Monday, February 24, 2014

The Mazda Miata M5 Sportscar and the Ford 350 Diesel Truck

Miata: “I’ll tell you what that brute did to me. He drove me onto a Ferry. I was in a big boat in the dark with only that dog, Gilbert ,as company.  I hate how dogs dig their  claws into my fine upholstery.

Ford: "I 'm with you there, Princess."

Miata: "Then he drove me off the ferry on Vancouver Island through Victoria to a place called Sooke.  It was snowing. Yes snowing. You know I can’t stand snow. I'm a sports car. You know we're not made for snow. It's all wet and slippery. I know they call them all terrain tires but they mean all terrain Arizona or California but certainly not all terrain Canada. I had  the awfullest time not sliding off that highway.

Ford: "I know what you mean there. That cold wet slush even creeps out my big boy tires."

Miata:  "It's kind of you to say that But then you know what the awful brute did ? ! He took me right off the road up this logging road  into the woods. He said he was going to  Mount Joy College. Hope Alive!  I thought when we started up that road.  It was so slippery I was sliding backwards at times. Mount Joy is a Christian society. Well,  I can tell you this road was  made for donkeys. Not that I saw much of that gravel road. It was a miracle I survived.
That road was so steep and  covered all over with  snow and slush and ice.   It went right over my tires. My beautiful bottom was scraping on cold snow all the way up that mountain.   That brute was  using me as a snow plow.
He finally stopped. Only got half way up I heard later.  He's not completely daft. But he left me on the road. Right there. Took that dog and left. It was a horrible night. A foot of snow fell on me. I was all alone in the wilderness. It was a horrible horrible night.

Ford: "You see. I told you about him and you didn't believe me. Didn't I tell you about that time he put us in the ditch and kept me out in the cold all night with only that man sized fire keeping him warm. Lucky my oilcan didn't freeze that night."

Miata: "I know I didn't believe but I've seen his true colours.  He's always treated me nice untill now. Drove me a little fast mind you at times but no outright abuse like this. The next day when he came to get me, he drove me right into the ditch. He wasn't actually aiming me at the ditch. I just slid there myself because of the ice and gravity but he should have considered that.
My poor little skin took a dint from a mean nasty branch. You know I’m not meant for such brutality. If there was an organization for the abuse of automobiles I’d phone them and report him after what he did to me.   He and those other Christians tried to get me out of the ditch but then left me, all of them. They piled into a jeep  saying they had to get to Church. At least they took that dog with them.
Christians, they call themselves. Christians and they leave me, a veritable princess of a car, stuck in the wet and snow surrounded by wilderness and trees over loaded with snow. They were actually breaking and leaving branches all over that road. One big big tree cracked right over top of me. I thought I was a goner for sure.  But I’m lucky.  Animal didn’t maul me out there.  But they could have.  Nothing stopping stopping thieves from abducting me.   The Christians went  off to church claiming they’d pray for my release."

Ford:  "I've been with him a lot of times and I'd say it was the prayers not that got us out of those stupid situations he puts us in out hunting alone by himself in that wilderness.  I never believed in prayers much but I've seem impossible things.  So what happened?"

Miata: "They returned. They put a rope under my undercarriage with no thought of decency.  Then they dragged me down the mountain like I was a log.  In this dry stretch between a steep ravine and a rocky cliff he decided he could turn around. Didn't ask my opinion. It was so tight that he had to have one man standing at the front while another at the back.  They'd shout stop so I didn't go bounding over the ravine and down the side of the mountain. Then the other guy would shout stop when that brute back up only an inch or two before almost smacking my pretty rear  against that mountain side.  It was unbearable anxiety. Not that he cared.
After,  he actually skied me down the rest of that mountain logging road, tapping my brakes while I was in terror.  I especially hated those  switchbacks where the snow had accumulated. I went swerving around them like I was going to slide over the side any minute.  It was a nightmare, a sheer nightmare.
I don't even remember how we got across that city with all those slippery roads.  I was in shock until I was again in that dark place on the ferry with that forever happy overly enthusiastic long nailed dog. Then more slipping and sliding on the highway with all that slush.  I’m just lucky I got back here alive. All the while you, the big bruiser who should have been making this trip were sitting on your toosh in this parking lot."

Ford: “I’m sorry Princess.  At least now you'll believe me when I tell you what he does with me.  Doesn’t even bother if there’s a road and  sometimes straps that huge house of his to my ass. As well he expects me to carry his motorcycle. That  motorcycle acts nice around you because he has a thing for you but with me he's  the most supercilious ass.  Loves sitting there up on my back laughing at me as I do all the miles and he gets off just for the glory work.

Miata: "I believe you now. I'm no innocent when it comes to his way with vehicles.  I"ve seen it first hand. He can't be trusted. No respect."

Ford: "Now don’t you worry, Princess,  with all this snow I’m sure he won’t make you work tomorrow.  It’s my turn for his abuse.  I just hate when he takes me into Vancouver and tries to squeeze me into those impossibly small parking spaces.  I can see why you like executive parking and cities but they’re lost on me. It's so crowded and there's people walking across the road at Main and Hastings and they're not even there.  Half the drivers don't know how to drive. The other half are on their cell phones. I'd rather be out in the country with him.  He's not so bad when we're alone but when he brings his RV or that motorcycle along, that's when I'm fed up."

Miata: "Give me a city and a highway any day compared to wilderness mountains and logging roads.
 At least we’re having  a break from the seagulls where he parks us by the ships."

Ford: "I hate those seagulls."

King Rat - movie

I cried watching this. Having been to Changi Prison and listened to the stories of the men who’d been there recorded for the museum. It was so tragic and sad.  The Japanese treating all others like that. Tribalism at it’s rankest. The grossest inhumanity of man to another man. The rise of the survivor. George Segal’s acting and the others so amazing.  Corruption and advancement and war.  All so sad.
Today there’s a museum and a chapel.  What’s left of the War to End All Wars and the Great Imperial Expansion.
I’m reading of the European campaign in another book, The Post American World by Fareed Zakaria,  and realizing that the Hollywood rendition of history is just what appeals to customers. Zakaria makes a great case that winter won the war against the Nazis as much as anything. In the east it’s called Stalin’s War.  The greatest number of troops and the greatest investment in armaments.  Yet in the west we think of that war in Hollywood terms.  D Day and Sicily.
At Changi they’re already trying to rewrite  Japanese history.  Japan’s sadistic past being erased just like the British and Americans don’t care too much for the basis of the Opium Wars against China.  The winner writes history.  I liked the doctor in King Rat.  He rang true to me as doctors do.  I liked the British and Australians best.
I brought back a copy of a sketch from Changi, “Two Malarias and a Cholera” by Ray Parkin.  The Japanese refused to let the men carry a cholera patient back to camp from a work crew but relented at last to allow two other sick men to carry him back.
The survival of the soldiers and civilians is a testimony to human resilience.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Mount Joy College, Hope Alive

Dr. Phillip Ney and Marie invited me to a dinner at Mount Joy College near Victoria.  Members and associates of the Hope Alive Counsellors would be present. I looked forward to an evening with Phillip. He’s so inspiring:  a brilliant academic, researcher, gifted psychiatrist, author of many books and countless articles, a world class sailor, world traveller, theologian and deep thinking Christian, father, husband and mentor. He founded the international scientifically based Hope Alive Counselling service to help women and families come to terms with the grief that followed abortion for so many.  He has devoted so much of his life to Pro Life, stopping the wanton killing of a whole generation.
Tonight he shared the Israeli doctors’ remark, “We are doing to our own people what Hitler wanted us to do. How can this be good."
I have long been appalled at all the Canadians who have died thanks to the madness of Morgentaller’s rage.
I had taken the ferry across driving my Mazda Miata M5 sportscar not anticipating the heavy snowfall that had me parking my Miata sport car half way of the mountain where Mount Joy College is.  I had to walk the rest of the way arriving just in time for dinner.  Gilbert, my cockapoo, was thoroughly delighted to meet Dr. Ney’s dogs, a shepherd and lab, Bosun and Star.  Together they ran circles around the place inside and out. Marie, Phillips wife and fellow physician, a genetics researcher  who left Paris for the west coast of Canada, is also a fabulous cook.  What a feast. Salmon and ham and salads and those scrumptious little potatoes I love so much, and more and more, with ice cream and apple something to top it off.
I’ve known Mel on line for years and we’ve communicated and shared patients but this was our first face to face. He’s as warm and knowledgeable in person.  I met Nikky, an electronics engineer and liked him right off.  Al, a construction contractor,  turned out to be the one who with Mel and Phillip had done so much of the work on the building we were in.  He, admitted he loved to work with his hands whether the tool was guitar or hammer,  and loved showing us the special features of this rustic complex with great hall, fabulous views and lots of furnished rooms for students and guests.
There was a  beautiful pianist from Toronto whose music was such a joy.  She and Al and Mel and Phillip so entertained us after the meal playing the songs that Phillip has composed for Hope Alive.  I love his simple messages and diverse uplifting music.  Together they played a blues pieces I especially loved.  Alex, a Catholic pro life advocate shared his love of his children and grand children. I enjoyed the men talking of the love of their children. Phillip and Maries, son now at university, was with us.  Another woman, the administrator, her name slips me, but her laughter I’ll never forget.  A couple shared the stories of their marriage and love and the love of their children.  We sat in comfortable couches about the wood burning stove or at the table where we had eaten and later shared tea.
We talked of the Bible, teachings. Phillip talked of the Hope Alive trainings in all the countries around the world where  counsellors, so many knew and loved,  were helping women and men deal with the devastations abortions had caused in their lives. So many post abortion had depressions which didn’t resolved till they came to terms with their terrible grief.   Phillip led us in prayer.  Eventually people had to leave.  The music concluded and the men stayed about talking before sleep called.  Then we went off to various rooms. Gilbert was disappointed his new friends Star and Bosun went off with Phillip to the family home.
I slept so well in the quiet of the country, awaking refreshed and content. I’d decided to stay on the West Coast a while longer despite my love hate with my boat and the increasing vulnerability in my work where the years of lacking resources and devolution of the health care system was increasingly telling on me.  Together we’d talked late into the night as each caring person expressed the same frustration with the feeling they are increasingly penalized and threatened  for being human. Legalism and militarization, perfectionism, and all the unrealistic demands. Drugs of stupidity,  abortion and now euthanasia were the ’new world order’.  It’s okay to be concerned.  Anyone awake would be.
I felt so much that I was not alone and wondered how I’d come to feel that the problem was mine and I alone had to solve it for myself.  That’s the beauty of Hope Alive.  Gathered together the most difficult decisions become simple in the presence of Phillip and other Christians.
It was a rushed morning gathering for church.  The trouble was the road down had filled with snow.  Alex’s truck got stuck up high while I got my Miata sportscar stuck half way down. My poor little miata like the city and highway royalty she is was very disturbed that I’d brought her to this wilderness with all this awful snow. We gave up trying to free it.  Together in one vehicles we headed out to church.  Marie had walked in the morning to her nearby mass.  We four men arrived late to the Bible Based Baptish church where the preacher was talking synchronistically about legalism and non conformity and the god of this world as compared to the need of a Christian  living up to the inner and outer ideals of Jesus.
I felt a bit like I was back in the church of my childhood, Trinity Baptist.  The curtains behind the minister concealed the full immersion pool.   I enjoyed standing and singing the closing hymn remembering singing like this with my mother, aunt, father and brother.  After we joined for fellowship over coffee and cookies.  I liked this part, meeting a biologist and talking more with Mel and Nikki.
Phillip drove us then then to Sooke to see the  great sailing ship, Horizon Unbound.  He takes families and youth out for trips around Vancouver Island. It sleeps 22.  I ‘d seen it once before when the mast wasn’t up and the insides weren’t finished. Then it was a real question mark to me if it really could become the sailing ship, Phillip envisioned. Well, here it was and good ship it is.  What a remarkable transformation.  it’s a veritable ocean going craft of skookum construction and design with back ups and safety features the very same as I made in my boat for my solo off shore sailing the Pacific.  Dr. Ney is an old Navy man and it sure tells in this durable ship.
Gilbert loved it too but he most loved a seal he met. He was startled and barked alarm but then got up the nerve to come closer. A fisherman had caught quite a few salmon and was throwing heads to the seal.
Back at Mount Joy College we began the feat of freeing all the vehicles.   First it we shovelled out Alex’s Ranger, then with Phillip in his jeep and a long rope pulling up hill, Phillips son on a come along to a tree keeping the truck from sliding sideways into the rock.  Amazingly we got it free. Marie had shovelling as well before deciding we all needed crackers and cheese for a snack.   Meanwhile Philip was under the vehicles tying ropes with bow hitches.
I provided weight in the back of the truck which I certainly had to contribute.  Then we  more easily cleared Phillips 4 by 4 which had become stuck trying to go around the Ranger.  After that it was my little Miata.  With a rope on the undercarriage I was able to drive the car backward while Phillip pulled downhill on a rope with his jeep. I turned the car around in a bare patch of road beneath a tree then drove the rest of the way down with Alex and Gilbert beside me.
At the bottom I did a happy dance.  Phillip had always had faith while I confess I was a doubting Thomas and amazed at the miracle of getting all the vehicles unstuck without any damage to undercarriage, paint jobs or bodies.
I thanked the Neys for their hospitality.   I really should have come in my truck but who would have guessed such an incredible snowfall.
It was a great weekend. We even celebrated Canada’s men’s hockey team winning the Winter Olympics against Sweeden. What an incredible time of good Christian fellowship, fine music, fine food, church, and ship and snow bound vehicle adventures.  It is never a dull moment around Mount Joy College and the Neys.
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Ballet BC and Turning Point Ensemble -Grace Symmetry

There is something truly special about “live” dance and “live” music performed together. Tonight’s evening of Ballet BC and Turning Point Ensemble went even further, composing pieces together as a lyricist and melody writer might work; the resulting accomplishment a thing of complexity and beauty beyond imaginable.  So strange yet familiar.
This was truly avante garde. I lost track of where I was geographically. At times the work and dancers seemed even alien. It was as if I was watching and listening to a culture somehow different and distant from my own. Then there would be the recognition. The music and dance would  seem vaguely New York,  Chicago, LA, Paris, Singapore, Hong Kong or London. But then a rift and a special motion of bodies  would definitely  anchor the work spiritually  here on the west coast.
Some phrase of Turning Point Ensemble music and of course the exquisite dancers of the Ballet BC would bring me back from the ethereal to the familiar space of the elegant Queen Elizabeth.
At intermission the awestruck audience funnelled out into the foyer.  Ballet goers are the most fashionable of folk. People watching is always platinum.  Tonight the Turning Point Ensemble following added a studied, perhaps cerebral,  look  to the normal relaxed sensual sophistication of ballet goers.
We returned to our seats and the performance continued with all the familiar faces of Ballet BC. The  I know them. I enjoyed them, individual interpretations of the highly different but similar bodies, amidst the rifts and crescendos of Turning Point Ensemble music.  For moments an individual dancer would flails about in  chaotic impossible patterns of neurological disconnection then suddenly be joined by the synchronistic pattern of the whole troupe flocking as if one, like human birds connected subliminally.   The constant theme of separation and togetherness over and over repeating like an old time preacher’s, I was lost and  I was found.  The Grace of symmetry, the discordant becoming harmonious.  Individuals finding each other, groups forming and parting, all to  the celebration of Turning Point Ensembles chamber orchestral music..
What a wonderful night. I felt my mind stretched and my senses broadened.  In Motion was composed by Wen Wei Wang, music by Owen Underhil, with stunning duet by Rachel Meyer and Alexander Burton.  Alexia Fletcher’s solo was a piece de resistance. The later duet by Gilbert Small and Peter Smida was so revealingly sensitive.  I loved the dance of these two powerful men.  The troupe together were fabulous.
Prelude was choreographed by Medhi Walerski with music by Lera Auerbach with a special duet by Rachel Meyer and Daren Devaney.  Rachel Meyer is so utterly versatile. Each time I see her I love her dance that much more. Again the troupe was fabulous.  Medhi Wallerski said, “Prelude is an echo of what the idea of time provokes in my imagination."
Here on End, a world premiere by Kevin O’Day, music, “time vectors/still points’” by John King, was perhaps my favourite. It needs to be experienced to be understood. The dancers were amazing.
It was all great. The dancers and musicians deserved the standing ovation. The collaboration with Turning Point Ensemble was truly inspired. Thank you Emily Molnar for another magnificent evening.
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Friday, February 21, 2014

Addiction Dialogues, Hillcrest Community Centre

The Hillcrest Community Centre host for the evening was very helpful and organized.  We had a large room upstairs  away from the busy but healthy pool and gym activities below.  We began as people were still coming in till it was finally a full house.
David Berner, radio host, actor, founder of X-Kalay Foundation for addiction, author of the recent book, All the Way home and group therapist at Orchard Treatment Centre on Bowen Island, was the moderator extraordinaire for the event.
Opening the panel was Counsellor Candace Plattor, author of Loving an Addict, Loving Yourself.  She spoke mostly to the effect of addiction on family and community. She described solutions for treatment incorporating choice and choices individual and family needed to make to avoid enabling.
Brenda Plante, Executive Director of Turning Point Recovery Society , spoke to the incredible success of their recovery home programs over that last 30 years. Brenda Plante is a household name in the recovery community of Vancouver for her big hearted, thoughtful but well managed programs. She has support from communities, neighbours, clients, governments, RCMP and all the doctors and counsellors working in addiction.   Already with houses in Richmond she's  just opened their newest house for women in North Vancouver.  She spoke of the program and the need for addicts to be reintegrated into life. Addiction is so isolating. It takes everything away. She encourages  people to become involved in groups,  clubs and various activities as part of their process of abstinence and recovery.
(I already have half a table of  tickets to the Turning Point's annual Gala. This year  Mathew Perry of the show "Friends"  is the keynote speaker.)
I, a physician, psychiatrist and addiction medicine specialist,  sat next to Brenda,  proud to be among such greats of the recovery community. I spoke mostly to the medical and psychiatric aspects of addiction, talking about genetics, liver, damage, lung damage, cancers caused, HIV and Hep C spread,  neurochemistry, harm reduction and medications, only being valid as they lead to abstinence and recovery. The 'cure' for addiction is abstinence.  (I did express my concern that there is a ‘customer’ model developing in the ‘harm reduction’ arena, with  conflict of interest, lack of faith and cynicism with increasingly two tiers of treatment, abstinence for the rich and educated and  harm reduction for the poor and less informed.  I spoke to the tremendous success of smoking cessation and how only 20 years ago this room might well have been filled with smokers and their accompanying clouds.  No better example could attest to the success of recovery. What is possible for cigarettes is equally possible for other drug addiction and alcoholism.  I mentioned Sabet's definitive book, Reefer Saniety, on the myths associated with marijuana.
AnnMarie McCullough began the first Recovery Day in Vancouver Canada. Now it’s spread throughout the provinces  so that it’s likely to be a national day perhaps as soon as  this year or next.  She also began Faces and Voices of Recovery while working at Orchard Treatment Centre. She spoke to the millions who are in recovery and the significance of their vote and political power. She was glad that the Health Minister, Terry Lake, provincially and Health Minister, Tony Clement, federally were so supportive of recovery. She encouraged everyone to speak to MP's and MLA’s and get involved like they were this evening, increasing  community awareness of the disease and need for treatment.  She spoke to the success of 12 step programs, other group therapies, treatment centres and recovery houses.
David shared a letter he’d received recently from a man, 35 years, clean and sober from drugs and alcohol, thanking him for believing in him in the days of  X-Kalay.
The audience participation began their with questions and answers.  Members from the Portland Society used this time to speak of  their controversial  provision of  alcohol for alcoholic and crack pipes for crack addicts. This lead to some interesting discussion.
A school teacher expressed his concern for the need for adolescent services.  Brenda Plante and Ann Marie spoke of the acute shortage of beds and other resources for adolescents.   Last Door Treatment Centre had however just opened some more  The need for adolescent services was a major concern to the audience.  I shared how Dr. Shimi Kang, an adolescent addiction psychiatrist was doing truly amazing work in the field.  (Our host  later told me he knew her and her husband personally and what a wonderful caring people they were.)
A tall man shared sadly how many friends of his had been killed by addiction. He spoke of Canadian solders who’d survived tours in Afghanistan only to come home to die in the clutches of drug addiction. He was very angry with  criminals invading every aspect of Canadian society with their "drug terrorism".
I couldn’t help remember  Sturges North motorcycle rally hearing  the great Canadian rock and roll band, Steppenwolf, singing their classic song, Goddam the Pusherman! I say, Goddam the Pusherman!
David thanked everyone for coming then individually we answered questions  speaking with people who told such tragic  stories of family members and friends  devastated by the disease of addiction.  A lovely woman was caring for the small children of her brother and wanted to know how to speak to the absences of addicted parents.
We were thanked all round.  Further Addiction Dialogues are planned.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Calling on God

Holy Spirit Come
Be with me in all my loneliness and anxiety
Lift me from the depression of life
Wake me from the slumber of the materialism
Remind me always I am energy, pure energy
And that is all that matters
Keep me ever aware of my relationship with you
And all my fellow humans and the life of life
Show me the goodness in this world
Point out to me that which is uplifting and beautiful
Holy Spirit Come
Love, joy, knowledge, beauty, show me these
Turn my head from the places of fear
Pull my gaze ever to you and your peace
Thank you for all that has been
And all that will come
I worship you, praise you and want only for you
Holy Spirit Come

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Scientist Gangs and Gangsters

I don’t remember so many gangs in science before.  What’s this trend of using numbers of scientists in agreement as ‘scientific evidence’.  I was trained that validity was something different.
Today I see ‘gangs’ of scientists like gangsters mobbing and insisting they’re right because there are more of us than you.  The sad part about this, is we all know, as the history of science shows, money works like this. Those with the most money are usually yesterdays’ news and they will do anything, including, gangsterism, to hold onto their positions of privilege long after the ‘validity’ of their position is past.
There have always been differing opinions in ‘true science’.  There have even been ‘schools of thought’.  Yet, the present gangsters and their gangs of groupthink scientists, often bolstered by a large number of nobodies, hangers on, and bootlicks, aren’t satisfied with this ‘diversity’. They want it all.
“There will be no other gods but mine,” they say.  This bullying gangsterism isn’t ‘science’.
Now, I’ve seen a group of artists rally to get artists out of jail.  But would artists like Mick Jaggers and McCartney say that Lead Zeppelin isn’t rock and roll.  So scientists sometimes ‘petition’ against political abuse of scientists.  But scientists don’t ‘petition’ to say what is valid or true in science, no matter how fashionably rich this behaviour may be.
What marketing groups do is gather a group of like minded individuals, pay them by wining and dining them at some very fine facility or resort, let them hob nob with academic wealth and literal wealth, then get them to sign a petition. How can you not sign a petition when your host asks you? How can you not sign a petition when your finances have a conflict of interest somewhere under all the righteous posturing.  Marketting agents buy journals and put groups of like minded individuals in these journals. In fact marketing agents buy heads of university departments and write their articles for them only requiring their signature.
This is not science. It’s marketing.  It’s sketchy and nefarious.  It stinks.  It's what Nazi eugenics was all about.    Money can do that, and increasingly true scientists are demanding that people with conflicts of interest, declare their ‘gang’ affiliations.
At least on the streets gangsters wear tattoos or colours.  Among scientists, though, we know who the bullies are and what the petitions are buying, especially when they’re not freeing scientists of the shackles of politics.  They were once called whores. but when whores get together in groups they usually get called 'houses'.  I always wonder who the pimps are?
Doesn't matter so much what you call a thing, when it isn't truth and it isn't science

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Evidence Based Medicine and Chinese Traditional Medicine

Conventional medicine is ‘evidence based’.  That means that it uses a scientific paradigm of accountability.  A hundred people with a broken arm get better when we ‘set’ the fracture. Chinese Traditional Medicine doesn’t have a similar ‘accountability’ process.
Today the demands on the busy clinician are massive, time consuming and increasingly perfectionistic.  There are no similar demands on the ‘alternative health care givers’. Mostly they are ‘judged’ by their following.  This is naturally not an issue with conventional physicians because they have huge followings and extensive wait lists.
When alternative health providers have had public funding there have been extraordinary scandals with abuse of care and corruption and all manner of cost concerns. I’m not saying that this hasn’t happened with conventional medicine but there is a huge industry of oversight on the doctor whereas these ‘newcomers’ rarely appear to be subjected to the same demands or restrictions or monitoring.
I note that pharmacists who are increasingly taking on an ‘education’ role are not restricted by their obvious ‘conflicts of interest’.  I wouldn’t be concerned but for the desire to see a ‘level playing field’.
I see the new kids on the block only liking the field because they are not subjected to the same level of restriction, educational requirement, and scrutiny that physicians have.  To them it's easy money but nothing in my education or work has ever amounted to easy money.  It's been horrendously demanding, threatening, dangerous, long hours and in the end I'm happy if I get minimum wage given the hours of work I put in and the years I didn't get paid and the long time in the process of learning and developing clinical skills and training.  I look around and see others throwing up a shingle and focusing on the money, those with the least illness and greatest resources.
Indeed colleagues are moving out of conventional medicine into alternative areas because they are so lucrative and carry none of the heavy baggage of monitoring, litigation and pain.  In California this occurred when there were restrictions placed on ‘counselling’ and overnight the ‘channelling’ movement became notable.
The "worried well” are big business.  Historically general medicine was always a ‘group insurance plan’ with the hard cases and major burden of medicine being lightened by the easier cases. This no longer is the case with so many of the ‘worried well’ opting for less mainstream health care approaches.
Clearly, just as there is a ‘traditional chinese medicine’ model, there are ‘traditional ethnic medicine’ models from every group that has immigrated to Canada.  Can we expect the Chinese, presumably the principal consumers of this model, to continue to ‘pay into the collective plan’ or will they like the other alternative health care models simply take the ‘cream’ and leave the curds to the under paid over educated, overworked existing conventional medical practitioners, especially those who are themselves Chinese.  Will we soon see a Traditional Jamaican Medicine Model and a Traditional East Indian Medicine Model all of which appear wholly ignorant of the local 'traditional Canadian Medicine Model."
Increasingly conventional medicine is being subjected to the criticism of the Cochrane Collaboration, a controversial meta analysis approach, originally beneficial for the simplest of questions comparing drug x to drug y, now being used well beyond it’s original scope and expertise but still causing headaches for clinicians already straddled with local scientific demands.
Will Traditional Chinese Medicine be subjected to Cochrane Review analysis when already the majority of it’s offerings cannot compete with conventional medicine in any pragmatic way.  Traditional Chinese Medicine eventually set fractures the same way conventional medicine does. Conventional medicine is what works.
It’s of considerable issue for me as a psychiatrist especially one who works as a  "four dimensional psychiatrist’, i.e. one who works in the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual domains’ seeing mental illness as ‘mind’ illness rather than solely ‘brain disease’, the neurologists realm, really.  The psychiatrists approach to illness is similar to some of the Tradtional Chinese Medicine approaches but where as psychiatry has validity beyond ‘anecdote’ there is limited ‘science’ or ‘accountability’ or any of what the Cochrane Collaboration would conclude is worthy to it.  Indeed pharmacists have been advised to avoid addressing psychiatric medications due to their complexity and the complex ways psychiatrists use medications as one of many process interventions. Indeed family physicians are usually as respectful of the success of psychiatrists way of using medications we all have access to but like the dermatologists use of medications, the success family physicians or generalists get with the same 'toolbox' is never the same.  As a GP who later trained as a psychiatrist I learned that the medication was a wholly different 'thing' in different hands.  As a gp I saw medication unidimensionally whereas a psychiatrist sees medication multidimensionally and especially from a psychosomatic perspective. But monitors are reductionist policemen and as always the arrogant know everything so are unteachable.  The same will likely hold true for Traditional Chinese Medicine but how will Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners find being assessed by general practioners of a conventional background or courts of a conventional reductionist bearing. To the court, everything is money,naturally.
If I were to provide Traditional Scottish Irish Canadian Medicine approaches would these be subjected to the same ‘standards’ as the Traditional  Chinese Medicine models or would I be expected to adhere to a Cochrane model even though Cochrane himself didn’t see any difference between the Irish, Scottish, and English models of medicine.
Fareed Zakaria writes that we're in a Post American World but we collectively or just a few of us.
It’s no surprise that Ireland separated from Britain and that Scotland is doing so or that Canada is a unique entity that government rulers and monitors would like to see as ‘american’ or ‘english’ given their tendency to uphold the works of these ruling countries even when our ‘local’ approaches are vastly superior as evidenced by the people here staying here and having their medical needs met here.
It’s just a thought.  And I don’t think anyone else is thinking about it.  I’m sure that a notice has been placed on some wall on another planet about it though.

Saturday, February 15, 2014


Please God, help me to forgive my enemies. Help me to let go of the memories of those cows and weasels that so infested my life with their poison and venom as to leave huge gaping holes in my consciousness and my own ability to love and care for others.
Let me remember always that you are all and they can only be an aspect of you who is love. Help me to let them go and let those memories go as they were only lessons in life. I survived those little peckers worst, their greatest of insults and most frightening of attacks, their betrayals, failed promises and putrid stink.  Help me to celebrate more and whine less.
My survival is your doing Lord, for weak as I am, and you know me, without you I would have hunted them down to the last of their family and friends and castrated and sterilized every last one, after I’d cooked up and eaten their best parts, and made a feast of their flesh for the birds and animals, and used them for compost for my vegetable garden. But you Lord have reminded me over and over again that I should do unto others as I would  have them do unto me so I have not done anything that I would have done, like burying them in anthills alive or posting them on my front law with their ravaged intestines spilling their own deaths into their slow dying screaming bodies.
I have as you taught me never retaliated but rather turned to the kindness of police and courts and authorities who have more often than not done squat to capture, punish or stop the killers, rapists, thieves and bad genes.  This has lead to me having even more resentments, now not just again the original piece of shit and spittle, but now against the smegma authorities, who I pay in taxes to protect the innocent and maintain law and order.  Help me most of all to forgive the governments, politicians, police, bureaucrats and  military who I have felt so failed me off spending my taxes on their parties when they should be protecting me from the bottom feeders and nuking my enemies so I don't think of their thefts and abuses because I find myself carrying grudges most against those ones I didn't smote.
Thank you lord for letting me know that as I get older some little shit that hurt me in grade school has died now from an awful disease and I can have moments of gloating, but far fewer than I would think appropriate given the taxes I pay to have the wrong doers jailed and fried.  So especially Lord help me forgive the useless help, the utterly shitty security systems that let the fat cows and their minions through the defences and have me personally wasting precious time defending myself from their pathetic onslaughts and lies.
Now Lord, I know that I am to forgive my enemies because these people could only be my friends if we all agreed in the karmic bardot to have a play and this time round I’d play the long suffering one while they’d play the asshole and dickwad, otherwise these people must be my ‘enemy’.  Because God, you are the orubunga and alone in the universe divided first into light and dark and then played the game of hide and seek, leaving me not knowing whether you or we are the ass biter or the ass.
So God I forgive you biting my ass and will try for ever not to bite yours so together we can find peace and go back to that glorious time before our game of hide and seek when we were one and the kids weren’t bothering me with their incessant drama.
But Lord, help me to let go of these resentments and forget the times when I bit my tongue till it bled or hit the walls with my fists till they bled or isolated for as long as I possibly could getting as far away from my fellow humans as humanly possible,  knowing my own nefarious self to the depth of my own evil and cunning and treacherous killing ways, knowing I did not retaliate as I could but instead moved on, ever believing that loving was superior to killing, fear and retaliation.
So Lord let me forgive my enemies and their raucous institutions and their principles of evil.  Help me to see the good in all and pray and meditate on the light. Don’t let me give evil for evil and thereby become like the diarrhea and slime that they are.
I admire their performances Lord, knowing that my greatest teacher is the one who causes my death but Lord help me to forget these times when it cost me so very much to act civilized among the immature, my enemies,  whose mothers and fathers raised them as insects rather than as humans.  Help me tolerate those who are not house trained or even human, whose parents were even more feral and incompetent.
Help me Lord to Love all life and see you in all rather than responding to my own sense of fear and desire for revenge.  Help me Lord to love always.  Mostly now help me to forgive. I forgive all those who in the past have harmed me and been so harmful in their natures to all others not just me.  I forgive the insults of the past but know too well Lord that even as I am forgiving this moment later today I will remember the tours and let those bad feelings and thoughts return to help me wall off that memory without necessitating early dementia.  I know that resentments and fears and schemes and hatred eat up the RAM's and feel the hard drives of the computer so help me Lord to lighten my load and free up more space for love and life.
I pray that all these bad actors and bad actresses also find their goodness and next time round we can stop the violence and play well together. I ask now Lord, that you bless these enemies and their institutions and all that ass biting half, the darkness in the world ,that we may all together know the light that is truly you.
For all is you Lord. You are the light. And all is love and I know that I can not come to your table while I hold onto these resentments against bad ex’s, bad governments, bad bureaucrats, bad philosophies, bad religions, bad enemies of the state, bad thieves, bad liars, bad animals killers, bad baby molesters,  bad drug dealers, bad arms dealers, bad tobacco CEO’s, bad wall street little penis people, bad bankers, bad lawyers, bad feminists, bad special interests beggars, bad climate change and non climate change news hoggers, bad media, bad gangsters, bad everything. I have to love you in all your manifestations, and understanding Job and Mishnah and all the works of religion at it’s truest know that I am in myself, the devil and the lover ,and must love the devil with forgiveness not celebration or joining, but with the love of a father for a son who is lost as you know and love me for I am so often lost.  I know Lucifer was your son and you loved the prodigal and I am the prodigal and I am always returning to you Lord, loving you and understanding that all those who I have played with in this life have only been doing their ‘part’ in this great drama of life.  Everyone and everything are just facets of you God who I love with all my heart and all my soul and all my being. Help me love today and let go of the sadness of my memories of enemies. Help me to not worry about enemies in the future but rather live wholly in the present in love with you.
So for my forgiveness ,I have to forgive as you forgive. I would be as you God, loving, so let me stop the nasty thoughts and remembrances of these shit eating holes and their pissy little friends and institutions and instead love you and love all that is good, for it is me that turns from the beautiful and looks at the ugly, and it is me that is forever looking for the negative when you would have me look to the light and glorious. I beg you to help me moment by moment to always love and never fear for you are always here, and I am always with you, and we are all here together in your love, and death is not an end but just a new beginning and even now I know so little that I don’t even know when I’m biting ass or having my ass bit ,so help me walk in the light lord so I can at least see whose ass is whose.
I pray for my enemies to wake up and see the light and be with you and forgive me my poor dance steps and misdeeds and lack of love and respect for them who are just you in disguise Lord.  I love you God and would walk at your side.  Help me forgive my enemies because you know I’m clearly not very good at it.  And please Lord, Stop Biting My Ass!  And alright, I'll try to stop biting yours.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Canadian Authors Association - West Coast Branch - Open Mike Feb 2014

Open Mike night at the Canadian Authors Association was a great success.  President Margot Bates opened the night with announcements and news.  We have a new web page, 2014 Short Story Contest was launched as well.  

Poet, Jean Kay introduced each authors after reading one of her inspirational poems.  The readers in order were, Al Cool,Leanne Dyck, Patty Emry, Georgia Hunter, Carl Hunter, Anne Helps, Susila Bryant, P.W. Bridgman, Jaminie Hilton, Justin Burggraeve, Robert W. Mackay, Roxanne Davies, Joyce Goodwin, Seth McDonough,Sharan MacGougan, and Douglas Aitkens.

What a remarkable  range wordsmiths, some reading short stories, others poems, others excerpts from novels.  Laughter, applause, joy and even an occasional tear.  I sit beside these extraordinary imaginations and they seem such ordinary people.  It’s such fun to see the soul at play.   An incredible evening. I am so thankful to have been there.

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