound.   
I cannot realize why he turned out this way.   Selfish self centred and pushing all sane help away.   Was it never having to go without, or always finding me willing to listen when he chose to shout?  He never had to do anything he did not want to do,
perhaps except get up in the morning and go to high school.   
But today he hates me beyond belief .   And I have to say good bye to him much to my great grief.   For to have him around threatening to burn the house down or kill me is more than to take I'm bound.  So today I look upon his departure from my life
as one looks at a boat’s wake.   There was much love and good wishes for 34 + years.   Today I have only tears.   
 He leaves because as always he is doing what he wants.   Never caring for what he should be doing to be a decent healthy person and son.   He cares not what others think or feel.   Or how much was given up so his life could be meet with zeal.   He simply cares not to feel.   He threw it all away, his future too, because he insisted that doing what he wants all the time, should
be his only rule.   Care not for others, appreciate nothing they give, just have a good time and for himself live.   
The time has come to let him go.   My years are few and of this business of my own life I must get on with the show.    He refuses to do the smart things to relieve his strife.   To Vancouver he goes and homeless he’ll once more be.   But he lived his
life his way in spite of me.     Or perhaps to spite me.   I never will know.   But as always HE chooses the way he will go.
Pick up the pieces, no more I’ll try, because very soon I am apt to die.   
So his last chance to get well and make something of his life he has thrown out the door.   Easy come easy go?   One must implore?   Perhaps it is only a powerful high he enjoys as he watches me squirm when he knocks me about or breaks my
things and at the top of his lungs hollers and shouts.   The power surge is what it’s about.
But elder abuse I’ll have no more.   And never again do I want the demon in him to darken my door.   
                                                                                                                                                                      Colleen Carroll

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Come and sing with the CARNEGIE CHOIR!

Come and sing with the
CARNEGIE CHOIR!

Saturdays 6:30 – 9:30 PM
Sundays 2:30 – 5:30 PM
Sept. 6 to Nov. 30, 2014
Classroom 2 (3rd Floor)
 EVERYONE WELCOME!

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Life is a distraction from nothingness
 Life is a distraction from nothingness, ripples on the surface of stagnant time. Every stone that a heart turns into will sink in it amid a graveyard of concentric circles, which will disappear before my tears dry on your lips. The colours decompose; your memories whisper anxiously; the mirror shows a million fragments of your grief. Life is a hell I have invented and filled with you, but humanity has sneaked in. A face behind every window, death behind every pair of eyes, and behind death, God is digesting our dreams. Will you exist for just one second?
                                                                      Ellis

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September 15, 2014