Dell's Canadian Tails

Friday, June 25, 2010

Dell On Criminalizing the Canadian Citizen

I was playing around in blogspot earlier and all hell broke loose. Well, maybe it wasn't that bad. I finally figured out what I did wrong, all by myself. Not bad for an old guy.

Anyway...I'm back, with part two of my thoughts on Canada's tough on crime policies.

A decaying society typically includes the criminalization of its citizens: tough laws, more jails and jail time, more police state behaviour. Now why is that?

It always comes down to money. As the gap widens between the haves and have-nots, the necessity to control those at the bottom, requires a heavy hand. Take a look through history if you think I'm making this up.

Who is usually targeted for criminalization? the poor, minority races and anyone who threatens to end the gravy train. You might be surprised to find it's you next in line. Nonsense  you say. Consider this:

Over the last decades, Canada's family and criminal laws have changed. The system of agencies meant to provide supports and assist the severest cases of family problems, have instead become the power tool in the systematic and endemic criminalization of Canada's citizens.

Prior to these changes, if a marriage was in trouble, family, friends or a church minister stepped in and talked to the couple. People who actually knew the couple helped them through their troubles. Only in truly difficult cases would the police or social services be called in to work with a family. 

Family matters are now routinely dealt with by government services. These agencies almost always claim a mandate to keep families together. In practice, almost without exception, they have the exact opposite effect. Intrusive, manipulating, controlling and punishing, they exhibit the hallmarks of bullying: police, mental health services, the legal system, social welfare, child protection services and the list just keeps growing.

A typical scenario now goes like this: John and Mary get married, have a couple kids and all is well for some years until the local manufacturer closes down and John is out of work. Stressed out and worried, John who was never been a big drinker begins regularly having a few beers. Mary is concerned but figures once John gets back to work he'll be fine. After some months of this, John's drinking is beginning to become a real problem. When his EI cheque fails to show up one week, he gets in a foul mood, proceeding to get really drunk. He's hollering, banging doors and Mary is yelling at him to settle down. The kids are upset and one of them runs outside crying. The next-door-neighbour has seen the crying child and heard Mary yelling and calls the police. The police arrive and can hear Mary yelling, "Don't....don't...John...don't!"

The police officer knocks on the door. John answers and is asked to step outside. Quite drunk, John tells the officer to, "Go f**k himself!" and proceeds to head back in the house. Before he can figure out what's happening, he's on the ground, knee in the back, cuffs on and out to the cruiser. Mary and the children are in shock at this. The police officer takes down the particulars of the situation as he sees it. Mary says John didn't hit her, but the officer notes a bruise on her arm. Mary says she got it moving a table out of the dining room. She insists John has never been violent with her or the children. She is informed that John is going to be charged with assault. They don't know if an assault actually took place. That's what court is for. One officer takes the oldest child aside and asks, "Has your Dad ever hurt you or your mother?" Not sure what the officer is asking, the child says nothing. Within the hour a Children's Agency worker shows up wanting to interview the children.

Mary and John are now under the thumb of the system. They will spend the next couple years paying for lawyers or rely on legal aid. They will have to jump through hoops to get the Children's Agency worker out of their lives. Mary will be required to see a family counsellor who will then recommend she see a psychiatrist for depression. The psychiatrist will put her on medications and refer her for ongoing mental health evaluation. John will have to see an alcohol and anger management counsellor. The children will be assigned a counsellor at school. Not surprisingly, the children will  begin having all kinds of school troubles. John will keep losing jobs because he misses so much time for court ordered counselling, anger management, and court hearings that keep getting put over. Eventually the charges are withdrawn...but not before John and Mary's marriage breaks down.

A formerly okay family, who might well have managed, given time and family support, to gresolve issues surrounding John's unemployment and drinking, is demolished by the very system that claims to serve them. Who is gaining from all this? It sure isn't the families.

More on this subject in tomorrow's post. Right now, Dorg needs outside, then I'm headed for the sack.

Dell on The War on Drugs

Do you believe there is a war on drugs? Is the tough on crime stance legitimate? or propaganda?

I thought it was for real, as the young people say, until I took my blinders off and had a rude awakening.

Consider the following: Local girl in her late twenties who likes her alcohol, doesn't smoke marijuana or use any drugs. She works at minimum wage and sells small amounts of pot to teens, at affordable teen budget prices, for their weekend parties. Everyone in town knows her and her family: local youth came and went from her place without incident for years. Then, her boyfriend gets a cocaine habit. She's not happy about it but talks to her man who lives on the outskirts of town, who supplies her pot...he sells her the coke boyfriend wants but she refuses to sell the coke to others. Her thing is selling marijuana and she doesn't want any trouble. When the boyfriend runs up a tab for his coke habit and doesn't have the cash to cover it, her supplier tells her she can have some time to pay that debt, and he will continue to supply her marijuna, but no more cocaine until the debt is clear. After much nagging by the boyfriend, he talks her into driving to the next city, a couple hours away, to purchase cocaine for him there.

She is arrested, for the first time ever, returning from the city with the cocaine in the vehicle.

What are the mathematical odds of her being stopped the one and only time she goes out of town to purchase cocaine? That's what I thought.

She owed one dealer in one city, she shows up elsewhere with cash, she's arrested on the way home. The lesson to her is this: pay your bill or you won't buy anywhere else and we'll f**k up your life if you try it. The police had to have been in on it as did the other dealer in the other town. That's some networking going on. Her dealer remains untouched.

"The dealer or someone else could have called the police," you say? Just try and call the police on someone selling drugs. Good Luck! Unless you sign an affidavit saying you have seen the drugs, been present during transactions, and so on, they will not be doing a take-down any time soon. More likely, you will be targeted for some harassment thereafter. If you belong to the right circle of friends, the dealer may be quietly relocated elsewhere.

What is true in a small way is usually true in a larger way.

After that incident, I made a point of watching and learning.
Same town: a man in his forties relocates with his family and becomes part of the downtown scene selling his own prescription for oxycontin, his child's Ritalin prescription, marijuana from the same supplier as the first young lady, in both teen and adult-sized quantities. He can also negotiate for hard drugs with the supplier, depending on who is doing the asking. His favourite thing is selling small amounts of marijuana to teens, because this guy likes, according to the young people, to do the grabby, feely thing with either sex, and two different young ladies say he raped them. You want something to smoke? you put up with it. Then come a flood of charges against local teens who get probation, curfews and are subjected to the local police questionning them every time they are looking for another teen to arrest. There is a raid at the local highschool and Mike __ , is arrested for having a couple joints on him. He had only got it the night before from this same man and no one else knew he had it. How did the police know? Bingo! You have guessed it: Mr. Creepy has a deal with the local police: I give you information so you can look like you're doing your job. Some kid complains I've sexually assaulted them, you point to their drug record. Who will believe the teenager? the Crown won't even look at the case.

Another man, on a disability pension, augments his poverty by selling oxycontins bought from others with legitimate prescriptions. They sell their prescriptions because their pensions don't meet their needs, either. This man also sells marijuana and can find ecstacy, date rape drug, meth, cocaine, etc. if the customer wants it: one phone call and its delivered to his door in minutes. This man went on unmolested until he tries the cocaine a few times and gets a habit. Now he's cocaine paranoid: keeps guns, bear spray, brass knuckles, pitbull dogs are adopted...eventually a decision is made that he is just too big a risk, given his paranoia. He gets arrested.

Compassion clubs, providing marijuana to those who use it medicinally, are similarly targeted for big take-down scenes and arrests.

So is there a war on drugs? If you want the answer to that, you have to follow the money and power trail.

That will be the subject of my next post. In the meantime, you might want to read Lies the Government Told You: Myth, Power, and Deception in American History (March, 2010) a thought provoking book, including what you can do to confront the lies perpetrated by your government and its agents.