Saturday, October 31, 2009

Max Lucado Again

Unfailing Love

As Max Lucado says, governments come and go, but God's Love will never end. Max's site is here.

by Max Lucado

“Love,” Paul says, “never fails” (1 Cor. 13:8 NIV).

The verb Paul uses for the word fail is used elsewhere to describe the demise of a flower as it falls to the ground, withers, and decays. It carries the meaning of death and abolishment. God’s love, says the apostle, will never fall to the ground, wither, and decay. By its nature, it is permanent. It is never abolished.

Love “will last forever” (NLT).

It “never dies” (MSG).

It “never ends” (RSV).

Love “is eternal” (TEV).

God’s love “will never come to an end” (NEB).

Love never fails.

Governments will fail, but God’s love will last. Crowns are temporary, but love is eternal. Your money will run out, but his love never will.

How could God have a love like this? No one has unfailing love. No person can love with perfection. You’re right. No person can. But God is not a person. Unlike our love, his never fails. His love is immensely different from ours.

Our love depends on the receiver of the love. Let a thousand people pass before us, and we will not feel the same about each. Our love will be regulated by their appearance, by their personalities. Even when we find a few people we like, our feelings will fluctuate. How they treat us will affect how we love them. The receiver regulates our love.

Not so with the love of God. We have no thermostatic impact on his love for us. The love of God is born from within him, not from what he finds in us. His love is uncaused and spontaneous.

Does he love us because of our goodness? Because of our kindness? Because of our great faith? No, he loves us because of his goodness, kindness, and great faith. John says it like this: “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us” (1 John 4:10 NIV).

Doesn’t this thought comfort you? God’s love does not hinge on yours. The abundance of your love does not increase his. The lack of your love does not diminish his. Your goodness does not enhance his love, nor does your weakness dilute it. What Moses said to Israel is what God says to us:

The LORD did not choose you and lavish his love on you because you were larger or greater than other nations, for you were the smallest of all nations! It was simply because the LORD loves you. (Deut. 7:7–8 NLT)

God loves you simply because he has chosen to do so.

A Love Worth GivingHe loves you when you don’t feel lovely.

He loves you when no one else loves you. Others may abandon you, divorce you, and ignore you, but God will love you. Always. No matter what.

This is his sentiment: “I’ll call nobodies and make them somebodies; I’ll call the unloved and make them beloved” (Rom. 9:25 MSG).

This is his promise. “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself” (Jer. 31:3 NLT).

How Human Rights Ought To Be Dealt With

How A Wise Rabbi Dealt with Discrimination

Mitch Albom is well known for writing "Tuesdays with Morrie". Soon he will be as well known for his latest work, "have a little faith." It is the story of how his childhood rabbi, Rabbi Albert Lewis asked him to deliver the eulogy at his funeral. As it happened, the rabbi asked him 8 years before he died, giving Albom plenty of time to get to know his rabbi better.

Among the stories that he recounts, are instances of how the Jewish people of Haddon Heights, New Jersey were discriminated against, and how Rabbi Lewis dealt with it. Oh, that we should deal with discrimination like this today and here, rather than letting the government do it.

When Rabbi Lewis was appointed to the small synagogue in 1948, he found there was considerable angst among Christians about a Jewish congregation in their midst. There was no HRC to whine to, and in NJ there still isn't, so the rabbi took it upon himself to do something good about it. He joined the local ministerium, and set out to meet people where they were at, speaking in classrooms to students who wanted to see his horns, and being a friend to all.

One time during the High Holidays that happened this particular year to coincide with Sunday mass at the Catholic Church in the neighbourhood, one of his congregants was accosted by the local priest who was offended that there was limited parking for his congregation, as it was taken up by the Jewish participants in the High Holiday festivities at the synagogue. The priest was abusive in his anger and even said in a fit of pique: "They didn't exterminate enough of you."

Rabbi Lewis contacted the local archbishop about the incident, and received a call the next day from the priest wanting to meet. The priest apologized and shared with the rabbi an idea that the archbishop had told him.

So, shortly thereafter, when the local Catholic school had recess, the rabbi and priest walked around the school grounds arm in arm, as per the archbishop's suggestion. The priest and rabbi became friends, and finally when the priest died, Rabbi Lewis assisted in officiating at his Catholic funeral.

That's how disputes over human rights should be handled.

What we do now is lazy. There is no wisdom in the bullying of HRCs. We need to return to simpler times, with less government intervention in our daily lives.

Another Good NP Article From George Jonas

Saving the CHRC through Amputation

It is great to see respected journalists taking on the CHRC and the HRC industry, as here. A good read.

Here's his take on S. 13:
A law that takes an "expansive" view of discriminatory conduct based on the subjective feelings of groups selected to be immunized against existential trauma, then bases censure or sanctions against conduct that falls short of this standard, not on what the "actors" had actually done or intended to do, but on the effect their actions may have had on the most hostile or sensitive or vulnerable member of an immunized group, and finally adds insult to injury by describing this arbitrary, coercive and iniquitous process as "a non-adjudicative resolution of a 'dispute,'" turns society into a mixture between Orwell's 1984 and a Monty Python skit.
His conclusion might be sad but true:
When Canada's human rights industry, emboldened by its success with netting small fry -- a teacher here, a preacher there -- set its sights on the big fish swimming in the mainstream media, it opened itself to the risk of running into Moby Dick. As it happened, it ran into a whole school, from Ken Whyte's harpoon-resistant Maclean's magazine to a mix between a whale and a mongoose named Ezra Levant, and of course the world's only cetacean with a sense of humor, Mark Steyn. The biggest whale turned out to be the Internet itself, looming immense, committed solidly to the freedom of the seas. The good ship CHRC was no match against such fish.

Professor Moon quickly moved to cut bait, not to save an endangered species of free-swimming sea creatures but to secure the escape of the beleaguered whalers. Moon thinks he has done it, too. "While the critics of the CHRC have been successful in spreading their views, all they can hope for is a marginal win in a polarized debate," he offered in his lecture. The pity is he may be right.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

You Just Gotta Listen To This

Go Over to BCF and listen, please.

Eva Cassidy was only 33 years old when she died of cancer in 1996. Her rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow is beautiful.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high.
There's a land that I heard of Once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue.
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.
Someday I'll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far Behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops, Away above the chimney tops.
That's where you'll find me.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, bluebirds fly. Birds fly over the rainbow,
Why then - oh, why can't I?
If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow,
Why, oh, why can't I?

Some Rights Are More Equal Than Others

No Apologies Writes

Over at No Apologies Neil Dykstra has a good synthesis of the goings on with CHRA Section 13.

He cites the two ways that the Federal Law is being examined, the Appeal of the Lemire decision, and the JUST committee meetings and coming recommendations about it.

It is important also to note once again, that Alberta's similar law in Section 3(1) of their human rights legislation is on trial, and now awaiting a decision in the Stephen Boissoin case that was heard at the Alberta Court of Queens Bench in mid September 2009.

The court heard about the egregiousness of the Decision on its face, but also was put to task on the constitutionality of a law limiting free speech in this country, with the words "likely to expose to hatred or contempt".

Canada Tells United Nations to Stuff It


Scary Fundamentalist from the left coast starts his recent posting with this:
If only Canada had rejected all 68 outright, I would really be bursting with pride...
Canada told the United Nations Tuesday more than half of the 68 recommendations other countries say will improve Canadian human rights standards are unacceptable. In an address to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Canada rejected outright 14 of the recommendations issued in March, and partially rejected another 22.
And, note who is critical and who is not:
The Council agreed by consensus to adopt Canada's response as part of the international record, but not before Algeria, Cuba, Russia and Iran expressed additional criticism. By contrast, the United States said Canada "sets high standards for its human rights practices."
I think I'd rather be associated with the US than that other club.

I urge you to read the rest of it over here:
Scary Fundamentalist: Canada Tells United Nations to Stuff It

Australia Considers Bill To Criminalize Free Speech By Christians

It is Still in the Consideration Stage

Excerpt from The Australian:

Australians who wear a crucifix to work or offer to pray for a patient in hospital could run foul of a charter of rights, according to a British legal expert who says its introduction in this country would trigger an attack on religious expression.

Barrister Paul Diamond said equivalent laws in Britain had intensified religious resentment and introduced a degree of uncertainty into the rule of law.

He cited the example of a workplace dispute at British Airways in which the company had tried to prevent an employee from wearing a crucifix while permitting other workers to carry Sikh ceremonial knives and wear turbans and Muslim head scarfs.

Mr Diamond said the secular ideology of the British Human Rights Act was being used to politicise the judiciary and eradicate “unacceptable religious viewpoints on same-sex, on women, on a whole range of moral issues”.

Mr Diamond, who is visiting Australia as a guest of the Ambrose Centre for Religious Liberty, criticised the report of Jesuit priest Frank Brennan's consultative committee on human rights, which has called for a human rights act, a charter of rights and changes to the way courts interpret legislation.

Mr Diamond's concerns are in line with those of 20 church leaders who were part of a delegation to Canberra last week that urged Attorney-General Robert McClelland to reject a charter.

Catholic Cardinal George Pell said there was no doubt a charter would be used against religious schools, hospitals and charities by those who did not like religious freedom and thought it should not be a human right.

[...]Mr Diamond said the ideology of the British Human Rights Act had contributed to a widespread attack on religious freedom since it gave effect in Britain to the European Convention on Human Rights.

[...]He said one of his most frightening cases concerned a man known as David Booker who was threatened with dismissal for telling a co-worker that Christians opposed pre-marital sex and same-sex relations.

“She had asked him about his Christian faith. She complained and he was suspended and would have been sacked had we not intervened. It was a private sector employer interpreting their diversity policy to eliminate offensive Christian viewpoints from the culture.”

In the 10 years of its existence, the British Human Rights Act had intensified racial and religious tensions, caused widespread community resentment, introduced a degree of uncertainty to the rule of law and been associated with an influx of young, politicised judges, he said.

He rejected the charter lobby's argument that Australia was out of step with comparable western democracies in not having a bill or charter of rights.

"I hope this doesn't sound patronising, but it is good to be 10 years behind. I've seen the future and it doesn't work. You can avoid it," Mr Diamond said.

Further excerpt from Wintery Knight who has cited some of the tip of the ice berg of particular cases in the UK, Canada and the USA where putting down Christian thought and action has become sport:

Not only has this caught on in the UK with the British Human Rights Act.

Canada has similar infringements on religious expression because of the anti-Christian Canadian Human Rights Act.

And bad things are already happening the United States.

People of Good Will, this is not going away. It will only continue to get worse, unless you/we stand against it. You want a real pandemic. Here is a real pandemic. It is viral. The hatred behind this is highly contagious. There are Christians ministering throughout the world, who are being killed for their faith currently, as always, and the numbers far exceed H1N1. This particular strain of the Christian Persecution flu makes a slow death.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Principles of Liberty Part 1

1. ‘The Only Reliable Basis for Sound Government and Just Human Relations is Natural Law.'

W. Cleon Skousen wrote a book a few years back "The Five Thousand Year Leap". It is one of about 30 that he authored in his lifetime, and I believe was the last before his death. It contains profound insight into the minds of the founders of the Republic known as the United States of America.

It chronicles 28 Principles on which the USA was created, and attempts to stand. What is evident is that America was created very much by the grace of God, and its founders operated in Godly wisdom. One could also conclude that the Founders are rolling in their graves at the mess that is being made of their Republic by those who treat it as a garbage pail. The same can be said for the Fathers of Confederation, the rolling bit, as they see the Canada that they dreamt of and strove to create is torn apart by imbecilic behaviour on the part of those chosen to protect it.

As Skousen said in his book:
Natural law is God's law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God."
It was interesting to read over at the David Horowitz Newsreel, in a discussion series on the book, but in particular a discussion on Natural Law, that the author of the piece and his commenters mostly were lost about how to describe Natural Law, though some gave it a good college try and the odd one had a decent handle on it.

Skousen talked in his book about Cicero and his concepts for building society on the basis of Natural Law. But, Skousen described it as follows:
The Law of Nature or Nature’s God is eternal in its basic goodness; it is universal in its application. It is a code of “right reason” from the Creator himself. It cannot be altered. It cannot be repealed. It cannot be abandoned by legislators or the people themselves, even though they may pretend to do so. In Natural Law we are dealing with factors of absolute reality. It is basic in its principles, comprehensible to the human mind, and totally correct and morally right in its general operation.
The author of the piece over at Horowitz, David Swindle was honest in saying that he never really liked or even fully understood the concept of "Natural Law." Even more profound was Skousen's commentary on Cicero, tying it to the Declaration of Independence:
A fundamental presupposition of Natural Law is that man’s reasoning power is a special dispensation of the Creator and is closely akin to the rational or reasoning power of the Creator himself. In other words, man shares with his Creator this quality of utilizing a rational approach to solving problems, and the reasoning of the mind will generally lead to common-sense conclusions based on what Jefferson called “the laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (The Declaration of Independence).
Most of those who commented on Swindle's article and on the Principle itself missed the boat, but one commenter Bobbi had the best kick at it of those offered:

Over time, I’ve come to the idea that natural law refers to the inevitable consequences of human behavior. The problem David outlines, that reasonable people can differ greatly in their interpretation of right and wrong, stems from a culture that has attempted through misguided “empathy” to separate man from the natural consequences of his thoughts and actions. Cas points out man’s right to self-defense, which today has become so warped that we regularly question the rights of Americans and Israelis to protect themselves from attack. In our litigious society one scarcely dares to confront a burglar in one’s own home.

However, I think the problem David articulates goes further. For the most blatant and easily reasoned example: The natural consequences of promiscuous sex include the spread of disease, unwanted pregnancies, single parenthood as well as the psychological/physiological coarsening of the self and ultimately the coarsening of civil society. Yet we celebrate promiscuous sex in our culture and then charge medical science and government to devise the means to avoid the consequences. Because this is “natural” law, we cannot in reality avoid the consequences and the more we attempt to do so, the worse things get.

By the same token, one can look to the Ten Commandments, and other precepts of major religions and find they all ban the same behaviors or types of behaviors, varying mostly in the type and severity of punishment for engaging in them. Why?

Religion and Law are entwined in that both attempt to govern individual behavior in such a way as to, in a sense, preempt natural consequences in order to create a civil society. Think about it: sloth, greed, gluttony, adultery, the killing of innocents, not “honoring” our fathers and mothers, not “honoring” others, theft, coveting, etc. all carry natural consequences beyond law or religious dictates. Yet today, we excuse all of these things out of a foolish sense of “empathy” for the “sinner.” We make it a case of supporting the “sinner” or the “victim” and forget the natural consequences of the “sin.” (one can even make the case for not worshiping any other Gods, but Beck is on in a few minutes)

Today we’ve twisted everything in such a way as to present right as wrong and wrong as right to such an extent that David and most of us are rightly confused. Natural law gets all mixed up with the notion of the Noble Savage and our inner desire to express our own Will. And so we have a whole segment of society that believes Man is evil and a pox on the earth. When in reality, Man has both an animal and god-like nature. The evils we perpetrate are most often the result of giving in to our animal nature and forgetting to be god-like and denying the responsibilities entailed.

Our founders understood this in ways I am continually discovering …

But, St. Thomas Aquinas put it best of all theses offered on what is Natural Law. He said quite simply:

Good is to be done, and evil avoided.

Juxtaposing that into Skousen's 1st Principles then gives you this:

The Only Reliable Basis for Sound Government and Just Human Relations is to do good and to avoid evil.

Now, put that up against what Bobbi above tells us is going on in America with similar goings on here in Canada, which of course is only the tip of the iceberg, and tell me if either of our two once great countries are paying any heed to Skousen's 1st Principle. Then, think about whether it matters, or whether you believe that this is a free for all.

If Skousen's 1st Principle makes sense to you, then I urge you to think about it deeper, and see if you have ideas about how we can make it work here at home.

We have all been given the intelligence to use right reason in self determination, and in how we choose to allow our countries to be governed. It is high time that we activated our brains, did enough mental push ups and brain stretches to get the juices flowing and then built up our consciences to the point where we decide that Natural Law is too logical and true to be pushed aside by invented human rights and laws that prevent the people of our nations from growing into the real human beings that we all were created to be.

Are we sheep, or are we human beings endowed by our Creator with wisdom and intelligence to see our way through this miasma of perfidy.

Abortion and the ‘Great Disconnect’

A Call to Action for the People of Life By Jennifer Hartline

This article is available online at Catholic Online, but I have copied it here as permitted by the publishers.

It is American in its content, but is totally relevant to us as Canadians as well

According to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, in the last two decades one billion babies have been aborted. One billion! Have we had enough yet? We’re drowning in blood.

If every American who claims to be pro-life actually connected their beliefs to their actions, we could win the battle against abortion.
If every American who claims to be pro-life actually connected their beliefs to their actions, we could win the battle against abortion.
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) – On Tuesday evening, Oct. 27, 2009, I had the great privilege of attending – along with 1,200 other people – a fundraising banquet for the Tidewater Crisis Pregnancy Center in Chesapeake. I went as a reporter for "Catholic Online" as well as a supporter. The featured guest speaker was pro-life hero and Nurse Jill Stanek. She was every bit as powerful in person as she is on her blog – even more so. We all need to take a cue from her as we engage the fundamental human rights issue of our age.

She spoke to us about her years spent working as a nurse at Christ Hospital in Illinois, and her struggle to shed light on the dirty little secret happening in hospitals all over the country – Christian hospitals, no less. Babies are being aborted alive (that means they survived the initial attempt on their lives) and then left alone to die, often discarded and thrown away as “medical waste”. Their deaths are blamed on “extreme prematurity” when in fact their cause of death is deliberate, forced eviction from their rightful home.

She spoke to us about what she calls “the great disconnect.” How can it be that if 51% of Americans now say they are pro-life we are still struggling to win the battle against abortion? Why is it that people will say they think it is wrong to kill a baby in the womb, and yet that belief is not evidenced in their actions? It certainly seems to have no influence on their votes. Can we truly say we believe abortion is wrong if we are not willing to stop it? Can we truly say we believe abortion is wrong if we are willing to elect lawmakers, even Presidents, who are intent on enshrining abortion “rights” into law?

This is the great disconnect. Americans will say they believe something, yet be unmotivated to defend that belief. Worst of all, Christians will say they believe something, yet be weak-willed and silent in the face of opposition to that belief. That is pathetic. Satan is mocking us and the horrors caused by abortion on demand continue.

Jill reminded us Tuesday night of a simple fact: abortion is manslaughter. Whether our laws reflect it or not, it is a crime. As Catholic Christians we know that it is an egregious violation of the Natural Law. Any person who claims to be pro-life must demand the laws be changed to reflect the truth about the fundamental human right, the right to life. It is entirely illogical and frankly absurd to charge one man with murder in the death of his unborn child and to declare another man a patriot and a hero for causing and profiting from the deaths of tens of thousands of preborn children. The only difference? In the first case, the mother wanted the baby. In all the others, the mothers didn’t want what we call the “fetus”, as if that somehow lessens the gravity of the utter evil of the act.

That is the great disconnect. This disconnect proves that we all know quite well that there’s something wrong with causing the death of a baby in the womb, but we are too weak or too selfish or too lazy or too calloused to require justice. Our conscience is supposed to be soothed by the mantra of “choice.” Who are we to tell a woman what she has to do with her body?

We are supposed to be a just society. We are supposed to be an honorable people. We do not need it explained to us that a mother’s body ends where her baby’s begins. We know that. We simply want to pretend we don’t. We want to act like it’s not our place to say. We want to distance ourselves from the responsibility by saying, “I think it’s wrong, but it’s not my choice.” While we sit mute, the truly voiceless have no defense, no advocate, and no rescue. “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will He not repay each person according to what he has done?” Proverbs 24:11-12

This is the same disconnect that was at work during the shameful days of slavery. Dear Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, in a column published here on Catholic Online as well as in his Diocesan Press, made this point! Americans attempted to deny the humanity of black men and women and insisted they had the “right” to “own” another human being and subject them to degradation, cruelty and, in some instances, the taking of their lives through abuse. Evil had so corrupted the thinking of so many people, and evil is still corrupting our thoughts today. Today our nation proclaims the lawful right to kill an unwanted child. Say that out loud: America proclaims the lawful right to kill an unwanted child.

There is only one reason America still asserts that abhorrent and nonexistent “right” today: because those who know better lack the will to put an end to it.

We can cry out like the Psalmist: “Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.” And God will rightfully turn to us and ask, “When will YOU arise? When will you lift up your hand to defend the helpless? When will you stop rallying to the support of men and women who refuse to protect the innocent?” So, when will we?

According to Planned Parenthood’s own statistics, in the last two decades one billion babies have been aborted. One billion. Have we had enough yet? We’re drowning in blood.

The Tidewater CPC had some encouraging as well as heartbreaking statistics of their own, and I relate them to you to use as a guide to what’s happening in your own city. The good news is that our CPC has seen the number of abortions in our area decline every year for the last four years, and in just three years, the number of women they’ve served has more than doubled. Many babies’ lives are being saved and many mothers are being cared for and spared the wounds of abortion.

Their center is staffed with loving volunteers who give their lives in service to pregnant women and their babies. They provide practical help as well as compassionate support to young girls/women who feel they are all alone in the world and help them find the courage to choose life. They introduced us to two such women and their babies; lives that would have otherwise been lost. These committed volunteers are making a miraculous difference.

The bad news is that there are still nearly 9,000 children killed by abortion every year in this area. A high percentage of those babies are African-American; funny, I don’t hear President Obama objecting to this racial slaughter. And to make matters worse, Planned Parenthood has begun construction on a brand-new abortion clinic in Virginia Beach, to be opened this summer.

Tidewater CPC would like to combat this threat from Planned Parenthood by opening another crisis pregnancy center in VA Beach. They explained that it costs $50 to operate their center for one hour. Once they have 575 hours underwritten each month, they can open another life-saving center. That verse from Psalm 10 is their theme this year: “Arise, Lord! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless.” Now let’s pray there are enough people in this area who will ARISE and help rescue the innocents.Let us also pray for all these wonderful centers throughout the Nation. They are the true champions of the real rights of women and the real rights of children in the first home, their mother's womb!

The same is true in your city and every city across America, support all of these efforts! If every American who claims to be pro-life actually connected their beliefs to their actions, we could win this battle against abortion and push back the Culture of Death. It’s a question of conviction, courage and strength of will. “Arise, O Lord…” It was the late Champion of Life, the Servantof God John Paul II who so often reminded us that we are to be a “People of Life”. ARISE, O people of LIFE!

The Purpose of Life Part 3

Tears In My Eyes

This morning, when I awoke, I came to the computer as per usual, and first opened up my emails. This is the essence of the most important words that have come to me today.

When I edited The Purpose of Life Part 2 last night before going to bed, I was adding a few thoughts of my own, that by and large were not necessary, since my friend Joshua had written so eloquently in his comments to my blog post. Frankly, he writes so well and so much from his heart, that my first inclination when I receive a comment from him now is to post it as a separate item.

But, at the end of the posting, I felt compelled to add a personal prayer for his total healing. I agonized over that prayer briefly, hoping that I would not offend him, but in truth, was only second guessing the Inspiration that gave me that prayer in the first place.

He sent me a personal note this morning, not as a comment to the blog item. It so moved me that I wanted to share it, so I asked him for permission to so do. Because he gave me that permission moments ago, I can share what he wrote in hopes that it might inspire you as is inspired me.

He wrote:
I just read your latest posting at FREEDOM THROUGH TRUTH, which you closed with the following prayer for me: "May God, the great healer pour his healing mercy on you, Joshua, on your body, mind, spirit and soul, to his glory and honour. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World."

I cried when I read your words. You see, just yesterday, as I lay there immobile with tons of nuclear medical equipment whirling around me, I asked Jehovah to heal me. This was the first time I had asked for that. Naturally, this all happens "in the mind" so to speak, so it wasn't in these precise words that I learned what I learned.
As I prayed my prayer over and over again - 25 minutes spent absolutely immobile is a long, long time! - my prayer was answered - IMMEDIATELY - in a very illuminating way.
As I lay there, it suddenly popped into my mind (as God's voice often does!): "Do you mean heal the cancer, Joshua?"
That stopped me dead (no pun intended, but God has blessed me with a rather macabre sense of humour about my own situation). When we ask to be healed, we presumably are asking for the threat/imminent danger/worst thing in one's life to be eradicated, right? Well, my prayer wasn't that specific, and you know God! His response caused me to wonder: Is cancer TRULY the worst thing in my life? Really? And I began to wonder...
It came to me that the "worst thing in my life" would have to fulfill SOME kind of criteria above and beyond its ability to inspire fear in me. And not to brag, but I am not easily made to feel afraid. It came to me then that "the worst thing in my life" is the thing that CHALLENGES MY FAITH IN GOD THE MOST. And, that thing is NOT cancer.

This question is different for every human being. But it came to me in a flash (again, no pun intended but the machines were still whirling around me!) that in MY case, what challenges my faith in Jehovah the very most is violence perpetrated against children.
What I read of in the media, what I saw (and still see) in schools, what I witness in the aisles of WalMart, what I hear parents say... well, I can't begin to express how alarmingly "anti-child" our world has grown. Violence takes many forms, and humankind seems to enact them all upon children. I can barely speak coherently on the subject, but suffice to say that I have been a "child advocate" since long before the term was even coined. I think it might have something to do with the vocational calling I felt to fatherhood as much as God's blessing of a wife who dove into motherhood headfirst and hasn't stopped swimming in the pool with the kids since!
So when I asked God to heal me, and the response I received was: "Do you mean cancer, Joshua?" - well, I just had to answer, right? I mean - here's the deal - it's one thing to feel your faith enough to "talk to God", but it's another thing entirely to LISTEN AND RESPOND to God. To boot, it is one's responsibility to "listen and respond" to God. Logically, to not do so is to deny the existence of the "dialogue" one has worked so hard for to establish.
All these things flashed through my mind/soul in a nanosecond. If I had to check off one of two boxes, which one would I select? The one that would end violence against children? Or the one that would take my cancer away?
In the previous 48 hours, I had read about the sentencing for murder of one of three adults who abused a child to death right here in Canada. When she was found, the 17-month-old victim had sustained, among other injuries, a broken spine, multiple bone fractures, organ piercings, concussions, burnings, etc. It was so horrible that I shut down the computer and didn't read any more "news" that day. I spoke about it to my wife, and that was about all. I honestly cannot conceive of/ponder/imagine the level of evil in a person who can do such things. I cannot "debate" or "discuss" the issue among friends because I get so emotionally upset about what I know, and even more so by the denials about the issue that I hear being spoken by people around me (exempting my own family and close personal friends, who largely share my sentiments).
Do you hear "where I am coming from"? This is the Achilles heel of my faith in Jehovah, and we talk about it a lot. So I knew what God was asking in that moment yesterday at Sunnybrook hospital. "Joshua," Jehovah responded, "would you be willing to sacrifice your life for children - the children of others?"
I wish I could say that my answer was an immediate "yes", but it wasn't - not quite. Before I answered Jehovah in the affirmative, I inserted a clause which acknowledged that I have already enjoyed 57 years of life - God's greatest gift to me after my immortal soul - and THEN I said "yes". I guess I still have a ways to go, huh? LOL
Nonetheless, in the immediate apron of time after I had delivered my response to Jehovah that, yes, I would sacrifice my life to end violence against children, I connected yet again to some huge inner sense that I've not finished the work God has intended me to do in my life. My confidence that I would "pull through" this cancer thing and 'fly right" again grew exponentially. God's not done with me yet. I simply "know" that this will look like a cakewalk in hindsight once it's passed. My wife and I had - and still have - big plans for the many "grandkids" we've acquired over the years - most unrelated by blood to us but who know no other "Grandma and Grampa" than me and my wife. I'm still needed here. I have faith in God's faith in me to deliver on that score, so I have to have faith that God will support my doctors and medical technology in defeating this cancer. My oncologist tells me that I am responding 'very well" to therapy. I take that as a sign/message...

Thank you for listening/reading all this. All I really wanted to do was thank you for remembering me in your prayers, and here I am, more than one hour later tap-tap-tapping these words to you.
You can honestly lay claim to one accomplishment today already - you got my day off to the best start possible! Knowing God's hearing my name from your quarter makes me stronger, makes my faith stronger, and makes me love this life God blessed me with more than ever before.
And you are in my prayers, too, and have been since I first began reading you online many months ago. It's nice to know the company I've been assigned to has such courageous guys in it, 'cuz this battle is a long one.
We are all called to community, to be brothers and sisters. In this crazy world we live in, it is all too easy to lose sight of that. I invite you to pray for our Brother Joshua, for his complete healing, and then to watch as God works wonders in his life, on top of the wonders He has already worked in Joshua's life.

A Nation Founded on Principles

What Were The First Americans Thinking?

A friend indirectly guided me to this, and I hope to explore it further. Listed below are 28 Principles of Liberty for government in the US, based on the history and focus of the Founding Fathers of that once, and potentially yet again, great nation.

As Canadians, there is much we can learn from this, since most of the 28 Principles below are pertinent to our once, and potentially yet again, great nation. At the moment, I leave them with you without comment.

The Founders'
Unchanging Principles of Liberty

NOTE: The following is from the July 2004 newsletter of the National Center for Constitutional Studies,, an excellent website that I highly commend for your review.

As we celebrate the Declaration of Independence in July and the Constitution in September, let us once again reflect on the marvelous principles underlying these two documents. The following is a review of these principles together with a comment or a quote by the Founders. The Five Thousand Year Leap devotes 1 chapter to each of these 28 principles.

Principle 1 - The only reliable basis for sound government and just human relations is Natural Law.

Natural law is God's law. There are certain laws which govern the entire universe, and just as Thomas Jefferson said in the Declaration of Independence, there are laws which govern in the affairs of men which are "the laws of nature and of nature's God."

Principle 2 - A free people cannot survive under a republican constitution unless they remain virtuous and morally strong.

“Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." - Benjamin Franklin

Principle 3 - The most promising method of securing a virtuous people is to elect virtuous leaders.

"Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt. He therefore is the truest friend to the liberty of his country who tries most to promote its virtue, and who ... will not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man." - Samuel Adams

Principle 4 - Without religion the government of a free people cannot be maintained.

"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.... And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion." – George Washington

Principle 5 - All things were created by God, therefore upon him all mankind are equally dependent, and to him they are equally responsible .

The American Founding Fathers considered the existence of the Creator as the most fundamental premise underlying all self-evident truth. They felt a person who boasted he or she was an atheist had just simply failed to apply his or her divine capacity for reason and observation.

Principle 6 - All mankind were created equal.

The Founders knew that in these three ways, all mankind are theoretically treated as:

  1. Equal before God.
  2. Equal before the law.
  3. Equal in their rights.

Principle 7 - The proper role of government is to protect equal rights, not provide equal things.

The Founders recognized that the people cannot delegate to their government any power except that which they have the lawful right to exercise themselves.

Principle 8 - Mankind are endowed by God with certain unalienable rights.

"Those rights, then, which God and nature have established, and are therefore called natural rights, such as are life and liberty, need not the aid of human laws to be more effectually invested in every man than they are; neither do they receive any additional strength when declared by the municipal [or state] laws to be inviolable. On the contrary, no human legislation has power to abridge or destroy them, unless the owner [of the right] shall himself commit some act that amounts to a forfeiture." – William Blackstone

Principle 9 - To protect human rights, God has revealed a code of divine law.

"The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law, and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found by comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature, as they tend in all their consequences to man's felicity." – William Blackstone

Principle 10 - The God-given right to govern is vested in the sovereign authority of the whole people.

"The fabric of American empire ought to rest on the solid basis of the consent of the people. The streams of national power ought to flow immediately from that pure, original fountain of all legislative authority." - Alexander Hamilton

Principle 11 - The majority of the people may alter or abolish a government which has become tyrannical.

"Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes ... but when a long train of abuses and usurpations ... evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." - Thomas Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence

Principle 12 - The United States of America shall be a republic.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America
And to the republic for which it stands...."

Principle 13 – A Constitution should protect the people from the frailties of their rulers.

"If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.... [But lacking these] you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself." – James Madison

Principle 14 - Life and liberty are secure only so long as the rights of property are secure .

John Locke reasoned that God gave the earth and everything in it to the whole human family as a gift. Therefore the land, the sea, the acorns in the forest, the deer feeding in the meadow belong to everyone "in common." However, the moment someone takes the trouble to change something from its original state of nature, that person has added his ingenuity or labor to make that change. Herein lies the secret to the origin of "property rights."

Principle 15 - The highest level of prosperity occurs when there is a free-market economy and a minimum of government regulations.

Prosperity depends upon a climate of wholesome stimulation with four basic freedoms in operation:

  1. The Freedom to try.
  2. The Freedom to buy.
  3. The Freedom to sell.
  4. The Freedom to fail.

Principle 16 - The government should be separated into three branches .

"I call you to witness that I was the first member of the Congress who ventured to come out in public, as I did in January 1776, in my Thoughts on Government ... in favor of a government with three branches and an independent judiciary. This pamphlet, you know, was very unpopular. No man appeared in public to support it but yourself." - John Adams

Principle 17 - A system of checks and balances should be adopted to prevent the abuse of power by the different branches of government.

"It will not be denied that power is of an encroaching nature and that it ought to be effectually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it." - James Madison

Principle 18 - The unalienable rights of the people are most likely to be preserved if the principles of government are set forth in a written Constitution.

The structure of the American system is set forth in the Constitution of the United States and the only weaknesses which have appeared are those which were allowed to creep in despite the Constitution.

Principle 19 - Only limited and carefully defined powers should be delegated to government, all others being retained by the people.

The Tenth Amendment is the most widely violated provision of the bill of rights. If it had been respected and enforced America would be an amazingly different country than it is today. This amendment provides:

"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Principle 20 - Efficiency and dispatch require that the government operate according to the will of the majority, but constitutional provisions must be made to protect the rights of the minority.

"Every man, by consenting with others to make one body politic under one government, puts himself under an obligation to every one of that society to submit to the determination of the majority, and to be concluded [bound] by it." – John Locke

Principle 21 - Strong local self-government is the keystone to preserving human freedom.

"The way to have good and safe government is not to trust it all to one, but to divide it among the many, distributing to every one exactly the functions he is competent [to perform best]. - Thomas Jefferson

Principle 22 - A free people should be governed by law and not by the whims of men.

"The end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom. For in all the states of created beings, capable of laws, where there is no law there is no freedom. For liberty is to be free from restraint and violence of others, which cannot be where there is no law." – John Locke

Principle 23 - A free society cannot survive as a republic without a broad program of general education.

"They made an early provision by law that every town consisting of so many families should be always furnished with a grammar school. They made it a crime for such a town to be destitute of a grammar schoolmaster for a few months, and subjected it to a heavy penalty. So that the education of all ranks of people was made the care and expense of the public, in a manner that I believe has been unknown to any other people, ancient or modern. The consequences of these establishments we see and feel every day [written in 1765]. A native of America who cannot read and write is as rare ... as a comet or an earthquake.” John Adams

Principle 24 - A free people will not survive unless they stay strong.

"To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." – George Washington

Principle 25 - "Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations -- entangling alliances with none."- Thomas Jefferson, given in his first inaugural address.

Principle 26 - The core unit which determines the strength of any society is the family; therefore the government should foster and protect its integrity.

"There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America, or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.” Alexis de Tocqueville

Principle 27 - The burden of debt is as destructive to human freedom as subjugation by conquest.

"We are bound to defray expenses [of the war] within our own time, and are unauthorized to burden posterity with them.... We shall all consider ourselves morally bound to pay them ourselves and consequently within the life [expectancy] of the majority." – Thomas Jefferson

Principle 28 - The United States has a manifest destiny to eventually become a glorious example of God's law under a restored Constitution that will inspire the entire human race.

The Founders sensed from the very beginning that they were on a divine mission. Their great disappointment was that it didn't all come to pass in their day, but they knew that someday it would. John Adams wrote:

"I always consider the settlement of America with reverence and wonder, as the opening of a grand scene and design in Providence for the illumination of the ignorant, and the emancipation of the slavish part of mankind all over the earth."

I once again commend these to you. Freedom-loving citizens, young and older, find that memorizing these principles proves to be a valuable asset in their defense of our liberty.


Earl Taylor, Jr.
National Center for Constitutional Studies

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Purpose of Life Part 2

Thoughts From a Friend

I hoped to hear some thoughts from others to the previous post. Here are words from friend Joshua:
The smart traveler knows how to pack. Knowing how to pack has a lot to do with knowing what to bring along. What will you need, and how much of it?

I'm currently in the middle of a three-month long regimen of daily radiation therapy for cancer. They won't let me bring my family into the treatment room. Only the patient is in the room when equipment is running. It's a solitary experience, and a frightening one. I decided early on to issue a formal invitation to Jehovah to accompany me to these appointments.

At this time in my life, I need God more than ever. He has always been there for me in the past. I don't ask for the impossible. Only the strength to help me get through what I must get through to better my chances of beating this thing. I need the emotional and spiritual support of my faith in God and of my relationship with God. Knowing that I need God makes me a stronger man. Turning to God in my hours of need is not a sign of weakness, but one of faith. And strength.

I can recommend giving God a chance. Very highly. There are roads you may have to walk down in this life "alone" - and they do not lead to fun places. But you always have the option of getting around that by inviting God to come along - even just for the company!

Note: This works better if you remember to invite God along for the fun times and to the fun places, too. God makes those better as well. I could go on, but testimonials can get so dull and boring...

If I could wish for one thing to come true, it would be for everyone to suddenly awake with an awareness of how much God really does love them. What a seismic shift in geopolitics that would incite!
I too have only one wish in life. Joshua said it.

Before I had the car accident that limits my physical and mental abilities, I had the world by the tail as it were. I had a great job, with good future prospects, and I did love God in that. Suddenly, it was all taken away from me in an instant. I relied on my wits and smarts to do well. Gone now. Woe is me, NOT!

The greatest gift that God ever gave me in my life, was the opportunity to get to know Him better over these last 6 years, because I have had to depend on Him to open the doors to my new life. He has to sustain me, because I know now that there is little that I can do. When I have to stop whatever I am doing because I just have no mental or physical energy, I know that He will get me through. I did not really know this when I was earning the big bucks, and when I was a jock, because I could do it on my own, or so I somehow thought, even in my weak faith.

And among the many gifts that my Dear Lord has given me is the opportunity to build a beautiful relationship with my wife. What a blessing that has been. I have a help mate, and even though she too has been disabled, we are more than able through the God who strengthens us. Each of us has been given what we need to love each other and support each other, and above all to pray together for ourselves and for all our loved ones, and for the world.

I have so much more than I had when I was able. So, I am not really disabled, but made able in many new ways.

Joshua is on a particular journey that like me, he probably would not have chosen, but knowing that God is at his side makes all the difference.

What a blessing he has right now. As St. Paul said, and I used to think was too wacky to make any sense: "Consider all these trials joy." I can feel the joy in Joshua's journey, and of course, our prayers are with him for a successful outcome.

May God, the great healer pour his healing mercy on you, Joshua, on your body, mind, spirit and soul, to his glory and honour. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World.

The Purpose of Life

Is A Life Of Purpose

“He that takes truth for his guide, and duty for his end, may safely trust to God's providence to lead him aright.” —Blaise Pascal (French mathematician, philosopher, physicist and writer, 1623-1662)

I have a few friends who come to mind as I contemplate truth as a guide and a life of purpose. They have all been battered on the seas of life, and have risen from some manner of family or life dysfunction, or both, and taken on a primary vocation, either early or later in life. Two of them I have known for many years, and two are newer friends.

One man has been a friend for over 20 years, and has risen above family dysfunction, a stint in a Catholic Seminary, lots of job changes, and challenges, and recent battles with addictive behaviours to embrace more fully than at any time in his life the vocation that he has to his marriage and to his position as a father to his four grown and growing children.

A woman I have known for nearly as long was a victim of abuse as a child at the hands of her father, which was dysfunctional in itself, but when compounded with the concept of a "family secret" upped the ante considerably. She has battled her way through the injuries incurred to her person with counselling, and hard work. She is now strong in her weakness, and secure in her person. Her primary vocation in life is her husband, her grown children and his, and her grandchildren.

Another newer friend came up in his loving family, only to be abandoned by his father in his teens, when the attractions of another woman pulled his father away from this "happy" home. He fought his way through years of self abuse, and criminal behaviour, and eventually turned his life around. His primary vocation is raising his children.

The fourth friend is another good man, who was abused by the Christian Brothers in his early years, and has overcome the torment of that, and risen above it to be in his vocation to his marriage to the love of his life, and to the loving of their now adult children.

These folks are much deeper than one paragraph can tell. One paragraph really does them a disservice, except that I am only working on making a point.

They all share some things in common, which I think is the point. All were raised in the Catholic Faith and baptised into it, as well as having enjoyed the sacraments of Reconciliation, Communion and Confirmation. All now share a love of God that they are living and expressing as they choose, but they are all living in deep faith.

Two of the four I know more personally, but I am aware of the stories of all four, and their stories would make you cry for the pain and suffering that they endured in critical times in their lives. But, knowing them and the victory they have achieved over the victimization of their earlier days also brings tears of joy to my eyes, and warmth to my heart.

I call this blog Freedom Through Truth. That is a tough moniker to live up to, but it is only a blog, just words written on artificial paper. Their lives are Freedom Through Truth in the flesh, with skin on the bones, and meat. They are real.

I believe that the early exposure of my four friends to the sacraments and life of the Catholic Church, and to fellowship with God in the Person of Jesus Christ influenced their lives, even in the darkest days. That seed planted in their Baptism and in the other sacraments has borne great fruit in each of them.

Two of them have stayed in the Catholic Church, and continue to worship the God they cannot see in their participation in the sacramental life of the Church. The other two have brought what they have elsewhere, for reasons of their own calling and choosing. They still worship the God they cannot see with their hearts, minds, body and souls. Each one has kept his or her faith in a God who has a plan for their lives, through all the turmoil, trials and tribulations. Even when it was tough and they quit, they never QUIT.

I have admiration for these four and for many others, who have found their purpose in life. None of them have stopped with their primary vocation that I articulated briefly above. Each is working to make the world a better place for others. But, the common denominator is faith in a God that cannot be seen, cannot be understood, but who when we pull back the covers of our lives and our disappointments and sufferings has always been there, giving us what we needed, not what we wanted, for our betterment, out of the abundant love that He has for us.

I invite you all to set aside your sorrows, or better yet, if you can offer them to God as maybe the only thing you own. Ask God to heal you of your blindness to the great love He has for you. There was no sorrow my four friends had that God could not heal for them, though it took time, and also work on their part.

To paraphrase John Lennon: Give God a chance. He's more than up to it.

Learning: Lessons for Social Conservatives from the Free Speech Movement in Canada

Miss Marprelate Speaks

Rebekah over at Miss Marprelate write for Mercator, and of course has her own blog. She is a good young writer, and this may be one of her best, so far. She is only scratching the surface of her abilities, and I look forward to more good stuff from her.

The Miss Marprelate Tracts: Learning: Lessons for Social Conservatives from the Free Speech Movement in Canada

The Mounties Always Get Their Man

Getting Rid of Them Is Not So Easy

Take the Case of Ali Tahmourpour for instance. Here is the story as taken from the Federal Court of Canada Decision in Canada (Attorney General) v. Tahmourpour, 2009 FC 1009, rendered on October 6, 2009 by The Honourable Mr. Justice Zinn.

The Introduction to the decisions reads as follows:
Ali Tahmourpour was accepted as a cadet in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the RCMP). He commenced his training at the RCMP training facility (the Depot) in Regina, Saskatchewan, on July 12, 1999. His cadet contract was terminated by the RCMP on October 20, 1999, prior to the completion of the training program, and the RCMP decided that he would not be accepted for re-enrolment in the training program.

Mr. Tahmourpour lodged a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission. He claimed that he was discriminated against and harassed by the RCMP during the training program, and that the decisions of the RCMP to terminate his training and prevent his re-enrolment were discriminatory on the basis of his national or ethnic origin and his religion contrary to sections 7 and 14 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, R.S.C. 1985, c. H-6.
His complaint dealt with the Employment provision of the CHRA:

7. It is a discriminatory practice, directly or indirectly,
(a) to refuse to employ or continue to employ any individual, or
(b) in the course of employment, to differentiate adversely in relation to an employee, on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

And the Harassment provision of the CHRA:

14. (1) It is a discriminatory practice,
(a) in the provision of goods, services, facilities or accommodation customarily available to the general public,
(b) in the provision of commercial premises or residential accommodation, or
(c) in matters related to employment, to harass an individual on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

His complaint was upheld by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal as follows:
The complaint was referred to the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal for a hearing which commenced on August 13, 2007, and lasted for 20 days. In Tahmourpour v. Canada (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), 2008 CHRT 10 (CanLII), 2008 CHRT 10, the Tribunal upheld the complaint and issued numerous remedial orders.
And now a little background on the case:Mr. Tahmourpour is an Iranian-born Muslim. He came to Canada when he was a teenager. He professes to having had a long-standing desire to become a police officer. He got his opportunity when at age 26 he was accepted as a cadet in the RCMP training program.

RCMP cadet training is a 22 week period of instruction at the Depot. Each cadet signs a training agreement and is provided with a handbook and other documents outlining the assessment procedures in place. The cadet training agreement contains specific provisions with respect to the termination of the agreement and provides, in relevant part, that the agreement may be terminated if the cadet “does not meet set standards of performance." It further provides that the cadet is required to meet all the training requirements as set out in the cadet training handbook in order to continue with the training program.

The RCMP has a rigorous method of assessing problem solving, called CAPRA, since that is perceived the glue to police work. TO that they have 5 rating categories:

P – Professional
S – Superior
NI – Needs Improvement
U – Unacceptable
N/O – Not Observed

Here's how the ratings are used to wash out unsuccessful cadets:
A cadet fails training if he or she receives two U ratings in the same competency during one assessment period, with no improvement shown, or a total of two U ratings across the CAPRA components, or within the same CAPRA component. If a cadet receives two U ratings in the same competency, and he or she is recommended for termination, the cadet’s file is reviewed before termination is effected.
There were 19 feedback incidents presented to the Tribunal for Cadet Tahmourpour. They were between NI and U. This was followed by more internal reviews and feedback to the Cadet. There were none that indicated He Got It, or was Going To Get It. Finally, in October, 1999 after a lengthy process, including allowing the Cadet to respond to file documents about an internal request for his termination, he was in fact terminated.

The penultimate straw was his failure to respond in the communicated time frame to a request for a letter from him to defend not being terminated at that time.

The ultimate straw was his reaction to the termination, which was unusual to say the least.

This should have been the end, but 18 months later Mr. Tahmourpour filed a CHRC complaint for discrimination. Needless to say in his complaint, Mr. Tahmourpour was a hardened recruit, able to spit nails and shoot the eyes out of a snake, a tribute to the Force, except for the meanies who were holding him back because of their prejudice.

But, who you gonna believe. Well, if you are the CHRT (or any HRC/HRT for that matter), the VICTIM, of course. I mean Complainant.

The Tribunal found as follows with details outlined in the Decision:

The Tribunal, after hearing the evidence, summarized Mr. Tahmourpour’s allegations of discrimination and harassment to be five-fold, as follows:
(i) Mr. Tahmourpour was subjected to discriminatory remarks, hostile treatment and verbal abuse by his instructors at the Depot;
(ii) Mr. Tahmourpour’s performance at the Depot was improperly evaluated; (iii) Mr. Tahmourpour’s training contract was terminated on the basis of false pretences;
(iv) Mr. Tahmourpour was improperly designated as being ineligible for re-enrolment in the Cadet Training Program at the Depot; and
(v) Mr. Tahmourpour was the victim of harassment on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination while at the Depot.

And so to fix the poor man's situation they made the following orders:
The Tribunal ordered the following as a remedy for the discriminatory actions of the RCMP:
(a) The RCMP was to offer Mr. Tahmourpour the opportunity to re-enrol in the Cadet Training Program and his program will be based on a fair assessment of the areas where training is required;
(b) He shall be paid the lost salary and benefits for the first 2 years and 12 weeks of work as an RCMP officer after graduating from the Depot, discounted by 8%;
(c) He shall be paid the difference between the average industrial full-time wage for persons of his age in Canada and the salary he would have earned as an officer in the RCMP until the time he accepts or rejects re-enrolment in the training program;
(d) He shall be paid the average amount of overtime paid to other constables who graduated from the Depot in 1999, discounted by 8%;
(e) All compensation must reflect a promotion to Corporal after 7 years;
(f) $9,000.00 for pain and suffering caused by the discriminatory conduct of the RCMP;
(g) $12,000.00 as special compensation under section 53(3) of the Act;
(h) $9,500.00 in compensation for expenses incurred in minimizing his losses; and
(i) Interest and reimbursement of legal expenses incurred.

It appears that this was all done with a straight face, but Surprise Surprise, the RCMP did not take this lying down, and appealed the Decision, resulting in this Actual Court Decision.

The Applicant in this Case, the Attorney General on behalf of the RCMP raised a number of issues in their Appeal:

(i) Test Used in Making Findings of Direct Discrimination. Whether the Tribunal erred in applying the wrong test for direct discrimination in making a finding of direct discrimination by Sergeant Hébert.
(ii) Expert Evidence. Whether the Tribunal erred in law in failing to allow the RCMP to adduce expert evidence regarding the attrition rate of visible minorities at Depot. Whether the Tribunal erred in law in relying upon statistical data contained in the report of the respondent’s expert which merely repeated the data contained in the report of the applicant that was not in evidence.
(iii) Ignoring Evidence. Whether the Tribunal erred in ignoring relevant evidence or in misapprehending evidence in making its findings of direct discrimination by Corporal Boyer.
(iv) Remedial Orders. Whether the Tribunal erred in finding that there was a serious possibility that discrimination caused the loss of the training opportunity, erred in its assessment of Mr. Tahmourpour’s potential success and erred in its calculation of the financial award.

The Judge, being a brighter bulb than your CHRT yobbos, concluded:
I have come to the conclusion that the Tribunal erred in law and that some of its findings were unreasonable. The decision will be set aside.
The AG had submitted an important statement relative to all HRC/HRT cases The question at bar was whether certain actions were discriminatory practices, in other words adverse differentiation or were just differentiation:
The applicant submits that the Tribunal erred in law in holding that a complainant’s own perception of differential treatment is sufficient to find there was discrimination, or, as it is defined in the Act, adverse differential treatment of Mr. Tahmourpour because of his religion.
This is, in my opinion, a significant statement, made all the more so, by the Judge's finding in its favour.

The judge dealt with faulty Expert Evidence gathering by the Tribunal again in favour of the AG after a lengthy discourse on the flaws in the work of the Tribunal. No surprise there.

The AG on behalf of the RCMP argued that evidence put before the Tribunal was ignored or not given credence in the case. The judge found as follows:

The difficulty with this analysis is that there is no evidentiary foundation at all for the conclusion that his performance was affected by the treatment he received. As noted, he did not make that claim, nor did anyone else. No doubt, there may be situations where discrimination does impact performance; but it is not a universal rule. Unless there is evidence that a complainant would have performed better but for the discrimination, there is no basis, other than mere speculation, on which such a finding can be made.
In this one respect, I find that the Tribunal improperly considered the evidence. It discounted entirely the evidence of performance difficulties, which it had otherwise accepted based on the evidence of Corporal Bradley, because it speculated that while an accurate assessment of his performance, his performance had been negatively impacted by the treatment he received.

As to the remedies from the Tribunal, the learned judge had this to say:

In this case, the Tribunal made no assessment of any cut-off period, nor did it engage in any analysis as to whether the period could reasonably extend to the date of its decision, which was some eight and one-half years after the termination of his cadet contract.
In failing to engage in that analysis the Tribunal erred in law. The damages awarded under the Act cannot run forever and, as the Court of Appeal observed in Morgan, “common sense requires that some limits be placed upon liability for the consequences flowing from an act [of discrimination].”
His final Summary is as follows:

I find that the Tribunal:
(i) erred in applying the wrong test for direct discrimination in making a finding of direct discrimination by Sergeant Hébert;
(ii) erred in law in relying upon statistical data contained in the report of the respondent’s expert which merely repeated the data contained in the report of the applicant that was not in evidence;
(iii) erred in concluding without evidence and only on the basis of speculation, that Mr. Tahmourpour’s performance was affected by the discriminatory treatment he received at Depot; and
(iv) erred in awarding lost wages to the date of reinstatement in a training program having engaged in no analysis as to whether that period could reasonably extend to that date.

And in conclusion:
For the foregoing reasons, the Tribunal’s decision is set aside. The applicant is entitled to its costs of this application.
As the CBC noted online this morning:
The RCMP have won the latest round in a 10-year battle over a cadet's complaint of discrimination based on ethnic background.
Is it over? Who knows. Will other victims of HRCs/HRTs use the finding of Justice Zinn and the submitted and agreed point of the AG repeated here in their own defence?
The applicant submits that the Tribunal erred in law in holding that a complainant’s own perception of differential treatment is sufficient to find there was discrimination, or, as it is defined in the Act, adverse differential treatment of Mr. Tahmourpour because of his religion.
Only time will tell.

Climate Change - A Young Clamourer

A Reader Writes

I'm pretty sure, I'm going to tick this one off shortly, or already did. Don't take it personally G Johns. It's not about you. It's about the rhetoric.

This comment, which is in the indents below, from G Johns came to my recent piece on Climate Change. I will excerpt it and comment back:
I corrected it on Ms. Gyapong's blog and I will correct it again. The speaker (who is far from foolish), said "We want government to change our laws." Laws, not lives.
I don't know if Deborah got it wrong. She is pretty smart, and has been a journalist for more than a few weeks, so I'm sticking with her reporting. However, let's say the speaker said what the commenter wrote me. If you don't think that the laws of this land, and those that the alleged smart ones who want to fix what their parents busted, want enacted will change our lives, continue to delude yourself. I have almost 60 years of service to this land and planet in, as does Deborah, so I am not impressed either way.
The planet is going to be ok. Your grandchildren and even children are the ones to be worried about. Sadly, recycling, and CFL bulbs, and an aversion to gas guzzlers is not even marginally enough to address the problem at hand.
I don't recall saying that it would address "the problem at hand." By the way, what is the real "problem at hand?"
I challenge you to find any "settled science," period. Perhaps other than laws like gravity. In the case of the climate crisis, it would appear that you need to actually review the science and also identify where the funding comes from for any of the very few dissenting pieces.
Mr/Ms Johns your delusion is showing, also your background in arts, rather than sciences. There are not a few dissenting pieces. There are a lot of scientists who have spoken out about the real science, not the junk science of Al Gore, whose honorary Ph.D in Climatology stands for Piled High and Deeper. Inconvenient Truth was more Inconvenient than True. Wake Up Call, Yes. Fact, not as much.

The scientists, who have not been shut up for disagreeing with the alleged settled science, seem to believe that 95% of CO2 emissions are in nature, and that the sun and earth's placement have a more significant influence on temperature than CO2 for starters.

When we are force fed a certain diet of stuff about Climate Change to the point where it becomes a religion, I get my back up. It gets to be a "Been There. Done That" thing. So jump on your band wagon if you will. I am a skeptic.
In response to comment 1: Correct - "Did you READ...?" The media will do anything to create a controversy, even make up nonsense like that. There would be no benefit to Jeh covering himself in fake blood. The protest was not about brutality, but rather the fact that the House of Commons is actively delaying any progress on adequate climate action.
I want what I want when I want it.
Please don't patronize the young. Please don't tell us that we have set our ambitions too high. Our ambitions are simply to survive the mess that has been left to us.
I knew when I said that myself about 40 years ago, that it might come back to haunt me. And around we go. Your ambitions are not too high. Your knowledge is too low.
To quote a great woman, "Those were our children we threw out of the House of Commons today. Those were the best, the brightest, the most dedicated, the most responsible young adults in Canada. [...] And that is heartbreaking. That is a sad statement on democracy."
I wante dto figure out who that great woman was. Well, that great woman is Green Party Leader Elizabeth May. If, in fact they were the best and brightest, it might be time to move folks. They were the ones who agreed with her and her latest campaign slogan that says: Your parents f*cked up the planet. It's time to do something about it. Live green. Vote green." This is recycled from my youth. And around we go.
How old will you be in 2050?
Last question to me. Well, smart one, you do the math. The facts to calculate it are up above.

However, I like what Debora Gyapong said in her Fill the Hill piece:
Back to the rally. How I remember those things when I was younger and yearning for, er, something transcendent, bigger than myself.

At the end of the rally, they taught everyone to use their arms like the hands on the face of a clock to "Tck Tck Tck" towards doomsday or something because the level of carbon in the atmosphere has risen to 390 ppm, when it should be 350 ppm and unless we dial things back, life as we know it on the planet will be unsustainable.

So, here were these 2,000 people all tilting like windmills. They were supposed to be in unison.

But they weren't. They seemed to be having a lot of fun.

I dunno. I would feel silly doing something like that. But then I'm 60.
Back in the day, I chanted, "One two three four, we don't want you f*cking war."
I hope I never chanted "No justice, No peace" Ugh. I hate that almost as much as I hate the "Hey hey, ho, ho blah blah blah has got to go."

These were mostly nice Canadian kids with a smattering of old lefties.

In a way it makes me a little sad because the "collective" is no replacement for "communion."

And environmentalism ---I don't know---there is a big difference between wanting to be a good steward of your environment vs. wanting some big government scheme to take control over your life to socially engineer radical equality.
Thanks Deborah for the sanity check.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Musing on CO2 Emissions


Tonight on the local news was an article that I only partially caught. In it the news reader referenced a new book out about the carbon footprints of animals, or more appropriately the carbon fartprints of animals.

I was laughing too hard to take it seriously, and missed most of it, but I'm OK, didn't really hurt myself. The floor is soft, and I missed the coffee table narrowly, in a gale of laughter.

It seems that animal flatulence is a serious problem for climate change phobes. I have a friend who can clear a room, and often does. If they find out, whoever they are, they'll probably want him tested, and maybe put down.

Apparently, 2 pet hamsters have the same carbon fartprint as a plasma television set. Well, we don't have pet hamsters, and don't even own a plasma TV. We are a little behind in the technology of entertainment, so are we better than 2 hamsters, or do the old TVs break wind like 4 hamsters, or even more? Inquiring minds are asking.

Now, in fairness to hamsters, Dan Fink worked on a way to make his hamster carbon neutral as it were. Skippy is a Syrian hamster, and was selected because of his energy and nocturnal habit of running on his wheel all fricking night long. Fink, being no fink, tried many things but eventually succeeded, sort of. As reported here:
Finally, after Fink glued 14 magnets to a steel ring and fashioned two coils out of 30-gauge wire, he mounted the whole contraption on Skippy's cage. He then hooked up two LED lights to the alternator. Together, they shone bright enough for Fink to find the bathroom in the dead of night. And even though the little rodent was voltage-deficient, "he had torque to spare," Fink says, so he added another light, and another, the resistance increasing with each new load. He got up to six lights before Skippy showed any fatigue.
No report on the impact that the magnets and exposure to electromagnetic fields are having on Skippy yet.

But, there is some question about cow farting, and how to reduce it. It seems that animals, of which cows are a big one, both individually and collectively, contribute 30% of the methane in the atmosphere. Also, the international meat industry, as a whole, or as a hole, produces 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. See this blog item here.

Ronald Reagan who was my kind of US President, because he made no pretensions about the fact that he was an actor and not a really good one, unlike others who are just bad actors, but deny it, apparently had thoughts on global warming years ago as referenced in the blog item linked above:
About 30 percent of the methane in the atmosphere results from microbial action in animals' digestive tracts. This prompted Ronald Reagan's dismissive comment that humans couldn't be held accountable for global-warming gases (of which methane is the most potent), because the most significant source is bovine flatulence.

As contemporary critics noted, however, Reagan overlooked the fact that animal husbandry has vastly increased the number of cattle, making cow farts very much a human-influenced commodity.
I frankly don't know what to make of it, but do not intend to fret or lose sleep. I just find it interesting, because next they (them again) will realise that trees and other plants are big contributors to CO2 emissions, during their life cycle and also when they decay.

I think that I will just put on my tin foil hat, and wait for The Visitors.