December 10, 1998
By : Timothy W. Shire
There is a certain responsibility in this modern world of information over kill for people like myself to try to give readers some sensible overview of the things that seem to be happening and this morning as I looked over the stories in the news it struck me that the news is far less cheerful then I would, and I am certain, you would like. Let's just run down some of the things that happened during this past week and consider what, any of them mean to us personally. Before we consider these events think for a moment about what Charles Dickens had the ghost of Jacob Marley tell us:
‘But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,’ faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
‘Business!’ cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ‘Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!’
It held up its chain at arm’s length, as if that were the cause of all its unavailing grief, and flung it heavily upon the ground again.
This past weekend Prince Albert City police while pursuing what they thought was a burglar set a dog loose under a step, the ten year old victim, a little boy required forty-five stitches to closed the multiple wounds on his face inflicted by the dog and authorities are saying it was just a misfortune that no one is to blame. Last Friday a group of grade eight and nine teenager boys in an Ontario school are strip-searched by the gym teacher and another teacher in an effort to find some stolen money. None of them refused to comply when faced with suspension and instead submitted to the unbelievable actions by those in charge. All of this week television has had the parade of learned men, supporters and paid lawyers advocating the cause of the American President. This gruesome spectacle all because William Clinton did before the people of the world proclaim on television that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman" when it turns out he surely did, time after time. The excuses and bazzaar explanations of the meanings of words exceeded anything that has been seen or heard in this century, and this has been a century when "the Big Lie" has been around in spades. Today an Alberta man awaits execution in a Texas jail. Capital punishment long ago banned in this country has become exceedingly popular in the United States where vast numbers of people are being held in prisons. In many US states the costs of their prison system exceeds the amount of money they spend on education of their children. Spain is proceeding with the extradition of the former Chilean dictator for crimes against humanity while even if convicted no punishment would be available as Spain has a law preventing the jailing of anyone over seventy-five and the old dictator is eighty-three. This morning the Federal minister of agriculture is expected to reveal the details of the assistance programme for Canadian farmers which will outline that it is based on income tax and will amount to something like $8,000 for a farmer working 1,500 acres of farmland. With farmers facing a loss of about $50 an acre in this past year ($75,000 for a 1,500 acre farm) it would seem the whole Western economy is endangered.