Saturday, 16 June 2012

Religious Bullshit and Assisted Suicide Law Struck Down

If you are a religious person you know that life is sacred and only god can decide when and how you will die.

You also know that god has a plan for you and works in mysterious ways. So he might decide that you will die quietly in your sleep after living a long fulfilling life. Or he might decide that you will be killed by a sociopathic serial killer, or by a drunk driver, or while being raped by someone who is supposed to love you. Or he might decide that you will die a long slow painful lingering death due to disease.

But as a religious person you know that it is god's choice and you have no say in the matter and no rights as to how and when you die.

Well god fearing people, the British Columbia Supreme Court has just ruled that is all BULLSHIT.

Monday, 11 June 2012

The Bill That Couldn't Happen Here

Back when I worked for the House of Commons, every time an Omnibus Bill was proposed (and the usual discussions and negotiations around splitting it were occurring) we would joke about the ultimate Omnibus Bill - An Act for the Government of Canada, with everything a government wanted to do in one bill. Of course, we never believed it would ever happen in our democratic system. But that is essentially what Bill C-38 is about.

Omnibus bills were always controversial, but in comparison to Bill C-38, always focused. They might, for example, amend several crime and justice related acts in one bill or several pieces of environmental legislation in one bill. But they were still controversial and often divided into more reasonable groupings of legislation by means of multi-party co-operation. Yes there used to be such a thing, even during majority governments.

Budgets themselves would always result in numerous bills, usually an Income Tax bill, a bill related to other tax measures, and specific bills for specific policy measures included in the budget. It is unprecedented to include everything mentioned in a budget, and some things not mentioned in it, in a budget bill. It is unprecedented not only because no government thought they could get away with it but because all previous governments knew it was inappropriate and undemocratic.

This was back in the days when governments did not believe that democracy involved 40% of the people electing a dictator who would virtually govern by decree for four years, but when governments believed in Parliamentary democracy.

This was back in the days of the Progressive Conservative Party when government and opposition Members of Parliament may have differed on what the thought were the best policies for the country but respected each other because they all wanted what they believed was best for Canada. This was back when all political leaders believed in Canada and we did not have a Prime Minister who wanted to make this country something that Canadians would not recognize.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

God Created Adam and Eve Not Adam and Steve

I'm really not sure why religious right wingers always seem to use this phrase in reference to the Adam and Eve story (as well as other Old Testament references) to justify their claims that homosexuality is an abomination (and as the Catholic school system would call it "intrinsically disordered"). The lesson from the Adam and Eve story doesn't exactly fit in with their moral code.

After all if you accept the story of "the rib", Eve was essentially Adam's cloned sister. So according to the Biblical version of the origin of the species the first two humans were siblings, who had sex to produce the second generation, also siblings who had sex to produce the third generation (well there was another possibility but it still would be incestuous). And then it was the cousins and so on and so on. So mankind is based on incest according to their literal interpretation of the Bible.

Of course if we accept Old Testament stories as fact people seemed to live a long time back then so maybe incest was not such a bad thing. But I prefer to base my opinion of the desirability of incest on scientific studies into the impact of "in-breeding".

I also prefer to base my understanding of the origin of the species on the scientific explanation of The Origin of Species.

According to the theory of evolution and natural selection non-useful traits of a species will disappear over time with evolution. Thus if homosexuality was not naturally useful to mankind it would have disappeared, The fact that it has not simply proves that it is natural and good.

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Endangered Species Legislation Wrong Approach

Trying to protect endangered species is simply the wrong approach to protecting wildlife.

What we do is allow open season on development/destruction of wildlife habitat unless it contains endangered species. Then we make a half-hearted token attempt to protect those species, often while still allowing the development/destruction of the habitat they depend on. When that fails and the species is wiped out in that area it is open season on developing/destroying the habitat again.

This of course is because the purpose of the legislation is to interfere as little as possible with development while appearing to care about the environment.

The way to protect wildlife is to protect their habitat from destruction/development before they become endangered, not after it is too late.

We need to strengthen environmental legislation, not weaken it, as both provincial and federal governments intend to do, and not even openly but stealthily using illegitimate omnibus budget bills