June 2008

06/29/08
Mary oliver poem
Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 10:20 pm
When Death Comes
When death comes
like the hungry bear in autumn;
when death comes and takes all the bright coins from his purse
to buy me, and snaps the purse shut;
when death comes
like the measles-pox;
when death comes
like an iceberg between the shoulder blades,
I want to step through the door full of curiosity, wondering:
what is it going to be like, that cottage of darkness?
And therefore I look upon everything
as a brotherhood and a sisterhood,
and I look upon time as no more than an idea,
and I consider eternity as another possibility,
and I think of each life as a flower, as common
as a field daisy, and as singular,
and each name a comfortable music in the mouth
tending as all music does, toward silence,
and each body a lion of courage, and something
precious to the earth.
When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.
When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.
I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.
-Mary Oliver
From New and Selected Poems
comments (0)
06/19/08
8 ways to encourage a friend.
Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 12:49 pm
Another repost;

8 ways to encourage a friend.
Filed under: just musing — Jon Swanson @ 4:32 am
1. Take a picture (of your friend, of the two of you, of a cow, of a
sign). Print it out (snapfish, flickr, walgreens, your own printer).
Write a note telling them specifically how they are making a difference
in lives. Mail it to them.
2. When they are in the middle of a busy day, send them a text.
3. Remember their birthday (Facebook, your birthday email from last year).
4. Take five minutes and make a mindmap.
Here’s what that is: Put their name in the middle of a piece of paper.
Around it make 5 lists: odd things they do; ways they care about
others; objects or activities they love most; things THEY want to do
better (NOT what YOU want them to do better); people who speak well of
them. Put this paper next to your computer and include items from it in
your notes and emails and conversations with them. (It tells them you
thought about them).
5. Gossip good about them to a mutual friend.
6. Forgive them (don’t tell them about it, just forgive them).
7. Reply to their emails, even if just to acknowledge receipt.
8. Never assume they know you care.
comments (0)
06/10/08
Repost and comments
Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 12:08 pm
I never thought the day would come that I am reposting a National Post news story, but this time I am. Perhaps I am a non-politically correct person, but if billions of dollars, a whole day of government business time and a telelvised worldwide apology doesn’t work, why bother? Many people who are not Native had terrible boarding schoole xperiences and many kids of many nationalities and colours have been beaten and abused (sexually or otherwise) by adults. They have to pay for their own counselling, this native conmensation claim isn’t even directed at counselling (if someone knows more, please let me know). Anyway, count me as cynical. I like money thrown at solutions, not as apologies.
______________
Another lesson in apology politics
Are the Tories getting too good at grovelling?
Don Martin, National Post Published: Monday, June 09, 2008
Tomorrow’s half-hour statement from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to a hushed House of Commons will be the greatest grovel in Canadian history, completing a ten-year process of parliamentary remorse for the residential schools tragedy and starting another five years of reconciliation.
On a Commons floor filled with dignitaries, native leaders and survivors of the notorious school system, a formal apology will drag on for thousands of words, every syllable agonized over to ensure it was sufficiently contrite and conveying suitable gravitas.
The government, Parliament, indeed every Canadian will be apologizing without exception for every student’s experience, be it positive, negative or abusive.
But there are still high-level concerns it won’t be enough and, while unlikely, could be rejected by native leaders as a political stunt that isn’t sufficiently sincere. One senior government official involved in drafting the apology acknowledged in mid-gulp on an Ottawa beer patio: “Of course, we’re still not sure they’ll accept it.”
Beverage splattered. Excuse me?
Native leaders have not been allowed to view an advance draft of the statement and Assembly of First Nations chief Phil Fontaine was not involved, as he requested, in authoring the apology.
Now, I’m not sure how involving the victims in writing their own apology adds to the sincerity of the script, but this remorse-filled statement will dramatically dwarf other acts of regret that have gone before.
Still, Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl allows there is “nervousness” at the potential reaction. “There’s a lot of anxiety because people are asking themselves the ‘what if?’ questions. What if he backs off or doesn’t say the right expressions?”
That seems unfathomable given the unprecedented attention it’s been given. The Commons will shut down for the entire day to focus all political attention on speeches by all political parties before native leaders participate in ceremonies in nearby rooms.
Compared to the Chinese head tax or Japanese internment camp apologies, this will elevate grovelling to an art form by a Parliament that has already had plenty of experience pleading for forgiveness on this file.
It’s been 10 years since Parliament first heard a government minister apologize for the residential schools debacle. “To those of you who suffered this tragedy at residential schools, we are deeply sorry,” said Jane Stewart, Indian Affairs minister in 1998.
The RCMP apologized for its role in the federally funded program in May, 2004.
The United Church of Canada weighed in as well, describing the students as “victims of evil acts that cannot under any circumstances be justified or excused.”
The federal government apologized in every manner possible to some B.C. First Nations in 2000.
Finally, last year the House of Commons voted unanimously to apologize for the federal role in establishing and funding the schools.
And yet, Wednesday’s televised ceremonies will be doomed to disappoint in some quarters.
Ted Quewezance of the National Residential School Survivors Society, for example, insists the government describe the students as “kidnapped” and “imprisoned” while being “beaten, humiliated, starved, introduced to contagious diseases like tuberculosis and sexually abused.” Sorry, that’s not expected to happen.
There’s also (always) the demand for more money. “The Settlement Agreement does not compensate the pain and suffering, but it is only a small token to acknowledge this travesty,” Mr. Quewezance says.
At $2-billion-plus, that’s some “token.” And that doesn’t include the $60-million to launch a five-year search for tragic recollections by the truth and reconciliation commission or the $400-million total for aboriginal healing approved in 1998 and 2005.
There are whispers the Harper Cabinet is sick of saying it’s sorry for ancient events and feels if it starts saying it often enough, apologies will be debased to the point there’s no compensation liability or political risk attached.
That might explain why the Conservatives unexpectedly supported an official apology for turning away 376 Sikh passengers aboard the steamer Komagata Maru in 1914, pushed through by Liberal MP Ruby Dhalla last month.
One fed-up Liberal MP is quietly musing about proposing a Day of Apology so MPs can rise in the House to seek forgiveness from the victim of their choice.
Polling suggests the public hasn’t quite reached the point of being flippant or fed up with the government response to the residential schools tragedy.
But if money doesn’t talk and tomorrow’s glitzy apology doesn’t work, the mood may sour. Sincerity can’t be bought, but cynicism can.
National Post
comments (0)
06/07/08
tooo true!!!!!!
Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 12:17 pm
The provincial government is sending each and every one of us a $100 rebate for the carbon tax.
If we spend that money at WalMart, the money will go to the U.S.
If we spend it on gas, it will go to the Arabs or Alberta.

If we purchase a computer, it will go to Taiwan.
If we purchase fruit and vegetables, it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala.
If we purchase a good car, it will go to Japan or Korea or Europe.
If we purchase useless junk, it will go to China and none of it will help the B.C. economy.
The only way to keep that money here at home is to spend it on prostitutes and marijuana, since these are the only products still produced here in B.C.
> >>>>>>> Thank you for your help and support,
> >>>>>>> Gordon Campbell
> >>>>>>> Premier of British Columbia
comments (0)
06/05/08
Complicity and Mental Illness
Filed under: General
Posted by: Shawna @ 12:23 pm

Second Opinion
We’re all to blame for staying mum on mental illness
ANDRE PICARD
From Thursday’s Globe and Mail
June 5, 2008 at 9:22 AM EDT
There is something we need to cry out long and loud: Joshua Lall was mentally ill.
Before the murderous rampage that left two of his children, his wife and a tenant dead, the 34-year-old Calgary man reportedly was hearing voices and feared he was possessed by the devil.
Mr. Lall’s family said he had told them he was having a “mental breakdown,” and according to an e-mail written by his wife he had been stressed out and unable to sleep for a long period of time – all classic signs of severe untreated mental illness and the psychosis that can grip those with depression, bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.
There are those who do not want to say Mr. Lall was mentally ill for fear of besmirching his memory. Apparently, there is one thing more shameful than being a mass murderer, and that is being crazy.
There are those who fear that openly discussing the role of mental illness in these killings will perpetuate negative stereotypes about those with mental illness.
Yet by tiptoeing around Mr. Lall’s apparent sickness, by not daring to speak aloud the words “mentally ill,” we are perpetuating the stigma that was likely a driving force in this tragedy.
Mr. Lall was sick. He was exhausted. He was hearing voices. He was probably frightened half to death.
And what did he do? He called his parents. He booked time off work. He hid.
By all accounts, Mr. Lall did not go to his employer and say, “I need help.” He didn’t reach out to friends. And he apparently did not seek medical help.
If, instead of hearing voices, Mr. Lall had been suffering heart palpitations, laboured breathing or other physical symptoms, do you think he would have hesitated for an instant before going to the emergency room or to a doctor?
If he had broken a leg, would he have booked a few days off work in hopes that it would heal before anybody noticed?
Why are physical wounds treated and mental wounds hidden?
In modern society, and the business world in particular (Mr. Lall toiled in a firm of architects), nobody wants to admit to mental health problems because to do so is a sign of weakness and a surefire career killer.
That’s why most mental health problems – two-thirds by some estimates – go undiagnosed and untreated. That’s why most people muddle through depression or ignore the strange voices rather than reach out for help. (And make no mistake, hearing voices and other forms of psychosis are a lot more common than most people realize.)
As the media dissected his life, Mr. Lall was portrayed as a loving father, a wonderful employee, a brilliant student and an all-round good guy.
But guess what? So are most people with mental illness. It is the most intelligent and educated who are best able to rationalize their symptoms and who most fear being exposed.
One in five Canadians will experience a bout of severe mental illness during their lifetime. The mentally ill are not only among us, they are us.
Yet we continue to view mental illness very differently from physical illness, as a type of moral failing and an affliction of losers.
There is no evidence that people with mental illness are more violent.
But there is clearly a subset of people with untreated mental illness who are a danger to themselves and others. Most of this violence is turned inward – as evidenced by the 3,500 or so suicides that occur in Canada annually.
But in the rare instances when people with untreated mental illness kill others, they disproportionately commit certain kinds of homicide – the murder of mothers and children tops the list.
Untreated mental illness destroys families in the most horrific ways imaginable.
In his psychotic state, the voices in Mr. Lall’s head no doubt told him to kill those he loved most, perhaps because they were possessed by the devil, or to free them from some hallucinatory danger.
But when he was not in a psychotic state, when he could rationally consider what was happening inside his brain, Mr. Lall undoubtedly heard other voices – the judgmental voices that are so commonplace in our society.
Stigma is what keeps most people from seeking the help they need. Stigma is what leads those with mental illness to put on a smile to hide the searing pain inside. Stigma is what leads to isolation and to dangerous spirals downward.
Mr. Lall stabbed to death his wife, Alison, two of their children, five-year-old Kristen and three-year-old Rochelle, and tenant Amber Bowerman. (He spared one-year-old Anna.)
He did so because he was sick and untreated. But Mr. Lall did not act alone.
We are all complicit in those murders. Complicit because we turn away rather than reach out to those suffering from mental illness. Complicit in allowing so many barriers to care to exist. Complicit because we pretend this could never happen to us.
Complicit because we refuse to say aloud that mental illness kills.
Complicit in our silence.

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