Dearest Jodie: A miracle occurred today! For dinner I received the most extraordinary meal, this great salad plate with five fresh green pepper slices, three cauliflower pieces, four broccoli pieces, lettuce, four real tomato wedges, dressings, medium cheddar cheese (grated, the real thing), and three hard boiled eggs. It was spectacular! The first real vegetarian meal I’ve had.
I don’t really know how or why it showed up; I’ve never seen anything like it before. I’m super-grateful. I’m the only one who received that extensive a salad tray as I’m the only "no-flesh diet" in the whole unit, but it was amazing. And filling, with the eggs and cheese. Most of the other inmates received a variation of it with some meat, but I know there was no cauliflower or broccoli in theirs because I was snooping to see if any left theirs so I could eat it, even in the return trays.
So I cannot say any longer that there hasn’t been any fresh vegetables. If I could even get that vegetable once a week, that would be something. So today is a good day.
I’m alarmed by the announcements today by Canadian Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and yesterday by Stockwell Day increasing the number of serious crimes in the criminal code. My friend Paul McKeever, who blogs at www.WesternStandard.ca and www.PaulMcKeever.ca, has an outstanding piece about it called "Shedding Light on Day: ‘Unreported Crimes’ Code for ‘Cannabis Offences’".
In it, McKeever, the leader of the iconoclastic libertarian Freedom Party of Ontario (which I co-founded in 1982), accurately surmises that this is all a prelude to a renewed persecution of the cannabis culture. Despite polls in Canada showing consistently that a majority of Canadians want marijuana legalized (52% in favour is the usual number), and that this November 1st, the 40-million-citizens state of California will be voting on Proposition 19 to legalize the possession, cultivation, sale, and taxation of marijuana, the Conservative government in Canada is determined to fill the prisons, build many more, fill them up, expend unprecedentedly huge amounts of taxpayer money (while running a staggering deficit for the rest of this decade) on this new pogrom of imprisoning Canadians.
This is Christian fundamentalism of the most Old Testament sort, and is one of the two policies the Tories in Ottawa really care about: making the sinners suffer & pay, and waging war! The Reform Party of 1993 has been buried in the dust, it cares not about transparency in government, nor deficit financing, nor pork barrel politics, nor the democratic deficit.
The Conservative government is obsessed with oppressing the cannabis culture through mass imprisonment and arrest, and the unbridled expansion of the military, and wish to spend many billions of dollars on these two wholly pointless programs. Both accomplish the opposite of their stated intentions. Prohibition manufactures crime where none existed, punishing those attracted to the big profits a legalized trade could not offer, and producing violence and gang turf wars where none would exist. The Canadian military hardly needs any airplanes to attack or bomb, can anyone really suggest that Canada has any targets worth a Russian or Chinese or American attack? What we need are rescue helicopters, rescue ships, and ice-breakers, more counseling for our traumatized soldiers who’ve served eight long years in Afghanistan in a futile war and occupation we should never have involved the nation’s soldiers in.
For all Harper’s soothing G20 talk about other nations curtailing their deficit financing, the Tories – as the Toronto Star so succinctly said on Tuesday – have shown not one shred of commitment to following through on the idea themselves. $14 billion on American fighter jets that we don’t need and can’t use. $9 billion (in the next 5 years) on just one "tough on crime" policy alone of filling the prisons. And more dangerous, ineffective and costly policies are proposed: ending accelerated parole for non-violent first time offenders, and American-style mandatory minimum prison sentencing laws (Bill S-10) are just the beginning.
The pointless G20 cost $1.2 billion and produced the most disgraceful 24-hour concentration camp of peaceful dissent this country has ever witnessed, while not one single policy came from the leaders who attended the event.
This Harper government is pure evil, taking their cues from the mean-spirited Old Testament and the New Testament Book of Revelations: punish the non-believing people, bankrupt them, lie & deceive them, that they might all be cast in the lake of fire that is reserved and waiting for the unbelievers. Too fantastic to believe? It’s documented, and extensively. Nicholson & Day are preeminent amongst the "End-Of-Times" Tories. Day and his supporters in part even take their cues from the Parliamentary Clock Tower’s divine signal! Oh, I’m not kidding – please read the book The Armageddon Factor: The Rise of Christian Nationalism in Canada by Marci McDonald for that whole story!
My best jail house Prison Potcast was done back in October of last year, its there on I-Tunes as well as in text at cannabisculture.com, called "Stephen Harper & The End Of Times (Of Canada As We Know It.)", you can read it at www.CannabisCulture.com.
I dare say Conrad Black’s two incredibly sensitive & brilliant pieces on Bill S-10 and the horrific US prison system of which I am incarcerated in (as he was for 28 months) are his editorials "Canada’s Inhumane Prison Plan" and "My Prison Education", which every conservative should read.
We need an election immediately. People need to empower the Liberals, NDP, and Bloc by urging them to vote no-confidence in this government. Canadians should write them or call them to ask for an ELECTION NOW. Then be sure to support the opposition party most able, in their riding, to defeat the Conservative candidate.
I’m already working on my 2010 CANADIAN VOTERS GUIDE TO DEFEATING THE CONSERVATIVES, ready in mid-September, just after I get sentenced on September 10th here in Seattle.
Your imprisoned civil rights activist husband,
P.S. To buttress the intent of Justice Minister Nicholson’s claim that they are re-naming more offenses as "serious crimes", note that the Toronto compassion club CALM (Cannabis As Living Medicine) was raided again today by Toronto Police, no doubt at the behest of the Justice Minister and Ontario’s Solicitor-General. Following on the heels of the raids in Quebec several weeks back of the compassion clubs there, the Conservatives in Ottawa are staking their reputation on the continued punishment and persecution of the cannabis culture. The Tories WANT an election called, and they want it to be around marijuana & prohibition. We should engage this desire of theirs.
First, you need to look up the election results from the last federal election (Google "Canada Federal Election Results"), available at www.electionalmanac.com.
If your Member of Parliament is a Conservative, find out who almost beat them or came in second last time, and support and vote for that person whether they’re NDP or Liberal or Bloc, or the Greens.
If your MP is NOT a Conservative, but there is a Conservative who is close to beating them, support your MP – whatever their party – against the Conservative challenger.
If your MP is in a "secure seat", where they won’t lose to anyone, then support and vote for the Greens because every vote equals $1.95 to the party, so that really helps the most progressive party in terms of drug policy in Canada (and which I am a candidate for in Vancouver South).