What a time to be alive!
Yesterday I made a trip into town and looked up an old native Tlingit friend, and I do mean old: he's about 84. And I do mean friend, we've been friends for 20 years. He is a guy who would think nothing of driving for 2 hours to check on me when I was cutting firewood, bringing me drinks and sandwiches from the store.
But a decision has been made that he is unable to look after himself; references have been made to a deteriorating mental state. In my experience, I'm talking to exactly the same mind I spoke with 20 years ago. And yet, these perceptions in someone's mind are enough to stick him in the home, tearing him from his paid for home and belongings and moving him into a new community, away from his friends and enemies.
I finally found Matt in a ginormous new care home in Whitehorse and was able to have him released to make a trip downtown to get a few dollars from his account in CIBC. We parked in front and he made his way very slowly across the ice into the bank with his walker and waited in line for a good half hour while the 2 people in front of him were served by the one available teller. Finally he made it thru the queue, produced his documents and we both discovered they can't give him a single dollar from his account because it's being handled by the public trustee.
If this is the case, perhaps we should all pull our money from the bank. I understand the rationale of protecting an infirm person from bad financial decisions but to deprive an 84 year old of *all* his personally owned money is a new level of cruelty and an indignity to the aged. Matt has worked for what he has and I am witness to that.
Perhaps this idea of a nanny state caring for us by seizing our possessions for our own good needs to be revisited.
When exactly did attempting to survive after the government of the yukon forces you from your own home, become "defiant"? Maybe our survival apart from government paps has always been defiant, i don't know. In other respects this article is a pretty accurate portrayal of the situation, which has been escalating for some time. The whole thing could have been avoided had the courts provided Shelley with an alternative other than to "evaporate". However, our legal system is largely punitive, and doesn't seem to have other tools available for resolving disputes. The rest of us can all sit back and change the channel but if you're wearing Shelley Cuthbert's shoes, there you are, confronted by the power and authority of the mighty state! This is intolerable in a "free" country like Canada, or in any other country. In fact, the local aurhority over this matter, Teslin's Jason Colbert, has to drive well over an hour from his office just to deal with the problem of a few dog turds on a sea of crown land. One could ask, "is it really necessary to further harass a victim of governmental mismanagement to this absurd degree?"
And I dare to ask, for one.
A similar case once took place in New brunswick where a hog farmer found himself with some new neighbours with expensive houses. They moved into his area and signed a petition to have him removed because the smell of the hogs was offending their delicate olfactory nerves. They harassed the farmer until he ultimately couldnt take it anymore and ended his life. His brother, a lawyer, took every one of the people who signed the petition to court and won the case against them. Though they took it too the Supreme Court, they lost again. The argument against the hog-offended crowd? Mr pig farmer was there......... First! They knew the hogs were there when they started harassing him.
I visited Shelley today. She is doing quite well. In fact, i have personally visited her camp as well and there is little if any smell of urine and feces, although that was mentioned as a problem by Jason Colbert in the Yukon News. The dogs appear very well fed and dont appear to be suffering in any way, mentally or physically. Some animals are more aggressive than others, or shall we use the word "protective". And this brings to mind a possible market for some of the dogs in Shelley's care. Maybe you would like a protective dog in and around your home? They can be more effective than firearms at disheartening wouldbe invaders. Talk to Shelley!
Coming back to the care the dogs are receiving. Shelley is being inspected by animal welfare every 3 weeks! If there were any sort of problem whatsoever, dont you think they would have shut her down by now? That all by itself should convince any court that Shelley Cuthbert knows what she is doing with her animals. She has almost single=handedly solved the problem of stray dogs in the Yukon. If the govt won't support her, could they possibly just simply "not leave mad" or is that too much to ask?
And Btw, The article says she's camped at Tarfu Lake and Tarfu is an anagram for totally and royally ... well, you know the rest!
And btw, in related news, The Yukon Judge who insisted on Shelley owning only 2 dogs, which meant turning the rest over the the Yukon Govt for nearly certain destruction, has suddenly expired and passed on this last weekend. Condolences to the family.\
Gentlemen, we have a problem!
To summarize as briefly as possible:
The production of nations is being delivered through taxation directly to an entity we call the government, and from there into the hands of an elite, behind-the-scenes ultra wealthy class through means of various contracts, some legit and some much less so.
What makes the situation all the more difficult to unravel is that the vast majority of citizens see the government as a benevolent helping force instead of what it actually has become: a conduit for the labour of the people to the controlling classes.
Some elements of government of course, are indeed beneficial, while some are superfluous and others are downright detrimental to human existence. Most often, were resources left in the hands of those who produce them, the result would be a great improvement in nearly everyone's standard of living.
"But what about muh roads?" There! I said it for you. The roads are already there are they not? If government ceased to exist tomorrow, they'd all instantly disappear? I think not. Maintenance would be accomplished through other means, because transportation corridors need to be kept serviceable to get goods to the marketplace.
Now that the problem has been identified, what solutions are available? I can think of 5 or 6. Feel free to add to them, delete them all or a few; here they are, keeping in mind that the stingy end of the whip is the currency we use. It's the bit in our mouths, the controlling mechanism, without which, the power-brokers are helpless and defanged:
1. Discontinue your use of currency wherever possible. It was originally created as a convenience and it is possible to live without it entirely! It's called the barter system and it still works.
2. Grow your own food. Hunt, fish, garden and gather. End your dependence on currency income and the opportunity for taxation ceases.
3. Sell anything and everything to get completely out of debt. Both the interest and the principle have to be paid from after-tax income. You have to earn nearly twice the amount of your debt and interest combined to pay down your debt! For instance: a 10,000 dollar visa balance at 18 percent requires a low income individual to earn nearly 20,000 over living costs, pay the income tax etc and finally pay off the amount actually spent on the card. So not so convenient after all !! Is it?
Far better and simpler to let go of some treasures and use that instead. Let's be serious about this. Nearly everything you sell to eliminate debt can be reacquired later when you actually have some real bartering ability.
4: Help one another! This produces an immediate and socially satisfying result. Think of all the Gov't agencies you totally bypassed with this one simple trick!! Taxation, board meetings, catered meals with wine in high end hotel Chambers, deciding which poor to help, all eliminated along with all those prime ministerial flights and parades.
5: You're welcome.
(photo by Make Believe Photgraphy)
Shelley Cuthbert has achieved a certain measure of fame in the Yukon bit of Canada, but not in the way she would have preferred!
Shelley runs a rescue for dogs which require behavioral management. The goal of the rescue is to develop management plans for difficult dogs and adopt them out to people who have the experience and ability to manage such dogs. The rescue also boards other dogs long term, and handles dog control for the First Nations. Which makes the rescue a kind of revolving door for problem and unwanted dogs. Problem is she's been involved in a dispute over the last many months involving a few neighbours who seem to find living next to half a hundred dogs objectionable.
Understandable though that might be, the consequences of their annoyance have been piling up to a ridiculous level, actually to the point of driving Shelley and company from her personally owned home in the unincorporated settlement of Tagish, Yukon.
How this odd situation came about is a long story but to hit the key points: First of all its important to state that Shelley is a fully qualified mental health nurse who through a series of career choices ended up running a dog rescue in the Yukon. Obviously Shelley cares about the well-being of her animals. The evidence for that is everywhere you care to look. Feeding 50 dogs requires a thousand dollars a month for one example.
But nowhere is it more evident than in the fact that Shelley has actually chosen to adopt a homeless lifestyle rather than to take the obvious step of destroying her dogs, as her neighbours and a certain Yukon Judge clearly would have preferred her to do.
The striking thing about the situation is that a hundred years ago anyone owning 50 dogs would have been esteemed rather than despised as a "crazy dog lady" due to the fact that a large number of dogs back then represented success and prosperity. At the time of writing Shelley's whereabouts is unknown. Apparently, nobody but her and her 45 remaining dogs know just where she is, but it does beg the question: just how does one go about hiding 45 dogs?? There would be even more to hide but the courts have ordered at least some of them "euthanized" or "killed", in the local vernacular.
Now picture a woman cradling a 13 yr old dog that saved her daughter's life from CO2 poisoning, in her arms, as it slowly dies due to the lethal cocktail injected into its circulatory system by a veterinarian. Picture her being forced through fines and liens against her personally owned property to watch 4 of the dogs in her care destroyed this way until both the vet and herself were in tears and simply couldn't continue.
Thankfully the owners of the other 6 dogs came forward and spared her the ordeal of watching them die too. Unbelievably, Shelley has been held in contempt of court for Not following the courts order to have all the dogs in her care destroyed! Contempt of court! Are we North Korea? Yes it is annoying to be woken at 5 AM by the neighbours barking dogs, but using the court to force a woman to destroy her own family, for that is what a pet is to a single person, surely is a bit of overkill? And how is it even legally possible for the territorial court to force anyone to do anything regarding personal property in an unincorporated village? This has got to be one of the most ridiculous cases of coerced Gov't overreach ever attained in the once free Yukon.
As for Shelley, she's keeping up an amazingly positive attitude where many would simply despair, while she looks for a new situation for herself and her rather large and motley "dogteam" A place more isolated from neighbours, with any kind of rude shelter would be more than attractive to her at this point. And she can pay some rent. Any takers?
This head-scratcher makes you wonder though: was no other solution possible? What if the territory had made an offer of swapping her property for something less developed and more remote for instance? And what's with neighbours who choose to involve authorities in annoyance issues rather than taking a six-pack over and sitting down face to face to discuss the situation? Might that have prevented this sad scenario?
Follows a brief statement from Shelley Cuthbert herself: (slightly edited) "The dogs remaining at the time if the court case were my personal, other people's, and dogs whom do not meet the criteria set out by the Yukon government to be adopted. I choose to be homeless to prevent healthy dogs from losing their lives. (I agree the neighbours were adamant my dogs be handed over when the courts and everyone else were informed they would be killed) The vet was very empathic to the situation and supportive. There were 6 other dogs that previous owners requested they have the opportunity to euthanize (even though they had been surrendered to the rescue). These dogs were like my personal and had been with me for many yrs. In total 10 dogs lost their lives due to a court order demanding I surrender dogs to the government even though they did not meet their criteria to be safely adopted out due to liability issues. This effectively condemned them to death. It also needs to be said the neighbours are only seasonal and one neighbours lit is empty as he lives elsewhere. The one seasonal couple comes over on tourist visa every year. The neighbour who testified lives in Whitehorse and appears in Tagish periodically. The other two neighbours are also seasonal."
Come on Yukoners, in the spirit of this great region, lets find a better solution for Shelley and her animals than this!
Alberta, unloved and twice rejected, was once the beloved crown jewel of Canada.
Alberta boasts rich agricultural land, seas of swaying prairie grass, a defunct dinosaur place, rugged majestic mountains with enormous peaks and vast underground pools of oil and bulging pockets of methane gas.
That last one though has recently highlighted what is perhaps Alberta's biggest problem: It's a landlocked province with no easy accessibility to ocean ports!
And two generations of the Trudeau family have used this defect to torture the province to no end, to the enormous pleasure of the Saudis. Alberta is clearly seaport challenged and of course, in a functional country, this would present more of an opportunity than a liability. Friendly business transactions could take place to move their valuable product to the port of Vancouver, to Texas, to the eastern regions of Canada, and from those destinations to the world at large. However, we Canadians are clearly living in a dysfunctional country, eh?
The senior Trudeau, Pierre Elliot was no raving fan of the west and the west was never seen worshippng swayingly, arms outstretched, at his besocked feet either, so if we're waiting eagerly for Trudeau the younger to make emotional outpourings of sympathy toward Alberta, I would suggest finding an amusing hobby of some kind.
All we can expect is some few words perhaps and a forced toothy grin from our well-haired leaderette.
Recently in fact, she was caught in, to be polite, what could be termed a bold-faced lie. Justin denied, in Parliament, ever saying that the current rising prices for gasoline are "exactly what we want" . And there was something else in that previously recorded speech about encouraging better behavior from Canadians. On that, Justin and I concur wholeheartedly! I definitely would prefer to see better behavior from all Canadians, especially from myself, along with all the rest of us, and the Prime Minister! Better behavior, better results and who would be stupid enough to argue with that? The question though, is just exactly what constitutes better behavior and there is going to be a lot of different opinions on that topic, my friend!
Can I be perfectly frank? No I cannot because that is not my name and i don't know any perfect franks anyway. Nevertheless, by this one statement, Justin has shown himself to be totally out of touch with the vast majority of Canadians. We live in a sprawling land; it is huge in fact! (Duckduckgo The Arrogant Worms: Canadas Really Big, if you don't believe me)
I spent two days just driving from my home in the southern yukon to near the community of Fort McPherson, near the Arctic coast! A magnificent drive! I loved it, but i digress. Zooming back as with a digital map, the two day trip didn't even put a scratch on Canada! Our friends and colleagues are separated by enormous distance, as are the products we consume daily. What makes the whole thing tick tock as well as it does is one simple thing: Energy, usually in the form of oil and gas. I smile when I see a tanker of fuel coming up the alaska highway because i know what it means! Our perhaps well-meaning, grinning PM obviously does not! And who will ultimately bear the burden of that willful ignorance?
I've often had the thought that business, all business in fact, should go on strike for just a week. I think some people inhabiting this fair land would have a different perspective on such trifles as "resources" and who brings them to their doorstep by the end of the seven days. (Hint: Its Not the Gov't of Canada)
Well, looks like Maybe I will Maybe I wont just became guess what I did and I'm proud of it. MAGA. WOOT WOOT!!!!!!!!!
He's right about one thing. MAGA. Maga Mistakiosoamundo. Does the man and the people who pushed for the strike on Syria really not get that the people who put him there are largely against going to war with anyone and they voted for him in good faith believing he meant what he said about limiting the military and focusing on building US infrastructure, creating jobs and all that rot? Heck, the betrayal is so bad its even got Alex jones crying, and swearing! On the air!
If you've been paying attention, even just a little in between watching reruns of the Walking Dead and heading for the fridge, you must have noticed that America is continually at war with someone and the purpose is clearly never to win. Rather, as Orwell once warned, "War is not meant to be won , it is meant to be continuous." We are informed at great length of how evil some leader of another country is and then, strangely, off we go to war with his victims, killing them off in rapid succession as if to limit their suffering at his evil hands. This has always struck me as a bit odd. Surely if the purpose were to rid the people of Syria or Libya or Iraq or Afghanistan of their vile ruler, could that not be done more quickly and more effectively on a more personal level than by scattering all of his victims to the winds of the cosmos?
So, putting it to rest then once and for all, yes the war is meant to be continuous. The military industrial complex has to have conflict in order to survive financially let alone to prosper and issue dividends to it's stockholders. Think of the stockholders, man! Conflict or the threat of it is in fact, it's very lifeblood. At the very least the fear of the enemy has to be stirred continually in order to justify the continual suckling at the governmental teat. Yes, it is your taxes which make war possible.
War contractors and others of unscrupulous nature have to justify their existences in some way. Apparently, stealing money from the working class outright wouldn't look too good so some of them devise arguments for it's release. I'm at the point where i think it would be better for the lot of us if our war taxes were simply stolen rather than used as they are. I mean wouldn't it be better for us all to have the taxes stolen than misused as so many of them are? The arguments for the various expenses are becoming more and more insane and frail by the day. You can see through them "like spam in a ziplock bag" Leslie Nielson in "Wrongfully Accused". Somewhere someone is laughing his head off at our gullibility. Are they really going to buy this bovine excrement? That we're doing this because of our moral outrage that Putin might have almost killed somebody in England?? What a gas!!!
Yet the problem is so much bigger than the loss of the sweat of the productive class. When our taxes are used counter-productively, as in the airstrike against Syria, or on a politically useless and perhaps destructive visit to India, for example, wouldn't it be better for us all if the money were not spent at all? The justification for the use of public resources is worse than the theft!!!
In this particular case, with nuclear-armed Russia watching none too lovingly from the north, the stakes are way too high for us to be haphazardly lobbing bombs into Syria's capital .
Like my neighbour is fond of saying, 'No matter who you vote for the government always gets in!"
And gov't is not meant to be a temporary solution, it is meant to be continuous, same as our wars.
We need to rein them in. In a true democracy each individual would have the right to decide at the very least, into which field of endeavour he wants his taxes directed. Wouldn't that make sense? 30% to medical, 20% to education, and the rest to feed to homeless one-legged, one-eyed, BLT refugees from Uzbekistan for example?
Or, at a minimum, we get a vote on where the resources go. See Switzerland for an example of how that works, for example. They get to vote on all sorts of things over there instead of giving the key to the kindergarten to the emotionally unstable. And another thing, they have seven political leaders, not just one! And guess what? It works! Lets try that here!
It is concerning and not just a bit unsettling to consider the effect the last election has had on great white north dwellers. We now have a socialist administration which is apparently bent on leading the world's great charge on gender, farmers, babies, people bent on discussing foreign religions and non-violent gun owners whilst showcasing our prime ministerial dance moves and costume-donning abilities in foreign countries. I don't get it.
The list of prime ministerial oddities is long and amusing and would be sad if not so terribly funny! I've always had a dank sense of dark humor but even with that in full operation, it is difficult to watch the best example-setter Kanuckistan can produce telling a vet who lost a leg that there is nothing more the country can do for him. And not so long after that, chiding a woman for using a gender-specific pronoun, (how dare she???) insisting instead that she use "peoplekind" to avoid the use of that awful millenials-old term "MAN". Proving this was not "meant as a joke" is the later appearance of the directive forcing civil servants to address moms and dads as parent 1 and parent 2. No word yet on which gender gets the number 1 designation. A matter for the courts. Oh right! I just remembered. We don't have genders in Canada. My bad.
If "Just in for one term" is to be congratulated for any one specific thing, it would be for his stunning ability to ignore the naysayers and press on with his own peculiar, (not to use the forbidden word queer) agenda in the face of a full frontal assault by those stubbornly holding to the most basic forms of common sense. How does he do that? How can he ignore so much opposition while remaining unphased? Most of us would have backed down months ago in discouragement and gone with the general flow of thinking of those who elected him, but apparently, his upbringing has led him to believe that the way to run a country is to show 'em who's boss, plunging ahead and never to be deturd! And for this there are plenty of world leaders to emulate these days, men who don't take nyet for an answer: Erdogan, Sisi, Kim, Duterte, Zuma, Merkel, May... Plenty of examples, in fact too many, way too many!!
Yet it's all just a bit confusing too. Our PM is doing all this to what end? Sort of like watching an intoxicated sailor stumbling this way and that, puking occasionally in between propositioning the onboard dames, completely unaware of his slurring speech and putrid smell. Because It's one thing to take charge and show em all who's de boss. But quite another to be able to plot an acceptable, honorable and worthy course for the nation you are leading to work towards.
And this message is for the liberal party of canada whom i do not support and will be forever unlikely to support but still you peoples here it is, my precious notion: If you entertain any hope whatsoever of retaining your tenuous grip on political power...do something and do it right now rather than now. Distance yourselves from this spectacle of a peoplekind, or she will drag you all, kicking and screaming into a permanent abyss of gender-confused, financially irresponsible, farmer-hating, free-speech gagging, dope-inhaling political hell. She may have gotten you into power, you've got your use of her, now its' time to cow-people-up and listen to the men and women who put you there.
The ever-level-headed and mostly imperturbable Conrad Black, in a recent piece in the National Post, opined that: "Costumed naval-gazing.. and robotic repetition of the pieties of gender equality were not what inspired the builders of this country." (partial quote)
And i'd like to chime in stating I think that would be a fairly safe assumption!
The Canadian Pacific Railway, for all its difficulties, was not plagued with a lot of hand-wringing concern over which of the 32 genders the builders selected for themselves. Gay parades were "infrequent at best" and Prime Ministerial costume balls, almost unheard of.
I really shouldn't comment on the amount of dope the workers consumed, although doubtless there was some. But judging by the quality of the construction of the completed cross-country railroad and the excellence of service it has rendered these many decades, it is pretty clear that most of the brain cells of the designers and builders had to be functioning at a fairly acceptable level of operation, a level which our current leadership can only hope to eventually attain.
Personally, I am not against the legalislation of marijuana, or for that matter, the legalisation of a great many other freedoms we have regularly been denied. We are being regulated into full servitude by governments all over this flying rock and any loosening of the necktie, even involving something like the legalization of dope, is surely a "breath of fresh air" if you'll forgive the pun.
However, its another thing entirely when your leadership thinks its a great idea to harness the nations sweat and use it to establish a brand new dope-selling industry!! What exactly is that in your pipe, Justin? Oh sure, I know, 500 million might not seem like all that much money to most of us , but you know, half a billion here and half a billion there and it starts to really add up!
And the great payoff of this investment will be what exactly?
Increased employment for addictions counsellors. Just. Great. How did we get along without that so long, eh?
And here it might be apprope to mention a whole bunch of probable negative effects of expanding the use of hallucinogenic drugs in Canada and we probably should: increased accident rates, low job performance, increased time off work, added addictions counselling, potential for law suits against the state... should i continue?
Children not receiving adequate levels of care, damage to private and public property, increased violent crime required for obtaining the money to buy the drugs, legal or not...and this: unemployed drug dealers! What to become of them??? What about that guy in the nondescript black Lambourg who was happily making his way through life hawking all those little green bags? Whatever will he do now?
And do we suppose the old-school dealers will all quietly fold their businesses and take up knitting sweaters? With what will they replace their incomes then, or do we expect them to simply all disappear in puffs of bluish smoke? Or perhaps they will ramp up the "quality" of the material they push, to a new illegal level?
And all of this this is the smokey vision our Prime Minister smilingly advocates for helping Canada recover from our "extremely poor" record of managing our public finances? Allow me to humbly suggest that if we think increasing the amount of marijuana consumed in this country is going to add a single doubloon to the collective till, or in any way shape or form increase the standard of living in Canada, we need to do a whole lot less of our own product testing!!
Come on Canada! Surely we can come up with a better "Vision" that!
The rigging hangs limp
The sea is flat oil
The sailors lie about
Weary of their toil
The anchor line drags
From the side of the ship
The frayed end of it torn
As the aged hull lists
Nations like ships can suffer becalms
Directionless, purposeless hopeless and dull
People need purpose, direction and plans
These are the things that fight the doldrums!!!
South Africa: Could It Happen Here?
Jacob Zuma the beleagured president of South Africa has openly called for the legal confiscation of white-owned land in South Africa, following on the heels of the events of Zimbabwe, where this was done and the white farmers were invited back after disastrous hyper-inflation and other maladies gripped the then impoverished country.
I am not a white supremacist. I don't personally believe in "races" at all so much as individual family groups on a larger scale. Not to put it too crudely, but if you took a few dachshunds and salted a remote island with them and returned in thirty years, what would you expect to find? Rottweilers?
The same thing has happened with human families, isolated as they were for millenia without internet, airmiles or other travel and informational aids. They intermarried locally, for the most part and the result was familial characteristics becoming more pronounced in certain regions. Now, however, it seems we're all going on about how one race abused another race and how such a race is a victim of another race and besides that we are all vicitims anyway...
Well, I'm not buying into that fertilizer factory. I think a man should be judged on what he produces in this life; what he produces which is of temporary or lasting value should determine his worthiness.
"Whites have built buildings and so have "blacks" and people of every "race" you can name. To suggest that "white land" whatever that is, should be confiscated because it was taken from "the blacks" is patently absurd. When a settler moved in, the locals for whatever reason obviously welcomed him. Maybe he represented employment opportunity, or maybe he entered the area as a servant and so was accepted. He and his family may have produced more from their farming than they consumed and traded the rest for goods and services and prospered, largely no doubt through the process of getting up in the morning and doing something productive. And now, generations later, someone wants that for which others have toiled, without compensation, because of some perceived disadvantage due to the color of their skin?
Jacob Zuma should be set aside for retirement purposes by his own "black" people! How condescending of him to suggest that his family group is not capable of productive activity without the aid of governmental regulation and violence against the whites!!
Lets put this in Olympic terms, just for fun, shall we? If the Germans won all the medals, someone from Canada might stand up and suggest the only way for his fellow canadians to win a medal would be to eliminate the Germans from the Olympics. Thereby indirectly suggesting that a) the Germans are much too good at sports to be defeated, and b), Canadians can't win without resorting to trickery and violence. I would hope that Canadians everywhere would cowboy up and yell in defiance, "what do you MEAN, we cannot win against the GERMANS"? HOLD MY BEER!!!"
And I hope the "black" South Africans do the same! I have every confidence they can succeed as farmers, doctors and all the other trades without the help of a 70 something racist.
THE STRANGE CASE OF LAURA PLUMMER
Ever hear of Laura Plummer? I bet not. And you likely never would have if it were not for a peculiar set of circumstances which placed Laura in a most unenviable situation.
Laura Plummer is a British citizen who, while travelling abroad, became involved with an Egyptian man. They fell in love and so on and according to several reports, he had some back problems which were troubling to them both.
On a trip to Egypt Laura, a shop worker, thought to remedy the situation a bit by bringing her friend 290 Tramadol pills. Unbeknowst to Laura, the trap was set when she packed them in a clear plastic bag and placed them on top of her things in her travel bag, a trap which would lead her to a mandatory 3 year sentence in an Egyptian prison.
Her innocent act of kindness turned into the worst nightmare imaginable as life in an Egyptian prison does not bring with it the benefits we have come to expect in western jails, Satellite tv, 3 meals a day, regular exercise, a bit of sunlight perhaps, a modicum of privacy? Forget all of these. Instead, Laura finds herself today in an overcrowded jail, without a bed or a blanket, using a pack of sanitary napkins for a pillow on the floor, and she depairs knowing she will be spending the next three years of her life in this deplorable state.
How could this happen? In short, not all legal systems function alike. And this is one of the risks everyone should be aware of when visiting some of the more human-rights challenged lands on the planet. If you find yourself, like Laura, in a prison such as this one, what options do you have? The decision to show you mercy does not rest with your parents, or your friends, or even the political leaders of your birth country. It lies entirely with the authorities in the country where you, whether inadvertently or not, breeched the law. And the possible punishments are not limited to the humane as they are in the west. Some offences for instance, carry the death penalty. No doubt in Egypt, it will be argued that Laura deserved far worse than the 3 year sentence she received!
The problem lies in the way medications are treated differently in terms of legality in various countries. According to wikipedia, for instance:
"Effective August 18, 2014, tramadol has been placed into Schedule IV of the federal Controlled Substances Act in the United States. In addition, many states, including Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wyoming and the U.S. military have already classified tramadol as a Schedule IV controlled substance under state law.
Tramadol is classified in Schedule 4 (prescription only) in Australia, rather than as a Schedule 8 Controlled Drug (Possession without authority illegal) like most other opioids.
Effective May 2008, Sweden classified tramadol as a controlled substance in the same category as codeine and dextropropoxyphene, but allows a normal prescription be used currently.
The UK classified tramadol as a Class C, Schedule 3 controlled drug on 10 June 2014, but exempted it from the safe custody requirements."
Egypt, apparently frowns on this particular drug and so, whether Laura was trying to bring it into Egypt openly or attempting to hide the fact is irrelevant. The law was broken and punishment must ensue. Tramadol is in fact an opiate.
This case illustrates the tragedy of laws with minimum sentences, with no regard to the intentions of the perpetrator, in this case noble, trying to allieviate her friend's pain. Even the fact that she made no attempt to hide the pills but deliberately exposed them to authorities makes no difference in this case. One would think that showing them to the border officers could have been seen as a request for permission to bring them into Egypt rather than an attempt at smuggling them, but no. If it had been seen as a request, perhaps a simply shaking of the head together with a destruction of the pills would be adequate.
As it now stands, the family, the boyfriend, her other friends and of course Laura herself have no choice but to endure the sentence, the pain of separation and possible injury or death in an uncontrollable environment. And perhaps the most pitiable part is that Laura is a young and beautiful girl with her life ahead of her. Should she really have to endure such suffering, all for the crime of attempting to alleviate the suffering of her friend in a world where caught-red-handed murderers are routinely set free on the defense of insanity? In a world where terrorists like Omar Kdhar are given 10.5 million dollars as a settlement for their pain and suffering by the Canadian government?
Donate to her fund. Pressure your politicians. Perhaps common sense will rear its ugly head and bring about the desirable result for a change... the release and full pardon of Laura Plummer. I'm sure she will never make such a mistake again, and neither will anyone familiar with her story. And dear Egyptian authorities: your point has been made.
And here's a recent clip of a conversation with Laura's sister Rachel:
" Laura had with her a mixture of painkillers packed in her suitcase all in original boxes in a pharmacy bag, 290 tramadol and 114 naproxen, just a bag of painkillers to Laura but to egypt she may as well of brought heroin in because that’s what the class Tramadol as! The naproxen is not a banned drug so these where no a problem, but does that not tell the world that she was really just bringing them for pain relief? She doesn’t know anything about tramadol or naproxen for that matter , all she knew is that they where a good painkiller for back pain."
Recent development! Laura has been moved to a less crowded cell , she has food and water and a bed for the first time since her arrest! She is in the same cell as another British woman and they are getting on great together,,Her message to us was not to worry about her!
February 15, 2018
It appeared for a time almost certain that Laura would be shown mercy and released, however, after an agonizing wait the family learned this would not be the case! The emotional torture continues for the family...