Thursday, 26 April 2012

Abortion: A Necessary Evil in Society and Religion

Recently, much of the media and some political avenues have been buzzing over rumors that Stephen Harper is planning on reopening the abortion debate within Canada. Now, it is not certain as to why this debate might require...well more debate. An outsider of the political realm might look at this and assume that because Harper represents a party that leans to the right, ideology might be fueling this possible reprise. It is true that Stephen Harper and the Conservative's do seem to represent or at least try and govern in a similar style to Republicans, but I have a very strong feeling that any reopening of this debate is for sure not based on ideology. Realistically, of the main political parties, the Liberals and Conservatives contain a division of support over the subject, there are many Conservatives who are pro-choice, but overall more tend to be pro-life.

I seem very confident based on the experiences and observations I have made over the past few years that Stephen Harper will reopen this debate mainly because of money. The Canadian government currently subsidizes the termination of a pregnancy and spends roughly $80-100,000,000 a year. The actual amount is almost impossible to pinpoint because the government rarely releases information on this subject matter for the public. The only reports that come out will detail how many terminations occurred within our country per annul and with an average cost of $800.00/termination, one can simply speculate the overall cost as I have done here.

Where do I stand on Abortion? Where do you stand? Where does our Government stand?

I personally cannot say that I support either side of the argument. I understand that this may sound defeatist as it does not really contribute toward a solution, however I believe that given the emotions that this subject incur, we will never truly come to any hard conclusions other than the fact that we must look to choice as our savior.

The government and supreme court have also relied upon this solution as it represents a necessary evil within our society and inevitably provides the best support for the most amount of people, which should always be the objective to any decision made at this level. 

Why Choice?

Socially, abortion is often viewed as a morally wrong choice and depending on your background and political/religious beliefs, it is viewed with utmost disgust.  I understand and sympathize with those who believe this as even I cannot walk away from this subject without feeling that a life has been taken, or at the very least wonder the what ifs.
Currently, the supreme court only allows abortion to occur, but nowhere is it stated that the government must subsidize it. Whatever support one receives during this procedure is simply out of care on behalf of the government and rightly so. There isn't much choice if one cannot afford to consider this option.

More importantly, like many other activities that are currently legal and fall within a grey zone, if we ban abortion, we risk creating an underground for it to continue and this is where great danger to the individual woman and society as whole lies. If women are forced into backrooms and behind curtains to get an abortion, no regulation or safety is guaranteed, which puts many people at risk of infection and or death.

The Bible and Abortion

Nowhere in the Bible can it be found that a woman cannot have an Abortion. Given the time period that the Bible was written or estimated time period at that...there is not much in term of specific mention with regards to women. Lets face it, women were still not seen as fully being human and thus were used more like a tool.

Any religious argument today is based on the general rule that .:"You Shall Not Kill":. While this rule is important and finite, it does not cover the broad range of questions that are present in modern day society. Is the disallowing of life still really killing? Would allowing both mother and child to die due to complications really still be considered not killing? Or is allowing mother and child to die due to complications essentially killing if one stands by and does nothing?

It is important to understand that abortion is not simply required for those who wish to get off easy and live life without child, but also due to medical emergencies.

How Abortion is a Grey Area even for God

God gave us his only son Jesus to guide us and show us the light. He came down and he stirred some shit up and because of it we have the implementation of strong values that promote peace and virtue. Upon his sacrifice, we learn that Jesus died for our sins and allowed us to continue to live with choice. Yes, that is correct, God intended for us to live with choice.

Genesis 22:5 and 22:8: God commands Abraham to sacrifice a symbolic, which leads to Abraham almost killing his own son. If it weren't for the intervention of an angel, Abraham would have slain Isaac for his lord. The angel is not God, if anything the angel represents the bidding of God. Abraham could have said "screw you angel" and continued with the killing, but no...he had the freedom to choose and ultimately stop. Why would God allow such a thing to happen? Could it be that God promotes freedom and ultimately believes that one should choose?

In today's society a woman has the freedom to choose whether she wants to abort, keep or give up for adoption a child that she is not ready for. I find that all to much we see people simplify this debate and make it seem like the mother to be goes in and has the procedure and then walks out with smiles on her face, which is not the truth. I am fortunate that biologically I will never have to make this choice, but socially it still may occur. The procedure is often very dangerous and may leave a woman without the ability to procreate in the future, so I want you to imagine the psychological implications that might result from something like this let alone the physical.

I believe we should continue to promote freedom and more importantly educate ourselves further. Be the angel that stops Abraham rather than the devil that restricts his freedom. We live in an era of information and while one is allowed to voice their opinion, we must allow people to choose their paths. The pro-life and pro-choice groups can offer their own information about services and promote their own beliefs, but I do not believe it is right for them to judge, because even the almighty himself does not judge us and restrict our freedom, so we should not assume that responsibility either.

If anything, I believe Stephen Harper may offer to restrict how the service is covered and or provided by limiting the instances that one can receive it. For example, he may propose that the government only cover a portion of the procedure rather than the whole thing or that a woman must complete extra steps to ensure she has been given a reasonable understanding of her choices before continuing on.

In the end, we must choose to fight for freedom, it is our foundation and legitimacy, but realistically our freedom does not come free. As soldiers must ensure our national defense, abortion ensures a woman's right to choose. It may not seem nice and it isn't, but it is a necessary evil in our society that cannot be disputed by religion or politics.

Until next time.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

That's My Woman!

Tuesday April 24, 2012

Today I witnessed something that I have been looking for in our political system for a very long time. Provincially, the NDP and Liberals came to an agreement that not only dodged an election, but implemented changes that will affect the entire province as a whole in a positive way.

Who was it that started these talks and ultimately pushed for this change? My girl Andrea Horwath, leader of the provincial NDP. Now, let me get one thing straight, Andrea really isn't my girl per say, but I have a lot more respect for her as a leader given today's results. What she did on the political scene can often be compared to a game of Russian Roulette.

Put pressure on the ruling minority party and risk a possible election after only 6 months from a prior election in a move that implements something your party believes in. That takes a lot of guts on the political scene.

What exactly changed today? If you have to ask this than I am glad you are reading this blog, today a tax on the rich was implemented provincially, this tax will affect those who make over $500,000.00 a year and hovers around a 3% increase mark. Liberal leader Dalton Mcguinty was willing to fight this proposal to an election because he did not want to back off on his original campaign promise of not raising taxes, even though he has raised them twice since election.

Andrea and the NDP proposed this increase as a way of showing some fairness to Ontarians, who lately feel like they have no options to grow in this economy and to make matters worse are witnessing an increase in taxation on themselves added to an increase on essential services like electricity and home heating.

I believe this tax is fair and realistically most people who make over $500,000.00 will see an increase in taxation of about $3000.00 and change a year. Hardly anything to cry about when your income is that much, I know I would personally welcome this change if my annual income fit the criteria, but there will most likely be individuals who will voice discontent with this change regardless of the benefits it will have on us all.

This whole event really does reinforce the need for more negotiation and less partisan politics within our system. Our country has a diverse history known for strength, growth and innovation and our national motto reflects life, liberty and good governance. It is heart warming to witness events like today that see parties working towards helping the average citizen as opposed to the all to common partisan bickering that goes on.

What about the PC's though? They were against the proposal from the beginning and stood by their decision as they voted against it in the house of commons and have also vowed to fight it to the end. Tim Hudak is still fighting for an Ontario that is more deregulated in an attempt to spawn more business ventures and create more private sector employment.

What do you think about this? Is a 2-3% tax increase on the rich fair or does it fall short of what we really need to fight this deficit?

Until next time!

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Adult Assembly Required: Budget?420?Election?

Whoever coined the saying: "Everything you need in life you learned in kindergarten", should not only take full credit for it, but also start collecting royalties.

This week our political system has been riddled with politicians screaming back and forth with regards to the new budgets proposed at the federal and provincial levels. The yelling has gone on for so long and has been so loud, that I am starting to think that our elected officials are more busy playing schoolyard games as opposed to supporting the people of Canada...hence why I started the series adult assembly required.

Looking at the provincial level of our system, one can see that Ontario consists of some of the worst childish politics in the country. We have the provincial NDP led by Andrea Horwath pushing for modifications to the budget and continuously hinting that an election could be just around the corner, even though it is not her first choice.

Let me comment on this activity as...a huge mistake! We have the Liberal party who historically has been known to love elections and be good at winning them and than we have the provincial NDP trying to live off the hype created by their federal counter parts. I understand that the NDP is trying hard and would greatly appreciate it if Ontario gave them another shot at running the province, but all of this talk about a possible election if conditions are not meant is doing nothing but harm for the party in my opinion. While all of this goes on, we have the PC's making their own requests, but also sitting back and watching and this is where the danger lies.

Say no to another election! Its part of our system, but dangerous right now!

Lets say that another election is theoretically called in two days and the government has lost confidence among the parties. While the NDP is hoping to raise the voices of the common individual and gain more power, they put themselves at risk of losing support over the fact that another costly election has been called in hard times.

Do not get me wrong, elections are good in our system, they keep things fresh and allow the people to voice themselves with regards to the leadership in place. However, elections also cost money and although they create employment among the parties, they ultimately cost the taxpayer and add to the deficit our province currently has. While I think it is smart on behalf of the NDP to play chicken with the Liberals, I do not believe it is within their political interest to continue on this route as support may very well drift from them back to the Liberals or worse yet to the PC's who are more likely to take top spot.

Our system should be as fair as possible, we are all responsible for a solution

I find it difficult to watch our current political system in place, when all I see are elected officials worrying about their own political careers and acting for the purpose of saving their own butt as opposed to helping those they lead. This problem seems to be one that continues to arise throughout our society in general and usually results in everyone passing the problem to the next person in an attempt to avoid having the responsibility of finding a solution.

What is causing such a stir right now that has led to the possibility of another election? The NDP have proposed an increase on taxation for those who make over $500,000.00 a year. This minor increase in taxation would help bring in more revenue for the government to disperse on some relief for Ontario's middle class that is currently suffering with the brunt of changes made and austerity measures implemented. This proposition has not been favored by the Liberals and the NDP are using this as a political tool to gain more support as the party fighting for the little guy.

Yesterday was 420, an annual celebration among those who partake in the recreational pleasure of Marijuana. Convenience stores across the country and North America for that matter saw an increase in sales among munchies of 1000%. I wonder how the government could somehow utilize this activity and clean it up to the point where organized crime and the black market lose legitimacy and taxation replaces them? idea, probably need another blog post to touch upon this one...anyways. 

How do you feel about the current situation our political government is in? Would a potential election be justified in an attempt to get the government to side with the people or do we need someone new in power?

Do you feel our politicians are focusing to much on partisan politics as opposed to progressive ideas that will benefit out province and country as a whole?

It is true that governments come and go and a politician is only worried about what can change within a four year period, but I feel this isn't good enough. Historically, our country has been known to work hard in an effort to cause change and not go with the flow, however lately this does not seem to be the case.

Whatever the decision within the next two days, I can only give the NDP this advise: Be careful how you play the party of the people card, because politics in the modern age is a very tricky profession. If the public believes your not ready for power yet, you may get burned.

Hopefully everyone comes to their senses and begin to act more mature as opposed to simply turning the problem into a black and white, he said she said, you wronged me and I am mad affair. The moral and political philosophy that makes up the foundation of our system requires that our elected officials employ their power in a way that creates the most benefits for the greatest number of people. They are not here to act on behalf of one specific group of individuals, but unfortunately there comes a time when this is not the case.

If you like this post and my blog, please feel free to subscribe and leave comments! I love comments and more importantly I love discussion. Did I leave out important points or totally miss the issue? TELL ME!!!

Until next time!

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Adult Assembly Required: Austerity Measures

I happened to catch this article on the CBC website this evening as I was finishing up some articles. Italian art director burns contemporary pieces in protest to government cutbacks/inaction read the title and I just had to read on. The article is not very long and in very general terms explains how one art director by the name of Antonio Manfredi, has begun a campaign of protest against the Italian government due to new austerity measures that will see deep cuts in the arts and heritage sector of the country.

The article can be viewed by clicking here.

Destroyed in protest!

I could not help but begin to think about the differences between Canada and Italy during this recession. Both countries have been hit by the recession, however we here in Canada have been fortunate to have weathered the recession much better than our Italian counter parts. While unemployment is quite high here at 7.2%, Italy is hurting as a country as they sit at 9.3%.

The government has issued some tough austerity measures that will essentially see overall deep cuts for many social programs and government budgets. This has essentially rallied various social groups and thousands of individuals to continually protest as a result, with Mr. Manfredi being the most recent example.

Now, I understand if many of you counter these actions with the logic of...Why does he not just sell the paintings and accrue income that way?

Yes, he could sell his paintings to private dealers and probably make a fine penny off of it to, but why should he? When we begin talking about items such as art and music, should we not work hard as a collective society to ensure these pieces are available for all to see and enjoy? is it not possible to designate certain items as immune to the market, when they are meant to be shared and used as both education and entertainment?

The main issue I feel arising between both the Italian government and Canadian government is how many of these proposed austerity measures are directly impacting the masses whom benefit the most from them. Granted, this should seem like common knowledge to you as the media and various groups have continued to be vocal about the important of government funding and the services that benefit from them.

I want you to ask yourself how the proposed budget cuts here in Canada will affect your daily life? Will you have to wait longer in a line now, will your local library close down due to a lack of funding, will you have to wait an additional 4 weeks to get specific government designated documentation? More importantly, how will your local economy feel these cuts?

The Italians are fortunate in one way over us here in Canada, because while their art sector is suffering, they can have faith that a quick solution will come with the right amount of pressure. What we in Canada risk losing however is much more important than art. Our cuts have ensured that different sectors of our government will now have less man power than they had before. What does this mean? Well, it means that Canada's airline inspectors are going to be even more short handed than they were before, which is really bad when before they were complaining about not having enough staff. More importantly, our environment will now be at risk, because Stephen Harper has decided based on the collective wisdom of his party and his corporate buddies that our environmental regulations processes are to long and bothersome, causing us to lose money with the time they require to be completed. As a result, these times will be shortened and or removed overall, allowing a corporation to begin a project quicker and government coffers to fill up as a result. Where will this money go from there? Who knows, but given the history of the party in power, most likely back to the corporations via a tax break!

Overall, we have to ask ourselves if these austerity measures are both fair and justified? Why should the masses suffer for a recession that was created by the few? Who are the few, they are the elected representatives we put in power and they are the few individuals we trusted with our finances who began thinking solely for themselves instead of us.

All of this really represents some important food for thought with regards to how our country is organized and who is running the whole thing.

Can we really say that our current elected officials are acting in the professional manner that they should be? Are adults truly running our complex country with complex issues or do we have a child at the wheel trying to jam a circle block into triangle spaces?

Until next time!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Adult Assembly Required: A Political Series

If your custom to watching the news or have tuned into CBC lately, you've probably noticed a lot of chatter about the F-35's and the price tag that our government and military for some reason cannot agree on.

Then we have Peter McKay confidently broadcasting that he understood the costs of the F-35's and knew they would be in the range of 25 to 30 Billion. Now,  I know 25 and 35 seem rather small for numbers, but how long do you think it would take me to count to 30 Billion???

I want to say I told you so, because let's face it...I did an entry on this way back when and knew this exact problem would eventually show its ugly head! Stephen Harper used the F-35 offer and the question about Canada's security and sovereignty as an election pillar. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of Harper's critics at the time were actually right.

 This type of information is very dangerous in our Democratic system and although I could gloat as I state that yes my predication was right, it still does not answer the question we were asked even before the most recent federal election.

.:How are we going to replace our current equipment and how will we continue to keep our country safe?:.

We currently have the opposition party screaming bloody murder, McKay stating everything is ok and Harper saying he was mislead. Is this how a government is supposed to work? Are we truly to trust these guys, when they appear to be pulling figures out of they're asses and not really in control themselves?

Yup, that looks like it costs around 15 Billion, ok..check.

This almost makes me want to turn the proceedings over to Bay street and see how good they can handle it, unfortunately, if we allowed our security to be decided by the likes of Kevin O'leary and his corporate savvy friends, we would be under the supervision of PMC's and our sovereignty would remain a topic of concern.

Ok...ok...back to the topic though. I have a hard time understanding how I as an individual can trust a government who does not seem to be on the same path as me. The whole point of this blog and apparently our government, is to show the Canadian people some direction and thus lead us! However, all I seem to hear about lately via various news agencies is that Partisan Politics has dominated our government and nothing seems to be getting done. Realistically, the Harper Conservatives have a strong majority, which means any opposition can be denied easily, but does everything seem to be running as it should?

We have some very comprehensive payment options. "Nope, I'll take it, just charge my plastic."

 I felt it necessary to title my entry "Adult Assembly Required", simply because I keep seeing more and more evidence showing that our elected officials act more like kindergarten students than leaders guiding us. I sadly have to add to this with the facts that show the Canadian people who live under this guidance don't even realize it's happening and attempts to counter it are essentially non-existent.

The direction your government takes in comparison to where you want to be is important and you the individual have the power to shape your destiny. It is very important for the average citizen to be vocal with regards to these important topics. Note that when I say vocal, I do not mean go to your local MP's office and complain like there is no tomorrow, no, that will only get you ignored. You do however have to question and demand and question and further demand that these elected officials step up and answer why they aren't working as hard as they should be. You also need to get more people behind you, start a petition, hold meetings in your home or place of business and get active. Protest if you have to, but try to keep it peaceful or else they might use one of these planes on you!

In an ever changing world with everyone wanting to be a big shot, we as a country need to ensure our security, but more importantly uphold the very system that dictates how our country moves and our lives. Both Canada and the United States need to pressure their elected officials more in order to keep things on track and stop the party politics finger pointing from stopping real progress.

Alternatively, when you have individuals such as these two shown below rebuilding their own countries and throwing cheap shots at you, it is more important to smarten up and get what needs to be done completed. Putin isn't afraid to act like a grown up and Harper better be careful or else he is liable to further damage our country's image with his ineffective rule. It is true that the Arctic is not going to defend itself, but making stupid decisions and delaying the process over a lack of professionalism isn't going to help the matter either.

So, I will finish by further emphasizing how important it is to keep working hard and know the facts, not make them up or work to hide them. If Harper put the effort he and his staff uses to maintain their own image into actually implementing effective policies and decisions, we probably wouldn't be having this conversation.

What do you think? Do our officials need to clean up their act or is it futile to even suggest it? Are you willing to pay for the F-35 or do you think there is an alternative plane that can meet our needs for a more reasonable price?

I know the military suggests that the F-35 is the best plane in the world and they very well may be right, but I also know that our government has failed in its obligation to the people of Canada to question the numbers it receives and ensure that no other options exist. What good is security if we spend so much on it that we cannot even ensure our own people are being fed and healthy? (The Bombs vs Butter Debate)

Until next time!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Why the Dinosaurs May Be Trying to Tell Us Something

Entry Date: April 7th, 2012

Mood: Optimistic with a touch of Realism...

Weather: Sunny and beautiful with a touch of a cool breeze...

Today the grass had one hell of a joyous time! The sun was out and although it was quite chilly, the warmth generated allowed the buds to continue budding and the grass to continue growing. My neighbors continue to embarrass me as they have already begun cutting their lawns, while mine grows like a shaggy hippie's hair at Woodstock and will continue to do so.

Yes, I awoke today from my slumber to the sounds of various lawnmower engines blaring as their blades cut down mother natures version of the sidewalk. Yet, the grass did not complain, in fact it just stood there and took the beating as if nothing was going on. The grass did not revolt, strike or bear arms in a revolution against the lawnmowers, it just simply let the mowers do their thing.

I witnessed this event and throughout the day could not help myself from comparing the grass to modern society. As creative and grandiose as we have become, we allow ourselves to fall into neatly designed and organized routines. As efficient and effective as these routines are, I fear they also blind us to many things that occur in our general area. It is not until the giant mower blade from the sky comes down and chops us that we realize the futility of our daily regiments and how blinded we actually have become. Unfortunately, when this occurs it is often to late to actually do anything but simply...survive. 

What this means is that society contains diverse groups of people whom organize their lives a certain way. After we are born, we find ourselves grouped into these different categories and depending on how we live our lives, continue in one of these groups. We get so comfortable in a routine and with a certain type of surroundings that I believe we allow ourselves to become weak. It is as if we as a people try and avoid change on a daily basis, but are helpless to it when something occurs that disrupts or destroys the routine we label as our life. 

Maybe the grass enjoys being cut by the lawnmower blade, realistically the grass cannot do much to stop the blade, so it has come to terms with this reality and has adjusted to co-exist with the lawnmower. This is very important when you think about how modern day society works. People wake up and usually go to work only to come home eat, shit and then sleep. When a random event occurs that disrupts this balance, often labelled as either a terrorist attack, weather activity or unfortunate accident, we stop for a second and start to look around. Unfortunately, our routine persists and often continues almost immediately, which makes true change quite difficult to sweep over us. This is actually both good and bad as it allows us to stop negative change from taking us over, while positive change can continue after the proper conditions are met.

After all, grass does have strong roots, which allow it to be flexible and adapt to severe change. Society much like grass shares in this ability to adapt, but if we allow our roots to slowly degrade over time, can we still confidently say that our ability to adapt will remain?

I wonder if this kind of thinking can be used alongside the global warming debates our society currently has? Does comparing grass to society signify our relationship with the natural world? How does nature shape us, how do we shape nature? More importantly, how does our government policy allow us to shape nature? Can we grow to fast?

I want you to reflect on these questions and the next time you walk by a lawn or any grass in particular, ask yourself how your daily life relates to that of grass? Do you sway back and fourth, powered by the events your society gives you like the grass sways with the wind?

Until next time!