Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Social Drinking

Sometimes socialism can be downright funny. Here I’m not talking about British government-supplied paternity care or Hillary-care. Today Rush mentioned a couple of beaut’s.

An Ottawa, Canada newspaper headlines: Harm-reduction initiative provides alcohol to Ottawa's street alcoholics. Participants in the "Managed Alcohol Project" are given one drink of homemade wine or beer per hour, carefully measured out at a dispensary counter. Now a study has found that some participants who drank 46 drinks a day before the program dropped to about eight drinks a day during the program. Also, the number of emergency room visits fell by 36 per cent.

In a cramped, smoky room at the Shepherds of Good Hope hostel in Ottawa, a staff member pours U-brew wine into coffee mugs. Ten street alcoholics wait patiently for their share. From 7 am until 11 pm the coffee mugs will be refilled hourly. Normally, alcoholics aren't allowed to drink in shelters like this because they tend to become disruptive, and this means hard-core alcoholics don't have access to the services they badly need, according to Dr. Tiina Podymow, a nephrologist who volunteers at the hostel.

Critics say there's no way to judge how effective the harm-reduction approach is because there's no comparison group in the study, such as people taking part in an abstinence program like Alcoholics Anonymous. Still, the program has caught the attention of the World Health Organization and UNESCO.

Back in the States, an Atlanta Journal-Constitution headline reads New York University bans Coke products; and from the Associated Press, U. Michigan Bans Coke. Allegations that Coke Co. has been complicit in violence against union members in Colombia (the country, not the university) have prompted demonstrations on college campuses for several years. Coke has vigorously denied the charges.

NYU's decision to drop Coke comes after months of negotiations between the company and an independent commission made up of university representatives and labor activists.

The student group at Michigan accused Coke of draining local groundwater in India as well as conspiring with paramilitary groups in Colombia to harass and harm union members. At least nine schools have stopped selling Coke products.

These dedicated university students have been reduced to drinking mugs of U-brew wine or beer. Ain't social activism grand?


Blogger Roseville Conservative said...

OH MY GOD, this is insane!!!

8:01 PM  
Blogger pappy said...

They stopped drinking the coke and stated snorting it

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good stuff. I bet he was trembling at the thought of someone providing socialized oxycontin hand-outs!

10:22 AM  
Blogger LJCWIGVC said...

You have a neat blog here. I have a site on organic coffee that you may be interested in linking to.

6:54 AM  

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