I’M A WHITE MALE and I BELIEVE BLACK LIVES MATTER

I am not a black male but this fact doesn’t mean that I don’t have empathy for the marginalization, abuse, systemic racism or murder of black men, women and children.  Being a white male, I have definitely not experienced the type of systemic racism and judicial inequality the many black men have faced and experienced.  I don’t fear leaving my house thinking that I may be abused, harassed or even killed by police officers due to the colour of my skin.

As a gay male, I have been harassed and a victim of crime because of my sexuality.  I don’t believe to be what society deems as a “stereotypical gay male” and would not think that I would be singled out and murdered because of my sexuality – at least not in Canada.  I know that many black men and women are targeted by police and are not treated fairly simply because of the colour of their skin.

Many people have defended police forces everywhere indicating that “not all cops are bad or racists.” and “all lives matter.” and even indicating that if black people are not committing crimes or guilty of anything – they wouldn’t be targeted.  I’ve also heard many people, including friends, indicate that the Black Lives Matter movement is just an angry mob asking for trouble.  Correct me if I’m wrong – if a community or group of people have been targeted throughout history, wouldn’t you have the right to peacefully protest that marginalization.  Yes, there have been many atrocities committed against minorities and many minorities continue to be treated in horrific ways – their movement will come.  Today – every other story in social media is about a black person being brutally beaten or killed at the hands of police.  I have read stories of white males committing the same or worse crimes than black individuals and are given much lesser sentences.  White men and women across America are paid more than most visible minorities.  The incarceration rate of minorities far outweighs the incarceration rates of white people.  Opportunities are not the same for minorities because of income inequality and I don’t understand why many doubt these facts!

I have three nephews and one niece who are bi-racial, born to white mothers and black fathers, and I see the difference in how they are treated.  I always think of them as they go about their daily routines and imagine that they will mostly likely be stopped and targeted because of the colour of their skin.  This sickens me to the core of my being.  Yes, all lives matter but today, it is the lives of those who are being targeted and killed that I stand with.  I want my niece and my nephews to have the same chances in life as most white men and women but that isn’t going to happen until there are some fundamental changes in how people view and treat visible minorities. In the meantime – BLACK LIVES MATTER protests should continue, voices should be raised because right now there is a lack of respect for black people and other minorities.

It seems that the lives of minorities are less valued.  When people such as policemen and politicians show a lack of respect for minorities – why should the average person? It is irresponsible when someone who is running for president of the United States of America and leader of the (not so) FREE WORLD spews hate speech and demoralizes a whole group of people.  That isn’t leadership – that is preying on people’s fear, hatred and ignorance.

Remaining complacent and ignorant does nothing to create positive change in the world – it is those who stand up to tyranny, ignorance, hate and fear that make the world a better place.  So, instead of criticizing and continuing to marginalize certain minorities – why not try STANDING with them and supporting them?

BLACK LIVES MATTER!!

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

 

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM LEGISLATION

According to a 2014 poll conducted by The Washington Post and ABC News, 50 percent of Americans say that the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection gives gays the right to marry – outside of the constitutional question, 59 percent say they support same-sex marriage.  With all this support and acceptance, why is it that some feel it is okay to discriminate against a group of people based on religious freedom?

Indiana Senate Bill 101, titled the Religions Freedom Restoration Act, is a law in the U.S. state of Indiana, which allows individuals and companies to assert that their exercise of religion has been, or is likely to be, substantially burdened as a defense in legal proceedings.  This allows businesses to refuse potential customers based on their religious beliefs.  Personally, I believe that an individuals right to practice religion should not impede on that individuals choice to service the public.  That individual made a decision to be a business owner not a preacher, minister or pastor.  Their religious beliefs should not give them a right to discriminate against anyone.

This type of legislation is dangerous and is reminiscent of the days before the civil rights movement when people of colour couldn’t use the same rest rooms as white people.  Whose to say that the discrimination will end with gays and lesbians?  What if someone is uncomfortable doing business with someone who belongs to another religion?  Legislation like this protects individuals who have a certain belief system and there are so many people who don’t fit into that category.  Do atheist business owners deny business to those who belong to individuals that prescribe to religious ideologies?  Do Catholic business owners serve only Catholics?

By signing this bill into law, Governor Mike Pence, has created something I believe to be good.  Firstly, he has opened the eyes of many that discrimination is alive and well in the United States of America.  It’s quite unsettling that those who believe their religious freedoms are being threatened are exercising their God-given right to fundamentally go against the basic teachings of Jesus Christ or God.  Doesn’t that seem hypocritical to you?  Secondly, this legislation is creating dialogue.  People are talking about this and bringing to light the simple notion that religion is a choice and should not determine legislation.  Ask yourself – who really is the victim, the business or the people who have gone to that specific business to buy their service or product only to be denied that service or product?

I was brought up in a Catholic household.  My parents then decided to ‘test drive’  a new religious ideology by practicing the Jehovah’s Witness religion – which my siblings and I had to go along with.  My high school was composed of mostly kids from a Jewish faith.  So what did I learn from religion?  Confusion, anger, depression, fear, anxiety, hypocrisy and hate.  I learned that most religions don’t accept you if you are born gay.  You are not as appreciated if you are a woman.  Slavery is okay.  Killing is okay.  I learned that there is much more violence and separation of people in religion than there is love. 

For me, religious freedom legislation isn’t something that brings people together.  It creates more negativity and divides people.  Religious freedom legislation doesn’t serve the benefits of all, it only serves the benefits of a few and that does not create positive change in our world.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

HERE IS WHAT LOVE and PASSION LOOK LIKE

I believe that our LOVE for the environment and our planet should be a real indication for our governments to lead the way to more sustainable and renewable energy sources.  Climate change is happening and REAL action is needed by our governments. If there was any time in history for a shift to happen in order to create positive change in the world – it is NOW.

Corrupt governments are afraid of environmental activists.  They brand them ‘hippies’ and ‘terrorists’, as a matter-of-fact, many governments want to ensure that any individual or group that speaks out or protests for environmental issues, against pipelines, fracking or oil drilling, be put in jail because it is a form of environmental terrorism.  Canada is proposing a bill (C-51) that would do just that.  Legislation like this says much about a government.  It would rather support the big oil tycoons in potentially creating environmental disasters versus protecting our forests, rivers, lakes and oceans. 

It is time for a new generation – time for governments to listen to people who don’t care about creating more wealth for those that have enough.  People want to focus on social issues, environmental issues and issues that would be inclusive to all and not just a few.  This generation that I am talking about is our future and they won’t have much of a future if governments don’t listen to the issues they care for the most like, the environment, affordable education, proper health care, a new economy plan that revolves around sustainable and renewable energy and not getting involved or starting wars.  We clearly see that the “old ways” don’t work.  Bailing out banks and the auto sector didn’t work, there is still much corruption in Wall Street and other financial centres around the world.  It’s time for new ideas that will not support and allow corporate greed to continue.  We need a more holistic and grass-roots movement to politics and it has to begin with all of us.

Here are photo examples of how many of us in the world want to create positive change in government politics, social issues, the environment, income inequality and human rights:

 800px-March_Against_Monsanto_Vancouver       

March against MONSANTO – Vancouver, Canada May 25, 2013.

PCM 2014 PeoplesClimateMarch2014

People’s CLIMATE MARCH – New York City, USA April 2014 ***The largest environmental march ever with an estimated 400,000 in attendance.

Womens Rights March 2009

Women’s Rights March – Washington D.C., USA 2009 ***marching against George W. Bush policies regarding women’s reproductive rights, including abortion.

TurkishProtestforAnimalProtection

ANIMAL RIGHTS MARCH – Istanbul, Turkey 2014 ***marching for the protection of animals.

1963 Civil Rights March

CIVIL RIGHTS MARCH – Washington D.C., USA 1963 ***marching for equality of black people during the civil rights movement in America. 

NoKXL

NO Keystone XL Pipeline MARCH – Washington D.C., USA ***marching for the eradication of the Keystone XL Pipeline bringing dirty oil from the Alberta Tar Sands in Alberta, Canada to the USA.

2015Montreal Montreal2015 2

AUSTERITY MARCH – Montreal Quebec, CANADA 2015 ***Students protesting government cuts.

Governments DO NOT want peaceful protests to happen because they want to keep people distracted from the issues that matter – ENVIRONMENT, INCOME INEQUALITY, WOMEN’S RIGHTS, HUMAN RIGHTS, ANIMAL PROTECTION, CIVIL RIGHTS and any other rights that would not oppress people. 

The corrupt didn’t realize that more and more of us DO NOT want to be distracted anymore.  We want to hold our governments and big corporations accountable for their corruption.  We want governments to do the jobs they were elected for – not for the corporations but, for the people who elected them.  It’s time for a revolution of love.  It’s time for REAL change.  It’s time to have your voices heard.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

LOVE can CONQUER GREED and CAPITALISM!

Many of us tend to overuse the word love even when we don’t really mean it.  Think about the many times throughout the day that you say, “I love (fill in the blank)”  We love clothing, cars, televisions, television programs, songs, artists, art, houses, boats and other material possessions.  These material possessions provide a temporary form of love and gratification that is somewhat meaningless.  These possessions are reason that there is a widening income inequality gap between the masses.  Is that really love?

Why are so many of us so preoccupied with wanting and needing instead of helping and giving?  We are all so conditioned to follow – get an education (if you can afford it), find a life partner, get married, have children, buy a big house (beyond your means and necessity), buy a car (or two, or three), buy a vacation property, save for your future/retirement, save for your children’s education and then die.  I understand the desire to want the best for yourself and your family – but so many people have become desensitized to the realities of our world, so many just don’t care about the wellness of others and will only act out of greed and their desire to want more material possessions, money and wealth.

Capitalism – an economic and political system in which a country’s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.

Corporations are nothing without the consumer.  We are all contributors to all the issues the world faces today.  People are so concerned with status and having the latest gadgets, the biggest houses, and the best cars that our planet and our humanity is paying the price for.  All of these gadgets and our demand for product is taxing the earth’s natural resources.  Corporations don’t want you to see the negative impact YOUR demand is having on the planet and the people who create these materialistic things.  Is the destruction of our planet worth the price the planet has to pay for the next iPhone or iMac – aren’t these products already doing what they are supposed to do?  Why do we need the latest version(s)?  It’s simple – to make outstanding profits for shareholders and CEO’s.  Household appliances, cars, televisions and many other products are produced to have short ‘life’ expectancies because they want to ensure people continue to buy.  Shouldn’t a car be made to last 15 to 20 years instead of 5 to 7?  Why must a new model entice us every year?  To ensure wealth for the auto industry CEO’s and shareholders.

Personally, our society today makes my head spin.  I am astounded at how many of us are distracted by the greed or corporations and how they buy politicians in order to sustain their wealth and to dictate legislation.  It shouldn’t be the BIG oil companies, auto industry or pharmaceutical companies that dictate what we should do or what we should think.  We know that drilling for oil in the Arctic would wreak havoc in that area should their be an oil spill (and there will be).  We know that fracking (the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas) takes 1 to 8 millions gallons of water to complete each fracturing while there is a shortage of water globally.

http://www.dangersoffracking.com

We must review our priorities and we must curb our need to want and need.  Future generations will pay for the decisions we make today.  Do we not love the planet enough in order to make the hard decisions today in order to save our planet and future generations?

I love my mother – I love her tremendously.  She is my hero.  She provided love and nurturing that made me the man I am today.  Shouldn’t our greatest love be the mother of us all?  Our mother – EARTH,  she cares for us and she provides us the breath of life, the food we eat and the water we drink and how do we show our gratitude?  We pollute her waters, poison her soil and cut her forests down in an alarming rate in order to build bigger houses for people who are slaves to the corporate world.

Let your love for life be the catalyst for positive change in the world.  Make conscious choices in what you buy, who you buy it from and what type of impact it will have on our planet.  Ask your government for renewable and sustainable energy options for our homes and our cars.  Support companies that plant trees instead of removing them.  Support housing developers that don’t clearcut in order to build their sites and use sustainable materials.  Eat vegan/vegetarian meals as often as you can.  Sign petitions to stop BIG OIL companies from drilling in eco-sensitive areas in the world such as the Arctic.  Don’t contribute to landfills by buying things you don’t need.  Support auto companies that are making commitments to build cars that use clean energy sources.  Show the planet your love and make a difference for good.

Some resources to create positive change:

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/

https://www.worldwildlife.org

http://www.peta.org

http://350.org

http://www.davidsuzuki.org

http://climaterealityproject.org

http://citizensclimatelobby.org

Save The Earth

LOVE OUR MOTHER

LOVE OUR MOTHER

Images from the internet.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

I DECLARE….

I declare the following and stand strongly behind these declarations as they come from a positive place and they come from LOVE:

  • A person’s CHOICE to believe in religion should not impede on the rights of those who don’t follow any religious doctrine.
  • MARRIAGE is just a word – the process of being or becoming married is NOT solely based and afforded to heterosexual couples.  Individuals who are in loving and in committed same-sex relationships also have the right to be married and call it a marriage because that is what it is!
  • There is no difference between physical abuse towards an animal or a person.  Abuse is abuse.  All sentient beings should be treated with respect, compassion and love.
  • Don’t ever apologize for wanting to spread love and positive energy into the world.  Stand behind what you believe with conviction and with passion and people will respect your views.
  • Religious beliefs SHOULD NEVER influence legislation – religious views are choices people make in what they believe and should never be used to deny civil liberties of others.  Leave religion OUT of politics.
  • Money should never influence a decision for a person, organization or government to do something that will have a positive impact on society.  Isn’t the positive impact worth the money?  Example:  Climate Change – spending money to make our planet more sustainable and moving towards more renewable sources of energy is a good thing whether or not you believe that climate change is happening.
  • LOVE is my religion – I know that I am here on this planet to create positive change in the world.
  • Finally…if you believe in “GOD” – He/She/It made us in His/Her/Their own image.  We are a reflection of Him/Her/It.  So ‘GOD’ is gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, black, white, yellow, red, Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, man, woman, child.  GOD is everyone and everything so when you are judging someone else, you are judging GOD.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

I DONT HATE RELIGIOUS PEOPLE but THEY MAY HATE ME.

Many believe me to be very harsh against people who have Christian beliefs and values.  I don’t.  What I am against is what some religions teach.

Many of us have been told that God is always watching and that we should fear him.  Why fear a God that apparently loves and ALL of His children?  Is God a voyeur?  If he is always watching, how come he hasn’t interfered in helping the homeless or punishing the greedy?  Many people have claimed that God caused many of the environmental catastrophe’s today because of gay marriage.  To them, I say:  “Why is God only interested in causing devastation in order to drive YOUR point?” These “rule’s” weren’t God’s rules, they were the rules of men who felt uncomfortable or threatened by things they didn’t understand or fear.

In my world, women can practice religion, they can vote, they can decide not to be with their spouses without any recourse of death, they can drive cars, they can voice their opinions if they disagree with their spouses and they can do whatever they want with their bodies without feeling shamed or ridiculed.

In my world, people who are struggling to buy food, eat healthy, get an education and have access to health care should not be told that it is their own fault they are in this predicament.  They should be supported and given a chance to create a better life for themselves and their children.

In my world, people should not be denied to love someone of the same-sex.  Shouldn’t we be encouraging love to flourish and grow so that society can flourish and grow.

In my world, wars would not be a means of showing my disagreement with policies of another country.  I would engage in conversation and dialogue not wave my military might around in order to instil my own countries beliefs.

So what has religion taught me?  It has taught me that there are many people who are puppets and who are afraid to ask questions.  Religion has taught me that there are many followers.  Religion has taught me that there are those who use it to secure their place in the world through politics.  Religion has taught me that you only win through violence and obedience.  Religion has taught me that there is much hate in the world.  Religion has taught me that there is much ignorance in the world.  Religion has taught me that there is much divide and separation in the world.  Where is the love?  Where is the compassion?  Where is the tolerance?

All of the above sounds very anti-love and anti-religion, doesn’t it?  To that I say, “Why is it that what you believe outweigh what I believe?”  I may not believe in what is written in a ‘holy book’.  I certainly do not believe what religious doctrine has preached as the word of whatever God or prophet or idol others believe in but this doesn’t make me any better than those who believe this.

What if there was a religion that made no judgements on others?  It’s okay to be a woman and have a voice.  It’s okay to help others.  It’s okay to be different.  It’s okay that you have a tattoo.  It’s okay that you are Muslim, Jewish, Catholic, Christian, Rastafarian, pagan, atheist or whatever.  What is not okay is to judge, oppress, divide, conquer and hate.

So I ask, which world would you rather live in?  A world that dictates everything you should believe or a world that allows you to ask questions and not be a follower?

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

SUPERBOWL XLIX

I don’t mind competitive sports – or the fact that many professional sports athletes train so hard to achieve their wildest dreams.  Let’s take a look at how much professional athletes get paid or what their contracts are worth…..

FOOTBALL

  1. Matt Ryan ($43.8 million)
  2. Matthew Stafford ($33 million)
  3. Peyton Manning ($27.1 million)
  4. Darrelle Revis ($23.8 million)
  5. Geno Atkins ($22.4 million)

BOXING

  1. Floyd Mayweather ($105 million)
  2. Manny Pacquiao ($41.8 million)
  3. Wladimir Klitschko ($28 million)
  4. Canelo Alvarez ($21 million)

SOCCER

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo ($80 million)
  2. Lionel Messi ($64.7 million)
  3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic ($40.4 million)
  4. Gareth Bale ($36.4 million)
  5. Radamel Falcao ($35.4 million)

BASKETBALL

  1. LeBron James ($72.3 million)
  2. Kobe Bryant ($64.7 million)
  3. Derrick Rose ($36.6 million)
  4. Kevin Durant ($31.9 million)
  5. Dwayne Wade ($29.9 million)

These salaries and endorsements for these athletes totalled $838.2 million dollars, according to Forbes:

http://www.forbes.com/athletes/list/#tab:overall

Here are some statistics for this years Superbowl – Superbowl XLIX:

  • 118.5 million viewers watched the halftime show
  • 120.8 million viewers in the 4th quarter

**Above statistics from Nielson Ratings**

  • $4.5 million – cost to run a 30 second ad during this years Superbowl.

The NFL is listed as a not-for-profit who’s commissioner was paid $44 million last year.  Taxpayers are losing $10 million due to the tax exemption the NFL is granted as a not-for-profit….does this make sense?

Couldn’t $4.5 million be used to fight poverty or feed the hungry?  The brands that are paying these professional athletes – are they allocating the same amount of money to charities as they give to athletes as endorsements?  Is it justifiable to give athletes millions of dollars in salaries while those who are committed in saving lives receive a fraction of that?

In a world that is continually being divided due to income inequality and the tax breaks that big businesses receive – is it any wonder that world citizens are craving for a revolution?  The distribution of wealth, corporate greed, corrupt governments and politicians are the reasons why people are at a breaking point. 

Would 120 million viewers be as engaged if they were exposed to commercials about the violence animals face on a daily basis?  Would people be more concerned about the planet if they understood the implications of how these same brands are polluting and destroying the earth in order to advertise and sell their products? 

It would be fantastic to see a PETA, Greenpeace or WWF ad during the Superbowl.  People need to be made aware of what is happening in our world and commercials from these real not-for-profit organizations would definitely engage them to act.  Maybe it’s time the NFL start thinking about creating real positive change in the world.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

RENEWABLE ENERGY REVOLUTION NOW!

The oceans are getting warmer, there are many more droughts and ‘super’ storms happening around the world.  Water and food shortages are becoming realities in many parts of the world.  Brazil is considering cancelling their Carnival celebrations due to the worst drought conditions that country has ever seen.  What is happening?  Could 95% of environmental scientists be right?  Could the Pentagon be right, when they indicated that climate change is the current biggest threat to humanity?  

The Pentagon released a report in October of 2014 indicating that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. 

Chuck Hagel, US Defense Secretary, addressed key issues from their report, here are some of his quotes:

“The loss of glaciers will strain water supplies in several areas of our hemisphere.” 

“Destruction and devastation from hurricanes can sow the seeds for instability. Droughts and crop failures can leave millions of people without any lifeline, and trigger waves of mass migration.”

“We should worry about climate change like we worry about ISIS.”

You can read more about the report here:  http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=123393

The climate change deniers feel there is not enough proof in order for governments to act on this initiative.  Here are some of the things people are saying:

“This very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit has got to stop.  Our planet is freezing, record low temps,and our GW scientists are stuck in ice” – Donald Trump (tweet) @realDonaldTrump January 2, 2014.

“Every cow in the world, you know, when they do what they do, you’ve got more carbon dioxide.” – Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH)

“The ice caps are melting, which we see over and over again.  Yeah, they’re melting on Mars, too!” – Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)

“The government can’t change the weather.” – Senator, Marco Rubio (R-FL) 

“All voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.” – Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann (R-MN)

If this is how our politicians are treating climate change – what hope do we have?  Here are what some authorities on climate change are saying and doing:

GREENPEACE

Greenpeace has listed some very interesting and positive statistics and facts surrounding renewable energies, here is that list:

  • Europe decommissioned more coal, fuel oil and nuclear capacity than it installed in 2009.
  • Solar energy is now working at night on a commercial-scale.  A plant in Spain has seven hours of heat storage.
  • In the space of just 5 years, Portugal’s electric grid leapt from 15% to 45% renewables.
  • Price Waterhouse Cooper says Europe and North Africa could now run on 100% renewable energy by 2050.
  • Subsidies to fossil fuels worldwide outweigh renewable energy support by a ratio of 12:1.
  • West Virginia could replace all its electrical capacity with just 2% of its geothermal power potential.
  • Solar photovoltaic could account for 5% of global power demand by 2020, and up to 9% by 2030.
  • Iceland’s power supply went from 75% imported coal to more than 80% local geothermal and hydro in 30 years.
  • China built (roughly) one windmill an hour in 2009.
  • Our energy needs can be met by 95% renewable energy by 2050

*The above can be found on the following:  www.greenpeace.org

350.org

350.org is a group of individuals that have come together to demand environmental action.  What is the significance of the number 350?

“If humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted, paleoclimate evidence and ongoing climate change suggest that CO2 will need to be reduced from [current levels] to at most 350 ppm.” – Dr. James Hansen

Our current levels are at 400 ppm.

Here is a paragraph from 350.org:

Independent studies show that in the United States a sustained investment of public and private dollars in clean energy would generate 1.7 million new jobs in industries like construction for making homes and office buildings more efficient with new windows, lighting and cooling systems – and in manufacturing of solar panels, wind turbines, and electric vehicles.

Some of 350.org’s projects and campaigns include; Global Divestment Day, Start a Climate Petition and Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline.

For more information, receive updates, donate, or get involved – please visit www.350.org – Get the facts!

The David Suzuki Foundation

David Suzuki has been a defender of the planet, our environment and world reknowned scientist.  Here are a few points from their Energy Overview blog post regarding renewable energy and the potential Canada has in becoming a world leader in renewable and sustainable energies:

Wind and solar are the fastest growing sources of energy in the world.  These low-polluting energy industries are creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs in countries as diverse as Germany and China.  In fact, the renewable-energy sector generates more jobs per megawatt of power installed, per unit of energy produced, and per dollar of investment than the fossil fuel-based sector.

Canada, the second largest country in the world by area, is richly endowed with renewable energy, including wind, solar, hydro, biomass, geothermal and marine (e.g. tidal, wave energy) sources.  With the right policies, Canada can use renewable energy to satisfy its energy needs and become a world leader in sustainable technologies.

Some of the current projects of the David Suzuki Foundation include; Race to the Top and Trottier Energy Futures Project.

For more information about the David Suzuki Foundation – please visit, www.davidsuzuki.org

Canada will have a federal election in October of 2015.  Canada must elect a government and Prime Minister who speaks to a new generation of individuals who are concerned about our land, lakes, rivers, parks, forests and the environment in general.  We need to elect a leader who wants to show that world that Canada can be a leader in renewable and sustainable energies, growing the economy with green jobs and building a better and cleaner Canada.  We must vote for new priorities and government policies that create a better Canada and a better world.

The fossil fuel sector/industry realizes that a revolution for a better and sustainable future is gaining momentum and will do anything to ensure their profits remain intact.  Governments shouldn’t answer to big conglomerates that only want to maximize their profits.  Government officials should not be bought in order to pass legislation that would only be in the best interests of the fossil fuel conglomerates.

It is time for a new world order – but not a world order that is driven by profits and instilling fear into their citizens.  It’s time for the grass roots movement to grow into a revolution – and it will, with organizations like Greenpeace, the David Suzuki Foundation and 350.org.

Resources:

  1. www.greenpeace.org
  2. www.davidsuzuki.org
  3. www.350.org
  4. www.skepticalscience.com
  5. www.defense.gov

Together, we can make the world a more positive one! 

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE – THE DOWNFALL of CIVILIZATION….

I have heard many religious leaders indicating that allowing same-sex couples to marry would be the downfall of civilizations.  People have even gone as far as blaming environment catastrophe’s due to states grating same-sex marriage.  Okay….let’s look at some statistics and facts surrounding the implementation and recognition of same-sex marriages around the world, here are some timelines: 

  • Netherlands was the first country to extend marriage laws to include same-sex couples.  A same-sex marriage bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in 2000, taking effect on 1 April, 2001.
  • Belgium became the second country in the world to legally recognize same-sex marriages.
  • The provinces of Ontario and British Columbia in Canada legally recognized same-sex marriages in 2003 – Ontario (June) and British Columbia (July).
  • In 2004 – The Canadian provinces of Quebec (March),  Yukon (July), Manitoba (September), Nova Scotia (September), Saskatchewan (November) and Newfoundland (December) legally recognized same-sex marriages.  Nationally, Canada (July) legally recognized same-sex marriage as of July 20, 2005 – becoming the 4th country to do so.  Sandoval County, New Mexico, USA (February; discontinued, reinstated by statewide legalization in December), New Paltz, New York, USA (February; discontinued, reinstated by statewide legalization in July, 2011), Massachusetts, USA (May)
  • On July 3, 2005 – Spain became the 3rd country to officially recognize same-sex marriage legally.
  • 2006 – South Africa (November) recognizes same-sex marriage.
  • 2008 – California, USA (June, discontinued November and reinstated June (2013) and Connecticut, USA (November) recognize same-sex marriage.
  • 2009 – Norway (January) and Sweden (May) and in the USA, Iowa (January) and Vermont (September).
  • 2010 – The US States of New Hampshire (January) and District of Columbia (March) along with Portugal (June), Iceland (June) and Argentina (July) begin recognizing same-sex marriage. 
  • 2011 – New York, statewide (July).
  • 2012 – Denmark (June) and the US states of Washington (December) and Maine (December).
  • 2013 – The US states of Maryland (January), Delaware (July), Minnesota (August), Rhode Island (August), New Jersey (October), Hawaii (December), New Mexico (statewide) (December) and Utah (December, discontinued in January and reinstated in October, 2014) along with the countries; Brazil (May), France (May), Uruguay (August) and New Zealand (August).
  • 2014 – In the USA; Oregon (May), Pennsylvania (May), Illinois (statewide) (June), Wisconsin (June, discontinued 13 June and reinstated October), Indiana (June, discontinued 27 June and reinstated in October), Oklahoma (October), Virginia (October), Colorado (October), West Virginia (October), Nevada (October), North Carolina (October), Alaska (October), Idaho (October), Arizona (October), Wyoming (October), Montana (November), South Carolina (November) along with England of Wales (March) and Scotland (December).
  • 2015 – Luxembourg (January) and the US States; Florida (January) and Alabama (February).

So what has happened since the all these countries and many states have legalizes same-sex marriages?  Have economies collapsed?  Did civil war break out in these countries and states?  For those who are religious and God-fearing – has God caused biblical floods of epic proportions or burned cities to the ground for granting same-sex marriages?  I can confidently say – that, with the introduction of same-sex marriages, unions, partnerships (whatever you want to call them), nothing drastic has changed for any heterosexuals couple that have opposed this in the past.  The only thing that has changed is for those individuals in same-sex unions.  Same-sex couples have the same benefits and rights that are afforded to heterosexual married couples and are treated equally under the law.

Let’s look at Canada – Canada has been grating same-sex marriages since 2003 (in 2 provinces – Ontario and British Columbia).  Ontario is my home province and nothing significant has happened in the province since allowing same-sex marriages.  As a matter-of-fact, nothing has happened anywhere in which same-sex marriages have been granted.  Same-sex unions/marriages are not to blame for the huge spikes in the divorce rates between heterosexual couples.  Instead of focusing their dissent on couples who are in loving  and committed relationships, why don’t those who are so opposed to same-sex marriages focus their rage and dissention on the increasing divorce rates, homelessness, poverty, violence towards women, and other more pressing social issues?

My spouse and I have been together for over 20 years and married for 7….our relationship or marriage hasn’t infringed on the rights and responsibilities of anyone we know.  We made the decision to marry to ensure we were treated equally in the eyes of the law (not to mention the fact that we love one another).  My marriage is as equally meaningful as my parents, my sisters or my brother’s marriage.  That is all.

As I mentioned above, if people would just focus their energies on the real social issues that need our attention, this world would be a much brighter and positive one!  Let’s make that happen.

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!

 

THE BEST STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS IN MY LIFETIME!

Many believe that President Barack Obama hasn’t been that effective as president of the free world.  Some people believe it’s because he lacks experience, is afraid to ‘rock the boat’, can’t enforce policies because he wants to be bi-partisan or just can’t complete his work because Republicans don’t want him to…..whatever the reason, we can’t deny what his administration has accomplish in the last six years, here are some:

  • Nearly 300 million acres of land and water preserved for future generations
  • 11.2 million private-sector jobs over 58 straight months of growth
  • 165,000 fewer troops in harms way in Afghanistan and Iraq
  • 645,000+ young people protected from the threat of deportation
  • Gay and lesbian service members no longer forced to hide who they are to serve
  • 10 million Americans have gained health coverage
  • 7 million minimum wage earners will get a raise
  • In 36 states, gay marriage is or will soon be legal

**These facts can be found via http://www.whitehouse.gov/sotu

Whatever you think of this president or the party he represents, you can’t deny that when he was elected he really had some hard work and rebuilding to accomplish.  Here are some of my favorite moments from the State of the Union address on January 20, 2015 from President Barack Obama:

“And to everyone in this Congress who still refuses to raise the minimum wage, I say this:  if you truly believe you could work full-time and support a family on less than $15,000 a year, go try it.”

“I intend to protect a free and open internet, extend its reach to every classroom and every community and help folks build the fastest networks, so that the next generation of digital innovators and entrepreneurs have the platform to keep reshaping our world.”

“2014 was the planet’s warmest year on record.  Now, one year doesn’t make a trend, but this does – 14 of the 15 warmest years on record have all fallen in the first 15 years of this century.”

“I’ve heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they’re not scientists; that we don’t have enough information to act.  Well, I’m not a scientist, either.  But you know what – I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA, and NOAA, and at our major universities.  The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heatwaves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe.  The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security.  We should act like it.”

“As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained.  It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.  It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims – the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.  That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoner’s, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.  We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us all safer.”

“We may go at it in campaign season, but surely we can agree that the right to vote is sacred; that it’s being denied to too many; and that , on this 50th anniversary of the great march from Selma to Montgomery and the passage of the Voting Rights Act, we can come together, Democrats and Republicans, to make voting easier for every single American.”

“To every CEO in America…if you want somebody who’s going to get the job done, and get it done right, hire a veteran.”

“I still believe that we are one people.  I still believe that together, we can do great things, even when the odds are long.”

It is sometimes difficult for people to have faith restored in their members of parliament and governments especially when they only show us greed, corruption and scandal.  This State of the Union gives me hope that our governments – not only in the United States of America but around the world, can actually restore that lost faith and hope.

I don’t believe I have ever heard a living president say the words ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender’ in one sentence.  If the purpose of the State of the Union address is to lift the spirits of the people of the world and give them hope for a brighter tomorrow…than President Obama has accomplished that for me and for many people around the world.  This State of the Union really encompasses the idea of creating positivity right across the globe. 

To view the complete State of the Union address – please visit:  http://www.whitehouse.gov/sotu

Together, we can make the world a more positive one!