Living in the Shadow of Mental Illness

Written by Harold McNeill on August 19th, 2014. Posted in Editorials


depression

Photo (Web Source).  The dark shadows of depression and mental illness can be lifelong or sudden in onset.  While cancer, heart disease and any one of dozens of other diseases are accepted and treated with respect, not so for depression and mental illness. They remain in the shadows. People experiencing these debilitating states are often cast aside where they are left to their own devices. Many Military personnel have felt that pain. Can you imagine a cancer patient being cast aside and left to his or her own devices?

As many families have learned, the nature of the illness makes it difficult to reach out for assistance by either the victim or their family as the attached stigma casts an ugly net. This story continues to track those who have been caught at the margins of our society where failure to provide timely and ongoing assistance can have tragic consequences not only for those immediately affected but also across the mainstream.  

Note:  This story is part of a series about living at the margins of our society.  Abducted, the First Twelve Hours was posted a couple of weeks back. A list of other editorials on the subject is posted in the footer.   (Post:February 1, 2016 1095, April 2018, 1289)

Link to most recent post on this subject.

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Conspiracy to Bomb the BC Legislature: The Grand Illusion

Written by Harold McNeill on April 24th, 2015. Posted in Police Notebook, Editorials


Nuttall and Korody

December 19, 2018  In a unanimous decision released Wednesday morning, the Appeal Court sided with a B.C. Supreme Court judge who stayed proceedings in the terrorism trial of John Nuttall and Amanda Korody on the grounds that the police investigation was a “travesty of justice.”  Read more background at Entrapment

January 6, 2016 UPDATE:  More information about police misconduct continues to be aired following the conviction of the above couple on terrorist charges.  Read more in the Times Colonist

November 18, 2015 UPDATE:  A BC Supreme Court Judge has ordered the RCMP to release documents related to legal advice they obtained during the investigation of the above couple.  This is part of the hearing related to the subject of misconduct (or entrapment) by the RCMP.  Full report in The Province

June, 2014 UPDATE:  While Nuttall and Korody have been convicted of some charges by the jury in their case, the conviction has not been entered by the Judge pending a “Judge Only” follow-up trial to consider whether ‘entrapment’ played a role in the alleged crime.  Several Mr. Big Operations have been tossed by various Provincial Superior and Appeal Courts in recent years, and in one case that made it to the Supreme Court, the court upheld a lower court decision to toss the conviction.  (Link to Game Changer)

Photo (Web Source): As you read this post consider whether you think John Nuttall and Amanda Korody were latent terrorists just biding their time or whether they were drug induced dreamers targeted to play a lead role in the Government’s War on Terror. After nearly five months of work by a squad of 250 RCMP security personal and with just three days to go before Canada Day 2013, this couple still had no idea they would be planting fake bombs in the bush around the B.C. Legislature.

Also, consider (and compare) as you read this post and the next, link below, how much could be accomplished if you assigned 250 RCMP members with a multi-million dollar budget and the latest in crime technology to take down some serious criminals who have already committed a crime or a long series of crimes, rather than chasing a couple of potentially dangerous airheads for five months.

(Link here to Part 1: Oversight of Police and Security Services)

(Link here to Part III: Conspiracy to Rob the BC Ferry Terminal at Swartz Bay)

Part II

Conspiracy to Bomb the B.C. Legislature: Introduction

This post continues the discussion about whether oversight of police and security services is as important today as it was in the 1970’sAfter reading and watching over four-dozen media, video and web reports covering the ongoing trial of Nuttall and his partner Korody, it was astounding to learn of the extremes to which the RCMP Security Service went in order to envelop the couple in a terrorist plot. It was as if we were back in the 1970’s when security agencies could act with impunity (Oversight).

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Separation of Church and State

Written by Harold McNeill on May 13th, 2014. Posted in Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


 

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May 2014, Late one night Stephen Harper and Peter McKay run away from the Supreme Court…

February 2018 (2018)
For a 2018 update on this subject link here to Church and State

This post will trace the evolution of our secular system of government and attendant public institutions. By remaining fully secular, these organizations allow all Canadians to remain free from religious rule and teachings, yet many are under constant pressure to revert to a more religious based system. It was difficult finding a way of criticizing without the criticisms being seen as a rant rather than a rational discussion. Hopefully, I have succeeded, but suppose that will depend upon the perspective of the reader. 

June 11, 2014: In a significant move BC Lawyers, by a vote of 3210 to 968, directed their benchers to reject an application for accreditation made by Trinity Western University for their new Law School. (Link)

May 15, 2014, 11:00 am. This is an Edited version of the original poster of May 13, 2014, at 12.29 pm.  Mostly cleaning up the structure with some subject matter moved around. There has been no alteration of the original direction and intent of the post.

A smattering of news reports over the past several weeks focuses on the challenges faced in maintaining a balance between competing interests in our pluralistic society. This week, PMO staff found the Prime Minister wandering around kicking chairs and punching walls after the Supreme Court yet again struck down one of his carefully crafted pieces of legislation. It is largely because of this Court of Last Resort that we are able to maintain a balance in our society. While the Prime Minister may rant and rave about this ‘activist’ court interfering in the business of Parliament, we should all be thankful it is there to protect our rights in cases where ideologically driven legislation fails to meet the standards set by our Constitution and Charter of Rights.

For his part young Trudeau choose to open Pandora’s Box with his directive about accepting only Pro-Choice candidates (if you please!). It seems Justin, God bless the little guy, has inherited his Daddy’s tendency to ‘never let a sleeping dog lie’, and as for little Stephen, he completely forgot his Mommy’s message about ‘not poking a hornets’ nest with a stick’. These items make for an interesting read, but, standing alone, are just stories about a couple of gifted and privileged boys playing politics in hallowed halls of Ottawa. Neither item would prompt me to write an in-depth post, but the next certainly did as that item, in my opinion, is an emerging challenge to our secular system.

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The True North Strong and Pot Free —– Not

Written by Harold McNeill on December 20th, 2013. Posted in Editorials, Tim Hortons Morning Posts


420-2010aerialview.jpg

 The True North Strong and Pot Free —– Not
Vancouver, April 20, 2012. Over 20,000 people, the largest crowd to date, attended the Four Twenty Protest.
At 4:20 pm (precisely), a sweet smelling cloud lazily drifted over the Library and across downtown Vancouver.
Twenty thousand people just had a group toke.

It has long since been ordained that the ubiquitous Mary Jane would one day become, if not legal, at the very least a controlled substance sold in Government style Liquor Stores. Marihuana grow ops will be popping up across the country like dandelions on a newly planted lawn. Now that a few States in that bastion of extreme conservatism south of the border have begun to decriminalize the substance, can the Province of British Columbia’s five billion (that’s right five, with nine zeros) pot growing industry, be far behind? For BC  this is not a trivial amount of untaxed ‘free enterprise’ money by any count.

Seeing an opportunity in this trend, Medbox Inc., a U.S. based company, is set to introduce into Canada, automatic Pot Vending Machines (PVMs) for use by those licenced to toke as permitted under the Canada Health Act (link to story).  Apparently the PVMs provide easy and secure 24 hour access. Imagine, pot on demand at your nearest 7-11. It was also reported the RCMP is looking at installing machines in their remote detachments (link). City members, of course, will be able to pop by the nearest 7-11.

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Index to Editorials

Written by Harold McNeill on May 30th, 2012. Posted in Index to Posts, Editorials


Most Recent at Top

(Gaps in Editorials over time indicate I was likely busy writing stories in other sections)

2017

Intervention, the key to fighting crime: The RCMP have beefed up their efforts to identify and intervene where it is believed a young person is being drawn into a life of crime.  An Assistant Commissioner in the RCMP states this is the only way to reduce the risk of young people becoming involved in a life of violent crime. (June 2017)

Creating People Friendly Communities:  Is it possible to create people friendly communities?  Of course it is, but in order to do so there will need to be a move away from cars and our city and town planning departments will need to look more closely at how people friendly communities are created and maintained.

Illegal Aliens intercepted in Sarnia:  It was a busy day for the Police and Security Service personnel as hundreds of illegal aliens from the United States made a dash for Canada.

Keep the peace and be of good behaviour:  Why is it our government and security agencies continue to push millions of dollars towards mitigating the minimal danger posed by would be home-grown terrorists and completely overlook the far greater danger posed by home grown criminals and gangs.

Brexit: How a minority took over a country:   51% voted to leave the EU, 49% voted to stay, but did those numbers actually reflect what Britain, Scotland, Ireland and Wales really wanted?

2015

Visions of the World   This is a follow-up post to the attack in Charleston, South Carolina.  Why does the United States and Canada give domestic terrorist organizations that are white based a free pass? An earlier post of this appeared on Facebook in early 2014.

Oversight of Police and Security Services:  A look at Bill 51 from the perspective of a Police Sergeant who was present during the FLQ Crisis that gripped Canada in 1970 and how oversight of the RCMP Security Service failed badly. What lesson can be learned. (October 15, 2015)

Advocating Terror to Become a Crime:  While ISIS style terrorism dominates the news, Criminal Gangs and Lone Wolves of the Criminal sort pose far greater danger to Canadians at home.  The Criminal Law as it presently exists provides police and Security Services with plenty of tools to defeat those who would disrupt our society without adding dozens of terror related bills that will make things worse rather than better. (January 20, 2015)

To Live or Die: Some Hard Decisions:  Can Assisted Suicide be managed in a way that will protect the vulnerable?  This is another of those very difficult decisions that face Canada.  The life of a world renewed scientist, Dr. Stephan Hawkings, is used as an example. (February 9, 2015)

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Terrorism, Another Perspective

Written by Harold McNeill on May 8th, 2013. Posted in Editorials


The tragic bombing in Boston demonstrates again how quickly and completely media, government and law enforcement can spin the terrorist card. Along with the deployment of well over a thousand City, State and Federal police, mass transit was shut down, businesses were closed and nearly a million residents of the area told to lock themselves in their homes until the suspects could be captured.  During the depth of the manhunt, the situation was best described by a Boston police officer who stated, “we are operating in the fog of war”.1

Boston: “The Fog of War” (Photo: MetroDCPhotography)

The hunt was on for two inept, ideologically driven brothers, both US citizens suspected of having set off crude bombs that killed three and seriously injured dozens more, created a media frenzy that quickly spead around the world. The difference in these killings from the tens of thousands of killings which occur each year in the United States is that the Boston suspects were Muslim, their weapons of choice were crudely made bombs, and, the event, being defined as an act of terror.

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Smart Meters: A New Environmental Battleground

Written by Harold McNeill on February 2nd, 2013. Posted in Editorials


Note: Times Colonist, February 3, 2013.  Smart Meter foes fume at Coleman   Updated comments in the footer.

Note:  A copy of the following letter, purported to have been circulated by the President and CEO of BC Hydro, was sent to me by an anonymous source. I accepted and reproduced it at face value. Is it possible someone was spoofing me?

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NRA: The Second Amendment Argument

Written by Harold McNeill on January 21st, 2013. Posted in Editorials


Photo (Web)  Business as usual. How can this position possibly be justified?
Feb 2017: 330)

The NRA continues to use the Second Amendment as a large part of their justification for maintaining the right of US citizens to own firearms without restriction (reference notes in footer). Their position is summarized in the following quote:

“The Second Amendment is not about hunting, target shooting or self defense. It is about the tyranny of government. It was born from a profound first-hand experience of how the loyal British subjects were betrayed on April 19, 1775, by their government, which sent soldiers to seize guns and ammunition. This is why Americans and in particular the NRA, are adamant in defending and preserving the Second Amendment. They know the tyranny of government.”

As a basic tenet, the NRA suggests it is only by arming the citizenry that government can be held to account. Think now about the nature of government in the US and Canada. What could possibly lead to a state of affairs in which it was deemed necessary for the citizens to pick up firearms and confront government? Our entire societal structure would first have to undergo such profound change that we would be in no different position than are the citizens of countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc..

With the advanced military-industrial complex that exists within the United States (and to a lesser extent in Canada), it is inconceivable the citizenry could ever mount a successful rebellion such as that taking place in the countries mentioned above. The entire NRA position is, in my opinion, simply a public relations exercise designed to justify the existence of the NRA as a title sponsor of the Republican Party.

If any modern, law-abiding, democratic country has deteriorated to a point where it was deemed necessary that ordinary citizens take up arms to defend themselves against each other or against their government, that country will already have fallen so far as to have become only a shell of it’s former self.

About the only organizations that would fit the NRA definition of being able to ‘fight’ a very limited guerrilla war against government would be fringe groups such as the White Supremcists and Patriots along other organizations such as the Sovereign Citizens in the US and Freemen of the Land in Canada. For various reasons I think the Tea Party has moved closer to becoming one of those groups and it is certainly not on the fringe as are the others.

On a positive note, the majority of citizens in the US and Canada recognize those organizations pose far more danger to our societal well-being than do the majority of ordinary citizens and the governments of our respective countries combined. Even so-called ‘terrorists’ cells do not match up to these fringe groups in their ability to damage our society.

While ‘freedom’ to own a gun is largely a US issue, it is one that also impacts Canada as the United States is our closest friend, neighbor and ally. The recent move by the Federal Conservatives to remove the Long Gun Registry and destroy all the records in spite of the requests by some Provinces to retain the registry, suggests their is an undergound movement to likewise lesson controls on ownership even though over 90% of Canadians support stringent gun ownership restrictions.  Within the United States, public support for greater control of guns is relatively strong, currently holding at over 60%.

As our two countries continue to evolve, it is important to see our futures evolving toward a more peaceful state of being, not nations in which organizations such as the National Rifle Association, White Supremcists, Patriots, Sovereign Citizens, Freemen, Tea Party and others threaten our well-being because of their fear mongering and extremism.

Just say’n…

Harold McNeill
Victoria, BC

Notes:

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger referred to gun lobby propaganda on this issue as “one of the greatest pieces of fraud…on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”  (Link here for discussion)

Wikipedia provides a short description of the 1939 US Supreme Court Decision (United States vs Miller) which upheld the right of State and Federal governments to place restrictions on gun ownership. (Link Here). Since that time a number of other Federal and State Court decisions across the United States have followed that precedent. That the NRA and others have been able to perpetuate the myth that the right of individuals to own firearms is protected under the Second Amendment ranks right up there with the myth that Christopher Columbas discovered North American in 1492. (Link Here)

Gun Ownership in the United States:  Since 1973 the percentage of individuals in the US owning a gun has fallen from 47% to 36% in 2011. (Link Here).  The number in Canada is estimated at 20%. The number of guns per 100 people in the United States stands at an estmated 88 (the hightest in the world) while in Canada that number stands at 36.

Canadian National Firearms Assocition (Link Here) Not surprisingly, Canada has its own NRA, although it is not as powerful nor as extreme as its US counterpart.

Link here to NRA Attack Ads

The NRA in Canada:  The February 10, 2013 edition of the Fifth Estate provided a very good summary of the NRA position. The report stated that by 2015 in the United States there will be more deaths by gun shots than in car accidents.  In 12 US states, gun shot deaths already exceed vehicle accident deaths.

The NRA opened a branch office in Canada in order to help fight our existing gun laws.  The organization provided considerable support and funding to gain public support for overturning the Long Gun Registry and destroying all the files in order to make it more difficult for the registry to be implemented at some point in the future.

Businesses in the United States are the largest purchasers of handguns produced around the world.

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Comments

  • Andrew Dunn

    May 14, 2019 |

    Thank you so much for all your help thus far Harold, aka. Tractor guy! I could not have done without you!

  • Harold McNeill

    April 25, 2019 |

    I find it interesting to contemplate how a small community evolves in general isolation from the rest of the world. We have a similar situation in the northern communities in Canada to which access is limited. The inclusion of the world wide web and mass media has changed things, but these communities are still left pretty much to their own devices when it comes to personal interaction.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 19, 2019 |

    Hi Dave. Not that I am aware and I have a fairly comprehensive family tree for the McNeill side of the family. I will pull it up and scan. Cheers, Harold. Great chatting with you and I will give Ben a nudge.

  • Dave Cassels

    March 16, 2019 |

    Were you related to Guy McNeill who owned the Bruin Inn in St. Albert in the late 40’s or early 50’s? Guy was a close friend of my father-in-law who was the first President of the Royal Glenora Club. My phone number is 780 940 1175. Thank you.

  • Harold McNeill

    March 15, 2019 |

    So glad you found the story and enjoyed. Indeed, they were memorable times. I did a fair amount of searching but never managed to contact any of the Murffit kids. However, it was neat to make contact with the Colony and someone I knew from back in the day. I have enjoyed writing these stories from back in the 1940s and 50s and have made contact with a lot of friends from those early years. I will give you a call over the weekend. Cheers, Harold

  • Yvonne (Couture) Richardson

    March 7, 2019 |

    I enjoyed your story. I too, lived in Pibroch in 1951, as my parents owned the hotel there. I was a very close friend of Bonnie Murfitt at the time. I moved to Edmonton in 1952, however, and have not seen her since. I would like to be in touch with you to talk about your story. My email is listed above and my phone number is 780-475-3873.

  • Laureen Kosch/Patry

    March 5, 2019 |

    I grew up in Pibroch and would not trade those years for anything. “ Kids don’t know how to play anymore” Never was a truer statement made. During the summer we were out the door by 8am, home for lunch, and back when it got dark. For the most part our only toys were our bikes and maybe a baseball mitt. I will never forget the times when all the kids got together in “Finks field” for a game of scrub baseball. Everybody was welcome, kids from 8 to 18. I didn’t know it then but I guess I had a childhood most dream of. Drove thru town last summer. It all looked a lot smaller.

  • Harold McNeill

    January 13, 2019 |

    Well, my dear, it’s that time again. How the years fly by and the little ones grow but try as you may you will have a hard time catching up to your Daddy. Lots of love young lady and may your day be special
    Love, Dad

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Guess what? My response went to the Spam folder. Hmm, do you suppose the system is trying to tell me something?

  • Harold McNeill

    January 5, 2019 |

    Thanks, Terrance. Your comment came through but went to the Spam folder. Have pulled it out and approved. Can you send another on this post to see if you name is now removed from Spam? I’m not sure why it does that. Cheers, Harold