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.

More Peanut Butter Recalls

but NO DETAILS GIVEN.

You have to wonder, does CIFA know what it is doing, or is it simply rubber stamping the notices from the faltering USA Agencies? I really wonder, given that somehow more recalls are made on peanut butter products, thanks to the expanding recall in the United States.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has added another 21 products to the growing recall list because the peanuts they contain may have been contaminated with salmonella.

Consumers should not eat the products, because Peanut Corp. of America has recalled them due to salmonella contamination. ( source – CBC News )

So do you have any idea of what those added products are?

Isn’t the job of a recall, to tell people what THEY SHOULDN’T BE CONSUMING? And yet here is CIFA failing to tell us anything, other than they have added 21 more items to the list.

This is a good example of what Harper means, when he talks about accountability. It demonstrates that for him, it is about corporate profit margins, not about safety, not about product standards. CIFA has been so emaciated, that it no longer can effectively protect us, the people, from illness.

Many of the scientists working for CIFA are gone now, because they could no longer support an agency that was not doing its job, was not protecting consumers in a proper manner. Now that is what Harper calls Accountabilty, tranparency?  It is a disgrace, but worse than that, people are dieing from the inability of our Government, to protect us from harmful foods and goods.

And where are those brand new label laws Mr. Harper made a big deal of announcing? I bought peanut butter lately, and yet, was it part of the recall? Was it from the American Company who is possibly facing criminal prosecution over this? I have no idea, and CIFA isn’t helping any, because it doesn’t tell me. Nor do the labels on the jars help. Fat lot of good those new label laws are, if they can’t identify where the product comes from.

Can we all say Maple Leaf Foods.

Mystery Meat

Remember when you went to school, ate the cafeteria and they had ‘mystery meat day‘? I mean that goes back a long time ago, but these days, well, it seems that the mystery isn’t what is the meat, but what nasty germ or virus it has with it. Take this whole Listeria Outbreak up here. Reminiscent of the recent salmonella outbreak in the States, in that the federal health agency can’t seem to determine EXACTLY what is causing the illness.

“While these results are highly significant, and indicate that the investigation is on the right path, the investigation is not complete,” the agency said. “Test results on additional food samples expected next week will advance the investigation further.” (source – CBC News)

I have a lot of problems with this. I mean to begin with, this announcement comes late Saturday night, with the list being released on Sunday. Now I am not sure, but when did Government actually work on a weekend? And it isn’t like on Friday they didn’t have an inkling about all this either. In fact, there was a sort of advanced leak about this happening, that the recall would be expanded. There was even an article about how Maple Leaf Foods claims it isn’t their fault, even though the supposed results weren’t know, or available.

So why a Saturday Release Date?

If the Government actually received the news Saturday in the morning, or afternoon, okay I can see them making the release a few hours later. What I don’t believe, is that they got the results in the morning or afternoon, but instead that they sat on them until Saturday evening. I used to not believe that sort of stuff, but lately I am wondering, given the closeness between business and the Harper Government. Oh hell, between any Government.

I see it in the FDA & USDA down south, and given how Harper mirrors everything Bush does, I would not be surprised to see it happening up here, as well. And that pisses me off. I mean seriously, it is just so wrong, to be put into a position where one cannot trust a Government agency to do its job, which is a pretty damn important job.

This whole issue is just a tip of the iceberg, if you ask me. I think we are being sold down the river, all in the name of increased corporate profits. Part of the Free Trade crap with the States & Mexico. To begin with, how in the hell can the Government Agency NOT KNOW the cause. Are they not doing proper & regular testing? And you have to love Maple Leaf, who claim innocence, but add to their recall as a precaution.

I might have believed that before, but not these days. For that wariness, I blame Stephen Harper and his closeness to Bush. If he was a real man, INDEPENDENT OF OUTSIDE INFLUENCES, then I wouldn’t feel this way, but given how he has caved on all major issues, how he protects people who take bribes, like Brian Mulroney, and how he keeps everything behind closed doors, how can one trust any agency?

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May Food Recalls

Okay so I wonder, does anyone add up the amount of food that gets recalled? Does it even matter anymore, or are we so used to recalls now, we don’t feel outraged at how our health is being abused by various Companies?

So far in May, these are recalls from the USDA

WASHINGTON, May 8, 2008 – Palama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, Hawaii, firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 68,670 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today. (further details here)

Then we have this one, please note that the link for all the details is to a PDF file, so it will bring up the Adobe Reader, within your browser.

WASHINGTON, May 3, 2008 – Gourmet Boutique, L.L.C., a Jamaica, N.Y., firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 286,320 pounds of fresh and frozen meat and poultry products that may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today. (further details here [pdf link])

So these two recalls, we have almost THREE HUNDRED & FORTY THOUSAND POUNDS of recalled meat products.