Archive for the ‘ Doing What’s Right ’ Category

The Slow Murdering of a 94 Year Old Lady

Sounds dramatic, and yet, to me, it is the truth of the matter.  It is exactly what our Government is doing to our Seniors, thanks to the Conservative mantra of ‘Business Can Do It Better Than Government’ can.

Personally, there is some ( note the word SOME ) truth in that saying, but in many instances it simply isn’t true. Least not when it comes to things like Health Care, or Education, or Social Services.  Those areas, can benefit from Business but ONLY (not that word – only ) if there is full and complete Government Oversight, with authority.

  1. Being Old, 94 years old, isn’t easy, is filled with a whole slew of complications, that can make life, at best, difficult to endure.

Unfortunately, instead of attempting to make those twilight years bearable, our society is moving towards simply abdicating its responsibility towards those who are aged.

Whether it is in Food Safety, transportation, or health care, our society no longer values the past contributions of our Seniors, but instead, is driven by the concept of  ‘what have you done for me today‘.

Truth is, being old is a burden on society, but it should be one we gladly accept, because you know, tomorrow we are the elderly of today.  So in a way, it is self-serving to put into place, systems to aid the transition from life to death, to make the twilight years bearable, because in time, we are ALL going to be in that same boat, as my 94-year-old Mother is today.

By allowing private agencies, such as Beacon Community Services to exist, to actually control the care of home support for the citizens of Vancouver Island, we are slowly murdering our elderly.

Oh it isn’t quick, by any means. No gun to the head and pulling of the trigger, no forcing a massive amount of pills down their throat, no turning on the gas, and leaving the room.  But just as deadly as those are, so too is the way we have allowed Home Support to exist today.

Sending unqualified personnel into the home, who haven’t a clue as to how to lift a patient up out of bed, how to engage them in conversation, or just how to simply maintain a simple and easy routine, is just as deadly to them.   Only worse, because unlike a gun to the head, this method makes their remaining years painful.

It puts stress on an already weakened vascular system, it puts added stress on an already fragile mind, that eventually puts them over the age. BUT, before they go over that edge, they suffer.

There are no Checks & Balances, because Business is better suited to handle them, than the Piper who is paying the shot.  VIHA will gladly take your complaint, but then passes it on for resolution, directly to the organization you are complaining about.

No different from CIFA, that knows food-producing plants are unclean, are not sanitary, but can only wait until that plant notifies them of an issue, before issuing a recall. It does nothing, because it isn’t allowed to do anything, to prevent and control the spread of disease, of bacteria, until AFTER it gets into the food chain.

One more example of how Government is joining with private enterprise, to MURDER our Seniors, and us too. You see, old people have a weakened immune system, and unlike days long gone, today you can buy expired food, at a discount.  Now when you are on a fixed income, have to pay for medications you shouldn’t have to pay for, you need to save wherever you can.

You are old, you may not realise that the discounted food is expired, or about to expire, because you grew up in a society that didn’t allow such things to happen. But, that was before Stephen Harper and his mantra of doing whatever business wants.  Today, even he, claims expired food is okay, has a longer shelf life and not a threat.

Tell that to the people who have died from Maple Leaf Foods.

It is a simple fact, that when you allow someone to do whatever they want, without any controls in place, you are simply putting a gun in their hands, to fire at will.

Oh we all hold up how much longer people are living today, thanks to our wonderful society, and all of the advances we have made.  But perhaps it is more of a testament to their strength, to their grit & determination than it is to Science and Society.

Old people need routine, need support. Instead of making them free of stress, we add more by sending in people who know nothing about caring for an old person. We acerbate their tenuous hold on reality, by altering schedules without notice, and worse, we force many of them to make choices, that no one should have to make.

Look around, at the wealth we have as a nation, at the natural resources we hold, and then look at how we make 94 year olds choose between institutional living, versus independent living, based solely on their income.

Someone said, well if they didn’t plan for it when they could, tough shit to them.

And that is how Stephen Harper and our Society works today.  Thing is, back in the 60’s and even the 50’s, our society held that no matter your wealth, your income, old age would be looked after, thanks to a caring, compassionate Government and Society. They were fed a line, that their old age would be secured, through Government support, and until the advent of the New Conservatism, it was basically true.

Now suddenly, they are being penalized because they believed in their Government.

Be honest too, how can you afford to put aside sufficient money, if all you are earning is $10 an hour, and your partner is earning the same?

Can you manage to feed your family, to house them, and sustain them at today’s minimum wage level, and at today’s high cost of living?

Business can do what it wishes, can show high profits, and yet gets even bigger tax benefits than the average persons does, but puts back PITTENCE as compared to the average wage earner.

Now perhaps being in your 20’s or 30’s it doesn’t seem so important. You dream that one day you will be the CEO of that company you work for, even though more high paying jobs are being sent overseas. How you can realistically expect to advance your income, under those conditions, is truly the real dream.

Instead of how it was, where business used to put aside a large percentage of its profits, into infrastructure, into replacing old equipment, today that percentage goes toward new chalets on the coast of France, to new corporate jets.

Employee loyalty is a thing of the past, because our Government sides with Big Business, gives them our tax dollars, in return for cutting jobs and moving plants overseas.  Somehow, the concept of “BUYING LOCAL” is swearing, and unacceptable.

And who winds up paying for this change in direction?

Why the older members of our society. They are the ones who are given the burden of choosing between food, or medicine. We no longer cover this medicine, this medical procedure, because it isn’t cost-effective.

When did human life become so cheap, so unimportant?

The values that my Mother grew up with, instilled in me, are gone. Today it is no longer about doing what is right, but what is more profitable. Today we let the Oil Industry set how fast our economy can grow, or rush headlong into a depression.

We see how Stephen Harper’s continue to rule, not because they are the best for the job, but because they made more people afraid of the other guy, than of them.  Neat trick, that is only now starting to further destroy what few values, principles, were left from a dying generation.

Instead of nurturing those people, their standards, we systematically work to make their lives unbearable, stressful, and complicated. We make them weaker, rob them of their dignity, and eventually, we kill them off because we need to own a new car every two or three years.

We do it, because it is more important to have an iPhone, iPad, and 300 cable channels in high-definition, than it is to have a Senior live in moderate comfort.  Much more important that we have food producers who can hire untrained staff to clean their equipment, than we can put inspectors into the plants, to makes ure our food supply is free of bacteria, of disease.

This is the new society, given us by the New Conservatism, that our Country, and others, have embraced. We’d rather be scared into voting for someone, than in actually voting for someone who will do something we need. 

This is the New Conservatism of Stephen Harper, and it is slowly killing our Seniors.  This is what happens, when one votes out of fear, instead out of reason.

And it will be people like my 94-year-old Mother, who will pay for all this, with her life.

If She Really Wants to Make a Difference

BC has a new Premier, Christy Clark.  Yesterday she was sworn in, and presented her new cabinet. Some interesting changes, like removing Hansen from Finance & Cabinet.  Reducing the number of positions from 23 to 18 was nice too, but let’s be honest.

It is just window dressing.

DeJong is now Health Minister and Falcon ( our previous Health Minister ) is now Deputy Premier. Like somehow, that seems like a promotion, when he should have been banished to the boondocks, along with Hansen.

If our New Premier really wants to show, that her administration, is going to be different, then maybe she should fire the head of VIHA, stop the mindless selling off of assets, and open up an enquiry into the shady business dealings of Government, as it applies to both BC Ferries & BC Rail.

I know, not gonna happen, but it would be nice, to get someone who actually cared about honesty in Government, instead of just talking about it. Be nice to see a leader, actually lead by example, instead of fear mongering, instead of glib attack ads.

I know, ain’t gonna happen, but I can dream.

IF Christy Clark wants to convince me, & other British Columbians, that she is leading a different type of government, then perhaps a bit of upfront honesty, a bit of doing what we want, would be nice. 

Like perhaps cancelling the HST agreement with Stevie Boy.

Quality Not Quantity Counts

Every other weekend, the wife and I go shopping for Mom’s boost.  Next to that store are two cafes. Well one cafe really, the other is more like a chuckwagon affair.

The cafe has an extensive menu ( so the owner makes a point of saying ) while the other is basically a burger joint. Oh it has chicken, serves breakfast too, and even has fish.  Not extensive but I’ll take their food over the Cafe’s any day.

Bigger Is Not Better.

Honestly, we seem to be trapped in this notion that if we have a ton of items to choose from, we are catering to the needs of the consumer. Thing is, a restuarant isn’t a department store. And even department stores can’t be an end all to one’s shopping needs. 

The little burger shack gives quality. It is limited in its menu, but it is done right. You pay a bit more, as compared to say MacDonalds, Wendy’s, or Burger King, but you get much better food.

You could eat a 100 Big Macs and while you would be stuffed, you wouldn’t be satisfied. Eating just one of BIMO Burger’s and you are not only full, but satisfied.

A Big Mac her is about $4, and a Bimo Burger ( single patty, bacon, mushrooms, pickles, tomatoe, lettuce, ketchup, mayo, pickles, ketchup, mustard ) is $6.50 ( tax included ).  The meat is at least twice the amount of a Big Mac, if not four times the size.

The little Cafe shop has sandwiches, all starting at $7 and you know, they don’t have half the toppings in them, let alone the quantity of the main ingredient. How fresh is open to debate as well.

I can eat four Big Macs at a time ( hey I am a big boy ) and I would be hard pressed to eat two of the burgers from BIMO.  Four Big Macs or Quarter Pounders with Cheese, would cost me $12 minimum.  One BIMO is $6.50.

You do the math.

Maybe it is time we started applying that principle to Government. Perhaps, we need to stop electing people who use fear to get us to vote for them, and instead give us actual Government, actual Leadership.  Perhaps we don’t need a fancy dan to lead us, or some religious zealot, or poet laurate, but just a common guy, who knows what it is like to struggle with a household budget. Instead of a leader who caters to the whims of the Oil Industry ( like Stephen Harper does ) we should elect a guy who has to pay for his gas, who has to manage filling up his gas tank, with how much groceries he can buy.

In other words, time to stop thinking that Bigger is Better, and start thinking about making a real difference, for those who need it.

That means you and me, not the executives of Imperial Oil or the gurus on Bay Street.

Does it really matter who becomes the next Premier for BC, or next Prime Minister for Canada?  I mean, do any of the people currenlty poised to be our elected leader, have a clue really about what it means to SERVE?

In British Columbia, we have the Harper Clone as Premier, but will Carol James be any better? Will Ignatieff replace Harper, and actually make a difference, or is it just the same shit, just packaged differently?

Government USED to be about serving the needs of the People. Today it is about serving the needs of BUSINESS OVER PEOPLE.  That is why, here in BC, VIHA (Vancouver Island Health Authority) in concert with BCS (Beacon Community Services) is slowly killing my 93 year old Mother.

While they aren’t poisoning her, or denying her food, their primary concern is about turning a profit, is creating the situation, where her very life hangs in the balance. Instead of spending her remaining time alive enjoying things, she spends it worrying about who will come to help her.

There once was a time, when we looked to our Elected Officials to protect us. To insure that business did not scam us, or harm us, by providing poor quality goods. There was a time, when we could go into a grocery store, knowing that the foods being sold were safe to eat. There was a time, when business was held accountable for not following proper safety procedures, such as insuring that toys didn’t have lead paint coating, that utensils used in providing convenience foods were fully cleaned and free of harmful germs.

That Time No Longer Exists.

Thank you Stephen Harper & Maple Leaf Foods for that. Thank you Gordon Campbell and VIHA,  for following the example of the Harper Machine.  You know, where MONEY is put before the needs of the People who vote for you.

I am not expecting Government to do everything, but to simply insure that what a Corporation says it will do, it does.  I want certain food safety procedures to be adhered to, and not ignored all for the sake of increasing profits.  I want qualified home support workers, that actually are qualified. I don’t want some Corporation to say the food is safe, to say the employee is fully trained, when that isn’t true. 

I want  MY Government to make sure that is the case.  Unlike today’s examples, that rely on the company to tell us when they screw up, I want My Government to be PROACTIVE.  I want them doing spot checks, in follow ups, to insure that things are, as we expect them to be.

I don’t want Standards LOWERED, but instead RAISED HIGHER.  We need, to reach for those goals, not set our sights lower.  And frankly, I don’t see any political leader, doing anything but lowering our expectations.   I want to dream, to imagine a world free of hunger, of disease, of greed.  I want to see My Government dreaming with me, see My Government leaning forward, trying to achieve those dreams.  I don’t want to hear about how bad the other guy is, I want to hear about the future, when we are rid of those despots.

I want My Government make it wrong for a company to cheat, lie, and pollute, or worse, provide incompetent, untrained home support workers.  I want my Mother to die from old age, not from a government abdicating its obligation, not from a corporation that only cares about its profit margin.

Social Activism

Do we give a damn?

I wonder if ‘we’ actually do, because if we cared, how could people like Stephen Harper even be a Member of Parliament, let alone Prime Minister?  People like Carol James would never have lasted as leader of a party beyond her first election, and that goes for leaders like Jack Layton, Michael Ignatieff and the rest.

Just seems, that our values have gone south, including my own. Is it fear of retribution, or just simple laziness?

For myself, I think it is the fear of retribution as business today, whether it be unions or big corporations, or even large so called charity groups, intimidate people. They threaten lawsuits, or they threaten to cut off services, so we back off.