Humble Dogs

That they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts. Matthew 13:15b

Archive for the tag “government”

Compromise on Gay Issues Inevitable

Was a compromise on gay issues inevitable, even in most churches? Conservatives have not succeeded in the argument against accepting gay sex or tolerating gay marriage by mainstream culture. Canada has made the “rights” of homosexuals the official law of the land and the United States of America are doing the same, state by state, with little effective opposition. President Obama has made the Gay agenda a priority of his administration according to his inaugural address.

Barack Obama giving inaugural address

Barack Obama giving inaugural address

Excerpts:

Each time we gather to inaugurate a president, we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution. We affirm the promise of our democracy. We recall that what binds this nation together is not the colors of our skin or the tenets of our faith or the origins of our names. What makes us exceptional – what makes us American – is our allegiance to an idea, articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We, the people, still believe that every citizen deserves a basic measure of security and dignity.

It is now our generation’s task to carry on what those pioneers began. For our journey is not complete until our wives, our mothers, and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well. Our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country. Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm.

That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.

Many church denominations have capitulated and now endorse the legitimacy of gays and lesbians and have given full rights of membership even to ordination into the priesthood. Orthodox Biblical teaching became lost as more and more clergy were entering the church through liberalized university studies instead of scripture based seminaries.

How long will it be before all churches will be prohibited from “anti gay” teaching by law and be forced into accepting the homosexual lifestyle and practice? This could easily be done by withholding tax exemption status from churches who do not conform to government regulations. Would the laity of most churches except holding out against the monitary impositions imposed on them? I have doubts that there are enough scripturally sound church congregations.

Most larger cities hold Gay Pride days in their communities each year. These events are a source of much needed income for many businesses in proximity to the events. Many of these businesses are owned or managed by Christians who welcome the increase in sales and business. There are some holdouts but, very few. Many a professing Christian will join in the festivities for a day of fun. This could be the sign of a change in Church / State relationship. Perhaps the trend for house churches will become the norm, who knows.

The main argument for the legitimacy of homosexuals is; “I was born this way”. I won’t and can’t argue with that because it is true. It is also true for peaodophiles, kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, and alcoholics just to name a few “gene” based human traits. All persons were born into sin. “But, homosexual activity is between consenting adults and therefore is not hurting anybody.” Again, by law, that is true, but morally, a sin is still a sin. A lie is still a lie whether it is a whopper or just a consoling of oneself. Homosexual practice is contrary to God’s moral standard. God loves the gay or lesbian person, he just hates the practice of homosexual behavior. God even loves the peaodophile, the alcoholic, the kleptomaniac, the pyromaniac, the sexual predator, the murderer. God even loves you, – and me, as wretched as I am.

Thank you Jesus for being the propitiation for our sins.

A concern I have is that one day a “smart” lawyer in making a name for himself will take the arguments of the gay community and use the fact that peaodophiles should warrant the same rights as homosexuals. Since peaodophiles were born that way they cannot be held accountable for their “natural” or “God given” behaviors.


Photo Credit  – familysecuritymatters.org  I do not necessarily endorse this website for all content.

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Obama Can Force Oil Sands to Clean Up Their Act

Keystone XL pipeline now awaits the decision from President Obama for the go ahead.

The pipeline, when completed would carry oil sands heavy crude oil from Alberta to refineries on the Gulf Coast. It is well documented that the extraction and consumption of the oil would significantly worsen global warming and contribute to increasing overall environmental and ecological damage to a vast part of northern Canada.

Governor of Nebraska Backs Route for Pipeline
By JOHN M. BRODER
Published: January 22, 2013

WASHINGTON — The governor of Nebraska on Tuesday approved a revised route through the state for the Keystone XL pipeline, setting up a decision for President Obama that pipeline opponents say will be a crucial test of his intentions on climate change. Read more…

Rants of a Christian Enviromentalist

I am an environmentalist. I believe all people have a role to play in protecting the environment and the eco-systems we live in. Even more so for us who claim a dedication to Christian principles. We were created by God to be stewards of all He created.

Earth

View from Space

Genesis 1: 28; And God blessed them, and God said unto them, “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth”.

It is that word, “DOMINION”, which means REGENCY. God granted us regency in His creation. We, mankind, are to, use the land, the seas and all God has abundantly supplied but, we are to watch over it, take care of it, and return it to Him unsullied. God has asked us to be conservationists, environmentalists, ecologists and take care of this earth. Perhaps, at least in part, it is our failure to look after this earth that the final act of the creation story is to create a new earth, one fit for His Holy Kingdom.

I will admit, I get very judgmental over environment issues, especially towards those whose authority is to look after the affairs of our Country, Province/State, or community. Yes, I am referring to politicians  I live in Alberta, Canada and I realize that even though I am retired, much of the benefits I enjoy come from the resource revenues created by the Oil Sands industry. Some call it the Tar Sands, probably a more fit name but, that is another debate.

The last thing I want in this matter is to have the Oil Sands shut down. That would serve no one. What I would like to see is proper management applied to this resource. Both the Federal and Provincial Governments know the problems with pollution, they have conducted numerous studies, they know the solutions and yet due to heavy lobbying pressure by the oil companies involved, they choose to do nothing environmentally constructive. They boast about the monies the project brings in, they spread economic fear that unnecessary meddling will create economic disaster.

What I don’t understand is why the laws to protect the environment and ecology which are already in place are not enforced over the industries involved with the oil sands.

Several months ago a government authorized study conducted by the Univ. of Alberta confirmed that pollution, directly attributed to oil sands operations, is having a detrimental effect on the environment and the ecology in a wide path, mainly east,(prevailing winds) surrounding the Fort McMurray, Wood Buffalo region. These reports were not released to the public and scientists who worked on the report were put under gag order. The report was eventually leaked by a subordinate several weeks later.

I wrote to my Member of Parliament, Blaine Calkins, on this matter and received this reply:

Dear Mr. Tilley,

Thank you for your letter concerning the recent study done by Environment Canada that confirmed the studies done by Dr. Schindler.

As Environment Canada noted in their report, the levels of containments found in the samples were consistent with contaminants that have been found in areas with no development. Consequently, Environment Canada has decided to do further tests in an effort to better understand the levels of contaminants in the Oil Sands area.

“…the levels of contaminants found in the samples were consistent with contaminants that have been found in areas with no development.” Of course they are consistent – they are the same contaminants blown there by winds coming off the oil sands.
In other words; “We will continue to do nothing.”

I also asked him about the ‘Gag Order’ muzzling the UofA scientists, he replied:

With regards to your comments about monitoring reports being kept secret, and scientists being ‘gagged’, it simply isn’t happening. The process of making reports public is not new, and has not been changed by our Government.

OK, Let’s hear from the scientists themselves after the report was leaked. Watch the following news video.

Government Hides Proof of Oil Sands Contamination
http://www.albertaprimetime.com/Stories.aspx?pd=4450

Original Air Date: Monday, November 05, 2012
The public is learning Environment Canada knew of oil sands contamination and muzzled its scientists. What fallout will those revelations cause?

We speak with David Schindler, international acclaimed and outspoken environmental biologist from the University of Alberta.

Tar Pit #3

Tar Pit #3

This week a new report was released by Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario This time the report was published directly to major news sources. This report confirms the findings of the previous UofA reports of last November.

Oil sands development polluting Alberta lakes: study 
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/oil-sands-development-polluting-alberta-lakes-study/article7014184/

Oil Sands Polluting Area Lakes 
http://thechronicleherald.ca/canada/393673-report-oilsands-polluting-area-lakes

Oil sands pollution ‘clearly evident’, government-funded study says 
http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/07/government-funded-study-concludes-toxic-hydrocarbons-from-oil-sands-pollute-lakes/

Margaret Munro, Postmedia News | Jan 7, 2013

Leading federal and academic scientists have uncovered “compelling” evidence that Alberta’s oil sands operations have been sending toxins into the atmosphere for decades.

Industry’s role as a decades-long contributor of PAHs to oil sands lake ecosystems is now clearly evident
The team has found “striking” increases in contaminants known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) at the bottom of six lakes up to 90 kilometres from the massive oil sands operations in northeastern Alberta.

PAHs began to climb in the lake sediments in the 1970s and are now up to 23 times higher than 1960 levels. It says the increased PAHs coincided with oil sands development and the compounds have a distinct “petrogenic” fingerprint different from PAHs generated by natural phenomenon like fire.

Levels of the toxins have almost tripled since the 1960s in Namur Lake, the most remote lake tested. It is about 90 kilometres northwest of oil sands operations in a provincial park known for its fishing. The PAHs are up to 23 times higher in the other lakes, which are within 35 kilometres of the oil sands operations.

“Given the planned expansion of the oil sands, the trend will likely accelerate in future,” says co-author John Smol, a Canada research chair in Environmental Change at Queen’s University.

Government and industry response is; “that many pollutants found in the lakes and rivers of northeastern Alberta are naturally occurring and leached from the bitumen deposits themselves.”

In other words; “We choose to do nothing.”

As Chief Spence Starves

An excerpt from:
As Chief Spence Starves, Canadians Awaken from Idleness and Remember Their Roots

This message is a potent gift. So is the Idle No More movement – its name at once a firm commitment to the future, while at the same time a gentle self-criticism of the past. We did sit idly by, but no more.

The greatest blessing of all, however, is indigenous sovereignty itself. It is the huge stretches of this country that have never been ceded by war or treaty. It is the treaties signed and still recognized by our courts. If Canadians have a chance of stopping Mr. Harper’s planet-trashing plans, it will be because these legally binding rights – backed up by mass movements, court challenges, and direct action will stand in his way. All Canadians should offer our deepest thanks that our indigenous brothers and sisters have protected their land rights for all these generations, refusing to turn them into one-off payments, no matter how badly they were needed. These are the rights Mr. Harper is trying to extinguish now.

Stand for Social Justice

Jeff Denis, Assistant Professor of Sociology at McMaster University analyzed the First Nations demonstrations well when he said;

“For non-native people, Idle No More is a matter of social and environmental justice. When corporate profit is privileged over the health of our lands and waters, we all suffer. When government stifles debate, democracy is diminished. Bill C-45 is just the latest in a slew of legislation that undermines Canadians’ rights. In standing against it, the First Nations are standing for us too. If our government , PM Harper in particular, does not respect Indigenous and treaty rights, then the very legitimacy of the Canadian state — and thus of all our citizenship rights — is in doubt also. That’s what Idle No More is about.”

Mr. Harper has absolutely not a moral fiber in his body. He knows that a meeting with the Chiefs can only lead to repealing the government’s 2 omnibus bills passed earlier this year. They knew before passing the legislation that they had a constitutional obligation to meet with First Nations, they didn’t. The senate also knew the same before approving the two omnibus bills, they approved them both regardless. The Governor General knew the legislation needed First Nations consultation first, he gave both Royal Assent dispite the constitutional law. Does the matter now need to be settled in court?

Of Lies and Democracy

Two very telling articles on http://www.ipolitics.ca

 Lying lies and the politicians who tell them 

By Paul Adams | Dec 16, 2012

In between the diplomatic deception and the outrageous, pointless lie, there is a vast array of intermediate-level cases that are more ambiguous, morally and politically.

Politicians may have a theoretical duty to be truthful to the public, but they also are engaged in a bitter contest with ruthless political opponents, vying for the attention of an often disengaged public.

In this atmosphere, politicians may present a partial or misleading version of the facts, which they regard as truthful (perhaps only technically) but others see as lies: “an economy of truth”, as Edmund Burke famously called it.

I really like the following line:

“… a storyline designed to give an intellectual pedigree to a policy adopted for tactical reasons…”

 

How Harper exploits Canadians’ ignorance of parliamentary democracy
By Frances Russell | Dec 7, 2012

Canada has the most dysfunctional and undemocratic parliament in the British Commonwealth. Canadians have been reduced to electoral democracy, not parliamentary democracy.

Democratizing the Constitution — Reforming Responsible Government, a new book by political scientists Peter Aucoin, Mark D. Jarvis and Lori Turnbull, defines electoral democracy as “a system in which the electorate decides who forms the government and the prime minister then governs as a virtual autocrat until the next election … The concentration of powers … cannot be permitted to remain in the hands of a single individual who is able to undermine democratic governance at his or her will.”

Canada should follow the lead of its sister Commonwealth countries Britain, Australia and New Zealand and codify the principles of parliamentary democracy to ensure the players — voters and politicians — understand the playbook and stay within the rules.

 

Accountable Democratic Government

The Canadian electorate has become increasingly disillusioned with respective governments across Canada, both Federal and Provincial, and are becoming more and more complacent towards their elected representatives. For democracy to function as it should, something needs be done. That ‘done’ is Accountable Representation. Before defining Accountable Representation there needs to be a job description for MPs and MLAs.

There are many references to and definitions of what an MP or MLA is and does but, there is no official description defining his/her job or responsibility and accountability or to what he/she is responsible for nor to whom he/she is accountable.

Parliament passed the Federal Accountability Act on December 12, 2006. This act though, introduced by the Harper government and passed by near unanimous accent in the House has really nothing to do with accountability. It was described as, “to help strengthen accountability and increase transparency and oversight in government operations”. This act turned out to be anything but; it had no effect in making Parliament and Government accountable and in truth produced the exact opposite results. One overlying factor is that there is no penalty for not being accountable and no recourse for swift and effective action either by the electorate nor any legal authority that would hold the Government or MPs to account.

What then is accountability? Here is the definition given by the Center for Public Accountability.

“Accountability is the obligation of authorities to explain publicly, fully and fairly, before and after the fact, how they are carrying out responsibilities that affect the public in important ways. It is the obligation to report — to publicly explain intentions and the reasons, intended performance standards and whether they were met, and the learning gained and how it was applied.”

“To hold to account we need to distinguish responsibility from accountability. Responsibility means the obligation to act. Accountability means the obligation to answer for one’s actions. The accountability obligation implies overall disclosure standards that include stating the fairness rationale for proposed action, the intended achievement and how it is to be brought about, the results, and the learning gained and applied. Holding to account means getting the answers from those accountable; it does not mean by-passing the answering process and going direct to an investigation of people’s performance.”

The old adage, ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’ must surely apply to all MPs / MLAs even to Prime Ministers and Members of Cabinet. They are all payed by the public purse and are therefore Civil Servants. The opporative word is servant, in the employ of another who holds the authority. In the case of an MP / MLA, his/her constituents.

Each and every Member of Parliament / Legislature needs then to:

  1. Meet with his/her constituency several times each year and
  2. Publicly report to his/her on a weekly basis:
  • His/her attendance in the House.
  • His/her attendance and contributions to committees,
  • Outcomes of Parliamentary committees,
  • His/her intentions on any given legislation explaining;
  • What the legislation is,
  • Why the legislation is required,
  • Who and/or what is effected by the legislation,
  • How will this legislation be effective,
  • Who will profit mostly by this legislation,
  • Who will pay the costs related to this legislation,
  • What are the main objections to this legislation,
  • When will this legislation become effective,
  • When the vote on this legislation will take place.

It is then the public’s responsibility to avail themselves of  their MP/MLA reports.

Gateway Pipeline a NO-GO

The Enbridge Gateway Pipeline project is dead.

Stop all proceedings trying to ram this project through, it is over. The pipe dream of the Chinese to export Alberta crude through the Port of Kitamat has been “dis-allowed” by all 9 of the Coastal First Nations who need to give consent to the project first before it can go ahead. The declaration to not allow the pipeline through their lands has been ratified 100% by all Coastal First Nations involved.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2007 and endorsed by the Harper government in 2010 says; states should obtain from indigenous peoples “their free and informed consent prior to the approval of any project affecting their lands or territories and other resources, particularly in connection with the development, utilization or exploitation of mineral, water or other resources.”

To respect First Nations Rights and Law, our Prime Minister must uphold Canadian Law and abandon his governments position that Enbridge is “Beneficial for Canada” and put an end to their pipeline and export ambitions via the Gateway project.

The BC Government and the Premier of BC have an obligation to act accordingly on the First Nations behalf under the Coastal Reconciliation Protocol. Several First Nations, including the Gitga’at First Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo Indian Band, Metlakatla First Nation, Wuikinuxv Nation and the Nuxalk Nation, and Premier Gordon Campbell originally signed the Coastal Reconciliation Protocol on Dec. 10, 2009. The Coastal Reconciliation Protocol provides First Nations people with an additional venue to implement decisions within their respective Territories and negotiate to manage lands and resources within Ancestral Territory to accommodate shared cultural, social, environmental and economic interests.

From: Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chief (Chief Na’Moks, Tsayu, Beaver Clan, Head Chief of Tsayu)

“We stand firm in our opposition to this (Enbridge Gateway Pipeline) proposed project. Our law states that if and when the high Chiefs of our Nation (encompassing the entire 22,000 square Kilometers of unceded, undefeated, non Treaty Lands) make a declaration of opposition, then this is final law and cannot be broken.” “The Wet’suwet’en have said no! This is the final word that our people will say on this. My wish is that Government/Industry would learn about the Wet’suwet’en, and understand that they have no right to go against the Decree of the Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs/Clan/Members.”

Enbridge is a corporation who is trying to buy off the Chiefs and First Nation people instead of respecting their rights and traditions.

From: Sierra Club of BC Foundation

In March, 2010, Coastal First Nations issued a declaration banning tar sands crude oil tanker traffic from their territories. In making the declaration, the Haida, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo, Haisla, Gitga’at and other First Nations exercised their ancestral laws, rights and responsibilities over the waters and lands of their traditional territories.

“As Nations of the Central and North Pacific Coast and Haida Gwaii, it is our custom to share our wealth and live in harmony with the broader human community,” said the declaration. “However, we will not bear the risk to these lands and waters caused by the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline and crude oil tanker traffic.”

Gitga’at Nation spokesman Cameron Hill says,

“The Gitga’at are of the sea and we have always known that oil & gas tankers in these waters were a horrible and frightening idea.” “It’s all about risks and benefits. For the Gitga’at it’s all risk and no benefits, and for Enbridge it’s all benefits and no risk”.

Haida declaration reads:

“Our culture, our heritage is the child of respect and intimacy with the land and sea. Like the forests, the roots of our people are intertwined such that the greatest troubles cannot overcome us. We owe our existence to Haida Gwaii … the living generation accepts the responsibility to ensure that our heritage is passed on to following generations.”

Haisla Nation chief councilor Ellis Ross explains,

“We don’t feel the benefits of the Northern Gateway pipeline project outweigh the risks to land and sea.”

Heiltsuk Nation Marilyn Slett, elected Chief Councillor, stated;

“We stand behind our coastal First Nation neighbors and the declaration that we all signed that ban oil tankers on our coast.” “We will never support the Enbridge project and we will never support a project that has the potential to destroy our way of life.”

March 23, 2010
First Nations stood as a unified block this week – on the 21st anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill – to announce their opposition to a proposed Tar Sands pipeline.

“We will protect ourselves and the interests of future generations with everything we have because one major oil spill on the coast of British Columbia would wipe us out,” said Gerald Amos, Director, Coastal First Nations, an alliance of nine First Nations. “This bountiful and globally significant coastline cannot bear an oil spill. This is where Enbridge hits a wall.” Read more..

Coastal First Nations from Vancouver Island to the BC/Alaska border are unanimous in their opposition and are joined by the vast majority of First Nations affected along the pipeline route from Kitamaat to Alberta. For more information read the full Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative press release. Download Declaration (pdf)

The First Nations call on the Federal Government to protect BC coastal waters and formally legislate the oil tanker traffic moratorium.

Coastal First Nations – Who We Are
Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. Coastal First Nations includes the Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation, Gitga’at First Nation, Haisla, Metlakatla First Nation, Homalco First Nation, Old Massett Village Council, Skidegate Band Council, and Council of the Haida Nation.

The Coastal First Nations opposition to the pipeline project has been formally endorsed by most all Northern BC First Nations; See list, and many prominant Canadians and environmental groups.
Download An open message to Enbridge CEO Patrick Daniel
Council of the Haida Nation – Old Massett Village Council – Skidegate Band Council – Gitga’at First Nation – Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation – Metlakatla First Nation – Haisla Nation – Heiltsuk Nation – Wuikinuxv First Nation – Nuxalk Nation – Lax Kw’alaams First Nation – Gitxaala/Kitkatla First Nation – Carrier Sekani Tribal Council – Wet’suwet’en Nation – Nadleh Whut’en First Nation – Nak’azdli Band – Swan River First Nation – Namgis First Nation – Nanwakolas Council – Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs – Lillooet Tribal Council – St’at’imc Chiefs Council – Canoe Creek Band – Takla First Nation – Siska Indian Band – Kispiox Band Council – Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council – Musgamagw Tsawataineuk – Tribal Council

First Nations that have declared opposition to proposed Enbridge tanker & pipeline project British Columbia and Western Canada Current to December 31 2011

Stop tankers from entering Northern BC waters

Say NO to tankers

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