Canada: Refuse the TSA’s Example

To:

Alex Atemenanko, MLA for BC Southern Interior atamaa1@parl.gc.ca
Chuck Strahl, Minister of Transportation ottawa@chuckstrahl.com
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada pm@pm.gc.ca
Dennis Bevington, NDP Transportation Critic BevinD@parl.gc.ca
Joe Volpe, Liberal Transportation Critic Volpej@parl.gc.ca
Michael Ignatieff, Liberal Leader Ignatieff.M@parl.gc.ca

From:

Jason Friesen
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxx, BC Vxx xxx

Honourable Ministers:

I am writing to express my great concern about the “enhanced” security procedures Canada is beginning to implement at airports, following the example of the American TSA.

These procedures are an unacceptable breach of civil liberties and basic human rights everywhere they are implemented.
Continue reading Canada: Refuse the TSA’s Example

Dear Record Executives

A big fat thanks to record execs

Thank you for fighting the good fight against Internet MP3 file-swapping. Because of you, millions of kids will stop wasting time listening to new music and seeking out new bands. No more spreading the word to complete strangers about your artists. No more harmful exposure to thousands of bands via Internet radio either. With any luck they won’t talk about music at all. You probably knew you’d make millions by embracing the technology. After all, the kids swapping were like ten times more likely to buy CD’s, making your cause all the more admirable. It must have cost a bundle in future revenue, but don’t worry—computers are just a fad anyway, and the Internet is just plain stupid.

Rolling Stone

Jerk Factories

In his article “The Bait and Switch of Contemporary Christianity”, Richard Beck hyperbolises the problems inherent in turning Christianity into a religion of tasks rather than the total transformation that it really is.

One can fill a life full of spiritual activities without ever, actually, trying to become a more decent human being. In fact, much of this activity can distract one from becoming a more decent human being… Many churches are jerk factories.

Take, for example, how Christians tip and behave in restaurants. If you have ever worked in the restaurant industry you know the reputation of the Sunday morning lunch crowd. Millions of Christians go to lunch after church on Sundays and their behavior is abysmal. The single most damaging phenomenon to the witness of Christianity in America today is the collective behavior of the Sunday morning lunch crowd. Never has a more well-dressed, entitled, dismissive, haughty or cheap collection of Christians been seen on the face of the earth.

Performing spiritual/religious activities does not inherently make you a better person. Really becoming a better person is something that can only be done by Jesus.

We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ. How do we know? We [Jews] tried it—and we had the best system of rules the world has ever seen! Convinced that no human being can please God by self-improvement, we believed in Jesus as the Messiah so that we might be set right before God by trusting in the Messiah, not by trying to be good. …I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man.
Galatians 2:15-16,19 MSG

Beck is clear: there is nothing wrong, and much that is right about private devotions, bible study, prayer, fasting, et cetera. It just can’t be a substitute for being a decent human being. We need both. What we don’t need is our churches perceived as being “Jerk Factories”.

More Welfare for Corporations

A protester holds a stone during clashes with police in Tehran June 13, 2009. Thousands of people clashed with police on Saturday after the disputed election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked the biggest protests in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadalla)
A protester holds a stone during clashes with police in Tehran June 13, 2009. Thousands of people clashed with police on Saturday after the disputed election victory of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sparked the biggest protests in Tehran since the 1979 Islamic revolution. (REUTERS/Ahmed Jadalla)
Free-market, laissez-faire capitalism has a “risk and rewards” flavour. One gambles capital (money) in the hopes of a profitable gain. The greater the risk, the greater the reward. One might gain immense wealth, or one might lose one’s proverbial shirt.

The government bailouts for corporations and huge bonuses for the already overpaid muck-de-mucks that bankrupted them is an example of the diametric opposite of capitalism.
Continue reading More Welfare for Corporations

Go Vote NO

“No matter who you vote for… the Government always gets in.”
—Author Unknown

Many Canadians are disaffected by the political process. They realise the governments are all the same. They realise true change rarely happens.

Maybe they even realise that it’s not “Left vs Right” or “Progressive vs Conservative” or any of those handy labels we affix to one another.

It’s the Government vs you.

If you have come to this realisation, go out in the next election and vote “None of the above is acceptable.”

I take a big black felt marker and a pen-style tube of white-out. My vote is counted as “spoiled”. But I would much rather register my protest with all the candidates than hold my nose and vote with “the lesser of evils” — which is still evil. I would rather register my protest than join the masses who believe their voice won’t be heard anyway, so why bother voting at all?

I’ll be voting “none of the above is acceptable” in British Columbia’s next provincial election. What will you do?

 

Individualism is Morally Superior to Collectivism

Individualism is a way of thinking that values the individual higher than groups of individuals. Individualism is not the same as selfishness; it must respect the individuality of others as well as its own: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” Individualism respects the unique character of every person.

Collectivism is its opposite, valuing the group as a whole above any of its components. Thus the value of an individual is secondary (or worse) compared to the value of the collective, whether it be family, clan, tribe, or nation; religion or clique or corporation or any other group.
Continue reading Individualism is Morally Superior to Collectivism