“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache, carries with it the seeds of an equal or greater benefit.”

~~ Napoleon Hill -- American Author -- Oct 26, 1883 to Nov 8, 1970

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Are the BC Conservatives a spent force, before even having a chance to grow past their petty infighting and self-inflicted wounds?



What’s next BC???
Regrettably, as in the past, it appears that we will at least for the foreseeable future, continue to have only two political choices, seeking the votes of British Columbians … the BC Liberals, and the “SpeNDP”.  That is unless something changes, and changes soon.



Polarized politics in my opinion, whether on the Provincial or Federal level, always leads to dissatisfaction with voters.  We are a free thinking society, where a multitude of opinions, choices, ideas, and solutions can spring from.  With that in mind, how can all of that be funneled into just two choices, on the political front?



British Columbian’s have continually faced the same situation (two choices) since the demise of the Socreds in the early 90’s … and the failure of the BC Reform Party to gain traction in the 1996 provincial election.  The demise of the Socreds and Reform, in my opinion, came about because of a lack of relevance to voters, and self-inflicted conflicts; that has also (it seems) led to the same path of destruction which the BC Conservative Party appears to be in the midst of.



If that is indeed the case, then without a serious self-reflective look at the problems and issues it faces, the BC Conservatives will also continue their slide into the same obscurity and demise as Reform and the Socreds.



The Party has had a revolving merry-go-round of executive and board members resigning and / or leaving.  Any clear thinking party member, if they knew this, should be asking, “Why?”  Executive members elected by the Party membership in the AGM of 2014 are now gone, have resigned, or quit.  In their place there are now individuals who have been selected with no consultation of the membership.  As a former member, I would (had I known at the time) questioned this undemocratic process of hand-picked replacements.



As well, as I have mentioned in previous blog posts, the democratic decisions by the previous ELECTED board, to discipline and expel dissenters (who were using means outside of the party constitution to FORCE their way) … were reversed by this unelected board.  This with regards to the reinstatement of Alison Paton and company, along with a formal apology to them for the actions the party took in removing their memberships in the party.  This reinstatement of membership, and apology, was totally and completely in direct contravention of the BC Conservative by-laws and constitution.  Paton and friends WERE removed for just cause.
That said, if the un-elected Board and Executive choose to reverse the previous decision to expel them, then why were the members of the party not informed of this decision??



The secretive aspects of this, when found out, led further to members of the party abandoning it through the non-renewal of memberships, or like myself quitting and asking for their memberships to be cancelled.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

THIS AND THAT WITH ONE DAY TO GO …



Well … here’s one more post from me, with one day to go before tomorrow’s 42nd General Election.  Two things caught my attention as I perused social media feeds this morning, and that’s what I’ve chosen to comment on as I have my second cup of coffee for the day.

Number one:

An interesting photo from Adam Scotti caught my attention.  It’s designed to tug on our emotions, is being widely reposted on Twitter. The caption on the Twitter post states, "At Jarry metro today with @JustinTrudeau - a broken escalator makes it hard for some to get to their metro #cdnpoli "

I am of the opinion that random acts of kindness are better done in silence, without blowing your own horn. Is this sour grapes from me because I don't support the Liberals? No, not at all.

Here's what people should know, and that they won't, unless they investigate who Adam Scotti is. His Twitter bio states he is a "Recovering women's fashion mag editor, currently working for @justintrudeau's office. Photographer. Advisor"

YUP ... “currently working for Justin Trudeau”.

Whether it was a set-up photo op or not, it is still being promoted in a way that is not honest, and it is misleading in that we think it’s just some passerby that caught the moment.  In other words it’s a lie ... SHAME

Number Two:

Dale Bass, a news writer and editorialist from Kamloops this Week re-posted the following comment on Facebook late yesterday:

The Conservative Party of Canada has bought out the front page of newspapers across the country and replaced them with an ad **made to look like it's coming directly from Elections Canada**, warning Canadians not to vote Liberal or NDP...

Monday, October 12, 2015

Christian Rock … the first Sally Ann Bands … Lutes and Lyres … Pipe Organs … and Lay Me Down



Christian Rock … the first Sally Ann Bands … Lutes and Lyres … Pipe Organs … and Lay Me Down.  That’s a strange start to a blog post isn’t it.

Is it generational?  I think it is.  From one generation to the next, going back decades, the current generation, in my opinion, thinks the music of the next generation is just plain bad.  Now this doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with age, but more where an individual happens to feel they fit.

For example, I am now in my 60s (YIKES) and yet there have only been a few times when I have thought, and said, “What on earth are they thinking – that stuff’s crap?” (ie: Disco, gansta rap, thrash rock) … other than that, I pretty much enjoy and appreciate anything that comes out.

That said, I had an interesting online conversation earlier today with a friend (thanks again to my online friends who become the seeds for a blog post)

The church I attend, Gateway City Church in Kamloops, is hosting a worship night of music tomorrow evening with Jon Neufeld of Starfield.  I let several friends know about it, which led to one (who is probably at least 25 years younger than me to respond, setting up the following conversation:

FRIEND:
Hi Alan. You're church is hosting a Christian rock band? 

ME:
It's a night of worship ... and it's just Jon Neufeld of Starfield that will be joining members of our worship team 

FRIEND:
Okay.  "Christian rock", the two words in the term are mutually exclusive.  It's sad that the Christian community doesn't see anything wrong with the term. 

ME:
I don't see they have to be exclusive at all. It is just another form / genre of music. What should qualify (worship) music -- period --- is the lyrical content. Does it give Praise to God ... does it evoke a call to glorify Him. Music is music ... and while there are certain forms I would really rather not listen to, that does not, in my opinion mean they cannot be used to draw the lost to Him ... nor the believers to glorify Him 

FRIEND:
Well, in my opinion, I think churches have adopted the world's standards for music to accommodate unbelievers. We've "christened" the world's music style and methodology. Church worship teams/band look more like secular bands than anything resembling a Christian church.

ME:
The church has always adopted styles of music popular at the time. Look at the early Salvation Army bands as a classic example. They went out and took pub songs of the time, rewrote the words, and created beautiful lyrical worship to God. 

Look back to early biblical times and what instruments did they use then? The lute, harps, horns etc. Do we still use them now ... or would they create music relevant to today's non-believers?  In most cases I would say no. There are MANY great songs and hymns from the past that still hold, and stir, the hearts of believers, and call to the crying and lost of today. Just as then however, believers are still creating music, with instruments (and styles) that evokes the same things. Praise God.  

FRIEND:
Well, I disagree about the Salvation Army being a good example of music.  I don't understand why they have positions such as 'captain' or whatever. Nothing like that in scripture.  With all due respect, lyrics are not the only thing that qualifies music. A church can have traditional lyrics with heavy metal-style rhythm.  I guess we have to agree to disagree.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

People that cannot – or will not – provide even the most basic of care, do not deserve to have children left with them for even 5 minutes



On Tuesday I heard a news story where a young child, on Vancouver Island, was put at SERIOUS risk by … a drug-related explosion that rocked an apartment building in Nanaimo.  “These types of incidents place all occupants within the apartment building at risk, along with attending first responders and people walking past”, Cpl. Jon Stuart said

That led me to question and wonder what is really being done to protect young vulnerable children in the care of parents unable, or unwilling, to provide a safe environment from children to grow, learn, and thrive.

I feel very certain that I am going to raise the hackles and ire, of many, however, I am going to make the following comments any way. 

I believe the civil liberties industry has been at the forefront of pushing the rights of parents well past any reasonable, or logical, point that makes any sense.  Several years ago I found out that the care of children, and what constitutes acceptable parenting, is based on the standards of the community-- this from a Social Worker.

My question is, who determines what those parenting standards should be? 

Where they are now is NOT what I, and probably the vast majority of people, would consider to be acceptable.  And if that indeed is true, then why are everyday people NOT having input in to what acceptable community standards should be?

The only reason I can determine for that, is because they DON’T want the input of everyday people … especially those who are in the civil rights industry.

The rights of irresponsible parents / caregivers, trumps those of children.  Why Do I say that? Read on:

Alcohol (wine, beer, or liquor) is the leading known preventable cause of
developmental and physical birth defects in the United States.  When a woman drinks alcohol during pregnancy, she risks giving birth to a child who will pay the price — in mental and physical deficiencies — for his or her entire life.  Yet many pregnant women do drink alcohol. It's estimated that each year in the United States, 1 in every 750 infants is born with a pattern of physical, developmental, and functional problems referred to as fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS), while another 40,000 are born with fetal alcohol effects (FAE).

* Mental Health Problems, the most prevalent secondary disability, experienced by 94% of the full sample.  During childhood, 60% of children with FASD have ADHD.  During adulthood, most adults with FASD have clinical depression.  The study revealed that 23% of the adults had attempted suicide, and 43% had threatened to commit suicide.

* Disrupted School Experience (suspension or expulsion or drop out), was experienced by 43% of children of school age.  By the time students with FAE reach adulthood, the rate of disrupted school experience peaks at 70%.  Common school problems include: not paying attention; incomplete homework; can't get along with peers; disruptive in class; disobeying school rules; talking back to the teacher; fighting; and truancy.

* Trouble with the Law (involvement with police, charged or convicted of crime), was experienced by 42% of those in the study, and by about 60% of those age 12 and over.  The most common first criminal behavior reported was shoplifting.  The most common crimes committed (by almost half of individuals with FASD age 12-20) were crimes against persons (theft, burglary, assault, murder, domestic violence, child molestation, running away), followed by property damage; possession/selling; sexual assault; and vehicular crimes.

* Confinement (inpatient treatment for mental health, alcohol/drug problems, or incarceration for crime), experienced by 60% of those age 12 and over.  Over 40% of adults with FASD had been incarcerated; about 30% of adults with FASD were confined to a mental institution; and about 20% had been confined for substance abuse treatment.

* Inappropriate Sexual Behavior was reported in 45% of the those age 12 and over, and 65% of adult males with FAE.  This includes only sexual behaviors that had been repeatedly problematic or for which the individual had been incarcerated or treated.  It is thought that the actual incidence of inappropriate sexual behavior is much higher, and not always reported by the individual or the family due to embarrassment or fear of being reported to authorities.  Problem sexual behaviors most common with FASD include: sexual advances; sexual touching; promiscuity; exposure; compulsions; voyeurism; masturbation in public; incest; sex with animals; and obscene phone calls.

* Alcohol/Drug Problems were experienced by 30% of individuals age 12 and over.  Of the adults with FAE, 53% of males and 70% of females experienced substance abuse problems.  This is more than 5 times that of the general population.
http://www.fasarizona.com/FASDtrain/Handouts/New/SecondaryDisabilities.doc

Monday, October 5, 2015

Stephen Harper's Conservative are the new Borg Collective ... "We are the Conservatives ... we are the Borg ... resistance is futile"



Those of you who are Trekies, and watched Star Trek Next Generation, and Star Trek Voyager, the following phrase can be uttered by heart:

"We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."
 
To those suffering from Harper Derangement Syndrome (HDS), and spewing all kinds of factless, and baseless, allegations over how the Conservative government is taking over every aspect of our lives (and somehow forcing a hidden agenda on everyone), this must be an apt description for them, of the Conservative Party of Canada.

In an article in the Vancouver Sun several days ago, Lorne Gunter is acknowledged in first identifying HDS. He described it as, “an ideological hatred of Prime Minister Stephen Harper that is so acute its sufferers’ ability to reason logically is impaired.”

The article went on to say:
An early example of HDS was the widespread attribution by academics and journalists of a “hidden agenda” to Harper and his party.

This has been based on allegations that:
- the Conservative government has drastically reduced funding to the CBC
- they were forcing a pro-life agenda on the country (despite Harper clearly stating time and time again this would NOT be part of any legislation brought forward
- Tony Burman wrote a story for The Star with a headline claiming Harper was a bigger threat than the Islamic State. Why? Because Harper exaggerated the terrorist threat so as to “distract voters” from climate change
- the Conservatives were going expand private health care services (this one has been floating around now (this ones been around for years, with still NO Sign of it happening, yet it has resurfaced again in recent days by THOMAS Mulcair)
- Harper has cut funding to health care, when in fact it has done nothing but increase year after year

Oh, and we can't forget that the Harper government is bound and intent on being a warmonger nation; and reasoning for that of course is for joining with numerous countries to try and halt the murderous forward assault by ISIS.  Yes that wonderful group of Boy Scouts out to free citizens in middle east countries, from their ill conceived and false religious ideas.  Yes, those folks who are simply trying to live their lives in peace.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Democracy is like breathing; you have to do it EVERY second!! If you don't, it withers."



I've had an interesting friendship over the past 20 years with former Liberal MLA, and Cabinet Minister, Kevin Krueger.  It goes back to 1995 when both of us were preparing, and being nominated, to run in the Kamloops North Thompson riding, in the 1996 Provincial election.  Kevin for the BC Liberal Party, and me for the Reform Party of British Columbia.  Kevin won  :)

I like to believe that despite political differences any of us have with others, there is generally more that unites us, rather than separates us.

That has held true with my relationship with Kevin.  Despite that, we have had some major disagreement where we did not have common ground; on those we have strongly debated back and forth our own positions.  Still, friendship prevailed.

Regarding common ground, something I saw posted by a former political ally in the BC Conservative Party (Ben Besler now a BC Liberal), caught my eye the other day.  It was a quote from Kevin Krueger ... one I had never seen or heard before:

"...The RIGHT TIME to be involved, up to our NECKS, Is WAY before elections!



CHOOSE a Party, or BUILD ONE!!



CONTRIBUTE ALL THE WAY, in shaping its policies, and platform.



If some Yahoo takes it over, SHATTER IT, and build a new one.



Democracy is like breathing; you have to do it EVERY second!!



If you don't, it withers. And people DIE."



~~~ Kevin Krueger 

I note this because Kevin, like most in the BC Liberal Party, will loudly and vehemently argue there is NO ROOM for a third party in BC elections (unless of course it's on the left), because it will split the vote and elect an NDP government.

I, however, take his words as encouragement.  I have been involved 'up to my neck' in contributing and shaping policies and a platform, as had many others, in the BC Conservative Party.  Sadly however, nearly all who contributed in this way have left.

There were many reasons for me, but the final nail in the coffin was the reinstatement of a number of dissidents who had systematically set about to destroy the Party prior to the last provincial election.

For those who did not see an early posting from me, this is part of a previous blog post I did, as well as a portion of an email I sent to friends: 

I remained a staunch supporter of the BC Conservatives up until the party decided to apologize to Dr Paton, and several others, who set about to do everything they could to destroy the party.  I still have the emails from the board discussions that went on, and the comments of those who have now made a complete and total reversal on where they stood.  

Paton and her crew systematically set about to destroy any chance we had to elect MLAs, making the work of hundreds of individuals all for naught.  With that one stroke of a pen to apologize to them, and accept them back in the party, I realized that the grassroots democracy I had been led to believe was the bedrock of the BC Conservatives, had been wiped away. 

Let me conclude by saying the thought of only have the Liberals and NDP as options for British Columbians to vote for concerns me ... and seeing what shattered remains are left of the BC Conservatives feels much the same. 

BC DOES need an alternative, what that should / can be I am not sure.  I do however feel strongly that the BC Conservative Party name is tarnished now following the fiasco of the dissidents, and will be for the foreseeable future.

So ... where do we go from here?

I am re-posting this now, in light of that quote from Kevin that I used at the beginning of this blog post.  Where do we go?  Some friends, acquaintances, and fellow political warriors offered these comments: